Monday, July 30, 2012

Sora Rail

There are a lot of great things about the Heinz NWR at Tinicum.  Some of the best are all new birds I've been able to see there, like this Sora Rail about whose existence I was totally unaware until last week.  The other great things are all the people willing to share what they see and even tell you what it is...five times if that's what it takes. 

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend HBO's documentary "Birders: The Central Park Effect."  It was intelligent and beautiful and included this fabulous comment by author Jonathan Franzen:

"I'd been walking in Central Park pretty much daily for the previous seven years and I thought it was a place of pigeons and sparrows...  ...It was like the trees were hung with ornaments...   ...Seeing this familiar urban park filled with birds like that was one of those rare times in an adults life where the world suddenly seems more magical rather than less."

I'm going to have to read more of his books. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

In the Garden by the River

The town of Frickenhausen is surrounded by old walls, and entered and exited through large towers.  Once outside the wall the town is flanked by the Main river on one side and the vineyard filled hills on the other.  Out the back gate the land has been turned into a community garden.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Frickenhausen am Main

Next year this town will be 1,110 years old.  Amazing to think about.  It really is such a beautiful place.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Frickenhausen 1973 & 2012

One of our primary objectives in visiting Germany was to visit Frickenhausen where I lived with my parents and sister in the early 1970's.  This was my first trip back since I was the little kid with blonde hair in the pink pants.  The steps, you can see, are exactly the same.  I expected Frickenhausen to be charming but I did not expect it to be such a good place for birds.  It's a great place for birds!  Right on the Main River, quiet and beautiful.  I still need help with the id's but the red faced birds are Goldfinch, the woodpecker is a Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Magpie is chasing a Kestrel ( I think), and a Kestrel is sitting atop the church.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hummingbird Moth

It was a gazillion degrees out on Wednesday but somehow I let Olivia talk me into going butterfly hunting.  The butterflies were having a blast.  She caught eight in 45 minutes.  I stood around (in the shade) and took pictures.  These Hummingbird Moth's were pretty cool.  And then after we left the garden we went straight to the pool!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hot Summer Days

If you can stand the heat the refuge in July is a pretty wonderful place.  Tuesday Olivia and I made an attempt to get out before the heat got too bad.  Alas, it was 76°F when we got in the car, 86°F when we got to the refuge, and 96°F by the time we finished our walk.  We really wanted to see the Least Bittern nest and while we failed at that we did get a really nice look at a small Green Heron.  (Of course it was right at the beginning of our walk continuing to prove the proximity-to-car wildlife rule which states that you will see the coolest things within easy reach of the car making a mockery of miles of hot, tiring effort.)  

I love the Marsh Mallows in bloom and I love that they are called "Marsh Mallow" so that no matter how hard I try it always sounds like I'm saying marshmellow (a quick spell check tells me that even the food is Marshmallow so no wonder...)  

Olivia took the Green Heron photo.  Best one of the bunch!