Rough to the Touch

Another post from the great north with some good news to share.  Linda has now made it through her four surgeries and has been officially discharged from the hospital.  “Hip Hip Hooray!”  I’ve been through a number of “situations” over the years (unfortunately, many of them self-induced).  Some of those bumps in the road took just about every ounce of fortitude I had to get through.  Even with all that, I have to bow to the resolve Linda has shown over the last 4 weeks – three of which has been spent up here in Viking territory.   Weeks of being poked, prodded, sliced, sawed, cracked, studied, sampled, wired, tested, extracted, stitched, scanned, radiated, incubated, anesthetized, sponged, pressurized, cauterized, medicated, IV’d and worst of all bombarded by some of the worst TV shows imaginable (think marathons of Yes to the Dress, Millionaire Listings and in the I’d rather beat my head with a hammer than watch category, Below Deck private yacht cruises).  I can’t even find the words to convey how proud I am of her up with all that and staying positive even though she has many more months of recovery ahead of her.

On a personal front, just glad I do not have to write up the latest +1 to my birding list from a truly uncomfortable folding hospital chair!

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow at Starved Rock State Park, Illinois May 2015

Many of the plus ones as of late (well, to be honest, most of the posts this year) have come from birding trips to fiscally more responsible states than Illinois.  In a change of pace, today’s featured feathered friend comes courtesy of a trip up to Starved Rock State Park which is a relatively short drive away.  Ron and I had the opportunity to do some birding together back in May 2015.  Not exactly the best weather as we were drenched by morning showers and it didn’t really lighten up much the rest of the day.  Any shots deep under the tree canopy required dizzying levels of ISO and significant time in the digital darkroom.   We still managed to have a lot of fun as is always the case when out with Ron in the field – even managed to get a few new feathered specimens in the tin.  The Northern Rough-Winged Swallow you see before you is one of those new additions.

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow at Starved Rock State Park, Illinois May 2015

Hit the jump to see and read a bit more about our uniquely textured Swallow.

Continue reading Rough to the Touch

Summer’s Here

Greetings everyone! It has been a bit since I have posted and for that my utmost apologies. There is just something about a few hot days, a couple of passes of fertilizer followed by a a whole lot of rain that somehow makes my grass think they’re in a race to the clouds. At this rate I’ll be mowing every 1.3 days! Taking advantage of the fact it is raining this very minute, thought it would be a great time to put another notch in the post counter. Although we are technically a month early, let’s welcome Summer to the blog…
Summer Tanager Shot at Starved Rock May 2015
Well, a Summer Tanager that is. This gorgeous bird was found on an outing at Starved Rock State Park. My brother Ron and I had the opportunity to do a day of birding there back in May 2015. Wait a minute, come to think of it, it was pouring down rain that day too. If I recall correctly we ended up having to stand under tree cover waiting for a lightning storm to pass over. Okay kiddies, let me make a short PSA – it is not recommended you stand under tall trees during a lightning storm. Don’t even think about it, don’t do it and certainly don’t reference this blog when they scrap your body off the ground and drag your butt into the ER after disobeying my advice.
Summer Tanager Shot at Starved Rock May 2015

Hit the jump to read and see a bit more about the Summers!

Continue reading Summer’s Here