Saturday, August 8, 2020

Does This Ruffle Your Feathers?

I have been playing with my camera settings. I decided I needed to up my game a little, to increases my depth of field to sharpen up the detail from beak to tail tip.

This time of the year, between juvenile plumage, molting, transitional plumage, there are some tough looking birds out there that look like they have a done a round or two with a cat. Here are some from yesterday. I am happy with the direction the photography is going. Not so much with the birds. The Nashville Warbler was a first of season though. But looks like hell.

Nashville Warbler
Nashville Warbler

Hating the new blogger interface,

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

M.Bonvicini 98% Complete

Some cell phone shots. Trim the front brake cable housing an inch, replace toe straps, darken the blue fabric wraps (?), decide whether to put repop Vittoria hoods on the Mod 39 brake levers, tool roll under the seat - fine tuning things a little. For instance, due to an apparent 'incident' the brake lever bends do not match. Do I have the courage to re-bend something that rare? Well, so far not.

- Gunnar

Monday, July 6, 2020

Bathing Beauties - Barred Owls

Oakwood is a round peninsula, about 40 wooded acres, with 42 houses encircling a park. It is quite "birdy", at least here around 1410. For the past few years we have had a breeding pair of Barred Owls. These were hatched in a nest in neighbor's tree on the east side and after fledging have drifted over here to the more wooded west side. 

Two days ago it was in the 90s and the owls discovered the little pool in our water feature. These photos were taken by both Lorna and me. I was trapped with owls between me and my camera in the Growlery, The bathing photos and most of the tree photos Lorna's.  A big thanks!

Lorna also took a series of photos of one tearing apart a kill and eating it in midday. It was overhead on a large limb so it was difficult to see what it was, but appeared to be fairly large.

It was wonderful. My daughter Addy and her wife Nicole were visiting and got to see part of the show too.

- Gunnar and Lorna 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Too Many Plants

My friend Keith has a marvelous garden which I have only experienced in online photos.  He has great hostas, irises, lilies, mulched and spaced so one can appreciate them from 360 degrees. He has incredible discipline. I do not. Even though I have pretty much as much space as I want to expand my gardens, I do not - so it is a free-for-all with plants jammed in, fighting tooth and claw (root and stem?) for space, light and food. Not exactly survival of the fittest ... but close. Many survive only because I am continually lifting, dividing, transplanting, gifting and composting.

(pictures for Keith Camburn)


Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Wrong Redwing

The high slurred whistle of a redwing blackbird
Sounds like he's singing, oh that I might die
It's a song for those who have fallen
Unrepentant with no alibi

I been ridin' stone blind horses
Never seen a reason to believe
Hey sweet Genevieve say a prayer for me
Wild young cowboys, old drunks, paramours and thieves

- Gunnar

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Last Warbler?

Yesterday was well into the 90s and humid which generated a late afternoon thunderstorm - but no tornadoes. Which was a good thing because I was in the Growlery. It is only about  8' x 12'.  When I moved it in it had no floor, no ceiling and the corners were splayed out. I rebuilt it pretty sturdy and tied it down to two tiers of railroad ties and ground anchors. But a tornado? 
"When the Growlery was eventually discovered in a cornfield on the Einar Peterson farm south of Hayward, Mr. Berg was found still seated at his bench with a crushed beer can in his hand, dazed but apparently unhurt except for minor scratches. When asked if he was hurt, he replied, 'Are the tree peonies okay?' ".
Here are some photos before all hell broke loose. First, a view of the rock garden from the Growlery - various Pinks and Blue-eyed Grasses (which are actually in Iris family). There are a couple of species of Blue-eyed Grass, and (what do you get for an old man who has everything?) a Blue-Eyed cultivar from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum plant sale which my daughter Addy gave me for my birthday a year ago. They are the lower growing  blue flowers in the center of the photo. 

We haven't seen a Warbler in a week or more so I was surprised when this one showed up. It is an open beak, spread winged, heat stressed female Nashville Warbler. She found the coolest place in all of Oakwood - the mouth of the cavern which is the spring source of Oakwood Creek.

Technically the source of Oakwood Creek is a recirculating pump in a cow-tank, but I am not going to tell the bird. She is running late, has enough on her mind right now and doesn't need to know that.

- Gunnar

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

5/26/20 Nothing Today. Zip.

So here are some from yesterday. I am pleased with quality of the Blackburnian photo - blown up I can almost see myself in his eye reflection. Almost.

American Redstart (ist yr m)

American Redstart m.
Tennessee Warbler m.
I did see a Red-eyed Vireo today, which may well become a resident. No photos. I will try again over the next few days. I suppose theoretically the Redstarts could nest in Oakwood too, but to my knowledge they never have. Currently the neighborhood birdie folks are excited by one or more young Barred Owls. 

- Gunnar