Stepping outside on one of the first nice spring nights is exciting. The owls were partnering up last month and now the loon calls could be heard throughout the weekend. Friend and wildlife photographer Greg Drawbraugh dropped by to check out the birds on this side of the town. Greg has been especially well-known for some fantastic bird photography. In fact, his photograph of a wild tom (turkey) was featured on the front page of this paper last Thanksgiving. He’s often seen birding around Sucker Lake. Recently I ran into him on the bike trail where he had captured a pair of wood ducks. While we were talking he snapped another photo. In a blink of an eye he had taken an image of the blue-winged teal drake. The lighting worked and it was a near perfect reflection in the water. As we were talking you could hear geese in the distance and killdeer in the foreground. Greg mentioned the following birds should be or will be arriving soon: great blue heron, great egret, sora, cormorant, osprey and swallows. He mentioned that most of the warblers show up at the end of the month and early May. He also mentioned his first sora photo was for this area.
Spring is here and now is the time to put down the cell phones, get outdoors and take in nature. If you’re interested in birding, there are many good local resources online and programs offered at local parks and nature centers. If you followed a birder, you will find it is different than just going out for a walk and looking around. Birders are often still for what seems an eternity, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of their surroundings. Patience is key as they watch for a flicker in a tree, a faint movement on the ground, or slightest sound in hopes of taking a photo or catching a glimpse of the prize. If you’re out biking, running or walking and you see someone gazing off it could be a birder hot on the trail. Be on the look out, keep your movements slow and stay quiet, as you never know what you might see. It could be a black-throated gray warbler, owls or even a roseate spoonbill.
Whether you’re out looking for birds, getting exercise, or simply enjoying the outdoors, always respect private property and be careful of other bikers, walkers or runners as they might be plugged into music or a conversation and not paying attention.
Thank you for the subscriptions that have come through our spring subscription drive. The kind notes of encouragement and the tips to our youth and adult carriers are always appreciated. I was talking to a young man who is a carrier in Mahtomedi and he said a home on his route had just sold and the new owners had no idea the house had come with a pre-paid subscription. The previous owner had paid it ahead for them. What a nice way to welcome someone to the community.
We will always work to provide great news coverage. Look for more updates on our efforts to increase the ratio of subscribers.
Carter Johnson is publisher of Press Publications.