Sunday, March 24, 2013

More Signs of Spring

This week's offering is limited. Not sure if it means I'm busy at the office or what. But this week being Jan's birthday, I did spend a lot of time on yard projects without the camera!
Enjoy a few more signs of Spring.

 Figured it was time to hang a more decorative hummingbird feeder, and found this bargain. The hummers have been slow to come to it, but this Black-chinned fellow was checking it out today.

 I have heard that the more feeders you put out, the more hummingbirds you will have. We'll see!

I was running the sprinkler on the lantana, and saw the hummingbird flying around. Then I caught this action. First time I have ever seen a hummingbird sit down on the ground. He treated it like a bird bath.

First visitor at the office deck. The Black-chinned will show us a little of his purple.

 A large snake coming through the trees is usually not a welcome sight, but this is a Rat Snake, and he'll help keep mice away from the office.


 This blustery Sunday morning the Carolina Wren were all over the porch checking out the church house for nesting. The male was singing his territorial song, loud and clear.

I told Jan he was singing happy birthday for her!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nearing Spring

The weather has been exceptional, bringing forth the blooms, the bugs, and the birds. Enjoy this week's variety of the signs of Spring.

One of our winter visitors, the White-crowned Sparrow, continues to hang at the yard. We have even seen one on the deck at the office.

He's usually munching from the stone border close to the Lady Banks Rose.

This Cardinal was enjoying the watering dish at the office deck.

We continue to enjoy the regular presence of the Ring necks and Gadwall ducks, though I believe the Ring necks have headed for their summer haunts.

 The male Lesser Goldfinch peeking at me from the thistle sock.

 The American Goldfinches are yet with us, though I expect them to leave soon.

A rare sight, our two Goldfinch varieties in one shot.

 He heard there were peanuts available. Oops, picked up the wrong goodie.

 For many years at the office conference room, Cardinals constantly fought their mirror images in the reflective windows. They have been replaced by a very tenacious Titmouse.

 This male House Finch has the most rosy red on him that I have seen.

The Pine Siskins, more winter visitors that are still hanging in there, literally.

 Likewise the Red-breasted Nuthatch. He sure is busy storing food, I'm just not sure who is going to enjoy it, 'cause this guy will head north soon.

The Great Blue Heron was enjoying the pond, and quickly flew when I stepped out on the porch. But he didn't go far, stopping on the far side of the meadow, and spending the rest of the morning perched in the low limbs of the big Pecan tree that died.

 Our Red-shouldered Hawk buzzed the pond, picked something up, and went to the far side of the pond. Didn't phase the ducks, they just kept dunking.

 My Spring gardening is interrupted when I hear a familiar call and grab the camera to try to get a shot. This is a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, taking flight.

 Our neighbor tells us that this wild turkey had twelve chicks last year, and are hanging around in our woods. We just never see them, so this was a Sunday morning surprise, sauntering along between our fence line and the pond. Then it launched and actually flew across the creek to the other side.

 In the same tree with the Ladder-back, this is the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. I can only assume he's looking for gnats!

 The Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Are we possibly seeing the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher catching a gnat?

This is Polyphemus, the big ole moth. When those wings are spread out, those rings are 4 and they are filled with a transparent membrane. Makes for quite an image!

 Glory! Our first Bluebonnets have shown up in our field next door.

 This colorful moth is visiting our Mexican Plum tree, that is blooming like never before.

 Unidentified butterfly on the Mexican Plum tree.

And the bees are really enjoying the blooms!

 We'll close with a couple of Hummingbird Moths. This one is the Sphinx hummingbird moth. I was surprised that the other flying bug acting the same way was actually another variety of hummingbird moth.

So this guy is the Clear-winged hummingbird moth. You can see these guys are both enjoying our Vinca Major, that is blooming again this year as in days past. A walk around my place is just filled with the amazing evidence of our Creator God!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In Like a Lion

We welcomed March in with a pretty severe wind storm for our area, but the birds weathered it well. Our treat this week is our earliest spotting of a hummingbird on the porch. Enjoy.

 The Orange-crowned Warbler is still gracing the deck at the office.

 A Carolina Chickadee pauses just long enough for a picture.

 This morning the pond was a glassy mirror.

 The American Goldfinches are showing up at the office and the porch. 

 This young one is starting to put on some of his summer glory, and getting a little bit of that black cap as well.

 The Black-crested Titmouse at the dish.

 The Goldfinches flashing some of their color.

 When there are peanuts in the offing, the Scrubjay is not far away.

 Here is my Saturday morning surprise at the porch; an early March visit of a Ruby-throated hummingbird. Earliest sighting for this young birder.

 You can be sure we hung the feeders out immediately. I'll be carrying extra sugar to the office tomorrow to make sure we're covered there.

 Scrub Jay at the office deck.

One more shot of the hummingbird. Partial to the Salvia, but didn't bother with the yellow Jessamine.

 But this guy didn't shy away from the Jessamine.

  A little tail damage did not slow him down from being all over the plant.

We'll close with a few remaining Gadwalls enjoying a glassy Sunday morning pond.