Archive for July, 2013

If you have not eaten there, you need to try it !  Nick is building a 60 seat expansion area with a view of the side of Kilgore Mountain. I ate lunch there today and it really looks nice.:


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Taken this morning at 9:30 AM (everything is green for late July):





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Thanks to everyone who checks in or reads my Blog weekly. I really enjoy journaling natural events here in the mountains. Today, the final day of July, I woke up several times overnight to lightening and thunder but did not get a drop of rain. The evening batch went north near Alpena and finally through Harrison. The early morning batch went just south trough Edwards Junction and Deer and on southward. But at 4 PM, as I am writing this entry, it is thundering again, so, we’ll see.

A mother Doe and her fawn were grazing the the side yard early this morning and I surprised them with my camera; it’s the first time I have seen the fawn take off running “full steam” with long  jumps. Not the best photos but it was early and there was not much light to work with:




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If you don’t have to get up and go. We got 0.20 since midnight and supposedly more on the way too. Barely hear a bird in the early morning anymore. Their nesting season is drawing to a close for 2013.

Yesterday, I drove to Dixon Ford on the Buffalo River; it is 22 miles above Boxley and just downstream from the two forks that  make it the Buffalo River. It was not dry as I expected, but very low. On the way back I drove up AR 16 to AR 21 to AR 43 and stopped along the Boxley valley\y in several locations. It was a beautiful summer day. I got a photo of a White Winged crow and several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. The first I have seen a white winged crow since last September. They are  “leucistic”, partially albino. Ive got lots to do today, hope the rain stops for a while.



Dixon Ford on the Buffalo

Dixon Ford on the Buffalo

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Last evening I took this photo of two nervous and curious bucks:



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Just a photograph of a beautiful summer sunset from AR 327:



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We got 0.86 on Friday 7/26. That added to the 2 inches during the past 6 days makes 3 inches. Everything is turning back to green and that means more mowing. This rain this past week was a God send because we were entering into another drought. Now, the BURN BAN is OFF and things are back to normal.

During the evening rain last night a saw an eight point buck in the front yard, went in got my Canon 50D with a 400 f 5.6 Lens on it, went back out to photograph him just before he took off (these are closeups within 100 yards) in very poor light:



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Just a photo taken yesterday (click to enlarge):


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They are strikingly marked, oversized sparrow of the East, feathered in bold black and warm reddish-browns – if you can get a clear look at it. Eastern Towhees are birds of the undergrowth, where their rummaging makes far more noise than you would expect for their size. Their chewink calls let you know how common they are, but many of your sightings end up mere glimpses through tangles of little stems. They a very secretive and hard to see. I found him singing loudly on an old fence on Murray Road about 8 AM.

Cool Facts

  • The Eastern Towhee and the very similar Spotted Towhee of western North America used to be considered the same species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. The two forms still occur together in the Great Plains, where they sometimes interbreed. This is a common evolutionary pattern in North American birds – a holdover from when the great ice sheets split the continent down the middle, isolating birds into eastern and western populations that eventually became new species.
  • Eastern Towhees are common victims of the parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird. Female cowbirds lay eggs in towhee nests, then leave the birds to raise their cowbird young. In some areas cowbirds lay eggs in more than half of all towhee nests. Towhees, unlike some other birds, show no ability to recognize or remove the imposter’s eggs. Female cowbirds typically take out a towhee egg when laying their own, making the swap still harder to notice.
  • Eastern Towhees tend to be pretty solitary, and they use a number of threat displays to tell other towhees they’re not welcome. You may see contentious males lift, spread, or droop one or both wings, fan their tails, or flick their tails to show off the white spots at the corners. Studies have shown that male towhees tend to defend territories many times larger than needed simply to provide food.
  • The oldest known Eastern Towhee was 12 years, 3 months old.


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Drove over to Boxley on Monday and spent an hour at the mill pond. Watched ducks, catbirds, red-winged blackbirds, Vireos, and a few warblers including Common Yellow Throated, and Louisiana waterthrushes. It was nice an cool, after the thundershowers. The mill pond is full of grass and the rains of the week (3 inches) have added needed water to it. I was thinking how much Common Yellowthroats and Carolina Wrens are the same. They both spend their time along brushy fencerows; both seems to be on a constant hunt for spiders and other flying insects, they are nearly the same size; and their song is much the same. Both species are curious and will come to see “whats up” when you stop near them. The big difference is their appearance ! The photos below were taken Monday morning with a Canon 50D and a 400mm lens; handheld.





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