I’m back, well, kinda. As the saying goes, rumors of my demise are [somewhat] exaggerated. The good news is I am past the first of the two events that have been consuming every available second night and day. We held our annual Halloween Haunted Trail event over the weekend. I am rating it as a complete success based on some of the feedback we have been receiving on various social media outlets. Some of my readers made it to the event, so I’ll let them chime in on the comments on how they think it went. Ron and his son even came down a day early to help me out as some of my usual volunteers were unable to help this year – that was a huge assist along with Brad providing guest posts so I could focus on the trail. Finally got the haunted trail torn down and in our outbuilding late this afternoon – will move to packing phase after the second of the two stressful events is over. Focus now shifts to the 100K ultra that launches at 5am this coming Saturday. Need to heal some tweaks, get some rest and see what I can do about the 5 pounds I lost putting the trail together. I don’t mind being a little lighter to carry the large hills, but that is a bit more than I am comfortable with. I’ll cover these two endeavors in future posts, right now I just wanted to get something out so you don’t forget about me ha! The good news is Brad has been gracious to give me a few more features to use as I get closer to race time. Enough gabbing, time to get on with your regularly scheduled programming.
Greetings everyone! There’s PVC pipes, wires, integrated chips, power supplies, tools and scary props scattered all over my den at the moment. Couple that with my two 3D printers running 24×7 and it can only mean one thing – the annual Haunted Halloween Trail event is approaching fast (link here). Too fast actually. Not sure what the deal is, but when I was working it seemed like I was running around like a crazy person trying to get everything built in the hours before and after work. For the life of me I cannot figure out where the extra 8-10 hours a day I should have now that I am retired goes – yet here I am running around like a crazy person trying to get everything built. The good things is there’s laser focus on the event – no trying to juggle work issues with Halloween challenges. In honor of the fast approaching Halloween season, I wanted to go with a bird that reflected the holiday. Welcome to today’s featured feathered friend.
Okay, a bit of a confession here. It is really the adult male that has the association to Halloween. Not having those images worked up yet, decided to go with its more yellow/green partner. If nothing else, it does satisfy my promise to continually amp up the bird coloring as we proceeded through the month. A far cry from those more subdued Doves and Sparrows that have been featured earlier in the month, the female Orchard Oriole sticks out in its surroundings.
Today we are back at my new favorite South Dakota birding spot. If you recall, I have had a number of posts already from Lake Andes thanks to the very successful birding outing we had there while making a brief stop on our way to Yellowstone National Park. As mentioned numerous times before, for a spot that had zero people visiting while we were there and little to no advertising in or around this specific location but for a small sign in the parking lot, this location provided a wealth of new fodder for the blog and numerous ticks on the Bird Life List. Pretty much the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve equivalent of the South Dakotas!
With that, I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of my birding list, the Orchard Oriole.
Truth be told, I had no idea what species this bird was while out in the field snapping the shots. Initial guess was a molting Oriole only because it was similar to the Baltimore Orioles I’ve seen, but a lot duller. The Baltimores wear a brilliant shade of orange compared to this specimen. It did sport that daunting dagger of a bill found on Orioles and quite frankly was as flighty as those more colorful versions. Up, down, left, right, near, far … the damn thing wouldn’t stand still long enough for me to get a good angle on it. It is a miracle the Beast was able to catch it, much less get all the critical angles to help identify it in the digital darkroom. Although it would have been ideal to get more of the bill in the next shot, it is still my favorite of the lot since it gives a nice view of the markings making it super easy to identify.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this interesting bird.