Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
This afternoon I decided to look for leaves instead of birds -- concentrating around Taylors Falls.
Although the leaves are turning, my estimate is that they're only about 20% there.
I visited with its pastor, Brian Bergin, a classmate of Pastor Charlie Brown, who serves Beaver Lake Lutheran in Maplewood, where I often fill in. Pr. Bergin is also an avid Jaguar collector & restorer, which led to our meeting in the first place when he noticed my Jag outside the local antique shop.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
There were several pro photographers at Hawk Ridge last week -- frustrated as I was by the rain & fog. It is my understanding that at least one of them was considering purchasing some 40D bodies in lieu of the 3 to 4 times more expensive Canon's Mark pro cameras. Here is another review of the 40D.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Five or six months ago I bought the 5th edition of National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America. I very much like the layout and the clarity of drawings, as compared to photographs. (I still use Kaufman's field guide most of the time since it is more compact and just "works" for me. I use Geographic's guide as a backup source.)
Even before getting the Geographic I was intrigued by their birding software for Palm based PDAs. My Palm 700p Treo is always with me and pretty much runs my life as well as handles all of my phone calls & voice mail. However, the cost prevented me from getting the software -- initially, I think it was about $250 for just the software card.
The price then went down to $199, but I still resisted -- until their latest temporary (?) reduction to $99. I've had the card installed on my Treo for about a month and I use it more than Kaufman.
It contains more information than the printed version, and -- the main selling point for me, other than portability, is the fact that it has recordings of bird songs and calls. If nothing else, it's a great tool for learning them -- a weak spot in my birding skills.
The software also allows you to maintain bird lists for each outing and upload them to eBird. Another neat feature is the ability to identify the strange bird you're looking at from among the 867 North American birds by entering factors such as the month of the year, state, size, colors, etc. Paging through a field guide can be bewildering for the beginner -- this software quickly narrows the search down to a reasonable number.
Take a look at Geographic's Handheld Birds web site for more information. You may also want to explore the tutorial.
Highly recommended, particularly if you already own a Palm!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Yesterday I did not even attempt to drive up to Hawk Ridge (see the raindrops on the window?) but spent the afternoon reading, visiting with my daughter, and enjoying an excellent dinner at the New Scenic Cafe (about 10-12 mi. north of Duluth on Lake Superior).
At any one time there were two to three dozen visitors (people, that is) -- many from out of state, judging by license plates and hellos -- I met several who had traveled here from as far as Colorado.
I'll be posting some pictures over the weekend.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
You haven't seen new posts on this blog for several days because I've been busy with several "necessary" toys; I'll share them with you later this week -- as soon as I get them operational and take some pictures.
Alex had never been to the Wargo Nature Center, so that was our destination this afternoon. It's a neat place -- take a look at our posts from March 29.
Other than a few gulls & Great Blue Herons, we had more luck with mushrooms and wasps than with birds. But Alex had a good time anyway.
The highlight of his trip may have been the display of animal skulls in the Center's office building.
After trying to avoid wasps and walking for more than an hour, Alex decided he liked Carlos Avery better -- most of the time there is spent viewing from a vehicle, rather than on foot.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
From my own experience I have found the reviews on Luminous Landscape to be credible and very useful -- at least to me and, I believe, anyone with an interest in nature photography and Canon cameras and lenses. That's why, if you are interested in this latest model from Canon, I suggest you take a look at LL's first hands on review of the Canon 40D.