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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Call to Green

I wrote this sonnet a few years ago. Each spring when I hear the nightly frog chorus and notice the unfurling of the first green leaves, I think of my “Call to Green” poem.  I tweaked it a bit, and no doubt will again… In the meantime …

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 2012 Photo Scavenger Hunt


Thanks to Kathy at Postcards from the P.P. for continuing to sponsor this monthly event!  April has issued snow, rain, wind, cool weather…with the occasional lovely sunny day.  Here is the photo summary for April, followed by a larger photo of each and explanation.

1 - Rock:
An accommodating seagull pointed out this large rock on the beach…no heart rocks visible this time! 
2 – In/Out:
The in/out photo was taken from inside my living room of the mini-daffodils in the outside window box.
3 – Amazing:
Although nature is full of so many amazing sights, I chose a new visitor to my ‘bird tree’ ~ this hummingbird was enjoying the flowers in the hanging basket that I have left hanging from the tree all winter. 
Its wings flit at such an amazing speed as is seen in the following short video:
Hummingbird visits hanging basket
4 – Can’t live without:
Sunsets!  Whether they set over the ocean or are viewed from the back deck (photo below), sunsets are a perfect way to see beauty in nature at the end of the day.

5 – On the move:
This category could be used to describe many of the objects in these April photos ~ so many things on the move.  I chose this wind surfer who was definitely on the move thanks to the breezy conditions!
6 – Smile:
Because of the rainy weather, smiles were wearing thin, however, Quigley returned and it sure looked as if he had a big smile on his face, no doubt planning:
 this ~
This time when he left, he climbed straight up the tree and then leaped onto an evergreen branch outside my bedroom window.  To see an earlier post about Quigley’s first visit, click here.
7  -  Spring
Nothing says Spring to me more than the blossoms opening on the cherry tree.  They are just beautiful.  A couple of days ago when we had blue sky at last, I took this photo as I relaxed on the lounge chair on the deck…looking up into the masses of blossom.  Actually this photo doesn’t show the masses of blossom, but it does show masses of blue sky!

8 – Multi-coloured
On a recent visit to a garden centre, I spotted Winking smile this colourful very large teacup planter!
9 – Sticky
In my previous post, I shared some photos of the beautifully plumaged male Northern Flicker.  I was surprised to see, when I downloaded the photos, his sticky tongue.  Recently a female Northern Flicker visited the feeders, and lo and behold she stuck her tongue out as well!  As you see she’s not as colourful as her male counterpart, but still has some attractive markings.  I especially like her dark throat patch which sometimes appears heart-shaped.
Male counterpart:
10 – Tangle
After the winter storms, there are many branches strewn around the yard that need collected and piled at the front near the street.  Pruned limbs are also added to the pile.  Crews from the public works yard come by with their wood chipping machine, clearing up all the tangled piles.  I’m always grateful to see them cleared away!
…although this Robin seemed to enjoy a having a large selection of nesting materials at the ready…


11 – Indulgence
Every so often I do enjoy indulging in home baking ~ the most recent being Cream Cheese and Chive Biscuits (chives snipped from my garden).  Hmmm…good!
12 – Direction
Hopefully things look up weather-wise as we head into May ~ As I looked up one sunny day, I glimpsed an escaping balloon flying in the direction of … up, up and away! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Twitterpated!

I think spring is triumphant at last and to celebrate the occasion, my feathered friends are indeed twitterpated!

A rather large dapper Northern Flicker began the morning proceedings when he landed in the Pink Dogwood Tree.  


He dug into a bird feeder with such gusto that bits and pieces were flying every which way.

Do you see what I see?

Yes, it is his remarkable tongue which not only works well for catching insects, but also for gathering seeds  Excerpt from this site:
The Northern Flicker searches out ants with its long, sticky tongue.  This amazing tongue is worm-like and has a hard tip which the Flicker uses to spear insects in holes.  The tongue can extend beyond its bill by about 1½”; the tongue is not attached to the head but curls up inside the skull.  Ants make up 75% of its diet with but it will eat other insects and beetle larvae. Surprisingly, it also catches insects in flight.  It eats seeds, nuts, acorns and grains from early fall into the spring.
In case you’d like another look, here is the same Northern Flicker showing off his striking plumage…and tongue!
You’d think that would be enough excitement for the day, however various other birds joined in the celebration to either gather some of the seeds that had landed beneath the bird feeder, or to explore the hanging basket with its sunflower seed collection.
Varied thrush:

White-crowned sparrow:

Rufous-sided towhee:

The Rufous-sided towhee has bright red eyes which did not show up well in the above photo because of the lighting, however another on the ground shows off the red eyes somewhat better.

These towhees are skittish and often high-tail it into the bush when spotted (pun intended Winking smile), like this:

The regulars, Dark-eyed Juncos, Robins, Chickadees and Nuthatches were all in attendance.  It was wonderful to hear the sweet sounds of spring!  Are you feeling twitterpated?
Just down the road ~

Sunday, April 1, 2012