Archive for July, 2012

Mark Brisco will always remember his recent fishing trip to Sinking Creek. Seeing a mountain lion would be hard to forget.

Brisco said he takes several trips to the same spot, about a half mile up from Sinking Creek on the Current River. He’s a construction worker, working about 14 days, then taking a few days off.

“I like to go there and fish, camp and relax,” Brisco said. “It’s a perfect spot.”

That day he parked his Jeep and started to make his way down to the river with his fishing pole. He had not gone too far when he saw movement in the brush.

“There it was walking away, stopping and smelling the ground, looking for food and acting like he didn’t have a care in the world,” Brisco said. “I don’t think he saw me.”

Brisco said the mountain lion worked its way to the water. At one point the mountain lion turned and looked and did see him.

The mountain lion seemed to care less that Brisco was around, but Brisco was a different story.

“I was pretty nervous and shaking,” he said. “Here it was, a mountain lion, 30, then 100 yards away.”

Brisco watched as the mountain lion slipped out of the water and into the nearby woods. He did take some pictures.

“He didn’t seem to mind at all,” Brisco said.

Brisco said the mountain lion was the second he’s seen. A few years ago he and a friend saw one in Arkansas.

“Now I want to see a bear,” Brisco said.

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I’ve heard him every night and early every morning, like he’s on the roof. Yesterday, I woke to find him sitting on a garden fencepost at dawn. Today he was not on the fencepost, but sound asleep an an old 150-200 year old Red Oak tree:

Yesterday very early


Today: 07-23-12


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These chicks were born 3 months ago and have reached a pretty fair size now; the best I can tell there are about 7-8 juveniles and a Hen:

turkey 1

turkey 2

turkey 3

turkey 4

turkey 5

turkey 6

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A beautiful sunrise from Highway 7 south of Jasper looking south of East:

scenic 7

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He is either lost or making an unusual route back from the northwest US; they have been seen in Arkansas before but it is rare.

The feistiest hummingbird in North America. The brilliant orange male and the green-and-orange female Rufous Hummingbird are relentless attackers at flowers and feeders, going after (if not always defeating) even the large hummingbirds of the Southwest, which can be double their weight. Rufous Hummingbirds are wide-ranging, and breed farther north than any other hummingbird. Look for them in spring in California, summer in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and fall in the Rocky Mountains as they make their annual circuit of the West.

  • Size & Shape

    A fairly small hummingbird with a slender, nearly straight bill, a tail that tapers to a point when folded, and fairly short wings that don’t reach the end of the tail when the bird is perched.

  • Color Pattern

    In good light, male Rufous Hummingbirds glow like coals: bright orange on the back and belly, with a vivid iridescent-red throat. Females are green above with rufous-washed flanks, rufous patches in the green tail, and often a spot of orange in the throat.

  • Behavior

    Rufous Hummingbirds have the hummingbird gift for fast, darting flight and pinpoint maneuverability. They are pugnacious birds that tirelessly chase away other hummingbirds, even in places they’re only visiting on migration. Like other hummers, they eat insects as well as nectar, taking them from spider webs or catching them in midair.

  • Habitat

    Rufous Hummingbirds breed in open areas, yards, parks, and forests up to treeline. On migration they pass through mountain meadows as high as 12,600 feet where nectar-rich, tubular flowers are blooming. Winter habitat in Mexico includes shrubby openings and oak-pine forests at middle to high elevation.

    Taken yesterday with a Canon 7D and a Canon EF300L IS f/2.8 Lens:

    Rufous Hummingbird

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Just a photo taken July 2:

July hot sun

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Had my camera too and happy to report we got an inch of rain over this past weekend in 3 thundershowers bringing the July total to 1.46 inches; great news !!!

ruby throated hummingbird

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I have been coming to the area since 1964. I have a short list of fantastic individuals from the area that I owe so much to:

Dr. Neil Compton

Mr. Ken Smith

Mr. Harold Hedges

Mrs. Margaret Hedges

Mr. Tim Ernst

Mr. William McNamara

Mr. Michael Dougherty

Mr Don Kitz

Mr. Wes Watkins

Mr. Don Nelms

All the above listed individuals have inspired me through their drive, political views, research, field work, artwork, writing, web-blogs, and photography.

Much appreciated !


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I ran head-on into a busy male Pileated Woodpecker yesterday morning and ended up taking a great series of 221 shots of our largest woodpecker (although there my be an Ivory Bill Woodpecker lurking in eastern Arkansas). He was so busy looking for ants and termites that he did not notice me. I had my Canon 7D with a Canon 400L f/4.0 DO IS Lens and sat down to watch. On my 7D with a 1.6 crop factor the pictures are equivalent to that of a 640mm lens on a Full Frame camera. I would say I was within 50 feet of him working. He an the Ms. are still feeding the fledglings, which by now are quite large (almost adult size).

Here are three of the 221 pictures:


Pileated 1


Pileated 2


Pileated 3

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This is one of our Boston Mountain favorites every summer. They are one of the hallmark species of the Eastern deciduous forest, the Eastern Wood-Pewee is an inconspicuous dull brown bird of the middle canopy. Despite its abundance, this bird could be easily overlooked if not for its persistent “pee-ah-wee” song.

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized flycatcher.
  • Grayish olive above.
  • Pale below, with darker wash on breast and sides.
  • Whitish wingbars.
  • No eyering or only a faint one.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult, but wingbars buffier.


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