Category Archives: Nature

Gardening and Spring Glory

PotsIt’s a glorious Memorial Day weekend here, beautiful weather. Yesterday I spent about six hours getting the yard ready for summer, planting annual flowers in pots, as well as a few other things like this Cherry Pepper plant, with Cilantro and Dill in the one behind. The perennial flowers and shrubs are doing well too, with many in bloom.

ChivesThe Chives planted last year came back and are blooming nicely.

Rhododendron Out next to the driveway, the Rhododendrons are forming a tower of lavender about eight feet high. Hard to believe these were about two feet high when we planted them about 12 years ago (I think).

RoseThe first few Roses are out.

SpiderwortIn the back, Spiderwort is blooming, with an actual spider at upper left.

SpiderA closer look at the spider, his web outlined in the tons of pollen we’re getting now.

PondThe pond is looking wonderful, with dozens of Blue Iris blooming around and in it.

BumblebeeA Bumblebee at the Iris.

BullfrogAnd a young Bullfrog sunning on a lily pad. The Water Lily flowers are emerging, and will open soon.

CatsTigger and Leo are enjoying the screened porch, Ellen and I will be out there today too. Hope your weekend is good!

2015 World Series of Birding Report

LoadingBusImages © Todd Klein, except as noted.

Our long birding day began at 5 AM in predawn darkness in the parking lot of the Cape May Meadows, the Nature Conservancy preserve in Cape May where 19 participants, including team chief Mike Crewe and other leaders, loaded our gear on the small shuttle bus we used for the first time this year to get us around. The weather was cool but not cold, and foggy, so rather damp. Fog is not typical in our area, where the prevailing wind is from the west, but this week we’d had warm winds off the ocean from the southeast, creating fog off and on for several days in a row. The temperature was cool but comfortable, very light wind, and the promise of clearing later. Continue reading

WSB Tomorrow!

WSBPageTomorrow I’ll be doing the World Series of Birding with my team, the Cape May Century Run. The weather prediction is good for us participants, not so good for migrating songbirds: light southeast winds, fog in the morning, getting sunny later, temperatures from 55 early to the low 70s later. Could be worse!

Today I’m gathering my gear and snacks, going over the list of things to bring. Tomorrow morning I’ll get up at 3:15 AM, planning to leave the house at 4:15 to meet the team in Cape May before our start time of 5 AM. We’ll bird all day around Cape May County, getting back to the Finish Line in Cape May around 10 PM, and I should stagger in my own door around 11 PM. A long day, but usually a fun one, and raising money for a great cause: New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory.

I have a great group of supporters again this year who have pledged $1 or more per species that our team sees. I’m thankful, but a little disappointed they’re all repeat pledgers, no new ones have come forward. It’s not too late if you’d like to pledge, drop me an EMAIL with a pledge of 10 cents per species or more, and I’ll be eternally grateful. Here’s an article from the local paper about the WSB you might enjoy.

I hope to be posting brief updates on my Facebook page tomorrow, that’s Todd Klein, artist, and a full report here on Sunday, hopefully, if I can manage to get it together by then. Wish us luck!

Morning Walk

MorningSunImages © Todd Klein, except as noted.

Six days from now I’ll be outside all day long for the World Series of Birding. This is prime birding time in southern New Jersey, but I’ve been so busy with work I’ve had hardly any time to get out and see birds (or post here!). This morning I was able to take the short drive to Belleplain State Forest for an hour’s walk on a lovely if chilly morning. I stopped first near the Boy Scout camp, where as expected, I heard Summer Tanagers singing, two of them competing for territory. I spent ten minutes looking for them, but couldn’t see them, or the other birds I was hearing. Such is often the case. I drove on to my favorite spot by the bridge on Sunset Road. Continue reading

The 2015 World Series of Birding, help needed!


Two weeks from tomorrow, Saturday May 9th, is the annual outdoor escapade and fundraiser known as The World Series of Birding. I’ve signed up with the Cape May Bird Observatory Century Run team as I have many times in the past. It’s the only fundraiser I participate in. Along with lots of other teams we will attempt to spot as many bird species as possible on that day. The top teams will go from midnight to midnight, and cover the entire state of New Jersey. Our Century Run team’s goals are a little more relaxed: we go from 5 AM to about 9 PM and stay within Cape May County. It’s still an exhausting marathon to test one’s determination and stamina, but usually a lot of fun, too. Each participant pledges a minimum of $1 per species seen, which one can supplement with pledges from friends and family. And that, gentle readers, is where you can participate!

As in the past, I’m encouraging you to make a pledge for my WSB big day, to help me raise funds for the Cape May Bird Observatory, part of the New Jersey Audubon Society, and their valuable mission of conservation, education and research. You can pledge any amount, but the usual method is to pledge per species seen. Last year our total was 139 species, not our best effort, but not bad. A more typical total is 140 species. If we tally 140 species, a pledge of 50 cents per would result in a monetary gift of $70. A pledge of $1 per species would mean a gift of $140. As a bonus, I’m offering any of my Signed Prints as incentives: for a pledge of 50 cents per species, the print of your choice, for $1 per species, any two! Higher pledges are welcome and will garner more prints in the same ratio. Pledges lower than 50 cents will get you a signed comic or two that I lettered, my choice, if you would like that. Pledges of any amount down to 10 cents per species are welcome, or if you’d rather make a flat rate donation, that’s fine, too. All pledges will support education about and preservation of New Jersey wildlife and natural resources, as well as garner my enduring gratitude!

Here’s a LINK to my blog about last year’s WSB Century Run, if you’d care to read it. And if you’d like to pledge, click the CONTACT ME link here or in the right column of this page and let me know by email. I’ll be collecting pledges until May 8th. Our team will be out there tallying on the 9th, rain or shine, hoping for good weather and lots of migrating birds. Who knows, maybe this year we’ll hit the elusive goal of 150 species. That would be fabulous!