Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

First Flurries

This morning, scattered flurries caught my attention out the window.  In a short time they started coming down a bit heavier, and I went to get the camera.  As far as I know these were the first flurries of the season.  Although I may be sick of snow before spring arrives, they were a welcomed sight.  It didn't last long and the little that stuck to the grass melted quickly.

Shortly thereafter, I put some peanuts out for the birds and I got a few nice shots. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Observing Birds

I spotted a bluebird at the nearest nest box as I looked out the kitchen window.  That is what prompted me to grab the camera and try to document that they were here.  I snapped some through the window (by that time they were at one of the far nest boxes...the pictures are blurred, but it is clearly the bluebird.  It seems really early to be house hunting, but the pair were at least checking things out--perhaps looking for a place to roost in the cold of winter.

The sun was shining, and although I was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt, I was perfectly comfortable.  The temperature was supposed to be 54 degrees, but it felt warmer to me.  I thoroughly enjoyed being outside--especially after noticing something hopping around and perching on the dried goldenrod.  I snapped a lot of pictures and took a video or two and began to realize it was a chickadee.  Several chickadees actually.  As I walked through the paths I saw that more than one seemed to be feeding on the seedheads in various spots in the yard.  Chickadees would not have been my first guess as to what eats the goldenrod seeds.  I can imagine goldfinches, but was surprised to see the 'dees going for them. This is about when I realized how little I really know about the birds and critters that I'm attracting to the yard.  Hopefully, through the years, I'll learn much more through simple observation.

Shortly there after, I noticed another bird in the hedgerow.  Even though it came quite close to where I was standing in the path, it seemed to move too quickly for me to focus the camera on it.  I did, however, get this one good shot--but, not the best for an ID.  I plan to post it on Wildlife Gardeners in hopes of getting an ID.

Aside from the goldenrod, I caught a shot of a chickadee feeding on the staghorn sumac--something that I'd always read was the last choice for birds (at least the bluebird).  It is only late November, and they are already being eaten...so, perhaps they aren't so bad after all.

  ...The tufted titmouse seemed to like them too. :)


While taking pictures of the activity at the sumac, at first I thought I saw bluebirds, but once I got inside to upload the I saw it was the tufted titmouse instead.  I accepted this and kept sorting through the photos, deleting the blurred ones (these were taken at quite a distance and then cropped).  Imagine my surprise when, after seeing a blurred image that was obviously a bluebird, I found two perfectly clear images of the male!  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Unexpected Surprise

I went out the back door to enjoy the sunshine and relatively warm temperatures--around 50, I think, but it felt warmer.   Before I got a few paces out the door to put some peanuts out for the chickadees (and anyone else that wanted some), I noticed a butterfly on the cuff of my jeans!  Had it not landed there, I'd probably have missed it flying by.

Too bad I didn't get a shot of it on my jeans, but I did get a couple of shots once it landed on the side of the house. It is past mid-November and I'm still seeing butterflies.  I'm loving it.  With enough sun and critter visits, maybe winter won't feel so long.