I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls

I thought when entering June things would start slowing down a bit. Wow, was I wrong. Somehow forgot all the work that has to go into the homestead this time of year. Time is being devoured battling the forest as it continuously plots to revenge our incursion, grass growing way to fast thanks to the barrage of rain (apologies to the dry southwest), a Mole army that could repel a Russian invasion and those hell spawn Chipmunks that I swear breed daily (where are all the Owls). Doesn’t Mother Nature know that I have to focus on the new Halloween props for the fast approaching Haunted Trail (link here)!?! Oh well, shouldn’t complain, far better than having to get all these tasks done and still go to work every day.

California Gull found at Virginia Lake Park in Reno, NV on our trip there May 2019

The good news is I have had some opportunity to bird. Although I still have not updated the Birding Chronicles (link here), …. wait, stop the presses, will be back in a jiffy (imagine the Jeopardy theme tune playing in your head)…just a bit longer… a few more seconds… there, back. Sorry about that. I have probably noted that the Chronicles had not been updated for like a month if not more. Inner Bri demanded I simply update it ha! Feeling hypocritical due to how much I curse at IDOT for taking the time to have a sign made and send out a 4 person crew to install said sign to inform motorists there’s a bump in the road – FIX IT!!!. The latest stats have our “Average Year” progress for Ron at 219 (note, he added 3 more this week) and I am sitting at 249 for unique species this year. Quite shocked really as there are still plenty of easy targets left and a number of good birding trips planned between now and the end of the year (not to mention 2 seasonal changes remaining). Need to have Ron update the video with our latest excursions.

California Gull found at Virginia Lake Park in Reno, NV on our trip there May 2019

Hit the jump to read more about the bird from where “the girls get so tanned”.

Continue reading I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls

‘Dem Be Those Grey Ones

My turn to be on watch, so fired up the ol’ laptop and I thought I’d make another quick post. Even though there is a lot of things going on, there are huge swaths of time just sitting in a chair that need to be put to productive use or I’ll go insane. Last week I spent the time doing a massive frequency analysis of the entire English language and built an impressive spreadsheet as an “aid” to my daily Wordle efforts – old IT guys never miss an opportunity to codify logic problems. This week I’m trying to put out a few posts to see if I can keep my monthly quota streak going. Granted these are word sparse compared to the norm, but I’m sure you would rather look at the pictures than read my ramblings anyway. Oh, and since I really do not have the time to dig into bird species research, you will probably notice a theme.

Squirrel family member found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Yep, continuing the topic from the last post – more furballs! Apologies for those of you that may not take to kindly to these creatures (and I know you are out there ha). Before I get through this month you are going to feel like someone took a Squirrel, dunked it in a barrel of ice cold water and tail smacked you right across the face. Sorry, I don’t even have a muskrat to offer you to towel off with. What I do have is the first set of images taken from our Lake Tahoe trip.

Squirrel family member found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump if you are up for some squirreling around!

Continue reading ‘Dem Be Those Grey Ones

For the Easily Distracted…SQUIRREL!

Greetings everyone! I planned to wish everyone a happy spring as I’m in the midst of an unfortunate lull in April posting… but last night it got to 29F here and flurries the night before that. Sure doesn’t feel like spring especially out on my long runs. I still have limited time, but I wanted to start trickling out some content – gives me a chance to escape the current situation and keep the dust from getting too thick. Expect these will be more of gallery shows vs entertaining story-telling (I think I just heard a cheer ha).

Need to thank friend of the blog Sandra J. at Into the Light Adventures (link here) for today’s topic. She recently made a post on desert animals that reminded me I had a similar one in the hopper – had the added benefit of aligning with the current squirrely times.

Squirrel family member found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump to see more of the Tahoe Squirrels.

Continue reading For the Easily Distracted…SQUIRREL!

Pixie Stix Fueled Myotis

For those of you on the wild side of Intrigued, you might be thinking Bri’s been slacking off this month. That is understandable as that little post calendar in the left navbar is pretty bare – the one day that is highlighted was technically from the last day in February. Truth is. I’ve been pounding the keys like crazy up on the mothership. What started out as a quick break from birds to clear out my overflowing “fail” folder spiraled into a flurry of activity that I now refer to as “The Haunting of March”. My first post this month was a long comedic (eh, at least an attempted humorous) post on “Things that make me go Hmmmmm” as our blogger friend Cedar Journal (link here) has coined. Basically things that catch my attention and either make me cringe or burst out in laughter (view latest fails here). While compiling the images for that lengthy post, noticed there was a a few props from last year’s Haunted Trail of Tears still in the queue. That had to be remedied. While at it, went ahead and added a walkthrough for a recently completed decoration. That’s when the sledgehammer came down. Went to reference the 2021 trail event and it was missing – my signature event for the year, the spectacle that consumes me year-round, the very essence of my being (so says Linda) was completely null and void. As much as I enjoy all things haunt, that gap immediately brought a wave of dread – those posts are massive and require days in the digital darkroom to compile/fix/filter all the shots taken leading up, during and after the event. I put everything aside and pushed through (didn’t help last week I had an hour plundered from me!!). So, for those who enjoy all things Halloween, feel free to check out all the releases on the mothership – warning, the trail posts will definitely burn a hole in your browser’s cache!

’21 Haunted Trail of Tears Prep and Teardown (link here)
’21 Haunted Trail of Tears Day Walker (link here)
’21 Haunted Trail of Tears Night Terror (link here)
’21 Prop: Gargoyle Sentry (link here)
’21 Prop: Mini-Me Fire Breather (link here)
’21 Prop: Injection Freddy (link here)
’22 Prop: Toxic Spidey (link here)

Although a bit exhausted and still waaaayy behind on reading the great posts of fellow bloggers, I didn’t want to leave you hanging any longer (at least right-side up). Continuing the “comic” theme that started March and then tying into the Halloween topics that followed, I bring you this…

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump to read the background on this spastic Bat.

Continue reading Pixie Stix Fueled Myotis

Cheetos Connoisseur

Although we enjoyed being able to spend the entire month of January in the mask-free state of Texas, the fact we had to move all of our medical appointments and checkups to this month has got us lately feeling a bit …hmm.. let’s go with …. blue.

Steller's Jay found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Oh, before I go any further, I am reminded by the fluffy cotton ball currently covering a large gaping, cavernous, crater of a hole in the middle of my arm that today was lab day, meaning about 50 vials of my precious life sustaining blood has been maliciously sucked out of my body by a dominatrix dressed up in nurse clothing. I keep telling my doctor I was the reference for Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and this whole drain me within inches of my life is entirely unnecessary. Then he holds up my medical records with the running err “events” circled in red, takes out his little blue pad, with his blue pen filled with evil blue ink to remind his blue clad nurse to schedule the draining (complete with one of those god-awful smiley faces on it).

Steller's Jay found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump to read about this high crested Jay…well, maybe.

Continue reading Cheetos Connoisseur

Pygmy Pirates – the Nastiest of Them All

Let’s just go ahead and make it an even 290 shall we! If you have been checking back for the latest posts, then you are very aware I finally invested time to update my bird count. One of my goals this year was to make it to the 300 mark by the end of December. We are quickly approaching that deadline as apparent by my favorite orange and black sections in the local stores are quickly becoming scrubbed from sight in favor of the over-commercialized red and white fanfare. I can’t even describe the level of sadness and disappointment this brings watching my holiday being pushed aside by greedy merchants. If there is a upside to this travesty it is the fact they tend to clearance their remaining items allowing me to scoop them up at a reasonable price point. For those new to haunting NEVER buy items at full price (advice that, ironically, probably fuels the desire to push the accelerator pedal to Christmas). Enough ranting, show me the meat!

Pygmy Nuthatch found at Davis Creek Regional Park, Lake Tahoe, CA in May 2019

Hit the jump to read a bit more about the latest Lake Tahoe pirate find.

Continue reading Pygmy Pirates – the Nastiest of Them All

Mysterion of the Birding World

Good news for my readers, it’s dog show time – more specifically, the annual National Poodle Specialty Event being held at Purina Farms outside St. Louis. I simply refer to it as Wall to Wall Poodles – white ones, black ones, silver ones, apricot ones, small ones, medium ones, big ones, “foofy” ones, agile ones and every “oodle” in between. Imagine a cute bomb going off in a large convention center. We also get to see not only Raven’s breeder from Minnesota, but Ruger gets to see his breeder from New York, his full sister (Willow) from Michigan and his half brother (Riot). Should be a fun couple of days – let’s hope Raven is ready to kick some butt. The good news quip at the start wasn’t because I thought you would be super interested in our dogs, rather these events mean I have a lot of free time I find best spent on the keyboard.

To kick it off, I am delighted to introduce you to one of my absolute surprise +1’s from our Lake Tahoe trip back in May 2019.

California Quail found at outside Lake Tahoe in May 2019

While tracking down the White-Headed Woodpecker series from the previous post, I stumbled on a set of shots which piqued my interest. I made a note to remind myself to head back to that queue once the Woodpecker post was out the door. Apparently, I put that small piece of paper next to my Honey-Do list … naturally I didn’t notice it hehehe. instead I took on the surprisingly difficult task of updating my bird list count. As of that particular day at that particular second the count stood at 288. Updated my NA Bird Gallery (link here) and even updated the little counter on the left nav bar. Tied up the final steps in the process, clapped my hands in self-celebration and then let out a huge sigh as the breeze from the enthusiastic clap gently blew a small piece of paper right of the desk and into my lap. CRAP!

California Quail found at outside Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump to learn about my pleasant surprise – A real life Mysterion (as in South Park).

Continue reading Mysterion of the Birding World

You Are Making This Too Hard

I must declare, the last couple of days have absolutely been wonderful. No, it is not because I have tuned out the news – although that would definitely be a good guess. Nope, it is entirely due to getting the chance to spend time outdoors, specifically in our woods. There are few things that brings as much joy as being able to haul out the tools (lopper, rake, ax, chainsaw, tiller etc.) and work the land so to speak. The mission this week, start cutting in a switchback trail to make it easier to traverse the steep terrain to the valley that runs through the middle of our lot. Yesterday I got to stand in the middle of virgin woods and plan out the trail, trying my best to minimize impact to the multitude of trees (contrasted with the absolute malice shown to the intense briar that has nearly bled me dry over the years). Today I got to start clearing the first segment and show my enjoyment by the sweat rolling of my body. Just wish I had full use of my foot, although it definitely felt better to be back in the dirt. In tribute to the fun time outdoors, thought I’d go with a post from the woods family.

White-Headed Woodpecker found at Lake Tahoe, CA in May 2019

Make that the Woodpecker family! The last few posts I have brought you new +1’s from relatively close locations. Going to change that up a bit with today’s featured feathered friend. In fact, this particular Woodpecker is absolutely nowhere near my broke state of Illinois. The White-Headed Woodpecker is a far west year-round resident with a region map that looks like a Rorschach ink blot test as it meanders through California, Oregon and Washington (well, a smidge into Idaho and Canada if we are splitting hairs).

White-Headed Woodpecker found at Lake Tahoe, CA in May 2019

Hit the jump to see some more shots of this attractive Woodpecker and learn how it ended up in my tin.

Continue reading You Are Making This Too Hard