Thursday, March 13, 2014

SHADE AND SWALLOWS

A quick update on the old girl.  Shade has been a very good girl since she had the drainage tube put in her chest.  I keep the lampshade thingy off her neck when I'm here to supervise her but must re-install it on her when I go to work.  I hate to have to do that to her but if she pulls it out, we're both in trouble -- her, physical trouble  and me, financial trouble.. Today is the last day for the lampshade as we have an appointment in the morning at 8:30 AM at our vet to remove the tube and get the final stitches that will close the holes where the tube was inserted.  Life will be a lot easier around here as I won't have to worry if the protruding plastic tube will catch on the frame of the dog door as she passes through.  It's been some week here!  Look closely at the picture above and you can see the end of the drainage tube in the picture.  It protrudes out the same distance behind her front leg.
The bastard!  I was bringing a pan of water to a boil to make coffee when a stink bug decided to plop right into the pan of almost but not quite boiling water.  I watched with glee as he raised his wings from his tortured body and squirmed about on the surface as he tried to escape the ever rising temperature of the water.  He appeared to perform a modified breast stroke on the surface as the bubbles from the near boiling water started to rise from the bottom of the pan to the surface.  Then, in an instant, all motion stopped.  I daubed him off the water with a towel and flicked him across the counter and into the sink with my index finger.  No remorse was felt and the coffee tasted fine.
67 degrees last night and this is what was in my yard at 4 AM this morning.  I don't get it.  Must be global warming.  I fear we're all doomed!

There is no way I was going to put the boat on the lake this morning with all this snow on the ground.  The ramps would have been so slick that even a 4 wheel drive would have been challenged to pull back up the steep ramps to the parking lot above.  I did do a drive around the lake though to verify the absence of anglers for the morning.
I did a check on the bald eagle nest and both adults were in the nest and a lot of activity was taking place up there.  I couldn't tell what was going on but the eagle cam in my brain saw two adults feeding two baby eagles.  Bet cha!  We'll get pictures when they're larger but all is well up there in the nest I'm certain.
This little sparrow appears to be freezing to death.  He looks miserable, but in reality hes not.
 A red tail hawk takes off as my truck approaches.  They are very intolerant of approaching vehicles.
This is the buff or blond version of the red tail hawk and is seen primarily near the rivers for some reason.  Hawks in the forest are usually darker in color overall.  I don't know why.  Just a variation I guess.

 I can never get close to a red tail.  They are one of the most sensitive hawks out there and almost impossible to creep up on.  I only ever photographed one close up and that was last year.  I'll get much better pictures once I receive my repaired 500 mm telephoto.  If I ever receive it back:)
Check the shots below.  I came upon a tremendous flock of tree swallows.  I've never seen so many together in one bunch.


 They actually were in a murmur formation before they landed.  I couldn't get the truck stopped fast enough to catch it with the camera.  Not sure if I spelled murmur correctly as it applies to bird flight formations.  There is "always" something new to be learned from nature if one just looks and sees.






 As I said the other day - I sold my canoe and gave up paddling altogether.  Last night as I lay in bed with the palm of my hand on Shade's head, I thought about the quiet afternoons I spent on Abrams Creek as I slipped along quietly in the canoe where the only noise heard was the drip, drip of water off the paddle blades between strokes and the magnificent views of the mountains while paddling on Indian Boundary lake.  Wow, that's a lot to give up.  This water over here where I live is terrible for a quality canoe's finish.  That is why I sold out.  The experience of paddling on a back country piece of water and the calmness it provides one's senses is a lot to toss away..  Maybe I can get a less expensive canoe or even a used canoe that I don't mind scratching up to satisfy my lust for paddling the lonely water trails.  Maybe its time for a kayak.  Just maybe its time for one of those.  They don't cost a lot at all.  We'll see.  

I'll let you know how Shade does at the vet tomorrow and can you believe it's going to be almost 70 degrees tomorrow afternoon after snowing early this morning?