Monthly Archives: March 2011

New Parking Garage #Birds #WingsOnWednesday

The company I work for has recently built a large parking garage in downtown Chattanooga.  I’ve been collecting photographs of the birds that are using the new shelter, or in at least one case, used a nearby streetlamp to take a rest.  I watched this fellow for about 15 minutes as he watched the pedestrians walk by beneath him (or her.)  Anyone want to help me with an ID?   (Read on for a few more parking garage birds.)

Raptor Traffic Monitor

Traffic Monitor

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CDN Take 2: Amazon Cloudfront

Back on March 11 I ended the Content Distribution Network experiment with Cloudflare.  However, the reason I entered into that experiment still existed – performance of the website, and fear of having my Hostgator shared hosting account suspended for overuse (“abuse” is what they call it; but they don’t provide a way of predicting when we’re getting close to that “abuse” level.)  Today Twitter friend Steve Creek had his Hostgator shared hosting account suspended for this very reason – caused by the site’s popularity.  Twitter friend Adam Jack had previously mentioned that he was looking at Amazon’s Cloudfront service, so I had taken a look at it and it seemed usable.  I made some changes today.

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The Sentinel – American Crow #Birds #WingsOnWednesday

I was raised on a dairy farm, and the American Crow was the enemy of our corn crop.  One of my jobs – or maybe pastimes, because I enjoyed it – was hunting the crows to try to reduce the crop damage.  Fortunately most of the crows survived - I was never a very good hunter, and the crows were smart.  One of the things they did was to post a sentinel in a tree.  This sentinel would raise a ruckus when it spotted me, and the flock would fly noisily away from the corn field, usually in the same number as they arrived. 

This may be the city version of my sentinel crow, watching out for marauders.  There are a couple more photos down the page…

American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos - The Sentinel

American Crow - Corvus brachyrhynchos - The Sentinel

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American Robin in my Yard #Birds #WingsOnWednesday

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is perhaps the best-known bird in the United States.  Although it is migratory (take a look at that species epithet) and the winter range maps I’ve seen show it as not being a normal resident of North Georgia during the winter, we’ve had robins in our yard all winter this year in spite of it being a rather cold, snowy winter.   I photographed robins in our yard in December 2010, and January and February of this year.

These pictures were taken last spring, however, not this winter.  Every time I see this first photo, I’m struck at the eye crescents.  I’m not really a very observant person unless at a particular circumstance I make a conscious choice, and honestly I’d never really noticed them before.   More photos are included…  

American Robin - Turdus migratorius

American Robin - Turdus migratorius

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Brown-headed Nuthatch #Birds #WingsOnWednesday

It’s interesting that while north Georgia is at the northern end of the range of this small bird, I only recall seeing it visit us during the winter.  Either it’s attracted to our feeders during the winter due to reduced forage in the winter, or I’m just missing it.  I’ve really enjoyed the visits.  

Brown-headed Nuthatch - Sitta pusilla

Brown-headed Nuthatch - Sitta pusilla

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The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain 2011 – Game On! #wildflowers

What a difference a few weeks with some warm weather makes!  On Feb 13 we made a trip to The Pocket and there was still a little snow on the ground and no sign even of Harbinger of Spring.  I made a quick trip down to The Pocket this morning to check on the status, and the wildflower season has begun!  Read on…

Sharp-lobed Hepatica - Hepatica nobilis

Sharp-lobed Hepatica - Hepatica nobilis

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Destination – Rocky Top, Tennessee (part 1)

In the past my good friend Dave Ridge and I made a point to get at least one winter backpacking trip in each year, and for several years had our annual “Piece o’ the AT Winter Hike.”  For various reasons we hadn’t been able to do that for several years, so I was pumped when Dave called to invite me along with a couple of other guys for a  2-nighter – and the scheduled worked.  This past weekend we hiked around 17 or 18 miles in the Smokies, including a great side-trip up Rocky Top.

Rocky Top, Tennessee

Rocky Top

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