Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rise To The Sun

They're moving in on us!  The critters!  They have so much room to roam, but home is where the heart (and bird feeders) is and so this is where they stay.  I thought it was just me, but I saw on the news that there are more butterflies this year than usual.  Something about El Nina or the mild winter or solar flares or something.  But they are everywhere.  Walking down our driveway, we see hundreds.  They want in. They want to turn the channel and have an ice cold beverage and a plate of whatever you're having.  They want to listen to whatever song we're listening to.  They are bossy.

They really love little brother.  I don't understand it.  Just before the butterfly explosion, he and I were outside and we were so excited to see one.  D was mowing the lawn and we were standing in front of the house watching it flit around.  I lost it for a moment, couldn't figure out where he went, and I finally found him sitting on little's head. I couldn't believe it! He was totally oblivious and it was totally adorable. Now, there are so many I'm pretty sure they are trying to collectively abduct little.  I'm keeping him close, just in case.

The last few days, I have seen more bird species in one place than I think I ever have.  The usual suspects were still around the feeders : black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice (my absolute favorite), brown-headed cowbirds, cardinals, robins, downy woodpeckers and the occasional white-capped sparrow. Three days ago, we were met with ruby-throat hummingbirds.  They were politely sipping at our Columbines, so I put out the feeders as soon as it stopped raining.  The next day, instead of more hummers, we had a few orioles visit.

I hadn't even thought of any orioles visiting!  I was caught off-guard.  Totally surprised and happy to see them.  Aren't they lovely?

Just a few moments later, we were visited by an indigo bunting, and then this morning, two more.  A pair of them, on a date, sightseeing and flirting and sharing a milkshake.  They are so beautiful. Just tiny and jewel-blue (indigo, perhaps?) and fast! I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I saw the flash of blue zoom past.  I didn't process it until I saw him nestled in the bush, all blue and humble.

We've also had more ruby-throat hummingbirds.  We're still trying to figure out their schedules and patterns, I think that will make it easier to catch a good photograph of them. We have a male and a female rose-breasted grosbeak.  The female is not nearly as bold as the male. I was surprised the first time I saw her at the feeder. I could just stare with my mouth open, totally confused. "She is so ugly" was all I could think.  After further inspection, I will totally admit that I was very wrong and she is beautiful. She is a strong lady, the kind who can open jars and crack seeds and change the oil in your SUV if you ask her nicely.  Look at that beak!

 And, of course, there's Penny. The most dear turkey you have ever seen.  She's been with us since a random day when the weather was still cold.  Since turkey hunting season began, I anxiously wait to see her every few days and am so happy when she makes an appearance.  We cheer when she struts past the door during dinner.  She ignores us, but I think she knows we love her.

Several months ago, we saw a man releasing raccoons from cages onto the property.  Not one or two raccoons, more like 15-20.  He had a pick-up truck full of cages and he was releasing them one at a time into a clearing here.  I drove past and called D and he addressed the situation, but ultimately there wasn't anything we could do to undo it. They were here and that was that.  Since then, we have been visited every day at various times by at least two of them at a time.  Coming home from baseball practice a few nights ago, we were met by one determined raccoon.

what? nothing.

Aw. So cute, right? Just a little fella, he doesn't mean any harm. But, wait! Look by his head! What's that? A bird feeder! Yeah....a bird feeder...

for my next trick...

Yep. He climbed.the.window.frame.  Crafty, eh?  This is just one of their many shenanigans.  Big brother found one in the trash can a few days ago. All cute and stuck in the bottom of an empty can. We continually work at schemes to stay one step ahead of them, outsmart them, but they are winning the battle.  Somehow they empty our hummingbird feeders.  It is my assumption that they get all hopped up on sugar water, build a raccoon totem pole, and clean out the rest of the feeders while we sleep. Jerks. Cute, fuzzy jerks.

Speaking of baseball, Big brother is kicking butt and taking names. He pitched two innings yesterday, got 6 strike-outs, and the game ball.  Needless to say, I am one proud mamma. This is hard work paying off, Big. Keep it up. You have so much to celebrate!

'kid can play'

We have lots to update on.  It's just been so busy around here. Mother's day is coming, so is our little family mini-vacation and D's birthday. I'd like to share more, but I'm sure I have lots of creatures awaiting food. Cats, babies, birds, and unfortunately, raccoons.


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