Friday, May 13, 2011

Peepers, Road Ride and Firsts

My last post may have seemed a bit vague.  In a way, it was meant to.  “What are the adventures she had on the deer trails?” you wondered.  I wanted to wait for the video to upload, so you could hear for yourself.

One evening on one of my usual walks, I noticed the deer paths leading in the opposite direction from which I often travel.  The terrain was only ground foliage and low juniper bushes in a field of pine trees, so I easily meandered through.  Low and behold, what did I see 40 yards in?  A ridge jutting ten feet up in the air, stretching twenty feet wide.  “I am going to climb that!  It was put here just for me to find!”  

I noticed how mossy it was.  I mean furry with moss... like it was alive!  I introduced myself and walked around it before daring to tread upon its coat.  A quarter of my way around this rock, I noticed that it was indeed a ridge that sank into a valley behind where I first met it.  Wow.  I never knew that was there.

I slithered down into its marshy depths.  The spring peepers were so loud!  Oh, my goodness!  I have to go back and get my camera so I can take a video for my loyal blog readers!  So I did.  See what you make me do?  Here is that video.

Did you hear that bird at the end?  Gosh, I wish I could tell you what it was... do you know?  Anyway, it called one more time after the time you heard it on the video, and all the peepers quit peeping.  There I was, after half an hour of peeper bliss -- standing alone in silence!  I knew that meant it was time to leave the marsh.

I continued on to my usual spot on the beach.  I went to visit the ice caves from the winter, but in the last post I didn’t mention what they framed.  As I looked through the first cave, I saw a freighter right in the center, waaaaaaay off in the distance.  That’s why it didn’t show up in my picture, so I thought I’d spare you the details of my camera’s inadequateness.  Then I climbed to the party-sized cave, and guess who was in the center of that frame!?  A little otter swimming about.  Oh, what a sweet little thing.  Once again, the pictures did not turn out (hopefully I will get my camera fixed, so I can see what I’m taking pictures of!)

Pretty neat, eh?

Wednesday I went for a bike ride on M-26 along the shore of Lake Superior.  I don’t know of many road rides with scenery as captivating as that!  The sky was so sunny, and even the breeze was warm.  I was riding in shorts and short sleeves.  Allehlujah!   The ride was magical, and traffic was minimal (hence why I chance riding in the spring).  

Twice I had to stop and get off my bike because the shore boulders were calling me.  “Amanda,” they said, “come walk out onto me.  You will be standing right above the lake.  You know you want to.”  I didn’t need much convincing.  I slammed on my brakes from a full throttle pedal, and walked down to the “beach.”  Oh, sweet glory.  High on a boulder-ful ridge on the Big Lake in the sunshine.  I tell you.  It doesn’t get much better than that... at least for me!

Are you tired of reading yet?  Well, I’ll make the rest short.  Yesterday I experienced a series of “firsts.”  I saw and smelled my first patches of Trailing Arbutus since I have lived up here.  I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that it took me, um, five and a half years to find some, but I knelt down right in the mud and got a good nose full more than once.  It kind of smells like Gardenia.  Mmmmm.

Today I also saw my first Red Headed Woodpecker ever in real life!  I looked at it and memorized its colors and patterns and thought, hmm, I’ll have to check the bird book when I get home.  I guessed correctly about it being a woodpecker, but a Red Headed?  What a treat!

Last thing.  I also ate my first dandelion greens!  I ate them right off the ground, grit and all.  Mmm, I haven’t had those for a year!


  1. Hi Amanda
    I'm thinking that bird in your peeper video was a kestral aka. sparrow hawk. I wouldn't be surprised if they snack on peepers once in a while. BTW I love checking up on this blog of yours (although you know who calls it stalking), so thanks for these nice samples of your love of the life you have there.

  2. Thanks, Rich!
    I asked another birder friend, and she mentioned a night hawk, so I'd guess it falls in that category! Thanks for your input, and I'm glad you enjoy.

  3. check out this website for the sound of a kestrel.
    It's from the Cornell Lab of ornithology, they have bird sounds for most of the world's birds.