Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BIGBY weekend birding update

Well, it's nice to know Clawsie's been holding down the blogging fort. I'm surprised she was awake long enough to type that post! I finally remembered my camera, so here is my weekend update -- with a BIGBY milestone!

I took a two-hour walk in the fog Sunday morning and though visibility was quite poor, I was able to notch enough birds on the walk to up my BIGBY list total to 80! Most are yardbirds, but I've been trying to take walks to get a little exercise.

The weather is definitely not cooperating; it's in the 40s today, so I will be keeping my new little tomato and green pepper plants indoors a little longer. I also bought some broccoli on a lark; I hope it turns out well. I think it should do well in this cooler weather now and later on the early fall. It's my first time to grow my own broccoli and I'm totally pumped! I hear the biggest problem with broccoli is WORMS, so I'll have to be diligent. Maybe I can crush up some eggshells and put a ring around each plant. Will those worms be deterred like slugs are?

Of course, any worms I find will make the birds happy!

Here are some pictures to show you how thick the fog was; here, on Rt 45 near the house, visibility is about 50 feet:
I left the house a little before 6 a.m., and if anything the fog worsened the longer I was out; here, on Shook Hollow Rd, we got down to about 30 feet of visibility:
I was hoping to see an indigo bunting on Shook Hollow--I've been lucky on that road with brown thrashers and indigo buntings--but I'm still bunting-less for the year. I did hear several ruby-crowned kinglets staunchly defending their territory as I walked by, and I was also treated to a near-collision between my head and a brown thrasher crossing the road. I wish I had photos of them, but it was hard enough to see and ID the birds as it was. The camera was almost useless in the opaqueness of the mist and the poor light under the canopy of trees that covers the road just before the open fields shown above.

I also saw some examples of the fungus among us:
Check out the size of those mushrooms! (note the dollar for perspective! I learned it on Forensic Files.) If only these were portabellas! Do portabellas grow here? Wild?

This old stump had lots of things growing on it and in it:
It's so wet here that mushrooms and moss grow EVERYWHERE. Nothing like the low-rain territory I'm from in Texas.

After Shook Hollow, I decided to check out the marsh, though the fog was still thick. I discovered that my marsh now has an official name!
That's the marsh owners' dog Max, who loved to play around in the mud. (Note: he is NOT the dog who fowled a Canada goose nest a couple of years ago; oh the horror!) Mary Kay, who owns the marsh and Cooke Tavern (a B&B) with her husband Greg, told me Max passed away last year, but he lived a long and happy life, and now he's immortalized in this sign and on the marsh. They have a bunch of signs all around the marsh now, including one that talks about the invasive purple loosestrife. Let's hope they can change that sign (and kill all the loosestrife) soon.

Here's a shot from my backyard--somewhere in that mist lies a marsh...
There's my little bare garden on the left, waiting for life to sprout.

It was pretty quiet back there, with only a few red-winged blackbirds to keep me company. Here's a female perched on the stupid loosestrife:
Check out my brushpile! One of our lilac trees dropped a big limb/trunk, so I broke it up and added it to my pile. The sparrows love it:

Note how green everything is. We've had almost non-stop rain this year, and today the temps are in the low 50s. Those seeds I planted in the garden are probably freezing their little coats off.

25 comments:

Earl Cootie said...

I guess fog isn't so great for bird-watching, but I love the look of it, the feel of it, the sound of it (Does fog make a sound? If no one's around to hear?) all the same.

We're having a cold, wet spring too. Though we've finally gotten a few days warm enough for shorts.

DCup said...

I love these posts. They feed my nature jones.

We've had at least one indigo bunting on the feeders this month. It's so beautiful, but skittish.

The American Goldfinches have pretty much moved on, but now we're seeing more redwing blackbirds, and we even had a blue grosbeak which just sent me over the birdy moon.

I love the verdant look of everything. As I was driving through Pennsylvania and Virginia last weekend, everything looked so lush.

Hang in there, better gardening days are coming!

Lynne said...

That mushroom looks just like a dollar!

Oh, wait...

I love the picture of the fog in your back yar.

FranIAm said...

This is a post that I want to read over and over and over... and your photos.

This is so sensual and so alive.

NCmountainwoman said...

Do you really think it was a good idea to walk on the road with such fog and limited visibility? Never mind the danger, we loved the pictures and the post.

KGMom said...

Your weather report sounds about right, for here in PA's capital city. Blecchh--I am so tired of rain. But, it certainly has greened things up. I keep thinking that we are living in England.

Susan Gets Native said...

There's so much I love about this post:
1. You made up a word.....buntingless. I am going to try and use that in a sentence tomorrow.
2. You thought about the birds regarding your maybe-broccoli worms. Atta girl.
3. That dollar bill looks like an offering to the Fungus Gods.
4. Hey! There's my chair!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Uuuu It do look bleak ... come ON Summer ....

cindy said...

What a great looking backyard! I love fog, it's so primeaval. Your backyard looks so inviting and relaxing. Hope you get to enjoy it sometimes.

dguzman said...

Earl--me too. I really enjoyed the walk, even if I couldn't see too much. I'm wearing shorts today in spite of temps in the low 50s--I'm in denial.

DCup--glad you enjoyed it. I want to see an indigo bunting! They never come to my feeders; I have to go look for them.

Lynne--you so crazy! Yeah, the backyard rocks--we fell in love with it instantly.

Fran--oooh, say it again!

NCWoman--luckily, traffic was minimal and I got off the main road quickly. Don't worry--I'm always careful.

KGMom--that's exactly what I think--looks like England (as I've seen in movies, anyway!).

Susan--every time I see the chairs out there, I think of you, me, and Laura sitting out there watching those Sharpies trying to get it on in mid-air. Sigh.

Rabbits' Guy--summer's coming! It has to!

Cindy--welcome to the bloggy! Yes, we spend a ton of time in the backyard. When it gets warmer, we even eat out there.

Dusty said...

If only they were Portabellos..sigh :)

I enjoyed your pics, thank you!

ehunter said...

I enjoy these observations you put on your posts. How cool to have a marsh right in the backyard.

As for the mushrooms and dollar - there is a way to fold a dollar bill so that the "mushroom" appears.
Try folding the upper 1/3 of the bill lengthwise so that the top of Washington's head rests on the lower 1/3 - his neck. Hard to explain, but it makes a mushroom. I learned that one when I was around 11 and it still gives me a kick to ask people to find the mushroom on the dollar bill.

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