This One is Hard on the Nuts

I have decided to OCCUPY the MAN CAVE with my AMAZING and GINORMOUS Yellowstone photo collection reading about Beyonce’s BABY BUMP and wondering what the BLOWBACK will be on Katy Perry’s divorce.  All of this has led me to believe that being a PET PARENT is going to be the NEW NORMAL even with all the SHARED SACRIFICES that comes with it.  But enough of this rambling, let’s go out and WIN THE FUTURE through deception and TRICKERATION.  Oh, and THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for all your comments!

Whew, my apologies for that opening.  I was scanning the Internet and came across this years list of banned words from Lake Superior State University.  They do this every year to save our sanity from over-hyped words.  With only a few days left I wanted to make sure I used them all at least one more time.  Having done this now (some for the first time ever) I can assuredly say they will not be missed.  Here are a few other words I’d like banned for 2012 based on the shameful over use in the media

  • Slam (and all derivatives)
  • Bashes
  • Crash
  • Grills
  • Undecideds
  • Outrage
  • Weep
  • Obamacare
  • Gallup
  • Facebook

Have I distracted you enough to forget this is really another bird post from our Yellowstone trip?  Well, I tried.  This is the last of the bird posts from Yellowstone and with a small bit of sadness, the likely last post of the year (there may be one more depending on when my year end summary gets done) – where has this year gone?!  The reason I left this one to the end is thanks to our favorite orthopedic surgeon Dr. Giselle there was no need to spend a lot of time rifling through reference books to identify it.  As soon as the shutter went off on this bird…

Dr. Giselle immediately identified it as a Clark’s Nutcracker.  Having never seen this bird before, I was very appreciative of the assist.  Per the reference books, this particular bird prefers open coniferous forests in mountains.  A big checkmark on that – I left this wider shot with the evergreens as validation of that.  It is a member of the jay and crow family but chooses to walk like a crow than hop like a jay on ground (do scientist actually get paid for these observations?).  As is the custom here at Lifeintrigued, let’s bring that bird in for a closer look.

Hit the jump to learn more about the Clark’s Nutcracker

Now that I have seen it, it is pretty easy to pick out from the road.  The wings are predominantly black with a sharp grey for both head and body.  The easiest feature to pick out is the long black bill – very typical of the crows and helps distinguish it from the Gray Jays.  During the Summer and Fall, Nutcrackers store thousands of pine cone seeds which are then used to feed on during the winter.  They actually have a sublingual pouch capable of holding around 50-150 seeds for easy transport.

Similar to the Buffleheads, their population has actually been on the rise (and no Ron, that does not mean we can “fire away”). Based on the closer shots, this appears to be an adult – juveniles are more fluffy in the grey area.

Being in the car, it was difficult to control a lot of the composition. I would have preferred to have the dead tread in the background move away a bit from the focus of the picture below.

Eventually it spotted us (likely due to the glint off of the Beast) and became a little agitated.  It flew off,  but not before allowing us to get a good set of shots.  Somewhat of a surprise, the shape of the stump turned out to be perfect for another project that is in progress – more on that to come … but only if it turns out (David and Giselle are aware of it since they had to put up with the prep work while we were out there – shhhh don’t tell)

The ironic thing about this bird is there was no mention on why it is called a Nutcracker – appears to be more of a Conecracker based on its food preference.   The “Clark” came from being named after William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, but no reference to the nutcracker part.  Maybe Lewis and Clark played an early version of SlugBug and every time Lewis saw one he hit Clark in the nuts … I should add that to Wikipedia.

as always, the larger shots can be viewed up on Smugmug (link here)

Here’s to 2011 and hopefully another year of blogging in 2012

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