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Posts tagged ‘Photographs’

Wildflowers Part 2 of 2

Here are the other photographs of wildflowers that were blooming in my yard and around the street I live on this past Summer and early Fall.  I don’t know the names of most of the flowers.  These are such a lovely sight as many different types of the wild flowers were blooming along the street at once.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

The One Lovely Blog Award

A fellow blogger, Eleenie, who writes the wonderful blog, http://denobears.wordpress.com  has nominated my blog for the “One Lovely Blog” award.  I am touched and accept.  This is the first award my blog has received and I highly appreciate the honor!  A part of this award is for me to let you know about some of the great blogs I follow.  I also have been asked to tell you seven different things about myself.  So here goes – seven random tidbits about me include:

  1. I like Mexican food.
  2. I have been to Fanning Island, in the Republic of Kiribati as a tourist.
  3. Some of my hobbies are target archery, playing musical instruments, and making crafts.
  4. I follow the University of Notre Dame football team on TV.
  5. I am a native of California but have lived in Tennessee for three years now.
  6. I am totally thrilled about writing this blog!  Very happy to have International readers, too!
  7. My husband and I have been married many years and have an adult son who is living in California.

As far as the blog nominees goes, I would simply say that I nominate all of the bloggers that appear at the right here on my select blog roll.  Not all will participate and that is perfectly OK by me.  These blogs are really outstanding, are nature and wildlife oriented, and have very nice people writing, illustrating, and/or photographing them.  The bloggers all work quite hard, are committed to being great communicators and are nice to our precious environment.  Good job all!  I will be back to the regular content here with my next post.  Thanks again to Eleenie for the most-welcome honor!

A Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker Makes an Appearance

The Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker woodpecker sometimes comes around my yards.  At least one Flicker lives in a hollowed-out Oak Tree down the street and on occasion comes to my suet feeder.  That same bird sometimes also hunts for insects in the Hickory Trees or the Oaks here and will once in a while browse on the ground for bugs and worms.  The Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker is a large woodpecker with a beige body and head that has dark brown spots.  The male has a black mustache-like marking on its chin.  The Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker has faintly mustard-yellow colored shafts on its large tail feathers.  These yellow shafts can be seen from the underside at the ends of the tail feathers.  The Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker has a very loud siren-like call that sounds a lot like that of the Pileated Woodpecker.  I am always pleased to see these lovely big woodpeckers.  I am really crazy about all of the woodpeckers.  As a species, all of the woodpeckers are pretty-much my favorite birds!  I took these pictures from my windows on February 14, 2011.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Look at Some Grey Squirrels

There are about five resident Grey Squirrels in my yards.  The Grey Squirrels are quite appealing when they are sitting up and eating, laying on a branch, or just scampering about in the yards.  The Grey Squirrels eat nuts, seeds, berries, fruits, grasses, and parts of some plants.  Like the rest of the rodents, the squirrel’s teeth keep growing continually.  The chewing and gnawing that the squirrel does, helps grind their teeth to a proper length for their health and comfort.  The big strong teeth are useful in breaking the hull of tough walnuts and hickory nuts.  Squirrels are also tremendously great jumpers.  It is just amazing to see a squirrel leap from one branch to another that may be about six feet away, but maybe some ten to fifteen feet up in the air.  The squirrels are very sure-footed.  The squirrels use their tail, claws, and toes to help them balance on thin branches and yes, telephone lines.   I am quite happy to have these cute little neighbors.   Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

House Finches in All Their Glory

House Finches are quite pretty.  These small birds have been coming to my bird feeders a lot more often in the past week. The males are sporting their bright salmon to coral-red feathering on their upper half of their body, neck, and head.  This red coloring is not solid but is fairly streaky and has an under-coat of brown feathers.  The female House Finch could easily be mistaken for a sparrow.  The female House Finch has the same shape as the male but lacks the distinctive salmon or coral-red on its head.  Both genders have a short wedge-shaped beak.  The House Finch likes to eat Millet, Niger, Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (Especially if shelled), and pieces of shelled peanuts and other small nuts.  House Finches will eat from the bird feeder or will browse on the ground where bird seed has been put out or has fallen from the feeders.  Several of my photographs show the House Finches eating seeds off the lawn and in the flower bed.  I have purposely put some bird food out on the ground just for the ground feeding birds.  The House Finches also like to fly, flit, and browse the taller native weeds and plants for seed.  In one of the pictures here, you can see a female House Finch standing next to an Eastern Bluebird and a Mourning Dove.  The House Finch is sociable and seems to get along with other birds.  I have really liked seeing these finches.  I took these pictures on 2/20/11 and 2/21/11 from my windows.  The weather this morning here is rainy but fairly warm with temps going to be in the low-to-mid 50’s F.   Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

An “Upside Down” Bird?

The White-Breasted Nuthatch is so acrobatic that it can actually walk on the branches or tree trunk upside down.  The secret is that this bird has some serious little claws!  The ability to scamper all over and around on trees helps the White-Breasted Nuthatch to more easily get the food it needs.   This tiny grey white and black bird eats seeds, and insects.  The bark of the hardwood trees is mostly where the White-Breasted Nuthatch will be found.  In my own yards, the Oaks, Hickories and Black Walnut Trees are favorite places for finding food and for just perching.  The White-Breasted Nuthatch likes to fly with its friends the Tufted Titmice, the Carolina Chickadees, and the Brown Creepers.  I occasionally will see the White-Breasted Nuthatch here with the smaller woodpeckers, too.  I am not too surprised to even see this engaging bird climbing along the wooden railing on my second story deck!  The White-Breasted Nuthatch is sure a fun bird to watch.  I took these photographs from my windows and deck during the last two weeks.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

Crows Enjoying the Warmer Weather

Common Crows sometimes hang around my yards.  Now that the weather is warmer, the Crows have been out and about in my neighborhood more often.   I sometimes see these big black-colored birds searching on the ground for left-over bird food such as corn, sunflower seeds and nuts.  The Crows also tend to come and go in noisy mini flocks of three to six in number.  In addition to seeds, nuts and fruits, Common Crows will eat almost all types of meat and insects.  The Crows, like the buzzards or vultures are natures clean-up squad.  Yes, they are carrion eaters.  Not the most wonderful (to us) thought, but that  tendency to eat what is available, is a trait of these intelligent and highly social birds.  The Crows here don’t cause any trouble as far as I have experienced or heard.

Although the Crows are pretty noisy at times with all of the loud “Caw-caw-caw” calling between members of the flock or “Murder” of Crows (an old term for a group of Crows), this is nothing disruptive or unpleasant.  The Crows have very large nests that are high in the larger trees.  Some of these nests actually are as big and well-built as the ones built by the Grey Squirrels in the trees.  Once in a while, I have seen a group of the Crows chase a Hawk for the food the Hawk was carrying.  These chases also were possibly due to a territorial dispute.   All in all, it is interesting to see the Crows and I am glad they occasionally come to call.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Brighter-Colored Goldfinches

The feather coloring of the male Goldfinches has day-by-day been getting brighter in recent weeks.  The male Goldfinches will become a very bright lemon yellow in color during the nesting season.  I have started to see the males become a stronger yellow and even the females are starting to brighten.  The female Goldfinches are not anywhere nearly as lemon yellow but will be a light mustard or olive yellow in color.  Goldfinches are very small birds that are just about the same size as the Sparrows and Juncos.  The Goldfinches love the feeders.  They enjoy Millet, Niger, and the smaller Black Oil Sunflower Seeds.  I have a few female Goldfinches that basically camp out perched on the front yard feeder.  I have seem these ladies sit for as long as 10 minutes!  I don’t know if this is just because the birds are basking in the sunshine, are tired and resting, or are being territorial and are claiming the feeder as “Theirs”.  I took these pictures from my windows on several days during the last couple of weeks.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Waterfowl Here This Winter, Part 1

Drake and Hen Ruddy Ducks

The private community lake here in Cumberland County, Tennessee where I live has seen Bufflehead Ducks, Greater Scaup Ducks, Lesser Scaup Ducks,  Mallard Ducks, Hooded Merganser Ducks, Red-Head Ducks, Ring-Neck Ducks, Ruddy Ducks, as well as Canada Geese, a Greylag Goose, American Coots, Pied-Billed Grebes, Western Grebes, and  a few Northern Loons visiting this winter.  Our 101 acre private community lake is very quiet during the winter months so the waterfowl are safe here.  There seems to be plenty to eat with lawns, water plants, insects, fish, and small aquatic animals here in the lake and along the shore.  We do not allow hunting within our community so that adds to the security the waterfowl feel.  The lake is a man-made fishing lake with many homes and a hardwood forest ringing the shore.  These ducks are all wonderful and I have been happy to have had the chance to see them!  Part two of this series will be posted here in coming days and will show photographs of different duck species.  I took the pictures of the Bufflehead Ducks yesterday afternoon.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Drake Bufflehead Ducks

Hen Bufflehead Ducks

Drake Ring-Neck Duck

Hen Ring-Neck Duck

Got Bird Food???

These are some of the funny pictures that I have recently taken.  The first is of the Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker on the suet fat block feeder with some unexpected company, a Starling.   The next is of the Grey Squirrel trying to snag a piece of that same suet and meeting with the disapproval of the Starling that is on the top of the same feeder.  The last photograph is of a drake Mallard Duck that showed who is boss when an American Coot got a bit too close to all of that fallen birdseed mix on the ground under the feeder.  Who would have thought that the mild-mannered Mallard was so aggressive toward its neighbors?  I hope you enjoy these pictures that I took this past week from my window.  By the way, our weather is just beautiful!  We also have had a raccoon visit the backyard during the very early morning hours (another bird feeder bandit!).  The raccoon was seen for the first time by my husband just this morning at 5:00 AM.  We had taken the entire feeder inside because it was being emptied overnight!  I buy expensive bird food so we took the step to ensure a fair shake for the birds!  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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