Monday, April 8, 2013

Come With Us As We Cruise....

This past weekend
was something I think we have all been waiting for....
a weekend to get out and enjoy the warmer temps and blue skies!

It was our first cruise of the season
on our boat, that is.
We did go out on a friend's boat a few weeks back,
but this time we cranked up our own baby.

On an interesting side note...
Almost every year when uncovering our boat
we notice a couple of House Martins
that continuously fly around our boat as we get ready to go out.
This phenomenon has happened most every year now for about 6-7 years;
therefore, now we pretty much know what we're in for.
And, once again, it happened this weekend. 

Apparently, our pontoon boat is a nesting magnet for House Martins.
Mind you, our marina is filled with pontoons, but ours is the boat of choice.
The unfortunate thing is
that they build their nests above one of the pontoons
in a small, and impossible nook to get to.
(An obvious reason they repeatedly choose this spot!)
Being that it's only early April, there's no way, at this point,
to get in the water to see if there is new nest down there.

If she has laid her eggs, it won't be long until the peeping begins.
Of course, at that point, nature has set its course and whatever happens, happens.
We can't touch them, even if we were able to get to them.  

So, for the first part of summer, we end up taking baby chicks on cruises without their parents.
It breaks our hearts to do this, but we'll be darned if we can't use our boat because of it.

A couple of summers ago, when the chicks were almost ready to fledge we noticed 
(when we were away from our marina) that one of them had either fallen or jumped out of the nest.
It was all alone on the aluminum pontoon but too far back for us to reach it.  
We had to drive back to the marina as slowly as possible, 
but when we got back, it was no longer in the same spot.
It had either fallen off the boat or had somehow gotten back in the nest.  
The nest is lodged so far back that it's quite difficult to see them, even when they are in the nest.

So, as the story goes
whenever we go boating in the early part of the season
we're greeted by two House Martins as we leave and as we return from the marina.  
If we sit in the marina after the chicks have been born,
the parents will take turns feeding them and we watch from the comfort of our boat.
I haven't attempted to capture any of this since I would have to take a camera into the water with me.
Sorry, my peeps, but I'm not doing that!
But, what I could possibly do this year is try and shoot a video of the parents flying
around and swooping under the boat to feed them.
We'll have to wait and see if we get that far.


But, for now...
here are a few non-wildlife, yet interesting, sightings from our first cruise.

I enjoy watching these grasses swaying in the breezes.

A gnarly mass of tree branches hanging down over to the water creates the look of lightning as we float by.

Upon closer look, the orange things in the above image are blossoms.

A lone flower grows along the lake's edge.

Moss, stone, earth, leaves and branches working together in beautiful harmony.

An Unusual Threesome.

But, he's my favorite!

wildlife sightings next!


  1. i love the birch at the end (assuming they're birch!) the martins would freak me out! worrying about the babies and/or nest!

  2. Intriguing patterns and colors in your images.

  3. Awww, those poor purple martin parents. Is there a way to cover the area where they like to nest before nesting season? Glad you were able to get out and enjoy warmer temps. Enjoyed all your pics, especially the tree trunks! So interesting.

  4. Great shots. I really love the first two. You're right, the branches do resemble lightning.

  5. how fun that "cruising" season has opened. You have captured some beauties your first time out!!

  6. Thank you for taking us along (through your eyes)on your first cruise, I've enjoyed it very much. Beautiful captures!

  7. Totally awesome photos! And how heart breaking about the birdies! It would hurt me too!
    Enjoy your boat!

  8. Interesting about the Martins. I'd be torn like you about the need to use the boat and yet fear for the nesting ones. Love that last look of the trees.

  9. Love, love, love that second image! Fascinating story about the martins. We put up our nesting boxes for the purple martins again this year, but no dice yet. :(

  10. That first time out in spring is always so much fun and you certainly got some great shots while you were out......

    By the way, I really like you new header....


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