Backyard Visitors

After nearly two and a half months of “vacation,” I was more than ready to return to the comforts of “home.” It was especially nice to reap the rewards of last summer’s hard work and just rest in our newly-landscaped backyard.

The bees, butterflies, and birds seem to enjoy our new garden almost as much as we did. Though the bees seemed to enjoy the new plantings more than our other visitors, we were rewarded by sightings of several birds we haven’t seen in our yard for years.

Small flocks of American Goldfinches frequented our plum tree.

A rarely seen female Black-Headed Grosbeak

joined flocks of Purple Finches, Tree Swallows, Song Sparrows, Stellar Jays, etc.

Nevertheless, the Anna

and Rufous Hummingbirds

continued as headliners of our backyard show.

Frequent backyard visitors, supplemented by weekly walks at Theler Wetlands, repressed the urge to hit the road to distant birding sites. Luckily, Fall Migration has begun at the beach just as our backyard visitors have seemed to thin out.

A Disappointing Ending

Our wonderful trip to Colorado ended on a bit of a sour note. We had arranged to spend the night right outside of Yellowstone and then spend a day in the park. Our stay in Dubois was surprisingly pleasant. We got in early enough to visit several of the art galleries in town and enjoyed talking to the staff in all of them, as well as enjoying seeing art I couldn’t afford.

We headed out for Yellowstone by way of the Grand Tetons very early the next morning. Unfortunately, the heavy cloud cover made it impossible to see the Tetons, much less get a shot of them. By the time we got to the Yellowstone entrance there was a considerable backup and we waited well over a half hour to get in. Unfortunately, that long delay was just an indicator of how many people were in the park, and I can’t help but think that so many people pushed the animals further away than usual.

We did see elk and bison, but they were so far away that even my telephoto lens couldn’t manage a decent shot.

Since we didn’t spend as much time in the park as we had anticipated we decided to spend the night outside Boise and explore the Birds Of Prey area where our friend John had wonderful luck a few weeks before. We didn’t get skunked but the only decent shot I got was this one of a Horned Lark,

not hardly a bird of prey.

Blue-Winged Teal

As I’ve repeated too many times, I’m sure, one of the real pleasures of birding is that when you visit different parts of the country you are apt to see birds you never see locally. On the last visit to Colorado, I got some great shots of spotted this male Blue-Winged Teal feeding in a shallow pond.

He was apparently so used to the constant stream of visitors to the lake that he surprised me by leaving the water and walking right past me.

This female Blue-Winged Teal with ducklings was a little shyer.

Not as exciting as seeing the baby Killdeer or seeing the juvenile Avocet, getting the best shot I've ever gotten of a Blue-Winged Teal capped our visit to Broomfield's East Lake Shores Park.

Where in the World has Loren Been?

Not any place interesting, unfortunately.

I haven't been posting much lately because Lael, my granddaughter, has been working for me this summer labeling and editing all the photos I've taken since 1998. She's been sitting at the computer much longer than I can manage to do.

It's hard to believe how many unlabeled, unsorted photos I've managed to acquire over that period. After Lael labels them I hope to sort them out and delete all but the very best shots. It's been fun looking at how my shots have improved over that time (probably because the equipment is vastly superior) and occasionally I'm pleasantly pleased by shots I've taken, even with older equipment.

Of course, I'm saving all the shots of kids and grandkids and shipping them the images when I'm finished.

Realistically, there's not too many other shots worth saving, but perhaps if I narrow them down to just a few one of the grandkids will want to look at them after I'm gone.

Best of all, Leslie and I have gotten to share time with Lael again this summer and provide her with some extra spending money.