Friday, October 12, 2007

Boat people

I gave Lorelei a special surprise today. She gets cranky when I drag her out with me while birding, so I thought I would give her something cool to do while I looked for birds.

I took her out on a boat.

Looking at the water

Miami-Whitewater park has boats you can take out onto the lake, and Julie's recent excursions in her canoe got me thinking. But I also know my own limitations, and rowing a boat with my own two arms wasn't going to go over well, especially with a jumpy almost-four-year old.
So we got a pontoon.
Lorelei on the boat

Lorelei was so cute in her awe that I could drive a boat. (I come from a long line of boat people)

"It's like a floating car!"
She kept saying, "Oh, Mommy...I'm so happy..."

The happness lasted about 30 minutes. Half the time we had the boat. The other half was whining and bitching. Oh, well. We saw coots, mallards, a sharp-shinned hawk (lifer! How could I have missed ever seeing a sharpie?) being chased by a mob of angry little somethings. Easy to ID a sharpie when it flies about 3 feet above your head. I have never been birding on a boat, at least like this. I liked it. When we would get near a cove, I would cut the engine and gently float and bob closer to shore.

We got very, very close to this great blue heron:
GB heron close up

I love this photo...that jaunty reddish patch goes so well with the red leaves over his shoulder. So saucy.

Butter butt
We were even able to float close enough to shore to watch a yellow-rumped warbler about 5 feet from us. It flew away as the whining and bitching rose in volume.

Her Royal Highness was appeased when I let her get onto the swings.

FOS white throated
Forgot to mention the white-throated sparrow we saw at Indian Creek yesterday.


And a camera-shy phoebe.

The birds really know that the season has changed.
Our first-of-season white-crowned sparrow showed up today.

FOS white crowned
Possibly my favorite sparrow.
1. Because they are easy to ID.
2. They are big and bold and beautiful. Look at those stripes!
I usually notice them later in the season when their plumage is a bit more ragged. This guy looked freshly minted.

Some advice from KatDoc on how to confound and soothe the Science Chimp:
Pictures of horses.
And I quote:
"How to avoid being chimped: Put up photos of gorgeous horses. Julie goes all ga-ga, and doesn't try to distinguish the various European warmblood species. I'll bet I could tell her a Holsteiner was a Trakehner or an Oldenburg and she wouldn't argue."

Oooooo. Look, Julie. Horses....
Look at those rumps. Those tails. Maybe a Paint, an Anglo Norman, and a dark-morph Missouri Fox Trotter?

(You know, I am full of it here, but Julie will be too smitten by the sight of horse flesh to care.)


Endment said...

enjoyed bird watching with you today :)

KatDoc said...

Nice GBH photo. I love that WC Sparrow, possibly my fave sparrow, too. I haven't had a WC or WT yet this year.

Sweet picture of Lorelei with her "I'm so happy" smile!


NatureWoman said...

Glad Lorelei was happy for a while. I love your great blue heron photo!

mon@rch said...

I like to call them skunk headed sparrows! . . . . hey so cool you guys were able to get out on the boat to do some birding! Looks like fun to me!

Mary said...

Nice Stinker! :o)

Lorelei needs to realize how fortunate she is... Many children can only wish for a boat ride and swings.

dguzman said...

What a great mom you are! The kid looks like she had a total blast. That's gonna be a lasting memory for her, you can bet on that.

I love WC sparrows too--those stripes look painted on!

re: katdoc's advice--hee hee!