Morning doves

Mourning doves.  

I find myself taking roll call when I go out to see the birds now. House finches. Check. Warbler. Check. Juncos. Check. Chickadees. Check. Doves. Check. Downy woodpeckers. Check. Hummingbirds. Check. I worry when someone doesn’t come around. Haven’t seen the nuthatches for a couple of days.

We have a fence around our garden area and the doves frequently hang out on the fence. Doves remind me of peace and calm.

I always love to see the doves just hanging out.

Red-tailed hawk soaring

Red-tailed hawk.  

This guy is frequently perched in the tree at the back of the acre and sometimes he watches from the tree at the high school. He is beautiful. I love to watch him as looks around, I’m sure in search of his next meal.

I hadn’t even noticed him when I went out to see who was having a mid-day snack at the feeders. I was most disappointed because it was quiet. We switched the bird seed to safflower seeds a week ago today. It definitely worked, the starlings have relocated to the feeders on the other side of the yard. We were successful with that, the house finches and chickadees have accepted the change, but we haven’t seen much of the nuthatches. Then again, it’s been horribly cold, neither fit for man nor beast.

I climbed up on my ladder to see if there was any action anywhere and just above this guy soaring in circles above my head.

He definitely answered the question about why it was quiet around the feeders.

Two borzoi

Zip and Timber

Longing for warmer weather. We are currently still somewhere far below freezing temps and as much as I found the snow magical, I’m not quite as appreciative of the cold.

I actually took this around Thanksgiving. We still had nasturtiums blooming, the grass was fluffy and the mud was nonexistent. Zip had found a carrot from the garden, a real treat and as much as Timber wanted to share, Zip did not.

I am looking forward to our gardens this summer. January seems to be the month to start thinking ahead.

Yes boys, your grass will be luscious again soon.

Yellow-rumped warbler   

We had a brief snow shower in the afternoon yesterday and I grabbed my camera to go out and see what was happening at the bird feeders.

We’re rearranging our bird feeding stations. We’re now inviting the European starlings to get the flock out. They are bugging the other birds and I haven’t seen our downy woodpeckers for about a week now.

After some research, we read that starlings and squirrels don’t like safflower seeds, so we bought a 20 lb bag of safflower seeds. We moved the feeders with the seed that the starlings picked through (only to find what they liked and drop the rest on the ground) to the other side of the acre and put safflower seeds near the barn. Oddly enough, the starlings really don’t like safflower seeds.

I’m hoping that our little downy woodpeckers will now come back.

The starlings are referred to as a bully bird and tend to run off the other birds. It’s too bad because they were quite entertaining to watch and noisy. I know they are at the feeders the minute I drive in the yard.

This little guy is a new visitor to the feeders. I must be easily delighted because I sure had a good time watching him.

He didn’t seem intimidated by me standing on the ladder either. The house finches hate it when I’m in their air space.

So here’s the vision you’d see if you could see me. Snowing, cold, perched on top of a ladder waiting for the birds to get somewhere in my sites.

I cherish my snow days.

Painting of a long-haired Weimaraner


Second in the series “Bird Dogs”

We had another magical snow day. In between running to the vet and back for Zip, I played.

This piece is actually a composite of three photos I took. Maverick is actually standing against our tree in the backyard. The jay is from last weekend and the forest is over by the college.