21 March 2010

Hairy Woodpecker

Okay, put away the Middle School jokes.  There is such a bird as a Hairy Woodpecker, and it lives right here in River City.  My neighbors have the best bird attracting stuff!  They put up this new feeder and I don't know what it has in it, but the Hairy Woodpecker was there this morning ON THE BOTTOM of it.  Here are the grainy, badly taken photos:

And the piรจce de resistance, the CLOSE UP.  It's also bad and grainy.  Sorry.

If anyone knows what kind of feeder that is, please, do tell.

25 February 2010


[Ed.'s note:  I found out that if I allow our camera to leave the date on, even when I crop it the date stays there!  Maddening.]
This is the immature Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin sitting in my neighbor's tree 2008.

This is the immature Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin eyeing the suet feeder in my neighbor's yard, 2008/2009.

Just to add context.  2008/2009

This is the now grown up Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin sitting my other neighbor's tree.  2010.  Disregard the camera's marking. . . Move along...move along.

This is the Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin being rewarded for hanging out in my neighbors' trees.

This is the Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin getting a little wary, eating his catch, watching me take pictures of him eating in my neighbor's yard.

This is the Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin watching me take pictures of him being wary while eating his catch in the neighbor's yard.

And this is just plain cool.

17 February 2010


Snow.  I am so tired of the fluffy white stuff that I don't even want to take pictures of it.  It has been a long, hard winter and I can understand the prairie pioneer women going crazy.  Kind of.  This is a picture of the 1st snow.  Note the date.  That snow is still on the ground to this day.
It doesn't snow with the sun shining and everything all sparkly and pretty.  It howls around the house, angry it can't get in and make the house cold too.  It's gray and dark.  There is a sidewalk to the left of that tulip tree, with steps up to the house.  Don't see it?  Neither did I.

And when the sun comes out, it is pretty.  For awhile.  This is still the 1st snow.  That snow is still there, lurking under the other 20 or so inches of snowfall since, waiting to cause havoc this Spring.

2nd or third snowfall (read "blizzard").  The landscape is now flat, with mountains of snow at the sides of streets, with Everests at each side of the driveways and intersections.  We finally broke down this year and bought a (relatively) cheap snowblower.  Note the date.  We are already tired of hearing "snow in the forecast".

First, I will state here that the camera reset because of battery issues and I hate resetting it each and every time I change batteries, which is often.  So this was not taken in January of 2007, but rather end of January, 2010.  This is either the (?) merlin falcon or sharp-shinned hawk (can't decide) that visits our neighborhood from time to time.  It stayed around for 2 whole days this time.  Merlins are called "sparrow hawks", which would be an opportune thing to be in this area, what with all the sparrows living in the tenement arborvitae and the higher rent barberry bushes who feed on our seeds together.  Barberry bushes have better security what with all the thorns.

Talking about food.  We are prohibited from feeding the deer.  Which doesn't bother me.  They've already eaten all deer height serviceberries from our (formerly useless) serviceberry tree.  They knock our bird feeder over to gather seeds from it, and scrape up the husks of birdseed on our patio during the night.  The number tracks are fewer, and there is no running any longer.  The deer tracks look depressing, like they are plodding along, knowing their trek is useless and there still won't be any food for them. 

I've heard of rabbits stripping bark from ground bushes, and am sure the damage done by them will only be visible when this SNOW melts.