Sunday, June 24, 2012

wild birds come near and go wild

post #91
      I am not a bird photographer.  I have neither the pricey photo equipment required nor the leisure time that I imagine I'd need to figure out where the birds are going to be and then to go there and set up and wait until they get close enough to get those wonderful sharp photos that many people take. 
      However, I am NOT going to pass up the opportunity to take photos of birds who choose to share my living space around the house!  These last few months I have seen more fledglings than ever, and the season is not over yet.  Today and next week I am going to share some "What's-Happening-Nows" around here, before tackling the end of the alphabet.

day lilies, to match the cardinal's beak.  These grow on our driveway, but they were mowed down this week anyway by the road crew!

 some orange feet on these mourning doves, whom I suspect of being a fledgling pair.

       Behind the maple tree the doves are in is a weeping willow tree, with a history -- it came as a switch when our neighbor long ago went on horseback to visit his future wife.  The switch grew at his house into a large willow tree near the road.  It was eventually destroyed, but we brought a switch from it to our house.  Here is my favorite photo from last week, of the willow tree looking healthy despite having almost been done in by an ice storm several years ago:

a goldfinch enjoying that nearby maple tree

    Then two photos from a walk in the woods ten days ago, one looking down, the other  looking ahead:

     Finally, the moon, looking to me like both a tear and a tear in the sky: 

     We did have something happen this week that I am NOT showing a photo of, which was the unusual occurrence of a country version of slaughterhouse five.  One night a raccoon killed 5 of our chickens, in their shut up hen house!  Two nights ago we caught the meany in a trap.  All things considered, a big healthy dose of reality.  But not fun.  Many, many thanks to Jonathan and to Junie for their help.
     Next week, the other half of this set of photos, and some thoughts about taking time to look carefully.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Today -- only T!

post #90
   For some reason I have too many Ts to include any additional letters today.  Plus we are supposed to have thunderstorms this afternoon, which means I might have to be disconnected from the internet.  A reality of country living.  Anyway, here goes:

T   t     --      tufted titmouse        toad        tobacco          tools         tracks         tractor                trucks          trees          turtle            trillium          turkeys 

tufted titmouse family, last week!

Fowlers toad

tobacco plants (being plowed by a team of mules!)

tools in the tool shed

a deer track

tracks in the snow
a tractor and two trucks, putting up hay rounds

a beech tree trunk

an eastern box turtle

baby box turtle


a turkey who came to visit us

turkeys  (a rafter of turkeys or a gang of turkeys)

    Thanks for taking the time to share this effort with me.  It is fun, for me, to look at my photos and our place from this different perspective.  When the tufted titmouse fledgling showed up outside the kitchen window last week, I knew that doing the T page was going to be a TREAT!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Q, R, S -- for the alphabet book draft

post #89
      I started these alphabet book posts on April 22, and today is the fifth part of the book's draft. I'm making slow but steady progress. I am also getting a better idea of how I would want the book to be.
      There are not that many particularly Appalachian Qs, or at least I haven't uncovered them yet...  But I haven't quit looking yet either.... As always, more photos will eventually be added to each post.

Q  q  --    quilt square on a barn      quilts        Quaker ladies (flowers)     Quakers

two views, quilt square painted on plywood and then hung on the Binion barn
Quaker Ladies, also known as bluets
hiding under a favorite family quilt

R    r --      redbud tree        rainstorm       rooster        roots on rocks  

redbud trees

3 roosters

roots on rocks

S  s  --     spider       spider web        snow        sycamore        squirrel          
                               sorghum        sandbox

sorghum molasses - stalks being cut and gathered
sorghum -- being reduced by steaming

sycamore tree
a writing spider!

a very big spider (a wolf spider) -- carrying her egg sac

sun on a spider web

squirrel, with an apple!

squirrel about to   j  u  m      p!

spring snow
      This is an update, being written in mid July -- I just added the sandbox, being enjoyed by our grandson, with thanks to his mother for taking the photo.  I still need to add the rainstorm, to the letter R.  I may never stop finding things to include even though I am mostly just staying near home for this project.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

downy woodpeckers in training!!

post #88
fledgling practicing patience
     Today's post just has to be the series of photos I took Thursday of a downy woodpecker feeding his chicks, near our bird feeder.   This fascinating event was not expected!  We have witnessed other fledglings over the years, but never downy woodpeckers.  I start with the photo I took first after realizing this activity was going to continue for awhile. 

Dad (Mom?) doing food prep

Don't forget I am RIGHT here and hungry!

Bon appetit, mon petit

Hey, I'm here too!
In fact, now we are BOTH waiting!


Then, the next morning, there was more feeding going on!  I don't know whether this is a different fledgling or whether red feathers appeared overnight.  Does anyone know the answer to that one?  Could feathers grow that quickly?  I have learned this weekend that bird parents teach and care for the fledglings for a couple of weeks.  However, over the years, we have observed that the intense training near the bird feeder is very short and much too easily missed.

fast food

The back story: the experience of doing these photos was enhanced by having my visiting-from-afar 3 1/2 year old granddaughter with me throughout.  I may have a few shots here that are not as sharp as I would like but I really loved talking with her about what was happening, in a fledgling sort of way.  She is a patient kid, and all the comings and goings kept things interesting for us both.  The light happened to be good -- late afternoon clouds -- and the bathroom we were in had a pretty clean window.   The glass didn't interfere too much plus it kept our conversations from being intrusive.  Of course the birds were mostly focused on food, so they took no notice of us.  All in all amazing.  I am thankful.