Monday, January 31, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
FIRE AND ICE--- a one hour glimpse of a 3 day festival
|All photos by Jonathan Schechter|
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Red-Tailed Hawk: Winter's Magesty of the Sky!
|All photos by Barrie Lynn Totten Wood|
Saturday, January 22, 2011
A house keeping moment in the life of a red bellied woodpecker.
NOTE: For more on the hike at Waterford Oaks County Park read the print edition of Sunday's Oakland Press on January 23rd or look for the Hiking Column on the Oakland Press website at http://www.theoaklandpress.com/.
Enter my full name Jonathan Schechter in the search box and all published hiking columns appear.
Monday, January 17, 2011
NATURE'S WAY AT THE BIRD FEEDER: A time to eat. And a time to be eaten.
|A mourning dove, possible with an injury, rests under the bird feeder. Note the closed eye.|
photo by Jonathan Schechter (through the den window)
Look at the world through Darwinian eyes - something I try to do - and you too may be astonished at the diversity of wildlife interactions surrounding us. Winter makes those observations easier to read with the easel of snow being the backdrop. Throw a bird feeder into the mix and life and death drama reigns.
This interaction story is short and sweet -- for a Cooper's hawk.
I noticed a mourning dove under my feeder. Not feeding. Resting, so it seemed. One eye closed. Mourning doves tend to be social birds and usually feed in flocks. For reasons unknown to me this one was out of the norm - - and was about to be out of the gene pool. Two hours passed and he was recycled. The plucked feathers and a few splashes of bright red blood told the rest of the story. All evidence pointed to the Cooper's Hawk, a sleek hawk of woodlands that has adapted its ways to the ways of the feeders and is skilled in the high speed pursuit of other birds. Birds are not bird brains. They learn. They adapt.
Spillage of seed leads song birds to ground gluttony in unnatural gatherings and careless behavior. And when one bird is slower than the rest - as this one was - it became dinner.
And that is the way it should be and serves as a reminder that our actions when we intervene in the ways of nature, even actions such as feeding birds we like, will bring other actions: In this case a hawk that swooped in to eat the bird he liked. And there is nothing wrong with that in the never ending processes of nature, evolution, adaptation and competition. It is not a happy go lucky Walt Disnery World at the bird feeder: It is dinner time.
|A spash of blood and plucked out feathers bear witness to the work of a Cooper's hawk that as an opportunist fast-flying hunter 'tended' to the resting and exposed dove. photo by Jonathan Schechter|
Friday, January 14, 2011
Dateline Belarus : Fox shoots hunter during a scuffle!
APOCALYPSE NOW: When carp fly and birds fall from the sky! A twitterbrain nation speaks.
|Asian carp rockets out of water and hits my shoulder: photo credit: Kevin Fowler|
|Prophet of Doom? A red-winged blackbird just perched and doing nothing.|
Monday, January 10, 2011
Get Ready for the REI Frosty 15K or 5K Freestyle Cross-Country Ski Race!
|photo credit: Huron-Clinton Metroparks|
As I write these words late Monday night on the 10th day of January steady snow is falling, trees are bending, power is flickering, cars are skidding and the conditions are getting pretty darn good for cross-country skiing; that is if you live in South Carlonia. That's right: South Carolina! Six inches should be on the ground by dawn in the hill country of South Carolina. A State of Emergency has been declared.
And back in SE Michigan our great Cross-Country Ski Race, the Frosty 5/15K Freestyle at Huron Meadows Metropark in Brighton, Michigan (8765 Hammel Road) is coming, and I've got a feeling the fickle Weather Gods of Michigan will shine on us at the last moment and produce enough snow for the skiers to swish away on Saturday, January 15th at 10:30 a.m.
(NOTE: Our race will be re-scheduled if there is not enough snow.)
This cross-country ski event is for both experienced and novice cross country skiers and is the only ski race that is part of the Michigan Cup Race Series to be held south of Higgens Lake. The race is open to anyone and is endorsed by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports.
Pre-registraion is $29, or $39 day of the event. ($15 for children 15 and under). You must also have a 2011 Metroparks sticker or daily permit. (Daily permit $5.) Lunch is included in your entry and will be served at the park ski center. Proceeds from this popular race across the meadows and hills of Huron Meadows Metroparks will be used by Metroparks for cross-country skiing related expenses.
Park maps and Metropark details at http://www.metroparks.com/.
Huron Meadow Metroparks: 810-231-4084 or 734-426-8211
To register or for additional information call Mike, the race director, at 248-535-9351 or go to www.nordicskiracer.com/frosty
What are you waiting for? It's a long drive to the hills of South Carolina to ski!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
FIRE AND ICE: Volunteering! Dog sledding, Tastefest and Microbrews, Ice Sculptures, Fireworks, Snow tubing = FUN!
| Dog sled rides at FIRE AND ICE in 2010 (photo by Jonathan Schechter)|
Fire and Ice is coming back to Rochester for the last weekend of January. And this three day winter
festival in downtown Rochester is sure to be an outdoorsy hit for all ages. I was there last year and
assure you this event is great fun and people watching reigns supreme!
Fire and Ice is the result of cooperation between Oakland County, Oakland County Parks, the City
of Rochester, the City of Rochester Hills and the Rochester Downtown Development Authority. With
those credits out the way, here is some of what you can expect: Dog sled rides (thrilling for little kids!)
a tastefest featuring local food (yummy) and microbrews (good I have been told), a tubing hill,
iceskating, fireworks on Friday and Saturday night, ice sculpture show, ice carving demonstrations,
figure skating demos, downtown shopping, carriage rides and a lot of enthusiatic, happy people
celebrating the ways of nature in winter in a friendly urban setting. And I'll add a large exclamation
point to the words of Oakland County Parks Recreation Supervisor for Outdoor Adventure,
Derenda Howard, "You have to come out and see it for yourself---and maybe even jump on a
dog sled for a ride!!"
More good news: All events are provided at no charge!
Details on the Oakland County Parks website: http://www.destinationoakland.com/ including a
lively YouTube video of last year's Fire and Ice.
NOTE: Look for Fire and Ice under Things to Do sub-heading
WANT TO BE A FIRE AND ICE VOLUNTEER?
If you enjoy people and like working outside in winter and really want to
help make this great community event happen - and have fun at the same time- then sign up
to volunteer for 2011 Fire and Ice.
And it's also a great way for families, scouts, students and other groups
to get community service hours in 3 to 4 hour shifts.
Prospective volunteers should contact Volunteer Coordinator Rachel Boyd ASAP at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248-975-9717
MARK YOUR CALENDER
Fire and Ice is Friday Jan 28, (6:00 - 9:00 pm), Saturday, Jan 29, (10:00 am - 9:00 pm.) and Sunday,
Jan 30, (11:00 am - 4 pm.) I'll see you there~! I hope.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011