Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wolfeboro visit

My mom's side of the family had a bit of a reunion up in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire this weekend. In all, about 35 relatives got together at my sister's family vacation house. One of my cousins remarked that it was interesting to note that all the family members present were there as a result of just two woman (my mom and her sister). It's an interesting observation on population growth, I suppose.

Late Friday night, while I was trying to fall asleep, I noticed a blinking yellow-green light outside the window. It turned out to be a firefly that had landed on the screen and was climbing around and blinking. I tried to take a picture of it in the dark, but this was the best I could do.

Due to the long exposure, I think I got multiple images of the firefly as it jumped around. (Either that or it was because I wasn't steady enough with the camera.)

It was nice to see the arcade machine I had built had made it to NH safely and was getting lots of use. Given the partly rainy weather, the machine probably got more use this weekend than it had the past few years it had been at my condo.

There was some interesting wildlife in the area. First off, I noticed these two empty husks of some insect. I have no idea what it was, but it looked interesting to me.

Notice how both empty shells have the same curly white threads where the insect ripped out. Odd.

I'm not sure what this furry thing was - but it did seem friendly:

At one point in the day, a family of mergansers swam by on the lake. There were about 12 babies!

Later that same day, I heard a sound in the nearby woods that kind of sounded like a monkey -you know, something like "oo-ooo-aaaa-aawwww!". My sister said it was a pileated woodpecker. Sure enough - she was correct. Someone quickly spotted it in a tree. Out of the twenty or so shots I took, I was able to get a few decent pictures before it flew off.

This was the first time I had ever seen a pileated woodpecker (other than watching the Woody Woodpecker cartoon when I was a kid). They're pretty impressive looking! I thought this entry on the USGS web site (under the category of similar species) was kind of funny: "No other living woodpecker could be confused with the Pileated."

My sister has many bird feeders on her property. She also leaves out a few sliced oranges on spikes. It turns out they are good for attracting Orioles. Both an adult and an immature one stopped by while I was watching.