Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gnats Beware, They're Back!

I glanced out the window, rain poured down in sheets of cold iron.
I continued with my homework. On next looking out the window, I saw that the sky had cleared, and the sun now shone brightly, its rays leaving a evanescent sparkle on the grass. I laced my shoes and was off, running down the Waterloo-Pinkney trail. I was immediately gratified to hear the first Yellow Warbler of the year,
soon joined by the first Black-and-white Warbler and numerous Palm Warblers. Spring seems to have taken its time arriving this year. Trees are still bare, except for the occasional non-native not adapted to this environment.
I saw the occasional Hepatica blooming along the trail and brightening the brown earth with its brilliance.
A soft defiant "Pheeshz!" made me look up. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher dove at an invisible insect, while Towhees and Swamp Sparrows called from the distance.

Checking my list after returning home, I noticed that i'd finally passed the century mark! Coming at 106 species.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fish Hatchery Madness

There wasn't much running going on at GTBC. However the Jasper fish hatchery ponds we ran twice. Not a serious run, but it took about 30 minutes each time, so I might as well post about it. There was some stopping, but quite a bit of running. The first time was on the during scouting. We were informed that this would be a powerbirding spot, so running was in order. That first trip around the ponds we scored some very good species, including our only hummer of the scouting days, cedar waxwings, spotted, pectoral, and solitary sandpipers, most of the egrets and herons, some swallows, and a very territorial yellow-throated warbler. We would have also gotten a lifer reptile if we could have determined whether the alligator snapping turtle we came across was alive or sleeping. Once we got back to the van Chip treated us to a rendition of his cedar waxwings song, and we moved on the Martin Dies Jr. Park.
On the big day, many of the birds were the same, except a nice hooded merganser that was a far pull, and no spotted sandpiper. There was also a nice least sandpiper. When we got back to the van it was somewhat after 9 if I remember correctly. (I have no real remembrance of time on the big day). We did take more time than we were allotted on this run, but the birds were good and some of them, like the solitary sandpiper and the hooded merganser, we got no where else. Chip had fixed us cream cheese and strawberry jelly on bagels, bananas, and yogurt while we were running. It was our only "meal" of the day until IHop at 11:30 that night (unless you count eating two bags of jerky and one bag of dried mango as meals). Once again we headed off Marten Dies Park and the rest of the big day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

i want to reconcile the violence in your heart

So yeah...just about every time I go running, I get some song or another hopelessly stuck in my head, to the point that I attempt to wheeze it out as I run along. I managed to go running twice this week; unlike Masai, I haven't even done a Big Sit, unless you count the one I did on the white plastic throne yesterday.

i want to exorcise the demons from your past.

This week has been decidedly spring-like, with lovely south winds that have brought in lots of migrants.

i want to recognize your beauty's not just a mask...

On Wednesday, I decided to do some loon-spotting as I ran. So, fighting through a pesky stitch, I ran by the spot along the shore of Reed's Lake where I ate my first slice of college pizza. And sure enough, the pizza's magic was still present! I'm still not sure whether there was any connection between the loon and the pizza, but hey...I got Common Loon for my SWSA list.

you caught me under false pretenses, how long until you let me go?

This morning was downright warm, warm enough that gnomes and hobbits were emerging from the swampy woods to engage the drunk ferrets in glorious battle. Their shrill shouts and clash of weapons was nigh on defeaning...I could barely hear the Eastern Phoebes, Chipping Sparrows, or Myrtle Warblers that were all new SWSA birds on account of them.

if we live our life in fear, I'll wait a thousand years just to see you smile again.

SWSA = 124. Muse addiction = ∞