Wrens, Bees and a Little Perspective

I spent some time watching the wrens feed their babies.young wren

And I spent some time watching the bees come and go from the hives. bees entering hive

The bees, with their thousands of young waiting to be fed inside, still  looked lazy compared to that Mamma wren.wren feeding young

And I? It suddenly seemed that I had a life of leisure, feeding my children only occasionally throughout the day. young wrenNow I’m hoping my girls get a good look at just what those babies get fed for dinner.DSCN8689-(2sm)

Perspective, it’s an interesting thing.

Florida!

“Mom, do you know two reasons I’m glad to be home? Not having to wear sunscreen all the time and knowing what kind of flies are here.” -Ivy

But the sunscreen was worth it…

And, as much as Ivy hated those biting flies, braving a few strange bugs for this kind of wildlife?

Not a problem!

Thanks Granny and Gramps for a trip full of great memories!Granny and Great Gramps

Now we’ll do our best to warm up the weather for you before you get home!

Sky Full of Martins

As evening approaches, the wind dies and the cries of the purple martins ring out across the lake. purple martinsSitting in the grass, camera in hand, I watch the flock. Perched all over their gourds and supporting sticks, they twitter, preen and suddenly take to the air. Purple Martin ColonyCalling, swooping and diving, the sky is filled with purple martins, glowing orange in the light of the setting sun.

I’m again linking up with Northwest Frame of Mind  and her 1 Day 1 World project. Click over to see what else was happening around the world in the eight o’clock hour

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrastschecking the purple martins

Grandpa’s been working on getting purple martins to nest in his gourds for years. Finally, after many years of empty nests, a few birds moved in. The colony has now grown and this year has been the best by far.

The picture shows my mom just starting to lower the colony in order to check the nests. In the few minutes it took us to peer in all the boxes, record what we saw and pull the whole works up again, we found twenty seven babies and forty one eggs!

All the data is collected, compiled and sent to Project Martin Watch which conducts a continent-wide survey of martins much of which is collected by volunteers.

Still Chilly!

Below zero is too chilly to get a clear picture out the open window. The heat from the house causes the air to shimmer and everything looks a bit fuzzy. Unfortunately, while I like playing outside in the cold my camera and it’s battery seriously object to such treatment. I suppose in theory a person could have a really clean window and shoot from inside – however this is a theory I have been unable to test. But fuzzy issues and all I just can’t resist sharing this cold, grumpy looking sparrow!

sparrow stylized

I changed this from the original photo I posted. This one has gone through much photo shop doctoring with the intent that it looks more like a painting.

Thank you for all the well wishes on my Clara induced injury it’s getting better everyday!

Guess the Bird

Clara imposed a game of guess-the-bird-I-saw on me as we were driving.Clara in chicken coop

Clara: “I saw a bird, guess what kind!”

Me: “A crow?”

Clara “No.”

Me: “A red-winged blackbird?”

Clara “No.”

Me: “A red tailed hawk?”

Clara: “Yeah!- No. Do you need a hint?”

Me: “Yes, please.”

Clara: “It had a beak.”

Me: “So… it was definitely a bird then?”

Clara: “And it was red!”

Me: “A cardinal?”

Clara: “YEAH!!!!”

Me: “Wow, that must have been pretty!”

Clara: “I don’t know, it was too far away I couldn’t see it.”

Me: “Oh.”

Robins and Dentists

I do not like the dentist.

Not at all.

I do like Robins, and Sandhill Cranes, and Turkey Vultures and Red Winged Blackbirds.

Since they have all made their appearances I think it’s fairly safe that aside from a bit of freak winter weather spring has come to southern Wisconsin.

Ivy will be so happy.

I hope spring brings you many robins and few dentists.

Now I’m going to go drink my Shamrock Shake while the drugs from the dentist wear off before I type anything truly ridiculous!

Flocking

Flocking birds fascinate me. Therefore I have spent much of my free time and some of my not-so-free time the last two days staring out my window at this giant flock of red-winged blackbirds. Even Ivy said they were “Marvelous!” and I’ve only ever heard her use that word before when she discovered that some trees turn pink(!!!) in the fall. They were awesome, really awesome.  If you are also fascinated by flocking birds you can click on the picture below. It will link to my flicker page and my mediocre attempt at video taping them. I by no means did them justice but I tried!