Troutbirder II

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Patriarch

Son of an Irish immigrant,  he wanted acceptance from the ruling elite WASP/s.  He never quite made it though a son became President of the United States.  Alleged but not a liquor smuggler he craftily became a multi-millionaire bear on the stock market, isolationist, appeaser, movie mogul, head of the S.E.C. in the Roosevelt administration, Ambassador to the Court of St. James, anti-Semite, misogynist, womanizer, devoted father, etc. etc.  You can read my take on all this and more by clicking on Mark Twain above. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Winter Visitors

Here are some of the birds that visit southeastern Minnesota in winter. We've had temps in the sixties lately with most of the snow melting.  Tonight the forecast is for a blizzard so winter bird watching isn't over yet.    Photography by my friend and birding mentor Mr. Science (Gary)  Enjoy!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Mourning Dove

Bald Eagles were not known to winter here forty years ago. Now we have them nesting and staying in our neighborhood....:) The egg laying begins in late February and early March

Pheasants are no longer common here as fence lines and wetlands for habitat are gone.

You can see Gary's blog Nature Notes at

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


At Last, a Cell Phone for Seniors!  Well maybe. Maybe not.  My arthritic fingers can barely handle laptops much less up to date cellphone/I phone whatevers with their itty bity buttons....:(

But you REALLY have to be old enough to appreciate this:

The above comment and picture were received here by email recently. Talk about being really old and out of date, I didn't appreciate it because I'm old enough to remember, from visiting my rural cousins as a youth....... the hand cranked, party line telephones, that hung on the wall where you spoke into the speaker, while you held the reciver up to your ear. NOW THAT'S OLD! Oh and I forgot, you have to "ring up" the operator, who will make the call for you.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hidden Figures

Click on Mark Twain above for my take on this movie....

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Butterfly Moment In The Sunny Garden

It's a little early for spring fever to set in but I had to admit my mind drifted back to the summer today when we built our new home in the woods next to our old home. We had divided our small acreage in the sale and I'd lost most of my sunny gardens. As the property was split,  about half of just one of the sunny gardens remained. Now I'm a shady gardener who treasures his tiny remnant of partial sun. Take a look.....

Monday, February 6, 2017

Winter On The Tundra

It's been a difficult winter here in the North Country. Sub zero temps and deep snow over hard layers of ice. For me, it means skipping the long hikes with Lily and staying by the comforts of a warm blanket, easy chair and stacks of books. To see the books I've been reading check out Troutbirder II by clicking on Mark Twains picture above.....
For the birds and animals who must scrape a living from the frozen earth it's a lot tougher. My friend Gary Erickson (Mr Science) still manages to go out and about though and take some pictures of the beauty and dangers of a Minnesota winter. Here a nowadays rare pheasant  is seen trying to feed on a corn shock bale. This is very unusual  and definitely shows desperation. Deer make a habit of visiting local  bird feeders including ours  in the evening.
Here on Troutbirder Ranch, the story is the same as I've be feeding
 birds, in huge numbers. And are they hungry! The top trifecta are the juncos & gold, purple & house finches. On some mornings I’ve seen well more than one hundred gathered about. Also, quite prevalent, are the nuthatches, chickadees, and bluejays. Daily, but not in large numbers, are mourning doves, cardinals, starlings, downy, hairy and red bellied woodpeckers.
The local turkey flock often slips quietly through our woods. They tend to be quite cautious as a certain  German Shepherd enjoys chasing them. They cross onto the blacktop in front of our house. Then march parade style up the road till they come to the goat pasture across the way. Having established a peaceful relationship with the unconcerned goats they forage for spilled grain. It's quite a show.

Winter, it's a tough go, here on the Tundra