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Archive for September, 2012

Just a series of photos; Canon 7D Canon 300 f/2.8 Lens at 1250th/sec:

doe run 1

doe run 2

doe run 3

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Can you imagine how hot it must have been on the 111F day we had in July !?!? Must brave been 160F in the Cap !! Well, this pair of wrens chooses the same place to nest twice each year; no matter how many carolina wren houses I put up. They enter the back through a pipeline hole and scold me all summer for walking by; they had 2 successful nests in 2011 and 2012:

 

entrance

 

nest

 

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Ran up State 43 towards Compton to see the fire Damage at the Buffalo Outdoor Center Lodge this morning. The sky was cleat about 75 degrees and the view, though hazy was fantastic:

 

 

 

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On Monday, we went to Hare Mountain and the Redding Spy Rock Trail which is beautiful, accessible, and also easy walking. First of all — the trail is only 1.7 miles round trip and just a gradual climb to the overlook. To get there take US 23 (the Pig Trail) to AR 215 and head east a few miles to “Morgan Mountain Road”. Turn left.  This road eventual ends up about 600 feet higher on Hare Mountain. After 1.5 miles up the road look for the “Spy Rock” Trail Marker on the left side going north from 215. Find a pull-out to park, and you’re on your way. The lookout rock affords a view of the White Rock Mountain Wilderness, the Mulberry River valley and the tall peaks beyond. There was signs of bear activity on the trail, so be prepared.

panorama of 4 pictures from Spy Rock

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What a magical time of the day; just after sun up !! The smallmouth bass were taking grasshoppers from the surface  by the shores and the high blue sky high although hazy,  was reflecting gorgeously on the clear water; almost have to adjust the color saturation – no I’ll leave as taken on this photo with a Canon 1DS Mark III:

Sun up on the Little Buffalo River

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He is in migration southward and looks pretty battered, but it’s the first I’ve seen since last April; they are not really common like a Downey Woodpecker here in the mountains.

On a walk through the forest you might spot rows of shallow holes in tree bark. In the East, this is the work of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, an enterprising woodpecker that laps up the leaking sap and any trapped insects with its specialized, brush-tipped tongue. Attired sharply in barred black-and-white, with a red cap and (in males) throat, they sit still on tree trunks for long intervals while feeding. To find one, listen for their loud mewing calls or stuttered drumming.

sapsucker with sap holes in a ring

  • Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are fairly small woodpeckers with stout, straight bills. The long wings extend about halfway to the tip of the stiff, pointed tail at rest. Often, sapsuckers hold their crown feathers up to form a peak at the back of the head.
  • Color Pattern

    Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are mostly black and white with boldly patterned faces. Both sexes have red foreheads, and males also have red throats. Look for a long white stripe along the folded wing. Bold black-and-white stripes curve from the face toward a black chest shield and white or yellowish underparts.

  • Behavior

    Yellow-belled Sapsuckers perch upright on trees, leaning on their tails like other woodpeckers. They feed at sapwells—neat rows of shallow holes they drill in tree bark. They lap up the sugary sap along with any insects that may get caught there. Sapsuckers drum on trees and metal objects in a distinctive stuttering pattern.

  • Habitat

    Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers live in both hardwood and conifer forests up to about 6,500 feet elevation. They often nest in groves of small trees such as aspens, and spend winters in open woodlands. Occasionally, sapsuckers visit bird feeders for suet.

    sapsucker in migration

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An interesting comparison to the 1930’s from CNN.

The impact of the drought currently gripping the United States is real and tangible, as millions can attest. But the depth of the pain still falls short of that experienced by many in the Great Plains and beyond during the so-called Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.

Here is a look — by the numbers — comparing what happened then and what’s happening now, both times due to pervasive and historic droughts.

The Dust Bowl days

8: The years of the general duration of the so-called Dust Bowl era, from 1931 to 1939

3.5 million: People who left their homes in the Great Plains and beyond due to drought

250,000: Families who lost their farms and ranches to bank foreclosures

60 mph: Speed of winds pushing a huge dust cloud on April 13, 1935, through Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and beyond — causing hundreds of deaths — during what is called “Black Sunday”

5: The string of years in the 1930s of the warmest temperatures ever recorded until recently in Amarillo, Texas

74: The degrees of temperature drop in an 18-hour span in Boise City, Oklahoma, in February 1933, as Dust Bowl winters were often bitterly cold

20 million: Hectares of range and farmland ruined annually during the Dust Bowl era

13: The number of camps, consisting of about 300 families each, set up by the Farm Security Administration for Dust Bowl migrants escaping the hardest hit areas

The current drought

40: Number of the 50 states with drought-designated counties as determined by the federal government, making them eligible for emergency aid

63%: Amount of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions

33%: Amount of the contiguous U.S. in such straits last year, indicating 30% more of the country now faces such conditions

#1: The historic rank for July 2012, nationally, in temperature, making it the hottest July since records were first kept in 1895

123.4: The bushels of corn per acre predicted by the USDA, the lowest yield since 1995

4 billion: The number of fewer bushels of U.S. corn likely to be produced, compared to what was forecast at the beginning of the year

80%: The amount of U.S. agricultural land being affected by the current drought

65%: The level of U.S. cattle production being affected by the current drought

Sources: Library of Congress, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Climatic Data Center, U.S. Drought Monitor

 

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