Showing posts from November, 2013

Nice salad, what's the main course.

Nice salad, what's the main course., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Cracked corn perhaps? Lettuce? Sweet peas?

We have several deer that show up, usually early morning or late evening, to clean up under our bird feeders.

White tailed deer -Odocoileus virginianus
White-tailed deer, the smallest members of the North American deer family
"White-tailed” refers to the white underside of the deer’s tail, which it displays and wags when it senses danger.

Photo taken through the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

I know there is a bird around here somewhere.

I know there is a bird around here somewhere., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. I heard you talking about it. Something about a troglodyte.
Even I know that's a wren.
So, where is it?

Our house guest has discovered birds in a big way. Soul Patch sits in the window and watches birds at the feeders.
Now it seems he is reading birding magazines.

That will never hold water.

That will never hold water., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. I'm afraid it is hoopless, it is beyond repair.
I wonder how old the barrel was and what it was originally used for? Dry goods or liquids. Or, perhaps monkeys.

10 miles

10 miles, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. We headed out today to see a rare bird at Fort Erie/Buffalo which is a 3 1/2 hour drive away.
It was clear with a blue sky.
About an hour done the road we started seeing snow on the ground followed by snow squalls.
In a 16 kilometer - 10 mile - stretch we went from clear to blizzard conditions.
The two lanes were down to one, heavily rutted, limited visibility and 45-50 km speeds (25-30 mph)
We turned around and came home to clear roads and sunny skies.
What a difference a few kilometres can make.
The storm was mainly lake effect snow.
Photo by Anne, I was busy driving.

Is he still out there?

Is he still out there?, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. My son and his wife are on vacation and their new kitten, Soul Patch, is visiting.
He isn't too sure about Ozzie, Crash is ok as he ignores the kitten. but Oz wants to play.
Unfortunately there is a significant size difference which is making the kitten a little nervous.
Soul Patch likes to hide under the bed and come out when the coast is clear.
You can't see the patch on his chin in this shot.

Just because you can...

Just because you can..., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. ...doesn't mean you should.
This is one of those things that I wonder about.
People have different abilities but, just because you can do something doesn't mean it is a good idea or necessary.

A perfect example is Celine Dion. She can hold a note and warble it for what seems to be forever.
Stop already!!

This fellow seemed to be having fun looking back from where he came, perhaps he is into history, but I'm not sure it is a good idea.


Taunting, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. A chipmunk was sitting right outside the window taunting the boys.
They ran from window to window following the little critter but, somehow, they could never catch it.

You can just make out our small water feature in the upper right. It isn't large but it does bring in a lot of birds and an occasional chipmunk.

This is the Wonderful Wildlife Window.

Missing lunch

Missing lunch, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. This yellow warbler isn't paying much attention to the free lunch right under his feet.
We had a major midge (insect thingy) hatch and there was food all over the yard.
You can tell it is a male by the bold red stripes on his breast.

Scientific stuff
Setophaga petechia
The nests of the Yellow Warbler are frequently parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. The warbler often builds a new nest directly on top of the parasitized one, sometimes resulting in nests with up to six tiers.
Life can be dangerous for a small bird. Yellow Warblers have occasionally been found caught in the strands of an orb weaver spider’s web.

The carrot bill

The carrot bill, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. The Caspian tern is one of the easier birds to id, with its large, thick, and brilliant coral red bill.

Hydroprogne caspia

The Caspian Tern is the largest tern in the world.

Young Caspian Terns appear to have a difficult time learning to catch fish efficiently. They stay with their parents for long periods of time, and are fed by them even on the wintering grounds. Many young terns do not return to the nesting grounds for several years, remaining instead on the wintering areas.
The oldest known wild Caspian Tern lived to be more than 26 years old. Average life span of Great Lakes Caspian Terns is estimated to be 12 years.

Mirror image?

Mirror image?, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Is he looking in the mirror while taking his bath?
Perhaps there are two of them?

We had numerous yellow warblers come into our little water feature in the yard for their afternoon baths.

At one point we had 5 warblers in the pond.
Other visitors included chipping sparrows, cedar waxwings, goldfinches and a cat bird.

Yellow Warbler
Setophaga petechia

The nests of the Yellow Warbler are frequently parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird. The warbler often builds a new nest directly on top of the parasitized one, sometimes resulting in nests with up to six tiers.

The oldest-known Yellow Warbler was banded in New York in 2001 and then caught again (and re-released) in 2011, also in New York. It was at least 11 years old at the time.

diving gulls

diving gulls, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Normally turns dive under the water to feed but this time it was gulls.
I haven't seen this type of behaviour before.
They looked like northern gannets diving for food.

Bonaparte's Gull
Chroicocephalus philadelphia

The Bonaparte's Gull is the only gull that regularly nests in trees.

During the breeding season, the Bonaparte's Gull feeds mainly on insects, often catching them on the wing.

Unusual grass

Unusual grass, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. If you read the sign you might question what type of sod they sell.
Have a good weekend.

Oh what a tangled web we weave,

Oh what a tangled web we weave,, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. When first we practise to deceive!
I don't know my spiders but generally I like them.
The are like snakes, if you have them you don't have something else that is probably more annoying/harmful.

And why the sea is boiling hot --

And why the sea is boiling hot --, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. and wether pigs have wings.

This was the scene on erie Lake Erie this morning.
A sudden cold snap, and snow, resulted in the lake being warmer than the air.

During the winter months, fog will form when humid air moves over a cold surface. Winter fog is more common around bodies of water and is sometimes called lake effect fog.

Here's looking at you, kid.

Here's looking at you, kid., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. When a vulture is staring at me I always think it is assessing my health.
Who needs doctors?

Scientific stuff
Cathartes aura
A turkey vulture's heightened ability to detect odours—it can detect just a few parts per trillion—allows it to find dead animals below a forest canopy.

The word vulture likely comes from the Latin vellere, which means to pluck or tear. Its scientific name, Cathartes aura, is far more pleasant. It means either “golden purifier” or “purifying breeze.”

Gravity imposes

Gravity imposes, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Up, up and back down.
We saw this human cannon ball a few years ago at a county fair.


Candelabra, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Half the bulbs are not turned on.

I think this is a type of prickly pear cactus. We saw them with red or yellow flowers.
We have a yellow variety in southern Ontario, probably the very edge of their range.
The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) is what we get.
While looking for information on the plant I came across this entry -
How to Eat Prickly Pear Cactus

The answer is obvious - very carefully.

Odd fact - like all true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Western hemisphere

Butcher bird

Butcher bird, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. This northern shrike was being seen the last few days on the Marsh Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park.
I had the opportunity to get down the trail and got to see the bird.
It feeds on small birds, mammals, and insects, sometimes impaling them on spines or barbed wire fences.
Scientific stuff
Lanius excubitor
The Northern Shrike, like other shrikes, kills more prey, if it can, than it can immediately eat or feed to nestlings. Such behavior was characterized by early observers as "wanton killing," but the Northern Shrike stores excess prey to eat later. Storing food is an adaptation for surviving periods of food scarcity.
The Latin species name of the Northern Shrike, Lanius excubitor, means "Butcher watchman."

Wait for me, wait for me,

Wait for me, wait for me,, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. While going along one of the trails at Rondeau Provincial Park we came across a flock of turkeys.
As we got closer they moved away but one lagged behind.
When it realized it was separated from its fellows it half flew, half ran to catch up.

Scientific stuff
Meleagris gallopavo
The Wild Turkey and the Muscovy Duck are the only two domesticated birds native to the New World.
When they need to, Turkeys can swim by tucking their wings in close, spreading their tails, and kicking.

Shared resource.

Shared resource., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Both need a place to haul out and bask. Only one log in the pond.
Fortunately the turtles seem to be too large to be considered food by the alligator.

Soul Patch

Soul Patch, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. My sons new cat has a little spot on his chin reminiscent of a soul patch, hence the name.

He also has a tiny moustache.

I like the rug design that looks like a huge tail.

Ok. It's official. I'm confused.

Ok. It's official. I'm confused., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr. Down with one way streets? Crush the white line?
It's one way but come on in, you are only going one way?
This is a sign we saw in Barcelona, it looked legitimate but I'm sure it was altered.
Don't know what the new meaning is but it was eye catching.

Any guess?