Monday, March 24, 2014

Fred and Ethel 2014

My neighbors have the luxury of vacationing as far south as French Guiana each and every winter.  There they stop and enjoy luxurious living in the rich and green rain forest with the warm sun on their backs. They are quite a modern couple and usually have separate vacations for those months.  Unlike me they go by wing and can log over 100,000 miles in their lifetime and many miles in one day!

But, like clockwork, this year one returned on the eve of St. Patrick's day.  Unfortunately this is what it looked like on my deck on that early morning while I was sipping my first cup of coffee. 

I looked out my kitchen window as the sun came up to the trees and was thrilled to see that either Fred or Ethel had returned.  Whichever of the two the hawk looked somewhat shell-shocked as it faced a very white and rather cold day.

Within just a few days the snows had melted and the osprey were being seen everywhere staking their claim from last year's nests as we drove on errands.

There are two in the photo above.  One on the nest platform and another on a piling eating a fish...if you look closely you may see them.

Within three or four days the partner to the Fred/Ethel couple arrived at the nest.  She still shrieks at me when I open the back door or when we use the grill.  She remembers my efforts to destroy the nest she was building on the boat roof years ago.

This whole week they have been sitting together on the nest except when one goes off for food.  Tedious and bored they seem at this time in the season, waiting.  They stare at each or look off into space for predators or are daydreaming.  I can imagine him arriving at her side and asking "Ovulating yet?"  Her response, "Nope."  He then stares at her a while longer wondering about the mysteries of the female of the species or hoping his sexy presence will speed the process before he finally goes off fishing like most males.  (I will keep you posted if I see them starting their family.)

Mankind is learning more about these fish hawks and their amazing migration and you can go to this link to learn about the data that has been collected from the backpacks that some of them now wear.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

620–740 nm on the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Today with the cold and white and gray,
It has to be all about the red.
Red is warm and friendly and spicy and sexy.
Red gets the heart pumping with a shock.
Red is what flows through your veins.
Red is a spicy cinnamon stick and
a big juicy tomato.
Red is a sticky sweet cherry and
a big shiny bow.
Today is all about the red.
Red as the lips on a Flamenco dancer,
Red as the rubies around her neck,
Red as the tropical sunset,
Red as a raspberry pie,
Red as the flames in the fire,
and more
Red and warming than your first blush.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Temperature climbed to 69 degrees F.
Birds were singing and showing off instead of eating at the bird feeder.
Dirt was soft and beckoned to be caressed by hands.
A few brave souls lifted their violet delicate heads.

Plans for trimming and pruning were made.
Budgets for repair projects were listed.
Rocks were pulled away from green peaking tips of tulips in the pots
Resting easy in their beds that night.

Then the next morning with the sky still shaking flakes to earth,
this is what greeted my eyes.
Coffee in hand it was truly a beautiful if exhausting scene.
Poor little tulips buried somewhere in that thick cotton blanket.

Clinging to hope for change
and being proactive with spring plans.
Once again a natural change dampens our activity.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thrushing and Thrashing

This is the first year that I have been able to see both the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) and the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) up close and often.  Therefore, I can actually now see the differences between the two which are substantial!  Both are similar in coloring and habitat, but that is where the similarity ends.

The thrasher has yellow and piercing eyes that go with the edginess of his name.  He is much larger and intimidates almost all the birds that come to my feeders.  The thrush has large and soft brown eyes and a smaller but sharper piercing bill.  He is much smaller in size.  Regarding coloring, the thrasher has more a more spotted breast while the thrush has streaks starting at the neck.

Both birds are great at pooping the in the water or feeder dish, though.  You can tell they are used to eating on the ground!

Below some up close and personal photos, taken through a window, of course, so not as sharp as in the wild!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

At Least...

Well I know that the weather has turned when these begin blooming. Yes, they are indoors and not outside, but they do fill the house with promise and I do like red!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Those Things Small in Size But Big in Spirit

Today is a day to share the little things in life.  The quick and the delicate.  The strong in spirit with their scolding as they hang out at the edge of the woods.  The little ones who see things in black and white and gray and have no need to flash some bright color to draw the eye.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Four Letter Word

This the season of dry skin and wet eyes.  Frizzy hair and drippy nose.  Sigh...

Yes a picture is worth a thousand words.  Below four pictures worth one four-letter word.  COLD!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Black is the New Multi-Colored

I am thinking I may have to sell some stock if I want to continue feeding my feathered friends and this is why...I have been invaded for the last few days.  They are noisy and messy and really piggy.

Both grackles and red-wing black birds.

I now need to go shopping for sunflower seeds.