Background Switcher (Hidden)

Heady May

Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh, there's just too much to do, and the weather is too beautiful. I'm letting myself garden, and even buy a few plants for the border. I realized I was all out of delphiniums, which are short-lived perennials, so I've bought four and am hoping they're sky blue. I made hanging baskets and planters all day today with the plants from the greenhouse. Ahhhhh. The sun shone and the birds sang and I got real dirty. When I heard a good bird I lit out after it with the long lens.

This picture may not look like much, but I'm thrilled with it, because it shows a foraging behavior characteristic of blue-winged warblers. They insert the closed bill into an insect-damaged leaf cluster--often a webby one--and open it, prying it apart to find treasure inside. I've watched them do this but never thought I'd get a photo of it! Note how the bird has keyed in to the insect -damaged leaves. When they hop through the branches they're scrutinizing each leaf for chew holes left by caterpillars, and webbed-together leaves that might hide food. They're doing so much that we don't even realize or appreciate. Watching quietly opens it all to me.

While I take photos or garden, Chet Baker keeps me company through it all. Such a pretty boy, with his brindle coat and little cat paws.

The blue-grey gnatcatcher nest in our driveway is occupado. Such vocal little birds; they can't help singing even while incubating! How perfect they are, how perfect their nests.

I took this picture when the cardinal was brooding her young. They fledged yesterday, and they're peeping incessantly in the thicket behind the garage. Hooray! That's how fast May goes--like lightning. I'm so happy she got a brood out before the snakes got to them. It's a race in May, a race to procreate before the predators wake up.

On Mother's Day, Baker helped me shoot some crappy redstart pictures. He watched intently as I focused on the tiny bird flitting over my head in the ash tree. A pair of towhees started scratching in the litter just inside the thicket. Baker's ears perked and he listened, considering whether to give chase.

He glanced up at me as a child would, looking for guidance. "Those are towhees, Baker. Just birds. Mother's birds." And that angelic little dog relaxed and sat down, content to listen, not chase.Yes, Mether. I know a towhee when I hear one. If that was a chiptymunk, I would chase it, just so you know.

It's a grab bag, this post, but then so is May. Everything happens in May.

Jane, this one's for you. Welcome home!! and thanks again for the best doggie in the whole universe.
[Back to Top]