Monday, January 31, 2011

Thinking Ahead

 This weekends weather in northern Alabama was just fantastic! The sun was warm, the sky bright and it felt like things would be changing for the better. Now I know that is silly thinking but I wanted to get out when I had the chance and fiddle in the yard. I just love this rustic trellis that was in one of the back fields. It used to have a clematis growing on it but no longer does. And I just happened to have a clematis that had nothing to climb on, so a move was in order.

It was an easy dig and was finished in no time.
On to the bat house. I purchased this bat house at Lowe's on sale but didn't notice that it was cracked and well kind of falling apart. So we nailed it together and caulked the crack and hope that it will hold up for a while. We're still planning on building one but just haven't gotten to that yet!

Oh and I guess the...either squirrels or raccoons are back. They are just causing all kinds of trouble in the night!

It was a bit foggy today but the rain held off til this evening and it was warm enough to get out and enjoy the day for a little bit.

There's nothing like a green moss covered rock and the hint of a Rose Campion to make your day!
To all my friends in the northeast and central states...STAY WARM!
I hope you're prepared for the snow that's on the way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And there it is!!!

 My Neighbor Brenda and I have been walking, weather permitting lately and yesterday afternoon, after the snow melted (finally) she called and asked if Morgan and I would like to head out.
Of course we did! I grabbed the camera and off we went.

There seems to be a new addition to the neighborhood. We don't know his name yet but he is a very friendly fellow.

 We'll be sure to bring him an apple next time.

 We had Brenda's sweet collie Prissy with us and luckily she is a very well behaved girl, because things could have gone very wrong otherwise, when we saw none other than.....
The infamous ARMADILLO!!!
At first he didn't see us.

 But it wasn't long before he spied us with his little beady eyes and started hauling!

 And I mean HAULING!!!

 Prissy was actually right on his tail but when we said STOP...she did just that. And this little feller made it safely home.
Talk about a lazy armadillo...or is that resourceful?

 Prissy didn't mine too much that we stopped her fun and just went on her merry way of checking out the neighborhood.

 Of course when her arch nemesis showed up, the neighborhood Squirrel, she was bound and determined not to let anything but a tree stop her from getting to it. Lucky for that squirrel there are plenty trees to be found.

 Prissy watched its every move, even when the squirrel crossed the road, from up above!

 It's getting late Prissy...
Time to head home!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great Eagles and Fine Folks

 What a wonderful day to take advantage of the sights that the Dam in Guntersville has to offer! The sun was out and the snow beginning to melt, so I grabbed my camera and bins and headed down the mountain.
As I came to the parking lane I saw the groups of folks with their binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras all trained toward the eagle nest or landing spot.

These ladies were over by the water looking for birds in flight no doubt.

 The main focus is this old dead tree. A perfect landing spot for the Eagles as they change duties from sitter to hunter...or for Bluebirds who sneak in when no one is looking!

 After some time we noticed Mrs. Eagle getting antsy and sure enough here came Mr. Eagle to take her place and give her a break. You can just see him behind the trees coming in for a landing.

 Making the turn to the nest. Can you see Momma below waiting somewhat patiently.

 After a few minutes of debate on which way to go she headed toward us...

 ...made a turn...

 ...and was gone.

 Leaving Papa to try to figure out how he got himself into this mess.

 I've met some wonderful fine folks in my group and some that I'm seeing each time I head down the mountain to visit the Eagles. I even made some new friends today AND met (finally) in person, someone who's pictures I've admired quite a bit for some time!

 While we were mostly focused on the Eagles we did see and hear a number of birds in the trees including Brown-headed Nuthatches and this Yellow-rumped Warbler.

 One of the other groups in the distance.

 A young feller keeping up with his dad in the truck! Just for fun!

 AH! Here's my group! I'm liking this bunch and hope I can run into them more often! You can see the landing tree in the distance.

 I bid my farewell, hoping that I wasn't the jinx that was keeping the Eagles from showing up more often, but I'm pretty sure it was me! Down the way there is another spot I know and I snuck in to see what I could see.
Not too much, but this sweet Yellow-rump or Butter Butt as some call them.

 A lone House Finch...

 And one of just a few Cedar Waxwings.

 What I was really hoping for was a Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a post, but there was none to be had.

 With the moon on the rise I decided to head home.

All in all it was a very good day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Winter Birding

With the snow comes lots of birds looking for easy treats and I've been enjoying their company. I've heard a few thumps on the windows but no casualties. 
 It's snowing again this morning and I'm getting some not so common visitors for my woodsy yard.
Yesterday this Chipping Sparrow showed up. They more prefer my field down by the road.

Also yesterday a group of young Red-winged Blackbirds showed up and this morning an immature Common Grackle. All very common in my barren yard up north but not so much here in the woods.

Yard list today:

American Goldfinch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Pine Warbler
Common Grackle
Red-wing Blackbird
Tufted Titmouse
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
Chipping Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-breasted Nuthatch
Dark-eyed Junco
Mourning Dove

Hope I didn't forget anyone...time to put out more seed!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowshoeing in Alabama

 Having spent most of my life in  "the north country" of northern NY, to me 7" of snow means just that...7" of snow.
But here in Alabama 7" of snow means a
FORCED VACATION without being able to go anywhere.

 Looks like the deer are still roaming the woods.

Everyone went over the tree without a hitch but Poor old Ole had to go around. I think Daisy Lu was trying to make him feel bad by showing off, however he just laughed it off!

Maybe it's time to get the swing cleaned off?

Did I say I was looking forward to spring?
Today we are all home again. We'll go snowshoeing and do some birdwatching and just enjoy the time at home. I think we'll be snowed in for at least a few more days!