Saturday, February 23, 2013
work, birds, and work
I'm not blogging. I'm not going to the gym. I barely even went outside yesterday. It was another cold overcast and windy winter day stuck in the middle of spring. I keep trying to tell myself that these lingering cold days in February are keeping the summer heat at bay. And truth be told, I need to be sequestered for a little while still til I catch up with work and the two remaining proposals I need to prepare.
Yesterday I finished the sketches for the Leadership Wall. There are four things they need to decide on...etching/carving style, placement of the images and text, size, and font. Now I need to isolate sections of two of the sketches and enlarge them full size for samples which I hope to get done next week.
In the meantime, here's a few observations of the birds around here.
The little teacup bird feeder, which I've posted about before, right out my window where I sit and work continues to be very entertaining. For weeks only one or two male cardinals visited it and they came quite frequently. There is a large chinese fringe flower shrub right next to it and they fly into it and then to the teacup where they perch on the rod it is hanging from or the rim of the cup. The male cardinals will sit on the feeder and eat seed after seed. He picks one, gives it a crunch, shifts it around in his beak with his tongue, gives it another crunch, maybe a third time, then spits out the shell.
Several weeks ago, I noticed a timid female cardinal eyeing the feeder from the shrub. While the males are either used to me or unconcerned with my presence, I have to remain completely motionless to entice the female to the cup. She takes one seed and flies off but I have only seen her a time or two. I watched as a male and a female flew into the shrub. She hung back while he went to the feeder and ate several seeds. I thought she would approach closer but she never did. After he had eaten several seeds, he picked one up and flew over to her and passed it to her. She sat there as she cracked it and ate and then they both flew off.
In the last couple of weeks, chickadees and titmice have discovered the feeder. The titmice, will fly to the shrub, flit to the feeder, grab a seed and take off. The chickadees though, they will flit to the feeder from the shrub, grab a seed and then flit back to the shrub. Then starts the pounding of the seed against the branch, then, holding the seed down with one foot, it will stab and peck at it repeatedly until it finally gets the prize. The little chickadees must work much harder for their dinner than the cardinals.
We got a more traditional bird feeder for the front by the bird bath. I now understand why people complain about the birds eating them out of house and home. They can empty that thing is three days. Most of the little birds, the chickadees, titmice, warblers, wrens, will come get a seed or two and then flit off. The sparrows though, will hang out until they get chased off by a bigger bird.
Last week a huge flock of cedar waxwings migrated through. We have several old and very tall red tip photinias that stand behind the bird bath in front and also one in the Little Back Yard that were covered with berries. They stripped those bushes of every single berry in a matter of days and then moved on.
Yesterday a huge flock of grackles swept through the neighborhood. While the cedar wax wings were mostly silent, grackles are loud and raucous. As if on cue they all take off and move en masse from naked tree to naked tree. There were so many and they were so loud that the cat decided she would rather be inside, thank you very much.
I tried to get some pictures to go with this post but the birds in question weren't being very cooperative.
Now the sun has come out and I must get me to the antique store for my day in the shop.
*I wrote this this morning but was running late and didn't have time to post it til now.