Orange You Glad You Found Me

First off, my heartfelt appreciation goes out today on Memorial Day for all those heroes that have lost their lives protecting our citizens as well as those abroad so that was may live in the safety we often times take for granted.  I also want to extend a big thank you to those that continue to serve out country on a daily basis. Thank you

Today’s post officially completes my monthly quota (did I just hear kazoos and fireworks!?!)  Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to do a little birding with my brother Ron up in Montrose on the Chicago lakefront.  For those not aware of that incredible birding place, you need to get up there during the migration and get yourself a whole bunch of checks in your North American birding list – especially in the Warbler category.  I do not want to give away the fruits of that labor yet, but let’s just say it was worth the drive!

Keeping with that Warbler theme, thought it would be nice to continue with this…

Orange-Crowned Warbler Shot at Henderson Wildlife Viewing Preserve in December 2014

Now, this particular one wasn’t found three hours to our North.  Nope, this one ended up requiring a 4 hour flight to the West to get in the tin.  To be specific, these shots were taken back in December 2014 while on a quick trip to Las Vegas. Bet you went soft thanks to recent posts thinking I was going to continue the trend of putting more recent stuff on here.  Unfortunately, not.

Orange-Crowned Warbler Shot at Henderson Wildlife Viewing Preserve in December 2014

Hit the jump to find out what this bird is and view a few more pictures.

Continue reading Orange You Glad You Found Me

See Spot Fly

It’s another pressure cooker month, but the good news is this post puts me over the hump and now looking downhill at the monthly quota.  One day it is going to get me and my streak will be over … but alas, not likely this month.  To use a common term from my workplace, there’s always the bus-factor to take into account – for those unfamiliar, the higher the factor, the higher the risk to the company if you get ran over by a bus that day.  With only one post short as long as my fingers are still able to press on keys I should be able to finish it from the emergency room ha!

Take a gander at today’s featured feathered friend.
Spotted Sandpiper shot at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge on May 20th, 2017
That intriguing looking bird is a Spotted Sandpiper.  Once again, those clever bird namers are saving teeth wear on the creative cogs.  Let’s see, it has Spots and it is hanging out on a shoreline – I got it Spotted Sandpiper – start the presses. In all seriousness, you have to be appreciative of a Sandpiper you can quickly identify.  If you have not had the experience trying to ID an obscure Piper, it ranks right up there with discerning a juvenile Sparrow.  The Spotted has a couple of distinguishing marks with one being …. well … it has SPOTS and not streaks or solid.  The hard eye line and ink tipped orange bill also collectively give it away.
Spotted Sandpiper shot at Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge on May 20th, 2017

Hit the jump to see and read a bit more about this stoic Peep.

Continue reading See Spot Fly

Pinky Legadero

Wow, this month is going to be close on the quota front.  Lots of things happening around the headquarters of Intrigued as of late and admittedly, it is getting in the way of my commitment to my loyal readers.  For that I apologize immensely, but on the other hand, I’ve been able to devote some time to working on new animatronics for this year’s Haunted Trail.  Never too early to be thinking of orange and black.  Speaking of black (these lead in don’t write themselves you know hehehe) take a look at my latest find.
Black-Necked Stilt Shot at Emiquon on May 20th,. 2017
This particular set of shots is uber-fresh being as it was taken less than a week ago!  For those who follow this blog, you realize what a rarity it is to see shots that are less than 2 years old … a shoot to post duration measured in days is nearly unheard of.  Credit Linda for coming up with the plan to hit Havana on our way down to Springfield to see the parents.  She knows that Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge is like crack for us bird enthusiasts.  To be relatively close to that birding hotspot is truly a blessing.  You never really know what you are going to see  on those wetlands so always exciting to be able to make a run through even if it is for as little as 1.5 hours which is all the time we had that day.
Black-Necked Stilt Shot at Emiquon on May 20th,. 2017

Hit the jump to see a few more pictures of this pink legged treasure! Continue reading Pinky Legadero

Summer’s Here

Greetings everyone!  It has been a bit since I have posted and for that my utmost apologies.  There is just something about a few hot days, a couple of passes of fertilizer followed by a a whole lot of rain that somehow makes my grass think they’re in a race to the clouds.  At this rate I’ll be mowing every 1.3 days!  Taking advantage of the fact it is raining this very minute, thought it would be a great time to put another notch in the post counter.  Although we are technically a month early, let’s welcome Summer to the blog…
Summer Tanager Shot at Starved Rock May 2015
Well, a Summer Tanager that is.  This gorgeous bird was found on an outing at Starved Rock State Park.  My brother Ron and I had the opportunity to do a day of birding there back in May 2015.  Wait a minute, come to think of it, it was pouring down rain that day too.  If I recall correctly we ended up having to stand under tree cover waiting for a lightning storm to pass over.  Okay kiddies, let me make a short PSA – it is not recommended you stand under tall trees during a lightning storm.  Don’t even think about it, don’t do it and certainly don’t reference this blog when they scrap your body off the ground and drag your butt into the ER after disobeying my advice.
Summer Tanager Shot at Starved Rock May 2015

Hit the jump to read and see a bit more about the Summers!

Continue reading Summer’s Here

By Any Other Name

“Folks that throw dirt on you aren’t always trying to hurt you, and folks that pull you out of a jam aren’t always trying to help you. But the main point is when you’re up to your nose in shit, keep your mouth shut.”

Okay, I am going to give you a break from all the insect and wildlife pictures that have been dominating this blog as of late and bring you a rare topic – me ranting about something…err .. I mean something that doesn’t happen that much – me complaining about a service…err .. I mean a short comment at the expense of someone in service … oh screw it, I’m just going to pull out my well worn soap box and once again pontificate about something that happens to be a pet peeve of mine.  In some small part I have my parents to blame for a cringe that awaits me almost daily.  Most of the time, I sigh, archive the incident if it happens electronically and move on.  Then again, there are those days that it stares back at you for a truly annoying amount of time.  Just happens I have a couple of examples.  Take this trip to Panera back in March.

Panera Brain

Was going to make it a mystery and then realized I pretty much handed it to you.  I cannot even begin to count how often this happens to me.  I actually keep a Brain’s folder on my corporate email account that I copy in every time it happens at work.  Yes, I agree I am probably overly sensitive (call it my snowflake moment).  The problem is it happens ALL the time.  Dear Brain, How is Brain today, Hey Brain you pissed me off today and on and on.  To be honest, Brian is not that hard of a name to figure out.  In fact, both my brother’s name are fairly simple but I never see my brothers addressed as Ran or Don – nope, it seems the spelling issues originates as soon as there are more than three letters in the name.  Very few people call me Bri (pretty much reserved for my Mom and Linda), but since it is three letters I never get Bra or Brie.  So there I was staring at the receipt wondering how this was going to play out when they called me for my food.  Put the odds at 60-40 their brains (see what I did there hehehe) would automatically reverse the error or they would be too ashamed to yell out Brain.

That’s when I looked up and uttered “Dammit”

hit the jump to see the punchline

Continue reading By Any Other Name

Unwarranted Concern

Sorry everyone, it has been an extremely busy month so far and time keeps getting away from me – a lot of that due to running.  I was able to log a 13 mile run today in a very hilly course, so I’m feeling comfortable about my upcoming Toughest Illinois’ 15K race.  The good news on the blog front is I am once again within the 2 year queue window having processes a number of shoots including a run to Starved Rock and another to Kentucky – yes, they include new bird plus ones that are excited about their upcoming blog debut.

Thought I would throw out a quick one tonight just to get the ball rolling for the month.

Snowberry Clearwing shot at Jubilee College State Park in August of 2014

I should probably mention now that I have a pretty significant aversion to bees and hornets.  On the bees front I used to experience significant swelling when I was a young kid whenever a bee would decide to sink its stinger in my tender flesh.  Now that I am older I get a little less anxious around them when they are roaming around SOLO – get ground bees congested in a dirt hole and this dude starts looking for implements of mass annihilation.  Mowed over a nest last year and several played a game of darts on my behalf.  On the Bumblebee front I usually just let them be (see what I did there hehehe) having never met an aggressive one in the field – usually they are too drunk on nectar to care about me.  However, there is one type of large hornet or wasp that used to terrorized our summer Wiffle Ball field.  I have yet to fully ID it, but it was at least 2 inches long, banded with black and yellow with a stinger that would bring some serious tears to a young boy’s eyes.  When I saw this creature through my camera it immediately triggered a flight reaction

Snowberry Clearwing shot at Jubilee College State Park in August of 2014

Could this be the terror of my youth!?!  Concern quickly turned to intrigue and forced myself to try and get some additional shots.  It was big – maybe in the 1 inch body size with a 1.5-2 inch wingspan.  Definitely the right color palette, but something seemed a bit off.  Those wings are much more robust than the standard Bee or Wasp wing and I do not remember either have a furry butt.  Then I saw this image in the digital dark room.

Snowberry Clearwing shot at Jubilee College State Park in August of 2014

That image left me with the impression it was more of a Butterfly than a Bee or Wasp.  Time to hit Google and figure out what this mystery guest was.  From a region perspective, this was found at Jubilee State Park back in August 2014.  Using that information with a smattering of the visual characteristics eventually revealed the answer to the mystery – as best I can tell, this is a Clearwing – likely of type Snowberry.  My fears were unwarranted, for this is a harmless member of the Moth family.  I hope that isn’t what we raged war on as a kid, but I distinctly remember getting stung by one so either we allowed ourselves to exaggerate too much and it was really a hornet or that villain is yet to be properly identified.  The good news is I’ll be able to recognize the Clearwing from this point forward and let myself enjoy the moment rather than fight the flight urge.

Hope you enjoyed this new Moth for the blog – see you again real soon.