When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"We went fishing, not catching" was his answer

Today is a little overcast and windy, not exactly picture perfect fishing weather but pretty darn close to it. Good 'nuff for the our first fishing outing anyway. We stopped at many places, saw many things, talked to many people and even got harassed by a couple of blackflies. Life is good.


First stop was Sebago Lake / Stickey River, mostly because it's an old favorite. We saw Canadian Geese, Mallards, Painted Turtles and a man in a truck trying to call in an Osprey, but caught no fish.

The cool fisherman

Monkey actually took this photo - how proud am I? Oh, and it's a Painted Turtle

Second stop was the other piece of the Stickey River on 114. Heard a Tufted Titmouse singing his heart out and monkey caught a tree and an aerator made to run on batteries and use with a bucket. 'Nuff said.

This was just before the big catch of the day, an aerator

Third stop was the dock located at the Standish end of Sebago Lake, well known for salmon. Monkey perfected his casting there, loosing all the rustiness of winter and whipping that line out much farther than the man fishing next to him. Well, ok - I'm a little biased and the guy was fly fishing... But monkey was really casting up a storm! There we saw two loons working the water and noone else catching a thing.

And of course, he tried to 'catch' the Loon too

The lake was just as choppy and cold as it looks in this photo

The Motley Fishing Crue. I bet they were some happy to see us leave!

Next we stopped at TJ's store and got italians, chips and drinks and sat right there in the store and ate. I've never had a sandwich taste so good!

We then tried to fish Gorham Pond, but the wind was against that theory. We moved on.

We drove down into Dundee Park to see if the gate was lifted, but it wasn't. We decided to toss a line into the Presumpscot River while we were right there. Instead Monkey tried to loose his favorite lure in the fir tree but fortunately we got it back.

Yeah, right. Empty handed.

Did you notice that Fir tree in the previous picture just dying for monkey to get his lure caught? Yeah, it got it's wish.

Pondering the ways he could get it down. Immediately following this shot, he started throwing rocks. I ran for the hills.

Ahhh, he got lucky this time! No wonder it's his lucky fishing lure!

Last stop was the Covered Bridge, also on the Presumpscot River. The wind couldn't reach us there but the sun could - it was marvelous. We stayed there for quite some time, relishing the sun shining off swift clear water. At least until the blackflies got so bad we were driven away! As I was putting our stuff back in the car a woman stopped to ask if we were catching anything. Monkey piped up with our fishing mantra - "We are fishing, not catching". The woman smiled a bright, cheery smile - "I like that alot, don't ever stop telling people that. As a matter of fact, I'll have to tell my daddy that - he'll love it. He used to say that as soon as the leaves were as big as mouse ears, the fish were biting. That's my saying to pass on to you." How sweet was she?! Before we left I spotted an Osprey soaring over the river - finally, that's my first of the year.

I ♥ this place

Hard to believe she's still standing

Fine granite work right there!

An apparition or a blackfly? If only Zak Bagans was around to freak out and try to talk to it.

I shouldah left him there. ;)

I enjoyed myself so much today that now I wish I had taken the whole week off. I suppose, it'll be better in June when the fish are really biting. Then we can go 'catching'.

Ahhhh. The trunk looks complete again. ♥

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A quick walk on the Eastern Trail

I've come to the conclusion that I have impeccable timing. Not all of the time, but for the most part. I decided that enough was enough, I'd cooped myself up in the house long enough this weekend and it was time to get out. I walked the Eastern Trail because it was close, if it started raining I could get back to the car quickly and I was hoping to see a Great Blue Heron to add to my list. I meandered my way there, took my walk, took some pictures and got back home in time to fill the feeders and check the nestboxes before the skies unleashed bedlam. It's pouring here! I actually muttered 'crazy weather' when I realized the ick had once again commenced.

My trip, although not yielding in a Great Blue Heron, was rather successful and invigorating. It wasn't windy which was nice, when it is there it's bone chilling! I got to see a few Swamp Sparrows, a Yellow-Rumped Warbler and a pair of Kingfishers which means that summer is just around the corner. And it was nice to see the Tree Swallows buzzing over the marsh and making use of the various nestboxes placed along the quickly greening swamp grasses. It was mid-tide, coming in, and the smell of the salt clung to the air and I breathed it deep - I love that smell! I got to clear my mind (and my sinuses) and was even greeted by a pair of very friendly cattle dogs. All was good in the 'hood! The jury is still out on the new lens converter, I need a brighter day to really tell I guess.

Red-Breasted Merganser

You can barely see him, but it's a Belted Kingfisher

Black Ducks

Red-Winged Blackbird taking a break from singing his heart out

The grass is a little greener on the other side!

One of the many Tree Swallows I saw, this one sticking to his claimed box

Terrible photo, but this is a Swamp Sparrow

Now back to cleaning, watching the bluebirds carry nesting material and waiting for the monkey to come home.

Teleconverting millimeters and a coating of the white stuff

The power struggle between cleaning and blogging is on, and I think blogging just took the lead.

It's been a busy week, work, baseball pratice, dental appointments and another round of illness - this time for the monkey - ate away at what precious little time I have. I don't do well without ample time for planning or time to stop in between tasks, it's just me and who I am.

Anyhoot and hollah..... I think it's well known that the bluebirds chose the nestbox that is perfectly viewed from my kitchen island, and as I sit here now I can watch them flying in and out with nesting materials. I currently own a 75-300 mm lens for my camera that is pretty sufficient, albeit the cheaper of the possible models I could own. On the docket next was a super-charged Canon 300-a gazillion mm IS lens, something that would probably equal four mortgage payments. As I watched my handsome Mr. B flying around, I realized that perhpas that wasn't the route to take. Instead, I conducted a little online reasearch and found a 2x teleconverter for less than $100 that will make my 300mm into 600mm. AHA! It came in the mail just in time for the rain and snow but I plan on really putting it to the test today. What a difference it makes!

It's the part at the bottom of the lens. Hope it doesn't ruin my camera!

From my window at 300mm (without the converter)

From my window at 300mm (with the converter)

So yeah, I typed the word snow. When I woke up yesterday morning (Saturday) there was an inch of snow on the ground. They (the weather thugs) had been warning us for days it was coming, but after being in shorts and the sprinkler just a few days prior, I guess I was in denial. Maine is a volatile place to live, when they say 'if you don't like the weather, just blink' they aren't kidding. I just hope that we have a decent summer this year, we deserve it. HA! And as I typed that the sun just peered through the clouds. Perhaps just a tease?

I'm off to find something to do. No Monkey this weekend, he's with his dad. What to do.... what to do.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How a bluebird puts a down payment on a house

Seriously, the choice has been made. They haven't left this box for days and have finally starting to bring nesting materials over to stake their claim. I assumed they were hauling pine needles and I was a little right, there are a few but it's mostly a dried grass material. Right at daylight they are both out there taking turns sitting on the roof and flying across the vast expanse of lawn, then pausing to perch at the top of my birch tree to soak up a little sun. It was so cold this morning, I'm really hoping Mrs. B can hold out a week or so before laying her clutch.

There is still competition for this box, when I went to go peek inside at the handiwork a pair of Chickadees were scoping things out - not sure if they are the same pair that Mrs. B tried to shoo away or not. They are determined little buddies! It reminds me a two couples trying to buy a house and one already has it under contract......the second couple can't help themselves but to drive by and hope it doesn't go through. :)

Stress? What stress?

This is how my Monday was (oh, I hope the pictures work!):

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.....

Not sure what my problem was, but it was definitely a problem. It wasn't so much that nothing was going right, it was more that there was so much going and not enough time to get it all done. I haven't been like that in a l o n g time and it was a little uncomfortable. We have so many changes and 'hurry up and waits' and work to do with a small crew and I think it's finally getting to me. I still think that the corporate world is really a test for pharmaceutical companies to see how much people can take before they crack and need medication.

I just couldn't wait to get home and watch the bluebirds trying to pick out a nestbox.

This morning I realized that we have nothing to really stress about. Stress? We should watch our feathered friends for a stress lesson...

They never eat a meal without watching for something looking to eat them. And they have to look sideways! Stress is a bluebird trying to take over the nestbox a chickadee spent days building a nest in. They have to fly millions of miles to get to a warm place to survive the winter. Those who stay behind have to survive freezing temperatures. Stress is when that woman doesn't fill the feeder and they have to find food on their own. Stress is when a raptor drops from the sky and carries off your mate who was feeding right next to you. Stress is trying to fly across the highway. I could go on and on and on.

What am I whining about? My life is pretty easy, hopefully my Tuesday is too.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Backyard power struggles

I went to VIP this morning for my date with Corey, he and the other mechanic quickly determined that there really wasn't anything wrong with my car diagnostically, but I did need new Sway Bar links and an oil change. They fixed us up and we were out of there in no time. Thank goodness, I thought I would have to pay for a window, a wall and a soda machine by they time I got the boys out of there.

We were running a little early before the appointment, so we swung by Smiling Hill Farm to see how many ducks had accumulated at the ponds. There were only two male Mallards, but then I saw a medium sized bird swoop down to the water and back - a Kingfisher! We have Belted Kingfishers up here, he was so handsome until he lit in the tree and I realized there were two! Yeah! Another bird for the list! Then I was bummed - no camera! So not like me, but oh well - was more interested in getting the car fixed than taking pics.

Back at home, around noonish I was going to see if I could get some Sakrete around the base of the Birdhouse and Feeder poles for stability when I heard a familiar warbling - the Bluebirds! They were back! I ran in the house for the binoculars and my camera and sure enough, there they were. I watched them fighting off the Chickadees who had tried to stake a claim on the East Roadside nestbox but were obviously loosing the battle. Then Mrs. B set herself atop the Juniper box while Mr B sat on the Roadside box and they twerdled to each other louder and louder in a complete battle of wills, no doubt arguing over which box they liked better. It will be interesting to see which B wins out. They better hurry up and make up their minds, a pair of Swallows circled the field many times while all this went on. A pair was very close to stealing the long box I did have set up, but the Bluebirds took it over in the end. I'm so excited over the prospect of another brood of babies! :)

Speaking of which, I checked 'Woodline 1' box again and evidently yesterday's hub-bub was to add feathers and soft stuff as a liner to the inside of the nest. It looks so inviting!

Lots of other backyard business - birds galore as you can see below. I am one happy Backyard Mommie! ♥

 Chick Fight! Mrs. B and presumably Mrs. C duke it out over the precious 'New' Nestbox

Oh, this is really nice! Cedar!

 Not sure if I like the view of the crazies, but it's not bad with that tree kinda in the way....

Nice sized doorway...

 I suppose you're right about the door size...

But we need to put up a fence!

 Hey - this one isn't bad either!

 I'm staying right here where noone can see me (Savannah Sparrow)

I see Mr. Flashie-pants is back in town, flitting his bright blues to swoon all the girls.

Until the Sharp-Shinned Hawk did a fly-by, then they all disappeared.

'Yeah, well that Sharp Shinned thingie doesn't scare me! Bark!'

Dear Lord, I thank you for this plentiful meal and for the woman who provides it. Please don't let her shoot at me again. Amen.

An odd appearance by a Turkey Vulture, right at the treetops!

Handsome in the air, butt-ugly up close.

The Chickadees have added some nice fluffy stuff to line their nest

But you can still see the bottom right in the middle. Space for a futon maybe?


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