Thursday, March 27, 2008
Once I was parked near station 2, I was still trying to figure exactly where to go and then I hear the call....except it's not coming from my johnny stewart game caller. Yes that's real. OMG OMG! Panic. I spot the bird and I frantically get my game caller out and call out to it. It sits there momentarily and flies off. I then do my complete circle of calls and silent waits. It flies back to the same close tree and then flies off again. I finish all my other call stations without an incident and then the nest searching begins. No fun. The woods are dense and it's all pine trees so it's difficult to see anything. I find a stick nest and I go to GPS the spot and then I notice another possible nest in another tree. I look at it in my binoculars and OMG there's an owl and it's looking right at me. You'll have to take my word that in that dark mass in the middle of the pic, there's a great horned owl mommy. I hang out for a bit trying to get better glimpses of her, but she's more interested in trying to sleep.
Uh oh. Looks like someone got their butt kicked big time. I don't this poor guy survived. I also found a giant feather. I'll find out tomorrow who's it from, but I have one top suspect and that's the very patriotic variety...if you know what I mean. Knowing my luck, it's probably just a turkey vulture.
I get home after like 12 hours of work and I start the dishwasher. I then jump in the shower. Been there, done that. Have even run the washer too all at once. Except this time the hot water kept getting colder and colder. I'm guessing that my water heater is kaputt or near kaputt. When I moved in 5 years ago, they said that it should be replaced ASAP. So once I'm done here, I'm going to check the water temp again. Keep your fingers crossed that it's not completely dead.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Then today on the advice of a co-worker I got more fish. Three to be exact. I put them all in a tupperware with just a little bit of water. Cashew spent 90% of the time trying to scratch it's way out and 10% of the time just staring at me. So everyone got dumped into the fish tank. Hopefully Cashew will broaden its menu of food.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I don't seem to have too much luck with uploading videos. There always seems to be some random problem and then for no reason I lose connection to blogger. I did manage to edit my two videos into one file and it looks like I have successfully uploaded it. Woohoo! Now I just somebody to explain why the video screen is black.
In my field notes, I have a bad habit of misspelling spring peepers. I usually end up writing spring peppers. I pity the fools that have to translate my field notes.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I headed to a pool where last year I found only one tiny wood frog tadpole. The pool was jumping with action and I eventually found some wood frog eggs. Side note - I originally was going to include two videos on this post but I know the system would explode with a bunch of pics and two videos...so I'll save those for the next post. The wood frog egg masses were so new they looked like a bunch of black pearls. They will gradually expand to be almost two times in size.
I headed across the street to the less explored area. I found a couple great pools that were bursting with action. More about that next time. I did find some spotted salamander egg masses.
I also found some of those packets of goodies (light colored specs in the photo) the boy salamanders leave behind for the girls. The picture didn't capture these packets very well, but I think the photo came out interesting from the reflection.
On my way back to the car, I spotted a dead hawk. For the first time, instead of walking away from a dead animal, I crepted closer. It was in pretty good condition considering the situation and I snapped a couple photos....which I won't share...even though they really aren't that gross. I wasn't sure exactly which type it was, but now I know for sure it's a red tailed hawk...the type you see along a highway sitting a tall tree. It's funny how things you normally view from afar look so different at close range. The poor hawk was lying on its back with the tell tale red tail shielded from view. They are very common and it's same type as the famous Pale Male in NYC.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
We pause to look at the easement and I see a large german shepard on the easement looking right at us in our truck. I don't think my coworker saw the dog. The dog is obviously not on a leash and not the friendly variety. I reluctantly get out of the truck and grab my trusty soil auger. At least I have some sort of weapon to defend myself. We spot some recent dog tracks so at least I have proof that there was a dog there. We work our way down to the shoreline without incident. The shore is also a complete mess. It's covered in old staked railroad ties so it's a challenge to walk. Of couse, there's a ton of floatable garbage to make it more interesting. Then I spot a machete lying on the shore. It's a bit rusty but that doesn't stop me. Once I had it in my hands, I was really to go Xena on that dog if it ever tried to attack. I'm sure this machete has many stories to tell...probably a whole lot of real bad ones...but I had my dad sharpen it and I still have it in my field supplies. I've only used it once....actually the intern used it since I don't have the upper body strength to really be able to use it. But it saved the day that time.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
It's pouring now and during the night that's when the action will really be on. So I may go out to the road that goes through my local wetland to see what sort of action is going on. I remember way back in the day driving through the Great Swamp where there would just be thousands of frogs jumping around on the road. I'd love to see that spectacle again.
Monday, March 3, 2008
But on saturday after the sheep visit, we got hit by a few snow squalls. I experienced for the first time the same smell that comes after the first rain. It must be a combo of wet pavement and all the pollutants being pulled out of the air. It was quite warm so there was no way the snow was going to stick. But it was enough to freak out my elderly neighbors who thought it was a snow storm coming.
This recent squall reminded me of a time a few years back that must have been in late March. Frog and salamander eggs were already out, but it was snowing like there was no tomorrow. We were unprepared so we didn't have winter jackets. It was freezing and practically a white-out, but we had to check for frog and salamander eggs in these ponds. The snow was sticking too. I'd say there was at least an inch on the ground. Then after an hour of this it finally stopped and got real warm. By the time we left, there was no snow left.
I put my snow shovel back in the basement. That's the cue for a blizzard.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
The rest of the herd was hanging out in the corner and baaing a bunch.