Rockin’ Robin

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This mutant robin has territory on a main drag in the nearby town. Because the roads are mostly traffic-free, I managed to snap its picture after several attempts. Its condition is leucism, a lack of pigment in feathers.

North American robins – aka Turdus migratorius aka Wandering pooper* – have returned en masse to Michigan.  They boldly hop across the deck while I’m lunching, They investigate the sod I’ve overturned – while I’m in the middle of planting hostas. They scold me as I refill the birdbath.

Of course, they make up for it by being harbingers of warmer weather. They also sing, “chuckle” and chirp: three sounds for the price of one!

They will, no doubt, return to their milder manners after they’ve finished fighting each other over territory and started building nests.

Or I am doomed to be bossed around by birdbrains!


*Not the real translation of the Latin scientific name, although it CERTAINLY is “in the vulgar.”

Cranky Birdies

Except during the snowstorm, the birdfeeder has been a hub of frantic activity. Sparrows, juncos, cardinals, and (my favorite) chickadees have flitted in and out.

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As the last round of snow melts, the birds are landing on the clearing deck.

However, certain birds will not tolerate others feeding at their suet block. Nuthatches jab at neighboring diners; downy woodpeckers intimidate far larger birds. And, in a dramatic moment I wished I’d captured on film, a redheaded woodpecker managed to catch the leg of a sparrow and fling it aside.

I’m glad pterodactyls are extinct.

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Redheaded murder-bird is focused on food, so sparrow is safe… for now.


A personal note: February has been rough in and around La Casa de Tontería. My parents both hadsurgeries last week, but I didn’t make the trek because I have the Creeping Crud. I called in sick one day when I had a fever, but otherwise have slogged onward. I owe some readers a January progress report. Expect it when I post it!

Autumn is coming…

5cbf584f-542d-4c58-9c48-215ac28f22f1.jpegLast night was cold enough that I woke up and added a quilt to the bedding, but today has been pleasantly warm and sunny. I spent part of the afternoon lounging on a gravity chair in the back yard, enjoying the perfect temperature and ambiance.

The sounds of late summer are in the air. The piercing cicada solos are accompanied by crickets chirping not just at night but all day long. Perhaps competing for food sources, blue jays argue more raucously and chase sparrows from the birdbath. And the background noise of trees has subtly changed to a drier rustle.

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Across the river, Canada’s trees are turning red. Despite dark clouds in the morning, the afternoon was bright and the sunshine broken only by lofty cloud mountains drifting through.

Cheering on the Underdog… bird

I enjoy sitting on the front porch in the early evening. Reading relaxes me and sometimes interesting things happen in the street or the wooded lot.

Sunday I went inside for a moment and returned to a ruckus. Robins* chased a big tomcat across the lawn, past the street, and into the wooded lot. (And I finished the job, according to the neighbor.) It seems they had a vested interested in a noisy little intruder that had taken over the porch. Continue reading