Saturday, April 29, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

North for mating season (from its winter habitat from southern Florida, through Mexico, into Central America), a yellow-crowned night heron perches in swampy marshland in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA, on 21 April 2023.

Unfortunately, I 'blew out' some of the highlights (such as the heron's yellow crown) and 'cut off' one of its feet. Nonetheless, I was excited to have photographed this fine fellow in the wild.

Thank you to a passing birder who identified this yellow-crowned night heron for me (and congratulated me on my new "lifer": birdwatching lingo for spotting a bird you’ve never seen before).

Fortunately, I did not forget to thank her (or, silently, the heron).


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Vernal rising

Vernal rising

Up, they jumped,
Winter sprites,
Vernal rising.

Happy Earth Day!

22 April 2023
Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by, including 1 billion people in more than 193 countries.The official theme for 2023 is "Invest In Our Planet."


Saturday, April 15, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Goose going Postal

Goose going Postal

A Canada goose (Branta canadensis) gracefully winters on Postal Pond, in Decatur Legacy Park, Decatur, Georgia, USA, on 4 March 2023.

I've always called this elegant waterfowl, a Canadian Goose. I've only just discovered its 'correct' appellation. Despite its name, the Canada goose's year-round habitat extends south into Georgia1, 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) from Canada.

Decatur, by the way, is a small city (population, 24,928) in —and the county seat of— DeKalb County, Georgia, part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.2 Legacy Park is a 77-acre oasis within it.


Saturday, April 08, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Bayou morning

Bayou morning

Wetlands of South Fork Peachtree Creek: a 'bayou' morning on Beaver Pond.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 19 March 2023.
When rain falls into the beaver pond/wetlands at the preserve, the water goes into the south fork of Peachtree Creek. From Peachtree Creek, the water flows into the Chattahoochie River and then into the Gulf of Mexico. The areas that drain into the Chattahoochee River (including the preserve) make up the Chattahoochie Watershed.


Friday, April 07, 2023

Happy National Beer Day, 2023!

Happy National Beer Day 2023!

7 April 2023: It's National Beer Day ... in the U.S., that is.

Then, again, is not every day, "beer day"? Ah, but there's more to the 90-year-old story. Read more at: YFGF.


Now, as to those two lovelies...

  • Deathstill (left)
    • "German Style dopplebock." 8% alcohol-by-volume (abv).
    • In Dune —a series of science fiction novels (and films) by writer Frank Herbert and his estate— a deathstill is a "device used to extract all moisture from a living or dead human or creature. This is traditionally done to reclaim precious water from the dead, who no longer require it; but in Children of Dune the device is used as a method of execution."
  • A Night on Ponce (right)
    • "American IPA with Citra, Palisade, and Magnum hops." 7.5% alcohol-by-volume (abv).
    • Ponce de Leon Avenue is a major thoroughfare in Atlanta, named for the eponymous 16th-century Spanish conquistador, who searched for the legendary fountain of youth in Florida. Atlanta natives simply refer to the street as "Ponce."
Both beers brewed by Three Taverns Brewery, in Decatur, Georgia, USA. Both beers enjoyed, al fresco, on the brewery's beer patio, 11 March 2023.

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.


Saturday, April 01, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Pear tree in winter

Pear tree in winter

Invasive but lovely, a Bradford pear tree winter!
Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’) is a spring-flowering tree that has been widely planted throughout the eastern U.S. in the last few decades. It is a popular tree that is frequently seen in nearly every city within its growing range. The species is a native of China, Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam.

The Bradford pear grows 30 to 50 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. It has a wider and more erect, branchier canopy than other species of Pyrus calleryana. A rapid grower, it has a short to moderate life span (15 to 25 years). The most attractive feature of this thornless tree is the showy white flowers that appear before the leaves in the spring. Early spring flowering may last two weeks. The flowers, unfortunately, have an unpleasant [rotting fish] fragrance. Small, round, brown fruit then appear but are hidden by the leaves. Fruits are about the size of a marble and are often eaten by birds. In the fall, the Bradford pear is one of the last trees to have colorful leaves, mahogany-red and sometimes bright orange-red.

Pyrus calleryana and cultivars are considered invasive in southeastern US. Although the ‘Bradford’ pear was originally bred as sterile and thornless, it readily cross-pollinate with other cultivars of callery pears and subsequently produces viable fruit. The ripened fruit is eaten and disseminated by birds, which results in very thorny thickets of wild pear trees. Callery pears also have thorns ranging from ¼-inch long to over 2-inches long that can cause extensive damage to equipment [and humans].

Seen alongside the East Decatur Greenway in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA, on 17 February 2023.