Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Brown-Headed Nuthatch

This image of a Brown-Headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) was captured at a feeder in May of 2006 near Russellville, Arkansas. The group of 4 of them included my first sighting of this bird and they were much smaller than I had anticipated

The National Geographic Complete Birds of North America indicate that the year round range map of this bird just reaches this area from the south.

As far as identification the sexes are identical, it is a small bird and maybe 4 inches in wingspan. It is known for using tools for foraging and commonly visits birdfeeders and is fairly common.

The Brown-Headed Nuthatch has a brown crown and given the right angle of view has a white stripe on its nape.

It is a tiny bird and easily distinguished from the other nuthatches and sparrow.

According to the National Geographic the population declining throughout its range.

It is a charming and beautiful bird to add to your life list and observe at the feeder.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Glendive, Montana

This was an area I had no idea about before I got there but then again everywhere has something.

Makoshika State Park in eastern Montana was one of those serendipitous places that one doesn't know about until one gets there.

It reminded me somewhat of my early childhood growing up in Rangely, CO with the look of the primitive terrain and fossils around for the gathering, with the exception of the fossils.

It also reminded me of the badlands in the dakotas. Makoshika meaning badlands in the Lakota language is certainly appropriate. In our comfortable world of vacationing today it seems to be more beautiful than bad as we do not have to base our survival on the land.

It is a state park and when my visit occurred it was not crowded at all. One had their choice of just about any picnic spot or campground just for the taking.

If you do not know about this park and love the look and feel of a primitive park, this is the place. There are several shops in town that offer rock and fossil specimens - and an excellent museum just north of the town.

The Grand Canyon? The Badlands?

No - it is Makoshika State Park in Montana.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Traveling and staying in Santa Rosa, New Mexico several times was a real pleasure. This trip and the following images were taken in October of 2004. Traveling on the historical Route 66 road is fun in of itself, and that combined with the New Mexico landscape, restaurants and climate is very hard to beat.
One can really appreciate the Route 66 Auto Museum and all of the beautifully cared for and restored automobiles and other paraphernalia to be seen there. It seemed appropriate here to show red Chevrolet Corvettes. Note the New Mexico license plate reads 2FAST4U.

The restaurants visited in Santa Rosa were all outstanding, real southwestern Mexican food. The visual flavor of most of them reflected the ambiance of old Route 66 as well. The Comet Restaurant (Serving You Since 1927) was a real treat. Even Mateo's, the Greyhound Bus Stop in 2004 was outstanding. Others to be mentioned are Sun & Sand, Route 66 Restaurant and Silver Moon.

The big screen film history was also in town during the filming of The Grapes of Wrath, a 1940 movie directed by John Ford. This legendary movie was about a depression era family forced from their mid west home to try and start a new life in California. One of the scenes along the way was filmed in Santa Rosa under this railroad track bridge which still stands at least of 2004.

As with every trip the stay comes to an end because one then travels further down the road. A sunset in 2004 from Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

I hope I see you again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Moths, Dust, and the Spirit

Henry David Thoreau. July 12, 1817 - May 6, 1862 age 44

This man had a love for his existence, the gift of a spirit that knew the near perfection of nature and the value of freedom. No doubt he was well educated by whatever means, drew wisdom from much earlier ideas and lived as best he could by those ideals.

Whatever one thinks of the Bible I think that most would say there is some wisdom therein. This one particular thought is expressed by Henry David Thoreau.

The Bible, Matthew 6:19 King James Version

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and dust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and stea1:

Henry David Thoreau Walden (Or Life In The Woods)

“But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool’s life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before."

A few links about Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Many people call the above bird a red headed woodpecker but it is not. This bird is a Red Bellied Woodpecker and if this photo showed the underbelly it would be more clear. The zebra-like black and white feather markings are a giveaway for this being identified other than a Red Headed Woodpecker.
The above image was captured near a bird feeder.

This second Red Bellied Woodpecker image shows some of the 'red belly' that this woodpecker was given the name of Red Bellied Woodpecker for.

Again this image and bird were near the feeder during the springtime of that year.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

This beautiful migrating bird was observed in the southern US no doubt on his spring migration to the north. It is a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak in the early morning sun.