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August 2017

Jerry Barrack's Eclipse Photos from S.C.

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Jerry Barrack writes:

A friend and I  had a 10-hour drive on Sunday from Annapolis to Charleston  in preparation for the eclipse.
With the weather forecast very iffy, we decided to drive a few miles to get closer to the ocean where it was predicted to be a little better.
It was pretty cloudy throughout 1st contact but about two minutes before totality it cleared a little. That was predicted because the shadow cools the air and help dissipate the clouds. It worked for about five minutes and that was all we needed for a good view.
The temperature dropped about 15 degrees and it was eerily dark. Totally awesome.
I am including a few shots but was a little disappointed that the only filter I could get made the sun white instead of yellow.  Eventually they will all be on my website. All in all, it was worth the long drive back and forth from Annapolis.
The last two are Photoshopped for dramatic effect. (Full disclosure!)
 (Thanks, Jerry!)


Hummingbird Artist -- & I.D. Question

Hummingbird at Mexican Sage
When Bob Rizzotti of Waldwick saw my column on the rescued hummingbird in The Record, he was nice enough to pass along a painting of a hummingbird he had done.

The plant is Mexican sage, according to Bob. Can anyone I.D. the hummer?

Bob writes:

I saw picture on web site of a California photographer whose work I occasionally paint (he likes my work so he encourages me to paint his photos). 

I’ve been painting for 17 years (after I retired) and I’ve lived in Waldwick for almost 45 years. I’m also an actor and spent my entire professional career in the public sector  (28 yrs at The Port Authority ) and was a Waldwick councilman after I retired in 2000.

Thanks, Bob!

Bob's website is here. How about a painted Bunting, Bob?

Hummingbird Advice from Chris Soucy

_MG_4286I asked Chris Soucy, director of the terrific Raptor Trust,  for his thoughts, experiences and advice on rescuing and rehabbing hummingbirds.

Here's his reply -- a fascinating read:

The Raptor does not receive many hummers each year. They are not that common, really. 
We receive a LOT of American Robins, Mallards, Mourning Doves, Red-tails.  THOSE are common.  That said, yes, we do receive hummers (invariably  Ruby-throated in NJ, no others really occur here). 
Hummers are very difficult to deal with in rehab.  Very specialized diets, highly-specialized feeding adaptations, unusual anatomy in almost every way, extremely small size and weight, off-the-charts metabolism.  Sort of a perfect storm of problems for rehabilitation. 
Rehab success with them is very low - and that's not just us.  That's true of most rehab facilities, too.
I have not personally heard of a hummer caught in a spider web, but it sure seems possible.  I think of Great Horned Owls caught in soccer nets, Cooper's Hawks caught in laundry lines, and proportionally speaking, it's about the same.

Continue reading "Hummingbird Advice from Chris Soucy" »

In Search of Wild Tofurkey at High Mountain

In addition to my quest to see (and to photograph) one of the legendary Wild Turduckens that roam the High Mountain Park Preserve, I have come across an even greater quest -- a Wild Tofurkey.

I stumbled across it on the Internet (where else). According to the Urban Dictionary, a Tofurkey is "a turkey of the rare tofu species, found only in remote regions of Nepal.

"Each Tofurkey was born merely as a slab of tofu. only 1 in 500 will sprout feet at age 2, and subsequently gain other turkish characteristics.

"Each Tofurkey has but one goal in life, and that is to be approved by the TNAOVFTWNOA (Tofurkey National Association of Vegetarian Food that was nevertheless once alive).

"Once approved, Tofurkeys must rigorously study a language. those who study english are sent to either the Northeast or california, where most ameriveggies reside.

"Once they complete their migration, around the end of November, they are promptly skinned of any exterior non-tofulike characteristics, and served to the unknowing public."

Good to know!

P.S. I am told that the only thing tastier than than Wild Tofurkey is a mushroom-based dish call Tofungus.