Suet yourself

Hanging on an empty corn cob on a large nail is our new backyard suet cage. Soon after the debut of this wildlife feeding device a resident squirrel showed up. He really wasn’t thrilled with this “not corn” thing.


He finally moved on, leaving the suet to the birds.

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!

White Ibis teenager

You can tell this White Ibis is a “teenager” by the coloration of its feathers. When fully mature, it will have all white plumage. The brown mottled plumage on its neck shows it is immature. The pink color of the legs and beak will also turn bright red when full grown. We didn’t see Mom or Dad, so who knows what teenaged mischief this one was up to. We captured this shot on a trip to Naples, Florida.

Our new bird feeder

When we got the squirrel corn the other day we also bought a bird feeder. So far we have not actually seen any feathered friends at the feeder, but the drop in the seed level and loose seeds on the ground under the feeder do show that it has been used.

Speaking of birds, there is a Pileated Woodpecker living somewhere around our neighborhood. We have seen him a couple of times flying through. What a magnificent bird. We’re looking forward to more sightings.

Since we’re not traveling Sher and I have focused on getting our backyard into a more comfortable and enjoyable living space. BC (before coronavirus) we were traveling for much of the year. Thanks to COVID-19 that has changed drastically.

Got any bird feeders in your yard? What is your favorite bird?

Remember all that “stay healthy” advice! Don’t slip up!

Watching the squirrel with the corn

Yesterday during our “get out of the house for a change of scenery” adventure we somehow got on the subject of squirrels and feeding them. One thing led to another and we decided that we’d get some ear corn and mount it on backyard trees. Our son went into the Rural King store and got us a bag of ear corn.

We put one ear of corn each on two different trees in our backyard. When I first got up this morning neither ear had been touched. Then a second check a little later revealed that one of the ears was now completely devoid of kernels. The squirrel had moved to the second ear, which was on the tree closer to the house. It was grabbing a kernel and then burying it close to the tree. About every fourth kernel buried he would stop and eat one! The squirrel is, as I write this, continuing to take the kernels off this second corn cob.  Fun to watch, but now I have to decide how much corn to put out.

Oh, we also got a bird feeder. No action there yet. We’ll let you know…..

Stay safe and healthy friends! 

 

Ready for the breeze

Have you ever blown the little white flyers off a dandelion?

This dandelion is in full seed mode with 150 – 200 seeds. Sometimes this stage is called a puff ball. Soon a breeze will take the seeds on a remarkable journey.

Devils Tower: the first U.S. National Monument

Northeast Wyoming is home to one of the most remarkable landscape features in the United States. The towering mass of volcanic rock known as Devils Tower has long been the destination of curious travelers and is the source of several Native American legends describing the origin of the rock formation. We made a short detour on our way from Indiana to Seattle to see this striking and beautiful gift from Earth.

IMG_4701_resized

Seen from a distance, this “tower” is one of the most striking features in Wyoming

One of the legends of the origin of the tower tells the story of girls who were pursued by a huge bear. The girls prayers were answered when the Great Spirit caused the rock to raise from the ground with the girls safely on top. The bear attempted to climb the smooth sides of the rock, and his claws made the distinctive shapes we see today.

Geologists tell us that the tower was made when volcanic intrusions of lava pushed up into thick layers of sandstone, now eroded away after millions of years. The rock, an igneous basalt type, took on the shapes of columns when it cooled. Called a columnar formation, this shape is not uncommon and can be found in rocks all over the world.

IMG_4702_resized

Close up shot of the columnar structure. Each “column” is about 8 feet across!

The Devils Tower was the first designated US National Monument, so declared by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906. The first Caucasians saw the tower in the 1850’s. It was the site of the famous finish of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.