Friday, May 30, 2008

Wildlife at work

I work in an industrial area of Minnetonka, MN; however, there's a small pond across from the parking lot. It's the view I have when I look out my office window (I love that).

Below are a couple of herons that make their home on the pond. Actually, they might be egrets. I don't know how to tell the difference.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Geese Are Multiplying

The geese around our work campus are fun to watch. However, I do get tired of all their poop in packing lot. I guess it's a small price to pay to get to have wildlife so close to our daily lives. Often, I have to stop my car while a mother goose and her goslings cross the road. They're pretty good at hurrying the goslings along when a vehicle approaches.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The eagle's nest around the corner from me

Last night, we decided to check out an eagle's nest that is around the block from our house. I took my camera, which is just one of those portable Canon PowerShot A650's.

When we arrived, the nest appeared to be empty, but we kept starring at it like we were waiting to witness the Miracle of the Sun or something.

Becky said, "I think I saw something move." I zoomed in with the camera as much as I could. "I don't see anything" I said. "There it is again," said Becky. Suddenly, I saw its head peak up over the edge of the nest.

Apparently, it was time for dinner. It was nearly 8:00 pm, and the sun would set soon. It hopped onto the edge of the nest and looked around for a moment. Becky said, "I'm glad we didn't bring our dogs. Freckles would look like lunch."

With a lurch and whoosh, the eagle took flight. It was enormous, powerful and elegant. I already had my camera to my face or I would have missed the shot. Just like that, it was right over my head. I can't believe I was able to get this shot.

The eagle flew a few hundred yards away and perched above the lake. We kept waiting for it to swoop down and grab a fish, but its patience was much greater than ours. Still, it was fun to get a glimpse of such a majestic bird.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Building Wood Duck Houses

On Tuesday, we built wood duck houses. The event was organized by Kevin McDonald in cooperation with Windom public school (where my wife teaches 3rd grade).

(Click the slide show in the upper left corner to view the slide show full sized)

We built wood duck houses because of the decline of the wood duck's natural habitat. Normally, the wood duck locates a hollow tree facing a body of water. Hollow trees at the edge of the water are becoming less common due to several factors like logging and the encroachment of humans.

The Duluth PBS TV crew from Venture North was on site filming our duck house installations. If you watch the slide show in the upper left corner, you'll see them.

The wood duck lays her eggs in the box. After they hatch, the ducklings will be in the water within 24 hours. Inside the duck houses are a strip of wire mesh that assist the ducklings in climbing up to the hole. From there, they jump to the water to join their waiting mother.

Hopefully, these houses will be well used. The wood chips need to be changed annually. So, someone will be back to check on them.