Perspective, it’s an interesting thing.
“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!
Now we’ll do our best to warm up the weather for you before you get home!
Sounds like it should be a story doesn’t it?
The Junco and The Pumpkin!
As evening approaches, the wind dies and the cries of the purple martins ring out across the lake. Sitting 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. Calling, swooping and diving, the sky is filled with purple martins, glowing orange in the light of the setting sun.
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.
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!
Thank you for all the well wishes on my Clara induced injury it’s getting better everyday!
Clara: “I saw a bird, guess what kind!”
Me: “A crow?”
Me: “A red-winged blackbird?”
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?”
Me: “Wow, that must have been pretty!”
Clara: “I don’t know, it was too far away I couldn’t see it.”
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 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!