Sunday, July 07, 2013

"Free Week" Shakertown Day 2 aka Bobwhites and Bunnies

Of course, falling off at 8.30 makes a person like me wake up at 3.00am ready for the day. I managed to force myself to not be quite awake until close to 7.00- 6.30?- and went about using the morning to not go insane in the hotel room. It was still raining a bit, but mostly had stopped. That being said, "Flash Flood Warning" had create havoc all through C.KY, so I resolved to be both active and not stupid. The previous night, during the pounding interminable rain, I noticed a batch of cruisers, which I later read could be used between 5pm and 9am, which is to say *not* during visitation hours, so to speak. I girded myself to get wet and headed out for some nature, some sort-of cycling and some birds. Oh, and I did *not* gird myself with a real camera. The Canon is still trashed from cyclocross worlds in February. The black one I lost and it had a dying battery the day before, and the old, silver Nikon I packed but couldn't find the morning of. And it was raining. By in large, my pics suck b*@%s.

Pretty quickly I found out that the gravel roads- MIXED TERRAIN!- were sort of washed out and lumpy and should be handled with care.



Fowl on the run!

Best-in-show, I suspect.

I took a side route and found the western portions of the Meadow Trail that we modified yesterday. What follows is a series of terrible pics of flowers, barns and Nature. It really was scenic at the time. It really was.




From there I took the trail that starts with an 'H'. One of the workers on a 4-wheeler bade me caution as I tumbled down the gravel road. Little did he know that I'm a bit of a mixed-terrain professional. The downhill run along 'H' was quite pleasant, with views of rock walls, trees, fields, and washed-out gullys/gullies. Towards the bottom I entered into a slightly more treed area and found a sign announcing efforts for Quail Habitat renewal. It was working because so far I had heard numerous bob-WHITE calls. More terrible pics to follow.

I like prairies and I like wildflower fields. Evidently Quail do too.
Bird intrigue. The bird in the pic is blue, which means it's an Indigo Bunting, which are pretty common in fields in C.KY.  Later  I read that the area is replete with Blue Grosbeaks. Since it was misting and dreary, I now I have no clue whether I saw a *bunch* of Buntings or Grosbeaks on the day, but I did see a bunch of blue birds, but not necessarily of Eastern Bluebirds. They're different.
The yellow and black sign has something about Quail.
At the bottom of the hill I found the bird blind and had the good fortune to see a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker (not common in the 'Ville), a Hairy Woodpecker (although now I'm thinking it was a Downy), and assorted Bluejays, Cardinals and some sparrows. Trailhead #1 is the home base for the Shakertown system and hikers are supposed to register; I did not. From there I made my way along the road towards Trailhead #3 to get a feel for the area. Along the road I head lots of birds, saw some blue ones that could have been Indigo Buntings or Blue Grosbeaks- now I'm miffed- and had to walk a portion out of the creek bed. Eventually I arrived at the hilltop to find find another refurbished building which acts as a conference center, along with the horse area for equestrian users. All 40 miles of Shakertown trails are available for hiking, biking (tough that would be, but intriguing) and horses.

Central Kentucky's flood event. It continued to mist and rain off and on.



Barn Swallow field

Step-up fence. Don't know if my many readers have seen this before.
Friends and students both know I generally detest cats. These three barn cats amused me with their attentive ears. Obviously I wasn't wanted. F$%k cats!

Restored prairie and Quail habitat



Once I had surveyed the scene I turned around and easily rolled down the hill, stopping and using the binoculars a bit until it...That's right...it starting raining again. There were barn swallows, mourning doves, a damn brown bird that I almost saw before it flew off Asshole, goldfinch eating on the Coneflower like they always do, lots and lots of rabbits and some interesting bird possibilities. First I caught a glimpse of what I think might have been an Oriole. It was bit far and the binocs were misting over. Too bad because I've never seen one. Secondly I saw a glimpse through some heavy tree coverage of three or four medium-sized yellow birds, perhaps warblers of some sort. High is a dead tree I saw not one but three brown thrashers. Those aren't too common in town. And they were run off by not one but three Northern Flickers. Before Day 2 of the Shaker Flood I had one seen a fleeting, flying glimpse of a Northern Flicker. Four in one 30-minute span would imply that I need to pay more attention. Oh, and I saw and listened to a damn blue bird that I don't know what it was now. Happy, blue bird people?!?

From there I meandered via the paved road home, enjoying the vistas, the bob-WHITE calls, the fresh air. I walked a bit and stopped a couple times too to take crappy cellphone pics I'm really not happy with.






The contrast between how much I enjoyed the jaunt and how unhappy I am with the world's worst pictures couldn't be greater. The Central Kentucky, with its fields, fences, woods, contours and generally peaceful terrain affects me greatly. I assume we all have a favorite kind of landscape. I know mountains and beaches get the press, but I would love nothing greater than 20 acres of wildflower prairie to stare at each morning with my coffee.  If in the area, you should visit the Free Shakertown trails and nature preserve. They are among the best quality that KY has to offer. Just take a real camera, for @$#(* sake.


 

SHAKERTOWN
Eastern Kingfisher
Indigo Bunting MANY Or Blue Grosbeak MANY or whatev effing blue birds they were
Robin
Brown Thrasher 3x
Flicker 3x +1 feeder
Nothern Cardinal
Goldfinch
Starling
Bluejay
Bobwhite (call)
Redwinged blackbird
Hairy or Downy woodpecker-feeder
Brown headed cowbird
Mourning Dove
Canada geese
Domestic geese
Barn Swallow
??Baltimore Oriole- high in tree misty for glass
??sparrows!!
?? Titmouse- high in tree with crest
?? Yellowish sized wrens high in tree
?? Pileated flying overhead

1 comment:

Apertome said...

Despite the quality of the photos, you can tell it was a stunning ride. I'm also amazed at the variety of scenery in such a short distance. Great!

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