Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eastern Phoebe

I found this lovely little Eastern  Phoebe on a small highway bridge at Three Tree Creek.  The background of redwood bushes provides a beautiful colourful, natural background for the little bird.  I find Phoebes at this location every year, as each new generation must have a memory "gps" in their   development

Monday, April 29, 2013

Red Adder's Tongues Stamens for Ruby Tuesday 2

I am posting early today for tomorrows meme featuring red on Ruby Tuesday 2, which can be found at:
  you can find the red theme in the weekly Tuesday meme of Ruby Tuesday 2 found at : http://rubytuesday2.blogspot.ca/http://rubytuesday2.blogspot.ca/
Part of the reason for my earliness is that just this afternoon we ( My husband I have )just found a few blossoms of Adder's Tongue a.k.a. Dog-toothed Violets in bloom.
I understand the naming of Adder's Tongue when looking at the red stamens in the center of the blossom; but how many of you are familiar with the dog-toothed naming connection? I did some research on the source of that naming a few years ago and found that it was derived from the white canine shaped root of this early wildflower.  And did I check it out?  Yes I did and found the white canine ( tooth-shaped root in the soil beneath the plant!  And by looking at the design on the leaves , shown above you can easily understand the source of a few of this wildflower's other names: such as Trout Lily and/ or Fawn Lily.  this Dog-toothed Lily is one of my favorite childhood wildflowers.  I wait to find its blossoms each spring
" Oh Happy Day!!!!!!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Sparrow Collage for Mosaic Monday

To me I could classify spring as a seasonal sparrow mosaic.
when spring arrives I am usually saying "Good-bye" to those little northern sparrows, Tree Sparrows, which spend much of winter with us.  Then as spring nears and appears, we welcome the beautiful, little musical Song Sparrows, then as spring advances, a lucky few receive visits from Fox Sparrows, and perhaps some experience a "rare" sighting of a Field Sparrow.  We have had both Fox Sparrows and Field sparrows in Bird Alley in the past, but not this year.   We have been very happy the past couple of weeks playing host to a few White-throated sparrows; and much to our delight we spied

a couple of Chipping Sparrows in our feeder area.  The Chipping Sparrows ( shown above) are very recent arrivals.  Hopefully in the coming weeks we shall also welcome the handsome White-Crowned Sparrow.

But often people ask in confusion and puzzlement, how can you tell the sparrow species, one from the other?

A year or so ago I created a Sparrow collage ( shown above) and
 a key to accompany the collage. 
I hope these collages might prove useful to a few of my readers in identifying the different sparrow species.

I am linking this post to Mary's Monday Mosaic.  Mary's mosaic meme can be found at  her Dear Little Red House at:http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.ca/

Saturday, April 27, 2013

White-tailed Deer

 I haven't been seeing very many White-tailed deer recently and, although these two were along the highway shoulder as we were driving by yesterday, We stopped for a moment to capture their beauty.

Stay safe, beautiful deer, and be careful crossing highways as you often do. Stop, Look and Listen.  Happy spring, Today promises to be a beautiful day!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Special Tree for Thursday's Inspiration

                             This is a "Once Upon A Time" story of a tree in the forest which does not exist anymore. One winter this stalwart old dead tree succumbed to the fierce elements of a long, cold winter and it fell in the forest.
For all the years that I knew of this special tree it served to hold a magnificent nest at its top, and each year I enjoyed watching several generations of Ospreys rearing their young in this nest on top of the old tree 

                                     Above an Osprey can be seen at the top of this tree.

                                This tree inspired me and so one day I decided to use some of my bird photos and some photo editing skills and to create a counting book for my young grandchildren.  I cleared away the background from the limbs but I left the magnificent nest on the top.
    In the beginning I began with the solitary bare tree.( My intention was to fill the tree limbs with various bird species)
My second page held one bird.  One Osprey on the nest at the top of the tree.  As well as a counting book, I thought my grandchildren could learn bird identification as well.
And so I began to fill up the tree limbs with birds.
The tree on the page shown above now holds 1 Osprey,
2 White-breasted Nuthatch,
3male Purple Finch,
4  wood Ducks ( and yes Wood ducks do perch in trees sometimes)
5 Great Blue Herons,
6 Northern Cardinals
  And then I added 7 Evening Grosbeaks
 8 beautiful Blue Jays..

And as all good intentions often result in in-completion... for my grandchildren quickly learned to count
and  they grew older and my interest waned  And so today I have decided to show my incomplete storybook about the magic bird tree in the forest.

    This post is dedicated to the memory of a magnificent tree which once stood in the forest.

I am linking this post to  Thursday's Inspiration hosted by  Dear Little Red House at:http://dearlittleredhouse.blogspot.ca/

A Train in the Rain for Thursday's Challenge, Transportation

A rainy day, such as was yesterday, often lessens the chance  of a good photo opportunity. I was complaining of my reduced chances of finding something  good to take pictures of when my husband uttered as we were driving along.  "Here's your chance?"here comes a Train!" A Southern New Brunswick freight train was coming in our direction!  And I love trains!  Having grown up in a railroad town, trains have always fascinated me, and daily we can see and hear trains passing through our village from my house, (  although no longer are they passenger trains passing through.)and we still announce or comment on the passing of trains to each other.  Yearly we  travel to Ontario by VIA Rail to visit with my son and his family.We always look forward to and anticipate that trip, beginning in Moncton and traveling overnight to Montreal, then on to Toronto  and at the end of the day arriving at London.
                         The rain really enhanced the lights on the train, definitely spreading the train magic.


Thursday Challenge is a meme which offers a different theme each week. This week's theme is transportation. To join in on the fun you can find this meme at:http://www.spunwithtears.com/thursday.html

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Have you ever tried to photograph a Kestrel?  Well if you have, you know you are not always going to be successful and  it can be a daunting task!

For as soon as the bird spies you it is gone, flown off, as was my experience yesterday. Over the years we have observed specific places on high wires where we know we will see a Kestrel perching  We deliberately went in search of this one yesterday and as usual when it saw our vehicle approach it flew off as is seen above, but my camera caught it in flight. I did mange to get a photo of the Kestrel on the wire , but we were at a far distance and I used my telescopic lens and did a bit of post processing on it

Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Red Eye of Wood Duck for Ruby Tuesday 2

    The red eye of the handsome, colourful male wood duck is the necessary qualifier of red theme in the weekly Tuesday meme of Ruby Tuesday Two found at : http://rubytuesday2.blogspot.ca/http://rubytuesday2.blogspot.ca/

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Ruffed Grouse in Display

My husband and I saw a sight today that we hadn't seen before.  A Ruffed Grouse displaying its black ruff of feathers around its neck.
At first I wasn't sure what I was looking at as the bird was so still, I thought at first it was a charred stump along the wooded roadside, but as I saw an eye flicker I knew it was a bird.  And I assumed it was a Ruffed Grouse , although the ruff or scarf of black feathers around its neck confused us.  It didn't suddenly fly away as is often the case with grouse, but it walked across the dirt road and walked up the hilly incline on the other side of the road. It didn't seem to be in any hurry.
 The picture above shows the back view of the Grouse as it walked away. From its back view the black feathers  had an appearance  of a shawl around its shoulders We had backed our truck onto a side road to turn and the grouse was beside us.  I rolled down the truck window so as to take better photos and it wasn't in any hurry to leave. This was a fascinating sighting.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grey Squirrel Antics in Bird Alley

These pictures might be better titled, " Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"
 The photo above shows my caged bird feeder.  The interior cylinder holds the bird food.  I love this feeder as it offers the seeds to those little birds that can navigate themselves within the cage to feed.  Thus Blue Jays, Grackles, Blackbirds  and other larger birds cannot get within to scatter the seeds wastefully.  We were entertained one day to see a little red squirrel sitting within the cage munching away, But we thought no way could the larger creatures that frequent Bird Alley get to the food.  Raccoons have knocked the feeder on the ground several times and for a short while the top of the cylinder covering the interior seed holder was missing.  We assumed it had been ripped off by a raccoon. It was while the top was missing that this Grey Squirrel got very inventive.  In the picture below you can see the Grey Squirrel had pushed itself halfway down the feeder to get to the bird food at the bottom. 
 And in this last picture the Squirrel has succeeded in reaching the food at the bottom!  And, no, the squirrel didn't get stuck, it just up-righted itself again after feeding and once again sat on the top of the feeder.
 Since taking these pictures I have found the missing top of the feeder and tied it back in place.  It was amusing yesterday to watch the Grey Squirrel trying to figure out why it couldn't get to the food source anymore.
The latest update of squirrels and our cage feeder is this photo below just taken this morning.  A little Red Squirrel has once again found its way into the caged feeder.  Its squeezes its little supple body between the square openings created by the wires that create the cage.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Finally, A Goldfinch in Bird Alley!

One of the male Goldfinch looked a bit bedraggled! It appeared to have a moulting black cap on its head.
 It has been a long time since I have seen a Goldfinch in our feeder area.  This morning I saw two or
three fly in and a couple of males 

                                                                                            and a female or so.

 Goldfinch were not the only surprise visitors!
  We have a few White-throated Sparrows in Bird Alley!  What a handsome bird a White-throated Sparrow is! with its bright yellow lores and striped head and its delicate white bib on its upper breast!We were very happy to see these sparrows arrive!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Song Sparrow Visitor Today

The first species to show up in Bird Alley today was this handsome Song Sparrow.  Its appears to be delighted with this sunny day as am I.  It looks like it will be a great day!  I am hoping to maybe see the arrival of some Tree Swallows today, I will keep watching for them!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Red-breasted Nuthatch today in Bird Alley

Bird Alley has been quite inactive recently so when I looked out this morning and saw as beautiful little Red-breasted Nuthatch there I was delighted!  It wasn't much of a photo shoot as the Nuthatch was relatively inactive  most of the time, so a variety of poses isn't really reflected in my photos here today.