Archive | March, 2009

Wolverine!

31 Mar

In the 1920′s, the last wolverine was seen in California.  Since then, rumors of sightings have occasionally cropped up.  However, a researcher who was trying to get footage of a Marten, got a real surprise instead.  The first Wolverine sighting in California in more than 80 years!  First story Second Story with a face shot!

Wolverine at Detroit Zoo, photo by Tut99

Wolverine at Detroit Zoo, photo by Tut99

Scientists have suspected there were wolverines still in California but none have been seen.  My stepfather studied at Cal Berkeley in the 50′s and at that time his professor estimated there were 51 pairs in California.  The California Academy of Sciences says that they are extremely rare and may be extinct.  (click)  It’s unclear if this is part of a small band of Wolverines descended from those who have historically lived in California or a more recent immigrant.

In a time of global climate change and increasing pressure on our ecosystem . . . a little hopeful news is a good thing!

Osprey (Year Bird #42)

30 Mar

One of the easiest raptors to identify is the Osprey.  They are fish specialists so you tend to find them near fresh water.  They have white heads and a sleek, long-limbed look to them.  They stand out.

Saturday, while driving near Lexington Reservoir in Santa Clara county, an osprey flew right in front of my car.  Breathtaking!  Love those 60 mph birding opportunities!

Osprey with Flounder

Ospreys are, as I said, fish specialists.  I was lucky enough to capture this one nibbling on a flounder last year at the Albion River in Northern California.  He wasn’t too worried about us as we let the boat drift near him.  We wanted to get a good picture but didn’t want to scare him (her?) away.  Handsome, huh?

Osprey

On that same trip, I caught this one out over the ocean where the river meets the Pacific.  Earlier that same day, I caught a Bald Eage in much the same place.  It was a GREAT trip!

Osprey nest on Albion River

Ospreys nest in trees high above the water.  This nest above the Albion River is typical.  They like to nest near their food source (the water).    We saw the parents returning to this nest and also sitting in the tops of trees nearby to keep an eye on the nest.

Osprey pair on nest

This pair of Osprey nests at Mono Lake every year.  It’s an inland sea with a very high salt water content.  There are no fish in the lake.  The Osprey must nest here because it is safe.  They commute to nearby freshwater lakes to get their food.  Mono Lake is a fantastic bird watching hotspot.  Many, many birds use it as a nesting ground and/or haitus on their migration route.  However, most of them eat the rich food sources that are provided in Mono Lake (mostly insect, brine shrimp, and then nearby desert creatures).  These enterprising Osprey have carved out a unique niche for themselves.

To see more amazing birds doing their birdly thing, visit Bird Photography Weekly!

Crabby, crabby, crabby

29 Mar

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Saturday night, we went to a Crab Feed at the Junior League of Monterey County. My good friend, Denine is a member and they go every year.  We had a great time.  The crab was plentiful and delish!  There was a raffle, 50/50 raffle, and silent auction.  Oh, they had a dessert silent auction, too.  That was fun.

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We  bid on this beautiful photograph by Steve Tronick.  And . . . we won it!  It’s so lovely!  And, gosh, looking at his website, there are several other wildflower prints that I’d LOVE to get and group with this one.

The best part about it is that the Junior League of Monterey County was raising money for a cause that I can really believe in. They are supporting an organization that helps to mentor kids who are exiting the foster care system. This organization provides training in life skills for 16-18 year olds.  The emphasis is on school to work transitions.  Each teen is provided with a mentor.  There was a speaker last night — a young woman who is a graduate of the foster care system and a graduate of our local University.  She was a delightful speaker and encouraged the attendees to both spend well and to speak to her if they were willing to consider being foster parents.

If you are going to go to a social event and spend too much money on food and art . . . be sure your money will be well spent.  It’s a good feeling!

My newest best ever most favorite bird artist

28 Mar
Mandalay Pillow

Mandalay Pillow

Mireio is another fantastic shop on Etsy.  The added benefit is that she is also my friend, Wende.  You’ll see her comment here and you can read her thoughtful blog, Evidently.  It’s a good one!  She only has the occasional bird-inspired piece but when she does, they are lovely.   Go and visit and buy!  Supporting local artists is such a good thing to do!

A Sky Watching Black Phoebe

26 Mar

Black Phoebe

For more skies, visit Sky Watch® Friday

Kindle Love!

26 Mar

I love my Kindle2!  Lest there be any doubt about a honeymoon period and the wearing off thereof, let me say it again . . . I love my Kindle2.

I have a huge number of books on it.  It’s insane.  One reason is that I waited to get some books from favorite authors until I got the Kindle2.  Then, another favorite, Dana Stabenow has released some old out-of-print books on Kindle for great prices — she is doing this at the same time her latest book is out on Kindle, as well.  I have also gotten books by Nevada BarrJD Robb, and Patricia Cornwell.

Now, if only I had time to actually READ!

Birds on my Kindle2

Wordless Wednesday: Visions in Pink

25 Mar

"tulip tree"

Gold Party . . . oh yea, we’re that hip and cool!

24 Mar

jewellery-pile

So, my husband was watching the news a few weeks ago and saw a story about Gold Parties being the latest trend.  Forget Tupperware, the story goes, have a Gold Party.  The idea is that you bring your friends and their old gold together with a jeweler who will buy gold.  The buyer gets gold, the friends get money, and you get a cut for putting it all together.

goldcoins

My husband immediately thought of his mother who lives in a retirement community.  He ran the idea by her and she ran with it.  She contacted a jeweler that she’s done business with in the past.  They agreed on terms and we had the party Saturday night.

gold-bars-636What fun.  My mother-in-law and I put out wine and cheese.  We got to hang out and chat with her friends.  The jewelers set up their stuff and people brought their bags of broken, old jewelry in and they tested it to see what was real gold, what karat it was, and what wasn’t real.  They were so respectful and careful about their jobs.  We had so much fun.

And, everyone walked away with a little money.  Not bad in these hard economic times.

So, have you thought about having a gold party yourself?

Lesser Goldfinch, male

Tern, tern, tern

23 Mar

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The Terms and Cormorants work together.  The Cormorants herd the fish together and the Terns dive in and get them.  It was fascinating to watch.  I really loved seeing the Terns hovering over the water and then diving in.  They are so graceful and elegant.

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Forster’s Terns feeding on the fish rich waters at Elkhorn Slough.

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For more elegant birds of the air and sea, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

Lacework

22 Mar

Lacework and Band-Tailed Pigeons

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