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June 2008

OWLS: The long goodbye

Img_3197_2  It has been more than four weeks since the last owlet left the nesting box, but I can't help but look to the opening whenever I look out the window.
   So I felt fortunate last week to see one of the owlets briefly -- and luckier still to have my camera handy with a 400 millimeter lens attached.
   I am saddened by the thought I probably won't see him or his siblings again, but
heartened by the knowledge that this little guy is clearly doing well.
   I look forward to late fall, when another screech owl might move into the box and maybe -- just maybe -- another Family Screech will call the nesting box home.
   In the meantime, I will clean out the box (and post photos, for better or worse) and make a few adjustments to the box to discourage squirrels.
   I am also going to get back to work on a book about my screech owl neighbors, with a huge assist from friend and ace photographer Jerry Barrack, with whom I did the Celery Farm book and the Celery Farm trilogy of children's books.
   I will post details about this -- and other books by friends of this blog -- as they develop.


OWLS: A screech owlet video


    I took this video from my backyard, at dusk, so it is not the greatest, but it gives you an idea of life as an owlet beyond the nesting box.
    It is a little outdated, but wanted to sure the owlets were completely gone before posting it.
    Tomorrow: A rare photo of an owlet outside the box.

CELERY FARM: Celebration


     Great news.

   The borough of Allendale is honoring the Celery Farm's one and only marsh, Stiles Thomas, and his wife Lillian for their long and tireless efforts on behalf of the 107-acre natural area and the town itself.

    Dscn3646_2 On Saturday, Sept. 13, the borough is having a picnic at 6 p.m. at Crestwood Lake's red barn. Fyke Association is supplying a band and and a cake, and is also having guided tours of the Celery Farm throughout the day.

    So mark your calendars.

  The celebration is in honor of Stiles' 25 years as marsh warden and Sis' many contributions -- from serving on town boards to helping with the butterfly garden to working with Stiles to preserve more land for the refuge.

   (I wish I had a good photo of them together to run instead of these two images, because of I think of Stiles and Lillian as inseparable, but you can't win 'em all.)

   Details are in this week's Villadom Times, and I know the Town Journal will be writing something soon as well.

     You can e-mail me and my wife Patty Finn at [email protected] to rsvp, to get more information, or to volunteer with the guided walks or the picnic. More info will be posted at down the road.


Tuesday morning answers



Yesterday I posted three mystery photos -- and got some amazing responses from "Bioman," a longtime friend of this blog.
  Along with his   answers, he provided links in t
Img_2945_2he "Comments" section.
  His replies:
  The first photo (at right) is of
a columned stinkhorn mushroom.
  The second photo (below) appears to be of  a  dragonfly nymph -- and there  sure
Img_3758_2where a lot of dragonflies zipping around that pond.
   The final shot -- from my front lawn -- was slime mold. I took an updated photo on Monday morning (top of the post). That's what it looks like of late.
   The good news is that mold is not nearly as disgusting as its name.
   Thanks, Bioman!


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