And just like that, after painting Wood Duck last month, two have returned to the pond to paddle. Not for long though, as our dog flushes them out and they wing up through cloudy skies, circling round and round to see whether we’re gone. Every year they come from wherever they’ve been to shape a nest in the woods to lay eggs in; once hatched we’ll see the whole family paddling, ducklings behind mama and papa until dog gives chase and with a flap and a flurry, into the trees they go.
Is it winter as yet? Sure smells, tastes, and feels like spring. Three days of rain and the creek flows clearly sweet, burbling and gurgling. Continue reading
It’s that time of year. Time for a new broom to ribbon and anoint before sweeping through our rooms. Give me a broom over a vacuum any day. I love brooms with their long wooden handles and bundled grassy heads. We get ours from the farmers coop, where you’ll see truckbeds filled with broomcorn, really a grass related to sorghum, after harvest in the autumn. They’re beautiful, long stalked with feathery sprays as tops that range from purplish to maroon to creamy and dusky rose. Continue reading
We are a house of birds. All spring and summer a family of starlings made their home outside a window, up in a hole under the eaves where a soffit fell out. They’d fly to and fro with worms for their chicks, disappearing and reappearing from in and out the hole. Later they’d hop out onto the cedar closeby and young starlings would make their first flights, cedar to tulip poplar and back again. The cedar housed a hornets nest, bald faced, one year; but we are a birdhouse not a hornet house and so they stayed in nest beneath the boughs even when the windows were open. A few sparrows have visited through those windows, they pecked at the kitchen floor before finding their way back outside, eventually. Once a bat flew in, giving rise to pandemonium. Unlike sparrows, who are welcome in our birdhouse, bats are not . . . the thought of a bat flying about at night, landing on my head, or worse, what if they went into my ear while I slept? My great-grandmother told that they folded up real tiny and enjoyed getting into one’s ears, though she also told that they’d get into hair and pull strands around themselves into a coccoon, Eeee! We got the bat out with the use of sheets, and kept the windows closed at nights after that . . . now the starling abode is home to juncos, they’ve moved in for the winter, starlings long gone. Winter’s arrived with snow and chickadees with shiny black heads, nuthatches, and cardinals. They seem to like it here when it’s cold. Up in the apple trees they peck at fruit, as well as usnea and lichen on the branches. In the garden, they gather and peck at all the flower stalks we leave till spring comes around, zinnias, dock, marshmallow, goldenrod, echinacea. We are a house of birds, imbibing as birds. Continue reading
It was three weeks ago when I went out to feed our hens. We currently have 12 hens and 3 roosters. I emerged from the coop and heard a most suspicious peeping sound. Looking to investigate, I entered the run and, there in the highest nesting box, was a hen with three chicks!
I got them some food and water and put it up on the flat, wooded perches outside the nesting box and stood back to watch. This is a funny time for hatching chicks, but it has not been that cold lately. Continue reading
freshly fallen snow
to make a brand new path in
angel spreads her wings