Bedraggled

Hey man, we’ve all been there.

The cord  (also attached to the limb) spans the length from the tree to the roof of my house and is where the sunflower and peanut feeders hang.

This giggle-worthy scene played out beyond my less-than-pristine kitchen window last Sunday afternoon.  I took the photo from inside the house, understanding that if I ventured outdoors, Mr. Lazybones would skedaddle, which he did anyway, just after I took the shot.

I often see squirrels stretch themselves out, aligning their bodies vertically along branches, but this particular gymnastic straddling is a first that I’ve witnessed.  I guess this little dude likes doing things his own way.

Good for him.

Joining today with Anna and her Wednesday Vignette.   Check out her beautiful Flutter and Hum for musings of various sorts.

 

Change is Afoot

The segue from summer to autumn always catches me by surprise.   Maybe it’s that I live in Texas and September remains warm.

Okay, hot.

Beginning in August and pronounced by early September, I notice the shortening of the days.  My alarm beckons me to dark mornings, which lately sparkled in sunshine.  The end of the day arrives unexpectedly and my garden is swathed in darkness.

Autumn blooms are budding, but just so;  foliage won’t change until late November, into December.  Our second spring–the magnificent bloom period of late September, October, and November–compensates for our hellish July and August.

Inland sea oats, Chasmanthium latifolium, are some of the first to herald change, the promise of autumn.  Even if it’s not yet autumn.

And I notice.

I’m also remembering that day, in 2001:  the blue sky, then smoke and avalanche.  The broken planes, the buildings rubbled.  Remembering those who died and those who helped, and lamenting so much of what’s happened since.

Joining today with Anna and her Wednesday Vignette.   Check out her beautiful Flutter and Hum for musings of various sorts.

 

Knock Wood

In a quiet part of an afternoon, I watched a male Downy WoodpeckerDryobates pubescens, as he rested in foliage shade.

I thought he might be waiting for the right time to pop down to the peanut feeder, which hangs just below where he perched.   But he didn’t want peanuts, he seemed content to sit, and like me, watch.

Until this past spring, I enjoyed only fleeting glimpses of downies in my garden.  Typically they’ve visited during winter months, in bare trees, and as pairs.  Always they were up high in those trees and constantly in motion, brief black and white visages until gone from my sight.  In April (or so) I placed a peanut feeder in the garden and since then, the downies are regular visitors, though summer saw a downturn in downy activity.

Mr Downy’s red cap is a head turner that will surely attract a mate, if it hasn’t already.

I wonder if this is Daddy Downy who visited regularly last spring with his mate and offspring? Or perhaps this is the offspring?  Though I originally thought baby downy was female, I could be wrong.  Downies know better about these things than birding gardeners.

Birds are less active in my garden during the summer months.  The resident birds are around, feeding, bathing, and harassing one another, but mostly done with chick-rearing and not yet interested in mate-finding. The migratory birds are long gone north for nesting adventures.  Hummers hunt nectar from the plants and disappear in flashes.

I’m tickled that a new birding season has already begun.  Migrating birds from breeding grounds in far North America are appearing in my garden as they make their way to wintering homes in Mexico, and Central and South America.  The resident birds and winter visitors will settle in for the next breeding season, preening new plumage and pairing for new progeny.  With good luck–and plenty of peanuts, black-oiled sunflowers, and food from native plants–this backyard birder will relish the autumn, winter, and spring bird bonanza.