Friday, February 22, 2013

Grand Marais Creek Snowshoe

Yesterday friends, Jamey and Lois, went snowshoeing east of Grand Marais.  We parked along H58 and snowshoed southeast to Grand Marais creek.  There is a lot of snow in the woods, so the snowshoes were definitely needed.  It was a great outing except for the fact that one of their dogs, Nora, never returned.  They recently inherited Nora, who always has had the tendency to take off and explore.  She has always come back -- until yesterday.  The dog disappeared around 3:30.  We looked for her off and on all evening until 10:30.  So sad.

Jamey and his vast knowledge of the woods helped me to understand what I was seeing in the following two photos.  He explained that the rows of holes in the bark were made by a yellow bellied sapsucker.  This bird apparently returns year after year to peck sap out of the same tree.
Below is a picture of this incredible bird.  The yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) is a medium-sized woodpecker found in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  The yellow-bellied sapsucker is a mid-sized woodpecker, measuring 18–22 cm (7.1–8.7 in) in length, 34–40 cm (13–16 in) in wingspan and weighing from 40–63 g (1.4–2.2 oz).  Adults are black on the back and wings with white bars; they have a black head with white lines down the side and a red forehead and crown, a yellow breast and upper belly, a white lower belly and rump and a black tail with a white central bar. Adult males have a red throat; females have a white throat.
Like other sapsuckers, these birds drill holes in trees and eat the sap and insects drawn to it. They may also pick insects from tree trunks or catch them in flight. They also eat  fruit and berries. 
Yellow-bellied sapsuckers nest in a large cavity excavated in a deciduous tree, often choosing one weakened by disease; the same site may be used for several years. Both the male and the female work in making the nest, where five or seven white eggs are well concealed. Both birds share in hatching.
They will mate with the same partner from year to year, as long as both birds survive.  These birds migrate to the southeastern United States, West Indies, and Central America, leaving their summer range.
Winter scenes....

A cabin in the woods....
Yesterday was Lois's birthday.  Jamey found this ice ring and presented it to Lois as a symbolic birthday ring.
Yesterday I uploaded the files for segment 1C.  This segment, along with segment 1D, are the largest segments given the number of movies they contain.  It took 3 hours and 3 minutes to transfer the 1C files.  Due to helping to look for the lost dog, I didn't get a chance to work on the project last night.  I'll resume file transfer activities today. 



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