Friday, April 24, 2015

Here comes the seedlings!

I've tried to temper my enthusiasm (Cindy might call it "obsession") with getting my milkweed going.  Last season I clumped my seeds too close together and nothing really grew.  So last November I planted a single seed in a small impression and covered it and spaced them out maybe five inches apart in maybe seven to 10 different spots.  And then marked those spots with a plastic knife.  I noticed in March that some of the spots seemed disturbed by wildlife so I planted more seeds and marked the knives with "15" for the year (I wanted to see if they would still come in with planting in the spring).  I was out yesterday and noticed I've got seedlings coming up in a few of the locations and the plants are taller than they were at this time last year which should mean stronger.

So...here are some pictures:





Monday, April 6, 2015

Some quick snaps on Easter Sunday

Trying to finish up my current bag of feed.  I saw a group of woodpeckers around the feeder so I went outside and all that would stick around were my reliable White-breasted Nuthatches.

As I watching, I noticed two things...1) that it seemed to be "sorting" seed.  It looked as though some seeds were being cast aside in favor of other seeds (thrown to the ground) and 2) it was extending its body periodically (see below).






Friday, March 20, 2015

A nice sunny Friday at the feeder

At some point, I want to put out mostly nyjer seed to attract American Goldfinch, but still using my songbird mix.

Here are some nice pictures of White-breasted Nuthatches...





 
 
And a male Downy Woodpecker (not quite holding still)...
 
 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday Russell!

Russ turns 8 today.  We are very blessed to have him.

He celebrated by chasing three deer away from the feeder area. 

 
 
 

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

First day of Spring Break.  Jake and I went out to see if we could find those darn railroad tracks my neighbor told me about.  We didn't find them but went on some different trails.  You'll see the Des Moines River in the background.

 


 
I can't prove it, but to me, these are some of the Indian burial mounds...
 

And here is my bird feeder from a different vantage point (hard to see).
 

 
Well, it's almost tick season so the woods will have to wait until fall for further exploration!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up"

Aside from being a memorable line from the movie Sunset Boulevard, it's also the theme for this post. Last weekend I tried another (and more successful) attempt at using Steve's trail camera on the ground under the bird feeder.

I had over 200 images.  One picture showed a leaf blowing by.  Most were not too interesting but as you will see, some were memorable!

Here is where I positioned the camera.  I put a rock in front of it because it was getting knocked over.  That's our house in the photo.

 
 
We'll start with what is probably my favorite photo ever...this squirrel appears to be genuinely surprised by the flash of the camera!
 
SQUIRREL!!
 
 
Somehow I caught a rabbit running by...
 
 
Various close-ups...
 



Here is a Northern Cardinal stopping by...
 
 
Here is a White-breasted Nuthatch with something in its bill...
 

This appears to be an American Sparrow and a nuthatch...
 
 
Sharing is caring.  Here is a squirrel and a Dark-eyed Junco...
 

These next three pictures show good color...
 


 
Two more bird pictures...
 


And I'll finish with a few more squirrel pictures.  All in all a pretty good experiment.  My hope was to get a bunch of squirrels in a picture because they tend to fight and chase each other.  So I may try again!
 



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Squirrels do the darndest things!

I've always found squirrels to be entertaining.  Often a nuisance, but always entertaining in their pursuit of food.  They usually flee when I come outside but some are stubborn and don't want to forfeit their spot.

This guy was actually trying to hide from me on this tree.  So I walked around to get a better picture of it.
 
"Shhh.  I'm hiding."
Here is another view...


(That's a shower hook in the tree)

So once it was discovered, I got a scolding...

 
 
I like this picture.  Look at the paws grabbing the branch...
 
 
 
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