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Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Hi everyone. It’s Millie here. Our mom finally got around to taking some pictures of what is flowering in our yard right now and then she actually said we could do a post. We have lots of perennials and some shrubs in bloom right now so let’s take a look.

Goats Beard – Aruncus dioicus

Goats Beard – close up

Hosta

The hummingbirds just love drinking from the hosta.

Stella D’Oro Daylily

Spirea flowers

Therese Bugnet rose

Rugosa Rose

Amsonia and Ladies Mantle

Amsonia – close up

Campanula Blue Waterfall

Campanula Blue Waterfall – close up

Clematis

I hope you enjoyed checking out some of the flowers blooming in our yard right now. This is what I was doing while mom was taking all those pictures.

This is my happy place.

We are joining Rosy for this weeks Flower Friday. Stop by her blog to see what other blogs are doing. They probably have flowers of their own to show.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Boy I must not have been thinking straight yesterday when I posted about our orioles at our feeder because I forgot to include the video I made to go along with it.

So without further ado here it is.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Enjoy!

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here to tell you about some of the wild bird excitement we’ve had in the past few days. On Saturday morning we saw a Baltimore Oriole feeding from our hummingbird feeder.

Male Baltimore Oriole on hummingbird feeder

In a short time we were able to see at least 3 male Orioles and one female.

Male Baltimore Oriole on hummingbird feeder while female waits her turn

One of the things Orioles like to eat from are fruits and oranges are a favorite. Since we had a supply of oranges in the fridge Charlie decided to make an orange feeder. After a little while in his workshop an orange feeder was created.

An orange feeder with room for half an orange on each side.

All it took were a few scraps of wood (that were already treated with protective coating) and a sturdy piece of wire salvaged from an old bookcase. A couple of screw eyes to hang it with and we were in business.

We put the orange feeder just a few feet away from the hummingbird feeder and within minutes the orioles were exploring it.

Sometimes there was even a waiting line in the tree above the feeder and other times there was an oriole on both sides.

In the morning when I take the dogs out for their first “business” run I now add orange feeder maintenance to the routine.

A well used orange

Needless to say the new feeder is a hit with the orioles. We think we have at least 2 males and 2 females so we are hoping they stick around all summer so we might get to see their babies too. Most summers we’ve had glimpses of orioles around our property but this is the first year we’ve ever had them come to our hummingbird feeders so we hope to see much more of them.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We’ve just finished a crazy week (or so). Let’s catch you up.

It all started last Wednesday night, March 8th. Our area in Rochester, NY was experiencing a very nasty wind storm. The gusts were predicted to be around 60 mph but the highest gust registered that day was 84 mph! Needless to say by 7:30 pm we lost power. Mom and dad gathered some lights and candles and we all settled down in the bedroom hoping the power would come back soon.

Hooking by Headlamp

It was too early to go to bed so mom did some crochet with the help of her headlamp. We finally turned off the lights and went to bed around 9:30 pm. By 7 am we were awake and cold. Thanks to our gas fireplace we didn’t stay cold for long. Mom was worried about the food in the fridge and freezer so she got our generator going and then we had some lights too. Luckily our power came back on by about 3 pm.

Our Oma wasn’t so lucky she lost power the same day as us and after spending a couple nights with friends came to our house on Saturday since her house was still without power.

Oma you give good pats

We enjoyed having an extra pair of hands around to pet us and one more plate to lick clean after each meal. Oma was lucky to get her power back late the next day so she went home after dinner Sunday.

All was calm around here for about 24 hours and then Snow Storm Stella made her way to us. It snowed for about 48 hours straight and when it was all done we had over 26 inches (about 66 cm) of new snow on the ground! That’s 3rd on the all time list for continuous snow in March for our area.

Look at the snow drifts on our patio and roof!

We didn’t let a little snow stop us from enjoying a our time outside though. Dad had to clean some snow off the roofs below our skylights.

The snow was over mom’s knees.

And mom had to fill up the suet feeder for the birds. It was still snowing and blowing so hard it was coming down sideways.

I’m going to catch you Millie

We did what we usually do and had a blast dashing through the snow.

I have to break a trail to the big tree

You can see how deep the snow is but that didn’t slow us down at all.

Good work on the roof dad

Here is a video of some of our action.


If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

I love to just sit in the snow

Millie just loves to sit in the snow waiting for Walter to come out and play with her but sometimes she would just take off behind the plantings to explore.

Where did she go?

We didn’t let Stella slow us down and had a great time playing. It was quite cold at around 15° F (-9° C) so the snow was a very fine, dry powder.

Will this be our last storm of the season?

As you can see we made the most of a crazy week. It’s been a couple of days since all that snow fell and our temps have climbed to the upper 30’s (3-4° C). All that snow has started to melt and the snow pack has shrunk to about 6-8″.

This might not be our last snow of the season but we sure don’t expect to get that much again until next year. After such a mild February this March has been quite wild so far.

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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. A couple of weeks ago we were woken up in the morning by a banging on a window downstairs somewhere. Charlie remembered the same thing happening last year at about the same time of year and was pretty sure he knew what it was. On closer inspection his suspicions were confirmed. Watch this video to see who was doing the knocking.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

We are so excited to see our Eastern Bluebirds back for another season and are fairly certain that this is the same pair we had last year.

Hello Mrs. Bluebird

Hello Mrs. Bluebird

Our suspicions that this is the same pair is based on the fact that the female exhibited the same behavior of attacking the windows as she did last year. This pair is already staking their claim to one of our bluebird nest boxes (the same one they used last year).

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Photo courtesy of Google Earth

Above is a satellite view of our house. We have two bluebird nest boxes indicated by the arrows. From the spring of 2010 through the summer of 2014 we had a pair of bluebirds nesting in the Meadow Box. We watched them raise multiple broods and enjoyed close up views when they would all come to our mealworm feeder in the yard. In 2015 we were without any resident bluebirds but in 2016 another pair showed up. This pair picked the Driveway Box to nest in. We were a little disappointed since the Driveway box is not easily viewed from inside the house or even from the back yard.

Another disappointing thing about this pair is that last year they never discovered our mealworm feeder. Even though we put out worms and every other bird in the yard would feed there, this pair didn’t seem to figure it out. They would use the birdbath that was just a few feet away but the activity of the other birds never enticed them to visit the feeder.

They're using the feeder!

They’re using the feeder!

This year they came back well before any natural food is available, like live bugs, so we think that is why they finally found the feeder. We have just finished the warmest February in history for our area and never before have we seen a pair of bluebirds take up residence so soon. We have our fingers (and paws) crossed that they eventually bring their babies to the feeder so we can enjoy seeing them this year. We don’t think they are nesting quite yet as we haven’t seen Mrs. Bluebird bringing any nesting material to the box. It is still quite early and on average too cold for that yet.

Thanks for making a mess of our windows

Thanks for making a mess of our windows

One by product of Mrs. Bluebird’s activities is that all our windows are now full of smudges from her wings. I guess this is the bird equivalent to the dog’s nose art!

We are so excited to have our bluebirds back and will hopefully have some family pictures to show you come spring.

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Hi everyone! Today we are joining our friends at the Army of Four Digest with a Serene Sunday post. One of the most serene things in our yard is our linden tree. It was planted about 25 years ago fairly close to our family room to provide shade as it matured.

Linden tree in full bloom

Linden tree in full bloom

It is the anchor of our perennial garden and as it has grown has become the reason for changing some of the flowers to more shade loving. This year was one of the most prolific flowering seasons for the linden tree. If you are at all familiar with linden trees you know that the fragrance from the flowers is intoxicating.

Linden tree flowers

Linden tree flowers

When the weather is cool enough, and we have the windows open, the fragrance from the flowers just fills the house. We aren’t the only ones who enjoy these flowers. During the time the linden tree is in bloom it is overcome with every kind of bee like creature you can imagine. Here is just a little snippet of one visitor.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

If you stand under the tree during the time it is in bloom it sounds like you are standing next to a beehive. You can’t hear it in the video so you will just have to take my word for it.

The only down side to the two weeks of the sumptuously sweet smell is the mess the flowers make as they fall to the ground.

Hostas under the linden tree

Hostas under the linden tree

Usually we have periodic rains to wash the debris off the plants under the tree but this year we have been experiencing a drought.

The hosta leaves catch everything

The hosta leaves catch everything

It doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on the hosta. Hopefully we will have a decent rain soon to wash it away. We wish someone could invent smell-o-vision so we could share the sweet scent with you but until then maybe you can find one near you. Of course you will have to wait until next year to enjoy it though.

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Disclaimer: We, Millie & Walter, do not condone the use of the following pictures or video on our blog. Proceed at your own risk…you’ve been warned!

Hi everyone, it’s Cindy here! Don’t listen to Millie and Walter. They don’t know what really is cute and what is not. Be prepared for some ultra cute pictures and video.

We have a very large willow tree in our front yard. Over the years many woodpeckers have hammered holes in this tree. Until recently we have never actually seen anything using these holes for homes. On a very rainy morning Charlie saw a mother squirrel bring her babies to a large hole in this willow tree.

Willow with squirrel nest - with words

She made a total of four trips to bring the whole family to the new nest. Since she was moving them during a rain storm we figured the reason was because they were getting soaked where they were.

The following day the sun came out and so did the babies.

Do you think it's safe to go out?

Do you think it’s safe to go out?
I thought mom said to stay in here.

It's okay if we stay close to the nest.

It’s okay if we stay close to the nest.

These adorable babies spent much of the day running up and down the willow tree. Here is a short video of some of the action.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Yesterday this group of hooligans was scurrying around the backyard while Millie and Walter were inside. The pups sure had fun were frustrated watching all this action through the windows.

We actually aren’t sure if these are grey squirrels or red squirrels. We thought the mom that was carrying the babies was a grey squirrel (we were viewing during a rain storm from a long distance) but when looking at the babies they seem to have more reddish fur than expected. We do have both species living on our property so it could be either one. No matter what they are they sure are cute and fun to watch.

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