This is for the Birds

 

Living along the bank of the Delaware River in Andalusia, Pennsylvania, brings so much joy to this avid son of Mother Nature, watching the four seasons pass by annually with all its beauty and splendor.

Although, as one grows older, the duration of each quarterly change of weather seems to fly by increasingly more rapidly as each year rolls by, which is fine for winter, but not for the rest of them, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve always loved being outdoors. As young kids, my generation didn’t have the conveniences of today, like video games, the Internet, smartphones and such to chain ourselves indoors all the time.

We took delight in playing sports, army, riding our bikes, building clubhouses in the woods, sledding when it snowed, hockey and ice-skating in the wintertime, fishing in the more moderate temperatures, and essentially staying outside until at least suppertime.

In the late spring, and especially summer, we’d be back out after dinner until the street lights came on, upon which time our parents ruled that we come back home to be accounted for.

Not to say television didn’t take up a lot of our time, but aside from Saturday morning cartoons and watching the Three Stooges with my dad after supper, I would rather have been playing stick-ball in the street with the neighborhood kids during baseball season, and touch football in the fall and winter.

One of the major pleasantries that goes along with living on this historic waterway is observing the various wildlife that inhabits the area. As a prolific, amateur photographer, I became most interested in bird-watching, a pastime about which I would make jokes as younger man, attributing the seemingly obsessive behavior to old fogeys. Who’d ever think I would turn into one?

Unfortunately, pollution and pesticides at one time threatened the existence of many of the various species of fish and birds in and along the Delaware River, nearly eradicating the bald eagles and ospreys entirely, until the EPA banned DDT and clamped down on all the corporations and polluters who unscrupulously dumped their toxic waste into the waterway.

Having majored and minored in biology in college, I’ve been keeping track of both aforementioned avian species as an ongoing study, specifically along an 11mi/18km stretch of the river northeast and southwest of my home.

A photo journal of this season’s osprey distribution can be found here.  Photos of the area’s nesting bald eagles are seen here, here, here and there. Since I’m plugging my photography, allow me to mention a plethora of nature videos which have been uploaded here, along with my musical follies.

The raptors have made a tremendous comeback after being on the brink of extinction. The river has also turned around from being a notoriously noxious, malodorous, toxic-chemical dump, to a thriving habitat for wildlife and fish once again, thanks to the efforts of those who stood up against the industrialists who almost killed it for good.

Kayak-02-s

Inflatable Kayak

I’ve just acquired an inflatable kayak, in which my enhanced enjoyment of the Delaware River awaits me as soon as the warmer weather presents itself. Along with the small watercraft, I purchased a life preserver, registered with the PA Fish and Boat Commission, bought a launching permit, a waterproof case for my camera equipment, waterproof pouch for my smartphone and wallet, and am good to go.

Stay tuned for some interesting and funny adventures to come, along with some closer photos of the ospreys and eagles found along my stretch of the river.

As always, thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

 

 

 

 

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About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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