woodstork chicks

May 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Last week I got to help out with Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division, placing bands on endangered woodstork chicks. It was messy work (they emphatically unload from both ends the moment you pick them up) but it was incredible to do field work with these pros, and visit this particular site – a former industrial site in St. Mary’s that is now a massive rookery. When we were in St. Mary’s earlier this year, I was dying to get into the property and poke around.

It made me think of Newtown Creek and the birdwatching trips we do, where we see many of the same shorebirds I see here regularly. Even in this wild place, the woodstorks are venturing into a disturbed site and thriving. “Teeming” is the word.  Along with the storks, there were cormorants, pink spoonbills, and every kind of egret in there.

Holding a football-sized wood stork chick is: warm, floppy, sloppy and aromatic.  I can’t say they are cute in the classic sense, or even very charismatic, but they are special nonetheless.

This trip also made me think of my field work days in Ecuador, when I found myself in the cloud forest/paramo/rainforest/Galapagos thinking over and over, “I can’t believe I am getting to see this first hand.”  As much wilderness as we have in the US, it is still a continual surprise to me to be on the East Coast and have so much wildlife (Teeming is the word…) literally within arm’s reach.

galley taxonomy

January 26th, 2014 § 3 comments § permalink


This is the result of two months of travel without refrigeration – my curated collection of shelf-stable condiments.  Surely this will come in handy as I reenter the workforce. Form an orderly line, employers!

Posted from Kate’s phone.

blackwater on the ICW

December 9th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

We just spent a week on the Intracoastal Waterway, and I am still trying to figure out what just happened.  Sections were blackwater, dark red or brown water that is stained by tannins from decaying vegetation in the watershed.

I forgot about this.  The last time I saw this I was 22, and on a cargo boat in the Amazon. The sky was perfectly mirrored on the flat surface of the dark river, reflecting a twin jungle in 360 degrees. On the ICW, the effect looks like this:


There’s a bunch of other stuff that is ecologically unique with blackwater, and I’m hoping to learn more about that as well as the two larger inland waterbodies we cruised, the Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds.

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