Sunday, July 3, 2022

 


Fireworks Galore!

We went to a neighboring town last night to see some pre-4th fireworks. Dusk came and the sky lit up with color! Everyone cheered. A little kid behind us kept pointing to one particular burst saying “That’s my favorite!”

I remember when I was a little kid, my mother and aunt took me, my sister and cousins to Coney Island to see the Fourth of July fireworks. We stood on the boardwalk eagerly waiting for the first burst to brighten up the sky.  It was something I looked forward to. I loved it. I still do.

These fireworks were on the early side. Tonight there will be more in a different local town. And then on the actual 4th, we’ll be able to see the official colorful celebration. I hope that this is all a reminder of the freedom that our country stands for. May politics be put aside. Let’s see all Americans, regardless of our differences, as one people. And may we all enjoy the brilliance of light and color and connectedness in America.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A Nest!

 


A Nest!

Remember the robin that was knocking at our window? We had put a light plastic material on the glass to see if it would discourage the bird and it seemed to work but as soon as we took it down, the bird started again. I thought perhaps there was a nest in the bush outside the window, but I didn’t see one.

Oh, well, Spring is in full swing and there is more to do than worry about an annoying bird;  plant new flowering bushes, weed the vegetable garden, fertilize the cherry trees. And then one day, while trimming the bushes on the other side of the yard, a nest with blue eggs appeared! Was this robin protecting that nest even though it was away from the house? And were these eggs actually the robin’s eggs? Other birds lay blue eggs. Plus, within the bush was a different bird that was warning us to stay away.

I guess we will have to let nature take its course. If this nest is the robin’s, then when the birds hatch and eventually fly off, the aggressive window banging should stop. After all, parents need to protect their young.

But wait, did I just see another robin gathering bits of dry grass and bringing them to the bush by the window?  

Why do robins attack windows?

http://birding-world.com/robin-attacking-windows/

Why do robins lay blue eggs? Many birds lay blue eggs:

https://www.thespruce.com/why-robin-eggs-are-blue-4161031

Monday, April 11, 2022

Robin at the Window


 

Robin at the Window

A strange thing happened this weekend. I heard a banging at the window of our den. The room is  at the back of our house so no one should have been there to knock. I thought it might be a pebble tossed by the wind. Then it happened again – and again. When I looked out back I saw a robin on the branch of an evergreen bush near the window. And then I saw the bird fly off the branch and knock its beak against the glass! It did this multiple times.

Okay, I thought. Maybe the robin sees a reflection of the bush and wants to land on a different branch. But I would imagine that after a few tries it would get the hint and stop. It didn’t. I went outside to encourage it away. It left as I opened the door but soon returned to continue its jabbing at the window.

It stopped when night came and I hoped that it was finished with whatever prompted its action. No such luck. I was awakened in the morning by the now familiar thumps. The robin was back at it. I thought that maybe if I blocked off the window with a blanket it would discourage the robin. It continued anyway. I removed the blanket and looked straight at the bird, telling it to leave. It just stared at me but didn’t fly away.

I thought that perhaps it was seeing its own reflection and thought it was another bird that was threatening in some way. Then my husband got an idea. He taped some newspaper pages on the outside of the window to hide whatever it was that the bird was seeing. We sat down to breakfast and listened as we ate. We did not hear any knocking! As the morning continued, all was quiet.

We can’t leave the papers there forever and there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow which should destroy the papers. Will the robin be back then? Who knows? I just hope it has satisfied what prompted this strange action and I wish the robin well – just not at my den window.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Winter to Spring

  


Winter to Spring

Looking beyond the brittle stems of last year’s Giant Hibiscus plants, I can see the daffodils starting to bloom in my backyard. It is quite the reminder of how the seasons change.

They are beautiful flowers. Whether planted as a border or to brighten up a garden, daffodils are just the thing. They are hardy and prolific, too.

Seeing the daffodils perking up brings to mind the rest of my backyard. My weedy vegetable garden needs to be cleared for new plantings. I have cucumber seeds and tomato seeds and lots of herbs all waiting to be given their chance to thrive. I’ll remove the dead branches from the hibiscus plants when the new ones start to come up.

What a wonderful way to view the season. The daily temperatures may still be shifting but I am eager to start Spring planting.

Lots of things to know about daffodils:

https://www.almanac.com/plant/daffodils

Thursday, March 17, 2022


Nature’s Cleaning Crew

Turkey vultures were gathering on a local street. There was a dead squirrel for lunch. Sadly, it must have been hit by a speeding car but it provided a welcome meal for the large birds.

I often see the vultures flying overhead looking for food. They sometimes swoop down to check out a possible dead critter and if one is found, a bunch of them will gather for the feast. They aren’t the prettiest of creatures but they are practical as they help clean up the environment. Their red heads are slick so that dead remains don’t cling. They eat dead birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and invertebrates. 

There is such diversity in our world. Mother Nature supplies us with so much, even a cleaning crew when necessary.


This site has lots of practical, natural, information about how to avoid attracting turkey vultures but it also includes ads so just read what you need to and avoid the rest: https://pestkill.org/birds/turkey-vultures/

 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

 




Geese Coming Home

The weather is strange here lately. The temperature has been going up and down, rising to Spring temps and then falling back to Winter cold. I wonder what the migratory birds are thinking of this.

The other day I was on my way to the store when I passed a line of geese. It seemed like they had just flown south for the winter and yet here was a flock back already. They looked as if they were walking home, wherever that might be, after a winter retreat in a warmer climate.

Today the temperature was in the high 60s but tomorrow it should be in the 30s. Will the geese be as surprised as I am about the variation in the season? Will they be confused about their decision to come back?

As the climate warms up, I wonder if the geese migration will change.  Perhaps it is inborn and they will continue in their usual pattern or they may adapt and shift when or if they migrate. Nature is always interesting to observe. Meanwhile, Welcome back geese!

https://www.canadiangeographic.ca/article/animal-facts-canada-goosetiming  

http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/ca/facts/birds/canada_goose.html

Friday, January 14, 2022

 


                                       Squirrel On Ice

It’s been cold around here lately with temperatures in the 20s. Cars ice up overnight and we have to be careful not to slip on the icy concrete as we leave our house in the morning.

But we aren’t the only ones affected by the cold weather. Today a squirrel was trying to get a drink on the bird bath but the water was frozen over. The poor squirrel kept moving around and around, slurping along the outer edge where some of the ice had loosened and a sip was possible.

I hope he got enough to drink because the weather report shows we are due for some further cold days. I know it’s winter and it’s not unexpected but I realize that our outdoor critters are not as lucky as we are to have a warm place to shelter in. I hope that Mother Nature will be kind and help all her critters, even us, have a healthy winter.