Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dragonfly Walk

This afternoon attended Jim D'Angelo's dragonfly talk at the Sterling Nature Center in Cayuga County. Arriving late missed the slide presentation but joined the group of over 30 participants on the trails.

Dragonfly Pond

Dragonfly Chasers

At the Dragonfly observation deck Jim identified the very active dragonflies that we flying over the water and through the reeds.

Jim using a guide to point out a dragonfly.

Photographers on observation deck.

Participants leaving the trail.

Visited with Jim in the Center's building. Jim took time to help me identify two dragonflies that I had photographed earlier in the week on the Cayuga College Trail.

Blue Dasher

The Common Whitetail

Jim shared that the turnout for this event was helped by Dave Figura's featured article, Chasing dragonflies: Spectacular colors, patterns attract onlookers in the Friday, July 23rd edition of the Post-Standard.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Guided Hike

East Colvin Marsh

This morning the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) held its monthly scheduled event in the Guided Hike series with Naturalist Dave Spier. Since there were no participants except myself today's walk turned into a road trip.

Before entering the MAC I stopped in the pull off at East Colvin Marsh. Across the highway perched in a tree were a three Kingbirds.

While leaving the MAC parking lot Dave pointed out a Bald Eagle flying over the walnut grove.

We drove to Montezuma NWR. There we continued down Towpath Road and stopped to overlook the first impoundment (N 43º 00.085 076º 45.253). There we observed the hit of the day, 6 Trumpeter Swans. The 2 adults were keep their 4 juveniles in line.

During the course of our two hour travels along Towpath Road we identified 28+ species. First time views for me were a Semipalmated Sandpiper, a Black Tern, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Dave spotted what he believed to be a Stilt Sandpiper.

Along the towpath we encountered a birding couple, Bud and Sue, plus a lone male birder from Ithaca.

All in all a splendid hazy, warm July day for viewing birds.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (July 27)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading

page 122 - A hoax. Has this all been nothing but a hoax?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week Thirty - 22 to Go

A celebrity trial where aliens are the focus. Numerous references to O.J. Simpson tend to bog down the plot, but Sawyer pulls off the mystery by inserting a twist at the end.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (July 20)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

p. 176 - Some philosophies believed that change was good, but Pike wasn’t so sure. That belief had always struck him as self-serving; change often seemed inevitable, so if it was inevitable, we might as well put a good spin on it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week Twenty Nine - 23 to Go

While aiding the Bolton, South Dakota police force Jack faces one of his toughest foe yet --- the weather. Readers of the series will be happy as Jack Reacher reveals bits of his checked past.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (July 13)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading .

page 377 - Surely everyone’s afraid of death, Janet Salter had said.
Depends on what form it takes, he had answered.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Promises, Promises

The second show of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse's 2010 season, Promises, Promises, had Joan and I whistling Dionne Warwick's song book at the pool the day before we attended the play.

Based on the 1960 film The Apartment, the original cast included one of my favorite actors, Jerry Orbach.

In his introduction Ed Sayles noted the show is now enjoying a revival on Broadway.

The performances are first-rate and the play was full of music. We along with others in the audience left whistling.

Previous production this summer:
The Drowsy Chaperone

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Week Twenty Eight - 24 to Go

Historically - Barron does well. Suspense-wise - Barron needs to work at this. Barron's elaborate descriptions of all things historical come at the expense of suspense.
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bird Tour

Montezuma Wildlife Refuge
South Spring Pond

This morning the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) held its monthly scheduled event in the Birding Tour series with Naturalist Dave Spier. Due to the oppressive heatwave overslept and arrived at the MAC at 8:10 AM just as Dave was driving the van out from the MAC entrance. Flagged Dave down and boarded the van. There inside were three birders (Frank, a naturalist with MAC, Margaret from Canadaigua, and Diane from Waterloo).

We drove to the south parking area of East Colvin Marsh and walked to the Tim Noga blind. Though poorly backlighted a Spotted Sandpiper was in front of the blind. A Green Heron was flying in the distance.

Dave drove the van back to the MAC. There two interns (Audrina and Trina) from the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment and their chaperone/counselor (Rebekah) hopped on board.

Back on the road we use the Savannah Spring Lake Road to reach North Montezuma impoundments. There from the parking lot we observed that the marsh is drained and the center ditch is essentially dry. A Great Blue Heron at the far end of the ditch was our official greeter. Dave acclimated the interns with their binoculars. This instruction proved timely as three Baltimore Orioles showed themselves in the trees. A Common Yellowthroat was heard but not seen.

Our caravan continued on to Morgan Road. There on a wire was an American Kestrel.

Wire but Kestrel flew North into the woods

The group got a good look at a Gray Catbird which was perched on a shrub.

Dave noted that the Sandhill Cranes were still here but since the corn was quite high the chance of seeing them is nil. Related to Frank how the last time Dave and I visited here we caused a male Sandhill Crane to display "displaced aggression". This action was observed by Steve Fast who was overjoyed to have seen it.

On to Martens Tract. There the group finally saw the Common Yellowthroat which had only been heard up to then. There were six Pied-billed Grebes on the water as well as two Common Moorhens.

We paused along the road at Malone Unit #1 to view a Wood Duck, a Great Blue Heron, three Common Moorhens (a female feeding her chicks), and a Killdeer. Diane asks why a Great Blue Heron was acting strange. Dave explained that since the heron does not sweat it was aerating itself.

We concluded at tour in the open area of Van Dyne Spoor Road. There I made my first sighting of a Black Tern as it flew low over the open marsh water and three Cedar Waxwings as they flying around in the general area of the terns.

Returning to the MAC we thanked Dave for a the tour and Frank, whose keen eye directed us towards several birds.

Even though the heat continued to be oppressive decided to take an alternate route home. Pulled into the Knox-Marsellus Marsh parking lot at 12:15 PM. There was a Great Blue Heron convention going on in the water. Over 50+ herons were standing in the shallows as still as the hot saturated air. On a small isle fifteen Canada Geese were preening themselves. Close to the shore were what appeared to be 30+ carps that had succumbed to the weather. A Red-tailed Hawk was overlooking the gathering as it flew in the thermals.

Knox-Marsellus Marsh

Heron Convention

Dead Fish

Drove South to May's Point Observation Deck. Arrived at 12:30 PM, there a family of Pied-billed Grebes, a female and four ducklings, were feeding.

Female Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe Ducklings

Continued on Route 89 to Tschache Pool arriving at 12:30 PM. On the observation tower met two fellows, a father and son from Lyons, who were on a quest to view a Bald Eagle. On a barren tree branch to the west of the tower were three Tree Swallows and four sparrows. A Great Blue Heron was in the water in front of the tower.

Tschache Pool

Great Blue Heron

My final stop before heading home was the South Spring Pond. Fairly quiet. The heat seems to have put everything done. A couple of dragonflies and a small bird that left before I could get the camera up were my only company.

South Spring Pond

Birdsfoot Trefoil
Along the Trail

Temperature is still rising. Time to conclude another fun adventure.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (July 6)

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading

page 68 - “Now,” Bill Skroggs said softly, “why don’t you tell us all about it, eh? What’s this confidence you don’t care to violate? --- That you slit Princess Tscholikova’s throat, and left her formy lord Castlereagh to find?”

Week Twenty Seven - 25 to Go

Tony Bennett must be ecstatic to to have his song title used by Mary Higgins Clark as the title of her novel.

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010