Saturday, April 16, 2011

View From The Trees

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.

We're only about ten feet up off the ground, but the distance feels tenfold greater as I gaze out over rooftops and across the brush to fields and houses beyond. Here we are uplifted, held aloft by strong limbs, and separated from standard time.

Here we are eye-to-eye with the birds, as far removed from ground-level reality as an eagle in its aerie. Shrouded in leafage, we can peer out at passersby who never seem lift their heads above the horizontal plane; to them we are invisible.

Almost every kid who grows up in the country knows what it's like to climb trees. And nearly everyone who has ever climbed a tree has built a treehouse... or dreamed of one.

Most treehouses aren't much, just a few boards wedged between the trunk of the tree and some sturdy branches. All you need, really, is a platform to rest upon, but it's nice to have some walls and a roof as shelter from wind and rain.

Continued at... View From The Trees

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: 'Treehouse' Wall Decal

Friday, April 1, 2011

Stay at Home Geese

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2001. All rights reserved.

A flock of Canada geese honking overhead captures my attention, and I think, "There's a sure sign of spring."

But wait! I've been watching that same flock, or one quite similar, fly overhead for most of the winter. And I remember seeing large gatherings of these birds on cornfield stubble, on golf courses and even some folks' lawns in January.

Idaho lies along the migration routes of many waterfowl, but most birds keep moving south toward the promise of warmer temperatures and open water. So, what are these Canada geese doing hanging around?

One of the most spectacular changes in the bird world in the last quarter of the 20th century, according to ornithologists, is the sudden appearance of "tame" Canada geese in suburban North America. In a recent Cornell Backyard Bird Count, the Canada Goose was the "most-seen bird" of 419 species reported in North America; more than 360,000 of them were counted. More common than sparrows!

Continued at... Stay at Home Geese

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
The Nature Pages
Artwork: Canada Geese on Lake