Saturday, February 28, 2009

2-28-09 Observations

- Dense fog and mild temperatures on the mountain properties this morning.

- Rain last night. With the mild temperatures, a good evening to open the bedroom window, relax, and just listen to one of the most comforting sounds in all of nature.......

- It is a time of activity in the bird world...and several species are active in nest building and related courtship rituals.

- The Robins have returned and I have also witnessed this week...Purple Grackles, Cedar Waxwings, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Pileated Woodpeckers (permanent residents), Northern Mockingbirds (already in song on good weather days), to name a few.
- I have seen deer all over the place this week. At various locations, as I drove to the cabin recently, I counted 15 at dusk. Under the cover of fog and dim light, they seem quite confortable, and most just stared as I drove slowly past. Most of the males are antlerless by now and I would love to find a shed pair of antlers! So far, it has not happened.

- The attached, from top to bottom....1) A recent shot of The Common Crow...a sentinel standing guard while buddies search for food in the meadows below.....2) The gregarious European Starling....the bill is yellow in the spring and summer and dark in winter. These had a yellow bill, so spring must be near!....3) Taken early this morning in the fog....four Mourning Doves perched on a split rail fence near a lake....4) Taken early this morning, in the fog, at quite a distance...the striking male Red-Headed Woodpecker.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Keep Your Eyes Along the Skyline".......

- Mild and pleasant this morning...with a fresh southwest breeze. Makes one anticipate spring!
- We have had some cold weather lately, and a bit of snow. The mountains look good in snow!
- Temperature in the mid 60s today with brilliant sunshine.
- The bottom photo was taken yesterday well after sundown, but with a bit of glow still evident behind the western horizon. Movement caught my eye along the skyline and I pulled off the road and snapped the photo. There were five deer in all, seemingly in a playful mood as darkness fell.
- The middle photo is of a Gray Squirrel that frequents my bird feeders. Caught red-handed, he flattened the torso against the ground in a defensive posture...unsure of whether to freeze or to run.
- The top photo was snapped during a bird 'feeding frenzy' recently. All who feed the avia know what I mean...periods of inactivity followed by periods of frenzy...This photo shows two Pine Siskins, two Goldfinches, and a male Northern Cardinal.
- This morning at the cabin there were 19 Goldfinches on my feeders simultaneously.
- We are beginning a great time of year for bird-watchers. Many species will be on the move over the next few weeks.