Friday, September 9, 2011

Birds of summer

Living out here in a rural area has given us more things to see than in the city.  Just the other day two large turkeys were wobbling along in front of our deck.  Sadie barked them off before I could grab a camera. And up at the front gate, a bluebird would fly out from its box on a fencepost whenever we approached. That flash of brilliant blue with a distinctive orange marking would take my breath away. But I never got a photo of those, either.

Up closer to the house we've had quite a show this year. Some good friends gave us a goldfinch feeder with a spiral perch along the cylinder, and filled with thistle seed it does a terrific job attracting those impossibly bright finches.  Dave Bennett caught three of them on the feeder a couple weeks ago.

And my friend David Rice clued me in a couple years ago had to get hummingbirds to pick our feeder: Don't use that pre-packaged red stuff.  Just add a cup of sugar to four cups of water, microwave the stuff so it's clearly dissolved, and get ready to watch the hummingbird wars.  When we put out three feeders, our hummers love to buzz one another as others swoop in and out of the gnarled branches of a mountain laurel where we hang the feeders.  If you're not looking you can tell when they're around. The distinctive hum of these critters is addictive.  Dave Bennett got a nice picture of a hummingbird, too.

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