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Community Entertainment & Leisure
05-11-2017 02:04 PM
@JoyaDe I'm not sure about your New Mexico bird. I'll have to check the guides.
Our recirculating fish farm is capable of producing 95 mature tilapia in a year. We also breed them. That's a blue tilapia in the photo, though we are moving toward lighter skinned fish for improved plate appeal. I sold half our fish when we were farming commercially, now we aren't selling any, I raise fewer, which actually makes it an easier job. There's a halfway decent organic (no corn, no fish) fish feed on the market, we use that, though our fish prefer the Purina fish chow, which is made of fish by-products. (can't even get that in this state) Duckweed, happily, is a tilapia favorite and easy to grow. I also toss grasshoppers and moths into the tank.
Best wishes on your fishing license. Sounds like they tried to make it easy to get, huh? LOL
Hey! I got to see 4 blue robin eggs in a nest this morning. It's in a juniper tree. And! A pair of swallows has commandeered a sparrow nesting box we placed up in the rocks on the ridge. Plus the western kindbirds have arrived. I've seen them in town, but they have just finally decided to show up here.
OK break time over, it's back to weed wrangling with me.
05-10-2017 02:03 PM
@Epster Nice looking fish! I like Tilapia. To me they taste a lot like sunfish. I like catching sunnies too. I planned to get a fishing license today, and then forgot. I was bummed out that I drove over to the next town to renew my passport, in person, and found out they want it mailed to PA. So I asked if they had fishing licenses. Nope, not at the government center.....huh?? Guess I need to buy that at the gas station, or the hardware store. Leave it to our state to have the opening weekend of the walleye fishing season on Mothers Day.
Is this 600 gallon thing a tank or pool like thing? Done in the ground, or sitting on top? What do you feed them?
I have a hummer at my feeder right now....WOW So glad I have it out there. It's right out the window of my office.
The site for fruit for the birds was interesting. I bookmaked it. When I looked at the pineapple end this morning it didn't look like it had been touched at all. The pieces I put out for my rabbit had all been eaten though. He liked it. I put more of the peelings out last night into an old garden area that is more of a compost heap nowadays. I was never able to get anything to grow up to harvest. The deer and rabbits ate it all. My pet rabbit eats any and all plants that I put out on the deck. So, I'm going to put my favorite ones in the front, or in containers on the ledge. I've been starting some hyacinth vines on the kitchen table and the sprouts are about an inch or more high. No leaves yet. I need to get my herb garden going.
I was trying to remember the name of the bird I used to see in NM. It was a black bird with a red eye and had this long name that I think started with a Py or Ph. I'll have to find my book and look it up. It was one I'd never seen in MN. So I'm wondering if they are in CO. I have to do it later. I'm tired now from all the running around I did this morning.
05-10-2017 07:29 AM - edited 05-10-2017 07:42 AM
Apologies for the zillion edits: I must still be asleep. Catching my typos one at a time. Ugh.
@JoyaDe Ha ha! Yes, chickens can make good pets. Your Grandpa story reminded me of our old neighbor who loved black chickens. We'd let him select a pet from our culls. He named each one Blackie. He took his pet chicken everywhere with him, too.
Awesome that your shooting friend is female. At the World Senior Games they have a costumed trick shooting event that I want to watch. They might call it Cowboy Shooting, not sure at this hour. But the ladies wear such great costumes: I so want to watch the competition, to see them kick butt in a hoop skirt!
I wasn't sure about pineapple, so went looking. It made this woman's list of fruit birds like, so I think you're good. Did it attract birds yesterday? Here's that list: https://hubpages.com/animals/Attract-Birds-You-Have-Never-Seen-Before-With-Fruit That's a great use for pineapple peels! Hope you get to see some orioles. They breed here, but won't arrive for a few weeks yet.
Hear ya on the informal list. We've just started writing a proper life list, though have informally enjoyed birdwatching for years. I have a collection of field guides with copious notes in the margins, so started our life list by transferring data from those.
I just love American Goldfinches! Such a sweet song. We see them some this time of year, but more in fall when thistle, rabbitbrush and sunflower seeds are ready.
Tilapia: we raise tilapia in a 300-gallon fish farm. Here's what one 10-month-old male tilapia looked like at harvest. Home raised tilapia tastes nothing like store tilapia: this is a clean tasting, firm fleshed fish. I'm going to be canning some this week. It makes the best fish salad sandwiches! (Of course we like it cooked myriad other ways, too, but I'm out of the canned version and cannot wait. )
05-09-2017 02:30 PM
My grandpa turned one of his chickens into a pet. He'd generally raise 100 or so each year, and this one chicken of his, Edna, would nap with him when he'd come home and rest in the hammock. He'd barely have his car turned off, and be getting out, and she'd be at the fence waiting for him.
This morning I had an bright yellow American Goldfinch male on my feeder hanger. I've been seeing a few of the females on there lately, but this was the first male. The squirrels around here love my feeder, they are such acrobats, they hang upside on the suet feeder.
Do you happen to know? Will the local fruit eating birds eat pineapple? I cleaned a very large one this morning and put the bottom end out for the birds. I haven't seen any at it, but then I was making some pineapple and coconut empanadas with part of the fruit. I'm hoping either the Cardinals, or maybe the Orioles will, but I don't know.
The friend of mine who was the shooter in the Senior Olympics is a female. She was firing a BB pistol.
Years ago, I saw what I thought then was a Wood Stork. Now, after seeing photo's of some of the white pelicans in flight, I'm thinking it might have been a pelican. I was at a restaurant that was combined with fresh trout ponds. I used to keep track of the birds I'd see, and write them into a list I kept in my field guide. I quit doing that, but I should start again.
You raise fish too? What kind?
05-09-2017 09:52 AM
@retiredtraveler Canada geese are guilty of the e coli charge. Check this CDC document: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/11/6/pdfs/04-0717.pdf
Methinks yowse guys just need more hunters. Goose is great eating! Lends itself to many culinary styles. (We have a hunting guide neighbor who sometimes gifts us with his bounty) Your area is considered a hunting hot spot by Ducks Unlimited http://www.ducks.org/Hunting/Waterfowl-Hunting-Destinations/Americas-Top-Goose-Destinations (note that according to this article, Minnesota has twice as many geese as you do) so maybe you could lobby for higher hunting quotas or Canada geese hunting promotions or a chef's duck off or something?
PS Maybe global warming will push them back north?
05-09-2017 09:31 AM
"......@retiredtraveler I'm thinking that you mean that you'd like the Canada Goose removed from the list. Maybe not from existence. They came close to that at one time. Certainly no longer....".
Nope. Even though I'm active in environmental causes, I would like the Canada Goose to be wiped from existence! They are immense, flying, rats fouling every pond in the midwest, spreading e-coli and turning every pond a bright green. They don't migrate --- they stay here all winter.
I do not see their part in the ecosystem --- only destroying it.
“The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only one page.”
05-07-2017 08:44 AM - edited 05-09-2017 07:53 AM
@JoyaDe Hi! I wanted to tell you that we stopped yesterday to inspect that suspected wood duck tree ... alas it apparently did not pass muster.
We have a turkey population boom here as well. Last week we saw a hen sunning in a softball field that's next to the river. All by herself. I figured she wasn't able to talk the rest of the flock into such daring pursuits. This being softball season and all. That said, there's a pair of osprey nesting atop one of the huge 8-bulb field lights, so what do I know?
Yes, we culled our 7-bird laying flock because they were old and not laying well. It's just too expensive to keep hens that don't lay well: organic feed goes for about a buck a pound here. So we refresh every other year. Usually I raise my own, but this year we bought 6 pullets (young hens) from an organic farmer we know who had waaaay too many eggs hatch and needed to cull his own flock. Culling basically means weeding out, thinning out. It can also mean total replacement. I slaughter and clean about a hundred animals each year. The turkeys and Cornish roasters are with us for a few months; the fish for nearly a year, and so we do not become attached. The hens, though, we get to know and interact with for 2 years. I dislike having to end their lives, even if they are going to serve the raptor center as a final hurrah.
Awesome about your friend winning gold in target shooting! DH has a deadeye, has always been an amazing shooter, so I keep telling him he should enter, but so far those events clash with the cycling, and he's currently more keen on trike racing. But in the future, maybe.
I've heard black-chinned hummers around, but haven't seen one yet. Our hummer flowers are only starting to bud, so I hope people have feeders out for the little guys. I stopped hanging feeders when my bees discovered them.
05-07-2017 08:09 AM
@Epster I had never heard the term 'culled chickens' before. I have assumed that it means they are no longer wanted or needed in the flock, but I'm not sure why. Can you explain it to me. It sounds like bringing them to the raptor center would be a great idea and serve a wonderful purpose.
Many years back, I wrote a newspaper article about a young man who was training a falcon to hunt. It was pretty much a lost art around here, and this was his second attempt at getting one trained. He used chicken meat in his training. The first falcon he had flew off and didn't return on it's first 'free flight'. I have always been fascinated by birds of prey. They amaze me.
We have had a big rise in the wild turkey population around here. On Friday I was reading about an 8 year old boy who got a 27 lb. bird while out hunting. I think the season is over now. I don't hunt, but enjoy reading about some of the activity of the people who do.
While reading the paper, I also saw the photo's of an animal that I'd caught a glimpse of last spring. It was a bobcat. As soon as I saw the photo, I knew it was what I'd seen.
With all the work you put in on your bikes, gold is probably in your future. Wow, that's a great goal. One of my friends from NM was in the Senior Olympics and won for target shooting.
I put my hummingbird feeder out the other day, so I'm hoping to see some in the next few days. I may be a bit early, I'm not sure when they are expected around here.
05-04-2017 10:06 AM
@Epster This is so handy, now that I know how to use it...
That was tragic about the teal. Many years ago, a pheasant fly into the picture window of my house. It was another event of the bird breaking it's neck. My husband cleaned the pheasant during half-time of the football game we'd been watching and showed me that the impact has even caused a couple of ribs to break. Frankly, when that bird hit, it sounded like an explosion. When the hawk, hit my window, I was so relieved when I picked him up that he was just knocked out. I tried calling the raptor center, the DNR, and finally the sheriffs office to see what I should do with him. I kept him safe from my dogs and cats, let him recover on his own, and let him fly off when he was ready to go.
And biking 70 miles...wow. That was quite a ride. I recently sold a bike that was really too big for me. I may just look for one designed for short people, (kids size, maybe). There will be some city wide garage sales coming up this weekend, and the weather looks like it will be nice.
You also have a good tag line on your posts. Very thought provoking.
@JoyaDe Oh cool. Glad my @ explanation made sense. Yahooo!
Excellent that you were able to use that pheasant! I gave serious consideration to cutting the trike ride short in favor of cleaning that duck, but it would have been illegal (public lands, public ownership of wildlife) and, heck, we still needed to get in 35 more training miles. So off we went in search of park personnel that might be able to turn the tragedy into a lesson plan.
Last year DH scooped up a kestral that had just been hit by a neighbor's truck. We took the little guy into our local raptor center. He had a broken shoulder; but they were able to rehabilitate him and here's the great part: released it on our property. The kestrel and his mate have made a habit of swooping by us while we are out on the property. Raptor centers do marvelous work: I take all my culled chickens* to the raptor center. They use them to feed the birds.
We're idiots about cycling. That or possessed. Addicted, even. We're planning to race at various senior games this summer/fall, and want to bring home gold. Such great people at these games; so many uplifting and inspiring stories. A person gets addicted to the culture, I think.
* one must kill and freeze them first. I did this yesterday: always a long, hard day.
05-04-2017 09:50 AM
"...I taught 4 sessions on the Endangered Species Act. A few days ago it was 5 sessions on various aspects of life zones. Weeee! ...
I sure hope you're lobbying for eliminating Canada goose. It's one species that gives me pause for supporting Endangered Species. They are everywhere in the midwest, fouling everything. We could feed the world with these things. They're awful
Ha hah. I know you dislike the Canada goose. Many people do because they are so numerous in places that they become a nusiance. But I think they were removed from the endangered list -what? In 2000? 2001? Sometime back then.
I'm doing zero lobbying. I'm helping to inspire an appreciation for the natural world because, as goes the song 'everything we eat and everything we wear comes from sun, soil, water and air'. Knowledge continues to be power, dontchaknow?
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