Sunday, October 22, 2006

October Game Cam

Being busy with work has kept me from blogging -- the biggest craft show of the year is coming up soon. I've been wanting to post these game cam pictures, but Blooger hasn't been cooperating very well. Here they are, a little late.

Jasmine is usually the star of the first and last picture, since she supervises the memory card removal and reinsertion.

The coyote was too fast for the trigger. I've left the bottom part on the picture this time to show what it looks like right out of the camera. The Cuddeback shows the time, date, and its logo. I normally crop it out of the pictures since I find it distracting.

A raccoon going the wrong way. I cropped this one since he was small in the original.

Sometimes the subject is traveling too fast to appear in the picture at all.

Dang! A nice bobcat pic, but why can't he be facing the camera?!

These are my favorites though.




Ha! He seems like a young'un.

I adjusted the turkey photos' brightness and contrast since it was a very gray day.

Jasmine finds a stick in the fog.

Hubby turned the cam to point in the opposite direction, so maybe we'll get more head-on shots next week.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

First frost game cam

We had a very light frost last night. The windshields were icy but the garden seems fine. Hubby had just gotten the game cam set up again, and it caught this clever bandit coming...

and going.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor).

Hubby calls this camera location the "river route," but "creek route" is probably a little more accurate. He thinks this is a beaver trail, so it will be interesting to see who else uses it. I didn't think the cam would trigger on smaller animals, but it's aimed low so that might be the key.

Friday, October 13, 2006

R.I.P. Stewpot

How many times did I ask the coyotes why they didn't take a rooster instead of a hen?

They finally did. Stewpot failed to return home at the end of the day.

Despite all his meanness, I'm going to miss him. He was one of our first chickens, and he sure was handsome.

With his girls.

Dust bathing.

How he was named, and his antics.


Visit the Friday Ark for your weekly dose of critters.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Eek! A Shriek!

Some bird nicknames are widespread -- most birders have probably heard the Yellow-rumped warbler called a Butterbutt. (Check the bottom pic here to see why.)

But I think it's fairly common for birding friends to invent their own nicknames too. Most of ours are silly mispronunciations... King Burger (Kingbird), Rose-Chested Goosebeak (Rose-breasted Grosbeak), Buffalohead (Bufflehead), Gerbie (Grebe).

Often the bird's sound, or its description, substitutes for its name: "Hey, I heard a witchety witchety!" (Common Yellowthroat). "Which Nuthatch was it, a yank-yank or a squeaky toy?" (White-breasted or Brown-headed).

Sometimes it's just the intonation. A Frigatebird is still a Frigatebird, but must be mentioned as though it's being yelled at top voice, in memory of a particular enthusiast who did that every time one was sighted.

When you're unsure of exactly which hawk it is way up there, it's probably the (non-existant but handsome sounding) "Broad-shouldered Hawk", originally an accidental mish-mash of the Broad-winged and Red-shouldered Hawks.

Once my sister's husband, a new birder at the time, was trying to call our attention to a bird he couldn't quite remember the name of. And that's how Shriek was born (for Loggerhead Shrike).

All of that to say...

The other day I heard a bird noise I wasn't familiar with. I grabbed the binoculars, and...

Eek! It's a Shriek!

A horrible picture in the bright sun, but a Shriek!

We used to see Shrikes all the time but this is the first one I've seen in years. They seem to be in drastic decline throughout their range. I hope this one will stick around and be a regular visitor to the yard. He's welcome to all the bugs, mice, and voles he can carry.

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus).

My old birding teacher described them as looking like "Mockingbirds gone bad"!

My sister emailed to remind me that I had forgotten about the Shawshank Hawk! (a.k.a. the Sharp-shinned hawk, for the less cinematically inclined.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

More mad postal props

The postmaster of a small local town called to let me know that I'd transposed two of the digits in the address of one of my customers. They wanted to let me know so that I could correct it in my records.

I'm not kidding!

Can't beat that with a stick.

I'm thinking of starting a movement that would allow the Blount County, Alabama postal employees to run the entire US mail system.

Why I love Oneonta

When you're really busy, running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to get ready for your upcoming craft show, and you jokingly suggest to the passing postal worker that she should help you put all those stamps on your mailing list postcards... she does!