Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Enjoy Your Day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Thoughts for the Work Week Ahead

Warm Wishes for a Great Week

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Family Affair

Bon Bon Pond had company this past Wednesday.  Over 100 Canada Geese stopped in for the day.  What a sight!  And the sounds! 

On Monday, as earlier reported,  two of my three nesting families took flight.  No doubt their destination/mission was to visit the relatives and meet their new babies. 

Two days later, every goose in the greater Pine Point/May Township wetlands area was back at Bon Bon Pond.  I am constantly amazed and awed by the social structure of the species Branta canadensis.  Males and females mate for life and remain as devoted to their offspring as they are to each other.  But beyond that, the importance of extended family is also evident.  These birds are all related and stay in close contact even though they live on different waterways.

This summer’s family reunion was a joy to observe.  The goose gestures and communications told me the flock was sharing its adventures over the past few months.  I swear, every goose had something to declare! 

The flock en masse was also anxious to check out all the home improvement projects around the Pond and spent a good share of their day leisurely strolling from the bank to the gazebo area, across the driveway and into the front yard.  Geese!  Geese!  Everywhere!

The birds and turkeys appeared flabbergasted at the sight of so many geese, as did the human neighbors!  Down by the water, traffic slowed to a crawl.

After a full day of corn and conversation, the individual families started to leave around 6:30 p.m. I happened to be in my office glancing out the window when one flock took off from the water.  Somehow, a young gosling, busy exploring around the gazebo, had gotten separated from his family.  When he saw them in the air he panicked.  The little fellow began running and flapping his wings.  He ran across the driveway and thru the front yard.  I held by breath as he approached the retaining wall.  It was now or never!  Trundling from side to side he began liftoff just as he went over the embankment.  Takeoff was more than a bit awkward—yikes he nearly clipped the pasture fence and the backyard evergreens--but the youngster finally found his rhythm and up, up, up he sailed.  Yet another adventure to share at the next family reunion.

Enjoy Your Sunday

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Best Wishes!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Enjoy Your Friday!

Prayerful Friday

This summer has seen horrendous heat and drought conditions across much of the continental US.  We feel so blessed here in Minnesota to have received some rain this month.  In particular, the St. Croix River Valley has received more precipitation than our neighbors to the north or west.  

Unfortunately, other parts of the Midwest, plus the Plains States, known as the “breadbasket of the nation,” have not been as fortunate.  In fact, the mid-section areas have been hit the hardest as illustrated in the map above.  Cattle are being auctioned off, crops have burned, wells are drying up and drinking water is a concern.  The misery of middle America, however,  will soon be shared as food prices  soar.   

It’s a terrible situation and this does not even include the  personal toll taken on those in the hardest hit areas as they watch their beloved lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and plants all wither away in light of watering bans.   

And what about the wildlife?  I fear for their health and safety!

 Please take a moment to pray for blessed relief for  our neighbors and friends, as well as the region’s flora and fauna, who are suffering.  Let’s make this one of the largest prayer circles ever.  Here, take my hand, and say with me . . .

Dear Heavenly Father,

You said whatsoever any two or more come together and agree and ask in Your Son's name, it shall be given. We come to You, humbly, and ask that You bring down the rain to our parched lands. Our farmers and ranchers need it desperately, as well as our firefighters.  

And please, God,  watch over the animals!

We ask this all in Jesus' name.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Greetings!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Wing and a Prayer

“Molting is the term that is given to the 8-10 week flightless period when Canada geese shed their outer wing feathers and regrow new ones. Molting occurs between mid-June through August. Most birds are able to resume flight by mid-August.”

Hmmmm.  Two of my three resident geese families took off on Monday morning, July 22nd.  I was outside and witnessed the always awe-inspiring moment when they gracefully lift from the water.  It was a rare and wonderful privilege to watch this season’s goslings test their new feathers and fly for the first time.  We earthbound humans can only wonder what it must feel like to defy the laws of gravity and soar upwards into the heavens.  Such freedom!

The information above comes from a website called wildgoosechasers.  The folks that write here consider Canada Geese "pests" yet also claim to be knowledgeable about the birds’ behaviors.  Self-proclaimed “animal experts” always make me smile--particularly the  heartless ones who view wildlife as something to be controlled and punished.  The more time I spend observing the animal kingdom the more respect and reverence I gain for God’s creatures.  They are wonderful and wise and mysterious in their ways.  The attempt by humans to simplistically interpret, categorize and explain away their behaviors invariably falls short. 

I applaud my geese for taking wing on their OWN schedule.  Godspeed my feathered friends.  Come home soon.

Tuesday Greetings

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts for the Work Week Ahead


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Enjoy Your Sunday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Livin' the good life!

Thanks to the summer’s heat and drought, I’ve let the grass grow long around Bon Bon Pond, much to the delight of the resident geese and turkeys, as well as Buddy the woodchuck.

Both flocks have left the corn to graze on the sweet and nutritious trefoil which seems oblivious to the harsh conditions.  I’ve been amazed to observe my Canada Geese traveling relatively far from the water—and during molting season—to  enjoy this hardy fodder plant.  

This tells me my geese feel very safe here.  Any way you look at it, my wildlife are “in the clover!”

Maestro, cue the music!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Get Well Prayers

For the past few days, I’ve been tracking an ill goldfinch.  I am so worried about this beautiful boy.  It’s puzzling what’s wrong as he’s not “puffing up” as most birds do when they are sick.  He can fly but seems quite weak as his flights are jerky and low to the ground.   

I wish I knew what to do for him?  He flies to his food but just perches and does not eat.  He’s been living in the potentilla thicket which is wise as it provides cover and is close to food and fresh water. 

Please join me in sending out prayers for this little guy’s full and speedy recovery.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Wishes

Morning Dance

On account of marauding raccoons, I bring all the bird feeders in at night.  Normally, I don’t get back outside till around 9:00 a.m.  Before heading out the door, I glance out the window, and, sure as shootin’, there are my birdies parked on the feeder poles, watching the garage door.  

Food is dispensed by size, starting with the hummingbirds and ending with the geese.  Most of the wildlife is accepting of the system, with the exception of my darling yet demanding Downy Woodpeckers. While it’s not unusual for the dainty Downies to chase me on my rounds, chastising “Hurry Up!” in birdese, they took their antics to a new and hilarious level this a.m. 

I have two garages—one of which is unattached from the house. I store the feeders here at night.  When I walked out of the attached garage this morning I was met by a flock of Downies who proceeded to “escort” me to the second garage.  When I opened the door, three flew in, found their favorite feeders and took care of business.  Two others decided that I might move faster if they hitched a ride in my head.  Another little female perched on my hand.  Ouch!  If you’ve ever had bird claws sink into your skin you know it’s not pleasant.  Yet I smiled thru the pain, my heart deeply touched.  It’s rewarding to realize I have earned my avians’ trust. 

I couldn’t imagine a morning without the Downy dance!  Maestro, cue the music . . .

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Wishes

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

By Popular Demand

(for Nina, with love!)

Landscaping Updates

A statuesque green spruce surrounded by a lovely little raised rock garden and ringed with hostas.  The area should look quite nice next year when the plants come up green and bushy.  This summer’s oppressive heat and accompanying drought have been hard on these transplanted perennials.

Enjoy Your Tuesday!

Monday, July 16, 2012

LaBonBon's Surefire Tip to Beat the Heat

There’s a heat advisory out today for most of Minnesota as temps soar to 100 degrees.  It’s too hot to work outside.  It’s too darn hot to do much of anything.  In fact, just looking outside makes me hot.  Think it’s time to chill out with my lifelong fave, Mr. Boz Scaggs, still the coolest dude on planet Earth.  Enjoy!

Thoughts for the Work Week Ahead

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Wishes from the Pond

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fun with Power Tools

Just like Elaine Bennes, Bart Simpson, Conan O'Brien and about a billion others, I've always wanted to say that!

Actually, the Dingo—sort of a miniature bobcat with a plethora of cool and useful attachments-- has been a regular visitor to Bon Bon Pond of late.  We used him last week to dig around 200 hosta holes and today he delivered some beautiful landscape  boulders as well as removed a section of fencing.  When it comes to hard work, you just can’t beat this bad boy!  A heavy hauler with  a heart, the dandy Dingo gave “my buybee” a thrill-filled ride around the rocks then delivered her safely back home.

Special thanks to Bon Bon Pond’s best friend, Jeff, and his trusty Suburban for their invaluable help with the 2012 Improvement Project, and to the wonderful Steve Wagner from A-1 Minnetonka Rental for the use of  their Dingo, trailers and other fun power tools. 

Friday, July 13, 2012


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bon Bon Pond Mystery

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on my bench, enjoying the fountain and the front yard bird activity when I was startled by a most unexpected sight.  Peanut, my beloved Red-breasted Nuthatch, had returned to Bon Bon Pond!  I blinked, and blinked again, and sure as shootin’ there was my unmistakable ball of energy perched on the rim of the bird bath!   While Peanut’s homecoming is always a time of great  joy, I am left puzzled and a bit concerned by his way early and off-schedule return.

This “Bird of the Boundary Waters”  traditionally spends his summers in the soft conifer trees of northern Minnesota raising its young and moves southward in the state during cold weather months. 

Since beginning my Adventures in Birding, I have carefully tracked Red-breasted Nuthatch migrations and have usually found them to be off by only a matter of a couple weeks.  For instance, in 2010 he left Bon Bon Pond on June 2nd and returned the first week of September.  In 2011 he also left the first week of June and returned the third week of August.  This year his last sighting was May 17th with a reappearance on July 11th which means his summer migration lasted exactly eight weeks!  Eggs of the Red-breasted Nuthatch have an 11-12 day incubation period, followed by a 14-20 day fledging, so the numbers tell me the birds had time to nest and raise their young but they sure didn’t stay a moment longer than necessary. 

On its own, Red-breasted Nuthatch migration might seem anecdotal, but last week I was stunned to find a Pine Siskin at the hearts feeder.  This is another bird of northern Minnesota which moves southward in cold weather. 

What in the world are my winter residents doing in south central Minnesota the second week of July? 

This is all strange.  Very strange.  Donning my deerstalker cap, I have channeled my inner Sherlock Homes and attempted to explain this mystery.  Here are my theories:
  1. The jet streams are changing and with them the weather patterns for the Midwest.  Minnesota is becoming hotter and dryer in the summer with much milder winters.  These meteorological changes are affecting the migration schedules of area birds.
  2. Migrating birds have become accustomed to the easy and plentiful supply of their favorite foods at Bon Bon Pond and are thus in a hurry to return with their young.  
  3. My birds just love me!  :-)
I will continue to keep a close eye on the feeders and monitor comings and goings.  Stay tuned for further updates . . .