Saturday, May 31, 2014

Great Blue Heron fishing

It was quite a site to watch a Great Blue Heron down a good sized sun fish at the pond yesterday morning.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Water stewardship

Interested in harvesting rain? An article in MPRnews, Rain Man: How one Tucson resident harvests the rain, describes the many ways in which Brad Lancaster has developed to make the most of about 12 inches of rain that annual fall in Tucson, Arizona.  Some of the things he does include the following:
  • recycles greywater from his show and washing machine
  • uses a composting commode
  • funnels rainwater into two 1,000-gallon tanks for drinking and irrigation of gardens
  • cut small gaps into street curbs to provide a means for rain water to flow from the street into basins planted with shad trees and native shrubs.
To learn even more about Mr. Lancaster's approach to conserving water you might check out his book "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands."

Thursday, May 29, 2014


The goslings are growing up.  It is fun to watch them explore the park, nearby their parent's watchful eyes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Red-winged black bird

The Red-winged Blackbird likes to find the highest perch on a tree and loudly proclaim its territory. 

Healthy yards and biodiversity

It is said that a diversity of plants in one's yard is a sign of health.  I think that I might have the healthiest yard in the block... dandelions, plantation, creeping charlie, wild violets, and yes, even some grass!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Slow down to conserve fuel

Want to save gas on your drive? Try slowing down. I kept our car between 55-60 mpg on the drive to and from Decorah, Iowa yesterday and managed to average 54 mpg. I was driving a 7 year old Prius. As someone who likes to conserve energy, I discovered it really helps to have a consumption meter on the dash that shows which speeds are best for fuel economy.

One of the biggest challenges in order to conserve energy while driving is the willingness to NOT go with the flow.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Life springs forth at the park

After seeing very few souls enjoying the park through the winter months, it is great to see so many people out and enjoying a bike ride, stroll or other activities, such as disc golf.

Following the quiet winter months it is also quite amazing to see and hear so many beautiful birds. Our small population of Canada Goose goslings are still very much in their cute stage.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Great Blue Heron in flight

A Great Blue Heron flew by me yesterday while on a walk around the pond at Bassett Creek Park.  Just previously another heron had flown by, and my camera didn't focus quickly enough to get a clear image.  I was thankful for this second chance.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bees and Dandelions

Did you know that dandelions are valuable to bees as an early source of nectar and pollen?  Yep, as one of the earliest blooming plants bees find dandelions to be important resource for their survival.  

So, next time you see a dandelion growing, think of it as a valuable resource to our bee friends, who in turn are vital pollinators for much of the food we eat.

You can read more about this in an article from the Bangor Daily News, Dandelions important for the garden ecosystem.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Small Goose Family

Usually we have many dozen small goslings around the park at this time of year.  Thanks to flooding earlier this spring I think that most of the duck and geese eggs were carried away in the creek.  It appears these are the only four goslings in the pond.

Yesterday continued with extreme weather, with an additional 1.9" of rain.  The island where the geese typically breed was once again submerged.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Maple leaves by creek

The new leaves of a maple look just as splendid as they do when they once again change colors in the fall.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring Buds

It is aways a welcome site to see the amazingly refreshing green buds bursting forth from the trees at this time of year.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Glow Worms

I ratcheted up the vibrance and saturation in this picture of worms in water along the curbside to create an even more colorful picture.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

A dashing pair of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks enjoyed sunflowers at our feeder earlier in the week.

I also caught a solo shot of the male on the ground, at right.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The problem with disposable ink pens

The problem with our ubiquitous disposable ink pens is that they are a disposable problem. I found at least a half dozen yesterday morning while picking up trash along the banks of the pond at Bassett Creek Park. It gives me pause to think of all of the many disposable pens I have at any given time. It may be time to switch to one or two quality pens with refillable cartridges!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Great Horned Owlet

A Great Horned Owlet had recently fledged and left its nest.  It posed nicely for me on my way home from church yesterday morning.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thoughts on dying

If you found out you were dying
would you be nicer, love more,
try something new?

Well, you are.
We all are. 
- Anonymous

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spring Wildflowers

These dainty blue wildflowers are volunteers in ouf back yard.  I love volunteers such as these!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Garden planting

Last night, before the rain, I managed to plant a few more vegetables in my small backyard garden.  Some of the veggies include sugar snap pole peas, swiss chard, hubbard squash and bush beans.  I might be a bit early in my planting, but for the low cost of seeds, I thought it worth the risk.

I've also started some tomatoes and pepper plants from seeds.  They're still very small, and gradually growing in a cold frame.  Once the temperatures get warmer I will transfer them into the garden.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Step away from that screen

Blue Jay on branch
Thought for today from the Story of Stuff Project ...

"Why sit and stare at a box beaming messages indoctrinating us into consumer culture for hours a day when there are so many more enjoyable alternatives available?"

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The power of walking!

"It is solved by walking."  
-St. Augustine
I've discovered that some of my most creative thinking occurs when I'm going for a walk or a run. It can also be beneficial to "buddy up" and visit with a friend in order to gather even more insights and discussion.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pete Seeger Puppet at 2014 Heart
of the Beast May Day Parade
“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”   - Pete Seeger

Wow. How well stated is this?  I've often thought of all the cheap plastic junk on store shelves is shameful.  So much is short lived and will quickly end up as a long-term waste problem.  

Our planet would be so much better off if we "planned with the end in mind."  Too often products are cheaply made and quickly used or broken, and then become long-term waste problems.  I see way too many of these things floating in the pond at Bassett Creek Park.
Anti-fracking float

Sunday, May 4, 2014