April 12 – Day owls

Friday I strapped my tackle box and a couple of rods onto the motorcycle and rode out to Lowell’s.  We did two rounds of the lake.  I caught one modest bass, and had a few more bites.  Many signs of spring were about.   Toothwort and rue anemone were in bloom, and the tree swallows were checking out the nest boxes around the lake.  I saw the first dragonfly (green darner) and three species of butterflies.  We didn’t see the screech owl in the wood duck box, though we were looking hard and I was ready with the camera this time.  We went to Ewing for lunch and ate at a tiny new diner that just opened there.  It was good food.  The lady who runs it (apparently all by herself) has been hawking food in the area for years.  We went back for another round of the lake.  I caught two more bass, but, more importantly, the little screech owl was peering out of the wood duck box.  I took about 50 pictures as we drew ever closer.  It seemed to have its eyes nearly closed.  Maybe the daytime is too bright for it. 

From Spring 2010

I guess we got too close for it’s comfort, and it retreated into the box.  Only then did it crack its eyelids open a bit. 

From Spring 2010

The turtles were out, as usual, many sunning themselves on the banks.

From Spring 2010

This one was probably hatched last year, a cute little baby.

We walked up to the catfish pond to give it a try.  Lowell caught a nice crappie and a little bass.  I was admiring his crappie while reeling in my spinnerbait when a catfish hit it.  Surprised the heck out of me.  It wasn’t a huge one by the standards of that pond, but it gave me a good pull. 

From Spring 2010

The Bradford Pears in front of Lowell’s house were in full bloom, and fairly spectacular.  You can hear the bees buzzing in them if you stand nearby, or even not so nearby.

I took the plant field class out last Tuesday to South Park.  It was our first look at some spring wildflowers.

From Spring 2010

I liked this common violet, as it is mixed white and purple.

From Spring 2010

This digger bee kept peeking out of her burrow.

I had a nice day of fly fishing out at the Berghofers.  Or at least I had a nice morning of beating the water with my flyline.  My technique is rusty, and, after trying John’s equipment, my outfit is old, heavy, and outdated.  John caught a bass and a few bluegills, but I couldn’t raise a bite.  We gave up and did some target practice with his .22 rifles.  It was a lot of fun.  He has a couple of steel plates hung from a pipe rack across the pond.  If you hit one, it rings like a bell.  Afterward, Liz made us a delicious lunch of Mexican food.  At least I got this nice pic of a colorful turtle.

From Spring 2010

I like the distorted reflection here.

Stacey and I took a motorcycle ride through the Amish country on Sunday afternoon.    There wasn’t much traffic, but I had to dodge some horse manure, as expected.  Savannah and I took Gretchen for a walk around town.  While walking by one of the Culver ponds I spotted some frog eggs.  We went back and got some to put in our little pond.  It has plenty of algae to feed them.  When we approached it, we saw a familiar face waiting for us. 

From Spring 2010

This red-sided garter snake lives in the rocks around our fish pond.  It appears to be the same one that was there last year.  It’s the first snake I’ve seen this year. 

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