Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Flowers: July Flowers

Continuing with my look back on flowers during the 2010 growing season, I picked July 1, 2010 this week.
My hydrangeas are one of my summer pleasures and I look forward to their blooms.
Maybe by the time I work through my look back on 2010 flowers, I'll have some 2011 blooms but that will be a while yet. Click for the home of today's flowers.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photohunters: Standing

Quite a few years ago these guys were standing around in the NC botanical garden for a special art show. The guy on the right has lost his head and lower legs but he's still standing.
Click for the home of photohunters.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nature Notes: Not easy to be a bird

This poor nuthatch was probably in shock. I heard a bang so I'm guessing it hit something and made it to the ledge to recover.
They are usually so fast flitting in and out that when it let me get close I knew something was wrong. I photographed it intending to see if I could seek advise from a rehab person in the area because I was afraid if I handled it, I might make it worse.
I think something was wrong with the leg that's dangling on the wall. However, by the time I downloaded the shots, hoping to email them to a wildlife rehab person, the bird finally flew off. This was after about 15 minutes of not moving hardly at all.
The shot above and below are female cardinals. Back to the injured nuthatch, I found very contradictory information online.
I read that you shouldn't touch a bird in shock as it can make it worse, which is what I was afraid of. Then I read about a light touch in circular motion that can help a bird in shock, hmmmm.
The shots above and below are of a titmouse. I also found contradictory information about the way to deal with a wild bird with a broken leg.
I read that an adult wild bird can recover from a broken leg without help and it's better not to do anything. Then I read a detailed instruction somewhere else about how to tend to a bird with a broken leg. Below is an American Robin.
The first aid was so involved that after reading it, I knew I wouldn't be able to do it anyway. The shot below was going to be of the sparrow on the branch above the American Robin when the robin popped into the frame before I clicked. I liked getting both birds.
I have only recently bothered to find out how to tell which rufous-sided towhees are male and which are female.
The bird above is the female towhee and the one below is the male towhee. Now that I know, it's certainly easy to tell them apart.
The carolina chickadee always makes me think of a child in a tuxedo.
I guess that's silly but there is something about the mix of black and white that makes me think of a miniature tux.
Sometimes when I first catch a glimpse of the red-bellied woodpeckers, I think they are a white dove.
They don't look anything like a dove, but when I see the flash of white out of the corner of my eye, that's what I think.
Then I note the red cap, pointy nose and zebra jacket and I know it's a red-bellied woodpecker.
I enjoy watching the way squirrels eat. They will sit up sometimes eating with their paws, almost delicately.
I'll stop with the male cardinal below. Not much new here. We keep flip flopping between very cold and then milder weather.
naturenotes card2554
Click for the home of nature notes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Flowers: June Flowers

Continuing to look back on my 2010 flowers, this week I am showing some of my June blossoms.
The first two shots are of gardenias drinking up the raindrops.
The next shot is one of my hostas with a spray of blossoms.
The last two shots are coneflowers (echinacea).
Not only do I enjoy coneflowers the American Goldfinch loves their seeds.
Click for the home of Today's Flowers although mine lately have been yester-month's flowers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photohunters: Hands

When I saw that the photohunters theme was hands, I knew I would feature my daughter's hands because they have always been so expressive.
The first shot is my daughter with her father and she is with my brother in the shot below.
The old shots are digital photos of old prints so the quality isn't great.
In spite of not being great photo quality I think they are good at showing my daughter's expressive hands over the past twenty some years.
The shot above would have worked for last week's shadow theme.
The shot below was taken when she was demonstrating a dance to someone.
The last shot was taken about three years ago. Rock on darling daughter.
ph handsJudithIAaprt
Click for the home of photohunters.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nature Notes: Mid January looking better

We had a pretty cold December and early January but starting on Sunday we've had much better weather, although yesterday was overcast and rainy as is today.
Sometimes my nature notes could be called my weather report but weather is certainly a factor in nature.
When I say warmer, I'm talking about 40s F (4 C) during the day and 30s F (-1 C) at night but that's a big improvement. The weekend will be 20s F (-6 C )at night but 40s during the day which is pleasant to me.
Usually for nature notes, I start with photographs from the day after last week's nature notes and move chronologically to the day I am writing the post.
I'm using photographs I've taken since my last nature notes post but I'm mixing them up so it won't be one bird right after the other.
The shots that don't include birds or a squirrel were taken Sunday at Shelley Lake which was the first pretty day with the temperatures well above freezing. The other shots jump around amongst the past 6 days.
There is ice in the lake walk shots because the night temperatures were still cold and it hadn't been above freezing long enough to melt all the ice. Yesterday the rain finally washed away all the ice on my deck.
I guess I should I.D. some of the birds. The second photo is of a brown thrasher, the fourth photo is a flicker, the sixth photo is a tufted titmouse, and below is a nuthatch biting off more than it can chew.
We haven't had very many blue skies lately so it was fun to get such a big splash of blue on Sunday before the clouds moved back in.
I am enjoying the nuthatches so much. They are such speedy fun birds to watch.
I have a fondness for squirrels who are great acrobats but also know how to enjoy a good meal.
I rarely get a shot of the waxwings which show their yellow markings like the one below.
The robins have been showing up more, lately, for a drink of water on my deck.
The look on the brown thrashers face in the shot below cracks me up.
If you look closely you may spot the little bird in the tree below that almost looks like part of the branch.
I guess I'll stop with a blue jay taking in the view from my pine tree.
Click for the home of Nature Notes. I'm posting early as I sometimes do. UPDATE - After making it sound so much warmer, I went to the post office in a light rain coat this morning since it's raining. I was freezing and wished I'd worn a sweater. I heard on the radio that it was 33 F (0.55 C). Although that beats 20 F and snow, unlike the birds I have the option of wearing a sweater with my raincoat, an option I should avail myself of.