Sylvia and the Fledgling

While sitting at the breakfast table, I finished this morning’s Bible reading.  Sylvia had turned on the sprinkler, but when the timer sounded I went out and shut it off.  Returning to the table, I looked out at the garden and saw a chipmunk playing there.  Nearer motion caught my eye as I watched a robin chase a chipmunk up a scarlet maple.  I chuckled.

Turning my head, I saw a robin and a fledgling.  Soon the robin flew, but the fledgling remained with the bewildered look that must be common to youngsters facing a new and very large world.  He looked so precious, I went for the camera to capture a picture.

When I returned with the camera, the fledgling had moved some distance away.  Evidently frightened by Sylvia as she moved the sprinkler to water the rest of the garden.

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I turned my attention to the fledgling, framed my shot and . . .  Sylvia walked by.

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The little guy took this all in.  My camera didn’t know where to focus.  I just smiled.

Life is good.

Love Those Spring Flowers

I love spring flowers.  Don’t you?  I recently saw these growing on the lawn.

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Not too far away (just a few steps) I also saw these.

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While I was looking for signs of life a pair turkey vultures were searching for something else.

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Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me yesterday as I carried the trash down to the side of the road.  I actually saw a pileated woodpecker for the first time in my life.

More Sightings

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During a cleanup session, Sylvia and I noticed that the crocus was more open.  I grabbed this shot and then went back to trimming branches and picking up sticks.  Heavy spring winds have brought down a lot of smaller branches.

About a week ago, in the evening dusk, I saw eight deer in the small field beyond the lawn.  (The neighbor uses this area for a hay field.  I don’t have to mow, and he gets feed for his cattle.)  Those deer were enjoying spring.  The young ones would run as fast as the wind and turn quickly and do it some more.  Soon they disappeared into the thicket and disappeared from sight.

Last Thursday, Sylvia was at the wheel as we exited the expressway at 36th St in Kentwood.  As we approached Kraft, I looked and on the slope beside this busy street (five lanes) I saw a number of large lumps.  It took a moment for me to realize it was a group of wild turkeys.  They had their heads tucked under their wings to protect them from the wind-driven near-freezing rain.

Ah, Spring and You Know What Happens

We had sustained heavy winds.  Gusts topped 62 MPH here in the county.  Large portions of the state lost power.  Reinforcements arrived to help local crews restore electricity.

Locals theorize that it was an out-of-state crew that drove onto the shoulder to let another vehicle pass and that’s what caused the furrow beside our road.  I’m not sure, but it did leave a large scar.

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In another sign of spring, the turkey buzzards are back since last week.  I enjoy watching them soar around the neighborhood.

While you might see them around here anytime of year, I was also glad to see a flock of 14 adult turkeys this morning.  I was in the car and had no camera.  Oh well, life frequently works out like that.

Help Please

I am bewildered–unable to identify the birds that feed on bugs in our lawn.  They look like this.

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They come down in large flocks to feed on the ground.  They move around in erratic patterns, sometimes running and sometimes leaping into the air to snatch a bug on the wing.  Here another image that was taken in full sun.

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Do you have any idea what these birds might be?

At Sunset

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As the sun set last evening I stood on the front deck with camera in hand.  It was one of those “perfect” moments.  The sun was going down in a glorious way.  The air was pleasantly refreshing with just the slightest hint of a breeze.  Then I heard a cardinal calling.  I looked back over my right shoulder and saw him sitting high on my tower.

I looked back toward the west and then I heard a second cardinal calling–this time from my left.  This one was farther away.  I was enjoying the enchantment of the unfolding scene.

Then I spotted a fawn running on the hay field just beyond our lawn.  Soon I saw the doe, but only one fawn.  Where was the sibling?  As I watched mom grazing and the young one playing, it became obvious this was not the doe with the twin fawns.

A few minutes later, mom and the twins came out as they frequently do around sunset.  That was the first time I’ve seen the two does and three fawns together.  It gives me pleasure to watch those fawns play just for the pure joy and exultation of running, turning and leaping.  (Wouldn’t it be nice to do that again?)

I found myself wishing that our granddaughter was there to share in the moment.  I came back in the house, took my camera to the office and sat down at the computer.  There was an e-mail from Briana.  That made my day complete.

Visitors

It was Monday late afternoon.  I stepped out of the house and onto the end deck on my to the garden.  That’s when the aerobatic show caught my eyes.  They were swallows, but not the barn swallows that come out and “dance” with me when I mow the lawn.  (The barn swallows love to go after the insects that the tractor stirs up when I mow.  I enjoy watching their moves to gather in their treats on wings.)

These birds fly in a different pattern.  They look different in color and body shape.  Yet they are obviously swallows.

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It’s a tree swallow.  There were a few dozen of them and they loved to light on my antenna at 75 feet in the air.

By sunset, they were gone.  I haven’t seen them since Monday.  I will, however, keep watch for these delightful little creatures.  They put on a good show

Harvest

I’ve recently had some troubles posting to this blog.  The problems seem to be solved, so here goes.

My most recent post (a week ago) featured a photo of Sylvia in the garden.  She was harvesting zucchini.  A couple of days later, I harvested six zucchinis and two jalapeños.  Two days after that, Sylvia brought these in.

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We’ve been wanting some poppers, so a trip to the store for bacon was next.  We enjoyed immensely our first jalapeño poppers of the year.

A couple of days passed and Sylvia went out to the garden to “check on things.”  She was gone a long time.  When she did come back in, she brought these with her.

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She also had a plastic shopping bag half full of green beans, some broccoli, an onion, some beets, and a cabbage as big as your head.  That first coleslaw of the season was super good.

We had to prune the butternut squash vines before they took over the entire garden.  Could it be the 15 loads of manure that we put on the garden last fall?

As I look out the window I see day lilies in blossom.  Beside them, the large hosta is also in blossom and an American gold finch visits to check out the blooms.  An earlier visitor was a humming bird–always fun to watch.

 

Excitement

I was mowing the lawn when I noticed several vultures circling over the neighbor’s field.  It is not unusual to see a vulture or two–a pair nests in a hollow oak tree a short way from here.  This time, I easily counted a dozen and more were on the ground.  I parked the tractor and went into the office and opened a window.  With camera in hand, I tried to capture the action.  (Note to self: Next time try video.  Stills don’t capture the dynamics of this action.)

The vultures were doing horizontal circles above the field.  A couple of American kestrels would swoop down vertically and pull out of their dive just above the ground.  It was great to see.

I did capture one usable image of turkey vultures on the ground.

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I think the spread wings are to promote cooling.  At one time, four of them were in this same pose.

Speculation leans toward an unsuccessful raider of the neighbor’s hen house.  I’m sure he’d see that as a fitting end to the failed attempt.