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?


Must be Orange Hawkweed.



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

Somewhere I have video of an egg hatching. Find/upload/link it!

June 27 

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 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, 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.

July 17: First fledgling, hurrah!

July 22: Today I saw 3 of the kids. Here are two.

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.