06.06.2013

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You may hear them before you see them, squawking, cackling, honking, chattering. When you do see them flocks of swans and snow geese feeding in the fields and wetlands of the Skagit Valley or flying overhead you’ll be glad you came. Begin looking in the fields as you drive along the highway, then visit the wildlife areas mentioned in the eTrail. When you see white birds on the ground here in the winter, they are one or more of three species gulls, snow geese, or swans. Of course it’s pretty easy to tell if the birds are gulls by their smaller size. Snow geese are all white, except for black wing tips that are most visible when they fly. The birds have a 3 foot wing span and weigh about six pounds; bills and feet are pink. Swans are much larger than geese and have longer necks.

You may hear them before you see them, squawking, cackling, honking, chattering. When you do see them flocks of swans and snow geese feeding in the fields and wetlands of the Skagit Valley or flying overhead you’ll be glad you came.Cheap Jerseys china Begin looking in the fields as you drive along the highway, then visit the wildlife areas mentioned in the eTrail. When you see white birds on the ground here in the winter, they are one or more of three species gulls, snow geese, or swans. Of course it’s pretty easy to tell if the birds are gulls by their smaller size. Snow geese are all white, except for black wing tips that are most visible when they fly. The birds have a 3 foot wing span and weigh about six pounds; bills and feet are pink. Swans are much larger than geese and have longer necks.

Summit Tree Stands

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Only experienced hunters really know what they need in terms of hunting supplies, hunting gear and accessories. Summit tree stands are designed and created by avid hunters, so they are built for safety, efficiency, and durability. If you are in need of a new tree stand, you owe it to yourself to check out the different models that Summit has to offer.

Summit tree stands are guaranteed to provide you with durability, safety, and efficiency, regardless of the model you choose. Climbing tree stands should allow you to climb the ladder in silence, so as not to draw attention to yourself. Camouflage is another must, as you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb.

Remember, you want to be able to set up your tree stand quickly and quietly, with no complicated parts that will take your attention away from where it should be. Good tree stands from Summit offer security, comfort, camouflage, and total silence. Summit also recommends the use of harnesses with tree stands, as you don’t want to injure yourself badly should you fall out of the stand.

Summer has come early to Alberta

The foothills, three weeks ahead of schedule, are bursting with green now.

All the aspens have spread their leaves. The air is perfumed with the resin from balsam poplars. Green grass is pushing its way through all the winter brown.

But as I was laying in the shade of the pine trees swaying in the wind overhead, I couldn help but feel that, lovely as it was, this is all a little strange.

So green, so dry.

Looking up through the pines, I could see blue sky overhead with just a few wisps of cloud dancing by. Out in the sun, it was hot not warm, but hot while here in the shade it was 10 degrees cooler. Moss was all around, calypso orchids were blooming just a few inches away from my lens.

I had this feeling for a while now. The dried up sloughs, the absence of frog songs, the speed with which the swans and ducks migrated through, the early seeding of the farm fields have all added up and have just made me feel, I dunno, a little uncomfortable.

But what really brought the point home happened, ironically, during the brief bit of rain we had last week.

I was out by Barrier Lake and I noticed that the gate was open to the boat launch. I headed up the road. Rain was pattering down and it was cool. The light was dim, the aspens were a soft, green glow. And the calypso orchids were blooming.

I never seen them this early before and, while I was thrilled to find them, the sight of the little magenta and yellow blossoms just made me think, this ain right.

Now it entirely possible, likely, in fact, that I just never noticed them this early before. But I never seen crocuses out before the middle of March or the lilacs blooming in my yard a month before the Lilac Festival, either.

And with the lack of precipitation April is statistically one of our snowiest months and all the hot days, seeing those little orchids so early just left me with a feeling of unease.

So it was strange lying among those pines on the crunchy, dry moss and listening to the wind hiss among the pines as sweat dripped off my nose. Normally I be glad for a 26C day. But I be glad in June or July or August. In the first week of May, it didn feel right.

Not that it wasn all just stunningly beautiful. I mean, the countryside looks gorgeous. All those new leaves seem to absorb the light and give it back with a green glow. And not only are the orchids blooming, there spreads of tiny wood violets and swaths of buffalo beans lighting up the forests and pastures. I even saw a few shooting stars, those pretty pink little primroses.

I saw dozens of deer and there were elk all over the place. Funny, elk are fairly common around here but you don really see them that often. They live all through the foothills but there are herds of them right on the edge of the city.

This early summer has got to be a bonus for them and all the other ungulates that will be dropping their babies any time now. All that new green grass that has shown up early with give the mommas strength as they nurse their calves and fawns. And those mommas look healthy right now, too, even though their still shedding winter hair makes them a bit scraggly.

There are still a lot of ponds scattered through the foothills and it was at several of these that I finally heard frogs singing. I heard them a month ago further north, up in the parkland country where pothole lakes abound and where the winter snows were just a bit heavier and the weather a touch cooler.

But those were almost entirely wood frogs, a common species up there. Now I was finally hearing chorus frogs. Their ranges overlap in a lot of places, including here in the foothills, but the chorus frogs range out onto the prairie as well.

This year they silent out there. But in the foothills, thankfully, they still singing.

It all looks deceptively green and lush as you driving around and, I guess, it is. But when I put up my copter for some aerial views, I could see that it a bit of an illusion. The little creeks that should be starting to swell with runoff are mostly gravel. And one beaver created valley that I flew over was mostly dry grass.

But there was one beaver pond closer to the city that was wet and teeming with life. It a fairly new one right on the edge of the Cross Conservancy, a place that beavers recolonized after an absence of several years.

A little spring fed creek feeds into it and keeps the water level up regardless for a while, anyway of the precipitation situation.http://www.cheapnfljerseysonlinew.top And the wildlife is loving it.

I saw green winged teal, buffleheads, goldeneyes, mallards, blackbirds, wrens, and all kinds of other birds. Midges filled the air as swallows swooped by. Bluebirds guard their nesting boxes.

And the beavers were right there, two of them, nibbling on willow twigs and roots, swimming among the flooded little islands. A momma goose sat on her eggs and watched them do their beaver things.

But this was just an oasis in a very dry world. We need rain, we need snow. It all lovely and green now but we need moisture for it to stay that way.

So green. But so dry.

The foothills, three weeks ahead of schedule, are bursting with green now.

All the aspens have spread their leaves. The air is perfumed with the resin from balsam poplars. Green grass is pushing its way through all the winter brown.

But as I was laying in the shade of the pine trees swaying in the wind overhead, I couldn help but feel that, lovely as it was, this is all a little strange.

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