WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 14th, 2011

A Pileated Woodpecker to begin with

Mar 14

…followed by deer and a Stewy ending.

Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus

Pileated Woodpecker

A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers has claimed the woods in front of the house as part of their territory. They stay together year round defending their space so I’m guessing this is the same pair I saw last year. They’ve made several appearences this winter but this is the only decent photo I’ve been able to get so far. They are flighty and take off as soon as I step out the front door. I usually curse the Basswoods but since they’re attracting these woodpeckers I’m having a change of heart. I suspect their actual nesting / roosting site is in the woods across the road. Every time I’d disturbed them they headed in that direction. Too bad, the land there is posted and off limits to me.

Pileated woodpeckers are about as big as they come, at least woodpecker wise in North America. If you’ve never seen one before their size will surprise you when you do. If you spot a OMGTABFW (oh my goodness that’s a big freaking woodpecker) it’s most likely to be a Pileated.

I guess when my grandpa called me a little peckerhead he must have been thinking of the smaller sap sucker.

Dryocopus pileatus

Down the road a group of deer were out in a hayfield. I was surprised to find so much of the snow melted the last day or so. I live in a wooded bowl on the north side of a hill and the sun doesn’t quite have the strength to melt snow at home yet.

deer in the hayfield

The ice jam may have been flushed downriver but if you look between the trees you’ll see a few remains on the far shore.

deer browsing by the river

Downtown Morley Traffic Jam
I just wanted to photograph the ice on the river bank but catching a Deere running down the road made the photo worth posting.

Morley -  Grasse River - Ice

Stewy was waiting for me at the end of the driveway when I returned home. So was the snow.

Stewy the Cat

My outing wasn’t over yet. Dog wanted to go for a hike and we took off out back. But that’s a subject for another post. I don’t want to mix my lichens and deer up.

Posted by WiseAcre on Feb 13th, 2011

continuing the wild goose chase

Feb 13

The bridge in Louisville is the last of the 5 bridges that I crossed yesterday. I took this photo from the parking area by the historic marker.

Louisville bridge over the Grasse River in winter - Feb 12, 2011

I learned a little history. Now it’s your turn.

historic sign for the 6 span stone arch bridge at Louisville, NY

I reproduced the image from the sign. Something seemed off when looking at the sign then back to the river. The sign seemed to be placed where the old photo was taken (much like mine above) but there is something wrong in the view. The historic photo had to be taken from the other side of the bridge and diagonally across the river from the sign location.

Notice the dam? Notice the reflections on the water? Calm water is always on the upriver side of a dam. No wonder the photo on the sign looked backwards to me.

historic photo of the 6 span stone arch bridge in Louisville, NY.

Class dismissed, back to the wild goose chase.
There were only snowmobile tracks headed upriver.

Grasse River frozen over at Louisville, NY

The open channel on the far side of the bridge was goose free.

Grasse River at Louisville on Feb 12, 2011

I’ll have to zoom in if you want to see the two geese in the right channel.

Grasse River at Louisville, NY - Feb 12, 2011

Sleeping Honker
…and I bet you complain about your heating bill.

sleeping goose - keeping the bill warm by sticking it in its back feathers

Goose stepping on ice

goose walking on ice

Time to give up the silly walk

goose running out of ice to walk on

and go for a cold swim.

canadian goose swimming

Do geese float or swim?
This one is creating a good bow wake just staying in place in the swift current.

canadian goose swimming

This goose was looking for something to eat and kept bobbing during the search. The river is shallow enough for the goose to reach the river bed.

goose bobbing for something to eat

Safe harbor? Dead End? Nope, just another place to stick your beak in.

canadian goose in winter

I was going to finish and publish this post right after the first part but I got off my duff and left it while the getting was good. I’m back from Stone Valley now and getting this post out of the way. Expect to see a winter wonderland tomorrow.

Posted by WiseAcre on Feb 13th, 2011

Wild Goose Chase

Feb 13

…goose spotting from bridges over the Grasse River

Starting at Bucks Bridge
The only sign of any geese looking upriver from the bridge is the footprints in the snow.
– lower left of the photo

looking upriver from Bucks Bridge - Grasse River, Feb 12, 2011

The river on the other side of the bridge turned out to be a very fowl place. Canadian Geese and ducks (mallards?) mingled with the domestic white geese from the riverside farm.

waterfowl on the Grasse River

The ducks wanted no part of my presence and flew away but I managed to catch the last of the 5 during take off.

duck takeoff

Sorry, this is a white tux only party.

domestic white geese greet a Canadian Goose

Not enough junk in the trunk I guess.

domestic white geese swimming

Next stop – Madrid
No sign of any geese but the ice continues to build up at the dam.

Madrid dam- Feb 12, 2011

The ice and snow has continued to reach out over the top of the waterfalls since my last photos on Feb 1st. With +40 F. temps predicted by Wed. (16th) I’m afraid the ice won’t be able to hold on. It also means I better get off my duff and go to Stone Valley while the getting is good.

ice on the Madrid dam - grasse river - feb 12

Next stop – a drive by photo shoot at Chamberlain Corners. I didn’t bother getting out of the truck. I posted better photos of the river at this location on Feb 1st. There were no waterfowl then and the ones today were too far away even at max zoom (18x) to make a guess at what they were. Ducks maybe?

Grasse River - Chamberlain Corners - Feb 12, 2011

Continuing downriver brings us to Chase Mills.
The RR bridge can be seen while looking downriver from the southern bridge abutment.

winter scene at Chase Mills

These are more drive by photographs. This one from the middle of the bridge provided the first glimpse of something fowl on the water. You can’t see them in this photo but there were birds there.

Grasse River at Chase Mills - Feb 12. 2011

See? Too bad they were so far away, this was another 18x full zoom pic

waterfowl on the Grasse River in winter

I’ve already overburdened this post with too many photos. I’ll have to continue with the last stop at Louisville on the next post.

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