Barn Swallows

This afternoon we heard so much racket from birds in the front and went out and looked and there was a bunch of barn swallows out front. They were perched on the electric lines and flying around and a bunch were down on the road laying on their bellies on the hot asphalt! Strange indeed. Small groups were in the lawn eating insects. This is a first! I found it fascinating. They are only here in the States in the summer for breeding, then they go south of the border. 

I found this great app for bird lovers yesterday. It’s put out by the Cornell Lab for Ornithology. They have a great website too. Click the link to check it out!

Here’s the photos I took today…


Captain Adventure Takes a Nose Dive

A house wren has nested in my one birdhouse for two years now. This year I actually got to see the babies in there! Not really sure how many there are. I heard them before I saw them. They seemed to be up high behind all the nesting material. I’ve been sneaking over and peeking in on them since I heard them. A couple of days ago I saw their tiny beaks and momma has been so busy back and forth feeding them. I tip-toed up with the camera on Sunday and got a few nice shots…

We were sitting outside a little later on and I was keeping an eye on them with the binoculars and one little guy thought he was Captain America and was sticking his whole body way out there and then it happened… he took a nose dive all the way to the ground!


I couldn’t believe my eyes! I ran over and checked on him. He was alive and so tiny. He could barely walk let alone fly. I scooped him up and yelled for Bossman to bring me a stool and we put him back in. I was so relieved when I saw momma back and forth feeding them again. I wasn’t sure if my scent on him would disrupt anything. Hopefully he doesn’t try anymore acrobatic stunts!
Meanwhile the catbird we hear in the trees finally showed up at the feeders. They really do sound like kittens mewing! He has a long tale and had it all fanned out while he was eating. By the time I got the camera he had pulled it in so I didn’t get it fanned in the shot…

The blue jays have really been a nuisance this year, eating all the seed as fast as I can put it out. One morning recently I counted eight of them out there feasting! The starlings have competition this year!
I have five feeders now and two suet feeders and we have so many birds it’s unbelievable! One day in particular the competition at the feeders was hot and heavy. A downy woodpecker and a starling were in fierce battle over the suet and the woodpecker wasn’t going to let the bully starling get away with hogging it, he fanned out his wings and squawked and fussed until the starling left!
You can see the feeders are empty all ready! I fill them each morning as soon as I get up.

Myrtle Beach Birds

Recently we spent a week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s not one of my favorite places, but Bossman loves all the golf courses. We had rain and wind and the temps were on the mild side. Did some shopping, played miniature golf and spent the day in Georgetown, South Carolina’s third oldest town. Lovely place with an interesting museum on rice growing. I’ll have some pictures later of Georgetown. Today I wanted to show you three birds I saw while there. 

Least Tern: likes sandy and pebbly beaches and sandbars in large rivers. Nests in colonies. We saw them at Barefoot Landing which is a shopping complex built on stilts over a body of water. Perfect for feeding on minnows or other small marine organisms.


Great-tailed Grackle: this bird resides mostly in California, Colorado, Kansas, and western Louisiana southward. Seeming to be extending its range eastward not yet reaching Florida and here it is in South Carolina! 


The female is brown…


Saw lots of turtles too…

A Helping Hand

I meant to tell you about this last post. I saw the idea on Facebook.  Helping the birds build their nests! It was such a glorious day on Sunday I sat outside and cut yarn. Then I got dryer lint and some hair from Bossman’s beard brush. I put it all in a suet feeder and hung it in the trees. We’ll see if they use it. It sounded like a good idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porch Talk

Hello, happy Sunday! I hope all is well in your neighborhood. It’s a bit cooler here but our skies are blue and cloudless today. We missed the snow they thought we were going to get over the weekend. It dipped further south and they got it in Chattanooga and north Georgia. Looks like another system, winter storm Stella, is coming in across the northeast on Monday and Tuesday though. It will miss us but hit both states where my sons live. The one in Maryland’s looking at 8-12 inches of very heavy wet snow! Guess he won’t be working for a couple of days as he works outside. The one in Pennsylvania will only get 4-6″.  Moving to Tennessee was a good move I think!

FullSizeRender-11The new copy of The Sin Mark, I ordered for the dust jacket, came in! Lovely cover. I couldn’t wait to add it to Goodreads so a picture of it will be somewhere online! Tequila by Margaret Page Hood came in too. Now I have all her books. It’s a sweet little Dell paperback in excellent shape. Also Rising, the second book set in Coolidge Corners Vermont, by Alison Smith came in. It was a good week for mail! Nothing like finding a book in your mailbox. I’m adding a big picture of The Sin Mark cover back in the post with my review if you want to see it up close.

We had a new feathered friend visit last week, a yellow-bellied sapsucker! FirstYellow-bellied Sapsucker time I’ve seen one. It’s a little on the larger size and he’s been here most everyday this last week. Haven’t seen him at the feeders just pecking at the tree trunk. Son in Maryland said he is just drinking the sap, it doesn’t mean my tree is dying or anything. He is an arborist, when I said I wish the Pileated woodpecker would visit my trees he said ‘no you don’t, when a woodpecker is busy in your trees its not a good sign of the health of the tree!’ So I was a little worried about my pecan tree, it is the feeding station for all my feeders after all! The mockingbird is still around but not quite as vigilant as he’s been. He’s letting the other birds eat at the feeders but guards the suet cakes. The woodpeckers loved them and I miss seeing them everyday.

Elizabeth Cadell booksI’ve been busy volunteering at our local library book sale. We are sorting books now. The sale is May 4-6. I go up 3 days a week and sort for 3 hours. It’s fun and I like the gals I work with. We get to put books we want aside in a box with our name on it for the sale. My box is full already and I’ll have to start another one soon! I found six Elizabeth Cadell books! I’ve read her first book, My Dear Aunt Flora and liked it, but have only ever come across one other, which I grabbed up!  Nan over at Letters From a  Hill Farm turned me on to her. Her books are lighthearted, humorous, romances. I see there is one mystery she wrote in the 50’s but never published and her daughter has published it along with a biography but it’s $39.95 and I’m cheap! Have you read any Elizabeth Cadell?

Still watching that giraffe, April, in NY. She hasn’t had that baby yet! The staff and vet are getting excited at some of the changes in her body and think it should be soon. I hope so! I’m hooked now! Her nipples have waxed which is a good sign I guess. They cover with wax wScreen Shot 2017-03-12 at 4.25.13 PMhen she is starting to produce milk to protect the colostrum from leaking out. Hmm… The baby is VERY active and you can see it moving in the video! There is a lot of tail lifting and pushing on the ‘out door’ too now! I found her laying down today with her neck curved and
her head laying down on her thigh! She very rarely lies down let alone lay her head down. They only sleep about 2 hrs. a day and then in 10 minute or so catnaps. Don’t you wish you could get by on so little sleep? If you want to check on her click the link above.

FullSizeRender-10I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle Katrina sent home with me my first trip to Scotland. It’s an old railroad travel poster for the Trossachs. I have to admit I haven’t really enjoyed this one.  It takes much more concentration than the Wysocki puzzles do. sometimes I sit down and can’t find a piece to fit for 20 minutes or more. I’ve tried to give it up a couple times but Bossman says you have it half done! So I trudge on. I’m getting close now… I finished Wysocki’s ‘Rally at Dandelion Mill’ before I started this one and I have a new one I’m dying to start if I ever finish the Trossachs! Although looking at it in the photo its rather nice. I might just LOVE it when its done 🙂

I’ve had the temporary crown on my tooth for two weeks this Tuesday and suppose to get the permanent on then. I’ve had quite a bit of aching and discomfort from it. My dentist’s receptionist scared me to death and said I shouldn’t have any pain it must be cracked! Go back to the man that did the root canal! I felt like my dentist who did the temporary should have me come in and look at it first before I did that! I finally called the endodondist and asked them what they thought and they were so professional and kind. There are lots of little things it could be that are not a worry at all. Air gets inside the crown and causes discomfort, food particles get in, sometimes they leave a little tiny rod in there that is suppose to come out, the temp is thicker and causes gum discomfort that some people are more sensitive too. As  long as there is no darkening of color, swelling, drainage etc. I should be fine. Why couldn’t my dentist tell me these things? I think I’ll be looking for a new dentist. I spent 4 days worrying sick that $2,000 later I’d have to have the tooth pulled after all.

We’ve been bowling a couple times in the last week. Its been so long since we bowled. I forgot how much I enjoy it. Our bowling alley is in a terrible state of repair, but it’s all we have. Yesterday I beat Bossman all three games! I rarely beat him, let alone three times in a row! Do you like to bowl?

I tried a new pie recipe today. Coconut-Pecan German Chocolate Pie. DELICIOUS! I love German chocolate cake. If you do too you’d love this pie. We also had that Mississippi roast recipe that is everywhere online. It was so good! Leftovers will be used in burritos later this week. What’s your favorite pie? I love pie! Have you made anything new and exciting for dinner lately?

What are you reading now? I’m reading The Silver Darlings by Neil M. Gunn. A wonderful Scottish book set on the northeast coast after the clearances. The fishing industry is just getting started and herring is the big catch, those silver darlings are going to make men rich! It’s a really good book with beautiful language. We’re doing a read-a-long on Goodreads with it.

Well, thanks for coming by and visitin’. See you later!

Peggy Ann

To Kill a Mockingbird, No Really

 

FullSizeRender-7

Front yard

And I’m not talking about Harper Lee! There’s a mockingbird that has decided my bird feeders are his and his alone. He’s staked my pecan tree as his territory. He won’t let any other birds near the feeders or the tree. He runs them all off even if their sitting on the ground beneath the tree. I’ve tried throwing rocks at him, jumping up and down and swinging my arms around at him to scare him off and he looks at me like I’m an idiot! I probably am 🙂

I’m missing all my birds!

So I thought, ‘I’ll outwit you’, and moved one feeder and one suet feeder out to a tree in the front yard. At least the other birds can eat there. He can have the back feeders. Oh no, he is a pig. He flies back and forth over the house and guards both trees, all four feeders! He doesn’t even eat the seed! Every now and then he’ll eat a little suet. I’m at my wits end with this bird! I adore their songs in the spring when there are so many around, but he isn’t even singing for me! I’ve threatened to go buy a BB gun (but I might shoot my eye out!).

FullSizeRender-8

back yard

I’ve finally taken in all the feeders. Maybe he’ll give up and go away. I’ll put them back out in a week and see what happens.  Have you ever encountered something like this and what was your solution?