Hanging out on the river

Posted on May 11, 2012

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It wasn’t all rain this week.  Miss Sadie, the Cowboy and I spent a pleasant sunny morning hanging out on the Elk River with Louan.

We took note of the Sea Lamprey trap.  It’s tucked in there next to the stone wall on the right.

Here’s a closeup for you.

The slimy bloodsuckers are one of the worst in a long line of Invasive Species that have found their way into the Great Lakes. I don’t even want to talk about them, but a head-in-the-river-bottom approach doesn’t do any good.  Eric Sharp, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, wrote a very good piece back in February:  Good, bad news on lampreys.   The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has a fact sheet: Sea Lamprey, a Great Lakes Invader.  One site I consulted in my ceaseless search for good links suggested that perhaps the best way to control lampreys is to harvest them for food.  I keep coming back to that as a solution too.  However, the thought of eating any part of a lamprey makes me gag.  I wonder if they could be ground up for dog or cat food?  I’ve observed that pretty much nothing makes the Duo or Miss Puss gag except for furballs and grass.

Oh I do hope you haven’t been reading this post at breakfast.  Here, have something pretty to look at.  The redwing blackbirds are out in force, singing away, dodging my camera . . . but at least we have a glimpse.

That second image is a bit mussed by the cloud of midges (those are not smudges of dirt on the lens).  Still, I thought the blackbird looked fetching in the glittery shrub.

We walked all along the riverbank to Grand Traverse Bay, where we watched the gulls on a sandbar.  They did not look like the herring gulls that usually hang out Around Here.  I didn’t get wonderful photos, but we think these might be either Black-headed gulls or the Little Gull in its winter cap? [Update: It terns out that I was, once more, wrong, but at least a group of devoted, not to say obsessive, birdwatchers came to my aid. The birds are not gulls at all, but Common Terns (Sterna hirundo). Thanks to Martha and shoreacres and WOL, whose cogent comments you can read below.]

I expect some of you may have an opinion on the subject, and as you know a great deal more than I do about birds, I look forward to hearing it.

Fooling around with rudimentary software didn’t really make the images clearer, but it did create some additional clues.

So now I’m off to have breakfast at Chris and Sonny’s. Back later.

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