Saturday, May 20, 2017

Beach Hazard - warm air and cold ocean water

I don't remember ever seeing this weather statement issued before, but it sure makes sense. I know that kids, especially, don't seem to feel the cold as much as adults do. I've only ever gotten up to my knees in the Maine ocean surf;-)
Beach Hazard Statement for Sagadahoc County, Maine

Thursday, May 18, 2017

High temp for today

Wowee, it's hot outside! Our thermometer reads 92 F in the shade! Luckily, tomorrow's temp will only rise into the mid-70s, and the next 14 days will be in the 60's.

Ticks, ticks, and more ticks

The ticks are out enforce this year. Drew walked our pups along a trail and pulled 9 ticks off of them. He bought Permethrin to spray on our boots, socks, and pants to kill ticks. There is a new and lethal tick disease to be warned of. Geez! 

Do tick checks often when out walking in the woods, or even along the side of the road. Wear light colored clothing so that you can easily see the ticks. Don't touch the ticks with your bare hands if at all possible. And, wash your hand asap if you do have to touch the ticks to remove them from your clothing.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Weekly Weather

I am finally getting my wish for a bit warmer weather. We've spent way too much time in the 40's and 50's, and now we are jumping into the 60's with a few blistering hot days thrown in for good measure!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Three cords of wood, but who's counting?

Only Drew was counting the cords as he spent several days stacking wood...
The wood pile is not as tall as in the past, but is quite long.
Drew left space through the center for good air circulation. And, the sides only lean on each other right at the end. There are also support sticks poking through, from side to side, all along the length of the stack. The top is uneven so that a tarp can be draped over the stack to keep the wood dry. This wood will be here for 1.5 years before it is needed for the winter of 2018-2019. Three cords is generally all we use to heat the house each winter. 

We always stay a few years ahead of what we'll need. There are some trees that will need to be felled soon, so we'll have more wood drying on the back stack (which is currently filled, and will be emptied beforehand into the wood shed for next winter.)

Blackflies are here and are biting!

Yowzer, the month of blackfly bites has begun. Augggghhhhh...

Hairy Woodpecker Nest Hole Excavation

A mated pair of Downy Hairy woodpeckers have been excavating a nest hole, in the ash tree adjacent to our back deck, for the last several weeks. Here you see the male doing the majority of the grunt work, and the female flies over to inspect it after all is said and done;-)

Josh Fecteau corrected my bird I.D., as I am notorious for getting it wrong;-) I always wait to see what he says as there are so many tiny details that I miss. So, you can learn along with me...
"For a couple of reasons, I'd say these are Hairy Woodpeckers. Note how the white eyebrow of each bird is broken in the rear with black (Downy, according to David Sibley, usually shows a continuous white band). Both birds also have unmarked outer tail feathers (I'd expect some black bars/spots on the outer tail feathers of a Downy). And lastly, though we don't get a true side profile, the bills look proportionately long to me.

An excellent way to tell them apart in the field is to learn their call notes. I hope this helps..."
(Aughhh...I had looked at the following characteristics: It seemed to me that where the bill contacts the head there was a conspicuous tuft of nasal bristles, but they must be much more mustache-like on a Downy;-) I was looking at the bill and thought it looked long, but I was thinking that with the close-up photo it may have just looked long to me... Now, after looking at the female bird and stopping the video, I focused in on the area at the forward part of the upper eyelid and the Downy females have a black area that breaks up the white eyebrow, whereas the Hairy female has a continuous white eyebrow like I see here. And, the Downy woodpeckers really do have a short bill.

Thanks, Josh!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Chipping Sparrow and Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow with a brightly colored brown cap of breeding plumage!
Well, even though my focus of late has been the warblers, I must say that we have quite a few other regulars who visit the feeders. The Chipping Sparrows have arrived and will spend the summer here for breeding purposes.
This chickadee said, "Whatcha looking at, Laurie?"
And, I would be remiss if I didn't photograph a chickadee. They are one of my favorite bird species who are with us all year long.
They frequent the suet as well as the seed feeder.