ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw two blue jays at the hopper feeder.  I've heard them in the yard, but this is the first I've actually seen any in months. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw a brown thrasher busily digging into the hopper feeder.  :D  They are cheerful singers and voracious insectivores, supplementing with seeds when insects are less plentiful. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I fed the birds. It's sunny and bright, but the feeders are quite active -- lots of grackles and sparrows.

I haven't seen the mourning dove on the nest for several days, although the eggs are still there. Apparently it's been abandoned. :/ But perhaps another dove will start a new batch. There are often several clutches a season in that location, it's very popular.

Walk with me ... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It was drizzling off and on earlier today, but cleared up for a while.  So I went outside and planted the Tricyrtis hirta and Tricyrtis 'Tojen' from yesterday.  They went into the purple-and-white garden where I put the Blue Wonder earlier.  :D

More blue grape hyacinths are blooming around the yard.  Echinacea and yellow coneflower are leafing out in the wildflower garden.  Newly blooming are paperwhite narcissus in the white garden.

Birds have been fluttering around the feeders today, mostly sparrows.  There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I saw a house finch at the fly-through feeder. :D They're pretty little things, like a sparrow with a reddish head and chest. Some years we have a whole flock, other times none for a while.

Walking outside, I saw that some of the new blue grape hyacinths beside the patio are budding. They're a bit later than the volunteers already there.

Thanks to the various folks who sang the praises of toad lilies, I picked up the other two colors available. I think they're Taipei Silk and Trycyrtis formosanna.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I fed the birds. There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.

It is cool and mostly sunny, so the flowers are open. :D

Walk with me ... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Today I saw a northern flicker on the ground under the hopper feeder.  We used to have a lot of these.  They have since been largely replaced by red-bellied woodpeckers.  Read more about the woodpeckers of Illinois.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It's chilly and overcast today.  I fed the birds.  Mourning dove is still sitting on two eggs.  I saw a pair of cardinals earlier this week too.

I planted three White Feather hostas in the purple-and-white garden near the patio. 

My birthday package from Mom & Dad also includes:
25 Asiatic Lily Mixed
25 Dutch Iris
3 Daylily 'Here Lies Butch' 
3 Shaker's Prayer Siberian Iris
3 Iris Versicolor Dark Aura
10 Mixed Hostas (which haven't arrived yet)

\o/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I fed the birds.  There are now two little white eggs in the mourning dove nest by the kitchen window.  :D

The weather is chilly and clear.  It looks like the spring bulbs have survived the snow; daffodils, crocus, Dutch iris, snowdrops, and forsythia are still blooming.

Also my father ordered a TON more plants for me.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Weather is nice again.  :D  Today I cleaned up the asparagus patch in the forest garden and planted half the new roots.

I refilled the birdfeeders.  Mourning doves have been active around the hopper feeder today.

I heard a woodpecker drumming, and looked around until I saw a downy banging away on a walnut tree.  \o/  

The first of my daffodils are beginning to bloom under the maple tree near the house.  They're not all the way open yet, about halfway. 

Snow

Feb. 8th, 2017 03:25 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Last night it snowed here, and is still snowing slightly, everything covered in a dusting of white.  A whole flock of mourning doves has encamped around the fly-through feeder.  :D 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It has been sponsored out of the general fund.


owl feathers


night comes on velvet wings

pale feathers ghosting through the air
dark feathers shadowing their prey

death comes in forests, in cornfields
death comes in silence, unseen

until it strikes

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Earlier this afternoon, I saw a pair of cardinals at the fly-through feeder, and a male at the hopper feeder.  Just now I saw a female outside my office window.  :D  Cardinals make me smile.

Squirrel!

Jan. 15th, 2017 01:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
:D  One of our fox squirrels has finally discovered the birdfeeders again.  I saw him doing acrobatics on the hopper feeder this morning. 

Birdfeeding

Jan. 5th, 2017 02:18 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It snowed here today.  Also it's much colder.

There are birds everywhere.  :D  Big flock of mourning doves and some sparrows around the fly-through feeder.  Huge flock of sparrows and two male cardinals around the hopper feeder.  Various birds fluttering around the suet cage.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Recently we bought a bag of premium songbird mix, which is mostly sunflower seeds with a bit of safflower and peanuts.  I'm using this to mix with the cheap seed.  This morning I saw a small flock of mourning doves on the fly-through feeder, and there was a male cardinal at the hopper feeder for much of the day.

I also saw a black cat wandering the yard, with the chunky look of a tom.

The weather has been cool, wet, and drizzly.  Puddles everywhere.  In December.  When I was little, it would start snowing in November -- not counting the occasional cold snap in October which sometimes flurried -- and we'd see the ground again in March.  Sometimes a January thaw would melt some of the snow but never all of it.  This area used to be Zone 5b and is now Zone 6a.  The differences are dramatic.  Zone 5 is the south end of north, and Zone 6 is the north end of south.  It's not as big a barrier as the frost line, but close. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I went outside to feed the birds.  I've been seeing mostly sparrows.  I went for a walk, and when I came back, there was a male cardinal at the fly-through feeder.  :D  Yay!

I like going outside on a snowy day and just looking around.  The yard has a shallow layer of white icing.  The snow is light and fluffy, like soap flakes, not sticky at all.  When the birds flutter around in the brush, they knock loose falls of snowflakes. The Midwinter grove of evergreens is thickly frosted, like a scene from a Christmas card.  There are tufts of snow all over the prairie garden, caught in clots on the thistle heads and feathering the cups of Queen Anne's lace like little nests.  The yard is traced with the tracks of rabbits and squirrels, even pheasants, although hard to see with snow this thin and loose.  Underfoot the ground crunches with frosted leaves, grass, and bits of ice.  Pale yellow sunlight slants across the frozen fields in bands of white-gold and long blue shadows.  The breeze is brisk and cutting, not quite wind, but with a sharp northerly bite even at low levels.  My breath smokes in the cold air.

This is the dreaming season, when the Earth sleeps, restiing up for the busyness of spring.  I walk through a world that is quiet except for the crunch of my footsteps, still except for the stirring of birds.  There is a brightness to it, even amidst the cool, colorful shadows.  Every flake of snow catches and reflects the least light, like a winking of dreams in the darkness of sleep.  The sun, sinking westward, tints from white-gold toward copper, gilding the tips of the trees where tufts of snow glitter. It is the imagery of winter, one of my favorite seasons, that fills me slowly like snowflakes filling a quiet corner.  And that's a good thing to bring back inside when I come in.

Birdfeeding

Dec. 8th, 2016 04:04 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today when I went out to feed the birds, I startled a great-horned owl from his perch, and got to watch him glide around the edge of the yard.  :D  

There were sparrows swarming the suet feeder this morning.  Yesterday, I saw the first downy woodpecker on there.

The weather has turned frigid.  Remaining green leaves on plants are crunchy underfoot.  Apparently there's a polar vortex.  O_O 

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