Friday, March 30, 2012

New post to MI birders

OK, Rob Golda! I just saw a link on your great Hiking Michigan site to my blog!

Damn! And thanks I think! Yes, like everyone you meet, you are trying to make me better! OK, now I am really embarrased that I have not kept my blog up to date!

In my defense, I note I am quite an active participant on the Michigan Birders list administered by the amazing Bruce Bowman. Like Hiking Michigan, the "Birder's List" has grown exponentially in the last couple of years. I forget the numbers, but both of your subscriber lists have more than doubled in that time - I think HM quadrupled! There is a wonderful interest in the outdoors in Michigan facilitated by y'all: - Rob Golda (HM) and Bruce Bowman (birding) - and more people than ever before are joining both forums to learn what natural treasures we have in Michigan and gain an opportunity to experience them.

I came to Michigan from southern California over a decade ago, and guarantee that in such an over-populated space as S. Calif. (even then) there is nothing to compare! There were then, and certainly are now,  more people in the Los Angeles/S.Calif. basin alone than the entire population of Michigan! Although southeast Michigan has lost  much of the paradise feeling it initially suggested to me through development and housing tracts (I drove thru farmfields less than three miles to reach the Clinton River - Yates Park by the cider mill - with an amazing steelhead fishery! All housing now ... yet the steelhead fishery is getting better thru great management!), the southeast Michigan fore-fathers had enough sense to reserve state and local parks and (especially) Metro Parks as sanctuaries! For about 5 bucks annually, I had access to over 200 DNR access sites where I could launch a boat if I had one. Now for 10 bucks added to our annual vehicle license fee, we can get access to all DNR sites and all state parks!!! As a senior, an annual sticker costs $15 and allows unlimited access to all Metro Parks! Wow! Indeed we are blessed to have open spaces amidst the growing demands and limited opportunities for profits from land! Never take our open spaces for granted lest they disappear! Yes, far less open space thru which to drive than when I arrived, but accessible open natural spaces none-the-less! Michigan is still Paradise considering alternatives!!!

Over the last few months I have not been good at tending my blog. I generally read  the "birders list" and respond to things I find interesting before I consider whether thay might be more applicable to a general audience. And perhaps, some birders might indeed have preferred I posted my "rambles" (ramble =  a lengthy story) to some other venue. On the other hand, I definitely know from feedback that many birders - especially "newbies" - appreciate my "rambles". I suspect I "gave license" to encourage many "lurkers" (people more shy than I who read the e-mails) to start posting. I am really encouraged that so many new people are posting on the birders list! It is a greatly accepting and very reinforcing forum! I am "hooked" as a birder! And it is really great to see more postings in our local Oakland/Macomb county area than ever before! With the shorter distance, Judy and I have the chance to go see ("chase") new birds.

What I should really do is post my "rambles" on this blog and just post a link on the birders list. I know/knew that. I just get caught up in the moment.

With you, Rob, linking my blog to HM, I really must get better!

Being basically lazy, I cannot do both, so I will strive to post here (on the blog) first and just reference the URL on the birders list. We shall see...

I think I will drop another "ramble" or two from my postings on the birders list here on the blog for now and try to get better.

In any case, Rob, I am sharing with your extended audience! Yes, like everyone you meet, you drive me forward!

BTW, I encourage everyone to share your experiences! Pick any forum! There are lots of folks who will become "activated" when you speak of something local and/or near-and-dear to their hearts! They will learn! You will learn! It's all good!
- "Dr. Bob"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bird and bee - 2012-03-13

Yesterday I saw my first ever Bluebird here at Streamwood – a new record after more than a dozen years! I did get a few pics; they were not great but confirmed a positive ID.

Judy and I had a great walk! Besides the bluebirds, I shot pics of Crocus and Snow Drops. As I was working on the pics tonight (quite fast as I tend to do things …), in one pic, I saw a bee working the Snow Drops. WOW!  It seems really early for bees, but this is a weird winter!
(BTW - I had posted this to a listserv and incorrectly ID'ed the flower as Lily of the Valley - I always really appreciate feedback! Thanks, Joyce!)

Anyway, I think my shot of a Robin is one of my best so I am not embarrassed about posting. It’s different. See:

Do “previous” to see the bee and a few more pics from yesterday.

Gotta love this “winter spring”! This week looks like great weather for birding!