Friday, August 28, 2009

The Odd Lot

No hummingbirds yet. I've checked every jewel weed patch. But birding is still fun. I did see a one-second yellow warbler. It was there and then it wasn't. There are tiny gnats in the bushes, deep inside. I saw the movement of tiny birds feeding, but couldn't get a clear shot, so I followed my nose- one spider, one butterfly, a dragonfly, a turtle blowing bubbles and a young cardinal getting set to bathe. Not bad for a one hour stroll in the park.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A detour

I went out to find birds. Instead I met insects. It was a total bug day..... bees, butterflies, dragonflies and a fascinating spider's web which stretched a good 34". But the first stop was at the jewel weed looking for hummingbirds. Not yet.

I won't be blogging every day for a while. Heavy work coming in that requires attention.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A little grooming

It's humid again, not easy to take pictures, and no warblers to be seen. But I'll settle for watching a young cardinal and the youngster seemed to enjoy watching me.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Low humidity! A day without sweat dripping into the camera. A comfortable park day.

It's the time of year when the hummingbirds might return, so my first stop was at the jewel weeds. The hummers love this blossom. Alas, no hummers, but I did see an immature female chestnut-sided warbler and a cluster of female redstarts (yellowstarts?) After that there were the "regulars" all looking nicely relaxed, some young, some grooming. This was a totally delightful few hours, everything beautiful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Indoor adventure

It's too hot today and too humid to be birding in comfort, so the indoor project became cleaning all the teddy bears who live here, over 100 ranging from 1/2" to 24". It's a pleasant task. Everyone has to come off a shelf, be talked to, brushed, shelves cleaned and bears returned to their perches. Some of the girl bears wear hats and/or jewelry or both.

I also enjoy jewelry. When I was four years old I was given a little gold ring with a tiny ruby inset. I loved that ring and wore it until I outgrew it. For years it sat in a little box. It has very little monetary value, but huge sentimental value. When Alice Bear arrived she expressed a desire to have some jewelry. Never underestimate the desires of a bear. I had one bear who took my gold bracelet and I spent two weeks trying to find it. She had it on under her sleeve. I was ready to call the cops to report it stolen.

Today's chore was done bear group by bear group. Accidentally the little ring fell off Alice's arm ( she wears it as a bracelet- tiny ring, tiny bear). The ring vanished. I stared at the floor and then at Alice. "I'll find it", I told her.

It was nowhere to be seen. Panic time. It could not have vanished into thin air. I got down on the floor, looked under the desk, under the chair, on shelf edges. No ring. Time to pull out all the furniture in case it had slid under something. Lots of dust. No ring. Shook carpets, looked under carpets. No ring. Looked in all computer cables. No ring. Took everything off shelves. No ring. Sat down and sulked. The ring had to be somewhere. If could even have slid under a baseboard.

Stopped for lunch. Food for sustenance. Back to the search. Checked my pockets. Sometimes a small item can bounce into a pocket. No ring. Took cover off AC. No ring. Then started clearing shelves again, one item at a time, every book flipping pages, every journal, flipping pages, every sheet of cardboard one at a time. The only thing left was the pile of jiffy envelopes. Took envelope, shook them , one by one and then, "plink", the ring fell on the floor. It had bounced from floor into the jiffy envelope.

Alice and I had to have a conference. She wanted her "bracelet" back. I didn't want to have to go through this again, so we reached a compromise. She now has a necklace/ bracelet.

This is what happens when it's too hot to go out birding.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's hot

The robins, mostly juveniles, are thoroughly enjoying the sun. They stop and spread out wherever they feel comfortable and safe. The "young-lings" are such fun to study, adult-size, sometimes not yet filled into their bodies, really not scared of a human watching the sun bathing. Along the way I also saw a gnatcatcher. And the gnats found me.... gnats, mosquitos, all sorts of biters. I used OFF, but I think the bugs like the stuff,...... itch, itch, scratch, scratch, scratch.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dining out free

At this time of year there's fruit for the pickin'. Downstairs we have apple trees. The trick is to pluck an apple before the birds have a go at it. If there's a rain storm and apples drop the trick is to pick them up before the bugs move in. And all around the park there are wild cherry trees. The ripe cherries turn almost black. They are heavenly, taste like sweet wine in skin. The birds can have the cherries high in the tree as long as they leave me the cherries within reach. As for the bull dog, sorry pooch, no sharing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steamy outside

I have not done much birding the past few days. It's too hot and humid outside. Salty sweat running into one's eyeballs is no fun. But robin parents don't take the day off. The babies need to be fed.