Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What a Wonderful World


I’m scared when you s-s-slam the screen d-d-door. I don’t like those bad, bad, black b-b-birds.

Bella is the most sensitive of the two.


It’s okay, sweetie. I’m just trying to scare the nasty birds - not you.


Chloe, are you afraid?

Hell, no. And get off my face.

Since MigRANT last week, I’m still fussing and feeding the nasty birds. I work hard to afford them and it’s depressing to visit the yard now and witness the squabbling and ruckus. After a long day at the office, I look forward coming home to peace on my little oasis. The Chickadees, Wrens, and Titmice are away nesting, the White-Throated Sparrows and Juncos have been gone for a while, the Cardinals are fewer, and the hummingbirds are few as well. There’s nothing I can do about it except to sneak peeks at the nice birds when the coast is clear and they feel safe at the feeders.



Goldfinches aren’t usually wary around me but now I have to get a few photos in full zoom through the fence rails. Sad, isn’t it?


Mockingbirds keep me company with all of their hissing and fighting among each other. Unfortunately they aren’t aggressive enough to ward off Starlings and Grackles but I have seen them run off crows. Gutsy birds.


I think a Red-winged Blackbird is almost as noisy as a Cardinal and almost as nice.

For the chance of seeing a woodpecker every day I’ll continue working for the birds, I guess.



Focusing on keeping a positive outlook on changing seasons and what each has to offer, I find there is amusement and wonder everywhere, if I allow myself to calm down and notice it.


Toads don’t fly away before you take a snapshot. Wonderful models.


Snakes will pose for a few moments, too. This is a young Black Rat snake, one-third the size of the one I saw last week. I’m starting to wonder about the snakey business around this house.


Beware of the snakes, little one. I'd like to keep you around for a while.


First damselfly!

One of my all-time favorite songs is one I should keep in my head to help me get through.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Louis Armstrong



This post was written yesterday but I must include an update as of 4:30 p.m. today:


Ahhhh. Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak arrived.

Concord Grape Jelly was served at 4:40 p.m.


It only took him ten minutes to find it.

I need new plates, feeder cups and perhaps I'll look into a picnic table.



Larry said...

That Groasbeak is a beauty! What a nice surprise.-I've had a couple visit the yard but usually not for long. I really like that song too. It kind of annoyed me when Kenny G decided to play his horn in the background though.-I like the original version.

Donna said...

I always enjoy your fabulous bird photos, Mary, but I must say, I love the photos of Bella and Chloe the best!

NCmountainwoman said...

What a great post! Starting with the licker sisters all through the lovely photos to Louis Armstrong, only to have an encore by the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Ah, it is a wonderful world, isn't it?

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I am so excited, Grosbeak came!!!
Oriole could ....it's possible...
Yes! and double yes...
Working to feed the birds is worth it!
Pats and hugs to the girls.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Tell Bella not to feel bad about being a scardy cat. Luna is too. A bit of a rumble of thunder rolled through but way far away from here and she ran to me all concerned, tail down. Poor girls.

Loved seeing all your birds Mary. I know what you mean about the Starling and Grackles. Ugh..

Carol Michel said...

Love your post, as always. I thought of you tonight as I finally put up two hummingbird feeders. I hope some hummers find them! And I filled my empty feeders. It didn't take long for a pair of cardinals to show up and scold me a bit for letting the feeders stay empty for a few days. At least, I think they were scolding me. But they might have been squabbling at each other, like an old married couple.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Debbie said...

Mary, that Louis Armstrong song is one of my all time favorites. I play it over and over.

Beautiful Grosbeak...glad he finally arrived for you. We should see ours soon. I rinsed out, filled and hung up the hummingbird feeder today. Hopefully I'll see my first hummer soon.

As always, I so enjoy your wonderful pictures and enjoyable posts.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I love your expressive pix of your girls. I'm glad you provide such an oasis for your yard birds and critters- they need you. I love Louis Armstrong too and that song is a favorite. Yahoo on the grosbeaks! I love your jelly dish. Where'd you get it?

Rose said...

The grosbeak must have read your post about the grape jelly and full refrigerator for winged guests.
I am sighing over all your goldfinch pictures; I really need to take a class in photography...The damselfly is my favorite, though; just beautiful.

Mary said...

Linne, Wild Birds Unlimited but I don't like it. It's too small and the darn grackles swing on it and throw everything out! LOL!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

YEA!!! I'm so glad the male grosbeak visited you! Great shots of it!

I love the picture of the frog! Adorable!

Susan Gets Native said...

See? See? It's not all grackles and HOSP.
Know what I love about you, Mary? (Apart from the other zillion things)
Your optimism. And your ability to turn it around and see some light. You sweet thang.

KGMom said...

Oh good--I am glad some of the birds you have been eagerly awaiting have arrived.
Grape jelly? Why? I know, I know--I have read other bloggers who do the same, but no one explains why. Why not strawberry? or marmalade?

JeanMac said...

All is now well with the world:)

beckie said...

Wonderful post, again! I am seeing more cardinals at the feeders, but no migrants yet. Would the snakes have anything to do with a lack of birds? The girls are such sweeties. They must give you a lot of love.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see your hard work paid off! Hurray!

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mary, I LOVE your furry girls! You should include at least 1 picture of them in every post.
I'm glad your RB Grosbeak finally arrived and that you still have some "good" birds showing up at your feeders.
Is that a vulture flying waaaaaaay up high in your blue sky picture?

Anonymous said...

Great pics Mary! I'm so glad that your grape jelly was enjoyed. I'm going to try that here and see if it attracts any birds for me. I've only seen one hummer this week. :(


possumlady said...

I would LOVE to see a Grosbeak! What a beauty. I feel bad because I scare the cats on a daily basis with my clapping and stomping to get rid of the squirrels hanging on the feeders. Poor Bella, love that little sensitive face.

Don't you get ants with the jelly?

Anonymous said...

Yay for the grosbeak!

Years ago, when I taught pre-K in L.A., my class sang that song at their graduation program. The kids kept changing the words from "the dark sacred night" to "the dog's say good night." To this day, that's how I sing that song.

PJ said...

I'm lovin' the toad! It's like a beautiful rest to come to your blog and see all the painstaking photos of your birds, flowers, toads, and even snake! I would love to be an animal in your garden! Do tell me though how do you keep the grackles out?

Corey said...

Your dragonfly (pretty sure it's not a damselfly) is a Blue Corporal. Your photos are great. I also have to take solace in my Goldfinches this time of year. All the butterbutts are gone, and the hummers aren't plentiful yet.

The Quacks of Life said...

lovely photos(as ever). you're the second blogger to post a grosbeak today!!

its a dragon not a damsel methinks

Cheryl said...

All the effort and work involved was absolutely worth it. What a stunner the Groasbeak is.
Your dogs are still the tops for me though.

Mary said...

CJS & Pete,

I think it's time I start using a bug guide to look up damsels vs. dragons, OR, refer to them as a Pond Bug. :o)

Donna, you're asking the wrong person. If the experts say grape jelly, I get grape jelly - not strawberry.

Beckie, snakes steal eggs and babies if they find them. Sure, they can make a difference in bird population, but I think they prefer toads. Not sure...

Ruthie, yes! I wanted to zoom in on the vulture but it never came close enough.

Iris, now that is so cute you'll NEVER forget their verse :o)

Possumlady, I'll let you know about ants. If I wash the dish every day, shouldn't be a problem. That was the first time I served jelly.

PJ, I do not keep the grackles away. They rule!

Anonymous said...

Well HowdeeDo, I like your blog.
How lucky to have all those birdies come to feast.

Your doggie friends look adorable!
I must say, if I could have a dog, it would be this type. So friendly. I never know the breed, are they boston terriors sp?

Hugs to Chloe and Bella.

TR Ryan said...

Congrats on the grosbeak - I've never seen one. I can't wait. Your puppehs steal the show though.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Gee, Mary--
For not having anything, you sure have a LOT!
And, I'm glad to see your toad looking so pleased with his pond.

I wonder if the hummingbirds (and other returning feeders) somehow lose their familiarity when they leave for a while?
I'm waiting to get close enough to our hummer to get a picture, too.
Last summer he would almost land on me--this year, I can't even be on the porch with him! (assuming he's the same one)
Oh, well--patience, patience, patience.

Mary said...

Nina, I was thinking about the same thing yesterday - the few hummingbirds I have won't let me see them and seem frightened, unlike last summer. They forgot about us :o)

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Great post and wonderful collection of pictures! You sure see a lot around where you live, Mary. Everybody gets grosbeaks except me. I think it's my turn. :) I enjoyed your previous posts, too.

dguzman said...

OH MARY! I've never had a RBGrosbeak at my feeders... in fact, I've only ever seen two! I would love to see one as close as yours was, and what a great photo.

Sweet puppies!

Jayne said...

Not sure how I ended up missing this beautiful post Mary. Maybe my bloglines was malfunctioning?
So happy you got that Grosbeak!!! Yay!!!!!

Mary C said...

Not only is it a wonderful world, "life is good!" ;o) Mary, how did you get such a beautiful photo of that damselfly? These kinds of critters as well as butterflies do a great job of eluding me - but then, so do all of our pets. lol

Mel said...

Dear Mary, you always post such beautiful things!
You bring colour to my new dayless-light weekdays... office from 8 to 8 for me :(

Kathy said...

Great blog, beautiful photos. Absolutely love your Bostons. I have one, Rocky whose 3. I would love you to send some photos or stories to mine at www.rockyswildworld.blogspot.com