Blessings and Birds

I’ve lived my whole life never getting close to a wild bird and this past year I’ve held three.

I rescued a Hummer from the rafters in the shop.  It was a pretty exciting save actually.  I had to wait two days for the little guy to be tired enough for me to capture.  I hung a feeder up in the loft where I found some dead birds in the past hoping he would drink until I could figure out a way to catch him.  It finally came down to just lunging and grabbing him.  I held a heartbeat in my hands.

I’ve already written about the quail I held with the help of Scrappy cat.

A Blue Jay was the most recent little feathered blessing I’ve held.  I looked out our bedroom window to see a blue jay caught in our tree.  He was trying to feed from the suet block when the feathers on his wings got tangled in a branch.  I was able to catch him and break the twig from the tree.  My granddaughter helped me untangle the feathers from the branch to set him free.

Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

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A New Passion

At my age, 50 something, I thought I pretty much knew what I liked and what my interests were.  However, 2010 brought me a new awareness of birds.  It started with a hummingbird feeder, progressed to ground feeding quail and last week I felt like I was feeding every bird that lived in Skull Valley, Arzonia.  We had a cold snap with about six inches of snow.

 

The birds were hungry

really hungry

 

 

I kept myself busy keeping feeders full, the ground under the feeders covered with seed for the quail and the humming bird water melted.  I put out suet and peanuts for the bluebirds and cardinals.

There were a few hardy souls who could take care of themselves.

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New Year decision…. not a resolution

I’m not sure if it was the tough content of my last post or the fact that the holidays were approaching and I wanted to hand make as many of my gifts as I could, either way I choose to ignore this site.  With the small amount of computer time I allowed myself, I visited a few favorite blogs.  As a little girl I would look at houses and wonder what the people inside were like.  On these blogs,  women were opening their doors and inviting me in.  During the holidays no less!  The beautiful photos of first snows, the recipes, the honest struggles for some and the encouragement of others.  I’m hooked.  I just don’t know if I’m a blogger or a blog reader.

It takes time and smarts, lots of smarts to have a blog worth reading.  The computer knowledge alone is a huge challenge for me. Guess I’ll give it a try.  Nothing to loose, lots to learn.

Happy New Year!

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Bayley

Bayley Bear

It’s been a year since my beloved dog Bayley passed away.   My heart still hurts when I think about her.  I haven’t replaced her yet as I don’t think she can be replaced.  I think she was one of those “once in a lifetime sort of dogs”.  I still have Claire my standard poodle and as much as Claire missed Bayley when she died, I think she is getting accustomed to the extra attention.  Bayley was really an attention hog.

Bayley was a Portuguese Water dog.  I bought her twelve years ago before the breed became popular.  I can honestly say she was the most sensitive and intuitive dog I have ever met.  Can a dog be intuitive?  There were times at night if I took a deep cleansing breath, Bayley would do the same.  She would press her body against you as if to hug you.  Bayley was a great dog and I’m really glad I shared twelve years with her.

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There’s a quail in my pantry

the pantry

I was in my sewing room when I heard a strange yowl from Scrappy our cat.  I immediately thought she was about to get in a fight with a stray cat that had been hanging around the ranch.  I dashed out of the room to break up the fight only to find Scrappy walking down the hall to give me her treasure.  I yelled for her to “drop it” not knowing what I was commanding her to drop.  The last time I yelled she dropped a baby gopher, this time it was a young quail.  This has happened before, though not in the house.  The front door was left open by my husband and she just marched right in.   It’s always the same song and dance when she catches a bird and I’m around…..drop, flutter, pounce, yell, drop, flutter, pounce, yell until something happens.  Usually either the bird gets away or I get my hands on Scrappy’s tail.  It was a blur of screaming, fluttering and pouncing until somehow the poor bird flew into the pantry and I shut the door.  Scrappy walked off, her gift delivered and the thrill of the hunt clearly diminished by my screaming.  The good news is the young quail wasn’t hurt.  I used gloves to catch him, but he didn’t even try to peck me.   I was able to release him back to the flock to live another day.

Scrappy cat

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A nip of Fall in the air

I walked out to the back porch this morning and felt it.  I’ve been feeling it for about a week,  but I wasn’t quite convinced.  Today I am, fall is definitely in the air.  The temperature was a sign, but there were others.

drop in morning temp

Doesn’t this picture that I took this morning during that temperature look crispy?  Talk about this and that.  I’ll work on it.

Besides, my feet wanted their slippers on.

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The birds and the bees….and it’s not what you think!

I really love watching my hummingbirds feed as I sit on my back patio. (Fabulous photo by my good friend Louise) I’ve been gone for a few weeks and was surprised when I got back to see that the bees and wasps have over took my hummer feeders.  A farmer down the road from us has moved bee hives onto his property.  Don’t get me wrong, I love honey, but I don’t like bees scaring off my hummers.

bees bugging hummers

After a few days of watching, I noticed the birds might get close to the feeder, but would not land to feed if the bees or wasps were there.  A quick google told me that not only would the wasps and bees chase off hummingbirds, but they can sting and even kill them.  If this is true, it’s serious.

I discovered  that wasps are attracted to the color yellow.  Darn, cause my favorite feeder is a pretty little yellow one my husband brought home from a trip to the hardware store.  Some sites suggested making the bees and wasps their own feeder with a stronger sugar- water ratio and put it in something yellow.  The idea behind this seemed sound enough.  If I could draw the stinging varmints away from my hummers  we could all co exist peacefully.  My first attempt failed

I took out the little feeding spouts making the holes bigger, but the bees all crawled inside and drowned.  After replacing the spouts, I had some success, but then I needed a bee suit to replace the sugar-water.  Also, it attracted the bees, but I was still fighting the wasps at the hummer feeders!

While studying the situation and what to do, a wasp snuck up behind me and stung me on the back of my leg!  Man, those stings hurt!  No more Mrs. Nice Gal.I have removed all hummingbird feeders with any yellow on them.  I also removed the feeders with loose ports that leak any water.  That leaves me with only two out of the six feeders I was using.  I’ll give this a try for a week while my wasp sting heals:)

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