Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A detour along the way

As if the ride to Upstate NY wasn't already long enough, we took a couple hour detour along the way to search for some special sparrows that had recently been seen in a random field about an hour off the thruway. So special that I can't even remember which sparrows, but I think it may have been Henslow's. Like any good detour, we didn't find what we'd been looking for, but instead amused ourselves with what was at hand. There were Bobolinks, always a treat, but as is typical I lost interest after about ten minutes and wandered away with the camera.

If anything convinces me of my ADD tendencies, it's birding with a group of *serious birders*. You know the type. And then there's me: wandering around studying the sky in between checking my email, chasing butterflies, cracking jokes or complaining about something, puzzling over wildflowers. Just look at these people! How do they manage such sustained intensity?

;-)
The weedy field invited me; up to my knees in birdfoot trefoil and chickory I found a kestral preening on the powerline and hazy hills in the distance. All those flowers at my feet and the insects that tended them kept me interested for a good while.
One nice thing about birding with a varied group of people is that there's bound to be someone among them who knows the answer to most any question I can dream up. We're all at least marginally interested in something other than birds and the expertise of others comes in handy. I'd have quickly given up trying to ID this skipper, but Pete knew it right away as a European Skipper (one of two introduced butterflies) and ID'd the flower for me.
There were quite a few fellow plant nerds in the group and we happily geeked our way through the weekend identifying any wildflower we came across, or at least, trying to. We only got so far as to know this was a knapweed; not the Spotted Knapweed that's so invasive out west, but some other we couldn't decide on.

This was a nice detour, as they go, but I was so glad to finally get to Saranac Lake and stretch my legs in the bogs and forests of the Adirondacks for the rest of the weekend.

More tomorrow...

9 comments:

Dr. Know said...

You're not alone. I get impatient as well, especially if it's something I've already seen or done. Not used to being bogged down by others -- priorities vary.

Seems as though you saw a lot of pretty/neat stuff and had a nice time.

NCmountainwoman said...

It never ceases to amaze me how some "serious" birders fail to notice the world around them. So focused on seeing a certain bird, they miss so many of Nature's wonders.

KGMom said...

Laura--you are indeed a kindred spirit. I had not thought to call it ADD, but when we travel, and the group is walking around with the local guide who is going on and on about whatever, I wander away. I look for photo ops, frame up the shot I want, take it--etc. Later, my husband will remark about some tidbit the guide divulged, and I say--when? I didn't hear that. Then I remember.
Love your butterfly and flower shots. Such vibrant color.

LauraHinNJ said...

Dr. Know: Yep... I was lucky that none of the group seemed to notice even.

;-)

NCMountainWoman: Most birders I know are interested in other natural things too, but not when they're in pursuit of a good bird.

;-)

KGMom: lol! I bet we find things others would miss - don't you think?

caroline said...

I am sure enjoying your photos of "home", I grew up on Lake Champlain in Clinton County, looks like summer to me! We are headed east in 2 weeks hoping to enjoy some of same scenery , wildflowers and creatures. I'll look forward to more of your photos.
Caroline in South Dakota

cedrorum said...

That sounds like a fun time. My wife and I haven't had an outing like that in about 9 years; since she was first pregnant with our almost 8 year old. Little kids aren't real conducive to birding; even if they are into it (you know, the excitability factor).

mon@rch said...

Detours always mean something good! So when you making a detour to Western New York and visit us bloggers over here! Will find you some good birdies!

LauraHinNJ said...

Caroline: Hi! I hope you enjoy your time visiting home. It must be wonderful to get back there.

Cedrorum: Speaking as one who has absolutely no experience with little kids - other than being their teacher when they're forced to listen to me - I think it's just a matter of finding the proper outlet for all the excitement. Just getting them out there for short stints might spur an interest - who knows?

Monarch: One of these days... would love a chance to see your park.

Patrick Belardo said...

It was likely Henslow's Sparrow. They occur in a few spots along the thruway. I think I do a good job switching between serious birder and general nature geek!