Saturday, May 2, 2015

birds and bees

actually, more like birds and flowers. haven't seen many bees, sadly, except for the massive ones that are probably carpenter bees.

to my growing collection of flora photos, i can now add:

butterfly bush? at claude moore park (further research based on a kind commenter inspired me to take another look - it's probably a lilac, which also attracts butterflies. it was on a fairly massive bush.)

another variety of butterfly bush? at claude moore park (wondering now if this is wisteria)


more azaleas, this time in white

carl sagan's flower, the dandelion


pretty tulips
it just keeps getting better at my house. remember that gray tree frog i found? now we've got the deer coming back around to nibble on new growth.

white-tailed doe
now for my birds. i'm getting better at identifying birds by their calls, plus seeing some up close is wonderfully gratifying. diana spotted a blue jay on the tree nearest her window - what luck! i saw it later in the day. a male, i think, based on coloring.

canada geese at claude moore park
i took this video to capture the song of a male cardinal on the path near school. you can't see that it's a cardinal, but please just trust me when i say that it is. he was close by on a bush and then flew up over me and sang.

there are at least two male cardinals that frequent our back deck area. a friend pointed out to me that the absence of the crest feathers on top of their heads probably indicate that they have been fighting. having seen a female around, too, i wonder if they are battling it out for nesting/mating/territory privileges. i've yet to take a good photo of any of them, but i am content to sit and notice them when they come by. black-capped chickadees pop over to our place, and the crows are ever-present.

my big excitement recently was the woodpecker i saw up close. on the first of may i posted to my favorite mud puddles to meteors facebook page about it:
you guys! i just saw a woodpecker on our neighbor's gutter! i was upstairs and heard the drumming. when i peeked out the window, there it was. i had startled it, unfortunately, so it flew to a nearby tree, but i was definitely able to see the red head. i didn't notice the shape well enough to see if it had a crest, but the well-defined black-and-white barring on the wings and the red on the crown only helped me to narrow it down to a red-bellied woodpecker or an adult female yellow-bellied sapsucker, according toCornell Lab of Ornithology. i wish i could remember if there were the distinctive black facial markings. only hearing the drumming once was not enough for me to distinguish between the two just by sound. i am so, so, so excited about my new bird-watching hobby!
i've probably shared on some other form of social media the resources that i am finding to be most useful:

cornell lab of ornithology website

free phone app north american birds

bird song ear training guide CD selected by my husband at a local independent all-things-bird store

the previously-mentioned mud puddles to meteors facebook page and website - good for both my birding and flower-identifying enthusiasm

oh, and there was that cd of bird songs at the assisted living facility where my grandmother-in-law resides. i found it and played part of it one sunday afternoon for us to enjoy. lo and behold - i heard the call that had been in my mind for years, ever since we moved here, in fact, and there it was on that cd. a white-throated sparrow. thank goodness i could resolve that nagging question in my mind.


  1. This is so great, Dawn! I love all that you are learning.
    The photo of the dogwood is stunning. I might have to hunt around the city to find one of those this spring.
    That bird song ear training guide looks awesome! It is now on my list!
    The first photo looks like our lilac, wondering if it has different names.
    Thanks for sharing Mud Puddles too. I love all of the sharing you do in the group! xx

    1. thanks so much for reading & commenting, dawn! you have been so wonderfully encouraging and inspirational via mud puddles.

      oh, maybe it is a lilac! the person i was walking with was certain that both of those plants were butterfly bushes and my initial google image comparisons sure looked that way. i'm glad you suggested lilac - now i'm doing more research. i remember it smelling heavenly. thank you, thank you!