Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Oh, what a delightful migration we've had. We've been busy, but have been home more than any May in memory. So I've had time to plant and weed and mulch and till and mow--all the things that somehow have to be added into the mix come spring. That makes me a much happier camper than when we run all over the country working festivals. I'm beginning to see what I should be doing less, what I should be doing more.
Going out to photograph birds with Bill in the morning is just about my favorite thing. We don't forget for a second how blessed we are that we can do this right outside our house, on this sanctuary we've made. Little visitors pass through and we try to capture their images, to show you these things we cherish. It isn't easy. Ask Bill of the Birds.
Pine siskins have finally left as of today. I wouldn't be too surprised to find them nesting around here, as they're nomadic little things, subject to whim. They share the Spa with a tired Gouty, the bluebird who's feeding four fledged daughters.
A red-bellied woodpecker has chosen the gutter over Phoebe's window for a drumming site.
He looks proud of himself at the end of each BRRUUUUUUMMMMPPP! Luckily, he drums after she's off to school, but she's not going to like it very much come summer vacation. These shots were taken from the birding tower, a perspective we don't often get on woodpeckers.
Discoveries await everywhere I turn. I heard a gnatcatcher's purr, looked up, saw this shredded bark and mused, "Ahh, nesting time. Everyone's gathering nesting material."
And there was the gnatcatcher, so I watched him until he led me to his nest.
It's done, and he plops right into it to incubate the eggs. See his tail sticking up like a popsicle stick?
Here's a closer look. Of all the birds that nest here, the blue-gray gnatcatcher reveals its nest the most readily. It's almost as if they're proud of it, the way they carry on and show it to you.
It's been the best spring for Blackburnian warblers that I can remember. That doesn't mean I've gotten stunning shots, but I keep trying.
Soon, the migrants will be gone altogether, but for now we seek them out and enjoy them while we can.
I've spent the day painting a beach scene with Caspian terns. I have to stretch way back in my memory to get the feel of the beach, but it's coming together nicely. The trick being not to get too tense and tight. Gotta let paint be paint. I've also been on the phone with Customer Service at Uncle Milton's, the manufacturer of the Pet's Eye View camera Chet used until it finked out on us. I gave them my blog URL, which is being passed around their HQ as we speak, and have high hopes they'll see the eminent sense of replacing this wondrous but broken little thing. I've gotten only four sessions out of it and am hungry for more. I keep seeing golden opportunities to send Chet Baker on photo safari.