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

Posts tagged “Fun

We Got Goofy Once it Got Dark

glow sticks

I am not sure if words can explain the many strange things that happened once it got dark at the lean-to Friday night. . . . so I will let the pictures and videos tell the whole story!



North Country Trip 2007

Some of the views along the Hike

Along the North Country Trail

As you know from the previous post that Young Naturalist J, his father (Jeff) and I went backpacking along the North Country Trail here in Allegany State Park yesterday. We started down on the Bay State Road and hiked up to the Lean-To along this section of the trail. The uphill hike wasn’t very fun with temperatures nearing 90F degrees, very muggy and I was bitten up by mosquitoes along the trail. I took everyone along a re-route section of the trail that is being proposed and it only made it harder since it was 0.7 miles off trailing hiking. The original alternative probably would have been a smarter route for us to do. (more…)

At the Lean-To

I tried posting a picture on flickr but wasn’t successful! So, I wanted to give a whats-up post via my cell phone to see if i can get it working! I am very happy having cellphone reception as we are watching the weather moving in tonight via radar! Ugg! Well, taking a ton of pictures and we have a Barred Owl vocalizing as I am trying to type on this tiny phone! I am off to bed an will post again once I get home! (more…)


Purple Headed Sneezeweed

Purple Headed Sneezeweed (all-time fave flower)

Yesterday I took a family that I have known for a very long time into the Big Basin area (old growth forest) of Allegany State Park. We had a wonderful time looking at the many old trees and then a few other unexpected treasures. We have an ongoing joke about how whenever I take them for a walk we somehow end up off trail and “sort of” get lost! I couldn’t let them down this year so everywhere we hiked “it was” off trail!! (more…)


Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee

Here is my end of the year report for the CLDC MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) 2007 season. I have not entered all the data into the computer yet . . . . so this is only preliminary “end of the year” report. I quickly went through the data for the species numbers (hope I didn’t miss anything)! We had 7 banding sessions and were able to capture 153 new individuals and 14 recaptured individuals from previous years. We used 10 (12 meter) Polyester mist-nets and banded for 6 hours after the official sunrise time. We had 167 different individuals captured with 200 total captures (including same year captures) for the 2007 season. (more…)

Mudpuppy in Allegany

Mudpuppy in Allegany

During the kids fishing derby this weekend the DEC staff biologist were on site to hand-out educational information on fishing, etc. . . . they had also captured a few fish to placed into a fish tank for everyone to view up close! But, what was most amazing is that when they were capturing the minnows and fish . . . . they came across a mudpuppy along the waters edge. He stated that they witnessed this mudpuppy entangled with a little Water Snake. And it was the mudpuppy that had the upper end of the snake battle!! I call that “salamander power” and would have LOVED to see that battle!! (more…)


kids fishing

Yesterday the Recreation Department hosted their first fishing derby here in Allegany State Park. This derby was for kids aged 15 and under with over 150 children who registered to participate in this event. I was asked to help with the fishing tournament at one of the check in stations to report their captures (then release their fish due to this being a catch and release event). (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…)

A Day for Monarchs

monarch pair

a monarch pair doing . . . you know what they are doing!

Recently I have sought after changing my “custom header” to a new monarch picture! I have found it very hard to find that ideal snapshot due to the strange shape the header needs to be!! So, after work I was off to Red House Lake in search of some monarch butterflies!


solitary sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper

Today I joined my friends Tim B. and Mike D. for a birding adventure for early shorebirds moving through the area. It was a beautiful sunny day but it seemed very quite with only a few songbirds vocalizing. Highlights were Solitary Sandpipers, Northern Harrier, flock of Kingbirds, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk. (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…)

Last CLDC MAPS Session

Taking a Bite

A recaptured Common Yellowthroat who remembers me from last year.

Today was our last CLDC MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding session for the 2007 season! This was such a wonderful year and I can’t wait to enter all my data into the computer to learn how this season compared with other years. I promise in the near future that I will do a summary for both CLDC and SWAT banding station. (more…)

jennimi visit


Today I was honored to finally meet the “blogging librarian” jennimi while as she has been off “into the woods” here in Allegany State Park this week. jennimi is such a cheerful person and I am not sure if I could ever blog enough wonderful things about her!! We found ourselves chatting about birds, blogging, and other great places for her to visit while she is in Allegany.  I just know jennimi took a ton of photos and of course both my cameras were in my back-pack at the office (or I would have had pictures also)!! Do check back with her blog site at or on flickr when she returns home to civilization to report on her many nature adventures!!  Maybe we will bump into each other again before she leaves??  


Flickr Guest at CLDC MAPS

sunrise over the banding station

Sunrise Shot Overlooking the Banding Station

Yesterday was a slower day with the birds but we had some great company. Marg, who is a regular blog commenter and a wonderful flickr photographer visited the CLDC MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station. It was an awesome way to spend some time together to talk about banding, flickr, photography and life in general. (more…)


I had Young Naturalist J with me and I know that he LOVES going spotlighting for wildlife. I asked him if he would like to see how “I” like to go spotlighting?? We saw this little critter out along the tree line and so I pulled my truck over on the side of the road! We jumped out of my truck with camera and spotlight in hand. . . . . this is what we found . . . .


Shhh . . . it’s a fawn (Wordless Wednesday) . . .

Fawn (more…)

Unwanted Visitor at the SWAT site!

Juv Downy Woodpecker

A very light colored juvenile Downy Woodpecker

We had a wonderful day banding birds over at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station today. We had a family visit who has been camping here in the park for a very long time, two couples from buffalo make it down, Young Naturalist C (who was the Banding Assistant for the day) and her sister Young Naturalist E visit the banding station. But, you ask, “who was the unwanted visitor??”!! I will get to it . . . . I promise!! (more…)

Makeup Rain Day – SWAT

Brother and Sister

(Brother and Sister) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Today we had another great day at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding session here in Allegany State Park. This was a rescheduled session after the rained-out day we had last Wednesday. (more…)

A “Veery” Busy Day


Veery taken by young Naturalist J

You know that you had a busy day banding when you find that you had many wonderful birds and very few pictures to show. Today at the CLDC MAPS banding site we captured 11 different species and 42 different individuals. We collected 23 Avian Bird Flu samples, placed 26 new bands on birds and recaptured 16 individuals. I really need to go back in my records to see how long ago we captured some of these individuals. Maybe this would be a great wrap-up post??

Swallow fledglings

Mom Mom Mom

Barn Swallows saying “me mom, me, me me”

We have many species of Swallows that nest here in Allegany State Park. I have talked about the Tree Swallows in some of my previous post and even posted some pictures of Rough-winged Swallows. I always think of Mary when visiting the Barn Swallow nest and greatly enjoy watching the Cliff Swallows each morning while heading to work. But, soon these birds will be gone and the fledglings will be on their own. (more…)

The Day Before the 4th here in Allegany State Park

Red House Lake Boat Launch

Red House Lake Boat Launch


Baby Day at the CLDC Site

American Robin

American Robin fledgling.

Yesterday was our “Baby Day” at our CLDC MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding session. It appears that many of our fledglings are just starting to fledge the nest and will soon be on their own!! (more…)

Another SWAT morning!

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler being released on the MAPS Cap

Today a family from Michigan (who are camping in Allegany for the week) visited our SWAT MAPS banding station here in Allegany State Park. They have been attending my nature walks since 1999 and joined me with my bird banding for as long as we have been friends. They have always supported our studies and volunteered to make all of our bird bags that we are using. They saved the banding station with their wonderful sowing skills and we are grateful for all they have done for us!!! (more…)

Summer Begins . . . . . .

Summer Begins . . . .

….. at 2:06pm today!! It is officially the longest day of the year!! YEAH!!! This is when most of the birds are focused on their nestlings, days will start to get shorter, young will be fledging their nest, and second broods will be starting up again soon. We find us humans pulling out the flip flops and go straight to the pools (or beaches)!