Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brandon's graduation!

Look! I married Harry Potter!!

Post-graduation Sushi with Stirling!

Thanks to Pidge for the photos!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Photo of the Day

"Helping" fold laundry. Don't worry - they aren't MY clothes!

Photo of the Day

Rain on Rice Street

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unspecified Threats

Seen in my neighborhood while walking the dog. I like the vague threatening nature of the sign. And what is "it" that they will put on check? What is putting something "on check"? And what's up the strange use of quote marks? By the way, the first melt of the spring in Minnesota is when all the garbage and dog poop from the winter surfaces - it's pretty gross. But dont' worry - I always pick up after Whiskey girl. Unless it's in my own yard. Then I let her go wild!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photo of the Day: Snapping turtle!

Snapping turtle on the porch at work!

Caution! Do not pet!

Okay - pet it a little

Baby Phoebe Update

Well, several hours after stuffing the phoebe back in the nest, I check on it (discretely from a distance with binos) and it's gone again! I searched the ground for a while, and didn't find it. So, either it really was ready to fledge, or those stupid early fledging genes won't be getting passed on. Let's hope for the former. I agree with BLTSG (Be like the squirrel, girl) - stupid cycle of life.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Photo of the Day

(click to enlarge)
Our Phoebe chick at work. 12 days old. We are down to one chick - the second one disappeared when it was about a week old. We are guessing it fell out and got eaten by something. This one leapt out of the nest today, but didn't seem too adept at flying. I scooped it up and put it back in the nest. (No, the parents won't reject it).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo of the Day

Brandon jams a knee-bar on "Sudden Daydream" at Willow River, WI.

(photo by Ryan Angelo - thanks Ryan!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A good day at work

Monday, I went out with the National Park Service People for their annual eagle banding. How do you get eagles out of the tree? Well, they hire these professional tree climbers, who shoot a crossbow up into the tree to get the rope up. They use ascenders to climb the rope, put the chicks in bags, and then come back down.

The chicks are then banded, measured, and have blood taken for DNA work, as well as contaminant analysis (lead, mercury, PCBs, flame retardants, etc).

This eaglet is about 7 weeks old - it's starting to get it's feathers and isn't quite such a ball of fluff. They don't get their white heads until they are 5-6 years old.

This eaglet is much younger, probably about 5 weeks. You can see it has a lot more fluff. I'm the one in the hat. And no, I'm not a park ranger.

Eagle nest in a white pine along the Mississippi River. You can see the adult sitting in the tree to the left of the nest. The adults just kind of circle around and cry. They don't attack the climbers.

The chicks can't fly yet, and they actually are pretty docile. They are hard wired to not move around too much, otherwise they would just fall out of the nest. So, you put them on the ground and they just stay put and stare at you. Probabaly wondering when you are going to give them fish heads.

Jim, one of the climbers, from Eco Ascension Consulting. This guy was on the cover of National Geographic a few months ago - the Redwood edition. He and his crew go all over the world, climbing trees, cliffs, and into caves. Note his right hand is controlling the feet - the most important part of holding a raptor. Here's a little article about the project. (If you want to read more).

Waiting to be processed. Most nests had 2 chicks, several had three.

Mom hanging out near by, wondering when we're going to give her babies back.

Most of the nests were accessed by water.

Mark, from the Audubon. I'm not sure who looks more thrilled.