Saturday, November 17, 2012

Giving Thanks

We're fast approaching the time of year we set aside for giving thanks. If you follow this blog much, you know I believe in living in a thankful attitude day to day. It has made a difference in my life, and I know the Source of all to give thanks to! Enjoy this week's offering, with thanksgiving.

 A surprise traveler; a lone hummingbird stopped by one day. He found no feeders out, so spent a little time preening in the nearby live oak, and was on his way. God speed!

 This Friday morning was spectacular on the porch; cool and breezy. The morning sky in the west was filled with low flying clouds filled with color.

 The parade of clouds in the east made for hit-and-miss with the early morning sun lighting up the trees beyond the pond. Better have the camera ready!

 A surprise visitor came out of the woods to check out the meager offering of the possum haw holly. I hear the Robins from time to time, but rarely see them in the yard. I stepped off the porch and headed toward him, hoping to get a few shots off before he was done with the berries.

 He didn't stay for long, but long enough for a few shots.

 The marigolds have been drawing the butterflies and moths. This guy is a 'Fiery Skipper'!

 And here we have the 'Queen' butterfly.

 When words fail, I just say 'Glory!'

 This soft morning I thought I saw a different bird on the Lady Banks Rose. My guess was a Yellow-rumped Warbler, but wasn't sure.

 Thanks! A well-timed wing flutter and I got my confirmation! Welcome another winter regular, though we see them a lot more at the office than at the yard.

 This is another Skipper, the 'Common Checkered' Skipper. And you know how I feel about 'common'. If not, check out 'Mr. Smith Takes a Vacation' and see how Jimmy Stewart deals with his bird-watching boss.

 Welcome back another winter regular, the White-crowned Sparrow and his mate.

I'll be working on getting you some better looks at these guys.

I need some help here from my butterfly experts. Couldn't find this one in my google search. Sister-in-law Aggie wins the prize! She responded quickest with the i.d. as a Bordered Patch butterfly! (Aggie, check with me later on that prize.)

 This Red-bellied Woodpecker showed up across the yard and didn't stay long. His call is distinctive, and I know he's around a lot, he just doesn't show himself much.

 Well, this black squirrel is taking advantage of the Thanksgiving feast I offer at the deck at my office. Just in case he can't stay long, he loads up his cheeks for snacking later. He provides us with lots of entertainment.

 The Chickadee at the office feeder. Quite the gentleman!

 We'll close with this series of shots of the Scrub Jay captured at the office deck. The day was cool and sunny, with lots of nuts and sunflower seeds on the deck. They were coming in for their Thanksgiving feast.

 A little bit skittish, but the power of the feast offering was greater than their fear of the strange man with the black instrument standing in the window.

As you can see, the craw was full before the decision was made to exit stage right!
And may your bellies be full, and your spirits full of true joy and thanksgiving this season of gratitude!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mid-Autumn Mix

Here we are approaching mid-autumn and the activity at the feeders has picked up a little, as well as quite a bit of butterfly activity in the yard. 
Enjoy this week's offering.

 This Black-crested Titmouse has been coming to the office window and fighting his image in the glass. So far,no serious injuries!

 The leaves are slowly turning on the cedar elms, and pond weeds dying around the perimeter. It was a cool autumn morning on the porch.

 The salvia survived the summer, has been enjoying some fall rains, and now is attracting some butterflies.

 They're here! They're here! A couple of Gadwalls showed up one morning on the pond and I spent the day trying to sneak up close enough to get a good picture. This female is stretching her wings.

They spent the day cruising the pond and enjoying the pond weeds.

 One day these yellow butterflies were all over the flowering plants. They are Southern Dog-face Sulfur butterflies. Who woulda known?

All I know is that when that tongue comes out of the flower, it really curls up!

 This day at the office I got to leave the window open most of the day. The Cardinal came for a bath.

 He was having so much fun that the House Finches came to see what the commotion was.

 Even the black squirrel looked like he wanted to get in on the action. 

 House Finches enjoying the water.

 They have nice rosey glow.

 Then the hoarse call of the Scrub Jay told me they were in the neighborhood. He flew to the deck and filled up his craw with peanuts.

The Chickadee gave me a nice pose on the feeder.

 Mr. Mockingbird continues to come around. He was eyeing the bird bath, but didn't come in for the dip.

Back at the yard, a bee getting some nectar.

 Here is a winter visitor we haven't seen for some years; the Red-breasted Nuthatch.

 He's quick and nervous, so you better be ready to shoot.

 He grabs a sunflower seed, flies to the nearby oak, and crams it into the folds of the bark.

And he uses that beak similar to a woodpecker. He also nests in holes in the tree, and coats the opening with a sticky pitch. We'll be on the lookout for a nest.