Friday, February 27, 2015

Suet feeder

About a week ago, I bought some suet for the birds.  I deliberated on whether to buy the little wire cage for it.  (I think the squirrels ruined the last one I had.)  A lady who was looking for birdseed noted that the suet could be put on a pine cone.  I thought that would probably keep so much from falling to the ground.  At first I hung a pine cone that swung freely.  It was funny to watch the birds land on the attached stick and whirl around like a merry-go-round.  The brown thrasher found that set up impossible.  The second go round, I fastened the cones more securely and also close enough to the limb that the brown thrasher could reach it.
Carolina wren

the mockingbird got some suet that fell to the ground

tufted titmouse

Carolina chickadee
brown thrasher
brown thrasher and chickadee together

chipping sparrows

tufted titmouse

the red-bellied woodpecker ate the milo that the other birds left


"Blue skies smiling at me..."

"...Nothing but blue skies do I see."

I checked the local weather forecast this morning, and it said partly to mostly cloudy skies.  Hmmm.  As Caleb said once when the forecast and the outside didn't match, "I'm going with what's outside!"
So, I've got a load of laundry rinsing, and, honey, is the laundry backed up because of the snow days!  Maybe the clouds will roll in later, but I hope the laundry can dry on the line first.
There have been too many mornings with icy roads lately, so I'm glad to see the sunshine and blue skies!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Random snow pictures

Here are some random pictures from yesterday and today which will give you an idea of how much snow we got yesterday.


Tracks in the snow

It's so easy to see tracks in the snow.  When I went out this morning, I could see the tracks I left yesterday when I went to check the mail.  I could see the tracks where dh came in last night and left this morning.  I could see lots of bird tracks.  I could see the tracks left by the neighborhood cat, and I could see some rabbit tracks.
The cat that made the tracks is a plucky kitten that someone dropped off last October.  I would have called animal control except that my neighbor took pity on the cat and has fed it and offered it a place of shelter on her porch.  I like the fact that it hunts rodents, but I hate that it will probably also hunt baby birds this spring.  I always try to shoo it away, but it invariably thinks I'm just playing a game when I do.  I hear it fight with the neighbor's other cat on occasion.  You have to admire a "new kid on the block" who can make a place for himself that way.  Yesterday the cat hurried to find shelter under a vehicle and then from there hurried toward the vacant house next door:

The rabbit tracks went through the back yard and under the apple tree.
Another set of rabbit tracks (possibly the same rabbit) led to the fence. 
You can see where the wires are bent and make the perfect place for the rabbit to go through.  I think the neighbor's older cat uses this same path (and climbs the fence post right next to these tracks).  I once saw a whelk shell on the other side of the fence near this spot.  I have several whelk shells that I used to anchor the corners of the Remay in the garden.  It was a really nice shell and I started to fetch it, but I wondered if it was really mine:  did the neighbors also have seashells about?  The only thing I could figure is that the cat took it over the fence.  Later when I looked at my shell inventory and realized which one was missing, it was too late; the shell was already gone.  I considered asking my neighbor if her cat collected seashells. ;-)
If we had had snow, I wouldn't have been perplexed about the shell mystery.
Do you like looking for tracks? 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A "ship" (fern) in a bottle

A couple of weeks ago, Caleb and I visited Mom and Dad.  There are always interesting things for a boy to do in the country, and Caleb and J. found some outdoor things to occupy them.  At one point, Caleb came in with an interesting item to share.  He had spotted an old Mt. Dew bottle lying on the ground in the woods.  He had set it up and shot it with his pellet gun and found it had a fern growing inside.  "A ship in a bottle!" he said.  It was interesting that it had happened.  I suppose rain had washed enough soil and/or organic matter into the bottle to support the fern's growth, and a spore had blown or floated in.
Later as we loaded up the car to leave, I moved a bag on the back seat.  "What's in here?  That BROKEN glass bottle??!!"
"It's just strategically opened," Caleb replied calmly.
So he brought it home, and it found a place amongst his other piles of junk.  I have been giving it a dribble of water from time to time, thinking I might transfer it to another jar.  The fronds are looking rather crisp, though, so I don't know if it has survived the low humidity of our house.  I will have to wait to see if it shows more signs of life.
It's amazing how life can thrive in unusual places if given the right conditions.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

It's been a cold week

We are forecast to be above freezing today for the first time since Wednesday.  The low yesterday was 7° F in this area.  We still have some icy patches on our street.  Icy roads are always a headache because dh MUST go out.  Interestingly, the area close to home was the worst that he traveled. 
We had wintry mix Monday night/Tuesday morning.  Then Wednesday we got a couple of good flurries.  As the first one passed, the sun began shining through the clouds.  I don't remember when I've ever seen the sun shining at the same time it was snowing.  I had done well and gotten the clothes off the clothesline before the first flurry, but I miscalculated and thought the flurries were done.  I went to the grocery store and came out to see thick snow blowing sideways across the parking lot.  The windshield was already coated but fortunately the car and road surfaces were still warm enough to keep it from being a problem.
Here are some pictures from around here this week.  The pictures from Perry's Pond are Caleb's pictures, taken yesterday.





As picturesque as the snow is, hopefully, the coldest weather is behind us for this winter.  We do have some more cold weather coming next week, but it shouldn't be quite as frigid.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Art imitates life

"Pretty nifty watering hole--I just found this today--you come here often?"

"It's a set up; don't look now, but she's in there taking pictures."

"I'm pretty good at 'nonchalance'"

"Oh, why not! Let's pose."

"You still taking pictures?  How do I look, ma'am?"