Wednesday, May 21, 2008
It's taken me awhile to get to my Upper Peninsula trip that happened at the end of April. I've wanted to, but the lilac was blooming and the asparagus was 'sparaging (still is!! Had another pick this morning!) and the birds were coming through and it seemed like it could wait. It was a trip straight back to winter. A pattern is emerging with festivals I've attended this spring. "It was SO GORGEOUS until you got here! And then it started to (insert noxious precipitation here)! Ha! "
At Paradise, Michigan, the word was snow. Cold also got used. That was OK. I had packed my down parka, hat and thick gloves. I was layered to the max. Even had my jammie bottoms on under my jeans, just as April was turning to May. Having survived a snowy weekend in May 2007 in Chequamegon Bay, WI, I knew the drill. Those Great Lakes--those huge inland seas of ours--are cruel mistresses.
The trip started auspiciously, with an obliging group of gulls. Since it was the first bunch of birds I came across after leaving the Sault Ste. Marie airport, I pulled over. I was birding now.
One of these things is not like the others.
One of these things is not the same.
Even without my Sibley, I knew this lesser black-backed gull when I saw it. The pale-mantled birds in the upper left section of the picture are all herring gulls, the uppermost bird being a second-spring bird. The small pale-mantled bird in the lower right corner is a ring-billed gull. But the small dark-mantled bird with yellow legs and a red spot on its bill is an adult lesser black-backed gull. Whoo-ee. Good start.
As the forest began to close around me, I found a male bufflehead in a dark roadside pool.
He took flight, but only after I was able to admire and capture the oily teal and rose sheen of his puffy head. He looks like he's wearing a powdered wig. Maybe I watched too many episodes of John Adams on HBO.
A female northern harrier made a Cindy House painting as I came out onto Whitefish Point.
Yes. I was finally birding. I can't wait to show you all the wonders of the U.P. Blogger hasn't let me post photos for two days running, but I spent an evening uploading via Flickr. Thank goodness for Flickr. It's a couple of hoops and about five extra clicks per photo, but at least it lets me in when Blogger is having its period. I haven't figured out how to keep the photos from flopping over my template borders. Sorry about that. Later: OK, Kyle, I'm trying your suggestion about adjusting the width to 400 in HTML (it was showing a width of 500). WHOOT! It works! Thank you!
AI fans: I want David Cook to win, but I'm predicting that Lil' Oop Oop will prevail.
Update: I'm so happy to see David Cook win. What a sweetie. Hope he keeps his head in all the hoopla. Hope he can ignore most of what the industry tells him.