Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Newsletter - 2/15/11

Hello Dear Friends!

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  It's a favorite holiday of mine and we had a very nice time celebrating.  One of the posts in this newsletter is about our celebration day which turned out a bit different than we had planned it.  

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Female Pileated Woodpecker
What we were most grateful for is that we were together and had each other ... so the setting for anything beyond that takes back seat.

One rare visitor to our front porch bird buffet is the huge Pileated Woodpecker.  This female is beginning to store up some fat for nesting season.  They've been drilling a tree in the back woods for a new location of a nest.  We had babies last year from another nest, so I guess part of that brood is staying around.  The males have a red "mustache" along the sides of their face, whereas the females are just black and white.  We have many different woodpeckers here, but these big ones (15-19" long) are such a treat to see.

Our flocks of American Robins have arrived and are working on eating the rest of the holly berries we have around the house.  The two trees in front of our porch were already cleared off by the bluebirds, mockingbirds and squirrels, but we have other bushes that have been full of berries this year.  They have been guzzling them down since they arrived last Friday.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - American Robin at Birdbath
Robins are so pretty.  Some birds are easier to photograph and I consider robins one of the best.  I don't know if it's the coloring or the patterns that make some birds look better in photos than others, but robins sure do look great with those orange breast, white streaks under their chin and white rings around the eye.  

When they give you a dead on stare, they are just beautiful! I got one of those while I was filming a video of the robins drinking water from our small pond in the backyard.  View video.  They're also birds that will pause and ponder the situation, so you have time to get a shot without a blur of wings and movement.

This week's weather has been beautiful so far and it's supposed to last all week with Friday being 73.  Spring has arrived here at Bluebird Cove ... well, I can pretend for a little while.  I take one day at a time and enjoy the warm ones like there is no tomorrow.  

We've had a lot of game nights at our house since winter began.  We love to play games and are fortunate enough to have several sets of friends who do also.  Randal and I play games several times a week in winter and summer ... we play outside in the summer.  Our favorite games are RummiKub, Sequence, PayDay, BananaGrams, Monopoly Card Game, Blink, and Gin Rummy.  We have two card games that friends have taught us called Hand & Foot and May I?  So with all that variety, we're never bored.  

What games do you enjoy playing?  We'd love to have some new recommendations?  Leave your comment on the post page at the website (click on title of this post to get there if you're getting this by email).  The comments section is at the bottom of the post.  That way others who love games will be able to enjoy your favorites also.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - 11 Pine Siskins Feeding on the Table
This winter we've had Pine Siskins for a long time.  There has been a huge flock visiting us front and back so I'm thankful we keep thistle seed since it seems to be their favorite.

At times there are 25-30 of them on the front porch feeding on the hanging thistle socks, on the porch floor, and from the pie pans filled with thistle and safflower seeds and sprinkled around the table between them.  

People visiting say, "The birds sure make a mess, don't they?"  My response is, "Actually I make the mess.  I sprinkle the seeds all over the table so there is more space to feed.  But the reality is that if I didn't do it, they would.  Especially the Carolina Wren.  They like to dig through the dishes for the dried mealworms and toss out all the seeds in the process.

Spring is soon here ... I'm looking for the daffodils!


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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

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