Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cold white stuff falling from the sky!

I started a temp job this week working for UGA (University of Georgia) and had to leave early today on account of the University closed. It's a weather emergency! Yes, a rare snowfall here in GA has paralyzed the region.

Here at home it brought out the birds to feast up before the temp falls into the teens tonight.  Brrrr...  I got a few fun photos of the chaos at the feeders.

(That's my Asparagus Fern in the foreground - photo taken through window)
Normally Cardinals are crabby and territorial when it comes to sharing, so I was quite surprised to see two, three, - even five at once - on each feeder, chowing down on sunflower (and other) seeds and corn.  I threw extra seed on the ground in the few bare spots in my driveway for the less brazen of the birds.  These are mostly female Cardinals, Sparrows and Slate Juncos.

And this one might be my favorite:  The birds are aglow against the backdrop of trees and snow.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Small Encounter

Driving home just before dusk I saw a small object ahead in my lane.  The shape was rather triangular, and not moving, and it could have been a leaf, or paper, or a clod of dirt.  Out of caution, I made sure my tires would miss as I passed over. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the object tumble in a certain way, and I thought: that might just be a bird.  I was on a curvy mountain road and it was nearly half a mile before I could turn around.  As I headed back, two vehicles passed me coming the other way, and now I was doubtful that if it was a bird, it would still be alive.  I saw it though, now sitting in a more recognizable-as-a-bird posture, and I turned around again to block the lane to other cars.  There.  I put on my flashers and scooped up the tiny thing.  It made no effort to get away but I also didn't see any blood.  I popped back into my car and headed off.

I pulled into a church parking lot to safely inspect the little bird and now I could see it was a female Goldfinch.  Aside from a few feathers sticking up on one wing she seemed only stunned, but birds go into shock so readily, and the temperature outside was frigid with gusting wind.  I decided to head on home hoping the warmth of my car would revive her.  She tried to fly a time or two without success, so I still felt she was injured more than she appeared. 
When I got home, I decided the best thing to do for her was to leave her in the warm (kinda hot, actually) car - away from my many kitties and to prevent stressing her any further with a change of hostel.  I put some seed and water on the floor with her and left her. 

Next morning she was perched on the back of one of the bucket seats.  Hurray!  She flew into the back window of my Subaru wagon, and kept fluttering there so I lifted the latch and she flew off into the big cedar tree near the shop.  Have a good life little bird.  Thanks for the happy ending.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The birds have it.

This is a dumpster diver's feeder that I made. The top is a circle of acrylic that used to be part of a Belk's store display. The metal basket is some kind of floral bouquet holder repainted and attached to a part from my microwave that used to be a timer/turntable. The now upside down turntable is attached with screws to a bit of scrap wood. The wood is mounted on a flange that is screwed onto a threaded pipe and the whole thing set into a larger pipe driven in the ground. It's two story - except when it rains, then the seed on the lower level stays dry. The birds seem to like it! Click on photos to enlarge. It's cold and windy today and I've refilled the feeders twice already.

I learned recently that at night, bunnies come to eat the corn and or seeds too.  Imagine my surprise when the newly installed motion sensitive light went off and three rabbits were eating and cavorting under the feeders!

And because no post should considered complete without a cat photo....

Here's the beautiful Gracie.  I absolutely love her Egyptian profile.