Suet showdown or “I’m bigger than you”

Woody, our male Pileated Woodpecker showed up and immediately went to the suet cage. The starlings who had been swarming the suet cage scattered as soon as Woody landed and began to feed. Shortly after one starling flew back to the cage, but wisely landed away from the suet and the woodpecker’s beak.

This pair flies and squawks daily

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that Sher and I like to sit outside in our backyard and take in the sights and sounds of our little slice of nature. Recent additions to our bird feeding equipment have increased the number of feathered visitors.

Lucked out and got a photo of the geese just after they passed our yard

We get to share the company of couple of Canadian Geese each day. And we do mean a couple. This pair flies over our house barely clearing the trees. What is fun is how loud they are. They are always having a very loud and animated conversation, both of them honking and squawking during their whole flight. They follow the same route each day, coming from about 6 or so blocks away, and ending after they pass our house and land on the river that is about 100 yards from our yard. They never land in our yard, be we consider them part of our feathered family!

Diamond Art

Sher has found a new pastime referred to as Diamond Art. It uses hundreds of different colored “diamonds” that you carefully place on a preprinted picture. It’s kind of like paint by number, though it is diamond by number.

It’ll be a fun project, and I just might have to get one of my own. This won’t take as much space as a jig-saw puzzle, and will be easier to put up when not working on it.

Additions to our backyard bird sanctuary

Sher spotted some small but pretty bird baths in a local store’s ad flyer. We decided that they would be a nice addition to our backyard. We thought that we’d use one of the glass receptacles as a true water filled bird bath. The second, however, for now we put bird feed in the second one as a shelf feeder.

Glass bowl bird bath

2nd bird bath as a shelf feeder

 

 

 

 

 

We have been thrilled with the number of different species of birds that have been gracious enough to visit our backyard.

A brash Blue Jay

Chipping Sparrow in the new feeder

Two Starlings enjoying the suet

We have so enjoyed sitting in our backyard watching the birds coming and going from the bird feeders, now scattered across our backyard. We will keep the bird and critter photos coming as we capture them.

Getting ready for Historic US 40 Yard Sale

One of our typical setups

This has been a rainy day in Central Indiana. We are back in Indiana getting ready for one of the big antique shows we try to do every year. Of course, we didn’t get to go last year. Though the Highway 40 is really a very big yard sale, we do very good selling our vintage items and bigger items that we have found in our travels.

It becomes a big clean out the garage month for us. We set up at the Dunreith Baptist Church east of Greenfield, Indiana. It is such a great place for us to set up. The pastor and his wife are very nice and helpful. They let us park the RV right behind our display, which is so nice because we don’t have to travel every night.

Highway 40, also known as Old National Highway, is a historic road and fun to travel just to see the old buildings and historic sites. This year the sale will be from June 2 to June 6th. It starts in Baltimore, MD and continues thru St. Louis, MO. It draws lots of people and some interesting characters. We enjoy doing this show.

We named her Wilma

Sher and I were thrilled a couple of days ago when we saw for just a second a stunning Pileated Woodpecker who came in and landed on our tree. Almost immediately it took off.  Yesterday, however, another (maybe the same?) Pileated female came in and ended up feeding from one of the suet cages.

Notice the little Nuthatch that photobombed the video? The size of Wilma seems to have spooked it from the suet cage.

 

Backyard birdwatching

Tube feeder and 2 suet cages

The weather is finally getting nice enough for some days out in the backyard. We bought feed for our tube feeder, a hummingbird feeder and a couple suet cages.

We have had a great time just rocking in our swing watching our feathered friends frolic around and partaking of the feeders.

White breasted nuthatch

Cardinal (State Bird for 7 states)

We’ll continue to post more pictures as we can get them.¬† Stay tuned!

Back to a casino

Sher and I always enjoyed casinos either at home or while traveling. COVID-19 stopped that for over a year. Being vaccinated, we’re slowly getting back to “doing things”. After some discussion, we figured it was time to try the Indiana Grand casino near us. (Indiana Grand is a casino and thoroughbred race track, part of the Caesars’ gaming company.)

We hoped a weekday afternoon visit might avoid having to face a big crowd. That strategy worked well, as the parking lots and garage were not filled as we remembered from pre-covid days. The first change we noticed was the requirement to show your driver’ license, the information of which was recorded. The Security fellow said it was for ‘contact tracing’ if needed. Hmmm…

Masks were required, except when you are eating or drinking. The self serve coffee and soda stations have morphed into refreshment stations where an employee serves you your free coffee or soda. Bottled beer was also available for purchase.

Sher enjoyed Great Gorilla slots. By the way Gorilla was very generous this session…

The slot machines were spaced further apart than before. A set of 3 machines had only the two outside positions open. Basically, at any machine you were 6 feet away from the closest player. The blackjack table games had limited seating as well. The only place we saw folks not social distancing was at the Roulette and Craps tables.

Things are definitely different: the buffet is a thing of the past with food available at a snack bar and one restaurant. The noise level is much less. The volume on the slot machines seem to be much lower than pre-covid. With the slot spacing you don’t feel as “crowded”. Oh, and people watching isn’t nearly as much fun with everybody in masks! All in all we did feel comfortable being out in the casino. Good to have that back.

Zaharakos since, yes, since 1900

Part of the 50′ marble bar

Close up of the bar, note Tiffany Lamp with twin soda dispensers

We wanted to take a little drive yesterday just to get out of the house for a while. Wanting to find something new to do or see, we headed to Columbus, Indiana which is south of Indianapolis. Sher had found an ice cream parlor online that looked neat, and it certainly was!

Collection of antique soda fountains

Antique flavor dispensers

Enjoying a cherry fountain soda

At the second soda bar, Welte Orchestration on left

Zaharakos has been serving ice cream since 1900 in downtown Columbus. It is a most amazing place. It is in a way overwhelming with the beautiful 50 foot long marble soda bar, Tiffany lamp twin soda fountain and a museum of antique soda fountains and flavor dispensers.

We had planned on getting either sundaes or maybe shakes, but once we saw the menu we decided to have lunch instead. We started with old fashioned cherry fountain sodas just like the old days. Sher ordered the grilled avocado sandwich and I went with a thick breaded tenderloin. The food was excellent.

We had an absolute ball at Zaharakos. It was fascinating seeing all of the antique ornate soda fountains and the Welte Orchestration machines.

This place is truly a museum of both soda fountains and ice cream parlors. We will definitely return for a sundae or maybe a banana split! We saw them being prepared, but we were full from our lunch.

Call to the Post

Indiana Grand Racing and Casino

2021 season will have 120 racing days April 13th through November 4th

The horse on the far side is escorting the competing  #4 racehorse to the starting gate. These escort horses are usually called Pony Horses and are a vital part of the horse racing business. They help calm the racehorse while on the way to the starting gate, and also aid in training the racehorse, among other tasks.