Posts tagged ‘west fargo pioneer’

Icing, and things that fly

Posted April 10th, 2013 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Since the early days of aviation, the phenomenon known as airframe icing has proven to be a very very bad thing for flyers. I won’t go into the science behind this, but know that once a wing begins to accrete ice, it begins to lose efficiency. There is an ultimate point with every flying machine [...]

Swans, yes, but which ones?

Posted April 8th, 2013 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

First, dear reader, notice the snow-and-ice background. Indeed this area of the Upper Midwest continues to be held tightly within the grip of a cold and damp cycle. Here in Fargo I hear the high temperature for the year has been…drum roll…43 degrees. Hardly a late winter/early spring to brag about. If someone has access [...]

Now that’s kinda weird

Posted May 10th, 2012 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

From the “Things they didn’t teach me in motorcycle safety class” files: In the aviation biz there are some obvious risks (what in life doesn’t?), not the least of which is the potential for collisions with other flying things, be they birds, other aircraft, or any number of things in the air. Several tools are [...]

Look for the mini-snowmen

Posted February 22nd, 2012 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

If you haven’t seen a snowy owl this winter somewhere in the continental U.S. you haven’t been looking. The irruption of these huge Arctic owls into the lower 48 has made news reports for at least a few months and the birds continue to impress with incursions into areas where snowys are normally quite rare. [...]

Immediate seating available

Posted January 19th, 2012 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Of all the avian visitors which tend to frequent the backyard feeders of us urban dwellers, perhaps the most unwelcome–at least in the hearts of most–are the small group of woodland hawks in the family Accipitridae. Within this small three-species group (in North America) easily the most common to appear near your bird feeders is the [...]

Topping 50 again

Posted December 20th, 2011 by kcorliss. Comment (1).

It was just a year ago when the Christmas Bird Count within the Fargo-Moorhead circle had never gotten more than 48 birds, in other words never topped the half-century mark. Turns out we blew it out of the water last year by tallying 59 species. This year seemed different. No snow on the ground and [...]

Dinner is served

Posted September 8th, 2011 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Spruce and pine trees, during the last couple of years in our area, have produced noticeably few cones. Why is this important? Well, to most folks it’s not. But to birders it means a small number of species which rely heavily upon cone seeds have been scarce as well. In particular, I’m talking about red [...]

This is it

Posted August 16th, 2011 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

If we consider the life cycle of the northern hemisphere as reflected by the calendar, then right now is the hay day–the apogee–the good old days–as good as it gets. There is more biomass currently present than will be for any other moment during the calendar year. All the productivity which took place due to [...]

Dancing the skies on laughter-silvered wings

Posted August 2nd, 2011 by kcorliss. Comment (1).

Are we all familiar with the famous poem, High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee Jr.? If not, it follows this paragraph in its entirety. Few fellow aviators speak of the poetry and romance in what we do, fewer still can write about it. Perhaps it’s not so surprising this piece was written in some earlier flying [...]

They get there on their own

Posted June 19th, 2011 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

People just love statistics, especially kids. When it comes to critters they want to know which one is the biggest, smallest, smartest, fastest, most numerous, rarest of them all. One particular area of data that interests me as a pilot, is the bird species that flies the highest. I’ve seen reports putting some large soaring birds at nearly 30,000 [...]