Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Warblers, Bears, and Reforestation - it must be May!

Here’s my photo of the Black-throated Blue Warbler that I saw in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, May 14th. It was my first sighting of this bird, although I’d heard its call last year. For the past three days, its pattern has been to fly between my two suet feeders, and has not called. Lately, I’ve been getting up with the birds to put my feeders out. Previously, I’d left them out overnight, but last Thursday at 9 pm, a large, black bear paid a visit to my hopper feeder and tore off the cover of the suet cage. The bottom of this feeder hangs 80 inches from the ground, and the bear’s face was all up in that suet. He didn’t get a meal, because Terry, who had no idea the bear was only 15 feet from our kitchen window, scared it away when he stepped out onto the porch. I saw the big boy on the edge of the woods, just before it ran off. It was our first encounter with a wild bear, and I’m being very cautious not to invite him back.

May days have reignited spring reforestation efforts again this year. Over 100 native Minnesota plants went into the ground at my home this past weekend. They include white pines, red pines, nannyberries, elderberries, and pussy willows. Terry and I were exhausted by the time it was all done, but it brings me such joy and satisfaction knowing I am doing something, even in a little way. Common tansy eradication efforts continue as well. I’ve made significant progress in some areas, but other areas… ugh. This has become a herculean task, and isn’t any fun.

Today, I posted my bird observations to ebird for the first time, thanks to my excitement over the Black-throated Blue Warbler sighting, counting 23 bird species yesterday, and today’s “For the Birds” radio program hosted by bird expert Laura Erickson. We are all richer when experiences are shared.

Work continues on my painting of a Black-bellied Plover. Stay tuned! In the meantime, the two paintings below have recently sold. Remember, you can see some of my miniatures in person at MacRostie in Grand Rapids, MN, throughout the summer. Check out my etsy store as well, and don’t forget to visit my website, too.

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