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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A quick hello

Whoa - he looks like me in the mornings. :)

Wanted to drop a line to say that yes, I'm still alive and all. The weather is dreary - rain, fog and chilly days seem to be the theme lately. I have to admit, it's better than snow. The monkey and I haven't had a chance for many adventures, Baseball has started and being 'Team Mom' I have my hands full letting everyone know when the practices are and learning kids names. Thank goodness I already knew most of the team. Soccer starts this weekend too, so pretty soon I'm not sure what my life will look like. I just know that when it's bed time, that kid will sleep. There is a method to my madness. Back soon, I have a jaunt around Mackworth Island with GG to tell you about!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

You Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker!

Imagine that, I always thought it was someone who was a low-down, dirty, cheating no good for nothing piece of trash person. A Yellow-Bellied Sap Sucker is actually a member of the woodpecker family that literally drinks the sap from trees. Aptly named I guess.

I had my first chance to photograph one last week as this male hung high in the top of my birch tree surveying the property and looking for a morsel or two amongst the new buds.

Red beard, red cap, yellow belly.

He's not as handsome as I am!

I heard that, I'm not deaf you know!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is it Palm Sunday? Returning Palm Warblers

I have to admit - I've heard the Palm Warblers singing here all summer long, but I've never 'seen' one in the back yard. Today I was raking up where the dog had been all winter (ahem) and saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. I stopped and thought it must be a Junco (they are everywhere lately!) and went to return to my chores. Then it wagged it's tail. Juncos don't wag their tails, Warblers do. I squinted to look closer. My eyesight is getting worse with time and to be honest, I should be wearing glasses full time. I gave up and went in the house to get the binoculars. A quick lookup concluded that it was, indeed, a Palm Warbler. Imagine that. I got my camera and snuck out on the back lawn, creeping closer and closer. That's when I realized there were three of them hopping along looking for bugs. Very, very cool.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taking the dog for a ride

Monkey was visiting a friend, I wasn't due to pick him up for a hour or so and the dog kept using mental telepathy on me "Take me for a ride.... take me for a ride... take me for a ride.....". Alright already! I packed up the camera and loaded her in the truck.

Canadian Geese muddling in the flooded fields off County Road

A pair of Hooded Mergansers in the stream off Dunnell Road

Geese on the ice - Stickey River

Stickey River Canadians


I'm pretty sure this was a pickerel....

Wood Ducks coming in for a landing

Ahh, what a beautiful sunset! Taken from atop the hill on Rt 114 in Gorham

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Bohemian Rhapsody

My office 'wall' is just about 6' tall. Beyond that, I can look out the front window into the Scotch Pine and White Birch trees out front. If I care to talk a stroll out of my office and down the aisle, I can sneak between the windows and the walls that make up the shelving of our offices. From there, I can look over the vaste expanse of the front lawn, rolling down to County Rd and the Maine Turnpike. I can watch airplanes departing and landing at the Portland Jetport. I can look across the Maine Mall area and watch storms brewing in the Saco area. I have to admit, our move to the first floor from the third wasn't so bad after all.

Our offices have windows in them too - the top foot is all glass. Sometimes I feel like a monkey in a zoo - the rest of the time it's ok. I use it to my advantage, because in it's reflection, I can see what's in the trees out front (as well as observe the weather without getting up). I caught a glimpse of a large flock of birds landing in the birches and shrugged them off as Starlings or Red-Winged Black Birds. I kept seeing them though. I finally got up - my curiosity got the better of me. And then - holy crap - those are Waxwings! Bohemians! HOLY CRAP!

That was the largest flock of anything I've ever seen besides Black Birds and House Sparrows. I ran to grab my camera and managed a few shots from behind the glass, then they flew off. In the interim, I managed to make my co-workers believe I am totally insane. "But they were Bohemians!" I kept blabbering.

The next day, they were all watching with me. Sure enough - they came back, landed in the tree and then flew off. I was convinced this was the flock from the Scarborough WalMart area that had hung out all winter. Perhaps they had depleted the supply of fruit from the trees and had ventured north in search of more? It's only a few miles but hey - supply and demand.

Friday they returned, late in the day. They were actually taking turns landing in the fruit trees out front and the flock had almost doubled in size. I grabbed my camera and ran out the front door (with my badge, of course, or the "Badge-Nazi's" wouldn't let me back in). I snuck up on the feeding frenzy, one step at a time, snapping all the way in case I forced them to flee. I got within twenty feet of them and they didn't even care. My heart was pounding. I took a bazillion pictures then ran back in the building, giggling like a school girl. I half figured Security would be waiting for me. They weren't.

Within 10 minutes they had eaten their fill and flew off. There are at least six trees as full as the one photographed below. Hopefully that means another week of viewing the feeding frenzy. The temps have risen dramatically though - I might have just had my last chance.

On Wednesday, I had finally figured out what they were...

On Thursday, they came back - two fold...

On Friday, I ran out the front door with camera in hand. I got within 20 feet of the swarming flock

Obviously Bohemian, based on their size and the rusty color under their tails

Determined buggers, aren't they?

Showing off their perfect wing coloration

"Are you looking at me?"


"Ok, I'm full. Naptime!"

I hope they are still here next week!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Popham Beach stroll - continued - The End

Turning back towards the truck meant that we would have our backs to the wind. Yee-haw! We ambled along the beach, marveling at the colors of the sky and water - it almost didn't look real. We turned the corner again, sheltered from the wind for the most part, and were again greeted by Red-Throated Loons and Eiders in the rip currents of the Kennebec River's output to the sea. By the time we got to the truck we were both tired, windburned and ready to sit down. It was well worth every step.


Red-Throated Loon


The old Coast Guard Station. We used to stay in a place just to the left, I miss it terribly.

Ft. Popham

The pigeons are nesting in the cracks of the fort.

Phippsburgh Cove

As a kid, we used to grab the rope, run around and swing over the water and back onto the pier. :)


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