Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake, Hurricane, and some yard critters

Today I experienced my third earthquake. The other 2 - one in PA, and one in IL - were very minor. Both felt like a train was passing by the house. Today's VA quake was a real one. I work about 45-50 miles from the epicenter of the 6.0 earthquake that hit VA today. The walls shook in the building for about 15 seconds (seemed like forever), stuff fell off of the top shelves, and I dove under the desk. People who were outside at the time said the building was swaying, and the cars in the lot were jumping. Not being a seasoned earthquake veteran, it was a little scary. But, now that it's over, it was actually pretty cool. (Since no one got hurt)

Now I see that Hurricane Irene is strengthening and is likely to hit NC on Sat. That will put it over my new house by late Sunday. YEAHH - 2 natural disasters in 6 days. Awesome.

So, after they closed our building for the day, I got home and sat outside with my wife to see a plethora of birds hitting the feeders. It was insane - hummingbirds, finches, cardinals, a titmouse, a nuthatch, and we saw a bald eagle and 2 ospreys overhead. I tried to get a hummingbird picture that was a actually identifiable as such - no easy task for me! So, here are a few pics from this afternoon.

What a beautiful day it turned out to be. Please click on teh pictures for larger images.

A juvenile 5 lined skink - apparently pretty well fed.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Yard Critters

Short and sweet post - just a few of the critters I keep stumbling across in the yard. Btw - the spiders here are freaking HUGE!

I'll keep posting as I keep getting pictures. Cool weather is right around the corner and that means a few months of striper fishing!

Click on any of th ephotos for a larger image.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Starting over in Maryland

The move to Maryland has been about as efficient as I could have imagined, but I STILL hate moving. Aside from the physical hassles, though, there are parts of the move that have me very excited. I realize that going from Illinois to Maryland isn't exactly the ecological equivalent of going from the Amazon to the Antarctic, for example, but the flora and fauna of Maryland are substantially different from what we had in Illinois. And I am excited to discover and photograph all of it!

To begin with, we are now on an acre that is surrounded by mature hardwood trees. Shagbark hickory, tulip poplar - large, impressive trees. These trees are home to their own ecosystems that I didn't have in Illinois. We lived in a "cornfield community" - build the houses in a cornfield. No mature trees. Not much variation in the birdlife. We saw ONE squirrel in 7 years in our yard - and I think it was VERY lost! We usually had one hummingbird per summer meander through our yard. Here we had 4 at our feeder the first evening we put it out.

There were no lizards in our area before. Now the skinks are daily sightings. We have bluebirds in the front yard.

I am REALLY enjoying the diversity here. And that's just the yard - the Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River are each a few miles away and offer a myriad of wildlife to enjoy. I see a nest of ospreys every day when I cross the bridge on the Patuxent River. Bald eagles are common as are all the shorebirds.

I'll certainly get back into the original focus of this blog - fish and fishing - as I'm here longer, but for the time being, you'll have to be content with the yard critters.

Hope you enjoy the photos, and sorry for the long sabbatical.

The first week were in the house, my wife spied this 4' black rat snake crawling up one of our trees while we were sitting on the deck.

This orb spider is HUGE - it has to be 4 inches from front to back. There are some seriously big spiders here!

We have a big butterfly bush at the deck in the back of the house. It is loaded with butterflies, many of which are not familiar to me. I plan to post a bunch of butterfly pictures.

Finally, my plans include some hummingbird pictures. The ones I've taken so far are so bad I can't post them. Bear with me - we'll get some eventually.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Testing 1 - 2 - 3: Time to re-emerge from my hibernation

I have a few pictures to download, and I'll get back to posting on theis blog. I know there are MILLIONS of you out there holding your breath, just waiting to read the next installment of the never ending drivel that is Flowing Waters.

OK - probably not - but I'll be back soon anyway!