Tuesday, July 19, 2011

this one is for the birds

Somehow, I have taken an active interest in birdwatching over the past year. I credit this interest to all the hunting I did last year. Watching the skies for signs of duck and goose for hours on end will do that, I suppose. My interest for watching birds at home started rather innocently. As a wedding gift, my Aunt from my dads side bought us this beautiful glass bird feeder that I never really bothered to keep full.  Apparently, times are changing. See: little old lady syndrome. At the beginning of spring, I
decided it was pertinent that we feed the wildlife around us. So we bought a new feeder and took the pretty one out onto the back deck and mounted it so we could watch a little more closely. The food we bought must be good because It attracts cardinals, blue jays, doves, robins, chickadees and a variety of wrens and birds I couldn't identify. The cardinals are the most prevalent and there is one in particular I have taken to calling Bully.

Do you see him there on the feeder? He doesn't look it from here that far away, but he is HUGE. When he eats, no other birds are allowed to eat. He even runs the blue jays off and that is saying something because those guys are mean! I so wish I had a better zoom lens, because up close, he is really beautiful. Though he isn't solid red, (which makes me think he may be a juvenile) he has this mottled look to his feathers that is really beautiful. That and he is very funny to watch. Once Bully flies in to eat, the doves form a row on top of the roof and wait for him to leave. (Our doves are so fat, you could get some serious meat off of them.) The wrens are little, but they are brave. They like to swoop in and grab a bite, then dive off. They don't plan on staying when they come in- not that Bully would let them, anyway. The squirrels have also found the feeder. It's a shame I didn't have the camera on me at the time, but Saturday morning Mark called me into the kitchen to look at the feeder. There was a squirrel hanging from the bottom of it, trying desperately to get a few morsels. It's easily a 10 foot drop to the ground from that feeder. The squirrels are brave little soldiers, though.

It seems that I am not the only person in the house who has taken an interest in the bird/squirrel watching. Ryan likes to take his little chair into the bathroom and watch from there. Somehow, I lost the picture proof, but I am sure to have other opportunities to catch him in action. : )

The birds and squirrels aren't the only wildlife teeming around here... yesterday while plating some flowers, I caught this little guy trying to hide in one of the vines I was weeding...

Isn't he lovely? I will say he scared the crap out of me at first. For starters, his tail was hidden from sight and my first thought was, "Shit! A snake!" Upon further inspection, (and a few prods with a twig) I discovered his tail (salamander?) and then his feet, which are admittedly very hard to see because they are black (OK, a lizard of SOME variety) and blend with the soil. I'm guessing this are some sort of defense mechanisms, but what kind I am not sure. : ) Maybe he is supposed to look like a snake... makes him seem more dangerous? I'm not sure, but he is awfully pretty.

Happy Tuesday to you all... : )

*Pawn Shop- Sublime

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