Sunday, August 1, 2010
High Summer in Minnesota and Georgia
I haven’t been very diligent about writing new posts this summer, but not for lack of interesting things to write about. We have had beautiful butterflies in our garden and nearby locations, along with interesting insects, lots of flowers, bird families, etc. I’ve taken loads of pictures here in Minnesota as well as some bird photos on my Mother’s front porch. It has been hard to find the time to write these blog posts because I have been outrageously busy at work and when I get home in the evenings all I want to do is eat some dinner (which means I have to cook it first), watch a little TV (I am a fan of “So You Think You Can Dance”), and go to bed. I really don’t want summer to slip away unnoticed and undocumented, so for the next couple of weeks I will make frequent short posts featuring some of the many photos I have taken.
I’ll start with some of the birds that were coming to the feeder on my Mother’s porch. She keeps sunflower seeds in it, and it really attracts the birds. Many of the birds continued to feed even when we were sitting on the porch only 15 or so feet away from the feeder. But they tended to dart to the feeder, grab a seed, and carry it elsewhere to eat. The young tufted titmice grew a little braver after we sat still for some time. They carried on in a camellia bush just next to the porch and used the porch rail as a staging area as they went back and forth to the feeder.
There was a very wary pair of house finches that showed up right after day break every day. It was difficult to photograph them, but I managed to get a couple of shots.
They didn’t mind sharing the feeder with black capped chickadees.
This little brownheaded nuthatch looked so small compared to the whitebreasted nuthatches we are used to seeing in Minnesota. It would cling to the brick column and hop down the rope suspending the birdfeeder.
We saw lots of Northern Cardinals. Cardinals are not comfortable feeding on hanging birdfeeders, but the sunflower seeds were too tempting for them to forego. They would try to perch on the feeder, but it was built for smaller birds, so they usually made a sort of “touch and go” landing as they grabbed a seed to take to the ground or a branch to eat. What they really liked most was to eat spilled seed from off the porch floor, but they would not come to the porch while we were sitting there. I was not able to get a photo of them at the feeders, but did manage to get a shot of a juvenile cardinal in a nearby shrub. I don’t know what that shrub is in the photo. I will have to ask my mother. ;-)
Other birds that we saw but that did not come to the feeder included, blue jays, blue birds, chimney swifts, and doves. One exciting wildlife spotting that I must mention was a red fox that my friend Nancy and I saw early one morning when we had gone for a walk. We saw it back in a wooded area that had a clearing through it for storm sewer drains. I think the fox was as shocked as we were. US red foxes are very secretive animals that are usually not seen near human habitation.
As I get to the end of this post it is obvious that I didn’t keep it very short. But I promise to have more short ones soon!