Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

RBG

They are one of my favorite birds. They are not daily visitors at my feeder, but pop in and out all summer. Once a whole migrating flock stopped by to feed in the spring. More than a dozen at once. What a sight that was!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Giants Of The Earth?

This one is for Joan at http://saphotographs.blogspot.com/ Joan lives in South Africa and has two amazing blogs, mostly showing the flora and fauna of that beautiful country. Check them out!
I'd never seen them before but they are all around us this summer. They're called earwigs.
Oops wrong picture.
They're creeping crawly things, usually found hiding underneath. Baron's water dish, for example. They slither off at the slightest exposure and also try to sneak into the house.
They reportedly tunnel in thru the ears and nest in the brain. Take my word for it THIS IS A MYTH. They also DO NOT CARRY DISEASE.
With a rear mounted pincher they are scary to look at though. When I saw my first ones, my imagination got the best of me. Thinking they were babies, I recalled similar looking giant creatures in a movie, marauding through the streets of Japan & America, laying waste the countryside.
Size: "1"
Shape: Long, narrow
Color: Dark brown
Legs: 6
Wings: No
Antenna: Yes
Common Name: Earwig
Kindom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Dermaptera
Family: Forficulidae
Species: Forficula auricularia
Earwigs feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects.

Mrs T has proposed dousing the house foundation with a pesticide. Being the "Green" member of the family, I've resisted that idea. Earwigs. Harmless, cute little bugs aren't they?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Neighbors

This old retired couple (us actually) got a new HD TV and signed up for hundreds of cable channels. Each summer some nearby goats have kids.
Now the we spend our evenings on the front porch...... watching the goats across the road. There are eleven of them including five kids. The kids romp and chase. They all (including kids) like to butt heads and climb on the various woods piles.
"This is more entertaining than anything on TV these days," one Troutbirder was heard to say.
Of course, what goes around, comes around, and so I've noticed some of our other neighbors have been watching us, as of late, as well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

In The Woods

I'm going trout fishing in the woods today. Would you like to come along?
You might want to click on the pictures for a close up view. Wouldn't want you to miss seeing a rock or stump, trip and fall now, would we?
These small valley's are carved by spring fed streams. Limestone bluff on one side, hardwood forest on the other. Feel how cold the water is. The trout thrive here.
Insect hatches often come off the riffles. Trout feed on them. But not today. I'll fish the quiet pools and deep edges along the banks.
It so quiet here in the woods. I rarely see anyone else. Lets sit on the bank and listen. Sometimes a doe and a fawn can be seen coming down for a drink. In the spring there are warblers everywhere.
Well, the fish weren't biting today. Still, I don't think our time was wasted. Do you?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Romance

We went up to St. Croix State Park in early June this summer. A week in the North Woods seemed like a good idea.... till we got there. Three days of off and on rain (mostly on) and hordes of giant bloodthirtsy Minnesota mosquitoes just about did us in. We did a lot of back road driving though, checking out the scenery and wildlife. Here are some highlights: The St. Croix River was a favorite canoeing venue of my youth and later the place where I taught my two sons, at an early age, how to paddle. Later, it became one of the first nationally designated "Wild and Scenic Rivers." Today, it remains the only such river, clear and unpolluted, within easy distance of a major metropolitan area in the east ( Twin Cities).
We did see lots of deer on our drives and a really unusual Mom and baby combination who crossed the road in front of us
We also stopped at an overlook of a large swampy area. There, in a strange way, I was reminded of my first piano lessons. My mom had purchased a book of "easy" childhood songs for me to learn to play. One of the songs came back to me on that overlook....


"A frog he would a-wooing go, mm mm, mm mm,
A frog he would a-wooing go,
Whether his mother would let him or no, mm mm, mm mm."

The chorus was almost deafening. I made a video of the scene and sound, unfortunately blogger wouldn't accept it.


It was spring allright....and romance was in the air!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Theft

At home, Baron the GSD, often exhibits his "herding instincts" by madly tearing after Simba the cat. This occurs whenever Simba ventures across the floor. It lasts until the cat leaps up on a chair or table. Then the roles immediately reverse as Simba adopts his lion demeanor, fiercely defending his perch, until the offending dog slinks away, well chastened. As you can see in the picture, this situation did not fit in either category, as became apparent when Baron looked at me and said, "Hey Boss, he stole my snoozing pad, now what do I do?"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Emergers

In the springtime, the moment when the mayflies and caddis transform from their nymphal form and swim to the surface of the stream, is indeed a magic time for the trout fisherman. As the they struggle upwards, to flutter away, they are called emergers. This is the time for "wet flies" to be cast into the stream and lifted in imitation of the real thing. It is an a special moment
This is the same time when other "emergers" appear on the spring scene. Here are a few:
Showy Orchis. A now rare native orchid of hardwood forests here in Minnesota. Thick basal leaves and small spurred flowers. The lip is white. Other petals and sepals are pint or magenta. About 6 inches tall. Photo taken in Forestville State Park 5/12/08




Another emerger is the skunk cabbage. Found along stream margins and on hillsides in seepage areas. It is one of the earliest plants to appear in the spring. Yes, the fruit has a definite smell. But it is the leaves that get your immediate attention. Their leathery shine, startling growth rate, and deep, fresh green color is a force unto itself. They seem to spring out of the soggy brown littler of the forest floor, Photo also taken in Forestville State Park





Emerging from the forest on a ridge high above the Whitewater Valley in Whitewater State Park is another early blooming native flower. The Pasque Flower is a member of the crocus family. Its delicate form is a sure signal that spring has arrived.
Emergers. You gotta love them as we emerge from our winter blahs as well.