Ha! Watching squirrels is so enjoyable. About five or six of them (it’s hard to tell how many exactly as they dart up and down trees, through the underbrush of our pine grove, and from branch to branch) were playing tag this morning. I swear they were also playing hide and seek because two of the little ones went behind a tall poke plant and crouched down. Every now and then they would peek up and glance about. The others were just looking around until finally one of them spotted the “hiders” and off they all went again, going crazy in their chase adventure. Here is where they LOVE to play!
On my many feeders, the young fledglings are squawking up a storm, badgering their folks for a sunflower kernel or two. The House Finch families really were fertile this year. They each had at least four babies and when they are all visiting the feeders, it’s busy and loud. We also have a few Carolina Wren families. They build nests under our front porch steps, the deck, in both of the shops and stay really busy building, feeding and having more broods. A few weeks ago, one of them was up on the deck where I was sitting. I was quite surprised that she (he?) didn’t seem to care at all about my presence and kept pecking all over the carpet. I thought it was bugs she was after. No, she was gathering shed hairs off my dear hubby’s beard. After a while she had a whole beak FULL! Off she went to add it to her nest I would imagine.
I stopped putting out suet although many species of our birds LOVE it. The problem is the grackles. They PIG OUT on it, taking huge chunks in their beak and off they go. And, they don’t treat others too kindly should someone else want some. Thanks to their gluttony, in one day or two, all the blocks of suet will be gone.
Our blue birds are on their second brood!! Oh, how happy that makes us. They started earlier than usual this year with their first. I believe they had three or four young. For sure there are two sons because I see them flying around with their dad. Interesting thing is that bluebird families stay together the first year and the young help with feeding the next broods. Here’s a link to a YouTube video that shows this in action: Bluebird Young
Here are Mom and Dad whilst out looking for food for their babies……
Isn’t he a handsome one?
Not as colorful, but lovely nonetheless
Our red-bellied woodpeckers have a new child, who is now already at the feeders on his/her own. That is very exciting. The red coloring on its head hasn’t appeared yet so I really cannot tell what sex it is.
OH! And guess who came by earlier mid-spring for a visit! The male pileated woodpecker came back to our old dead pine, pecking around its base looking for a meal. In another post, I talked about how we used to see/hear them all the time. Then, years went by without a single trace. Last year, I think it was, they were back. A pair! Can you tell I’m excited????? Ha ha Look how beautiful he is!
Our Pileated Friend
One thing that kind of has me wondering/worrying is the absence of fawns this year. Every year as far back as I can remember, we always have at least two different does come through with one or two young fawns. This year, the only deer I have seen is one rather large buck (antler-less by now of course). Our neighbor next door has always put out corn for them all the way back at the edge of their woodline. I have only seen one deer out there so far. Perhaps they are using a different route now but the deer paths have been used for at least the last 25 years I have been here! Back in those days, it was not unusual while coming into the neighborhood for there to be a large herd of does and young’ins in tow crossing from the woods into the farm across the street.
And then, there is our red-shouldered hawk family, of whom I have written in various posts before. Just type in “hawk” in my search box for a lot more stories about them.
Yes, looking STRAIGHT at me!!
This morning as I sat with my cuppa Joe on my deck, one of the parents flew by with some critter in its talons. It flew up into the treetops and I soon heard a young one fussing up a mess. I have no doubt it was the dad as mom stays pretty much at home caring for and protecting her babies. They have been around the yard pretty constantly these last couple of months. And, you KNOW how much the bird neighborhood here loves that idea. The crows and bluejays raise the most ruckus, but I see lots of smaller birds chasing the parents around/off. I personally think it is wonderful that we have such magnificent birds in our little sanctuary.
Oh! And one of the pairs of geese that live in our two neighborhood ponds came into our yard a couple months ago. He, on guard and she stripping seeds off the tall grass. They are one of two, sometimes three, pair that live here most of the year.
He is serious about this!
Guard and the grazer
Filling up the bellies for the upcoming flight to ???
When the whole bunch of them are out and about in the fall, prior to migrating, there can be as many as thirty or so! Here a few of them are feeding by the pine grove last fall.
So, there you have it. At least, part of it. I have more posts to do about other things around here, but wanted to at least check in and share what I have been blessed with these last few months. What a blessing it is indeed!
Creation is such a marvel. It is pure and true, unlike us. Though we try to be “all that we can be”, we are still fallen creatures. With my heart-led communion with Father, the connection I experience with Nature is not really able to be described in/with words. When I am in the moment outside with all the birds, plants, insects, and all that speaks/displays itself; there are no words to describe what is going on. Nothing of this world (the fallen part) exists in that moment.
Thank you, Lord, for these many blessings and helping me to be in those moments.