My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Posts tagged “Blogroll

Visit by Nature Woman

Closed Gentian
Closed Gentian

Today Nature Woman (Pam) made a trip out to Allegany State Park to visit and do some hiking! Even though it was cold and cloudy outside . . . . we still had a fun day hiking through the park looking for many fall wildflowers to photograph. (more…)

Feathery Friday – Eye to Eye

Chestnut-sided Warbler and Young Naturalist J



Does this picture look familiar?

The picture above was stolen from “Nature Knitter Blog” (Sorry Ruth)!. But there is reason for me doing so (really there is a reason)! Ok, here is the story! While catching up on everyone’s blog postings . . . . last Tuesday Ruth did a post where she said “No time for a post tonight. See you tomorrow with jelly pictures!” And of course . . . . me being the dumb ass that I am . . . . I say “send a jar my way? Hmmm”!! Then on Wednesday Ruth posted this picture of her amazing Grape Jelly that she made!!  I really do need someone to sensor what I type because I was thinking with my stomach and said “Looks like the one on the far left wasn’t filled up all the way. You really shouldn’t save that one so please feel free to send it off this way! LOL!”. O – Ruth . . . . you sure are a sweetheart!! I bet you can’t guess what ended up in my mail box this evening? (more…)

Labor Day is about Camping


I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day holiday this weekend. Of course my little buddy Young Naturalist J’s family and other friends were camping here in Allegany this weekend. They are always soo good to me and did someone say fun? . . . . I will let the following pictures show you how much fun we had!! (more…)

Interrupted Fern

by Pam

Even though I’m a major tree lover from the time I could climb them, I also love the large diversity of plants and other living things that grow on and underneath trees, including wildflowers, club moss, mushrooms, moss, lichens, liverworts, horsetails and ferns.

Ferns were just interesting green things I used to appreciate but never really thought about identifying until I took a field botany course and found out identifying ferns is really not hard at all! The best book for identifying ferns is Fern Finder, by Anne C. Hallowell and Barbara G. Hallowell.


This particular book is a guide for native ferns of central and northeastern US and Eastern Canada. There is the Pacific Coast Fern Finder, also.

One fern that doesn’t need keying out is the Interrupted Fern (Osmunda Claytoniana). While I read and learned about this unique fern for my class, I never imagined when I first saw it growing at Allegany State Park in May that it would be as tall as it was at that time. The fronds (“leaves”) can grow up to six feet long! Interrupted fern has fertile pinnae (“leaflets”) “interrupting” sterile pinnae in the center of each frond. There are usually two to four pairs of fertile pinnae with dark brown sporangia when they’re ripe. They wither and fall, leaving vacant spots on the leaf stem after midsummer. Here’s what the fertile pinnae looked like at Allegany State Park on May 26th: (more…)

Tagging my first Monarch

Just Hatched Monarch

Just Hatched

While Young Naturalist C was in Cape Cod watching Whales and having a good time at the beach . . . . those of us back in Allegany State Park were butterfly sitting her caterpillars/chrysalis while she was off on vacation. Just last Thursday her oldest Monarch Butterfly emerged from its chrysalis (who Young Naturalist C named Lulu) and so I asked her mother if I could tag my first monarch (C couldn’t be around to tag it). (more…)

The Big Scream (painting)

Click on the photo to see the finished painting

CHECK THIS OUT!! “Toni” from Erie PA sent me an email last week requesting permission to paint one of my photos! Then I waited to see the wonderful painting that she would create (I just love her paintings on her blog)! . . . . . Yesterday evening while browsing my RSS feeds . . . . I stumbled over this astounding series of paintings she had done on her blog! She did such an amazing job on these cute little Barn Swallows that I needed to blog her posting! . . . . Please check out her blog at A Spattering to see the finished painting! Thanks Toni for making my day with your amazing work! (more…)

Back to Birding

one huge scream


Things have been so hectic recently but I am starting to see everything getting back to normal! Work’s craziness is over, banding data has been going good and I don’t have many obligations for the next few months. My current goal is to get back to birding, nature photography and do some real writing here on this blog. (more…)

Allenburg Bog

Allenburg Bog

Dragonfly Eye gave me a call yesterday and asked if I wanted to join him in search of the Boghaunter. If you are not familiar of the Boghaunter (I wasn’t), it is a rare Dragonfly that is frequently found in areas associated with bogs. Jeremy informed me that none of the Boghaunter species have ever been found at Allenburg Bog (Cattaraugus County, NY) area. He wanted to visit the bog to see if we could find any of them flying yet. Of course I am always up for an adventure and couldn’t resist in also taking the time to look for newly arrived warblers! (more…)

the ultimate birdQUIZ

Being a licensed bird bander requires you to not only know your birds but ultimately collected the data in the most scientific way possible. That includes being 100% sure about the species that you are banding or you are required to release the bird without a band on it. This is something as a bander that you would rarely want happening!! A fellow Bird Bander (and Western New Yorker) David Junkin captured this very unique bird that he couldn’t identify. He was stumped after reviewing the many field guides and other resources available to him. He took many measurements, photographs (every angle) and then released the unbanded bird without knowing if he would capture it again.


Dead Swallows and my Cousins Blog!

Spider photo by kirispupis

It has been such a busy week for me and I am trying to get things done before the weather gets better. Just seems like everything is happening at once!! I did get out today and checked all the bluebird boxes before all the birdies start building their nest. My stomach dropped as soon as (more…)

Half Day of Butterfly Searching


I started getting spring fever (again) after taking my lunch break yesterday (temps were in the 70’s). Something told me to get my butt outside and start search for butterflies!! At 1:30 I took off from work and drove over to the Wolf Run area of Allegany State Park (one of my favorite butterfly spots). In about 1 1/2 hour’s time I had found 17 species of birds and a few wildflowers peaking out of the ground. Leaks were really teasing me and YES, their odor did follow me for the rest of the night. I saw the leaves of trout lilies, toothwort and something else that could have been spring beauties peaking out of the ground. Leaving my favorite little forested flower area, I heard a Barred Owl vocalizing in the middle of the day (about 3pm)! A second owl some distance away began responding back (who cooks for you? who cooks for you all?). (more…)

Hide and Go Seek in Allegany State Park

Is it under the rock or under the log, just maybe it is located right next to where you are standing? Geocaching has become today’s modern scavenger hunt. To the unknown geocaching eye, you probably have one across from your local grocery store or in your local park. Some people find the hide within seconds and the next person could spend hours searching. What makes this sport fun is that you never know what you will find until you start searching. Geocaching could take you too many locations you would have never visited without the encouragement of finding that cache. (more…)

Such a Warm Stinking Flower

As promised, I have finally gotten around to writing something about Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus). My interest in this flower started late last week when two of my friends were posting pictures of their first of the year wildlfower; Jennifer photo 1, photo 2, and photo 3 & Salamanderdance photo 1 and photo 2. But, after thinking about it, this isn’t my first wildflower for 2007. In January before the 2007 “Ice Age”, I saw dandelions growing out on the lawn. So, this really is my 2nd flower species for 2007 but, does very much feel like my 1st flower also this year.
You might ask why this is a remarkable wildflower? (more…)

New Flickr Collection and Layout

Not sure if everyone has noticed that many of our fellow flickr friends have changed the look of their photostream! If you view flickr’s blog at  you will see that they have given us flickr folks some options that we have been begging for (for quite some time now)!

First, take you many similar sets and you now can create a collection of those sets! I took all my wildlife sets and made a Wildlife Collection. Just use your organizer to make the collection and is as easy as pie! Also, flickr has given us the option of changing your page layout! View my photostream or just go to this link to change yours.

Yeah for flickr!

BTW: Going to try and work on the Skunk Cabbage article this evening!

Wordless Wednesday (ok a few words)

Goldfinch visiting me just outside the Administration Building here in Allegany State Park, NY

Took the Wordless Wednesday idea from Barbara. Wait, have I said too much already?? Darn!

Roger Tory Peterson Institute has a blog

Roger Tory Peterson Institute

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has just taken a big step into the blog world. I was lucky to watch the development of this blog over the past few months and proud for the opportunity to announce this to my nature blogging friends!! So be sure to add this site to your blog roll (or RSS feed) or you might miss something essential to the study of nature!

Roger Tory Peterson Institute

If you’re not familiar with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI), they have been named in honor of America’s preeminent naturalist of the twentieth century (Roger Tory Peterson)!! The Institute is based in Jamestown, NY which is also the birthplace of Dr. Peterson (and just around the corner from where I live). To hear more about the many programs, exhibits, special events or even their numerous collections, visit the blog at .

Shameless Self Promotion

Last Friday the lake effect snow parked itself over the Southern Tier (WNY) which resulted in probably more than 6 inches of fluffy white snow. Accidents were happening all over the place and it was decided that our Cattaraugus County Bird Club was going to cancel our meeting scheduled for that evening. Being stuck in the house with nothing to do, I decided work on a new blog that I have wanted to do for a while now called “birdQUIZ”!!

bird QUIZ

I then spent many hours this weekend working on some of my end of the year reports due any day now. Ok, behind because of flickr and my blog world that have been taking up much of my extra time that I have (which I did end up finishing the reports about 11pm last evening). But, I did find some time for a few pictures of some birdies at the feeder and have a few “feeder” stories that maybe I can get around to posting. I now need to focus my time on a PowerPoint program that I need to complete for the many birdclubs, nature study clubs, ect.. scheduled across the Southern Tier this spring. I promise to try to take some brakes and visit your blog or photostream here in the near future.

BTW:!! birdQUIZ isn’t a blog that I plan on updating daily but it is a place that I plan on including fun birdQUIZ pictures that I have taken from time to time. So, be sure to add it to your RSS feed for any updates that I do. Check it out at

Bill of the Birds talks about Roger Tory Peterson

What is a B3 Talk without music

On Wednesday Bill Thompson III spent the evening talking to many guest and members of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) in Jamestown, New York. B3 is the third author who has been invited to speak at the Distinguished Speaker Series at RTPI which was funded through the Johnson Foundation. He is best known as the editor and author of the magazine Bird Watchers Digest which was started by his father in the late 1970’s. He visited the institute to discuss his newest book called “All Things Reconsidered” which is a collection of essays written by the late Roger Tory Peterson.

During the “meet the author” reception; Bill told us some wonderful fun stories about himself as a kid becoming a birder. I will not get into too many details on how he had skipped school, ect… but I must admit that he had some wonderful roll models. I did love how his Grandmother insisted that when he was a little baby that his first words were “junco”!

Linda O and B3 Bill Thompson III with one of his first bird books

During the lecture, Bill told us about how Roger Tory Peterson had been involved with the Bird Watchers Digest magazine since its very beginning. We learned about how his father confronted Roger in the mid 1980’s about doing an article for the magazine. Roger had thought about for a few minutes and ended up agreeing to do a column for the magazine (which continued up until his death in 1996). Bill went into wonderful discussion on how he was able to put this book together in honor of Roger Tory Petersons death 10 years ago. I strongly suggest you read this book to hear the whole story!!

I first had the opportunity to meet Bill Thompson III, from the American Online Birding chat room which I assisted in hosting from 1996 to 2001. Bill was one of the original people who assisted in getting this chat room established through AOL. Throughout the years, I had the opportunity to hear him and his wife speak at the Federation of New York State Birdclubs annual meeting (now called New York State Ornithological Association). My most memorable meeting of B3 and his family was at the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage here in Allegany State Park, New York – June of 2002.

Common Ringlet Dreamy Duskywing

I can’t remember if it was Bill or Julie (I think it was Julie because I remember the pet frog and bird story) but one of them was the main speaker under the big tent at Camp Allegany. What I do remember is Bill pulling out his guitar and the two started singing together. The most memorable part was that my 8 year old field assistant and I were invited to join their family out to France Brook road to do some birding. The kids (about the same age) had a great time identifying the numerous birds that we encountered and then found some cool insects together. This was a time period when I was really starting to learn my butterflies and Julie had pointed a few species out that I hadn’t learned yet. This will be a day that I will remember forever.

Even if you were unable to make it to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute to hear his talk, you can still learn from him at his Birding Blog at Bill of the Birds. His wife is also an remarkable blogger at Julie Zickefoose’s blog. I would like to thank Linda O. for first introducing me to their blog after the Scott Weidensaul’s talk. I knew that I had to add them to my RSS feeds ASAP and I know that you will equally enjoy their blog sites.

I am back on the internet again

After 15 hours without power and 24 hours without phone service; I am back on the internet blogging and flickering. Power was lost to numerous individuals in New York State due to strong winds and heavy rain taking down many high voltage power lines. The phone service was lost from a very large Beech Tree that fell on the lines not far from where my owl mist nets were set up. This photo below was taken of the windstream crew working on restoring my phone service. I don’t think they were having an easy time repairing it but its working perfectly now.

fixing my phone lines

After reflecting the evening, I continued to think about the 200,000 people that lost their power in Buffalo almost two months ago. It was only 15 hours but those from Buffalo had to survive over a week without electricity or phones. I knew that it wouldn’t be long before the power was restored but how could I not be concerned about my food in the refrigerator. A few things ended up in the back of my pickup (in the snow) and I just gorged myself with soft ice cream. (Now I need to pull out the treadmill since the power has been restored.)

Backpacking and or going camping, you find yourself prepared for all essentials to be gone. You actually leave to get away from those important daily gadgets that take over your life. I found this to be such bad timing for the numerous wonderful things about to happen. The bird club canceled our field trip to Niagara Falls looking for Gulls (will reschedule this here soon), had to cancel my haircut (starting to look like a shaggy dog) and I almost missed jennimi blogging this site!!  Jennimi  is a librarian at the University at Buffalo and she also loves her music, teaching, family, nature, and blogging! Please take the time to visit her blog at

What I learned is to always be prepared for the worse and I am glad that things are starting to get back to normal. I plan on doing some birding tomorrow and then wait out the next wave of weather that should be hitting us in the evening. – uggg