Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tree Swallows in the Park

These are young Tree Swallows waiting for mama bird to return with food. Tree Swallows are the first swallows to return in the spring. They eat insects - which is a very good thing!

When they see their parent returning with a juicy bug, they flap their wings and open their mouths and seem to be saying "ME, ME - FEED ME!".

Each time the parent returned to her chicks, she fed another. You can click on this picture for a larger view of mama feeding her chick. She never landed, feeding them while still in flight.

These pictures were taken during our early morning hike today in Palmer Park.

We headed out shortly after 7 a.m. to hike on the north side, parking at the lot near the horse stables. Our goal, besides a great hike, was to find three geocaches. Mr. Squirrel was eating a pine cone near one of the caches.

Just as we were approaching our first cache, we saw these two deer.

They seemed almost tame and were not scared away as we approached.

We located the cache in a camouflaged pill bottle hanging in a tree like a Christmas decoration. After signing the log we reset our GPS and headed to the next cache.

We hiked another mile before our GPS told us we were in the right location. Can you see where the cache is hidden in this picture?

I climbed up and saw a pile of smaller rocks under the large out-cropping. The cache was hidden under the rocks. We signed the log, left a token and headed for the third cache.

It was quite a climb to the top of the park to locate our next treasure. The trail wound around so we left the trail and bush-whacked our way up, climbing over rocks and through thick brush. The cache is in this picture. Think Christmas.

Bill took a short break to enjoy the view near the cache. After a delicious picnic lunch, we headed back to the car. Three hours and three and one-half miles later, we headed home, tired but pleased with ourselves.

Back at the homestead, the squirrels are still figuring out how to get to the feeders. I think they would also like to get into the bird houses!

The Black-headed Grosbeaks are back. This is a female and you can see why they are called Grosbeaks.

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