Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking at You

I have been good about staying off my feet as much as possible but getting a terrible case of cabin fever.  Thus I am spending more time at the computer with my files of photos.  This little chickadee comes regularly along with his 'mates' to the water dish and the suet feeder.  I took this photo of him hanging off the feeder and then photo-shopped it (somewhat badly as an expert can tell certainly tell you) so that it looked more "natural."  Although I have seen them in the cedar trees, I do not think they eat cedar berries as this photo might falsely indicate.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Masked Men

About 75 of these cedar waxwings flew into my backyard the other day.  They were intrigued at what all the other birds were doing at the feeders, but did not join them.  Sometimes they come into the water dish and I was hoping they would so that I could take a closer photo.  I fiddled with this photo above since it was taken through the window and has a misty feel to it a a result..you know, that double "pained" look. (Click image for closer view.)  Maybe it can be my new banner for this blog?

Maybe some of my readers remember the drama with Zorro a few years ago.  If not you can go here and here and if you need a conclusion to the drama you can click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Size Does Matter

Things one learns if one watches birds long enough, and clearly that is mostly what I do!

Click on photos if you want a closer view.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I could say that I recognized you when you were stately and towering.  I could say that I remember your gracious shade and the time a hawk rested regally within your embrace.  I might suggest that the song of the wind was most especially lovely when it played on your leaves, and the late sun’s caress painted your bark with more loving care than it caressed all the others.  I could say that your proud carriage was the standard for all the others in my woods.  But this praise would be more charitable than true, because I rushed past you most days and forgot you were there.  You were so far away and my world was so close to the ground.  You were hidden by two holly trees that sheltered the birds that I fed each winter, and you grew on the edge of the hillside just as it fell away into the weedy and thorny woods.  All that camouflage allowed me to forget you.

Last fall you exhaled with a deep and stunning sigh, and your collapse to the earth, as you leaned for the first and last time, shook my heart.  It was in the dark of night that you tossed your final good-bye.  I was frightened by the seriousness of your death, and even though I could see nothing through the scream of the dark night wind, I knew a hundred years had passed in that moment.

There is more space for the sun to play upon the ground these days.  But even so, the sun caresses the shadows of your trunk as it makes its passage down the river toward the night.  In some strange way you may be lovelier in death.  You lie languorous and liquid as if you were part of some gray river reaching on an unconcerned journey to nowhere.

Friday, January 13, 2012


This little fellow presented an opportunity for such a closeup with my camera because he was a bit stunned by a hawk that had spotted him. He flew into one of our windows trying to escape and landed on the deck.  The day was very warm, so we did not try to pick him up and shelter him.  We were waiting patiently for a rebound.  The hawk had flown on and this little bird was safe, and after about 10 minutes he flew away into the trees.

This photo above is the same bird taken just a little earlier before the attack.  This is a red house finch and not native to the East Coast where I live.  His ancestors were introduced from the west coast of the United States through a release of just a few on Long Island, New York, by some bird sellers that could not get them sold back in the 1940s.  As a species they have done very well, as they can be seen almost anywhere.  Cornell says there may be up to 1.4 billion birds of this species in North America!  The male is the brightly colored one and some are more red or yellow than others depending on what they eat.  I have seen some that are far more stunning than this one.

The female red house finch above is not so fancy in color as her mate.  They usually come to the water bowl at the same time.  They love seeds and clean me out each winter.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Catch a Bird

Put a little salt on his tail...

...or on the top of his head?

"What YOU looking at?  Got a problem?"

Yes, we finally got a little snow.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

One Word

That time of year again when the birds actually get irritated enough to tap on my rain spouts to remind me to feed them.  I decided to try a little one word exercise for this first batch I have photographed since I have little to say or write these days.





Monday, January 02, 2012

Crow Haiku (?)

Two crows in best black
Sharing a secret this year
About you and me.