Saturday, January 13, 2007

Taking the long way

I'd like to think that my sense of direction is quite good.
I wanted to go back to the dam and estuary I visited a few days ago ( I hear there are peregrine falcons at the dam, and even though I work with Lucy all the time, I can't count her). A morning bird excursion with Katdoc got rained out, so I thought I would roll the dice and see if the afternoon would be drier. I thought of a new way to head down to the estuary...Rt. 222.
I saw that Rt. 222 ends right at the estuary, and I knew where it started, up at Rt. 50. So I thought, "Hey. I'll go down 222 and maybe it will be shorter."
*Insert maniacal laughter from Kathi, who sees just where this is going*
Well, as it turns out, 222 goes right where I thought it did, but it took twice as long. And it's not a short trip to start with, anyway.
Rt. 222 meanders through farmland, up and down hills...I was laughing out loud about it eventually.
I did get the opportunity to see some interesting road names.
"Bethel Hygiene" was a good one...but the one that made me almost run off the road:
"LAYCOCK CUT OFF". I kid you not.
I didn't get any life birds today, but it was a nice trip.
American kestrel: 2
American crow: 15
Turkey/black vulture: a lot
Pigeon: 50?
Pied-billed grebe: 6
Ring-billed gull: 20
Eastern bluebird: 4

A rest area near Point Pleasant has some info about Ulysses S. Grant, who was born across the street. And a list of all the presidents born in Ohio. I found my first "wild" pellet...presumably an owl's. I couldn't really tell what the animal had been, but it had dark fur. It was a BIG pellet.
And when I turned it over with my shoe, I found a pretty orange spider.
I watched and watched the pigeons on the dam, waiting for a peregrine to come rocketing out of the sky and pick one off.
You are here.

12 comments:

The Swami said...

Susan,
You could have asked Geoff for directions. Then you no doubt would have seen several states west of the Mississippi on your way to the dam.

Anonymous said...

That is an odd spider. Sure do wonder what the owl had been eating, don't you?

NatureWoman said...

Cool owl pellet and spider! And interesting road names. . . Sounds like you had fun!

Mary said...

I have never, ever seen a spider I would call "pretty".

So you took the long way but at least you can laugh about it! That's what I like about you, no matter what happens, it's a party.

Science Chimp said...

It's all about the ride!
I think that might be coyote ca-ca the way it's all twisted at the ends and strung together. It looks like solid fur because the other matter has been rained off of it. That looks like a kernel of corn in it, which would be an odd thing for an owl to ingest.

Anonymous said...

Pretty spider? Oh, I don't think so. Shudder.

Susan Gets Native said...

Ms. Science Chimp:
You think so? It was more compact when I found it, and rolled it around quite a bit with my shoe before taking pictures. And the thing that looks like corn is a bone (maybe a scapula). And the rest was full of whole bones, maybe from rats. This thing was lying about 3 deet from the bank, not under a tree, so maybe a coyote had a movement...it looked big enough to be from a GHO.

S. Chimp said...

The thing that makes me think it's turds is that there are so many of them linked together. Is this something you see in owl pellets? I think of owl pellets as one unit, usually with blunt, not twisted ends, and not linked like sausages. Now I'm getting really graphic. Sorry. It is after dinnertime, right?

LauraHinNJ said...

Susan I think you should have brought the coyote poop home and dissected it on the kitchen table.

Susan Gets Native said...

Mary:
Thanks...I do try to make things into a party if it's not going my way. But I haven't always been like this. It's taken alot of work to get my mind in "happy gear".
Laura:
You are right. I should have.
Julie:
You're not being too graphic. I like you being you. I have seen our owl pellets fall apart like this thing, if it's fresh and extra large ( I have been collecting them for my education box).
This really looked like a pellet to me. But I would be thrilled to find coyote scat. I would take that home!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Peeee-yew. You'd better watch out, or a box with a Ziploc bag is gonna arrive on your doorstep, and it isn't going to be Whitman's chocolates. All we need here is Katdoc, explaining caecal anatomy... Science Chimp,signing off on the scat vs. pellet controversy!

katdoc said...

BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!! (evil twisted laugh)

So, how do you like the country roads out my way? There is not a single one of them that goes straight, since they follow old pioneer trails, which followed old Indian trails, which followed old deer paths, which probably followed dinosaur paths, for all I know! In fact, Daniel Boone once ran south to north through Clermont County in 1 day escaping the Shawnee, along the Bullskin Creek. That Indian trail is now SR 133, and there is a house there that existed in Boone's time.
When I first moved here, the road names baffled me, but they make sense now. Most of these country roads are named for the towns they run between, except that most of the towns no longer exist. There is a town called Bethel and there was a town called "Hygiene," and the road between them is still called "Bethel-Hygiene Rd." One of my favorites is "Point Isabella-Swings Corner Road," between the mythical towns of Pt. Isabella and Swings Corner. Try fitting that name in the boxes allotted for your address on some form.

Sorry I can't weigh in on the discussion of scatology. The photos look "turd-like" to me, but then I have never seen an owl pellet so I have no point of reference.

The peregrines seem to split their time between the Meldahl Dam and the I-275 bridge over the Ohio River, near Coney Island. I heard that they nested on the bridge last season. I always seem to pick the wrong place to check. If there are pigeons at the dam, there won't be peregrines, that's for sure (and vice versa.)

~Kathi, glad to see Susan's blog again. For the last 3 days, it has been frozen on Thursday for some weird reason

Verification word "ubdrt" [You Be Dirt?]