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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Fledgling Theory


It all started a few weeks ago when a Mourning Dove refurbished an old robin's nest on the side of the house. It has always been ill-placed but for some reason both doves and robins like it and use it.

I atlased the occupants and checked them out now and then, but thought little of it until...

One afternoon about a week ago as we pulled into our parking spot behind the house a dove shot up from the ground and flew straight toward the mulberry trees.

I was watching idly when WHAM!! a hawk hit it so hard there was a cloud of feathers lingering in the air as it passed. I was unable to identify the predator, but I think it might have been a Merlin.

A couple of days later we noticed the little guy above hanging around. He seemed to be kinda close to the right age to fledge, but not quite right somehow. Really tame, begging all the doves that landed to eat on the tray feeder to feed him, and only able to fly a few feet.

We quickly became enamored and more diligent than ever at chasing away the stray or dropped cats that pass through regularly...although I have yet to see that big Siamese take anything but rodents, so I don't chase him too hard.

Then I found a matching birdling drowned in the garden pond.

Aha! I'll bet they came from that nest, which is much torn up with dangling twigs and grass now.

However, I didn't connect the events until yesterday. Then the penny dropped. I'll bet the dove we saw killed was brooding the two little ones and left them not quite ready to fend for themselves.

They probably struggled out of the nest in hungry desperation, one landed in an unfortunate spot and other other right at the feeder.

Anyhow, we are cheering the little guy on, and making sure there is food where he can easily find it. I think I will make sure the rhubarb leaf bird bath is full too, although there is so much water everywhere I am sure he is getting plenty to drink.

I know the odds aren't good, but I hope he makes it.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Sunday Stills...New Beginings

Peggy's first ever soccer game
Great fun!

 Thanks to Home on the Range for reviving this favorite...we always loved Sunday Stills.

For more, go here.

To all the Mothers


And all those who stepped up in place of mothers, (you know who you are) or helped young mothers...to all the soon-to-be mothers...soccer moms, farm moms, moms all over the world...and to all of us who are missing their mothers today and every day....

A very Happy and Blessed Mother's Day.

With love from Northview Farm....

Wednesday, May 05, 2021


 I recently began to reread the book by Kenneth Roberts with the same name as this post. I have read the whole series several times over the years with each rereading bringing a new perspective on the stories.

However, this time, there was an even bigger difference! Late last year Scott and Jen and the girls took us to Maine for an incredible weekend. I loved every minute of it, whether we were touring around seeing the sights, eating seafood by the sea, or walking the hard sand at the edge of the waves (one of my very favorite activities in the entire world.) The birding wasn't too shabby either. Common Eiders, Black Guillemot, Great Egrets and more....

I didn't realize though, until I cracked the pages of the book...or in this case started scrolling on my NOOK...that I could envision everything that was happening in the story about a thousand times more clearly than before.

Because I'd been there. Those rock ledges? Yeah, watched the tide swirl the seaweed that clung to them as gulls cried overhead. Those marshes? Scott drove us through them every day.

Do you suppose one of these seals is called Eunice?

And having been up the Golden Road with Alan a few years before...in the Camaro (!) if you remember.... I could well imagine the march on Quebec as well.

So thanks for an enriching set of experiences that just keep on giving. What a wonderful state....

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Some Birds

Bald Eagle

Chipping Sparrow

Double-crested Cormorants

Turkey Vulture

Eastern Phoebe


Northern Parula Warbler

American Redstart

Best find of the day!
A Clay-colored Sparrow

Spotted Sandpiper

Friday, April 30, 2021



That's what I'm calling this new season we're having.

Wednesday it was nice enough that the boss and I took a five-mile hike up into Lost Valley State Forest.

It was beautiful, cool and brisk when we started out at shortly after seven, just starting to get a little overwarm when we hiked out. Along the way we were entertained by a sleepy mama porcupine snoozing in a tree, heard an etude of bird song, including first of the year Eastern Towhee and Ovenbird, and a probably Black-throated Green Warbler that only called once or twice, plus all the stunning beauty of early spring in the Adirondack foothills.

The boss kept pointing out evidence that the land was farmed some time long ago, foundations of old buildings, a filled in laid up stone well casing, and then a tiny cemetery he spotted.

I have hiked in alone and in a group several times before and never noticed it, even though it is right next to the road. We were able to decipher some of the names without getting down into the tangle of wild rose bushes that was slowly devouring it. Grabbed a few photos too.

Upon returning home I searched for the names on the stones, Rowland and Eleanor Bell, and to my astonishment, found them both on this page and in the 1885 NY Census.

How cool is that!

Which brings me to a bit of a conundrum. My mother was an avid and skilled genealogist. She gathered information on both hers and my father's families for most of her life. It is stuffed in folders and saved on CDs and probably stashed in the innards of their computers. It is a lot. Civil War records, cemetery records, census, immigrant records, records going back to Ireland, Scotland, France, and who knows where else!

 What on earth are we going to do about this? It would be a terrible shame to waste all that work. For now we are piling the stuff in one place and saving it. If I was 30 again and had time on my hands I would study it and continue with it. In fact back when I actually was in that age group we chased gravestones for Mom over much of Fulton County.

However, I am simply too darned old. And too darned busy. By the time I got up to speed on the material it would be time to hand it off again. What to do...what to do...any ideas friends?

Anyhow, I digress. We had a great day Wednesday and birding has been spectacular since, new arrivals every day. Making up for lost time due to the cruddy weather we have been having I guess. 

And now today. Wild, whipping, winds, snippy, cold, creeping, rain, making the boss move the car away from the trees. And snow in the forecast!

Three species of birds at the feeder this morning...three! Guess I will do housework and hope for Spring to leave Swinter behind....and soon!