Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We love Ithaca, Part II

This chronicling of our trip is going to take me weeks, but it was such a rich, packed time that I am determined to get it all out there, for our own remembrance as much as for sharing!  Bear with me, or skip it all; it will be interspersed with the Here and Now as best I can.  So - one of the highlights of the trip for me was the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the surrounding Sapsucker Woods. Any time I have a question about identifying a bird or a bird call, I end up at the Cornell Lab of O. website, where they have hundreds of calls cataloged, and so much great information about bird identification and citizen science.  Going there was a little exciting for me...So, my cousin CB suggested we meet there in the morning (I believe he asked, "hey, does anyone ever picnic for breakfast??" The answer to which was "We'll bring the bagels and the strawberries, see you there at 8:30?") and we ate our bagels while watching this huge Great Blue Heron nest, filled with five "babies" (who, incidentally, have started to fledge, if you've been watching the Heron Cam!).  It's hard to see how scruffy and awkward they were in these photos, but they are hilarious and beautiful to watch. The parents seemed eager to demonstrate flapping, and did many cruise-by's, as well as perch nearby and flap like mad.  Any time either parent flew to the nest the babies let loose with loud clacking of their beaks!

five babies
parent on the branch
 This is also when we discovered that Ani has a natural ability with the binocs - she was able to pick out the nest, a frog, a swimming turtle...she wore this huge pair during the whole walk around the pond.

Checking out the muck
 The inside of the lab is just as interesting, but most of that will have to wait for our second visit...

python skeleton
hummingbird case

We were visiting the week before my cousin J was to head off to Ethiopia, and while I deal with leaving on a trip by cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, she seems to approach it by making a list of all of the craftiness she's been putting off and trying to accomplish it all by the day of departure.  I was impressed with what she managed to finish while we were there, and her crafty mode worked well for all of us to have a few hours of downtime here and there.

Lake Cuyuga, while really cold, was a relief on a 95 degree day, and the girls waded and wallowed and then figured out how to skip stones with all of those beautifully flat, smooth pebbles...three skips, seven skips...such an accomplishment on a summer's day.


merry said...

Oh My Gosh!!! That nest looks so much smaller than I was imagining! How on earth have 5 grown herons lived together in it? I love those pictures!

Anonymous said...

Ah, craftiness and cleanliness-- I like our two ways of dealing with stress, leaving places...

Your dinosaur calendar looks so awesome!!!