International Migratory Bird Day and Spring Counts

Northern parula warbler

Also known as International Bird Migration Day, or simply Bird Day –  the big event is tomorrow,  Saturday, May 12.  Celebrated  in the USA, Mexico, Central America, and Canada,  IMBD was created in 1993 by the Smithsonian Institute, in an effort to raise awareness about migratory birds and migration.  In some areas the date may vary, but most counts take place on the second Saturday in May.

The day is celebrated in different ways around the country, with most nature centers and environmental organizations hosting educational programs, bird walks, banding demonstrations, and bird-related activities.  It’s also the time in the USA when birders head out for the annual Spring Count, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Counting all the birds  you see and/or hear in a day.

This count takes place throughout the country.  A Google search for spring bird count or International Bird Migration Day will lead you to many sources and resources for this event.

Since I’m not banding this year, I’ll be heading out before sunrise with millions of other birders to participate, and I’ll post my list here on Sunday.


Seriously Creeped Out

Fishing Spider

This is NOT what I wanted to see on my studio window screen this morning!  The window was open, but at first glance I couldn’t tell whether this way-too-big-to-be-comfortable-with-it spider was on the inside of my studio, or outside, where it belonged.  Closer – albeit careful – inspection revealed it to be clinging to the outside of the window screen, so that was permissible.

Admittedly, spiders are not among my favorite forms of wildlife.  I do try to capture and release indoor trespassers before I resort to squashing or vacuuming, though that thought always crosses my mind.   Spiders that are outside my buildings are in their own habitat and  I respect that, and their right to be there.  It’s only the ones that come indoors that I have issues with.

Anyway, this one is called a fishing spider.  I’m not sure what he’s fishing for on my screen, but they do like trees and woods and there’s plenty of both here.  In fact, my guess is that it came off, or was heading for, the shagbark hickory that is only inches from the window.

As spiders go…a beauty, I suppose.  Though I think there should be a size-limit on spiders.  Things like insects and spiders tend to get creepier as they get larger.


The Groundhog is Out of Work…

At least here in KY, because we haven’t really seen the dead of winter yet.  And I’m not complaining one bit.  In the 50s all this week.  I wonder what will happen in late March, when the daffodils are supposed to bloom?  Or is this just the longest spring ever?


Sometimes, I just have to wonder.  The butterfly and bird- frequented puddle at the ‘quarry’ down the road, which I mentioned in this post, is obviously a spring-fed puddle.  It’s there year round, rain or not.  There are springs and hidden streams very near – on a quiet day you can hear them bubbling under the rocks.  The cave opening in the quarry wall has enlarged itself many times over due to running water.  This puddle is not in anyone’s driveway, not where it can interfere with the comings and goings of Man.  It IS a puddle where I’ve spent literally hours, observing literally hundreds of butterflies and birds around it and in it,  drinking and bathing.

Well – the highway dept. came through a few weeks ago and patched the potholes in the road, even repaving a section that was particularly bad.  Very nice.  But did they have to put that last bit of leftover blacktop in this spring-fed puddle?  Really?

Tarred puddle

Of course, it may not matter in the long run that the puddle is now contaminated with tar.  Last spring, the power company came through and cleared and cut the vegetation under the power lines.  Understood – this is a necessary thing, and it keeps my power on during a storm.  But, they did this in May and June, at the height of the breeding season.  I can’t even imagine how many bird nests and young were destroyed.  They also trimmed the lines along the road just down from the spring, which were thick with milkweed, butterfly weed, and black-eyed Susans.  Not one plant survived to bloom last summer, and there weren’t many butterflies to be seen either.  One can only hope that the plants will recover and bloom this summer.

And this, mind you, takes place in a national forest.

I do think I will pay the ranger station a visit….

So Wrong…But So Nice

January Dandelion

This is so wrong – but so nice.  I dislike winter  and so there is no complaining coming from me about this unusual weather.  But I do wonder about the consequences.  For instance, will we have enough water this spring – without the snowmelt?  I don’t pretend to know all of the effects this non-winter may have on the environment,  but I’m certain there will some side effects.  I’m guessing we’re going to have a heavy bug season this spring and summer.

January Daffodils

My daffodils should be hibernating in the dirt under last fall’s leaf litter, instead of pushing up through, about ready to bloom.  It’s a little weird.  But nice.

Chem Trails in the Sky

I’m not usually one to believe in a lot of conspiracy theories and stuff like that, but this theory of chem trails rings a little more true for me since I actually observed the tic-tac-toe grid being formed last week and watched some interesting documentaries on the subject.

Basically, “they” are seeding our atmosphere with aluminum and barium particles, among other things.  It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to figure out that can not be a good thing.

Everyone knows that high-flying jets sometimes leave contrails – those billowy white cloud lines – but contrails disperse quickly and disappear.  Chemtrails are usually laid in a grid, and don’t disappear.  Instead they slowly spread and cover a blue sky with a cloudy haze.

Why would “they” do this?  Some theories say it’s to stop global warming.  Others say it’s to control weather patterns.  Others say “they” are trying to eventually kill us off and reduce the population.  I don’t know why, but I know I don’t like what I saw and what I’m hearing about this.  Don’t take my word for it, research it for yourself.  As with everything, there are some weird theories and sites on this, but here are a couple to get you started.  Of course if you just Google ‘chem trails’ that will work too.

Chemtrail Central

I’m still researching too, but I do think that something is definitely rotten in the sky.

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