Monday, July 20, 2009

Chicken, beer, and some weekend wildlife

What a great weekend!

Sunday night I had the pleasure of joining several friends at the local Buffalo Wild Wings for chicken wings, beer, and conversation. Most of these people are friends I met back in the early 90's at my very first "real job." We have all remained very close over the years, and this is a regular meeting place for us (although we frequented these places since way back when the franchise was known simply as as "BW3" and was not quite as family friendly!).

We remarked at how things have changed over the last decade and a half from our younger years. Some folks now have their toddlers and small children with them, others have kids that are now out of college. One of my buddies remarked that he is getting "multi-focal lenses" for his glasses. And a few us us recoiled in horror when our server brought out our food order. She started passing out strange looking items such as salads, moderately healthy looking sandwiches, and something called a "Buffalito Wrap." Salads? Sandwiches? Wraps? There was a time when we all just ordered a massive pile of wings (heck, some of us weren't even aware that there were other items on the menu!). Anyhow, it was a fantastic night. Great to see the crew!

As for the rest of the weekend, I spent a lot of time outside and got to do some hiking around. Here are a few of the things I found:

On Saturday I was driving by a pond in the morning and had spotted these two trumpeter swans. I returned in the afternoon with my camera. As luck would have it, they were napping very close to the shore. Both of them peeked their heads up to check me out, but promptly returned to their slumber when they realized I was no threat!

Trumpeter swans taking an afternoon siesta

The trail edges up at Elm Creek are covered with these plants. I suspect they are a weed, but they have the cutest little flowers on them. They have an interesting name, the lesser daisy fleabane, no doubt in reference to their daisy-like appearance.

Lesser daisy fleabane

I couldn't help but notice that the acorns on the oak trees are getting quite large. This should help make for many happy squirrels this fall!

Cluster of acorns

I was also fortunate enough to stumble upon an entire family of common yellowthroats at Elm Creek. There were at least four or five babies, as best I could tell. They are very hard to keep track of because they love to stay in the thickets. But papa yellowthroat (the mama doesn't have the mask) and one of the children were kind enough to pose in the open for this almost passable picture. What a treat!

The "Masked Bandit"; a common yellowthroat with his baby

Until next time,

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