Archive for the ‘sanctuary’ Tag

04-20-2015 Journal–Spring in the Woods!   Leave a comment

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While we’re having a string of bright sunny days the nights continue to be a little too cold for my liking.  It seems to be taking so damn long for the temperatures to heat up so I’ll do the best I can not to whine continuously about it.

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‘You gotta love those pesky woodpeckers.’

This week’s  weather milestone permitted me to don my first pair of shorts for 2015 and to sun myself on the deck.  I even managed to get a light sunburn on my face and arms which tingled nicely as I showered last night.  A truly delicious pain, right up there with hot peppers.

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With the better-half having a weekend off we decided to get away from the yard work for a while and to take a walk in the woods.  With cameras in hand we made our way to our favorite sanctuary located along the Scarborough River and marsh. 

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I love visiting this area early each Spring but to most people it just looks drab and dismal.  The greenness of the plants is a week or two away, the ground is a little muddy, and the winter damage to the trees is highly visible.  We got a little wet and muddy but the sun was shining and bright and we really enjoyed the fresh air. We walked though the sanctuary and ended up along the river bank overlooking the river and the marsh beyond.  I’ve already used one of those photos for my IPad screensaver and I hope to collect many others as the summer progresses.

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As we walked along we ran into another couple and their big old barking dog. The people were friendly enough but the dog left a lot to be desired. We continued walking back through the woods to check out the two small ponds looking for signs of any wildlife.  We saw a few birds and some noisy crows but not much else.

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It appears that it’s still too early for the frog population to make their appearance.  The ponds were full of tadpoles swimming everywhere and there should be no lack of frogs later this summer.  I’m not sure why I have such a fascination for swamps but I really do.  Frogs are cool and my favorites, the dragonflies, are just weeks away from making their first appearances.

I can look forward to a summer of regular visits here and lots of terrific pictures, I hope.

07-15-2014 Journal Entry – Back to the Woods!   Leave a comment

This has been a week of rain then sunshine then rain and on and on and on. The humidity is constantly high and sleeping is a real challenge. It certainly limits my activities to hanging around the house and driving my better-half over the edge. It must be true because she tells me that at least twice a day. What to do, what to do.  My only solution is to take my camera and go forth to play in the woods.  Maybe it was time for a quick check of my favorite swamps to look in on the dragonfly situation. With this much humidity and heat there should be a large increase in their numbers (I hope).  It’s a reasonably short drive so I loaded up my gear and took off.

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I arrived at the sanctuary, parked the car, and stepped into the world of sweat bees, gnats, and those little mites that congregate around your head by the thousands.  I used half a can of the strongest bug spray I could find and it was of little help.

It’s common practice here in Maine for the horse farmers to cover the eyes of their horses with netting to keep the bugs from driving the horses crazy.  If it works for horses then why can’t it work for me.  I reached into my bag of goodies and found some netting made specifically to be worn over a baseball cap and then tied tightly at the neck.  It’s not a perfect solution but it will keep the gnats in the swamp out of my eyes and ears.  The rest of my body is up for grabs but even those damn mosquitos and ticks have to eat too.  Without a doubt I’ll be their lunch entrée.

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On my way to the swamp I have to pass through a few acres of milkweed plants. They’re just coming into bloom and in a few short weeks will be covered with visiting Monarch butterflies.  They love laying their eggs on the milkweed plants which contain a chemical that keeps predators from eating their eggs.  I’ll be back in a few weeks for their arrival which promises  a gang of excellent macro photographs.

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I arrived in the swamp covered with swarms of bugs and discovered to my delight a reasonable number of dragonflies flitting around.  I’ve found if you stand still in one place for a few minutes they tend to approach to check you out. These pictures were of a few that seemed to be purposely posing for me.

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I lasted almost an hour but the bugs made staying any longer impossible. I’ll be better prepared on my next visit and hope to obtain more photos of dragonflies and damselflies.  The variety of colors is absolutely amazing.

***WILDLIFE ALERT ***

(Sarcasm On) This Wildlife Alert arrived on my desk today from my better-half and I promised her I’d put out A BOTA (Be On the Lookout) alert for a herd of those terribly dangerous and ruthless gourd eating deer.  She plans on hanging some sort of crazy noise-maker in the garden to scare them off. Truthfully we’ve had deer eat almost everything in the garden at one time or another but not a single one has ever munched on a gourd.  She has a strange attraction for gourds which I still don’t understand.  Maybe I’ll build a blind for her to sit in near the garden and she can jump out in the middle of the night to scare the crap out of them. I promise to get lots of pictures if she actually does it. (Sarcasm Off)

10-27-2012 (2)   2 comments

Well, as I mentioned earlier today I finally was able to spend some quiet and interesting time in a nearby wildlife sanctuary. It was a beautiful sunny day and I seemed to be totally alone in over eighty acres of woods and fields. You should understand that this sanctuary is located adjacent to the Scarborough River and it’s 1100 acre fresh water marsh. It’s really a beautiful place to spend time. I made my way to the river bank where I sat in the trees observing no less than a thousand birds slowly circling the marsh. I can only assume they’re gathering for their migration south but it was really something to see. I attempted to get a few photos but they were too far away and I didn’t have my telephoto lens with me. It’s things like this that have a real calming effect on me and actually made my day.

As I worked my way back to my car I walked into an open field and found myself surrounded by at least fifty wild turkeys. I stood perfectly still as they wandered all around me. If I had moved the least little bit they would have been gone in a flash but I managed a few shots as they left the area. It’s been quite the year for wild turkeys here in Maine. I’ve seen hundreds in the last few weeks and even had a dozen in my back yard for a time a week or so ago.

It’s that time of the year in Maine when walking in the woods can become a life threatening experience. It’s like being in a war zone except many of the soldiers are under the influence of alcoholic beverages. I don’t want to be the headline in the papers: Man Shot by Hunters, Mistaken For a Cow, so I’ll be staying home until hunting season is over.

I’m making my special chili tomorrow for a group of my better-half’s friends and family and I need a few habanero peppers to spice things up a bit. A quick stop at Hannaford Foods and then back home.

The radio tells me Sandy is making her way up the coast and will be here in a day or so. Sixty mph winds should make for an interesting night or two. Thank God for our generator.

I’m looking forward to movie nite with my better-half. We were recently introduced to a BBC program made for TV that is an updated remake of Sherlock Holmes. You should know I’ve been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes for years and I’ve read everything ever written about him. I stumbled on the DVD at a local store and now I must find the second season. It’s absolutely addicting.  We can kick back and relax for a while before sleep.

Tomorrow is another day.

Posted October 31, 2012 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying Again

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