Tag Archives: Juncos

Um, The Juncos Are Early This Year (I’m not ready for winter!)

I was enjoying a brief time of sunshine today even though we’re being hit with this polar blast (high 24 degrees F.).  It lasted just long enough this afternoon to melt off the dusting of snow we had.  While I was looking out the window, I saw this:

Juncos.  Early.  They're a little hard to see.  Look closely, they're there!

Juncos. Early. I imagine the polar vortex sent them looking for easier climes.  They’re a little hard to see. Look closely, they’re there!

This charming little bird arrives each year to keep us company through the winter.  Known in some places as the “Snowbird”, the Dark-eyed Juncos arrive here each fall, usually November, and remain until spring. They then fly north or east into the mountains to mate and raise their young.

This is a picture of a male up in a tree from last year.  They normally prefer the ground and shrubs, but will come up into the trees to the feeders.

This is a picture of a male up in a tree from last year. They normally prefer the ground and shrubs, but will come up into the trees to the feeders.

I’m hoping they are not a harbinger of a long cold winter.  Unfortunately, I also found this on my porch wall right before the cold hit:

Folklore has it that the more black on the wooly bear caterpillar, the worse the winter.

Folklore has it that the more black on the wooly bear caterpillar, the worse the winter!

I am not ready for cold and snow!   But Mother Nature has her own ideas about things! *sigh*

Winter Bird Picture Round-up

The Juncos and Mourning Doves sharing spilled grain.  They prefer to eat on the ground rather than at the feeders.

The Juncos and Mourning Doves sharing spilled grain. They prefer to eat on the ground rather than at the feeders.

Well, life went crazy last spring and I never seemed to ‘catch-up’ as it were.  So I have all these photos in my ‘Blog Photo File’ that never made it into a post.  So I’m going to give you a line-up of the winter bird photos left with no home.  🙂

An early fall picture of a female Downy Woodpecker.  One of our year round residents.

An early fall picture of a female Downy Woodpecker. One of our year round residents. The males actually do most of the brooding on the nest.

The Tufted Titmouse is a bold little bird that has been known to pull hair from sleeping dogs, cats, and squirrels to line their nests with.

The Tufted Titmouse is a bold little bird that has been known to pull hair from sleeping dogs, cats, and squirrels to line their nests with.

I have not always been thrilled with Blue Jays.  I've seen them tear apart other birds' nests.  But they are very engaging and lovely birds.  I had one Blue Jay that had learned to imitate a dog's growl.  And when I would sit outside on the bank near the feeders, he would come down to a low branch on the tree and growl at me!

I have not always been thrilled with Blue Jays. I’ve seen them tear apart other birds’ nests. But they are very engaging and lovely birds. I had one Blue Jay that had learned to imitate a dog’s growl. And when I would sit outside on the bank near the feeders, he would come down to a low branch on the tree and growl at me!

Someone, probably a deer, had knocked the bird seed out of a feeder to the right out of frame.  So everyone was taking advantage of the extra.  It was so cold at this time that even hot water poured into the birdbaths froze right up in less than an hour.

Someone, probably a deer, had knocked the bird seed out of the feeder to the right. So everyone was taking advantage of the extra. It was so cold at this time that even hot water poured into the birdbaths froze right up in less than an hour.

The Northern Cardinal.  We usually have at least 5 mated pairs using our yard.  These are the birds that tell me, with a special type of chirp, that night is falling.

The Northern Cardinal. We usually have at least 5 mated pairs using our yard. These are the birds that tell me, with a special type of chirp, that night is falling.

A Black-capped Chickadee and a House Wren squabble over lunch.

A Black-capped Chickadee and a House Wren squabble over lunch.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker has just put a sunflower seed into the hole at his feet.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker has just put a sunflower seed into the hole at his feet.

Now he is pecking it apart in order to eat it.  Since he started doing this, and, no doubt, widened the hole; many other birds now use this hole for hulling sunflowers!

Now he is pecking it apart in order to eat it. Since he started doing this, and, no doubt, widened the hole; many other birds now use this hole for hulling sunflower seeds!

The Mourning Doves all huddled in the tree on cold winter morning.  Hopefully, I won't be able to take any more pictures like this for at least another six or seven months!

The Mourning Doves all huddled in the tree on a cold winter morning. Hopefully, I won’t be able to take any more pictures like this for at least another six or seven months!

 

 

Juncos! Winter Has Officially Arrived!

Random Thoughts

“Why do birds sing in the morning? It’s the triumphant shout: ‘We got through another night!'” – Enid Bagnold

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Every year a charming little bird arrives to keep us company through the winter.  Known in some places as the “Snowbird”, the Dark-eyed Juncos arrive here each fall, usually November, and remain until spring. They then fly north or east into the mountains to mate and raise their young.  Our Juncos arrived two days ago. (And in trying to get pictures of them, I realized that they are never really still.)

We have females this year!  She is brownish while the males are charcoal colored.

We have females this year! She is brownish while the males are charcoal colored.

A female (left) and a male (right).

A female (left) and a male (right).  The have a charming way of uncovering seeds and insects.  They give the ground a good-looking at with head tilted and then do a double scratch-hop backwards to uncover what they want to eat.

A male checking for seeds kicked out of  the feeders above in the tree.

A male checking for seeds kicked out of the feeders above in the tree.

These birds prefer low shrubs and grasses to trees.  Finding one actually up in the tree outside my window was a real treat.

These birds prefer low shrubs and grasses to trees. Finding one actually up in the tree outside my window was a real treat.

Life At Our House

I have made another tissue box cover!

This yarn was so soft and fuzzy I couldn't find the stitches in the start chain.  I wound up stitching in toothpick halves with each chain so I could get the pattern started!

This yarn was so soft and fuzzy I couldn’t find the stitches in the start chain. I wound up stitching in toothpick halves with each chain so I could get the pattern started!

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I killed an unused Halloween pumpkin today.  I had to have my annual toasted pumpkin seed fix!

Mmmmmm...nom nom nom

Mmmmmm…nom nom nom

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12:13 pm – Night All!

 

 

Weather, Back Pain, a Little Bit of Work Done

 Random Thoughts

Not a whole lot to talk about today.  I’m still fighting with my back.  It’s amazing how tired pain makes you.  And when you can’t sleep properly, it just gets worse from there.

I found this saying rifling through some papers I had and it startled a laugh out of me.  And a, “Yeah, right”.  And an eye roll.  But still…

“I have a lot of excitement in my life.  I used to call it tension, but I feel much better now that I call it excitement.” –Madeleine Costigan

Life At Our House

WOO HOO!  I finished my monthly boxes!  I’m going to print out the inventory and add up the teapots and mugs.  I know I have over 40 teapots.  I’m going to split February in half so I can have January out for at least a little while.  My favorite winter teapot is in January.  But first Christmas needs to be put away.  February 2 (Candlemas) is looming.  Yikes!

We did get one thing done this weekend.  The Christmas dishes have been washed and put away.

I can't remember when I bought these.  I just remember they were on clearance...

I can’t remember when I bought these. I just remember they were on clearance…

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Shhhh...nap time.

Shhhh…nap time.

Out In The Yard

I am really tired of this screwy weather.  Here is three days ago:

Snow, snow, snow

Snow, snow, snow

And more snow.

And more snow.

Single digits and minus zero windchills made for hungry birdies.  Mourning Dove, Junco, Cardinal, and Chickadee

Single digits and minus zero windchills made for hungry birdies. Mourning Dove, Junco, Cardinal, and Chickadee

It has now been raining for 2 straight days.  It made it up to 68 degrees today.  And guess what I found?

Daffodils in freaking January.

Daffodils in freaking January.

And my white star shaped flowers whose name escapes me.  These have been dug up by my neighbors cats &%@#&.  Can you see the paw print in the mud?

And my white star shaped flowers whose name escapes me. These have been dug up by my neighbors cats &%@#&. Can you see the paw print in the mud?

And by tomorrow morning it is supposed to be back down to 27 degrees.  WTF?  My poor plants!

Mug of the Day

The following mug was given to me by my BFF when I was in college.  It survived all these years and, if I counted right, 11 moves.  Now Saver of Bugs has it at college with her.  And my BFF is her honorary Auntie.  Long live the blue horse mug!

This mug is so awesome.  Sorry about the pic quality though,  the camera's not the best.

This mug is so awesome. Sorry about the pic quality though, the camera’s not the best. – Saver

Well, Darn, It Really Is Winter Now and My Kids Are Trying To Quit Me From Cussing

Random Thoughts and Life At Our House

Well, darn.  This is what I woke up to this morning:

The view out my bedroom window.  Why, yes, I turn my Christmas lights on on dreary days when I'm home.  The Dec/Jan electric bill always hurts.  The price of doing Christmas lights.

The view out my bedroom window. Why, yes, I turn my Christmas lights on on dreary days when I’m home. The Dec/Jan electric bill always hurts. The price of doing Christmas lights.

The middle bedroom.  Yeah, the rhododendron needs cut down.  It's at least 15 ft high.

The middle bedroom. Yeah, the rhododendron needs cut down. It’s at least 15 ft high.

Out the front window.  Tried the butterfly bush for the summer.  It's gonna go.  It grew clear over the sidewalk.

Out the front window. Tried the butterfly bush for the summer. It’s gonna go. It grew clear over the sidewalk.

Out the kitchen window.

Out the kitchen window.

Out the bathroom window.

Out the bathroom window.

Big pine tree at the back of our lot.

Big pine tree at the back of our lot.

Another sign of winter are the birdies:

This is a Junco.  They arrive in the fall and leave in the spring.  They showed up at the beginning of the month.  They are camera shy so you can't see just how beautiful they are, charcoal grey with snow white tummies.  They are cheerful little birds that spend most of their time scratching on the ground for food.

This is a Junco. They arrive in the fall and leave in the spring. They showed up at the beginning of the month. They are camera-shy so you can’t see just how beautiful they are, charcoal grey with snow-white tummies. They are cheerful little birds that spend most of their time scratching on the ground for food.

And the American Goldfinch in his winter clothes.  In the summer these birds are a bright yellow.  They luuve sunflower seeds.

And the American Goldfinch in his winter clothes. In the summer these birds are a bright yellow with black wing bars. They luuve sunflower seeds.  (And that’s a Mourning Dove supervising on top the feeder.)

Sigh.  Winter is here.

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My kids are on a mission, darn it.  To stop me from cussing, particularly in public.  My daughter says I shouldn’t be corrupting youth.  Not sure they’re going to eradicate a habit I’ve had for over 2/3rds of my life.  And I like cussing!  It’s emotionally satisfying.  If I hadn’t been there for the birth and if my kids weren’t so much like me, I’d have to wonder if they were actually mine! 🙂

*****

We still have one more Christmas to go.  We celebrate with my in-laws on New Year’s Day.  We got the shopping done yesterday.  And husband went out today and bought a pork loin to make into pork roast and some chops, and sauerkraut, and a handful of poppers for New Year’s Eve.

Saver and I also hit the calendar kiosk for our 50% off calendar shopping.  I had to splurge on an extra desk calendar when I saw the “Believing In Ourselves” Daily Meditations for Women desk calendar.  The “Spirit of Place” and the “What Horses Teach Us” are Saver’s calendars.

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While I was rummaging around through some papers before Christmas I found a Toys R Us gift card that had belonged to Spider Bait.  According to him he gave me the card for cash and I should go get some Triops.  Um, okay.  So I made a trip to Toys R Us but they didn’t have Triops.  They did have Sea Monkeys.  So I grabbed some of them and a couple of puzzles.  I had to use some of my Christmas cash cause getting 2 puzzles instead of just one put me over the gift card.  And I’m not even sure the Sea Monkeys are any good cause the packets feel funny.  Like maybe they got wet at some point.  Oh, well.  Time will tell.

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I also had a JoAnn Fabric’s gift card from my birthday and I had to hit JoAnn’s to check out the sales.  I needed this stuff like I needed a hole in my head and I went over my card limit (seeing a pattern here?) and spent some of my Christmas cash because they were clearing out the paper and there were only a couple left.  I have nooo will power.  And, NO, I will not tell you how many WIP’s I have lying around here.

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And a $2 reusable bag to carry it in.

And a $2 reusable bag to carry it in.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Before Christmas I finally got my Hermit Crab tanks cleaned back up.  I was a bad crab mommy.

Before.  Yuk.  Way toooo dry.

Before. Yuk. Way toooo dry.

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After

After

Happy Hermies!

Happy Hermies!

Out In The Yard

Attention plant lovers!  It’s time to start repotting plants house plants and starting your perennial seeds!  Once the Solstice has passed and the days begin to get longer you’re good to go.

And a heads up to you orchid lovers!  Ikea has Phalaenopsis orchids on sale for $4.99.  More Christmas cash gone.

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Mug of the Day

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Time for me to go.  Here’s me working on a post.  Usually, though, I’m in my PJ’s!

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