Friday, May 30, 2008

The week flew by

The week has just flown by. The weather has been great. What is it about reflection pictures that really catches my eye? I don't know, but I sure like them. Have a good weekend!

Click on pic's to enjoy!

Monday, May 26, 2008

WOW! What a gorgeous day.

I didn't have any special plans for today when I woke up. I was getting the RV out of storage and bringing it back to the house and then I was going for a bike ride along the TK Coastal Trail. I hadn't been riding yet this year and I enjoy biking the different trails around town.

Ruth wasn't going on the bike ride. She's been doing some heavy studying for about a month now. In three weeks she takes the state exam for being a licensed Vet Tech in Alaska.

My first stop was West Chester Lagoon Nature Trail. The trail is rough and not well maintained. That's what I like about it. It's not crowded because of the condition it's in. Right off the bat I spotted a European Starling taking a bath. It's listed as rare for this area, but it's being seen more and more the last few years. A Mew Gull landed and it flew off, but I got a few shots of it first.

I didn't have to take a step when I saw Mr. & Mrs. Greater Scaup. They were keeping their distance, but my zoom brought them closer.

Right up the trail a female Downy Woodpecker has having a feast. It's listed as uncommon for south coastal Alaska. It didn't care that I was there about 15 feet away, so I took a bunch of pix's. I figured I was having a good day for the amateur I am.

Further upstream I spotted Mr. & Mrs. American Wigeon. She was bathing and he was taking a nap. Yup, their Americans. Where's the TV?

Mew Gulls were every where's. They were even in the spruce trees. Not a lot of people like gulls. I do. I don't know if it's their whiteness or how aggressive they get protecting their nest and young. They even adopt.

It was a gorgeous day. I did more photography and birding than biking, but I couldn't help myself. The weather is suppose to be awesome all week. Yahoo!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend!

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts
they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'

Monday, May 19, 2008

Belle of the ball

I was invited to see a different world this past Sunday. A world that's "all about Shelties", at least according to my friends Cindy & Todd Palmatier.

Introducing "Belle". Belle is a 1 1/2 year old Shetland Sheepdog, but you probably shouldn't say dog in her presence. Remember, everything is agout Shelties.

They were participating in the Arctic Streakers NADAC 2008 Agility Trial, er, ah, ahem, Belle was. They were Belle's support staff. While Belle was waiting to perform, they waited in Belle's Taj Mahall. A pop up tent with carpeting, cot, chairs, cooler, you get the idea. Everything is about Shelties.

Belle is very playful in the mean time. Play with me. I'm very cute and full of energy. I love attention and that's what she gets from Cindy and Todd. When not out attending Belle related activities, Cindy takes her to work where everyone gets to interact with Belle. If you got a treat, you have a friend for life but remember, everything is about Shelties.

Belle was also sitting back and taking notes of the other contestants. She watched the ones that took the wrong tunnel, got distracted and left the course to interact with other dogs or find the extra interesting aroma of little piles the geese left behind. She wasn't going to do that.

She was going to run fast though. She's very light and swift. Cindy is her handler (or do I have that backwards) and gets to try and keep up with her. Todd is the guy attending, attending to everything. He's like the rest of us married guys, we do what we are told. I just noticed he's not in any of the pictures I took. He must have been busy doing stuff. Everything is about Shelties.

Run fast she did. Her Trial was over in less than a minute, but I think she wanted to go on longer.

All joking aside, Belle makes friends with everyone. Cindy and Todd are enjoying her with Belle activities and their activities of their own. They take her camping, fishing, to work, you name it. Their kids are grown and moved own with their lives so now they have the "Belle" of the ball and everything is about Shelties.

Friday, May 16, 2008

More West Chester Lagoon

West Chester Lagoon has been getting some extra attention from me because Potter Marsh is under construction through July 27th. They're expanding the boardwalks and adding photography blinds and stuff. It's going to be awesome when it's done, but like a little kid I WANT IT DONE NOW. Any how, atta boys and girls to all of the organizations who have a hand in it.

West Chester Lagoon is very bizzy right now. The Red-necked Grebes were feeding big time and getting the Herring Gulls all wired up.

A funny story, people were talking to me along the lagoon asking what the grebe was and of course I rambled off that it's in its breeding plumage and its nest float and blah blah blah. I didn't know until I got home that I had missed the Northern Shovelers. I didn't notice them until I was uploading the pix's to my pc. DAH!

Going out of town and won't be back until Sunday. Have a GREAT WEEKEND!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Leaving Homer I saw

And they decided to nest in a town called "Happy Valley". Sorry, no better direction then that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival

Homer and the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. Wow, what a Good time it was. The weather was decent for both Friday and Saturday, but fell apart on Sunday with high winds and rain. The Bald Eagle must have known the festival was going on, because they were out in force.

Homer also rolls out the red carpet for birders coming to the festival. It's pretty much the fist shin dig for the non-winter season. The tourist season is also in full bloom. I met people from Florida, Ohio and Maine, but I'm sure there were lots more.

I didn't get a chance to take some of the guided tours due to other commitments, but I heard a lot about them. I had to take a few of my own because that's what fit in the schedule. All along Homer Spit was very active and so were the mud flats down by the airport. Loons were by the bridge that connects to the main part of Homer, but traffic didn't allow time to stop for pix's.

I'm not use to seeing NW Crows. They have them in Homer, but we don't in Anchorage. You can tell they are a close relative to Ravens. They act a lot like them.

The Eagles, Ravens and Herring Gulls spent a lot of time playing in the thermals. Just hovering around in circles enjoying the view.

I had a blast. Next year we need to go when we don't have anything else going on. Trixie, you'll need to make sure you have it off and take your girls. I'm sure they would have a blast.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Park remodel in progress

Cuddy Family Park has been under renovation (total rebuild) since last summer and is scheduled to be completed later on this coming summer. So far the pond is holding water. Sorry, had to say that. This park has been a nice break right in the center of town and with a lot of office buildings all around it, the lunch breaks for these workers should be a little more enjoyable. There's even a few more office buildings under consrtuction as we speak.

I often stop here in between visits to accounts to catch up on a few things and also to take a break. From here I can head in any direction and be at an account in 10 minutes if needed.

The biggest damage with the construction was to the housing for magpie's. There was a lot of trees before the renovation and I don't know if the plans are to add more later on. But with the cutting down of a lot of the old trees, it's forced the magpies to move to other neighborhoods. Magpies usually stay close to home, so this has to be an adjustment for them. Hopefully they move back after the construction. Corvids are always a blast to watch when you need a lift.

The gulls and geese are making due with the new pond. It really hasn't had a good chance to take hold yet, but they are out there enjoying it. In years past the geese have raised a few families here. Let's see how they like the new surroundings.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Neighbor

Ruth and I usually go to my favorite restaurant for breakfast on Sunday mornings. This morning was only a little different. Our neighbors recently moved and this is what we found taking a nap in their yard this morning. It's name is not Aussie, that's a BBQ grill in the background.

There use to be a wooded area across the street from us. Every winter and every spring we would get three moose that would hang out for about a week or so. One had a numbered collar on from either USF&W or ADF&G. The woods are gone and there's a house on the lot now, but I wonder if this is one of the moose that use to hang around. It looks familiar.

Hope you had a good weekend. Notice the lack of snow?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's wrong with this????

Exxon’s earnings rise on record oil prices
Quarterly results fall short of oil giant’s record at close of 2007

Exxon falls short
May 1: Oil giant Exxon Mobil’s earnings fell short of expectations in the latest quarter.
CNBC’s Mary Thompson reports.

updated 7:01 a.m. AKT, Thurs., May. 1, 2008
HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday record crude prices helped its first-quarter profit climb 17 percent to $10.9 billion — the second biggest U.S. quarterly corporate profit ever.