Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why I Blog

One of the main reasons I blog is to keep a record of the natural world around me.  I always felt I should learn more about birds, plants, and insects.  Today was one of those days when I learned something new.

I had come home from work and my wife greeted me on the porch.  She pointed out a caterpillar on one of our potted impatiens.

We went inside and then did a Google image search for 'caterpillar identification'. After scrolling through a few dozen photos, I found out that this was a Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar.

In reading up on this caterpillar, I found out that it can cause rashes.  Glad we didn't touch it.

We went for a walk.  When we came back, it was gone.  What a great little find.  I saw something I had never seen before, I learned what it was, and I am able to share it with the blogosphere!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

After The Storm

We weathered hurricane Irene with no problems.   Some family in the mid-Atlantic have had no power for days.  Towns south of us have had terrible flooding.

Outside there has been the sounds of chain saws.  Neighbors have been cutting fallen trees of their roofs.

The Otter is furious.   I have never seen the falls so angry, even during spring floods!

The river is up several feet.  The parking lot at the basin is flooded.

I hope you all are safe!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Paddling the Little Otter

I put in at the South Slang and decided to paddle up into Little Otter Creek.  The South Slang is now full of white water lilies.

The blue heron are everywhere.

The osprey were high overhead, looking for fish.

As I paddled up the Little Otter, there were more blue heron.

There they are.  I had seen white egret earlier in the week.  They are common, but more shy than the blue heron.

As soon as I would get close enough to get a reasonable photo, the egrets would fly away!

There were several beaver lodges in the Little Otter.  This one was a large 'bank beaver' lodge, built into the bank of the river.

Cormorants were about . . .

Though not as common as the white water lilies, there were a few places of yellow water lilies.

Autumn is not far off.  Some of the swamp maples are already changing.

After a few miles, the Little Otter narrows and becomes a small rocky stream.

There were several groups of mallards about . . .

. . . and more egrets!

By the late afternoon, the afternoon clouds had formed.  

Autumn is not far off.  Many of the birds I saw in the spring have already departed.  Soon, the heron and egrets will leave.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Leisurely Paddles

I put in on the Otter and headed upstream on Sunday morning.  It was a soft morning.  It threatened rain.  The top of Buck Mountain was covered in mist.

I saw several green herons about.  It had rained in the early morning and the birds were subdued.

Great herons were also about.  They are so much less wary than green herons!

The kingfishers were about.  Though they are numerous, it is hard to get a god photo of them as they are very skittish.

Cattle were grazing by the river.  I loved the reflections in the water.

As I was snapping the photo of the cattle, I glanced up and there was a kingfisher silhouetted in a tree.

I really liked the tree roots by the water.  The juxtaposition of the intertwined roots and soft greenery was almost mystical.

At this time of year, the Otter is calm.  There were great reflections in the water.

More great blue herons . . .

. . . and green herons!

I saw a small critter scampering by the river.  He climbed into a bush.  Do you see him?

He was a chipmunk.  What kind of berries is he eating?

Yesterday the wife and I went for a paddle in the early evening.

I like the roots of these three trees.

The wife had a good time paddling in the afternoon sunlight!

The wife spotted this painted turtle.

We came across a willow with 'beards' hanging from it.  They were roots that had grown back when the river was much higher!

We saw more kingfishers.

We returned as the sun was setting. The falls were still running strong, though the river has dropped a lot since the floods of the spring.  Enjoy!