"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Just a Laugh a Day

I was so anxious to go litter picking yesterday!

 I parked my truck on a slight down slope, gathered up the gear and bags, and set off walking down the road.

When I got back and tried to start the truck, the ignition was locked up tight, and I couldn’t move the gear shift out of park.

I flagged down a guy who tried to help by pulling my truck slightly uphill to take some of the pressure off the transmission. Nothing worked, not multiple tries, wiggling the steering wheel back and forth, numerous muttered oaths.

Finally, I called a neighbor who has a towing/ auto repair service. He, too, tried pulling the truck backwards. Nope. Didn’t work.

In frustration, I yanked the key out of the ignition....and noticed something. I reached in my pocket..and there was the correct key for this vehicle, which then started right up.

Gosh, I love being 77. Just a laugh a day.

I did other stupid things yesterday, but one confession is enough. I decided to sit  in the house and read the rest of the day.

Some recent arrivals at Tern Lake:

Common mergansers:

Barrow'a goldeneye:

A pair of mallards:

Monday, March 25, 2019

And Suddenly, It's Spring!

March, usually the snowiest month of winter, was unusually warm and rainy.  Except for one blizzard that dumped more than a foot of wet, heavy snow, the temperatures have been in the forties and a persistent rain with warm breezes attacked what little snow we had.

I can't remember a year when the snow left so quickly and the ground was bare so early.   Well, not quite bare yet, especially where the snow was piled, but bare enough that I'm setting a record for the earliest date I've started picking up litter.

As soon as I finish this post, I'm heading out with grab stick, yellow bags, and safety vest to start cleaning up around Tern Lake.

Which brings me to the thawing ice around Tern Lake.   Waterfowl are returning to the patches of open water.   I suspect these are birds that stayed all winter rather than migrating.   Mostly likely, they were on the Kenai River in Cooper Landing, which stays unfrozen.

While scouting for areas to start the clean up, I found pairs of  common mergansers, the flashy Barrow's goldeneyes, and the ever colorful mallards.

So, here are the ph

otos as proof...and then I'm off!

A drake goldeneye

The hen

And the pretty mallards:

A hen mallard

The hen and the drake

And the common mergansers:

 Right now, these look like females, but as juvenile males often look like females, it's hard for me to tell.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

White on White

This gray juvenile trumpeter swan stands out as it crosses the snow.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

What to My Wondering Eyes Should Appear....

Bright blue skies and moderate temperatures lured my outdoors with my camera a couple days ago.    And it was well worth it!

I could not believe my eyes when I came upon a landotter out of the water and in the clear.    I couldn't get closer than 100 feet, but with a good 200-500mm lens, I was able to get these photos.

The day wasn't over with that, though.

And then yesterday:


Note the swans feet are in the air as they grav underwater vegetation.

A few of the 31 swans this day.

This swan is bathing.  It sticks its head underwater and scoopa water over its body.