Posts Tagged With: montgomery county

Raspberry Picking is Dangerous Business 

We have wild black raspberries over the property. Very yummy ones, too. As they’re just ripening, I picked about almost a quart amidst angry robin threats. The wrens, catbirds and cardinals joined in the protest. In the middle of the best and easiest to pick bramble, I found the reason for the protest!


Three perfect blue eggs. 

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So Cute!

While we were on week’s vacation, the Eastern Phoebe babies grew fast. Each day they get fuzzier! We shut the door very carefully and go through the big door as much as possible, but my freezer is out there, so I have to use it quite a bit.

I have enjoyed watching them grow, but I will be glad when they fledge. I am so afraid of jostling them out of the nest with out difficult door!

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International Vulture Awareness Day

As always, I’m late with this post. In honor of International Vulture Awareness Day, which was September 5. I am posting my daughter’s pictures of a local hangout. For some reason, this nearby town’s water tower is a favorite resting place for the turkey vultures around here. Quite often this is the first place we see them in the spring and the last in the fall. Vultures are one of our very favorite birds. They bring such a longing to soar and ride the thermals in my soul. Restless longings.

 

It’s not just vultures in Indiana, either. My daughter took a picture in Texas last November of Black Vultures sitting on a water tower!

Of course, the Turkey Vultures also spend time soaring over our house.

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We also saw a huge kettle several years ago on US 231, as we were southbound towards Spencer, Indiana.

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Categories: Birding, Montgomery County | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Let’s Go Timberdoodling! – March 14, 2015

Picture of group of people birding at dusk by Stephanie Cain

The orange circle shows where the woodcock was–very close to our group!

Saturday evening, daughter and I went timberdoodling at Shades State Park with the Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Park. We met at the shelter near the entrance to the park and then walked with the group to the site where the American Woodcock would hopefully perform its amazing spring dance.

Alan Bruner, birder extraordinaire and leader of the hike, told us that the woodcock is a very camouflaged bird and is a wooded wetland bird, but comes out in the open short grass area to dance his dance.

The courtship dance begins with the male calling numerous “peents” from the ground, facing all directions of the compass to maximize his range. Then he flies straight up into the air with a whistling sound which is caused by the airflow through his feathers. When he is almost out of sight, he then starts his descent, making another whistling sound – again caused by wind through his feathers – and then back on the ground and more “peents.”

We started hearing the calls while we still had light enough to see. I have no idea how many birds we actually saw or heard, but it seemed like several.

It sometimes swooped right by our party of about a dozen people and would land maybe 15 feet in front of us. We all had very good views of the bird both when it was flying and when it was “peenting” on the grass beside us. This was a really incredible evening as we watched them fly up and down and call its spring courtship call.

The sunset was exceptionally beautiful and a wonderful ending to a beautiful spring – like day.

An orange and yellow and blue sunset

Categories: Birding, Montgomery County, Shades State Park, Spring | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Adopt A Trail

Hike Date: August 31, 2014
Indiana State Parks has a volunteer program called Adopt A Trail in which volunteers agree to walk their chosen trail once a month and check on trail conditions, pick up litter, and notify park officials as to any problems with the trail.

Stephanie and I decided to adopt the Backpack Trail and Canoe Camp at our absolute favorite state park in Indiana – Shades.

For those who have never visited this park, you are missing a gem. It is a beautiful place in Montgomery County along Sugar Creek. The trails are along ravines, in upland woods, hemlock ridges and along prairie (formerly known as the Roscoe-Turner Airstrip.)

This was our fourth month to hike the trail in this capacity. We have hiked the seven-mile round trip in as little as 3-1/2 hours and as long as 7 hours. This time was a moderate pace at 5 hours.photo 1

It is always interesting to walk the same trail on a regular basis to see the different flora and fauna present.

This was a day of tiny toads and frogs and fungi and plants setting seeds.

Items of note:

  • Doll’s eyes / White Banebarry
  • Jack in the pulpit seed pod
  • Tiny toads
  • Fungi
  • Spice Bush Berries
  • Pawpaw (Indiana Banana) Fruit
  • Giant Lobelia
  • Asiatic Lily
  • Tall Bellflower
  • Brown Eyed Susan

Birds seen:

  • Chickadee
  • Down Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Cardinal
  • American Crow
  • Blue Jay
  • Eastern Wood Pewee

 

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