Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017 Summer

July 2 

House Wren, for the record. Mostly they stay on the west side where their house is.

One of our bunnies. I am wondering if they eat poison ivy. That would redeem them from (suspicion of) eating my baby milkweed!

July 4. Great-crested Flycatcher? 
 Our book has 3 similar that it says are best identified on the basis of song/call.
Downy and Bee Balm.  

Tiny Toad in Gravel Pile.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wildflower City

 2017-06-21 First day of summer the calendar says, I thought I'd photograph an interesting flower I'd seen during previous lunchtime walks.
Then I decided I might as well document all the wildflowers I saw. 
There were more than I expected.
This is without leaving sidewalk or parking lot (but I still managed to pick up a tick).
It was hard to tell if my phone camera was focusing or not, being so bright out.
Consequently I've omitted maybe two that were too blurry.
I think I can ID some of them, need help with the rest, any takers?

This is the one that inspired the project.

Some kind of Daisy I assume?




Teazel (not blooming yet but I couldn't pass it by)


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bluebirds 2017, Chapter 2

I think the Bluebirds came back June 1. Himself, just outside our kitchen window. Had he been any closer I wouldn't have been able to focus. 

June 7, clutch #2. 
One egg is less than a day old and the other less than 2. 
This morning was the first time I ever saw a Bluebird eating suet, and a Catbird taking dried worms.
June 11

July 2, Bluebird Zen: The Sound Of One Wing Flapping
I used to think of it as a male thing, some kind of semaphore, but lately I'm seeing herself do it as well.

July 2, slowed down half-speed. Where did it go?!
High-tech (GoPro equipped) Gilbertson Bluebird house. A temporary rig, that's a battery-pack on the side for all-day video. Maybe next year a web-cam!

July 4


July 11 (pm) update: I came home to find an empty nest, I believe they fledged today. Ma and Pa appear to have sequestered the family somewhere to the north. High in a tree I suspect. Hoping we get to see them sometime.

July 16: Mr Bluebird still drops by to get worms which he takes to wherever they have the kids stashed.
Today, having more and more pupae than worms, I wanted to see that he'd take them too. I think sometime in the past I noticed a preference for the worms and pupae being left. 
Most of the worms in this picture are dried BTW, but he's certainly going for the live pupae now. The next stage of the meal worm life-cycle is a beetle BTW. The white stuff is powdered calcium which I add, having read that meal worms while nutritious are calcium-depleting. There's a big foil canopy above the tray, as well as the ribbon you see here which I positioned in hopes of discouraging the Blue Jays. Catbird doesn't seem to mind it, I've noticed.

2017 Spring

Our local 'cats' have a taste for the worms I put out for Bluebirds, and suet.
 I always thought the Catbird was so named because included in its prolific repertoire is a cat-like sound, to my ear anyway. 
Imagine my surprise at seeing whiskers in this close shot!
I Googled and quickly found a site claiming 
"They are not flying cats nor birds with whiskers.
These photos are my challenge to that. June 1.

 Carolina Wren, June 3.
One of the smaller birds has a very large voice. 

June 3, being the first time I knowingly heard any utterances from the Red-headed Woodpecker. I was in the process of 'shopping out the suet feeder and added the same bird twice in a what-the-heck moment. It's a thrill having these guys visit, seeing at least three individuals I believe.

 June 4. Black snake at Dad's, easily yardstick sized. It allowed me within an inch or two before deciding I'd violated its personal space (with my phone). 
Snake aside, I really like the textured pattern of the decades old concrete after the rain.  It doesn't even look that wet from the full view. Next time I'm there I'll have to photograph the same spot with something for scale.

June 11, a glimpse or two of a Yellow Warbler? (combined image)
Blue Jay looks in a bad way, but I think he/she's just sunbathing.
Temperature in the 90's I think.
June 15, Red-headed Woodpecker doing something similar I think. Happened to look out the window, at the time the head wasn't visible... what in the world?! ... ran for the camera and got it just in time.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bluebirds 2017


2017-04-30 Five, eyes starting to open.

2017-05-07 Three Remain

2017-05-08 And Then There Were Two

For the above, I mounted the GoPro Session inside the Bluebird house. 

 To allow space and daylight I made a temporary addition.

 2017-05-11 This morning there's a lone survivor. 
I have to say it looked healthy to me though.
I don't know what's killing them but see no evidence of interference by other critters.

Not long after that entry the nest was empty. We never saw the 5th kid again but still hope it survived, as the parents also disappeared ... until June 1.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ordinary Birds

I like how this Chickadee came out, and the lovely colours in the background.

Pine Siskin

Chickadee, Pine Siskin, House Finch, Goldfinch.
Composite to show sizes.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Monarch caterpillar found on road pupated the next day, hatched September 15. 
In the 3rd shot (4202) you can see the chrysalis starting to open. This was an automated photo (the camera had been clicking away every ten minutes all night). 
Regret I wasn't there (or snapping at a shorter interval) at the moment when it popped out, but I caught it a few minutes later (4204). We took it outside in the early afternoon and it spent further time acclimating after a short flight to a tree.