Saturday, June 27, 2009

A North Fork River dawn

Chilly and foggy in mid-May. On these unusually hot June days, I think back to 5 weeks ago when the morning temperature lowered to 43 degrees for 3 days in a row.

North Fork April 20th - 4200 CFS

When I arrived on Sunday the 19th of April, the river was beautiful, clear and 800 CFS. When I came through Cabool at 2:30 PM, there was a tremendous thunderstorm over the south part of the city. It was raining so hard that highway 181 was flooded so severely that driving was impossible. By the time I crossed Indian Creek on Highway 76, the creek was becoming muddy and high. By the time I arrived there was no rain at all at ROLF.

The next morning, the river was up and becoming very muddy at ROLF. By Wednesday, the river was fishable again at 1300 CFS.

Here are a few pictures.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A beautiful little female Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Near the office on May 18th. Very interested in Ann's flower garden. This is, I believe, an early arrival for a female. There was a male courting her at the time. Make large sweeping semi-circles in front of her while she watched. They probably have 3 fledglings by now (June 21). Taken 1/2000 of a second - Canon 5D MKII; 300mm f/2.8 IS; handheld.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The intimate beauty of the ROLF Spring Branch

I walked up one side of the spring branch and down the other on an afternoon in mid-May. This is a great short hike and after about 100 yards, you get the sense that you are in a real canyon; which you are. It is shady along most of the length of the clear creek fed by River of Life Spring. The plant life is quite different from the surrounding area; with many large Trilliums, Jack in the Pulpits, and Paw Paw trees, and Maindenhair Ferns.

I saw four varieties of harmless snakes including a Northern water Snake pictured above.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The beautiful American Redstart

These pictures were taken from Treetop Hideaway cabin near an old Ash and a Walnut tree. I have two pictures of the male Redstart and one of the female Redstart. TO see these birds you need to scan the tree tops with your eyes or a good pair of binoculars and look for flashes or orange. This species is common in Missouri but hard to see unless you are really trying to find one. They also seem to like humans and will spend several minutes staring at you if you call them in with a "psssssh" sound repeated over and over again. I think this is one of the most handsome warblers in Missouri. the male has black and bright orange plumage with the female is gray and yellow.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The vocal White-eyed Vireo

For my entire life I have heard this bird, but could never put the song to the bird. Finally after trying for years, I awakened to the familiar song one morning while sleeping in the Cedar Chest cabin, sneaked out on the porch and there he was in the tree just to the right of the deck. A White-eyed vireo, singing away, unaware of me and my camera. Finally, now I know ! Look at the close up of his eye.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Last June 20 in back of the Whispering Pines cabin

There were 2 fawns. I believe one was actually hiding under the porch. Then I discovered a second in the woods to the right of the front porch. The doe came every evening and night to check on them. They were not tame at all. I did get a picture of one fawn in the late afternoon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The amazing Tanagers

This is the best birding or bird watching location in Missouri. Not only are there grasslands, forests, hills, glades, deep valleys, and old fields, but River of Life Farm give you a platform for watching or photographing birds.

This May, at least 6 pairs of Summer Tanagers are know to be nesting at ROLF. They are so brilliantly red colored (almost rose red), that they are hard to photograph in the sunlight. There is also a Scarlet Tanager nesting near the entrance. The females are light green-yellow and not as easily noticed. The Scarlet Tanager is more bright red (no rose color and has jet black wings.

Click to enlarge.

Rainbow Springs May 2009

At a flow of approximately 340 Million Gallons per Day (May 17, 2009), with the ground saturated in May across Ozark County, the spring was really rolling. The spring is locate about 1 1/2 miles upstream from River of Life Farm. It property is strictly private.

Click to enlarge.