Monday, April 23, 2012




Wished I could tell you it was a productive day but with the cold temperatures outside & heavy wind gusts coming in we just ended up inside all day.  Watched a DVD & puttered on the puter.  I have new books to read but I have to be in the right frame of mind for reading & today just wasn't it.  In fact, it seems I do most of my reading when we are on the road.  I will have more to say about these books in a later post because one has been written by a fellow Blogger & another one in part has been written by a reader.


Found another reader’s comment in our Spam folder this morning so you might want to keep an eye on your Spam folder from time to time folks. Just go to your Blogger Dashboard & click on the word ‘Comments’ & then the word ‘Spam’. Scroll through. Always a good idea to keep this folder cleaned out.


Another call from my Urologist this morning has lined me up for an Ultra-Sound for the middle of May.  That now makes 6 medical appointments before I even get into the operating room.  And here I thought all along all this Doctor stuff was for older folks.  Seems I have been out of touch with myself these past few years.



A walk around our front yard these days sounds like a walk in a country meadow.  It is the call of Red Wing Blackbirds that is the sound of rural Spring for me.  Grackles dominate the feeders with noisy Blue Jays winging in & harassing them.  Crimson Cardinals dart from nearby Cedars & are generally the last birds at the feeders at night.  Mourning Doves scour the ground for seeds along with Black Capped Chickadees & an assortment of other small brown birds.  A Hairy Woodpecker along with a Northern Flicker both seen in the yard just hours apart along with a Red Bellied Woodpecker last week.  Crows dart amongst the Pine trees.  One Scarlet Tanager & of course lots of Robins.  Baltimore Orioles are appearing as well as a couple Rose Breasted Grosbeaks.  Purple & American Gold Finches at the Niger seed feeder.  The Dark Eyed Juncos have pretty well all left for the season and I have seen a few Cowbirds in the yard.  No sign of the White Breasted Nuthatches or Indigo Buntings yet.  But soon.  And always overhead soar the many Turkey Vultures.  Hawks are not often seen in the woods but their shrill calls can be heard.  At night we have the hauntingly quiet sounds of Great Horned Owls.  Yes, it’s quite a little Birding paradise we have here:))


Now, after reading the above paragraph it might seem like I am quite a knowledgeable bird person.  But, that would be a misconception.  I know most of the birds frequenting our front yard simply because it’s the same feathered gang every year.  And, I do have a few Junior bird books on hand.  Now, I have heard the saying, ‘a horse with a different color’ & yesterday’s identification of a feathered fellow in flight turned out to be a ‘bird of a different color.  I’m talking about the bird taking flight from a pond across the road.  In the photo the bird appears blue when in fact it probably had more shades of green & gray to it.  Because of it’s long neck, size, & gangly legs I assumed it was a Great Blue Heron.  Not so!!  JUDY was able to straighten me out again by letting me know it was a Green Heron.  OK, why the blue color?  Next paragraph for the answer….and it really has nothing to do with the bird:))



You will notice in Sunday’s Heron photos how sunny the background is.  The Heron itself is still in shadow.  A camera struggles with an exposure like this because of the 2 contrasting light situations.  The camera’s light sensor instantly decides on what it thinks is the correct exposure.  In this case it chose a middle ground so we see some detail in the sunny grass behind the Heron & we also see some detail in the darker shadows in the foreground.  In a situation like this the camera defaults to a blue caste in the shadow area.  You will often see this blue color in distant mountain photos.  Hence it made the Green Heron appear blue.  Judy has a much sharper eye than I for these things and far more experience at identifying birds, so in this case, instead of calling a Blue Heron blue, I should have called it Green.  I default to Judy.  Thanks J:))  



GROANER’S CORNER:((     Old ranch owner John farmed a small ranch in Montana.  The Montana Wage and Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his workers and sent an agent out to interview him.

'I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,' demanded the agent.

'Well,' replied old John, 'There's my ranch hand who's been with me for 3 years. I pay him $600 a week plus free room and board. The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $500 a week plus free room and board. Then there's the half-wit who works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night.'

'That's the guy I want to talk to, the half-wit,' says the agent.

'That would be me,' replied old rancher John.

- Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right  now...AL.


  1. Like today's groaner. :)

    I do miss the songbirds, not many in this part of the desert. I used to have a place up in the Colorado mountains, and every spring I loved hearing the sound of the red wing blackbirds. And the magpies would make such a ruckus when the young left the nest and were following the parents around demanding to be fed.

    One of my neighbors actually took out his shotgun one day and started shooting at them. He worked nights and was trying to sleep. That landed him in a bit of trouble with the local sheriff, as it was a subdivision and kids were around. :)

  2. Your bird pictures are absolutely fantastic! The colors are so vivid.

  3. We have a few birds here but the trees are a fair distance away from us , and the wind today was not allowing them much freedom of flight. Us like you, not much outside fun today either. But could always be worse. Soon the weather will be nice, right?

  4. I had a lot of the same birds visiting my feeders in NC, and I sure do miss seeing them. The photo of the goldfinches is gorgeous!

  5. I've seen some red winged blackbirds here in the employee park. This morning I saw what looked like a bluebird sitting on the water spigot in the vacant site next to mine. I hope to get some pictures. I did not have any bluebirds in my yard in Illinois.

  6. We had a lot of colourful song birds coming to our feeders in Cold Lake Alberta. I bought a bird book and I took part in bird counts. The mornings were full of their songs, just wonderful! When finally the loon would start his eery laughing song we knew spring had come.
    Unfortunately her on the island there are not so many different song birds. I really envy you!

  7. Your bird pictures are tremendous. I'm just amazed that the common birds in your yard in April to what I consider the far north are mostly the same ones we would see at our feeders in Virginia.

    Tell Kelly many thanks for the comment and that the county park where we are has a 14 day limit for one stay and 90 days a year. Since we have to stay in the area, we go somewhere for a week and then come back and do it again.


  8. We have had many Cardinals , Finches, Sparrows and some Chickadees at our feeders...I am patiently awaiting the Hummers..That officially means Spring it here...Urology appointments..I can see you 7 and raise it 3...;-))

  9. Not too long ago, all our comments were going into Spam. We have no idea what the heck was happening.
    Keep you in our prayers though out your long medical ordeal.
    Love all the photos. They are so beautiful!

  10. When I take Jack for his short walks I put the bird call ap on and you'd be surprised at how the birds notice. Sometimes I have a parade following me. I listen first to see which birds are singing and pick that one out of hundreds that I have on the iPhone.

    Enjoyed your post, as always.

  11. You certainly do live in quite a beautiful rural area, a birders paradise. Reminds me of where I once lived and would hear the great horned owls at night. It is a haunting sound but comforting in its own way.


  12. Sounds like a tough day having to sit inside watching all these colorful birds.

    I did wonder about the "blue" heron, definitely looks more like a green, except the color looked really cool.

    Once you start going to doctors it seems never to stop. I just started with a physical a few weeks ago and seems I've now seen more docs than in decades. Oh yea, maybe that's because I didn't have health insurance for decades.

  13. We do so enjoy our birds and listening to their joyful chirps. They are so fun to watch and feed!
    Groaner's corner is sometimes so true with small business owners and farmers!!

  14. I too always default to Judy when identifying birds! Mike loved the groaner!

  15. As bird lovers, we enjoy looking in on your Bird Paradise, Al!!
    You do get most of them right, especially with detailed photos of them! I can practically count their feathers!! :)

    Kathy from

  16. Great bird photos, funny how when we were younger birdwatching never interested us. As we got older we are really getting into it.