Thursday, October 24, 2013

A New, Old Van

Lon's work van conked out.  This is the replacement.  It's new for him although it's actually quite old.  White is out and red is in.  Lon is happy with his 1996 Ford with only 29,000 miles on it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jared's 47-Inch Muskie

This is my son, Jared, and the 47-inch muskie he caught yesterday.  He was fishing alone so he did it all.  He was using a 9 foot muskie pole.  He managed the pole and netted the fish as well.

A couple of guys in a nearby boat came over and took this picture.  When Jared released his catch, it swam away easily, another good thing.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

An Albino?

We noticed this very light colored bird in our backyard on Sunday.

We'd never seen a bird of this color before.

I wish I'd gotten a better picture than these.  All we can guess is that it's an albino.  It looks very much like a sparrow in shape and size.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Hummingbird's Beak & Tongue

I took this picture earlier this week.  I did some research to help explain what this picture tells us about the hummingbird.

I found the information below at:

Operation Ruby Throat
"The Hummingbird Project"

The bill of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is one of its most distinctive features. It measures about 15-20mm in length and can open no more than about 1cm wide at the tip. The hummingbird has considerable control of its bill and can open just the tip. The bill protects a long tongue (below) with a brushy tip that is used by the hummingbird to lap up nectar; the hummingbird does NOT suck up liquid using its beak as a straw. The tongue itself splits in the floor of the mouth and the two rear forks wrap under the jaw, behind and over the head, and insert in the front of the bird's skull (see skull photo above and skeleton photo below). The mouth contains only a few taste buds and salivary glands.
The tongue (right) of theRuby-throated Hummingbirdis split (below right) and somewhat broadened and brushy at the tip, allowing capillary action to draw in more fluid. A hummingbird laps up nectar with its tongue by extending and contracting it up to 13 times per second.Hummingbirds do NOT use the tongue and bill as a straw.
All photos & text © Bill Hilton Jr. & Operation RubyThroat

All photos & text © Bill Hilton Jr. & Operation RubyThroat

All photos & text © Bill Hilton Jr. & Operation RubyThroat

I also learned on this website that hummingbirds' tongues have grooves on the sides that collect nectar and when the bill constricts, they can swallow the nectar from flowers and feeders. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Unique Hummingbird Photo

I've taken many photos of hummingbirds but never got one like this before.

This picture, although pretty typical, is worth sharing.

The colors that the camera picked up in the feathers of this hummer this morning are pretty amazing too.

I'll have to do some research to figure out what that second "beak" is.  It may be the means by which the bird draws the nectar or sugar water into its body.

 A few weeks ago, while watching a hummingbird, I saw a tongue-like thing extending out from the tip of the normal beak.  At least that's what it looked like.  So now today, I saw yet another unusual sight.

There's so much to learn and so little time to do it all.  I'll report back with what I find out.