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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Common Grackle


One of the more handsome critters in the backyard, although one of the more pains that visit the feeders, are the Grackles. These guys travel in great numbers but then settle into smaller groups for the breeding season - only to gather back up to travel south in the late summer/early fall. The males are striking with their iridescent feathers changing from blue to purple to olive green from it's head to tail. Their brilliant yellow eyes are almost creepy looking in a way, or I think they are - like they could look right through you. These guys can get into my feeders and literally wipe me out worse than the Bluejays that like to frequent the yard. 

"Did you say my eyes were 'creepy'?"

"Let me give you my 'librarian looks over her glasses' look and just refill the feeder lady"


Monday, April 28, 2014

The Minn Kota maiden voyage

So, remember that 12' Aluminum boat that we were rowing around in last summer? I decided it was time for an upgrade and since I had a little cash burning a hole in my pocket, I put things into motion.

I'd been toying with the idea of a 45# thrust electric motor, I wanted something I was positive would push us around no problem and even joked about the kid waterskiing behind us. After careful reviews and lots of research, I went with a 30# Minn Kota Endura C2. It was cheap enough and available so I snagged it, and I glad I did. Powered by a 12v Deep Cell Marine battery we trolled around for hours on level 1, level 2 if we were heading into the wind and even played up through level 5 which, of course, was way too much for trolling. I am completely satisfied. To finalize the purchase, I picked up a Minn Kota trolling center (the motor doesn't come with it's own circuit breaker and I wanted something to keep the battery encased) and a Die Hard portable battery charger - which, by the way, did die hard immediately, I need to bring it back to get replaced as it stopped working within the first hour of charging the battery. I'll find another one. All that's left now is to fix up the trailer and we can fish lazy man style. For now - we can totally hoist that boat up into the truck no problem. 

Look out fish - here we come.

He looks like a natural in that seat.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Northern Flicker - Buxton Front Yard

Our backyard isn't the only place around here where we encounter some odd creatures - the front yard gets some visitors too. The other day my son calmly mentioned that there was 'something' on the front lawn and that I better bring the camera. He's a smart kid.

Sitting there burrowing into my sandy front lawn (no doubt in search of ants) was this male Northern Flicker. Flickers love ants and well, they are more than welcome to the colonies I have on my lawn. These noisy critters are ready to start their courtship and I'm sure that somewhere nearby is his mate. You can tell the difference between the two as the male has a black mustache (or looks like he drooled out of the corner of his mouth to me) and the female does not. 

Just proof, once again, that you don't have to stray far from home to see some really awesome birds!

Taken through my front (screened) window so he has a great natural filter in this photo. I know teenage girls who dream to have a flawless complexion like that in their senior photos.

Digging in for dinner

Posing perfectly to show off all but the 'yellow shafts' on his undertail, this mail proudly displays his red 'crown', black 'mustache', striped back and dotted underbody. 

"Do you need me to turn more? How is this? Is this my good side?"

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Reid State Park - Georgetown, Maine


We've become quite the untraditional family. Since we have family scattered everywhere, we tend to break into groups where folks are located. My poor mother lives closest to me so well, she's stuck with us.... but I don't think she minds at all.

For Easter this year, we decided to go to Reid State Park. This is one of those ones that you have to pay to get into (but thanks to my Park Pass, I saved $9.00 on this trip) and the funds go back to maintenance of the parks. Reid is located in Georgetown, just southeast of Bath and across the Kennebec River from Phippsburg and another great park - Popham Beach. It was sunny, clear and slightly breezy as we walked the span of beach from the northernmost parking area down to the southernmost one (which was closed at the time). We saw plenty of birds (post on it's way) and just enjoyed the peaceful crashing of the waves. 

The jury is out on whether or not I would make the drive to visit this beach in the summer. It appears as though at high tide, there basically is no beach and is slightly reminiscent of Ferry Beach in Scarborough where at high tide, you can easily take a frisbee to the head if younger ones are bored (or frozen) from the swimming scene. I'll have to scope it out for further discussion - otherwise, this was a great birdwatching and overall visual experience.



From the Northern parking area, looking southward

The walkway up to the viewing area


I would guess that this was once a Polyphemus moth's home







Flight patterns


Sequin Island Lighthouse




Someone found a magical sea creature on the shore

The Cuckholds Lighthouse






Friday, April 25, 2014

Chipping Sparrows

My outdoor living space is a combination of woods, field and a very large yard. I have plenty of cover, thanks to some oaks and massive pine trees, to support the little birdies that go to my feeders and because of that, I have plenty of types that come to visit (and others to stay!). 

One of my favorites is the Chipping Sparrow. They are not timid by all means and most of the time you can practically step on them in the yard before they retreat to the safety of the trees. Their bright rust colored cap and their trilly voices make them pretty easy to point out, once you've seen them (they are among the tiniest of the sparrow family). 

They will nest in small shrubs (for me, my Clematis bush worked one year) and lay light blue eggs with dark colored streaks or spots. Incubation is 10-15 days and they will typically fledge 9-12 days after hatching. And then you get the privilege of watching all those chipper babies hopping around your yard. They typically eat seeds and such and are the ones you clean up all those little bits and parts from my feeders. Bugs come into the picture when they start the breeding process. 

I have so many hanging around right now that I'm bound to stumble across a nest eventually - or I hope so!






Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bagging Brookies at Memorial Pond - Hollis, Maine

It's early in the season but as my son likes to say - it's never TOO early to try to fish. I pat myself on the back, I've taught him very well. When the itch to fish starts, there is no medication to make it stop, you just have to go. And that we did.

Now mind you - Memorial Pond is a kid-fishing only spot but it makes him very happy and when he's happy, I'm happy. You must all know how that goes? Anyway - on this particular day he made me proud.

Quotes of the day:

"No worms, just lures - worms are for wimps"
"That one is too small, I know there are bigger ones in there"
"I'm getting us supper!"
"Look how pretty this fish is, I'm going to let him grow bigger"
"CRAP! He spit the hook!"
"Did you see that fish jump right next to my line?"
"That fish has got to be 2 feet, seriously"
"Ok, let's go. I have to save some for some other kid"




Looking disgruntled because I told him he has to learn to clear the hook on his own.


There's another one!

Great casting form! He's been using an open faced reel for years now.





SUPPER!



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Bluebirds return to the Backyard


The tell tale giveaway was the grass sticking out of the side of the box. I knew something was up so I peeked inside and found a full formed nest of pine needles and dried grass. Mr. & Mrs. B were right on track for another brood to be born in the 'Foreside. I know it's the same pair over and over again because they twerdle to me as I walk around the yard, following me like little puppies. They are also very territorial about the remaining boxes on that side of the house and have been working hard to make sure no-one has an opportunity to scope them out. And now, as of last night, we have 5 beautiful blue eggs nestled deep in the nest. I hope she can keep them warm! My Nestwatch account is all updated and the estimated hatch date of 4/29 - 5/6, I can't wait! 

Mr. B is on Tree Swallow patrol, making sure that they aren't able to scope out the remaining nestboxes...

.....but they are patiently waiting for him to turn his back.

Mr. B's brilliant blue

Mrs. B's fabulous blue-gray wardrobe

And there they are - the next generation of Bluebirds. <3 i="">

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