Friday, May 18, 2018

Looking out my Back Door

Parent of the Jeff Borland memorial lilac

And front door...etc.....

Which is slowly coming into its own, and reminding me of Jeff whenever I pass

A male Yellow Warbler tugging strands of wool out of the wool ball hung for the birds...nest lining I suppose. And then another day, another yellow, this time a female. A lot of birds must come when I'm not as the ball is getting pulled to bits this year, after hanging there for the past three, more or less ignored.

Inside this cluster of ordinary cottonwood leaves
there is a swinging cradle for some mighty fine orange birds

The answer to the puzzle of the female Baltimore Oriole spending so much time inspecting a single spot on a certain branch in the cottonwood across the driveway. Once I saw how she knitted the still growing leaves of the tree into a shield, hiding the nest from view I was able to spot another just like it up in the cottonwood by the spring up on the back hill.

Another up in the fields, similarly disguised but visible from below.

Hummingbird wars, talk about a cat fight! Nothing benign or gentle about a hummer. We have more than usual this year and they are oh, so violent.

House Wren, lookin' out her back door

House Wrens, bold as brass, hopping right up to my feet to loudly request that I get my fanny indoors so they can get back to tending the nest they built in the ornamental birdhouse.

Robins, more polite, but more annoying, also wanting me to get gone for the same reason, only their nest is on top of one of the porch pillars.

And woven through it all, like magic thread, the scent of the lilacs blooming on the west side of the house, fragrant as fresh laundry and a whole lot prettier. 

Back door of the machine shed after being untracked by the storm....

Birds, Strange and Otherwise


Common Grackle

Male Baltimore Oriole
Female Baltimore Oriole

Male Indigo Bunting

Savannah Sparrow and female Red-winged Blackbird

Savannah Sparrow
Male human being running in the middle of a busy local road,
much used by racing farm trucks, tractor trailers, Amish buggies,
and general rushing traffic.

A Passel of Rascals

While running errands earlier today, we passed an Amish barnyard, where normally one would find several heifers and a young bull grazing and enjoying the outdoors.

They're everywhere

They're everywhere!!!!

Today, although one heifer, who seems to like to hang by herself, was still outside, the yard had been mostly taken over by this litter of red fox pups and their mama and maybe dad. 

There were EIGHT (!!!!) foxes in the yard eating stuff, playing with stuff, and just soaking up the morning was a sight we have never seen before and don't expect to see again.

They were cute and all, but I'm sure glad that's not our barnyard...and that I am not that poor mama fox!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tissue Tornado on aisle 10

What is it with colds these days? Used to be you had a stuffy nose, maybe a cough, and although you were sick you could function, as long as there was plenty of Kleenex...albeit at a low level of effectiveness and all.

This cold. No. Oh, my, God. Just no. A volcanic vortex of fever, complete with fever least I found myself at the edge of the ocean, looking out at the waves......No balance, no strength, got nuttin', no can do.

Other people cared for my dogs and I missed two whole days of spring, including storms, which appear to have dumped my geraniums all over the porch...not up to fixing that yet.

While ill, I managed to fall, far, far, behind in the race to see the most birds in the county....alas.....I did however, manage a short bird list early in the morning before I succumbed to my chair and the ginger ale.....500 consecutive days of listing, as of yesterday. Go me.

Upland Sandpipers, my Mother's Day gift from the Grasslands

Today, well, I'm up, and that is worth something I guess. Most of my morning chores were accomplished without incident, and I sure did get a couple of good birds on Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 13, 2018


Modern day pony express, hurrying home with his lunch one day 

Yesterday...too busy to post.....After an unforgettable sunrise, it is dismally dripping today, dimming delights and dulling dreams. 

Dang it.

However, that has not stopped farmers around the area from doing what they do. We saw an English farmer we know plowing a corn field much to our surprise. Not really the weather for it, but I guess when you get to a certainly level of really big, you gotta go no matter what.

Oh, the irony. The boy driving this hitch couldn't have been more than 12....

And then there were the Amish. One young boy was driving a spirited pair, a pinto and a chestnut, on a wooded seeder that had seen better days. I wondered whether it was going to plug on him with all the water falling on it.

Another young couple was building fence along the road. While the young man stretched page wire, a young lady held a post in the crook of her elbow, leaning back with all her might to keep it in place.

She looked miserable, but resigned, and raised a hand dispiritedly to wave at us as we rumbled by. Didn't look like much fun.

This all served to make me happy to be mostly retired, and to make watering indoor plants and garden starts seem downright glamorous.

A little sunshine to brighten any day

Happy Mothers Day

To my mom, who has always been beautiful and who surely always will be....Hope you have a wonderful day. Love you!