Monday, May 25, 2009

I Just Want To Enjoy Nature Not Fix It

I think most people spend a great deal of time thinking about ways to organize or improve things throughout the course of a day. What I like about about hiking is that I can just observe and appreciate nature without feeling the need to change it. Imagine if people could make adjustments to their natural surroundings using a remote control. I'll bet there would be some people straightening branches, changing the paths of streams and lining up trees in neat rows. This is one of the reasons I don't always keep a complete species list on every outing. I want to experience nature not organize it. I just take notes according to what interests me at the time and keep a complete species list when I feel like it.
I went birding with Ed and Sarah a couple of days ago at Gay City Park in Bolton. I was giving them a little introduction to birding. We had a nice view of a few interesting birds including a female Scarlett Tanager, male & female redstarts, Veery, Ovenbird, Wood Thrush,Yellow-throated Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, and Eastern Phoebes. It can be really difficult to find birds through binoculars when you are new to birding so we really took our time trying to get good looks. We worked on learning some of the songs too. I enjoyed introducing them to new birds and liked birding at a slower pace. Ed pointed out the Lady Slipper to me in the top photo.
Can you identify the plant with the red and green leaves ?
What kind of bush plant do these pink flowers belong too?

Last Tuesday I went camping for a night at Devil's Hopyard. The only warbler that came close enough to me for a photo was this male American Redstart. You can see the little bristles on the side of its bill. I suppose I should buy one of those birdjams so I can call warblers in for better photos but it's a little late now since I wouldn't use it during nesting season anyway. I read a sign in Vermont that seemed to say that using such devices was banned there. I'll have to look into that law a little closer.
I really like Gray Catbirds. Not so much when I'm birding because there are too many of them but catbirds seem to be friendly around humans. I had fun watching a pair of catbirds that were nesting near my campsite. A few pieces of dried fruit mix that I had fell out of my bag. One of the catbirds shot over to grab them the minute they hit the ground.
Chipping Sparrows don't seem to have much fear of people this time of year either. This one looks like it got a hold of some fishing line.
Here's a few of the birds I saw at various parks during the past week: a Hooded Warbler and a Canada Warbler at Hurd Park, Yellow-billed Cuckoos,Indigo Buntings, Prairie Warblers,Blue-winged Warblers, and Worm-eating Warblers at Machimoudus park, and I heard an Acadian Flycatcher calling at a small nature preserve off of 151 in East Hampton. The call does not sound like "Pizza" to me at all. I would describe it as sounding like a chipmunk who had breathed in some helium then came down with the case of the hiccups.
click to play
I caught this Black and White Warbler in action while at Devil's Hopyard. Two weeks of vacation went by for me quickly. It's back to work tomorrow.
I'd like to give thanks on this Memorial Day to the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I feel like nature allows me to step in, observe and prticipated and then go on. This is a neat post!


Kim said...

That's one of the things I like most about the woods. They are unorganized and free of most human intervention. It allows you to live in that moment instead of trying to organize it.

You saw some great birds this past week and I am envious of your Canada Warbler find. Would love to see that bird again.

Jayne said...

I like the fact that we don't have to organize it too Larry. Just breathe in and enjoy. :c)

Aunt "B's" Backyard said...

Hi Larry, I finally found my way back to your blog after being MIA for a bit. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. It was well worth it from our prospective!
I can't id the first plant but the second I know, honeysuckle, since it's blooming in the woods surrounding us. Mmm, it is so fragrant. What a beauty that b/w warble is, and what a happy little song he sings! Thanks for the highlights of your trip!

FAB said...

I'm with you Larry. As the so called dominant species we have already done too much to organise nature. Walk, look, watch, listen, smell and then hold those memories.

Unknown said...

I think we mess things up when we try to organize nature (a pet peeve of mind with the EPA), but ignore me on that. I love your pictures and although I have seen those pink flowers, I have no idea of the name.
Love your description of the flycatcher call as a Chipmunk with hiccups after breathing in Helium!

Kathie Brown said...

Larry, what a fun time you had! That little black and white warbler makes me think of WV. I have yet to list any warblers for CT becuase I am just learning them. I hope to visit Devil's Hopyard when I am there in June. Perhaps I will get to see a little black and white warbler too! I saw Painted Redstarts at Comstock Bridge last year.

Allison said...

Gay City is right in my backyard! And I literally just drove past Devil's Hopyard today. We have seen a Grey Catbird here just one time--but the Chipping Sparrows are regular visitors.

Ruth said...

I would love to find a wild orchid. Love the Catbird picture!

Larry said...

Hasty brook-It sounds like Nature is calling the shots where you're concerned.-Yes-I wish it was 3 weeks.

Kallen-Judging by your recent posts, you've seen enough birds this month!

Aunt B-I don't blame you for going MIA.It's hard to keep up with all the good blogs that are out there. Honeysuckle! I used to eat the dew off those flowers but I think the ones I remember were always white or yellow.

Early Birder-Nicely put

Whitemist-I appreciate what the epa and DEP are trying to help but sometimes they make things worse.-

Kathiebirds-Just learning-Are you kidding? I think you've taken more photos of birds than I've seen firsthand.

Tutta-You are in a great area if you decide to get more into birding.Lots of good spots out that way.

Ruth-I had to look tha one up-So what we call the lady's slipper is actually a type of orchid.

Chris Petrak said...

I love your description of the Acadian's call/voice! and I'm a bit jealous of the warblers you seem to get so easily - you're enough further south for WEWA, et al. I'm just overwhelmed with trees (!) so warblers are all up high. Tough life! A nice post.

Larry said...

Chris-I have a hard time finding warblers to take photos of because they stay high up for the most part.Some people in CT say that WEWA are hard to find.-I don't always see them but hear them often in the rocky hillsides.

Nan said...

I am very fond of catbirds. We visited a friend on Sunday and one was quite nearby as we ate outdoors. I love the sound they make. And in your photo, I think even the eye looks cheery. I know, anthropomorphizing here. :<) But still, they are so pleasant to be around, much like chickadees or song sparrows.

Andy said...

"observe and appreciate nature"..."I want to experience nature not organize it. I just take notes according to what interests me at the time and keep a complete species list when I feel like it."

I couldn't have said it better.

Larry said...

Nan-Never could figure out why anthropomorphizing is supposed to be a negative thing to do when it comes to birds.-Those are two good examples of other birds that seem to tolerate the prescence of humans well.

Andy-Thanks-I'm glad that hit home for you.

Dawn Fine said...

I dont know the plant with the red and green leaves..but the pink flowers belong to an Azalea i believe.
I see the bristles on the side of the redstarts bill...what purpose do they serve?
I have never camped at Devils hopyard ..but have hiked there a few times..Nice park!
Great video of the black and white warbler!..Whats your technique for keeping the camera so still while filming?

Larry said...

Dawn-I try to lean against a tree if there is one to lean against.

MaineBirder said...

Great series and story Larry!

We have two nesting pairs of Gray Catbirds in our yard and they are sharing the grape jelly with the Orioles.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely photos, great angle on the redstart!

I like your thoughts on complete species lists too....

Larry said...

Mainebirder-I've never had orioles go to my grape jelly or oranges but catbirds and red-bellied woodpeckers do. The orioles eat the flowers and fruit on our mimosa and crabapple trees.

Dawn-They think bristles like that may be use to help funnel insects into the birds mouts or is a tactile aid.-But they don't really know for certain.

RuthieJ said...

Pink ladyslipper is the state flower of Minnesota, but I've never seen one in the wild here. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful sights of this trip with us.

Birdinggirl said...

Wow- sounds like a great vacation. I love the picture of the whiskers on the Redstart!

Also- I like your note on Memorial Day. I watched the Memorial Day concert on PBS this year with my dad (a vet) and was glad I took the time to slow down and think about the reason we were having a long weekend.

Anonymous said...

I must say that you have a nice selection of birds in your post. I wish I could help you with the name of the plants.

Abraham Lincoln
My Birds Blog

bird cage gal said...

That Black and White Warbler has a beautiful call! I am so glad you caught it on video.

Unknown said...

Nice comments.