Friday, October 12, 2018

The American White Pelicans of Grand Lake Ohio

July 24th????  Damn,  can't believe its' been over 2 1/2 months since I posted?  But that's what happens in the Dog Days of Summer...you get busy!

I have been to Brown County, Indiana, working a bit at Honda when I can{really don't want to work much as I approach 70 {in March 2019} and really don't need to at all...but most businesses are hurting for solid employees...Trump has indeed put Americans Back to Work...of course you would never hear that admitted by the press or the hate filled Dip Sticks on the American Left....they are to "Eaten Up With Hate" ... just look back at the Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Hearings...but enough of that.

Freshwater White Pelicans....


I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Venice to be exact, back in the 1950s through the early 1960s...so I have seen plenty of Brown Pelicans...but their cousins, the American White Pelicans, not so much....they do winter on freshwater lakes in Florida and elsewhere, however, they usually don't come east of the Mississippi River, at least not until more recent years...the Global Warming crowd would tell you that the reasons are just that..."Climate Change".  I'm calling BS on that, but something is driving them east and here on Grand Lake we have been blessed with their appearance since 2017 and it's possible a year or so before, only in smaller numbers.  Either way they make for another "Bird" that has taken up the often maligned lake as either permanent or full time residents.  In addition to the thousands of Canadian Geese, and other "Ducks" of various breeds, and the 100 or so American Bald Eagles as year round guests, the White Pelicans have joined others like the Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, and visiting Snow Geese, as more recent additions....


The White Pelicans are large birds, so large they make the American Bald Eagles small by comparison ... the Eagles have a 6 or 7 foot wing span, the White Guys with the long beaks go as 9 feet and make for interest photos up close....and in packs or pairs.

I got out today and took some shots before they decide to head south for the season...

This week coming wife and I will head for upper/lower Michigan to take in the fall colors, and hopefully come back with some good photography...and maybe stop by here and post a bit more as winter approaches...

back later>>>>




Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Final Game as Umpire...

I worked the State ACME {Summer high school baseball} Semi Finals last night in Defiance...a double header between Van Wert and Archbold{between them they have won the last 3 state titles} and a second game between Bryan and Bellefontaine....

Archbold pulled away from a tight game to defeat the Cougars 4-0 and tonight they will go for their 3rd straight crown....Bryan {after going 12 innings against Coldwater on Sunday} had to go 8 to pull out a hard fought 6-5 win over the Chieftains ...  not sure how much pitching they will have left for tonight, but we will see....well, Bob, Ed, and Duane, will, they are working the finals, which I joined Bob and Ed for last year.

I walked off the turf field at the great venue at Defiance High School after working the plate for the final time, after the Bryan/Bellefontaine game...no regrets on leaving the sport I started playing back in 1955 on the sandlots of Venice, Florida, and have been close to ever since...Son Sam will continue the umpiring in Illinois, and Hal's sons, Grandsons Kasyn and Kam, hopefully will continue to play as well.


Despite the back stabbing by the Ohio High School Athletic Association {OHSAA} about 9 months ago, it took nothing away from this year...and after a handful of college games, plenty of club games, and a full season of ACME, topped off by my 10th state tournament assignment in the last 11 seasons, who can complain?


Will I miss it?  Of course, what I won't miss are the sometime brutal weather conditions in Ohio in the Spring and the heat of this summer{the reason I decided to give it up, I could blame age, but that would be a lie, I can still do this, I just choose not to}.

Now with baseball and my other two officiating sports, football and basketball passed ... I can choose or not to do some fill in work at Honda, and concentrate on my Photography and Dual Sport Motorcycle Riding{need to get off my ass on that one and get the TW ready for fall riding}...watching the grandsons and watching them play their various sports are on the agenda...

But Baseball, except for watching...No More and it's been one Hell of a ride, from player to coaching, to umpire work.





back later>>>>

Late Brother Mike and Me in 1958 at Venice, Florida, he was on the Elks Varsity and I played one season on the Junior Squad before moving up to varisty with the Elks then Venice~Nokomis Bank Squad...

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Few More Eagles from Grand Lake {OH}

I had planned on getting up early {about 5am} and heading off to the south side of the lake if the weather was cooperating...it's not!  But I got up at about 5:30 anyway...seems I am going to be early and getting up same for the last week or so.  My usual sleeping hours were about Midnight until 7 or 8...but of late I have not been able to stay in the sack that long...so some adjustment was necessary, which helps me get the Eagle and Sunrise Photos of Grand Lake....here are a few I left out from yesterday's post:












Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Bald Eagles of Grand Lake {Ohio}

The first nesting American Bald Eagles showed up at Grand Lake some 30 years ago, perhaps 35...after a few ups and downs, the Eagles are now fully entrenched around the 13.500+ acre shallow/alga infected lake....the problems of farm runoff and over population has not had an adverse effect on the Eagles.  On my morning photo shoots before and just after sunrise over the last few weeks have proven to me, that the once endangered American symbol is doing great, while the lake may not be doing that well.

Most mornings I can spot at least a dozen or so tagging each other in flight, or just hanging around the rocky outpoints/jetties of Windy Point Park, doing some talking and fishing.


In addition to the Eagles and Sunrise Shots, plenty of Blue and Gray Heron also abound and are waiting to be photographed.

Here are some of my Captured Shots over the past week:  The guy on top you can see has a decent sized bass in it's Talons heading for a breakfast on the lake...The younger Eagles{those without full white heads are in the majority around the Windy Point area....























Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Passings and Moving On!

After the death of my Cousin Jim Poling earlier this month I needed to do some soul searching...and decide what to do from here going forward:

Jim and I were a couple of years apart...me born in 1949, Jim in 51....our families [my dad and Jim's mom were first cousins} moved from the small berg of Scott, Ohio, to SW Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, South Venice,  in 1954 was our first stop, the Polings ended up in Englewood, and the Houseworth bunch in Venice.  Another brother of dad's, John, joined us in Florida a few years later.  Eventually there would be 6 of us male cousins...2 Poling boys, my brother Mike, me, and our Houseworth Cousin, Gary...a younger male, Kim Poling, would come along later but he was much younger and not that old when the Polings moved back to Scott in the early 60s...we would follow along about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, moving to Celina, some 30 miles south of Scott.  Gary and his dad's family would stay in Venice.

Anyway my point being, out of the 5 older males, all born between December 1946 {Mike and Gary} and Jim in June 1951...I am the only one of those male cousins left...Kim is still around, back down in Florida...but Jack{killed in Vietnam} and Gary, Jim, both via Heart Attacks, and Mike, a form of cancer, are all gone...not one made it to 70.  Here I am 69 years 4 months...might make it, might not...you never know what God has in his plans?

Regardless, it is time for me to finally give up Officiating and Umpire work...the Summer Heat has been brutal for lack of a better description....so I will finish up the ACME District at Lima Central Catholic tonight, and then work the State ACME Semi Finals at Defiance this weekend, I will then hang up the Baseball Gear, next to the Football and Basketball "stuff" already on the shelves....

We will see where we go from there...but for now, my decision is final...the mind is willing but the aging body?  Not so much....

back later>>>>

Monday, July 2, 2018

Sunrise/Bald Eagles on Grand Lake {Ohio}

With Patricia still in Wisconsin, until Wednesday the 4th of July, I managed to crawl out of the sack early {5:25 or so} pack up the cameras and a couple of lens and headed for the south side of Grand Lake to my old High School stomping grounds at Windy Point, near Montezuma....kind of Hazy, so I thought I'd get some sunrise shots through the Gloaming...and maybe capture some wildlife....turns out I got some of both....

The sunrise was hidden behind some clouds and hazy lake early, before it burst out above the cloud bank....meanwhile a passel' of waterfowl were around....as I finished up I looked to the southwest of the park and thought I spied a white headed American Bald Eagle....I did!  And it had some younger Eagles with it....here are some photos for this morning: