Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Christine and I traveled to Appleton this past Friday for my spring department meetings. The UW Colleges have thirteen locations, and we only get together twice a year as a department. We lingered in the area before, during and after the meetings to bird.
We saw many birds for the first time this year and also saw one bird species for the first time ever. We took an extra half hour drive to go through Wausau, and saw our first ever Eared Grebe at a park along the lake. As we pulled into the parking lot we saw two birders already scoping the lake, who happened to be from our area and to our surprise had already heard of me. We had a nice talk with them, and they generously shared their scope and pointed out the target bird.
During my meetings Friday afternoon Christine saw these two Cooper's hawks fighting (More pictures 2, 3, and 4). She did not find many birds though, rather she spent time shopping and looking for a TV and Blue-Ray player. After a meal with the department we headed to our room, where I finished my slides for a research presentation the next day while Christine read a book. The quiet relaxation bestowed upon us by Dan and Linda was greatly appreciated.
The next morning we went birding before the meetings continued. We did not find too much out of the ordinary, but enjoyed watching a few regulars including a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. After the meetings we headed north out of Appleton, finding this cooperative Eastern Chipmunk at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve. We scoped the flooded fields on Van Patten Drive, seeing many ducks and a nesting colony of Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
We arrived back in Marshfield last Saturday night after looking at more Best Buy electronics in Stevens Point. (Our DVD player died and we are considering updating everything now!) Sunday morning we spent four hours leisurely walking through McMillian Marsh Wildlife Area north of Marshfield. There was a good variety of birds, but not many photo opportunities beyond the Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Dan and Linda arrived late Sunday night and we enjoyed their short visit. On Monday Dan and Christine built a sandbox frame underneath the deck. The girls absolutely love time with family.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Also, this week, starting yesterday when I brought the girls to the cities to meet up with my parents, we have the house to ourselves. My parents have taken the girls so that Malcolm and I can go to Appleton to attend his department meeting. I didn't really want to hang out with the girls in a hotel room for two days so this way they get to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa and cousins and Malcolm and I get to have time alone to go birding and out to eat. (I am putting that in 'print' so that we can't back out of our dinner tonight. Malcolm said we were going out tonight!) I have already enjoyed the morning/afternoon of relaxing and quiet time. It is a much needed time and I enjoy it immensely.
Malcolm took the picture below of a Red-winged Blackbird this past week and I thought it was cool so I wanted to post it. We haven't seen much but this past weekend we got to go for a walk and saw both Ruby and Golden Kinglets, a Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrow and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
Oh, and a sincere thankyou to Grandma who came to watch the kids while I baked and while Malcolm and I were at the event. Her help was very much appreciated and the girls had a lot of fun too!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
What you don't see are pictures of my feeble plumbing attempt gone wrong. This morning I took the stem out of the bathtub's hot water valve before shutting off the water to the house....yep I got wet. I am thankful Dad could talk me through the fix, at least the water was warm.
Friday, April 2, 2010
We ate supper with Dave and Liza in Fridley. They are alot of fun to visit and they were absolutely amazing with the girls. Michaela and Danielle enjoyed their pets, and we greatly appreciated their hospitality.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday we were in Staples. Michaela and Danielle love spending time with either set of grandparents. Dad, Christine, and I cut a load of wood Sunday afternoon. It was the first time I saw Dad's impressive hydraulic trailer in action.
We were able to drive straight through from Staples to Marshfield on the return trip. Michaela and Danielle were both in the middle of an ugly viral infection, which made for some weird sleeping arrangements. Luckily they are feeling better now, but in the process did pass it along to both of us as well as both parents and Lisa and Elizabeth. Oh well, who knew that would be the cost of visiting?