Cheetle-Jay

Hello everyone! I am back for a likely brief period of time while I’m waiting for some props to finish drying. First off, I wanted to thank you for the warm welcome you gave Brad on his first guest post. Definitely helping me out while I try to get things under control at the home base. There will be more coming from him in the future – in fact he already has some ready to go. Will try to spread out the sugar, don’t want anyone to get over-sweetened and tire of the standard fare ha!

Really good news on the running front as well. Finished my 50K simulation run last week on the approximate course the 100K will be held. Not sure what happened over there, but the CoE site looked like a tornado hit it – downed trees everywhere. Some still over the trails turning it into a wilderness obstacle course. Other areas had been cleaned of the down timber, but so many branches and wood chips were left behind I had hunt/guess to find the path at times. Will be impressed if they get all that scrub taken care prior to the race (in a shockingly short 3 weeks). The simulation did successfully remind me the actual race is not going to be “pleasant” until the moment I cross the finish line – was definitely feeling the last couple of miles of the simulation and that only gets me HALF way there – will thankfully be cooler then.

Enough of that, let’s get to the part you come here to see – the featured feathered friend of the day.

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay found at Red Rock Canyon, Clark County, NV in February 2020

Hit the jump for more of my Vegas tin.

Continue reading Cheetle-Jay

It Say’s I’m the Best

For the last two weeks I’ve woken up, looked at the day’s to-do list, covered my dog’s ears and let out a string of colorful words. In big bold letters is the word “POST”. Although that probably is obvious but it is short for “Get your lazy butt into the den and get a post out you lily-livered, bow-legged, flea-bitten varmint”. Yes, I’m retired, yes, I still have to-do lists and yes, my to-do list entries mock me. This month it isn’t so much procrastination, just too much stuff going on, but today we are going to take another bite out of the self-imposed monthly post quota.

Going to start with another brag introduction. I previously mentioned Raven did well in the TDAA National competition held last week in Minnesota. He is starting to slow down a bit, but he is getting the job done qualifying in 4 out of his 6 runs. I’d be sleeping on the couch if I didn’t give some of that credit to Linda ha!

Raven at TDAA Nationals in Maple Grove, MN July 2022

I think Raven is starting to feel the pressure from the newest member of the agility family. A long way from the steady runs of his brother, Ruger is just starting out, but showing amazing talent – Linda just needs to get him focused. We laughed at this shot of him “doing” his first ever weave poles. By “doing” we mean running right through them to get to his favorite obstacle the teeter-totter. “That isn’t how it’s done Ruger!” Raven was absolutely embarrassed and went and hid in his crate after that fiasco.

Raven at TDAA Nationals in Maple Grove, MN July 2022

As they Say’s, hit the jump to see today’s featured feathered friend!

Continue reading It Say’s I’m the Best

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Birding World

Hello Everyone, Happy “Spend Lots of Money on Your Significant Other” Day or minimally shower them with affection and let them know how important they are in your life (the latter being a hell of a lot cheaper .. just saying).  So a few posts back I mentioned that I had already selected the featured subject for this special day.  That foreshadowing resulted in Ron spending every available minute from that point on theorizing, hypothesizing and speculating on what I would possibly select to represent SLoMoYSO Day.  He actually had a few good guesses, but failed to put two and two together even though he already knew what birds were in my queue.  Granted, his guess of a Vermilion Flycatcher (link here) would have definitely been a fitting tribute to the traditional color of the day, I went with another option – one that is making its debut on the blog.

Anna's Hummingbird found at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, NV, November 2018

Yes, a Hummingbird!  How cute is that!?!  In every post involving these delicate birds I’ve mentioned how I have to travel to get any variety in the tin.  If you live in the Midwest you basically have three choices of Hummingbirds.  The first being a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  Secondly, if you stand real still in a yard full of Hummingbird feeders you just might see a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  Now lastly, if you are feeling really lucky, and I mean really feeling lucky and cover yourself in sugar water and shimmy up the largest pole you can locate you might find yourself in a mental ward …soon after seeing a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I think you get the picture.

Anna's Hummingbird found at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, NV, November 2018

So instead, we load up the RV and head out to better locations.  Las Vegas happened to be the spot where this specimen made it into the tin.  Over the last Thanksgiving holiday we headed out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to see what we could find being already elated to have checked off the Costa’s Hummingbird the day before (link here).  While coming out of the Visitor Center I noticed the unmistakable sound of a Hummingbird blasting by with full burners engaged.  Challenge accepted.  This proved to be a bit more difficult than usual thanks to choosing to leave the Beast at home and rent a 180-600mm from a local camera store.  Although it was definitely lighter than the Beast, the focus was incredibly slow making in flight shots impossible.  All was not lost, just needed to wait until these sugar freaks took a break.

Hit the jump to discover why this little bird was chosen for V-Day.

Continue reading Happy Valentine’s Day from the Birding World

Often Heard, Rarely Spotted

In preparation for tomorrow, I did some digging in my out building, found a lawn chair and dragged it out to the middle of the yard.  Grabbed a pair of flip flops, a bottle of suntan lotion, cheap sunglasses and my favorite birding reference book.  Going to be some fun in the heatwave forecasted to hit sometime tomorrow…40F.  However, there are possible clouds and rain sneaking in for the afternoon through tomorrow night.  Needless to say, I’ll take it.  It might look a bit odd being surrounded by a foot of snow that is still lingering, but I “needz my vitamin D”.  In truth, I am skeptical it is going to get that warm with this much snow and ice about, but I will definitely be lacing up the running shoes and getting a few miles in snow, rain or sunshine.  It might be a bit sketchy on the footing, but it will help the soul to lift the winter blahs.    If nothing else, I can simply recall warmer places… for instance Las Vegas.

First a public service warning to those of you that might have adverse reactions to creatures with red eyes.  As with the previous post on the Cinnamon Teal, today’s featured bird also possesses a blood red eye.  Feel free to view the rest of the post through your fingers if that will make you feel more comfortable ha!

Spotted Towhee found at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 2018

I was just talking to Ron tonight on how odd it is that so many birds have red hued eyes and I am not talking about the night owls squinting through strained eyes and hazy rooms trying to hit the big payout on the one arm bandits (another term that is becoming outdated with the advent of digital technology/machines).  We were wondering if it provided some evolutionary benefit, maybe better able to see at dark or perhaps provide better tracking of UV urine trails of prey (yes, some birds have that ability like the Kestrel) or perhaps it is simply a defensive mechanism – if I was a bird I would stay way the hell away from something that had red eyes – clearly bloodthirsty heathens – just saying.  Neither of us have a definitive response to the quandary which means I’ll have something to research while enjoying that lawn chair tomorrow.  If you happen to have some thoughts on red eyes feel free to let us know in the comments.  We here at Intrigued are thirsty for wildlife knowledge.

Short one tonight, but if you hit the jump, I have a few more words and one more image to share.

Continue reading Often Heard, Rarely Spotted

Blue Tones in the Desert

Greetings to all from the big white tundra we like to call the Midwest.  A bit of an icebox at the moment as we are dealing with ~12″ inches of the fluffy stuff.  Add to that a layer of ice that accumulated overnight from freezing drizzle and you have yourself a recipe for hilarity.  Case in point.  Our dogs decided that 4:50am is a perfectly good time to demand I take them out.  Wipe the sleep from the eyes, remind the legs they were designed to move me from one place to another, put some shoes on and leash up the dogs – you would think by their expression I take evil enjoyment out of cinching up their necks as opposed to the truth there are “eyes in ‘dem trees” that think 4:50am is a perfect time for an early morning snack. Shut the alarms down and take a groggy step off the porch onto the wet concrete.  Except it wasn’t just wet, nope, black ice quickly causing my feet to go eye level and my eyes to go feet level.  Just got my back all healed up and now I’m being snickered at by sure footed furballs. Later that morning, a semi ended up jackknifing  by the main highway exit I use to get to work shutting down that access and choking up all the alternative routes (which had their share of wrecks as well).  Some days were just designed to stay in bed and enjoy thoughts of warmer locations.

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay found at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas NV, November 2018

Like for instance the desert – specifically the Mohave Desert in Las Vegas.  The Rock Wren was not the only bird hanging out at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area back in November 2018.  Unlike that bird (link here) and Abert’s Towhee (link here). that came before it, this bird possesses coloring that contrasts sharply with the desert floor.  Yep, this one is adorned in a pretty blue and grey palette.

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay found at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas NV, November 2018

Hit the jump to find out what kind of bird this is!

Continue reading Blue Tones in the Desert

Rocking Vegas

Getting my exercise in alternative ways today.  Seems Old Man Winter has decided the Midwest needed a serious coating of white.  Snow has been coming down in our area since 9pm last night and not planned to let up until 2am tomorrow.  Good for our wells, but not for the body. Finally got my back functioning again and was hoping to take an easier trajectory to the daily workouts.  So far everything is holding together – did a mid-shovel this morning to get the pavements cleared, but will probably be heading out soon to clear off the 4 hours of new powder that has been dropped and break out the tractor to clear the 300′ of driveway.

In the meantime, thought I’d recall warmer times in the Mojave Desert.

Rock Wren located at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas NV,k November 2018

Feel bad for bringing you another fairly dull colored bird, but the desert birds tend to inherit the hues of their surroundings.  Nonetheless, this little bird represents the second +1 for the young year.  Those that happen to be familiar with our feathered friends will probably recognize it as part of the Wren family.  Although unable to bring this element to bear, the chatter these hyperactive birds emit is also a dead giveaway.  All that is left to do is identify which type it is.

Rock Wren located at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas NV,k November 2018

Hit the jump to find out what this new bird is!

Continue reading Rocking Vegas