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Exploring Volcanic California

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Yesterday morning, we left Lake Tahoe and drove north on Route 89, undulating across the east flank of the Sierra Nevada; initially, all streams (including the scenic Little Truckee River) rumbled eastward, flowing into the Great Basin. Show More Summary

Crossing the Great Basin

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

West of Salt Lake City, Interstate 80 passes between the north end of the Oquirrh Range and the Great Salt Lake. As we drove west, black-necked stilts were feeding in the roadside shallows, cliff swallows swooped about the highway bridges and flocks of California gulls moved across the morning sky. Show More Summary

From Denver to Salt Lake

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Beginning the first leg of our California road trip, we left Denver this morning, headed west on Interstate 70. Climbing through the Front Range, we crossed the Continental Divide at the Eisenhower Tunnel and entered the vast watershed of the Colorado River. Show More Summary

Birding in Bad Weather

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Since we are leaving on our California road trip tomorrow, I decided to get in one more visit to South Platte Park. While recent visits to the preserve occurred on warm, sunny days, this morning promised a different experience; low clouds,...Show More Summary

The Cormorant Doth Soar!

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Reading out back yesterday afternoon, I looked up to see a dark bird soaring high above our Littleton farm. Since similar past sightings turned out to be a golden eagle or a Swainson's hawk, I grabbed my binoculars for a closer look....Show More Summary

An Ibis Squadron

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Returning to South Platte Park this morning, I found that the yellow-rumped warbler invasion had diminished but those active insectivores were still abundant in the trees surrounding Eaglewatch Lake; my official count today was 93, less than a third of my estimate two days ago. Show More Summary

Invasion of Yellow-Rumped Warblers

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Hoping that my second e-Bird checklist for South Platte Park would significantly exceed my first (see A Disappointing Survey), I headed down to the floodplain refuge on this cool, sunny morning. Taking my usual 2-mile loop hike, I encountered...Show More Summary

The Masked Bandit

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Marcia Bonta

It is late afternoon on May Day, and the masked bandit is standing on the stoop of our veranda door. He looks around alertly as I speak to him. “What are you doing here?” I ask. He doesn’t seem inclined to move or to answer. After all, he’s only a songbird who sings “witchedy, witchedy,” […]

Fellow Travelers

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

As we crossed the Great Plains yesterday afternoon, we encountered large flocks of Franklin's gulls over the farmlands of Central Kansas; having wintered along the west coast of South America, their journey will be much longer than ours.Headed for breeding grounds on the Northern Plains of the U.S. Show More Summary

Go West, Old Man!

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Though I did not visit the American West until I was 25 years old, I had imagined living there since my early teenage years; deep blue skies, colorful rock formations, mountain vistas and "exotic" wildlife beckoned from nature films and calendars, instilling a fascination with that region of the country. Show More Summary

Spring Changes

Spring has finally arrived with a vengeance in Appalachia. I haven't posted in almost a year, mostly posting on Facebook. Today was different and I felt like I needed to return to my old friend, my nature blog. The Blood Root photo above and the Large Flowered Trillium below were taken a few weeks ago. Show More Summary

Avocets at Eagle Bluffs

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

A dozen American avocets graced Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area this morning, feeding in a shallow pool with blue-winged teal, American coot and a host of shorebirds. Having wintered along the Gulf Coast or in Florida, they are headed for ephemeral wetlands, alkaline lakes and prairie ponds across the High Plains. Show More Summary

The California Cascades

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

According to the USGS, there are more than 500 volcanic vents in California. The great majority of these are located in the northernmost portion of the State where the southern end of the Cascade Range extends across the Oregon border. Show More Summary

The Nuthatch Warbler

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

When you're warbler hunting and a nuthatch catches your eye, look again! Black-and-white warblers are often mistaken for nuthatches due to their habit of creeping along tree trunks and large limbs, searching the bark for insects, spiders and their larvae. Show More Summary

The Missouri Plateau

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

The Missouri Plateau is an unglaciated region of the Great Plains of North America, extending from central Montana and northeast Wyoming across western portions of North and South Dakota. Bounded by glaciated plains to its north andShow More Summary

Backyard Safaris

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

Our property in Columbia, Missouri, is of modest size but has enough variety of foliage and landscape to attract an interesting diversity of creatures. Raccoons, opossums, cottontails, squirrels, field mice, shrews, moles and occasional white-tailed deer are among the mammalian residents and visitors. Show More Summary

Prince & Ecuadorans

4 months agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

A few days ago, upon learning of the tragic earthquake in Ecuador, I tuned into our "most reliable" cable news network to get the details. Unfortunately, they were waiting for a news conference with Donald Trump; worse yet, they have...Show More Summary

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