Tundra swan requires a runway.

Bird tundra swan takeoff

Juvenile tundra swan required a runway to take off from the pond!  I am so used to ducks popping up from the pond like corks that I was holding my camera in wrong position to capture the takeoff.  You can tell it’s a juvenile because the head is gray.

bird tundra swan 2

Swan was paddling around on the pond, totally unaware that I was sneaking up on it with all the stealth a senior citizen can muster.

These shots show the bird continuing to climb. To me the most interesting thing to observe here is the black edge at the end of the tail feathers. Those are the swan’s enormous black feet!


My friends call me Wolfy!

Insect spider wolf

I wasn’t expecting paparazzi when I slipped out to enjoy a pleasant winter thaw. I thought my camouflage was more than sufficient. Feel free to call me Wolfy!

January 21, 2018 provided a pleasant and unexpected winter thaw!

Go fish!

Bird osprey chick mom 1

Red Eye (osprey chick) begs Pepper Dotty (mom) for fish. Pepper says what all mother osprey say to their chicks, “Go fish!”

bird osprey chick mom 2

Pepper continues to eat, ignoring her starving, miserable chick.

bird osprey chick mom 3

Red Eye continues to complain. Pepper ‘hoods’ her fish. Dart (dad) flies to nest off camera.

Bird Osprey chick mom 4

Red Eye flies to nest but Dart is already gone and there was no fish left in the nest. Help!!

osprey chick mom 5

Suddenly Pepper drops to the nest to deliver fish remains to her chick and Red Eye starts eating immediately.

bird osprey chick mom 6

Happy Red Eye will survive another day! Thanks, Mom!


Another lovely invasive!

Flower yellow flag iris

This is the invasive yellow flag iris. The blue flag iris is not an invasive.  But I can’t find the one or two that have sometimes bloomed down in the marsh. The yellow flags have totally taken over the pond and marsh since John stopped mowing down there. I hate to say how lovely and cheerful they are. Since it would take me more than a lifetime to pull them up I will just have to enjoy them…

You can buy used beetle wings on Amazon!

Insect Emerald Ash borerOne look at this Emerald Ash Borer and you can understand why the elytra, or stiff front pair of wings on a beetle have been popular since cavemen discovered they weren’t just delicious but also useful for trade.  What wouldn’t you give to possess something so amazingly iridescent?

World’s biggest mosquito!

Insect crane fly 1

Everyone is scared of this insect, commonly thought to be the world’s biggest mosquito. But it isn’t a mosquito.  It’s a crane fly.  And it doesn’t bite or sting or cause any harm. Most don’t even eat, except for a bit of nectar. Some people call them mosquito hawks and skeeter eaters. I saw my first crane fly of 2017 on March 25th in my bathroom.  They are really fun to look at. Since their major activity is mating, watch for that pairing. They are so big that a mating pair is quite obvious on your screen door or window.

Insect crane fly wings

Their wings remind me of stained glass.

Insect crane fly antennae

This close up gives you a chance to see their antennae.