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Hooded Mergansers

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Day, May Day... but no emergencies here....

Sunday, May 1......  it started out chilly and not real welcoming, but just got better as the day went on.  I went to early morning church service as the May Crowning would take place at that mass.  That's the celebration to honor Mary.  The best part for me is watching all the kids walk up to the altar with flowers in hand, and one kid gets to carry the crown to put on the head of the statue of Mary.
I got to church early so I could take my photos then.  I didn't take any during the procession...  although the kids were so cute (especially the tiny little girl clutching her big brother's hand) I do manage to control my camera sometimes.  Interesting thing...  this year a young boy carried the crown and placed it on Mary's head.  There was a time when this honor only went to girl.  Yes...  times have changed.

After lunch Bill & I went for a walk.  Well....  we actually went mushroom hunting as we've had some rain in the past few days and thought maybe that even though it's late in the season some morels might have popped up.  The State Park land is just across the road and up a few hundred yards from our farm.  Many years ago I found so many morels that I sold baskets full of them to a local restaurant.  This year no such luck.  We walked on trails that have been there only a short time...
Since Bill & I started our RV adventures in 2001 the nearby state park has changed in many ways.  One major change is that there are now about a dozen mountain bike/hiking trails throughout the park.  This particular trail is one we've walked on many, many times...  but never as an established trail.
Woods like these look pretty much the same year after year...  only the moss and lichen on the rocks gets thicker, the trees get a little taller...  some dwindle and break off... but they look much like they did 15 or 20 years ago.

We never found any morels, but came across some neat things...
Squaw Root
One of those plants that is a parasite, produces no chlorophyll of its own, and is just an interesting looking plant.  It's in the Broomrape family - often grows in clusters under oak trees.

These Fire Pinks were in bloom...
They gave a spot of bright color to an otherwise mostly green and brown landscape.

We didn't see any birds...  but did hear the Ovenbird and a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  So back home we walked... back to the rig and the rest of Sunday afternoon.

When I cleaned the hummingbird feeder I'd re-hung it too close to the sock thistle feeder.  That Pine Siskin really wanted the thistle...  and that Ruby-throated Hummingbird really didn't like that big bird on his feeder.  

I have another thistle feeder out...
A few Goldfinch, but mostly Pine Siskin here.  You can see the yellow in the Pine Siskin's wings as he's trying to land on the feeder.  It surprises me how many birds can use this feeder at the same time.

We've seen some activity at Bill's new bluebird boxes...
This male was checking it out....  he hung out on a telephone wire for while, but returned and stayed in the box for a while...
I caught him peeking out....  
That's a predator guard right below the box.  We've not had too much trouble with raccoons with these boxes, but black snakes can slither right up a utility pole and into the nesting box.  Bill has hopefully solved that problem.

One last bird photo today...
I bought this window bird feeder last week....  it has suction cups that hold it onto the window of our rig.  That's a Tufted Titmouse grabbing a sunflower seed.  I'm sitting in the rig just a few feet from the window taking this photo.  So far we've had chickadees, titmice and a cardinal stop by.  
Looking in the background you can see a dogwood tree in bloom down over the hill.  I love the view from our windows...  it's almost like living right in the woods.

It rained again last night...  we need to buy a rain gauge....  but for now....

That's All For Today!

15 comments:

  1. Trail through the woods looks so inviting. The trails that I hike or walk, although there are none near this town, when I return, mostly it is familiar with very little changed except maybe what is in bloom, what has grown, almost the way a family changes, over time. Your bird feeder photos are excellent as is your knowledge of the natural world.

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  2. I just can't imagine finding baskets and baskets of morels. I'd be in heaven!

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  3. Reading the beginning of your post about Mary's Crowning really brought me back to church. (I guess I ought to go once in a while ;-/
    I was listening to random music being mixed by my iPhone, and when "Salve Regina" came on. Suddenly, projectile tears hit my glasses and I had to pull over and weep a while from the beauty of it. Also, the memories of a dear departed friend singing it, and memories of childhood--all mixed into one big ball of emotion. I had a good cry, put the song on repeat for a while and bellowed along. Thanks for sharing your photos!
    Clancy

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  4. It looks like your bird feeding operation is in full swing. That is a really nice looking hummingbird feeder. Hopefully the bluebirds will move right in and raise some youngun's.

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  5. May is here and soon be summer, yippee, great photos.

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  6. All the greenery, flowers and birds are nice, but it also needs to stop raining and warm up. And, I need to go empty the rain gauge--again.

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  7. Love your bird feeders - especially that colorful Hummer feeder!!

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  8. You got me laughing out loud about Bill going out hunting mushrooms. In my German inspired imagination I saw the mushrooms in a wild flight running away from Bill. I know it's called egg hunt at Easter but if your origin is in Germany you translate in your head and "hunting" there means hunting animals with a gun. So if a German would say "Bill ging Pilze jagen" People would give you a stare and a big laugh. Rather than "hunting mushrooms" Germans go "seeking" mushrooms or "looking for" mushrooms. You sure made my day here.

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  9. No morels here either, yet. We seldom find very many if any but it's fun to look!

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  10. Happy May Day. I remember the crowning at my Catholic school. And at the public school, they had the maypole with ribbons.

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  11. Here from Stayer's...I very much enjoyed the photos, and you reminded that I need to get up from here and prepare sugar water for my hummingbird feeder as it has been two weeks.

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