Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I parked at a trail entrance located on Andrews Street in Southington. This turned out to be a costly mistake. When I returned to my truck after a short hike, I found a $30 dollar parking ticket on my windshield. It was issued by the water department from the town of New Britain who apparently own the surrounding land. There were no signs visible near the trail entrance stating that parking was not allowed. Instead of arguing my case, I decided to send out some e-mails to see if a no parking sign could be put up in the area. I'm hoping that I might be able to help prevent someone else from getting a ticket for parking there. If I had read this post from the Connecticut Museum Quest website, I could have avoided getting a ticket altogether.
When you're hiking in an unfamiliar area, it's best to familiarize yourself with the hiking trails in the area before you get there. A great site for information about hiking trails in Connecticut is the Connecticut Explorers website: CTxguide.com.
My original intention was to visit a portion of the traprock ridge that I had never seen before called Ragged Mountain. I headed over to the trail on West lane in Kensington where there is approved parking. From the entrance you take the main trail and then veer left onto the blue & red trail which will take you right up to Ragged Mountain. There was a memorial at the top in memory of Darin Findley, who died during a climb here in 2003. The hike to get to the top of the ridge was a little longer than some of the other trails that I'm familiar with but it was worth the effort. On my way up I saw deer, Belted Kingfisher, Wild Turkeys, and 2 Pileated Woodpeckers having a squabble with a Sharp-shinned Hawk (the hawk left first). There were numerous kinglets in the area with the vast majority of them being Golden-crowned Kinglets.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Larry: Thanks for featuring me Robert. I've been a fan of your work for a long time. Go ahead with your first question.
Robert: What type of birding have you been doing lately?
Larry: I recently visited Wangunk Meadows with some other birders. Conditions were unusually dry and we had to work for the birds. We saw 5 species of sparrow including: Lincoln, White-throated , Song, and Swamp but our best view was of a Savannah Sparrow which was perched in a leafless tree at a height of about 15 feet. The view of the bird through the scope was really clear because the lighting was falling on it just right. (Savannah Sparrow in top photo was from a previous trip to Hammonasset). Another interesting sighting for us was seeing 11 Great Egrets fly over. Birds of prey included Osprey, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk. The only warblers seen were Yellow-rumped and Common Yellowthroat.
Robert: Is Wangunk a native American word?
Larry: Yes, the Wangunks were a tribe of Native Americans that lived in the area. Most of the Wangunks had left the area before 1800. The word Wangunk is said to refer to the big bend near our section of the Connecticut River.
Robert: What do you find to be the least and most difficult parts about blogging?
Larry: The easiest part for me is coming up with an idea. The hardest part is taking decent photos and finding the right words to express that idea in a post. A lot of times I abandon my original idea for a simpler one because I realize in the middle of a post that my words are running on and on. English was always my worse subject.
I took this photo of mushrooms last week because I was impressed by their clean appearance. They look like a basic mushroom so I figured it should be easy to find out what kind they are by doing an Internet search. It turns out that there are a lot more varieties of mushrooms than I realized. I didn't want to get into another type of field guide but I think it's time I do. Does anyone know what kind of mushrooms these are?
Robert: What is your approach to birding these days?
Larry: I find that the multitask method of birding doesn't work well for me so I try not to concern myself with what I should or shouldn't be doing. Instead I just choose a spot and try to appreciate whatever is best about that particular morning. It could be great viewing conditions, a lot of species, camaraderie of other birders, a zen-like experience, a time to study one particular bird, or any other number of things.
Robert: Have you been keeping records of what you see?
Larry: I try to but not of everything all the time. If I find something out of the ordinary, like the Lincoln's Sparrows I saw in our local meadows the other day, I will enter the sighting on e-bird.
Robert: How would you rate yourself as a birder?
Larry: Mediocre-I still have a lot to learn. birding by ear is probably my strong point when it comes to finding birds.
Robert: What are you doing to work at improving your birding skills?
Larry: I don't like to force feed myself information. If there is something I am curious about then I'll try to learn more about it. Some days I'm more receptive to new information than others. I'm in no hurry.
Robert: How would you describe your ideal birding day?
BwBTC Find Proof Of Avian Life On Mars , The Dangers Of Listing and Roast Meat Hill Road that no one will take you seriously and you will be given the Boy Who Cried Wolf Tag?
click to play