Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Return of the Birding Blog!

I have missed birding so much. This blog has become a pit of random, sad attempts at humor and flatulent children.
But no more! (or, at least until I run out of bird pictures again)
The girls' summer camp is in the middle of a gorgeous field, with a creek on one side and deep forest on the other. I've done programs there before (they liked me so much they wrote an article in the local paper about it!), and the school is high-end. I feel good sending them there for fun-in-the-sun.
And their weather vane ROCKS:

Weathervane at Summer Camp

A sweaty yet lovely walk through Kelley's Nature Preserve yielded a few neat things:

Someone tell me. Is this a vireo, and if so, what kind?
unknown vireo
I also got to hear a common yellowthroat. Thanks to Kathi, my Audio Birding Guru, I was able to ID the "witchety-witchety-witchety".

The air was thick with indigo buntings. And I mean that.
A male was followed everywhere he went by chipping young ones.
Male indigo bunting and youngin
"Hi, Dad!"

Dad!  Where ya goin
"Dad? Dad? Dad? Daaaaaaaaaaad? Where ya goin'?"

Indigo male and young
"Hee hee! Found you, Dad! Dad? DAD? Daaaaaaad?"

A display of manhood out on the prairie trail:
Manhood display in the prairie

A very cool find that made Isabelle oh-and-ah when she saw the picture:
Millepede - Apheloria virginiensis
I nearly stepped on this dude. I thought, "Hey. A caterpillar that looks like a millipede."
Then: "Whoa. It's a MILLIPEDE that looks like a CATERPILLAR."

I looked it up when I got home and it is Apheloria virginiensis. A pretty name, isn't it?
And thank goodness that I am not the "pick up that bug and hold it close to my face to examine it" type. This pretty thing exudes CYANIDE compound when threatened. Holy CRAP.
If you click on the photo and enlarge it, you can see small droplets of something on its back.
Holy poop on toast.


Lynne said...

Mwhahahaha! Manhood on the prairie! Leave it to you to find a cyanide bug!

It sounds like the ranks of the Flock are growing for New River.

word verification:

John said...

The yellow bird is not a vireo. My best guess would be a female Orchard Oriole.

Susan Gets Native said...

I know! It could be the festival that all future festivals are measured!
Well, fmfekn right back at ya.
Really? You know, it did have a brownish crown. I saw more than one, so maybe juvies?
BTW, thanks for commenting. I knew you popped in occasionally, but you don't pop your head up much.
Are you a LURKER?????
: 0)

LauraHinNJ said...

Pfft. Why don't I know anything about this New River Festival?

(Feeling out of the loop)

That millipede is seriously creepy.

Trixie said...

Hmmm....New River? Hmmmm...if I leave the kids with my mom? Do you think they would overwhelm her? Hmmm....let's talk about this!

dguzman said...

Thank you for the millipede ID--I took a pic of one last time we went atlassing and I keep forgetting to post it. Man, I'm glad I didn't it up either.... "Hey, check this ou--"THUD.

I don't think it's a vireo either. Female orchard oriole sounds good to me.

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Neat-O bug! I once toyed with the idea of raising an African millipede. It didn't last long. Instead, I got into composting worms in the basement! :O

Anonymous said...

Don't have a freakin' clue on the birds except they's purty!

That bug just flat out freaked me out -- I just don't need a bug that leaks cyanide.

In your honor, I have a poop filled post coming up . . . look for it! :)

Julie Zickefoose said...

I'll add my voice to the chorus, female or juvenile orchard oriole. Sigh. We gave our Sit N Spin away. That little video really took me back. Aback. So cute.

I was out turning over logs with another naturalist and he popped one of those big millipedes in a Zip-loc with a bunch of other bugs and everything was stone DEAD except the millipede when he opened the bag. We get these awful brown skinny velvety-textured stinky millipedes in our downstairs bathroom that stink the place up for DAYS if you so much as annoy them. You have to keep them real calm and let them crawl into a container and then run and dump them outside or blooey!

John said...

Susan - You could call me a lurker. I'm a pretty regular reader, but I only comment when I have something to say.

Rurality said...

Cyanide, whoa!

I'm glad I didn't pipe up before the more experienced birders told you what that was... I was gonna guess tanager! I have a hard time telling in a photo, without seeing the bill in profile.

Mel said...

Hi Susan!
Learn a lot from this post and the comments!! :)