Saturday, September 30, 2006

Rusty blackbirds flock to our neghborhood

Rusty black birds flock to our house and the surrounding area for a couple of blocks. As I walked my dog to a park they did not flock by the park. Although I did hear one rusty gate call of a Starling. It is interesting that birds pick one area over another.

I saw my first purple finch of the Fall on our bird bath this afternoon. He got some water. After he left I refilled the birdbath with fresh water. I need to get the bird seed out for migrants coming through.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Shagbark hickory; Carya ovata

Shagbark hickory

Carya ovata

Shagbark hickory is one of my favorite trees. The bark is distinctive and the tree grows up to 100 feet tall.

Here are 3 Shagbark hickory trees with their distinctive bark. I saw these on the horse trail at Watkins Mill State park. Shagbark hickory is prevalent in the woods around here.

Bats use the loose bark as shelter.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ironwood; Hop hornbeam

Photo taken 27-Sep-06 Watkins Mill State Park
Ironwood; Hop hornbeam
Ostrya virginiana

Here is another link the bark that I see is more shredy than is shown here.

An elm like leaf with fruit pods grouped together.
The bark is usually shredy and the wood is harder than Oak, Hickory, Osage orange. The only wood harder is Flowering dogwood.
The tree grows up to 24 feet tall.

In the woods I walk in I see this understory tree often.

Muscle wood Carpinus caroliniana is a similar tree.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Osprey on the Blue river

Driving east along Colamine Rd I saw a large bird with a white head. I pulled over thinking it might be a Bald eagle. It hovered in the air then dropped to the river. I noticed the white breast along with the white head.

I got out of my truck and went down to the river but I saw no more sign of it.

A red tailed hawk was watching this whole process. When he saw me cross the road he
had enough and flew off from his perch from a power pole.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Virginia creeper

Posted by Picasa

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia ) is another plant turning early. This is a good vine for coverage. Posted by Picasa

Osage Orange Bark

Here is a photo showing the bark of
Osage Orange
with other trees in the background.

The tree is resiliant the wood being very hard. It has the greates natural durability of all woods.

Psalm 24:8
Who is the King of glory?The LORD strong and mighty,The LORD mighty in battle.

First fall color

Photos taken 20-Sep-06 at Watkins Mill State Park on the hourse trail.

Poison ivy growing in a Honey locust tree. One of the first to turn color in the fall. Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa

Here is a close up of poison ivy. Notice the white fruit cluster in the background center of the picture

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Black Backed Woodpecker/E Blue bird

I saw a female Black Backed Woodpecker in Lincoln cemetery. Pecking away at the top of a dead tree. Before I left I saw 3 of them.

E Blue Birds like to sit on the frisbee golf posts. When a new bird comes to land the 1st bird hops out of the way. I saw one fly into the wind and use the wind for a break, stopping the flight then dropping to a suport line to a power pole. I saw both male and female.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bird log Watkins Mill State park 20-Sep-06

Orange grebe neck bigger than mallard in flight
Long beek
didn’t notice legs or tail
looked back and forth as it swam, neck straight up

The closest I can ID it is the female Anhinga
The gular pouch was not distinct from the throat so that rules out the double crested

I saw about 30 turkey vultures circling on the west side of the lake. After about 10
minutes they dispersed.

Seagull sized bird long orange sized beak.
light gray above bright white below.
black tail band
hovered a few times in flight

It flew back and forth across the lake. Drooped to the lake for a moment then flew off
again. Much more active flying than a gull.
Herring gull is the closest I can ID it.

dirty White rump
small duck size
lighter underside of neck ; back head and eye darker.
diving short bill smaller than a duck I saw 14 swimming together.
It could be an immature purple Gallinule p 126 in new Peterson’s bird guide.

As I was watching birds I heard the whoosh whoosh whoosh of the wings of a turkey

I saw a Belted Kingfisher fly by.
I was not able to ID the swallows darting across the lake.
I saw a number of Blue jays

Saw a Great blue heron 2 toned wings gray back flying with neck folded deep throaded
croak. I saw a juvenile Great Blue heron fishing on the lake edge.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Still mostly off the bike. I commuted to work Friday. The soreness in my leg is less.

Prayer and waiting for God have been the fruit of this leg injury. My Web page also. But what has not been a fruit is more effective waiting. Although praying the Psalms has been good.

But I wait for the Lord for what He has to say today.

From my seat behind the shed, fluffy white clouds and blue sky are seen above. I want to learn the different types of clouds and what causes them.

Clouds are like dreaming. You see different things in them. Most don't have any meaning. There is always a change.

Dissatisfaction is trying to be what you are not. Waiting expectantly for God empowers you to do what you are made for.

A word of faith creates something new for your life. Such as cycling for me. The bicycle was a new element I had not planned for. Then the injury was something I had not considered either.

My bicycling came from waiting on the Lord and realizing that hills were my friend and not my enemy as far as building strength. So I started cycling for exercise and fun. It was great for me because It keeps me outside and that is what I desire.

I saw a Coopers Hawk above our back yard this morning. It is always encouraging to see and ID birds.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Serving Jesus can Change Our Attitude

A 50 mile an hour wind blew through our neighborhood the other day. My
neighbor’s Sweet Gum tree I normally
admire, threw its barbed fruit into yard with a vengeance. The west side of
our yard was covered with them. Picking up the 1 1/2” barbed fruit more or
less filled up my large wheel barrel that I use to haul firewood. I burned
them in our fireplace and it surprised me how long they burned.

Sweet Gum is a beautiful and healthy looking treen with dark green leaves
and a straight trunk providing abundant shade. The Fall colors are
outstanding. It can live in upland sites but thrives in wet lowland areas
putting down a tap root. The tree is intolerant of shade, meaning it will grow
in open areas. It is a hardy tree resisting disease and insects, but can’t hold
up against fire.

Sweet Gum has a unique barbed fruit. It is a prickly ball that is 1 1/2 inches
in diameter. The barbed fruit stays on the tree long after the seeds are gone.
We spent a lot of time picking them up. I don't mind it though, because I
love trees and welcome working in our yard. I got my kids to help and we
had a good time together.

While I was picking up the barbed fruit I was wondering why it didn't
bother me. Many people would be complaining about the unexpected work.
There are many things I would complain about, but an opportunity to work
in the yard is always a pleasure. My attitude was good, because of my love
for nature.

Can we have a good attitude when we work for the Lord in areas which
aren’t fun? Jesus came to serve and He wants us to have that same attitude.

Jesus identifies with those that are in need. If we take the attitude that we
are helping Jesus when we help others our heart will change. (Matthew 25:31-46)

Our attitude makes all the difference in the world. Take the attitude of
serving Jesus and it will take the pain of the job away and give you joy. We
all want to be a help, but the work involved hinders us. When problems
come, rejoice that you are able to serve Jesus. Do all that you do for Jesus
and He will reward you for your work.