Sunday, January 30, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Female Purple Finch of The Vermilon River. A Post ...: "The markings on these little birds makes them one of my favourites, and every bit as welcome as their vivid male counterparts. Just a..."
1) Collective nouns for finches include such words as a charm , a company, or a trembling of Finches.
2) The Purple Finch is the State bird of New Hampshire.
3) The male during courtship rituals may jump as high as a foot with tail cocked and chest puffed.
4) The population is on the decline in the eastern US because of possible competition with the House Finch.
All facts are from http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/199/_/Purple_Finch.aspx
A post to Scenic Sunday, for more scenic sundays click here: http://scenicsunday.blogspot.com/
Saturday, January 29, 2011
These are the photos that I mixed up with the purple finch in an other post, so here they are now. In that post I gave the following facts:
1) A flock of house finches is called a development of finches.
2)They were imported from the SW US in the 40's and spread from there.
3) That wonderful raspberry red may be yellow because of diet and is called a variant.
Foe more details see http://identify.whatbird.com/ and http://sdakotabirds.com/
A post to Camera Critters @ http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: A Gibbous Moon of the Vermilon River. A Post to Sk...: "1 Moon 2 Moon A Gibbous moon is a moon that is greater than half but less than full. A waxing Gibbous moon is between a quarter..."
I had posted a moon earlier as part of a Sky Watch post. But only added the Gibbous definition in a note. So I repeated it here.
I also posted these new photos because I wanted to tell you how I did it. These photos were shot during late day with a blue sky. The EXIF's are as follows:
1) 300mm,F16, 1/320 sec,the EC is -4.33 step.
2) 300m, F16, 1/250,EC -4.33 step.
I used PS8 and increased the size and lightened the exposure to about 1.80, anymore and the dark sky goes grainy.The colour showing through the black sky in the grain is red, which I don't understand. These adjustments were made to the raw, and then sharpened and lightened in the fine tuning. So effectively I think I turned the sky black with the camera EC. And then was able to lighten the moon only.
A Post to SkyWatch @ http://skyley.blogspot.com/
Wikipedia also has a good moon explanation and a good chart @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_phase I did not cite Wikipedia earlier.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: More Hoar Frost of The Vermilon River. A Post to W...: "Hoar frost On The Hills Frost on Pin Cherries Close Up of Frost As I said in an earlier post hoar frost occurs when the ai..."
|Hoar frost On The Hills|
|Frost on Pin Cherries|
|Close Up of Frost|
These photos were taken at the same time as the earlier ones that I posted.
I also wanted to take this time to speak to any Canadians who follow this blog, although my comments are equally germane to US readers. For non-Canadians I'll do a quick poly-science course. We have a parliamentary system, meaning that the party that wins the most votes forms the government, and the leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister and that party then governs. Because we as voters have been really unhappy with our politicians, we have had a minority government. The party in power, the conservatives, are dependant on other parties in the house to maintain power. We have a bicameral legislature, although our senate is appointed by the PM. It can almost be dismissed as sinecure for old politicos, party functionaries and some people who are appointed on merit.Any first year course would point out that it was set up to moderate the popularly elected House of Commons. Both at the time and now this is nonsense. There is a movement to reform the senate which I'm not going to talk about now, maybe later. We appoint our judges rather than elect them which is another area we need to look at. I don't want to get bogged down in this detail either.
An agreement was made when Jean Chretien was PM with the all the political parties ,including Harper's Alliance Party at that time, that the Government would fund elections according to a formula that provided money per vote. This meant that small parties if they received votes would get money. The real crux was that political parties could not accept donations from organizations such as corporations or unions for that matter. They could from individuals. The legislation ensures that the operative factor in Canadian politics
is the individual citizen ,not the corporation or organization. Think how much the tar sands oil companies would throw Harper's way. It is a very democratic piece of legislation, but it is not perfect. For instance it allows the Bloc Quebecois ,a regional and separatist party, to be active without depending on its voters for money. Similarly the Green Party receives money although they have never elected a member to Parliament. Harper will attack it on the Bloc situation to appeal to "anglo-loyalist" element. He will also attack it on the basis of cut backs to balance the budget. Although the amount paid out is in the 30 Millions in an election year, it is nothing in the over all Canadian budget. If you ceased paying the hacks in the Senate, and closed it you would recoup much more every year, not just every election year(4+?).
This piece of legislation is the opposite of the US experience as my US friends tell me, because the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations can give money to political parties, thus enfranchising the corporation. This was one of the factors in the republican sweep because of the enormous funds they had to launch their attacks.
Harper has never really been a real PM i.e. a majority PM as Mulroney or Chretien or Diefenbaker was and needs this election to establish a historical reputation or legend as the pundits say. Would you want to be known as Canada's long term minority PM? He was again not the first choice as the leader of the Alliance, and only prevailed by default. His recession budget was forced on him during the proroguing affair, and he can not claim any success there, although he'll try. He also needs a success to maintain his leadership of the party because he is starting to look like a loser.After all what do you call a permanent minority PM- the partial right honourable Stephen Harper?
He must not be allowed to blow smoke or tamper with this issue which in a sense is fundamental to the Canadian way of government, in that it makes, "we the people", not the organization be it a corporation, or union or religious institution, the essence of government.Remember he tried this same move with gun registration until the people took a second look and realized with some changes it could ,and was protecting police, firefighters, and paramedics when they were called to an emergency to know that there were firearms in the house. Canadians agreed that those people are worth protecting, and said NO! Let's tell him NO again!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: The Last Goose of Fall of the Vermilon River. A Po...: "While hiking out the east track in late November, I startled this fellow hiding at the base of the elevated track in the south pond. He ..."
Just an aside; I shoot at least every second day and this tends to build up a back log of memory cards which sometimes makes me feel as if I'm back in school and have not completed my assignments on time. That's why I post summer or fall scenes in the middle or at the tail end of winter. In addition, I shoot a series of photos so I don't have many individual shots, and I sometimes post more than one post with the same bird, animal or scene. In addition I'm now taking photos of landscapes, skies etc.; so my interests are expanding. This usually means I'm immersed in books dealing with the subject. And it places more pressure on me to process the memory cards. Just a truant schoolboy, I simply grab Boom and we go out more often filling up more cards.
Canada Geese have grown to become a nuisance bird in some areas but here in Boom's and my forest they're still wild. Also negative aspects about an animal/bird tend to be handed on and most times lack any validity, so I find it interesting to use the web to find out information or scientific up dates.
Here are some facts about Canada Geese:
1)The V they migrate in means the followers can ride the slipstream of the leaders. It also makes for ease of communication, and they do communicate having some 13 different sounds.
2) They mate for life and the goslings remain with their parents for 1 year. The V is usually then made up of families of Geese and can fly up to 1000 km in a day.
3) Males and females are identical in looks.
For further info, see http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=35
Here's one more fact. In Canada, we have a public radio network which broadcasts some junk usually the local stuff, but on the national level it's quite good. It runs a program called Quirks and Quarks on Saturday, which is a science update and the host interviews research scientists from around the world. It updates old crocks like me on what's happening. This Saturday he interviewed a climatologist whose team had built a computer model of global warming. The model indicates that even if we can slow carbon emissions, the effect of the current and past years will cause global warming well into 3000. I know there will be detractors but even if it's wrong by + or - 10% the normal error factor, the news is scary, and I'm ashamed to hand on an earth so contaminated to future generations. You can hear the radio program @ www. cbc.ca. Then click on radio and click on Quirks and Quarks to get the show index.
A Post to World Bird Wednesday @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/
Monday, January 24, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: American Goldfinch of the Vermilon River. A Post t...: "In a previous post, I pointed out that this little fellow changes his plumage in the winter from his traditional 'canary' like plumage to..."
For more information see my earlier post or go to : http://www.hww.ca/hww2asp?id=24.
A Post to My World Tuesday @ http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Male House Finches of The Vermilon River. A Post t...: "The Female is a female Purple Finch. Female Purple Finch in the Back. All birds are welcome at my bird feeders, but unfortun..."
|The Female is a female Purple Finch.|
|Female Purple Finch in the Back.|
Robin Robinson on her site @ http://robins-chaos.blogspot.com/. in a great essay on Waxwings, both Bohemian and Cedar has categorized bird people as bird watchers and birders. The difference she feels is that bird watchers really just watch, and maybe have a list of birds that they want to see and tick off their list. While birders want to identify and know the habitat and indeed the habits of the birds.I think there is a third group who are nature watchers, that includes the environment in all its aspects, and record it by sketching, painting, or by camera. But to do that they must know the identification, the habitat, and habits of all forest creatures including the flora. That of course is Boom and I, and we do that in our 10 mile radius.I'm not suggesting that we're experts in fact probably just passable. Which type are you?
Now some facts about House Finches:
1) A flock of house finches is known as a development of finches.
2) Imported from the SW US in the 40's to Long Island, they spread over the east. Proving that if you can make it in NY City, you can make it anywhere.
3)The male colour, the raspberry red, can change to golden yellow depending on the diet.
For more information see: http://identify.whatbird.com/ and http://sdakotabirds.com/
A post to Scenic Sunday @ http://scenicsunday.blogspot.com/
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Fall Robins of The Vermilon River. A Post to Camer...: " The bottom photo is from the west trail on the Vermilon River. The other from the east track area. I understand these guy..."
One of the most common and well adapted birds in Ontario, the Robin is our harbinger of spring and lives in all terrains from cities to forests like this one.
Here are a few facts about the Robin:
1) The Robin is one of the first birds to sing in the morning.
2) They will roost,along with other birds like starlings or blackbirds, in flocks up to 250M birds. It's unclear whether this is a social thing or merely a getting together to avoid predators ,or obtain food.
3) The Robin has an expandable esophagus to allow for food storage.
4) The Robin is a dedicated worker making up to 180 trips per day to build its nest.
The most astounding fact is the Robin is not a Robin at all , but a member of the thrush family, and is the largest one at that.
All fact are from: http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=25 Who's Who in The Hinterland.
A Post to Camera-Critters #146 @ http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
A post to Skywatch @ http://skyley.blogspot.com/.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: The Frosty Forest of the Vermilon River. A Post to...: "The Hills in Frost Frost on needles Frost on branches Hoar frost is common during cold, clear weather but this session was t..."
|The Hills in Frost|
|Frost on needles|
|Frost on branches|
Hoar frost forms on clear cold nights,and forms on objects that have been chilled below freezing by radiation cooling. It occurs when the relative humidity in supersaturated air is greater than 100%. The cold temperature and the cold object create a situation that the water vapor forms ice on the object directly. There is no in between solid water stage. If you look at the top photo, you'll see trees in the forefront that are green and have no frost on them. Likely the conditions were not right to take the vapour directly to ice.
Rime frost is not hoar frost. It is dew or liquid water that has frozen.It did not pass directly from vapour to ice.
I think we, in North America, tend to use an imprecise English, especially since the social sciences have become so strong. We would normally just call this frost on the trees. An other example would be the substitution of issues for problems. This has been picked up by politicians so that now issues don't need to be solved, and the term problem which requires a solution is never used.
For more information the best site was http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/
A post to Watery Wednesday @ http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: American Gold Finch of the Vermilon River. A Post ...: "The State bird of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington, this amazing little fellow goes from his canary like summer plumage to a much du..."
Here's a few facts about these guys:
1) The male feeds the female while she warms the eggs.
2) She builds the nest, although he does help with the obtaining of material.
3) The birds moult in the spring and the male takes on his vivid look; in the fall they moult and he becomes similar in appearance to the female.
For further information see: http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=24
A post to World Bird Wednesday @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/
Monday, January 17, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Chipmunks and Red Squirrels of the Vermilon River....: "Red Squirrel Red Squirrel Chipmunk I've already done a post on red squirrels, so I'm going to concentrate on chipmunks, which..."
Some chipmunk facts:
1) They hibernate until March and emerge even if the forest is deep in snow.
2) They are solitary except for the mothers with their young.
3) Interlopers will retreat from territories if the owner chipmunk shows up.
4) There are two varieties with the eastern chipmunk about double the size of the western.
All information from http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=86 Who's who in The Hinterland.
A Post to My World. For other sites go to: http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: More from the Beaver Pond of the Vermilon River. A...: "Showing the Extent of the Pond. Dam Channel Close up of the Lodge Not Quite finished Another tree fin..."
|Showing the Extent of the Pond.|
|Close up of the Lodge|
|Not Quite finished|
|Another tree finished|
The close up of the lodge shows the use of mud and branches in the construction. You could walk on the lodge and on the beaver dam without any threat of going through.They build for permanence and I think they occupy a lodge for 10-12 years.
In answer to the frequent question did I see any beaver? No. The reason being I think I'm on the wrong side of the pond.
I could cross over the dam and come around towards the lodges that way, but the right of way is 9-10 feet high and the area beyond the dam is likely bog. See the tower at the back of the pond. These is an electrical right of way there, and I could use it to gain access to the back of the lake. But you have to be careful there also, as the cleared land is filled with blueberry bushes that attract black bears, and the bears use it as a highway to raid the garbage of the campsites that are on the occupied lake much further over.But, I'm going to do that come summer because the ducks also stay on the other side of the pond, and I need some photos of them.
Now I've probably bored you all to to tears.
A Post to Scenic Sunday For more scenes click here:
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Great Blue Heron of the Vermilon River. A Post to ...: "Probably one of the most dramatic predators of the bird world ,up here anyway, the Great Blue Heron is a welcome addition to the wetlands ..."
A few facts about the Great Blue:
1) They sometimes nest in colonies. It is uncertain whether they come together by choice (social), or merely settle in sites which are mutually attractive because they possess certain characteristics such as safety from predators ,and thus end up together. Who's Who in the Hinterland, from whom this information is taken, recommend that there should be no developement within 300m of nesting sites.
2) They have an elaborate courtship ritual, which consists of snapping their bills.
3)The male and female share nurturing duties.
For further information see: http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?cid=78id=43 Who's Who In the Hinterland.
A Post to Camera Critters # 144. For further sites go to: http://cameracritters.blogspot.com/
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: Bright Skies of The Vermilon River. A Post to Sky ...: "Blue Skies. I named the second one easy skies because I'm normally posting uneasy skies. And the first just shows that we've had..."
I named the second one easy skies because I'm normally posting uneasy skies. And the first just shows that we've had some sun this week, as well as showing an interesting,and non-threatening cloud formation.
A Post to Sky Watch. For more skies from around the world go to: http://skyley.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Me, Boomer and The Vermilon River: A Beaver Pond of the Vermilon River-A post to Wate...: " Shows two lodges Oldest lodge The beaver dam is at the end of this channel. This is a two part post, g..."
|Shows two lodges|
|The beaver dam is at the end of this channel.|
A few Beaver Facts:
1) Canada, or North America for that matter, had no spices as early explores hoped, but men's fashion i.e. the beaver hat would create a struggle between two empires for control of the fur trade, the beaver was the center of that trade.
2) Beavers are workers,cutting down some 216 trees individually per year. Their favourites, aspen and birch, serve as food and construction materials.
3)Dams are built to ensure that the ponds will surface freeze only leaving open the deep areas for easy winter passage.
4) Beavers dam the narrowest area embedding a substructure of branches that the water fans out and built from there.
5) The lodge consists of four rooms-feeding, resting, fresh air, and two escape areas in the event predators gain access.
6) Beaver also build canals to transport all of the material they harvest.
For more info see http://www.hwww.ca/hww2.asp?id=82 Who's Who in the Hinterland.
A post to Watery Wednesday,for more sites see: http://waterywednesday.blogspot.com/
If you are following the tour of the pond, I'll post the other on Sunday at Scenic Sunday.