May...The Adventures Begin

Hello to all anxious outdoor enthusiasts about to start their summer adventures. I'm off, out and about and so far May has jump-started my adventures. The return of song birds and waterfowl have kept me busy scouting out my favorite areas. On one particularly overcast morning heading to the base of the mountains, I stumbled across an early find of these Alpine Azalea's growing in small groups on a rocky bluff side. This flower has been the first I've seen of any flower coming up so far. In my daily routine of watching certain rivers still with ice either along the shore or frozen up around the rocks in the rivers, there is one type of duck that is a tell-tell sign that spring has arrived. The Harlequin duck. Most people I've had conversations with about my outdoor adventures and being a bit of a bird enthusiast, aren't familiar with this duck - let alone having heard of one or have ever seen one - know how excited I get to see them early on the rivers, both male and female, through binoculars. Better yet to get a good picture of one.

In my experiences, I've found these ducks resting on rocks in the middle of fast moving rivers. This unique little duck is one of the most beautiful species of ducks in North America. In my opinion these ducks are very wary when approached for a closer look. Yet I had the rare opportunity to view and finally get not only a picture of the male, but the female as well found resting on separate rocks in the middle of a fast moving river close to the road I was traveling. I spent several hours watching and observing the pair, educating myself on the Harlequin Duck. I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. Truly a rare experience up close. I hope all of you will have good healthy adventures going into this summer and share them with those who crave the outdoor lifestyles as I do.

May all your adventures be rich and memorable ones.

Buford T. Porcupine


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