Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A little break from work.

I took a little break from work to wander in the yard and check the crops. They may not be large but they sure are fun to watch.

This time of year is very busy for me. I'm a network administrator for a public school district in northern Wisconsin.

August, September and October are my busiest times. Repairs, maintenance and installation of new equipment for a new school year.

I still take pictures when the opportunities arise but, after a long day with a couple hundred network devices, I find it hard to sit down at another computer to blog.

Thanks for visiting. I hope to be back with more regular post in a few weeks.

Second crop haying. Round bales.

The baler in these photos is controlled by a hand held computerized monitor. Notice the device in the operators lap in the first photo. The operator watches the bale making progress on the monitor control and then "releases" the bale. This appeared to be fairly new equipment.

Chequamegon Bay Soccer Club.

Proud dad (and coach).

The proud player

Windy day on the bay.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A neighborhood techie.

A field of dreams?

At least for me it was a place to stop and enjoy a peaceful view after a long day of work.

Sandhill Cranes. Grazing?

These photos were taken just south of Ashland airport along Sanborn Ave. I counted twenty six birds in this field.

Afternoon drive.

Out for an afternoon drive on WI Hwy. 63 near Mason Wisconsin.

Monday, August 14, 2006

August fishing at it's best.

The only way to fish on a hot summer day. Cool, no bugs, minimum gear and who cares if the fish are biting. Photos by Mrs. Shutterwi

Harvesting the sunflower seeds.

For the last week these Goldfinches have been 'harvesting" the sunflower seeds in our backyard. Today they were cooperative at let me take their photos.

Netting shore birds.

The two researchers in this photo are netting shore birds in the Chequamegon Bay area. Look close at the photo you can see the netting between the two poles.

Badger. A first for me.

This is a lousy photo but it's the first time I've seen a Badger (in the wild). This photograph was taken through the windshield of a moving truck. For those who might like additional info it was taken on forest road 241 north of U.S. 2 in Bayfield County, 5 miles east of Iron River Wisconsin. Near Sawdust lake.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Foraging honeybees. Nice to see.

This was nice to see an abundance of foraging honeybees. I've spent hours this spring and summer watching insects forage on flowers in northern Wisconsin. But, as I noted in a previous post, I've seen few if any honeybees. These were photographed in the Milwaukee area.

I know several local beekeepers and most are no longer overwintering their colonies. It seems to me that the wild honeybees colonies would be affected by this management practice of not overwintering but rather starting fresh colonies each spring with "packages" from the south.

Here is my speculation. When colonies are overwintered and they have an early pollen and nectar source they will quickly grow and overcrowd the colony forcing the colony to swarm. Most of these swarms will find a "wild" home in a tree or between walls in a building. These wild colonies would under normal (pre varroa mite years) conditions survive from year to year and provide "native" populations for pollination. Varroa mites are parasitic on the honeybees and will eventually weaken and destroy the colony.

It has been years since I've heard of a swarm of bees or for that matter seen a local news report of a swarm being spotted.

Packaged colonies are normally managed more closely by virtue of the fact that they are started fresh each spring. In contrast overwintered colonies often get neglected in early spring bring about the swarming described above.

Any beekeepers out there with opinions on the subject?

No matter what the reason this is not a good thing. No pollinators no fruit.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hummingbird Clearwing Sphinx moth.

These photo were taken at a friends home in the Milwaukee WI area. Thanks to J & K we had a great time as usual.