Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yellow bird, which one are you?

After searching my Birds of Washington State book, and reading the descriptions of many yellow birds which look like this one, I narrowed it down to about three, then with the help of All about I am pretty sure this is a Orange crowned Warbler. As I saw it just one time at the feeder, I presume it just stopped by for a quick snack, on it's way to a warmer place to spend the winter.
Mary Lou pointed out that she has had a Ruby Crowned kinglet at her feeder, and when I took a look at the picture of one in my bird book, I think I was mistaken in calling this one a Orange Crowned Warbler, because it has a white undertail which the Kinglet has and also the markings around the eye are more like a Kinglets. Thanks Mary Lou for pointing this out.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thankgiving

To all my readers, Have a wonderful thanksgiving day. Blessings to all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A good day to stay indoors

How about that? it has warmed up to 20 degrees. Brrrrr! I was scheduled to be at a clients home at 8am, did I go? no sir, I called in and told them that the roads were too slick. It really isn't worth risking having an accident and wrecking my car or being hurt, for the few dollars I would earn for a couple of hours work.

It all looks so pretty when the sun comes out, but don't let that fool you. There is a very cold wind blowing and there is ice on the roads under the snow. Last night as I snuggled under the blankets in my warm bed, listening to the local radio station in the Seattle area, I was so glad I was not out in the terrible conditions. The radio station was receiving calls from motorists, some who had been on the road, stopped for hours. There were stranded vehicles all over the place, some were abandoned as people decided to walk, jack-knifed semis, transit buses unable to make headway on the slick roads, fender benders and other more serious accidents as people were trying to make their way home.

Bunny tracks in the snow.
The bunnies were all waiting this morning for their food. Good thing they have fur coats.

The birds are cute to watch as they pull first one foot up under their feathers to warm it up, then repeat with the other foot. Poor wee things. I am making sure they have plenty of food.

Monday, November 22, 2010

First snow of the season

I started to snow about 7:30am this morning, so I immediately went outside to fill the bird feeders and feed the rabbits. It is very cold and the forecast is for colder temperatures. I am not looking forward to driving the slick roads.

The rabbits have been fed their munchies, and I am sure they are glad to have the extra nutrition.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Woody woodpecker's cousin

The Downy woodpecker is the cutest little bird.

He especially likes the suet

This one did not seem to be shy, and stayed still long enough so I could snap his picture.

CORRECTION, I had this little guy identified as a hairy woodpecker, thank you Randy for pointing out that it is actually a downy woodpecker. You can tell the difference between the two, by the downy having a shorter beak and the downy nostril feathering which filters out the sawdust produced in hammering.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I can't tell you how long I have spent, and how many photos I have attempted to take of this speedy little guy.

The Red breasted Nuthatch has been the most difficult bird who visits my feeders, to take a photo of.

He zooms to the feeder, snatches up a seed, then zooms away just as fast.

The only way I could catch him at the feeder was to wait until I saw him, sit by the window, camera focused on the feeder, finger on the button, waiting for him to land on the perch.

My patience finally paid off, and this past week I have managed to snap a few pictures.

Here is what "all about birds" has to say about this little bird: An intense bundle of energy at your feeder, Red-breasted Nuthatches are tiny, active birds of north woods and western mountains. These long-billed, short-tailed songbirds travel through tree canopies with chickadees, kinglets, and woodpeckers but stick to tree trunks and branches, where they search bark furrows for hidden insects. Their excitable yank-yank calls sound like tiny tin horns being honked in the treetops.

Read more HERE

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just a wee bit of color left.

Last year, we got our first frost around the 6th of December, and I remember still having a few flowers blooming in the garden.

This year is the same. The pretty cerise pink of a Mum, is brightening a corner of the garden

and this red one also.

There is one hardy rose refusing to give up yet, and sleep for the winter

But the biggest surprise of all, was one single gladioli bloom I discovered starting to bloom. This one I picked and brought inside to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I know I will probably regret this decision

In a previous post, I had written about the little black rabbit which had found it's way into my flower garden. Well after a week of chasing it out and watching it nimbly jump back over the fence, I have raised the white flag of surrender.

Winter is coming on, so most of the plants in the garden have died back and it seems that many of them are not palatable to black bunny. Besides, being black, he really stands out and I think he/she will be safe from a predator behind the fence.

Yes, that is a dish of rabbit munchies I have given bunny, and yes, I am an old softie.

I can count my blessings that black bunny's cousins just hang out on the driveway next to the garden, and don't seem interested in hopping over the fence. But as Mr C pointed out, black bunny is still young and perhaps when it reaches full size, it will not be able to hop/clamber over the fence. We will see about that, come spring when all the new shoots appear, I may resort to spraying the garden with liquid fence, and black bunny will have to go hang out with it's cousins.

"So, you think I can't see you back there?" I asked black bunny, when I found it hanging out on the front porch checking out the tasty plants in the pots.

Awww! I can't resist such a cute little face.

Uh Oh! discovered in the garden again!

Perhaps we should give black bunny a name. What would you name him/her?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Flicker, Flicker, Flicker

I have a suet feeder set up right outside my kitchen window, and yesterday when I was working on a project on the table, I noticed a flicker enjoying the suet. As I watched out of the corner of my eye, the flicker seemed unconcerned about my nearness, but as soon as I picked up my camera and turned towards the window to take photos, then he became wary.

Shall I stay or go?

You are getting too close to the window!

Now I am very nervous!

HERE is a web site, well worth exploring for more information on this very handsome bird, the Northern flicker.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What do you think you are doing in there?

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, know we have semi-tame rabbits who like to hold us for ransom until they get bread every day. They also like to hang out with me, when I relax on my deck chair during my break from the garden work.

It has been a long time since finding a rabbit had managed to find it's way behind the fence securing my flowers from rabbit nibbles.

Yesterday, as I walked past the fenced garden I heard a rustle in the dry leaves alerting me to an intruder. I looked around and discovered this young black bunny, sitting there staring at me bold as brass. "now how on earth did you get in there?" I asked bunny, it stared right back and did not seem very nervous at all.
I put my head inside the front door and called for Mr C to come outside to see what I had found. Along the back of the garden next to the concrete porch, I have a piece of lattice fence I can lift out so I can gain easy access to the garden, I moved the lattice out of the way, and Mr C and I managed to quietly persuade the black bunny to make it's way towards the opening and then hop on out, across the porch and away from the house, where it stopped long enough for a photo.
He/she is such a pretty little rabbit we hope it will join our semi-tame team and hang out with them. We just hope it does not find it's way back behind the garden fence.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Beautiful in it's own way

But I don't want to live here.
Some of you may know I am a competitive pistol shooter, and last week Mr C and I were in Prescott Arizona to compete in a match. Of course, the gardener in me is always on the lookout for any flora and fauna, and although I did not see critters of any kind, there were some interesting plants to capture shots of with my trusty Kodak easyshare.

This is the terrain where the range is located. It is rocky, dry, with scrubby stunted trees and shrubs, seemingly doing well in such a harsh environment, but of course they have adapted to survive in this land of hot dry conditions. There were a few flowers still blooming, doing their thing before the cold winter really sets in. Yes they do get snow here, as it is around 5000-6000 feet in altitude.

Prickly friends

There is an abundance of prickly pear cactus in the area.

The hardy aster was the only plant growing on the side of the dry berm.

I cannot identify this plant.

Prickly poppy
Such a delicate bloom on a very prickly plant

The only water I could see for miles around, was in this stock tank fed by the windmill, although the unpaved road into the range, showed evidence of a recent downpour, with deep washouts across the road. Fortunately the club at the range owns a grader which was used to smooth the road out the day before the match, other wise it would have been a very bumpy ride out to the range.

We have dandelions, this part of Arizona has saguaro cactus.

I took these photos out of the car window, as we blasted along the freeway on our ride back into Phoenix, to catch the plane back to Washington.

Saguaro standing so stately against the background of a clear blue sky.

As much as I think the desert is beautiful, I could not live here. Being born and raised in New Zealand, surrounded by an abundance of green, and just about half an hours drive to the ocean beach, I would be a very unhappy person in this environment.
After competing in the match,
we wound down by doing the tourist thing, exploring Prescott and the surrounding area.