Hell’s and Bell’s

Greetings my blogger friends! Pretty much a hodge podge of a post today. It has been very busy here at Intrigued and wanted to do a bit of housekeeping to get everything “cleaned up” before we start transitioning into colder temps – well, should probably clarify that as “consistently” colder temps as we had our first flurries of the season a few days ago and we’ve been dipping into nightly frost zones. Been some cold runs lately as well. Good news is it will be back in the 70s for the weekend and then after that, who knows.

While recovering from the ultra beat down, I’ve been able to tick off a few items on the to-do list. First, I finally got my Birding Life List updated – per the updated nav-bar on the left, sitting at 317 (plenty more already in the tin, but they have to be featured here to get the tick). Then went and updated the Birding Chronicles page (link here) with the latest on the “Average Year” efforts. Ron has closed the gap and sits at 280 to my 284 (he might even have two more from a recent outing).

With that out of the way, I moved onto the newest signature prop for the Haunted Trail of Tears. This year, there was a new fancy entryway to set the stage.

Haunted Trail of Tears Pumpkin Arch 2022

It took a good 10 months to bring that arch to reality and admittedly pretty proud of it. I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to produce video tutorials on my new YouTube channel (link here), unfortunately, wasn’t versed enough to bring it to bear on this build. If you are interested on how this arch came to be, I’ve put a 4 part series up on the mothership which goes through every detail.

Part 1 – Pumpkin Creation (link here)
Part 2 – Pumpkin Arch Structure (link here)
Part 3 – Arch Columns (link here)
Part 4 – Putting It All Together (link here)

Next up was starting to chip away at the Haunted Trail Recap. Probably going to be a while before I can get to the detailed walk throughs, but I did manage to get the Gallery published with shots taken during the prep, build, day walker and night scare. Those captures can be found on our Smugmug site (link here). Note, there are several pages with over 300 images. My partner in haunt, Paul, made another great video to give you a feel for what the trail is like – Beware, someone opened the Gates of Hell!

Bri’s been one busy guy! A big thanks to Brad for filling in with some great posts while I was recovering and getting caught up on the to-do list.

Didn’t want to leave you hanging without a wildlife post, so hit the jump to read about today’s featured feathered friend.

For starters, we have promoted Brad from “Guest Feature” to “Full Contributor” status. He has actually already provided us with several posts to use, one of which I almost went with for today’s content. He is currently on his first assignment to track down a bird I’ve failed to tin after 3 attempts. Rather than have him deal with responding to comments at the same time, figured I’d just go with one I had in the queue. What goes with the Hell theme from above.. well Bell’s, of course.

Bell's Vireo found at Banner Marsh in August 2022

Say hello to the latest +1 on my life list – yes, this immediately invalidates my bird counter hehehe. This rather dapper looking songbird is a member of the Vireo family. According to Cornell, it was named by John Audubon in 1843 in honor of his companion on the expedition named John Graham Bell.

Bell's Vireo found at Banner Marsh in August 2022

The Bell’s Vireo has been a bit of a nemesis for me – not to mention a bit of brotherly rivalry. Ron managed to tin this Midwest breeding bird several years back and has been his go to reference when he wants to get some digs in on me. I’d tell him about my latest find in Texas and he’d respond “Yeah, but who has two thumbs and a Bell’s Vireo in the tin – THIS GUY”. Every year I’d come up empty trying to squelch this advantage – for a very chatty/squeaky bird, this turned out to be a hard task…

Bell's Vireo found at Banner Marsh in August 2022

Until a few months ago when Linda saw a report indicating one was hanging out at Banner Marsh. Earlier in the day we went after a Blue Grosbeak that I’ve been trying to get ticked off for most of the summer. Having failed on that attempt, Linda did a quick check on ebird reports where she saw a Bell’s was seen less than an hour earlier at Banner Marsh – let’s go!

Bell's Vireo found at Banner Marsh in August 2022

Drove to the specified location and within 10 minutes I heard the distinctive (per Cornell) – cheedle, cheedle, cheedle, chee? cheedle, cheedle chew! To me it simply sounds like two rubber duckies being rubbed together. Hearing it and getting it in the tin turned out to be two entirely different efforts. This specimen refused to come out of the canopy – spout off some rubber ducky songs, shuffle around in the leaves, more rubber ducky songs then bolt to another dense tree. I could hear Ron virtually laughing over my shoulder – was NOT going to leave there without tinning this sucker. Was about to turn back and call to Linda for some sighting help when it flew out and landed on in a bare tree less than 30 feet from me. Stunned me for a second before snapping to and …well, getting a few snaps before it tore back into the dense vegetation. Thankfully got a few decent shots in the brief encounter.

Unfortunately, not a lot I can pass on about this Vireo. They winter in South America and push northward into Illinois and South Dakota for the breeding season. Cornell also added the tidbit they have not been observed drinking water preferring instead to rely on shots of whiskey and rye to wet their whistle.

What I found more interesting is the mystery uncovered regarding the song Hells Bells (per my not so clever title), Does Hell have an apostrophe or not?!? I’ve always seen the title without an apostrophe and confirmed it with several DuckDuckGo searches. Then I look at the lyrics and every one I found (Lyrics, Azlyrics, Genius, etc) all leave the apostrophe out of the title, but then put it in every reference used in the song. This is the kind of things that occupy my mind on long runs hehehe.

“I got my bell, I’m gonna take you to hell” – rest in peace Bon Scott

23 thoughts on “Hell’s and Bell’s”

  1. I love the entrance to the trail. Super. Nice haunting in the video. It looks like the Trail of Tears was a success. Cute Vireo. “You rub rubber duckies together and what do you get? ‘Cheedle, cheedle, cheedle, chee! Cheedle, cheedle chew!'”. Might just be a good chorus for a bird song.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – extremely happy how it turned out. I am calling the trail a success based on the feedback we received – and the fact there there very few “ghosts in the machine” this year – mostly due to being dry for a change. With your amazing parody abilities, I’m sure you could work that lyric into any tune ha! Appreciate you coming by Timothy.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The Haunted Trail was a success. The pumpkin Arch was amazing. And the video is onto you. I can hear it now “large glass spotted. It’s that guy again. Go on, give him a teaser photo then hop back into the trees, see if he follows”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am certain that Falcon was playing mind games on us – probably writing home to his friends in Mexico every night going on about all his”teasings” of stupid humans. So far, no word he has returned this year – fingers crossed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Good job capturing the subtle color on that little Vireo. Have no idea why the apostrophes would be missing from titles but not lyrics. Franks Wild Years, Lifes Rich Pageant… maybe because filenames (e.g., PDF) couldn’t contain punctuation? Technology bites, once again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Admittedly, a bit of luck on my part as the brief encounter didn’t give me a lot of room to make adjustments on the fly – tend to take some quick test shots when I arrive at a site just to get the controls roughly dialed in which probably saved me here. Those are excellent examples of other apostrophe mysteries – you could be right on the file name explanation – talk about some crappy programmers ha! As they say in the business, a lazy programmer lurks behind every bad user experience. Thank you for coming by and checking out the mothership as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow–you are REALLY into Halloween. That Trail of Tears is amazing. I can’t imagine how much time went into the making of it!

    And congratulations on finally seeing and photographing a Bell’s Vireo. Your photos. How exciting to get so many different poses of this pretty bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For the brief encounter we had, that Bell gave me a nice variety of poses – usually in these cases they just stare at you and head out leaving you the classic bird “creepy” front on look. On the trail front, I find it best if I do not try and figure out the collective man-hours put into the trail over the course of a year – still amazes me I was able to pull this off every year while holding down a high tech career. Thanks for dropping in Tanja!


  5. I have always loved AC/DC. If they didn’t give the song title an apostrophe, we should honor their wishes, in my opinion! Great job on the arch & the videos! You are a busy guy! How did you ever find time to work?? That tiny Bell’s Vireo is a wonder! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree, they purposely (or through technical limitation, alcohol or drugs ha) went with no apostrophe in the title, so it should be carried through in the lyrics. I keep asking myself how I managed to get the trail together while still working – admittedly, it has grown a bit since those work years (.7 miles long now) and in those early years we used to put it up the day of the party and then start tearing it all down around 3 in the morning as many of the electronics were not hardened to weather at the time. At this point I have custom electronics in weather proof units controlling everything so we can start putting it up earlier and take our times getting it all hauled out of the woods. I do like to keep myself busy hehehe. Appreciate you coming by Lisa.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I clicked on you site and I see I have missed a few post, but the photo of the pumpkin archway caught my eye first. So I must start here. That is quite the entrance, well done. We have left Iowa and have had a wonderful time visiting with family and just now starting to get caught up on some blogging post from others. Never do I have time to read all of them but it is fun to dive back into it. Have a wonderful day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sandra – that arch ended up taking a lot more time than I had originally estimated, but super pleased with how it all turned out. Glad you to see you have been able to spend time with the family – seems like we never have enough time to do that these days. Wanted to let you know I’m still reading your posts, but trying to figure out why I’m getting authorization errors whenever I submit my comments – very weird. Appreciate you coming by!


        1. I’m still looking on my end Sandra – at one point I thought I had it all cleared up, but then it cropped again. My guess it is on my side, but just not sure yet.


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