Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another GORGEOUS day here on the East Coast! Trees in bloom, leaves bursting out, plants popping up everywhere! I'm in awe of the beauty surrounding me. So many want it to be summer like, I enjoy Spring taking it's time arriving so I can savor each moment. I couldn't get over how much more the trees popped during my work day. Yesterday the ferns in my garden were tightly closed and close to the ground, they are now all many inches tall and bright green. They must have grown 4 inches since last night. When I arrived home from work my entire back yard was covered with the most amazing sight....more then 100 Goldfinch feeding on every feeder and covering the ground too. I was feeling a bit down, and that moment lifted my spirits. Is there any creature more beautiful then a bird?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Natures most magical days

Today right outside my own door the most amazing phenomenon in nature is going on. The bird migration is in full tilt. Passing though our area are some of the earths most gorgeous birds all in their breeding plumage. I have more then 50 Goldfinches at my feeders. Their color is breathtaking. Hummingbirds are already sipping sugar water. Warblers fill the trees, eating the bounty of black flies that hatched over the last couple of days. I am so lucky that I'm in tune with all of nature, little of the natural world escapes my attention. Every one of my days is special and filled with so many wonderful moments.

Monday, April 25, 2011


First Hummingbird of the year! I saw him 3x, in 3 different parts of the yard, including at the feeder. Time to mix up a big batch of sugar water and put out the other feeders.

Toads are still out in the pond singing away. I'm loving falling asleep to the sweet song. I released the Green Frogs that spent the Winter with us. Next will be the Spotted Turtle and Snapping Turtle. I will miss them, but their rightful place is back out in the wild. PJ will go back out in to the pond until next Fall, soon as I get some floating plants to give him a bit more cover and keep the frogs safe from his nipping.

I'm loving each and every moment of this glorious Spring, even if it rains every five minutes!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

I can't think of a better place to feel closer to my god ~ mother earth, then out in the forest. This morning hubby, oldest son, the two dogs and I went for a wonderful hike. The rain that was fore-casted never showed up. I feel so at peace right now. When I spend time outside my soul gets renewed and I can go forward with my busy life again. When we returned I made the most delicious Belgian Waffles ever, including Gluten Free ones for J and I. A new family tradition is born, a Easter morning hike followed by Belgian waffles! Life is GOOD today!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Warblers are here for sure!

Despite lots more rain, there was another dozen Yellow-Rumped Warblers up in the Co. Park. Also Blue-headed Vireo and Black and White Warbler. After our walk we went into town and while I was waiting in the car for hubby to return, I watched two Barn Swallows hunting for insects over the river that runs through town, FOY for me. When you are a birder every moment you are outside is an opportunity to see something great.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

I decided to take the road less traveled today. The parking lot at the lake was filled with cars. I was not looking forward to walking the boyz with so many others out on the trails. It's hard for me when people don't leash their dogs. I decided to take a back trail that I've never run into another person on it. The hike was going too quickly so I turned onto a trail I've never went on. It was a gorgeous surprise. There were even some really old trees. Lots of wetlands and streams. Saw my first of season Warblers on the return trip! Yellow-Rumped, Black & White and a Pine. Spring has sprung!

First Rose-breasted Grossbeak of the year at the feeder!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The sun finally came out and it warmed up to 70 degrees today. One lone Turkey was under the bird feeder, a hen. Juncos are mostly gone. Birds are all beginning their territory songs. Tonight outside my bedroom window I could hear the hear the voice of an American toad singing. He has already attracted a female to the pond. I love spring.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green Heron

I had a wonderful hike in the freezing rain. It's 41 and windy. There was a Green Heron at the pond. Gorgeous bird, he allowed me long close looks. I'm glad that I decided to bring my good bins despite the rain. I no sooner finished watching him to head up another trail and there was a bear! Always a thrilling welcome sight for me. Walking in the rain never disappoints, there is always more wildlife around when there are few people out in the wood. We also saw 4 deer. Keeping the dogs on leashes helps too. I would never again let one of my dogs chase wildlife. It is so unfair to the animal to have a dog terrorizing it, especially at this time of year when they are stressed out trying to find food to put back on the weight they lost during hibernation. On the way out of the park there were a few Bluebirds.

First Chipping Sparrow at the house.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lucky Day!

Hiked up to the top of the AT overlooking Greenwood Lake. I lucked out and caught the Northward migration of Hawks! Over 100 Broad-winged, 12 Sharpies, 2 Osprey, 1 Coopers and a N. Goshawk! Winds are ESE and 5-10mph. Nice cloud cover. Most birds were naked eye.

At the pond N.Water-snake and Painted turtles. First Mourning Cloak of the year.2 pairs of wood-ducks up in the Beaver pond.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Up and out again for a doggie walk nice and early. It was raining. I love walking in the rain, there is a peacefulness that is hard to find during a gorgeous day when so many more people are out and about. Last week I finally purchased a good rain jacket and rain pants, what a pleasure to wear the proper clothing, it makes all the difference in the world. The humidity and rain are causing the buds on some trees to pop. The world is greening. Each moment of watching the Spring unfold is a true gift to me. I'm so glad that I've been staying off my computer and out there enjoying nature instead.

During the night we had a Toad singing in our pond. It's been a few years since that has happened.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Farm walk

7:15am hike up at lake, Louisiana Waterthrush, Hermit Thrush, Ring Necked Duck, Pilated Woodpeckers, Phoebe, Turkeys, Deer, heard a bear way back in the swamp too. I'm turning this into my new habit, get up and out in the morning, shower after wards. Had a great time, feel refreshed. I am planning a second hike after grocery shopping, this time up in the Co.Park.

7pm I took the boyz down the street and walked them on the road. It was 80 degrees out and beautiful. Birds singing and Spring Peepers calling. I forgot just how gorgeous it is down by the farms. I heard toads singing too. What a great way to end the day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Earth's 10 Commandments

1. Thou shalt see thyself as part of the whole and not place thyself above other creatures.

2. Thou shalt live in balance and harmony with all creation and not seek dominion over nature.

3. Thou shalt not multiply thy species endlessly without regard to the limits of my bounty.

4. Thou shalt not empty the seas of fish and the forest of trees, nor turn fertile fields to deserts and take the blue from the skies.

5. Thou shalt not overgraze thy sheep till pastures disappear and famine visits the land.

6. Thou shalt not produce what cannot be destroyed and returned to dust upon the earth.

7. Thou shalt not harvest greed, envy, and hatred but instead husband thy seed stock and plant as well the seeds of peace, love, and tranquility.

8. Thou shalt be a friend to the world and to all creatures great and small by doing unto all species as you would have them do unto mankind.

9. Thou shalt walk lightly upon the earth and nurture the balance of existence, seeking not a kingdom in the sky but a heaven on earth.

10. Thou shalt keep the earth a paradise as it has been for all eternity.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Signs of Spring

Skunk Cabbage

Spotted Salamander Eggs



Trout Lily

Checked on the Vernal Pools up at the Co. Park, tons of Egg masses. I'm glad we went up those two nights in a row, it appears it is done for the year. Up at the lake the females have not come as of yet, so there is a chance to see them in the next couple of days, soon as it rains again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's not over yet!

After work I took the boyz up to the Lake for a quick walk. I went and checked all the puddles that the Spotteds use and last night the males had been there! I will get up to the Venal Pool tomorrow and see what happened last night. It rained lightly the entire night.

On the way home from Middletown I saw a Sand Hill Crane in a field along 17a. Nice sighting. This morning we had around 20 turkeys, about a third of them were males, all displaying.


This morning there are around 20 Turkeys coming and going. At least a third of them are toms. They are displaying in several different spots including up on the next door neighbors lawn. It's keeping me from getting to work on time, knowing this could very well be the last day they come into the yard until next Winter, it's hard to pull myself away from the nature show. The value of my day is always greatly enhanced with wildlife encounters, even if they are viewed from my kitchen table. Already today, I feel immensely blessed and my day has just begun. What a privileged to see wild animals so up close and personal. I'm living my dream.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2nd Bear of the year

Black dot in the center of the photo is the bear.

This evening right after work I took the dogs up to the lake for a hike. It was raining lightly. I wanted to look and see if there was any Salamander activity up there. I noticed that there are no Spring Peepers calling at the lake. As we aproached a swampy area I heard some calling. I stopped because one sounded like a Chorus Frog. I noticed Petey looking intently into the other side of the swamp, then Monty started doing the same thing. I turned around to see a bear sitting up tight next to a tree not 50 feet away watching us. He was a nice size bear. Make my night. Now we are off to look for more Spotted Salamanders. Got to love this time of year!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spotted Salamanders

The last couple of days there have been increasing amounts of spermatophores in the vernal pools. We had more rain today, I hiked up at around 11am to the pool in the pouring rain to check, and couldn't see anything. We went back at 8pm and sure enough there were a couple dozen in the pool! Lots of Spring Peepers calling. It is so exhilarating to be out in nature when it is pitch black. When there is little noise, no planes flying over, no other people. We walked most of the way with out light. A light drizzly snow was falling. Temps were 39 degrees. Most of today was in the 40s.

Monday, April 4, 2011

First hike of the day, took the boyz up to the Co. Park to check the vernal pools. Last night we had a bit of rain and more expected over the next couple of days, there will be a big night this week. Some males have been there, so if it rains is looking good. Spring Peepers were calling at the pond. Bird highlights, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and a male Wood duck. On the home front, first bear of the year, got the suet feeder and took down the front feeders crushing the black oil sunflower feeder. Time to bring them in every night.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oil City Evening Trip

Nice 4:30-8pm walk around the Loop, gorgeous blue skies,with huge puffy cloud formations.

Oil City Road trip highlights:

Snow geese, Wood Duck, Wigeon, Black Duck, Shoveler, Pintail, Green-wing Teal, Blue-wing Teal, Ring-Necked, Bufflehead, Hooded Merg, Com Merg, Ruddy,Pied-billed Grebe, Glossy Ibis, Bald Eagle, Red Shoulder Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Coot, Snipe, Woodcock, Great Horned Owl, Tree swallows.

42 species and excellent late day light on the ducks high-lighting their vibrant colors. At dusk Woodcock began calling and displaying.

Choruses of Spring Peepers during the entire walk around the loop made for a very enjoyable birding adventure.

On the home front, Fox Sparrow and the Flicker continue to feed here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I've been fairly good about spending less time online. Checking forums and email has become a very bad habit for me, and one that is so hard to break. I'm really working on it, and replacing that time with more walks with the dogs. I feel pretty good about it too.

Today at the house feeders first mostly yellow Goldfinch.