Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fishing Horseshoe Lake near Yellowstone Park

We have had a very busy week as all my children and grandchilden were here in Rexburg with us. We fished for a couple of days, went through Yellowstone Park and celebrated a birthday and Father's Day. I will only discuss one fishing trip to Horseshoe Lake on this blog - others will follow.

My son-in-law and I decided to battle the rainstorms for a day of float tubing Horseshoe Lake just a few miles from the border of Yellowstone Park.

It rained most of the way to the lake and my son-in-law with youth on his side, hurried to get ready and get into the water. I took my time and decided to hurry when Steve landed four rainbows and one grayling. The grayling was his first one ever.

The rain stopped and I got into the water and my second fish was a 14 inch grayling. But it would be the last one of the day for us. Our fly that we were using was a Beadhead Mity Mouse, also one of the hot flies on Henrys Lake.

Most of the rainbows were recent stockers, but near some lily pads I found a pocket of fish between 12 to 15 inches near another group of lily pads. It didn't last long as thunder, lightning and heavy rain finally chased us off the lake. Final count, my son-in-law with 40 and me with 36. The student defeated the teacher - the best way to lose.

An outstanding outing with my son-in-law taking all of his fish on one fly while I lost one and had to break out another one.

Monday, June 15, 2009

nature tales and camera trails: My Yellow Wagon for Mellow Yellow Monday

You have a yellow wagon and I have a red wheelbarrow.


nature tales and camera trails: My Yellow Wagon for Mellow Yellow Monday

Funnel clouds near Ashton

My son-in-law, Steve, and I got up early Saturday morning to deliver flies to Island Park area as well as fish Henrys Lake. We had a great time fishing Henrys Lake and were successful with the Beadhead Mity Mouse and the Beadhead Electric Black Leech.
We couldn't fish long as we had to drop off flies at some businesses and then get to Victor by noon for a reunion. Just outside of Ashton we saw this funnel cloud just east of the town of Drummond. It appeared quickly and then disapated quickly. It is my first picture of a baby tornado.

House Finch - Feeding time

This morning while watching the bird feeder from my blind I heard a continuous call from a young House finch. I observed as the young bird would follow an adult through the branches as if begging for food. Soon the adult positioned itself above the baby, upchucked some bits of sunflower seeds it had resently ate and fed the noisy baby. Not unlike their human counterparts.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Travels with an old man #1

Last Thursday I went out to Birch Creek by Lone Pine on the Salmon Highway. Between rain storms I was able to interview five people about fishing Birch Creek and looked for Indian petrographs. Fishermen and a fisherwoman reported good fishing for the small trout that had been stocked recently with some "native brookies" and a few holdovers from last season. A couple from Shelley, ID, had caught 10 that morning and 11 the day before. The fisherwoman caught one while I was visiting with them.

Birds were all over the banks of Birch Creek. I saw an osprey, Red-tailed hawk, kestrels, Yellow warblers, Yellow-rumped warblers, Yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds, robins, an eagle, mallards, house wrens, ravens, crows, magpies and Western Tanagers. The most interesting was the Western Tanagers that flew out over the water picking off insects in the air. I wish the picture was a little better, but the bird is about to nab an insect in the air.

I also saw many beautiful flowers. I am not very good with them, but some appeared to members of the Indian paintbrush, members of the columbine family and of course the Rocky Mountain iris are blooming along the streams.

I spent three hours exploring for Indian petrographs, but did not find any new ones. I hiked up to some caves, finding old wire probably used for trapping bobcats as it used to be a popular place for that activity. I also found old mines, dug-out houses and many mining exploratory holes.

Antelope were scattered around the desert with large bucks, but mostly does with or without their young by their sides.

Just before leaving the area, I stopped in at the Lone Pine Store and visited with the mother of the owner. She was an older pleasant woman to visit with as she fix me a burger. I will go back - soon for a visit and look until I find some petrographs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A couple in love

Humans are not the only things to fall in love and spring brings out the best of falling in love. Animals and birds pair up - some for life - longer than 60% of their human counter parts.
Last Saturday I observe a pair of Tree Swallows acting much like humans with the female doing all the work while the male just watched. It was quite humorous but not that funny.
The female brought in a ton of nesting material.

Meanwhile the male sat on a fence post, watching and looking very pretty.

The female soon leaves the nest box after working the material within the nest, making the nest comfortable for the eggs to be laid. Notice the feather sneaking out of the crack in the nest box.

The male watches the female as she flies off for more material.

The female brings in more material, deposits it in the nest and then flies off searching for more.

The male decides to get closer to the action so he at least comes home to see if his services are needed

The female peeks out of the nest box after returning with more nest material as the male protects? or is just looking pretty for the little Mrs.

Sorry, I did not get this rotated before I added it to the list.
Hopefully the fathers will do their duty on Father's Day. Remember the quote from President Obama after the election. "Fatherhood does not end at conception."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Immature Bald Eagle

After a week in Boston and Washington DC, it was time to go chasing some birds with my camera. I went to Henrys Lake to deliver flies for fishing that lake and had a great time looking at the birds in the wind and rain.

I stopped by the Henrys Fork of the Snake River to get some pictures of nesting osprey and they were difficult because of the rain and cloudy sky. So I headed for Henrys Lake and the birds there were very coopertive with the rain and wind. The first I encountered were the pelicans chasing fish in Staley Springs. Just past Staley Springs I saw an immature Bald Eagle on the fence post eating a rock chuck.

It would tear a piece of meat off, along with the bone and then swallow the whole piece. Several times the food with the bones in would get caught in the beak and would be coughed back up and re-eaten. It was fun to watch.

Finally it was done with the meal and flew off. I continued along the road around the lake getting pictures of bluebirds, and three species of swallows. More about those later.