Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crowded Bird Feeder

Mostly house finches yesterday afternoon, with one house sparrow dipping into the seed in this photo.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mourning Dove

Mourning doves are common, I think, just about everywhere in the U.S. Some serious birders try to discourage them from visiting their yards. I like them to visit. Doves prefer to feed at ground-level, which means they help clean up seed that other birds knock out of the feeders.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Indoor Crocus

A handful of crocus bulbs starting to peek out in a candy dish of vermiculite. I think I meant to plant these outdoors, but since I didn't, I decided to let them bloom inside.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Abandoned Kitty on His Way to a New Home

This little boy hanging around our yard for a month or so is on his way to a new home. I scooped him up the other day and took him in to the Cat Doctor to have him checked out. He turned out to be the sweetest little lover kitty. He got neutered, up to date on shots and got a bath, and Northwest Animal Companions is putting him on display at a Petsmart so he can go to a real home. We learned from renters on the block behind us that the previous renters had left his cat behind. He had been spending nights in the garage, getting in through a pet door, until the new renters nailed it shut. He must have been confused.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hawk Victim

If it was summer, I would have blamed the neighborhood cat for this. But I have a feeling this little bird was a victim of one of the Cooper's Hawks that have been frequenting the yard this winter.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Robin Visit

A robin perched in a river birch tree. They're not singing yet. We know spring is on the way when they do start singing. They sing loudest in the morning and the evening.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Eastern European Starlings

Quite a mass of starlings stopped by to pick up fallen crabapples. Starlings have quite a bad reputation in most of the country and are accused of picking crops clean. I actually appreciate that they're cleaning up the crabapple mess. They move on pretty quickly.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rusty Pinwheel

A rusty metal pinwheel in one of the garden beds. We got a little bit of snow early this morning.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Sign of Life in a Garden Bed

This is an oriental poppy peeking up out of a garden bed. My daughter picked out this plant at a nursery a couple of years ago. It brings a spectacular early-season bloom.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Colorful Twigs

Red and green twigs on the pussy willow. You can see where I've hacked on it. I do that a couple of times a year, otherwise, it would grow huge. That happened once, and I had to pay someone to cut it to the ground to get control again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Assortment of Perching Finches

These are all finches dotting a bare maple tree. See our gray and foggy skies are still here. We've been in an "inversion" weather pattern for a week now. We want the sun to come back.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Textured Ice

A chunk of textured ice and leftover New Year's streamers. The ice was on top of the Princess Cabana. This all might not make sense, but it's just the way my yard looks right now. And looking at the ground is much better than looking at the sky. The inversion continues so not even a tiny speck of sun.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

A sweet little girl downy woodpecker looking for treats in the papery bark of a river birch tree. This is a very small woodpecker, just a little bigger than all the finches that winter around here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Kitty That's Been Hanging Around A Lot

This white cat is hanging around a lot. We're not sure if she/he has a home and is using our place as a second home, or if this is truly a stray. It seems fairly tame, doesn't run too far when we appear, but won't let us touch.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flowers from My Neighbor

My friend across the street made this for my front entryway. She has made several for me over the years. Isn't this beautiful? It was a surprise when I came home the other night.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Decaying Pears

A display of...decaying pears. I don't really know how this happened. I suspect my daughter lined them up on the stones when we were picking up pears after a windstorm, and then, I just forgot they were there? I need to dig out my gardening gloves to clean them up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pine Siskin

This is a pine siskin, a small finch that comes here most winters. It's a bird that follows the food. So, sometimes, if there is a lot of food in the pine habitat they love, they stay there. Their favorite foods are thistle seed and black-eyed Susan seeds. I used to think these were goldfinches in winter dress until a neighbor pointed out the differences.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snowy Nose

A little snowy face robbing the new platform bird feeder. We got a dump of new snow today....and it's turning to rain this afternoon. More mucky, muddy, slushy soup, anyone?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Critter Tracks

Tracks in the fresh snow at my back door. My husband tells these are squirrel tracks. He says the squirrel came right up to the sliding door and looked inside, which was entertainment for my indoor-only cats.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sweet Oregon Junco Gal

A female Oregon Junco picking through the frosty grass for breakfast. The Juncos, house finches, pine siskins and house sparrows are winter buddies in my yard.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hawk - Fly Away Little Birds

And poof - little birds disappear! I believe this is a Cooper's Hawk, hard to tell because the photo is fuzzy, but it's a common hawk around here. And it's a smart hawk because it knows where to find an easy lunch - dining on little birds at backyard bird feeders.