Friday, May 18, 2007


Why did I take Nellie along today when the girls and I went to the CNC?
Why, oh why?
We don't walk her very much on a leash, and I have been working with her when we do, trying to accomplish the "Dog Whisperer" thing of her walking alongside or behind me.
She doesn't seem to get it. I have never claimed that she was smart.
The highlight of a visit to the CNC (at least for the girls) is feeding the fish and turtles.

Nellie and Lorelei watchout
Nellie may be part Labrador, but it must be a small part. She does not like water.
Every time the fish would jump for food, she would back up until she was practically sitting on me. Sissy.
(Remember, this is the dog who is scared of tree swallows.)
It came from the deep
We consider the visit a success if we see Arnold, one of three snapping turtles who call the lake home.
Look closely at this picture...just under the small turtle's tail. See that face? That's Arnold.
A green flower
What is this? I found a few here and there around the Krippendorf lodge. I searched Wildflower Information but can't find this color. Green is not a color of flower you come across much.

I consider a visit to the CNC a success if I find any cool birds. And today, I found life bird number 141. On the driveway out of the center, I saw what I thought was a stick or leaf. I am so glad I stopped:
Close up vireo
As soon as I got close, I knew what it was. A red-eyed vireo.
It must have been stunned by another car or something, because I was able to pick it up.

Red eyed vireo
I showed the girls (Nellie isn't allowed to get that close to birds...she is also part bird-dog) and got some pictures. I mean, how often do you get this close to a live vireo?
Okay, okay! I get the picture, damn it!
He or she may have been a little dazed, but was still able to bite the hell out of me.
I put it over in the underbrush to recoup.

Then, we swung by the Red Barn to check the construction progress:
New siding on the Red Barn
I am so glad that the color choice for the siding was red, the same color the barn had been. I had originally thought a deep green would be nice, but the red makes it look perfect. And everyone around here calls it "The Red Barn", anyway.
New doors and windows, too!
Dinner at McDonald's. Yuck. But Shrek toys in the Happy Meals go a long way with tired kids.
And I remembered the robin sitting on a nest the last time we were there, so I walked over to see the progress:
Baby robins at McDonalds
Five (?) new baby robins. At least they aren't House sparrows.

Geoff actually took some time tonight to go out with a friend to see a movie. This happens very, very rarely. Thank goodness. He needs to unplug and get out of the house more.
So the girls and I went out in the back and I savagely attacked some weeds while Lorelei "helped" pile all of the weeds around the sycamore.
We are doing a big job!
I am so glad my camera is surgically fused to my body these days. Lorelei put her hands on her hips and said, "Whew! We are doing a BIG job!"

And Lorelei gets her first, unassisted bird find.
She got tired of moving clumps of weeds and went off to swing on a tree branch.
She later came running to tell me that she had found "a bewd nest". Hmmm. Okaaaay.
I expected her to show me the chickadee nest or something (which is now empty...they fledged today), but instead, she lead me to the tree she had been swinging on.
New robin nest in back yard

A robin nest! About four feet from the ground in one of our maples. The only reason I know it's robins is that I have noticed a pair hanging out there lately.
Yay! More babies to watch!

Blog news: Word has it that Kathi (katdoc) will be starting a new blog, after receiving her new computer next week. What a cool blog THAT will be! She's smart, a veterinarian, she's hilarious, and she's a birder. That, my friends, is a winning combination.


Rachel said...

i think the flower is a species of hellebore. I have seen them with flowers in shades of pinks greens and burgundy all on the same plant, they are beautiful! Very cute picture of Lorelei helping in the yard.

Susan Gets Native said...

I think you're right! I realized that I couldn't find it on the wildflower site because it's not a wildflower. Duh.
Happy birthday, by the way! I think at least part of the clan will be at your Mom's on Sunday.

NatureWoman said...

I love following along with you on your days Susan! Okay, so how do you have the camera surgically fused to your bod? I've been trying to figure out how to work outside and have the camera ready at all times - you obviously have it figured out! Hmmm, you know, a video of Lorelei saying "bewd" that would be awesome!