Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crunchy Peanut-Butter and a Carolina Wren

I read an article (  http://www.wbu.com/barkbutter/birdlist.html  ) a while back regarding Bark Butter and found it to be quite fascinating. While I was waiting for my order, I got a little brainstorm of my own. We do a little burning of firewood in our fireplace during the winter months. Mostly for atmospheric conditions or just to take the chill off our computer room. Nonetheless, I took a couple of fireplace logs and drilled a few 1 inch spade bit holes, maybe a half inch deep, around the log. Filling these holes with crunchy peanut-butter mixed with birdseed has proved to be quite the attraction for a wide variety of my feathered friends. Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Black-capped Chickadees have had a good time feeding on my logs. The one bird I most enjoy watching on the log is the Carolina Wren. This amazing creature has developed an art at plunging its beak into the soft PB glob and poking around until it finds a piece of nut and than pulls it out of the hole. It is very interesting to watch. It, more often than not, will have sticky PB stuck to the sides of its beak after this operation, and goes through quite the antics to relieve itself of this substance. Again, it's interesting to watch.

Now, if I can just get this sticky stuff off my beak.
Isn't bird-feeding, bird-watching, bird-loving great? If you haven't caught this "bug" yet, you'd be amazed as to how refreshing it is.....Try it, you'll like it.

Twice I've failed to get "The Dream Picture"

I have "The Dream Picture" in my brains' photo library. Actually I have 2 pictures now. And both brain photos happened when I was preoccupied doing normal daily duties. The first time, last fall, I was on a walk with my faithful dog Sam. We were busy playing I'll throw this ball and you go get it and bring it back to me and I'll throw it again and so on. On one of the throws, as I watched the ball sail and the happy and slowed gait of an elder Lab that still, at times, thinks he's a puppy, I noticed a flash of white up and off to my left. I turned and was shocked to see a beautiful Bald Eagle flying down the course of the creek that flows behind my house. Now, my wife and I, like most homeowners, have put a lot of effort, time, love, and money, into our homestead to make it pretty and cozy looking. We are both very proud of our accomplishments in that regard. Our place looks beautiful. However, seeing that eagle, that day, flying down the creek behind our house, was one of the most beautiful things this pair of eyes has ever seen. I cherish that memory. The sadness of that event is I was able to share it with no one except Sam the Lab. He had a mouthful of ball and could of course cared less. Bummer. I'm sure he sensed my happiness, but probably thought it was because he brought the ball back to me. I was on cloud nine. Reality set in when I picked up the slobbered, slimy tennis ball and threw it again. A few hours later when my wife returned from where ever she was, doing whatever she was doing, I was able to relive that minute of joy again. I described in detail for the next hour how beautiful that 60 second event was to the point of boring her, I'm sure.
And than, this morning. Sitting at my computer desk, on the phone with our heating oil provider, ordering fuel, it happened again. That beautiful Bald Eagle, once again, was flying along the course of the creek, no more than 25 or 30 feet off the ground. What an amazing beautiful site. Poor CiCi. That's the gals name I was talking to on the phone. Our business conversation went right out the window as I immediately started to describe to her what I was seeing. Sam was with me again, only this time he was on the floor behind me, sound asleep. My camera was within arms reach, my chair swivels, the door is right there, BUT.....I can't just drop the phone....can I? No I didn't. I watched in awe as that beautiful bird continued his flight up the creek and faded out of sight. Twice, I've been privileged to see this majestic creature fly by my home, and twice he has failed to appear in the lens of my camera. My "Dream Picture" remains just that....
Oh, BTW...My wife is working now.....I can't wait until she gets home later today...What's the quote from Yogi?...deju vu all over again.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sometimes we have some real Turkeys on our deck.

Did you ever throw a party for whatever occasion and some of your invited or uninvited guest were real turkeys? Well I remember one such event that happened to us a few summers ago.

Hi, How ya'll doing today?

What's for dinner?

Not bad, got any more?

Oh, I'm sorry. My name is Tom. I'm with Twilla.

I'll just grab some of these to go.

This was nice. You have a nice deck here.
Thanks..it was fun but I gotta fly. See Ya...

What's black and white and pretty and at times stinky?

Yep, you guessed it. Here are some nice close-up pics I got last summer of a couple of "stinking beauties". Of course this was one of those frequent times when having a "zoom lens" really came in handy. Once they found the sunflower seeds that had been dropped from the bird feeders above them, I had a heck of a time trying to get rid of them. A few "from a distance" loud bangs worked after a while. I really didn't need my Yellow Lab, Sam to go out before bed and get to sniffing at something that his nose didn't belong sniffing, if ya know what I mean.

  He had the devil in his eyes..

Beautifully marked...

This skunk was really pretty...

It had a really big bushy white tail.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Protecting Home and Family....The Bluebird Way

A few days ago I was able to capture a sequence of photos that show a male Bluebird protecting and driving off an intruder that was threatening his home and lady. The Starling never had a chance.
This place looks like it was well maintained.

I wonder what the school district is like.

It is such a nice neighborhood.

Oh no you don't.

I don't care how big you are...Get out of here.

And ... Don't come back.
Now...where were we?

Not exactly what I wanted to wake up to....

Hey, it's March 23rd. When I went to bed last night the ground was bare...Now look:
Hey, it's suppose to be spring...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Difference of Opinion

Even my deer friends have differences of opinion now and again....

I don't care. The little one isn't suppose to be here. I'm calling the Manager.

New Backyard Live Web Cam

After some struggles and hair pulling I (thanks Tom for your assistance) was finally able to get the live web cam feed up and running. I must say I am not pleased with the quality but rest assured I am trying to improve it. I suspect it may have something to do with bandwith and these issues can be difficult to rectify. But I am trying. We will see how things develop over the coming days.

So, if you care to see what is going on here at the resort (the backyard), click on the live web cam link on the right side of this page. The Cam is live 24/7 unless I have it down for maintenance or provider trouble. I won't promise constant wildlife, but, hey, Ya never know.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not just another birthday..

Today my family and I celebrate the birthday of a very special little girl. In this case, it is one of my very special granddaughters. Bella Jade came into our lives 8 years ago and has been bubbling over with energy and love since her first breath. She has giving more joy to her family than anyone of us can rightfully demand. Her radiant smile, her occasional turned up nose, her unending energy, and her cuddling moments, all attribute to her charm. I don't profess to be the spokesman for my family, but I assure you, my readers, that Isabella is indeed loved by us all. Whether she is in her "princess" mode or her "maniac" mode, she'll sweep you off your feet. It will be either from an eye sparkle or a head lock. Either way, you're going down.

So today my friends I say: Happy Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Bella Jade. Thank you so much for the memories you have given me these past 8 years. I am so looking forward to the memories you are going to give in the future. I love you.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Turkeys in the trees....

I captured some neat shots this morning (St. Patrick's Day) of a small flock (8) of turkeys playing in the trees in my back yard. They had previously flown down from the hillside and were having some corn. One young female flew up into a large Black Walnut tree in the yard and soon half the flock followed. They were, what it appeared to be anyway, frolicking from branch to branch and limb to limb chasing one another. It was the neatest thing to watch. (I was sitting in my living room at my computer chair just a clickin. Should have grabbed the video camera..rats) Here are a few pics.

It did a balancing act with it's wings as it walked down the limb.
It was pretty cool watching them move around the tree limbs. They were pretty agile. Great way to start the day...