Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Word of the Day:
cogitate \KOJ-uh-tayt\, intransitive verb:
1. To think deeply or intently; to ponder; to meditate.
2. To think about; to ponder on; to meditate upon; to plan or plot.

Our yearly bird trip to Magee Marsh in northern Ohio is something I look forward to all year. As soon as we leave to come home, I am ready to plan for the next time. It's probably the biggest birding event in Ohio, International Migratory Bird Day, held on the second Saturday of May every year.
These are pictures from 2005.
The first thing we encountered in the parking lot outside the famed "Magee Marsh Boardwalk" was a raptor rehab presentation, given by a rehab center called Back to the Wild. Hmmm....foreshadowing, maybe?
Mona Rutger, the director of Back to the Wild, was named Hero of the Year from Animal Planet. Whoot!

They had about 15 birds perched in and around a tent (it always seems to rain on International Migratory Bird Day).
Red-tailed hawk (gunshot wound, which resulted in the bird breaking both wings)
Saw-Whet Owl...obvious eye injury.
Great Horned Owl, hit by car... and juvenile golden eagle, blown out of a nest before fledging, if I remember correctly.
Rough-legged hawk? That's the weirdest rough-legged hawk I have ever seen...Looks like a calico cat!...with obvious eye injury.
Bald eagle with one eye.
wha dat
Look how small Lorelei was!
(She was pointing at the eagle saying, "Wa dat?"
The GHO is almost a twin to ours...except for the pretty white eyebrows.
Lake Erie is so vast that the girls thought they were at the ocean.

Junior birder
One of my all-time favorite pictures...Isabelle picks up my bins to look for birds. And a lifetime of birding (I hope) begins.
Captured 2003-05-07 00052
Everywhere you look, stands a great blue heron or a great egret. They are FREAKIN' EVERYWHERE.
This is a huge cheese store about 10 miles from the Marsh. 126 kinds of cheese. Now, I love cheese, but for the life of me I can't think of 20 kinds of cheese, much less 126!
We have never been in the store...we just take pictures of it. But this year, we are going in!
This year, it may just be Geoff and me on the trip. Swami and Swamette are thinking about keeping the girls that weekend. I think we could handle that.

And just to RUB IT IN for my fellow bloggers still gripped in the cold grasp of Winter...
It was 78 degrees here today.
Trixie sings the blues
I don't know if I can even find the words for this picture. Lorelei was playing her pretty pink piano, and Trixie jumped up and listened.

And a bit of a mystery:
Gourd in pine
This gourd hasn't had any occupants since I put it up last Spring...or so I thought.
Stuff in the gourd
I peeked in today and found a nest of leaves, pine needles and sticks of this bamboo-like plant that grows around here. And there were two hollowed out areas that looked like two animals had gotten cozy in. No fur that I could see, or feathers...
Squirrels? Inquiring minds want to know.
Isabelle's sunset painting
To leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling...
A watercolor painting by Isabelle. It's a sunset.


Dave @ Around Alaska said...

And just to RUB IT IN for my fellow bloggers still gripped in the cold grasp of Winter...
It was 78 degrees here today.

You are a MEAN woman!

Mary said...


Susan, all of your photos and stories are wonderful tonight but I thionk the most heatwarming one, to me, was the one of your sitting on Lake Erie with the girls. Isabelle with the bins, and Lorelei.."wa dat?" to the bald eable.

Can you foresee an all adult birding advanture with your daughters? How great is THAT!

Anonymous said...

Ugg, you are rubbing it in! We did make almost 60F today! Snow if finally melting! Great shots of all these birds, but is hard seeing so many one eyed bandits! I would a possible mouse to the list of those living in there!

Mary said...

MY GOD! Am I rushing through comments????? I can't believe the typos I left above... I had better SHUT DOWN and be done with it.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE that picture of Lorelei and Trixie and the piano!!!

NatureWoman said...

Sounds like a great day! Love all of the bewd photos! And daughter photos! I love Isabelle's sunset photo - how beautiful is that!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Susan you have a real mean streak!
Neener neener my a** !!
We hit 64 degrees and there are piles of snow from the plows in my front yard 5+ feet tall!! They'll probably still be there in June...

Anonymous said...

How weird is that? We were at the same place at the same time! I went to my *first* International Migratory Bird Weekend last year and saw the same raptor exhibit. Bought notecards and a canvas bag from them. Saw my first Saw-whet Owl there (uncountable, but still cool.) I can't believe how tiny they are.

I was amazed at how cold and windy and rainy and awful the weather was, yet how terrific the birding was. Someone told me that bad weather made for good birding - the migrants were more likely to hunker down and ride out the cold in the sheltered areas than to move on. The warblers and other neotropicals were amazing, though I saw some pretty pitiful Purple Martins shivering along the beach. Nothing was flying, insect-wise, and I was worried for their survival.

For those jealous of the temps in Cincinnati, don't be. It is pouring down rain here now, and a cold front this weekend might bring back snow.