Monday, August 21, 2017


Yesterday we went on an outing on Albert Lea Lake with friends on a pontoon with a grille and beer cooler. It was a good afternoon. 😊

Fellow boaters. Really, really classic boaters. The only other boat we saw on the lake all afternoon.
The city of Albert Lea is wedged between Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake. We live on the outer reaches of Fountain Lake, which is more or less an urban puddle. On the other hand Albert Lea Lake is a fairly big piece of rural water - between 2,500 and 3,000 acres. Yesterday we were out with friends on a large pontoon on A.L. (equipped with a smoldering charcoal grille - pork loin, potatoes, corn on the cob, etc - and a large cooler of assorted craft beer). 

There were some Eagles soaring overhead and miscellaneous waterfowl, but mostly smart talk with friends, and White Pelicans! There are a lot of first year Pelicans on A.L. Pelicans in the water; Pelicans in the air. Hundreds? Thousands? Probably several hundred, but jeez, way too many to count. Way too many to photograph without a wider angle lens than I have.

 Good to be on Minnesota water with friends,  - Gunnar

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fall Warblers Coming Through

I have had a Yellow Warbler around the past few days. Probably an immature local bird. No sighting today. A shot from a couple days ago.

Here are some shots from late this afternoon of some migrators. Fall Warblers are sometimes a little difficult to I.D., not as straight forward as they are in their breeding trim.

Tennessee Warbler

Female Redstart (and a Tennessee Warbler photo bomb).

Black and White Warbler peeking through the leaves. It never came really came out for a decent photo op.

Magnolia Warbler

I do tend to ignore the locals. Here are a couple, among others, that snuck in front of the camera

We are taking a boat trip with friends tomorrow on Albert Lea Lake, our BIG LAKE! I will try to remember to take a camera just in case.

 Sweet weather today - Gunnar

Friday, August 4, 2017

Too Many Flowers (and a Warbler)

Checking the state of the far reaches of my vast estate this morning I walked down the weed garden path to update the headcount of flowers and butterflies. Among the smaller butterflies there was a single large Yellow Swallowtail feeding, wings flat to the sun to raise its metabolism to an efficient operating range. A very pretty bug. I had a camera with me, but the flower jungle is about eye level and peeking through the flowers it was difficult to get a clear shot of it without a ladder and all the photos would have been edge shots.  Eventually it settled in an open area, lifted its wings and I took a couple of photos.

Later I spent part of the afternoon cutting up some boards from the scrap pile behind the shed to build a rough bench for the Growlery entry area. Okay, I spent most of the day - and I only got a good running start on the project. Pacing myself. While I was "resting" (again) there was a flash of yellow in the tree above, not typical Goldfinch color and motion, but Warbler type flitting and yellow tone. It caught my attention so I laid my camera in my lap just in case the bird actually showed itself. Eventually it dropped out of the leafy foliage and I got some shots. I am calling "female or first year Yellow Warbler". This is a somewhat educated guess and I will not defend the call under any circumstance. Whatever, it was a good bird.

Either an enormous bird, or a small bird and a very small dwarf hosta. 

Still a bench warmer - Gunnar the B.

Goldfinch Bath

Some birds stop my little stream by to get a drink of water, maybe dip their toes in and splash a little at the edges. The Goldfinch really go for it. They jump in, soak and splash. Often times they will hop out, fluff dry and feather tend in the sun - then cannonball back in and do it all over again. It must feel really good.