Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hummingbirds are out of breath

The hummingbirds arrived today.. YEAH~! This morning I had one and just before dark I had two.. Hopefully more will come tomorrow and then drop their suitcases in my yard and stay all summer. After that big long flight they looked like they were panting. Ha Ha.. They took a lot of drinks from the two feeders that I have out for them. They were in competition with the Baltimore Orioles, They arrived today and they were hungry too. I made extra food for the feeders tonight. Don't want to run out of food with all this excitement in the yard. The Orioles have two bowls of grape jelly so they won't go hungry.
The red-bellied woodpecker has a mate and they are nesting in the tree right outside the house in the big tree by the driveway. That is where I have 5 feeders. They have been chowing down on the black oil sunflowers and the grape jelly. Didn't know woodpeckers had sweet beaks. They are fun to watch.
Put out a pile of small sticks for the wren.. In one hour they were gone and he was singing in the tree. Tomorrow I'll help him out and gather some more sticks for him.. Oh how much fun I'm having. Thank you God~!~! For the birds. What a blessing it is to sit in the yard and watch all this activity. The only thing missing is my sister Lynn and my brothers Dave and
Leroy.. What a magic moment that would be if they were here~!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Rhubarb Crisp

Today I made Rhubarb Crisp.. It was soooo good. I took 1/2 of it to the neighbors.. The Starry's. They were so delighted that I brought them dessert. Kim said she bought some vanilla ice cream and they would have that with the Rhubarb.
Conner their son, who is 8 showed me a baby rabbit he found. He said that he was going to take it back to it's nest.. There are 4 other babies there too. They were so sweet. I held it for a minute and it was so little. Isn't Spring just wonderful.. Lots of babies to hold.
Today I put up the hammock out by the Olive Tree. I have a finch feeder hanging really close and it was fun to watch the goldfinches come to feed. They are just about 5 feet from the hammock. My friend Sharlyn called me today and said "Get Ready" the Balitimore Orioles are here. So I put out the grape jelly for them. . The red bellied woodpecker loves the grape jelly. Hope he shares with the orioles.

Precious babies

Today while I was mowing the grass down to the creek, I passed by the bluebird nesting boxes. In one was a sparrow and she had 4 babies. They were nestled in a nest with lots of grass, feathers from a pheasant, cardinal,bluejay, a small piece of plastic.It also had rabbit fur. The baby birds were so pink, no feathers. They were bald all over. I picked one up and held it softly in my hand.. It was moving around and opening it's mouth. Mother sparrow was having a fit,, I told her to cool it~! You know it's a myth that if you hold baby birds, the mother will smell your scent and the mother will abandon the baby.. Not true.. Birds can't smell. I carefully put the baby bird back into it's nest, closed the door of the box and then I drove the lawn tractor ahead. I stopped the mower and just sat and watched,, Mother Sparrow was back in the box and checking out her babies.. Pretty soon Father Sparrow brought some bugs for his kids and everyone was happy again. There's just something about food, it helps to soothe the nerves. Bugs is Comfort Food for them. I'll take some Chocolate please...no bugs~!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Nesting Materials and Noisy Wrens

Received my new all time favorite "Birders World" magazine. There was article about nesting materials. It said that if we place twigs in small piles around the yard the Male House Wren will gather it up as he has a big job. He just doesn't build one nest he builds lots of nests for his sweatheart. When she comes to meet him, she inspects his nests and OUCH~! She chooses the nest site that she likes and then she tears the nest apart that he maticulousy built just for her and the off spring. She throws all the twigs out of the nest and rebuilds it herself. That is a lot of work. When she is done they are both happy. He sits in a near by branch and sings his song of series of bubbling liquid trills. If you have a nest nearby your house forget about sleeping in ~in the morning.. This little guy will wake you up at 4:30 and keep singing until you say "Uncle" and you get up and make coffee and go outside and hear the musical spring songs of all the birds. What a joy~!~! I love spring and all that God has to offer us in all the things that he made for us to enjoy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Apples and Oranges

This morning I put out new oranges and apples. The ones I put out yesterday morning are gone~! The red bellied woodpeckers just love the fresh fruit. Good thing I have a lot of apples and oranges to keep them supplied. I also noticed the downy woodpeckers, the black capped chickadees and of course the robins all found the fruit. It's quite a gathering of birds in my garden.
Today I'm going to move the bird bath. The feeders are right outside my big window in the living room. That way I will be able to see them better up close taking their baths. They sure do use it a lot to wash up everyday.
The beautiful spring songs are getting more stronger everyday.. The Cardinal's and the Orioles are trying to oudo each other in their songs. The poor females should be overwhelmed by all this attention that is given to them this time of year. The grass is getting greener and the temperature's this week being in the 50's should bring out the worms and the bugs.
Those dog gone asian beetles are everywhere in the house now. They are flourishing with the warm weather. Coming out of the woodwork. I wouldn't care so much, but they leave a bright yellow spot on everything. Get out the dust buster~!~! v-v-v-r-r-r-oommmmm~!

Friday, March 18, 2005


The birds are all busy with their musical singing. The males are trying to outdo each other with their body lanuage and their singing. Mr. Cardinal is yelping how pertty he is,, he sings "Perty=Perty=Perty"
Cleaned out the bluebird houses and they were filled with sparrow nests. Lots of pretty feathers~bluejay, pheasants, goldfinches, mourning doves. Sorry sparrow's your not nesting this spring. The bluebirds are here and they are going to have first chance.
I love the spring songs that the birds sing. The geese are back on the pond and they are squaking and honking when another bird comes near their water. Very territorial.
Starlings have learned to hang upside down to get at the suet. They must of lifted weights this year while they were wintering in the south. Usually they can't hang upside down, but this year they are deligent in getting that good home-made suet.
They could of stayed in Florida, that would not of hurt my feelings. The red-wing blackbirds loved it while they were in South Carolina, don't know why they didn't stay. They like to sit on my bluebird houses and not let them make a nest. Do they think they are in the army with those stripes on their wings? I call them sargent birds. They are very bossy ~!
The bird bath is busy with all kinds of activity. It needs refilling every day. Splash, Splash, Splash.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Blue birds are back~!

The bluebirds are back in the area. Well, the male bluebird. He always comes early like the male wren scoping out a home for his sweetheart.
Did you know that you need to have their houses facing East? It protects the nest from storms from the south and the afternoon sun from the west.
If you have pesky House Sparrows that bother the bluebirds visit the website from the North American Society~~ www.nabluesociety.org/sparrow.htm for detailed information on House Sparrow control.
If you get the April 2005 issue of Birders World there is a wonderful article about rolling out the red carpet for bluebirds.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Clean your Micro-Wave

Boom! It’s Clean: An easy (and fun) way to clean your microwave! Fill a paper cup with water and a few tablespoons of baking soda. Nuke it for 30 seconds or so – until the contents explode! The explosion flings cleanser over the microwave’s inside; all you have to do it take a damp paper towel and wipe the cleanser (and any cooked-on grunge) off.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

IT's Spring~!~!

Here in Iowa it's finally Spring~!~! When I go outside the birds are singing their spring lovey dovey songs. Time to get out the baby monitor. Every spring when the birds sing their mating songs to each other I go and get the baby monitor. I put one monitor outside and the other one in my kitchen. It's too cold to sit outside and listen, so this is easier. My cat goes crazy the first few days when I do this. She looks all over the house and tries to find the birds. I love to hear the Cardinal, singing Birdy Birdy Birdy...Then the goldfinches with their lilting sweeeet. The green feathers will be molting off soon and their bright yellow feathers will come forth..
Do you know how you know when Spring has really sprung in Iowa? When you see the first red-winged blackbirds. Sorry Robins you are not the first sign of Spring.
What a relief,,Spring is almost here..

Friday, February 25, 2005

Does your head itch?

Today Maria called me and said "Guess What?" I said m-m-m-? O.K. tell me.. She said all the kids have head lice. Oh my, my head starting itching all over. She said, I should comb my hair with a fine comb and then look at it and see if I saw any lice. No lice that I can see. She said Kelly has it the worst. She must of had it for a long time. Well, I'll have to keep tract of my scalp. I was there for 12 days. Have only been home for 10 days. Oh just the thought makes me itch~! Sure am glad that I didn't use their brushes to comb my hair while I was there. It gives me the ebee jeebees just thinking about the little guys crawling all over your head. Can you go blind if you get infested with them? lose your hair? Oh my, just hope I don't get those little creepy crawling things.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Big Fat Mouse

This morning when I woke up I came downstairs and made my first cup of coffee. There is nothing like a cup of coffee to start my day. It's like your whole body says AHHHHH~!~! While making the coffee I looked below my kitchen sink to see if a mouse had been trapped in the mouse trap. Yikes~! there was one mouse and it was huge. It's eyes were bugged out and it was dead. So I took the mouse out of the trap and threw it out the back door into the snow. I thought when I go out to feed the birds I'll take him out to the field.
I went out to feed the birds, the feeders were all empty. While I was at it I cleaned the feeders with my bird feeder brush. There were some port holes that were cloggled. I got all the bird feeders and the suet feeders with new food and I came in the house to get water for the bird bath. As I was headed to go out back door there was a huge red-tailed hawk swooping down from above and landing near the mouse. I ran to get my camera, but by the time I got the camera on, the hawk had the mouse in it's talon's and it was flying off to a nearby tree. So I tried to take a picture of it in the tree, but Mr. Hawk flew off with it's big ole fat mouse. WOW~! I was so surprised. The hawk was so big and was so close. So I took camera and took pictures of his feet prints in the snow. They were huge. When Dave came home I showed him the pictures of the feet prints and asked him if he knew what kind of bird made those prints. He said it looked like a chicken. (We don't have chickens). When I told him he said that was a good way of getting rid of my dead mice.
I called Rich and he said I should throw out some chicken meat tomorrow. Have camera ready and take the picture. Maybe tomorrow I'll get another mouse.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Flamingo's Dancing

If you hummed the nutcracker suite out loud, you could watch the flamingo's dancing back and forth like balerina's. Round and round, doing their perets, spelling wrong) they were so pink they were almost red. They would go into the water and then come back to the beach area. Dancing left and then right. Oh they were so much fun to watch.
They only lay one egg in a mudd mound. Won't it be fun here in the spring when they hatch their eggs we can see little flamingo's. If you want to see the flamingo's go to www.smithsonianzoo and go to the animal cam's that are there and you will find all kinds of animals. Pandas', baby cheetahs, gorilla's, elephants, girraff's, flamingo's, and other zoo animals, it's a window into the zoo that you can see on the internet right in your own home. Cool m-m-?

Izzy the Bisquit Eater

The last morning at Richard's house I decided to make bisquits for breakfast for everyone. The grandchildren loved them, lots of butter, jelly and almost all of it dripping down the chin. Such bliss to be a child again and not care that butter and jelly are dripping down the chin onto a clean shirt. Grab a napkin~Quick and catch those drips. Too late.
Walked the kids to school with the thought of coming home and having one of those bisquits with my morning coffee. As I was coming into the house I heard Rich say, "OH MY GOODNESS"~! I turned the corner just in time to see Izzy the dog, licking her lips. You could almost hear her say," "M-m-m- that was good, is there anymore?"
She ate the rest of the bisquits (8) and a whole stick of butter. Reality came quick as Rich said "Izzy, go to your bed, you bad dog". I laughed,and told him, "Well it comes with getting food under the table. When the kids don't like what's on their plate they put it on their spoons and spoon by spoon feed it to Izzy." So why not go for the top of the table. Can't you just imagine how a dog thinks ~"No one is here, breakfast must be over. So I'll just get what is left over." Sounds reasonable for a dog m-? I just laughed and thought of all the dogs we had when our kids were younger and they fed the dog under the table. It's a food chain.
I think what is so funny,is that Izzy only gets 2 cups of dogfood a day to keep her slim. It's a good thing. With the dogfood and peoplefood she gets daily she will become a little lumpy and bumpy. I think that is called love handles.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Seeing Black and White

This morning while walking the kids to school this very ambitious black and white dog almost plowed us over. IT was jumping all over the place, jumping on us, jumping in circles and being crazy. I said to John, "John, this dog looks just like Izzy?". He says, "Grannie Annie ~it is Izzy". I said, "Good Grief". One of the neighbors saw our plight and ran out with a leash. Of course Izzy fought the leash, but after giving her a cookie that I had in pocket, she came to her senses and let me put the leash on her neck. After that I felt like my arms were coming out of their sockets. Izzy was pulling me to school with the kids. She is so strong. Kelly said, "Here Grannie Annie give her to me". I said "No Kelly" she will drag you to school without stopping. After the kids went into the school, Ms. Izzy calmly walked home with me at the end of her leash. What a dog~!
Filled up the feeders this morning. The Red bellied Woodpecker was bawling me out for it's feeder being empty. What a sqawk he has. The squirrels were rushing across the wires at the sound of the feeders being filled. They are very acrobatic. Jumping like leap frogs over each other to see who could get to the feeder first. They have grey squirrels here, they are so pretty.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

squirrels are alive

Here in Chicago the squirrels were so hungrey at South Cook Street that when I went out to feed them they came just a scurrying. Do you know how they get to the tall feeders? They stand on each others backs to get to the food. They take turns so everyone gets something to eat. Isn's that nice..No one goes hungry.
The Cardinals are making their Spring call, birdy, birdy, birdy~! Music to my ears. The black capp chickadees are very busy , flitting to the feeders and then grabbing some sunflowers and dasing off. They are so sweet.
It snowed here in Barrington, Illinois and it's so pretty. I love it when it snows you can go tracking. Have you ever been tracking? I saw that Blues Clues was in the driveway. Tracks all over the place. Blues Clues is a dog. I saw some tiny bird tracks they looked so sweet. Other tracks sighted was something that looked like it had slid from the road all the way to the garage. It went uphill. It was made by a small boy pushing the recycle box back to the house. ha ha.
have a great day. Love your blogspot My favorite sister.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Audubon State Park

Did you know that you can visit John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, Kentucky? Dave that could be a stop you could make on your way here next October.
Audubon lived in Henderson from 1810 to 1819. If you are there at the right time of year you can enjoy the migration of birds. There is a 6 1/2 mile hiking trail that winds through the nature preserve. There are more than 200 species of birds that have been observed along the trails.. If you would like to stay at the Audubon State Park, rent one of the park's six fully equipped cottages or reserve a campsite. There you have it a place to go and enjoy birding...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lazy Dazy Sunday

Aren't you glad that you are NOT a penquin? In cold areas, up to a third of Penquins weight is blubber, and the Latin name, pinquis means fat. The male penquin incubates the single egg on it's feet, holding it against a bare brood patch on it's abdomen and eating nothing for months. Huddling with other devoted fathers throughout a winter of perpetual frozen nights and swirling blizzards. If , after months away, the female's return with food is delayed, the male feeds the chick "milk" from his crop while they both wait.
Boy am I glad that Hy-Vee grocery store is right down the road.

The birds have slowed down in their eating activity.. It's warmer and no expectant storms to brew here in the mid=west. The red bellied woodpecker was making quite a racket while filling the feeders today. I can hardly wait for another month, all the birds will be making their love songs.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Cormorants & Amarylis

Did you know? Cormorants soak their plumage to reduce buoyancy before sinking underwater in search of prey. they dive deep down from the surface of the water, propelled by their feet, and emerge to eat their catch. Their vestigial nostrils are permanently closed, and above water they breathe through their mouths. They roost in trees.
Cormorants have all four toes webbed. They use their large feet to keep their eggs warm, because they have no bare brood patch on the abdomen, as most birds do.
The temperature today is 28 and it's a lovely day. Now is a good time to buy a amarylis at your garden center. they are cheap at Wall-Mart. They are so beautiful this time of year to watch grow and the flower is wonderful. Bring some early early sping into your house.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

cheer up it's January

I hear everyone complaining that it's January~! The snow has you down? Well, here is a way to perk you up~! Go outside and listen to the birds singing, or watch the squirrels chasing each other round and round the tree. Put out some nuts in your feeders and watch the fat squirrels come and feast~! I have 5 feeders and the birds are all busy this morning eating to keep fluffy. As I watch my birdbath I can see water splashing all over, the birds are taking their daily baths. I love to see the big Blue J's taking their baths, they make the water spray all over and the other birds sit below and get a shower too. It's so entertaining to watch the birds~! Hope you are enjoying the fun in feeding birds and the squirrels. The moon is so full right now that when I get up at 1 in the morning I look out at my feeders and there is the night creatures, bunnies, possums, and raccoons. Have a happy January and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. It's quite enjoyable~!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Jake the Turkey

Well, all you turkey lovers ~Jake the turkey that lived in Whittier died this morning. I guess he was not big enough to stop traffic. He will be greatly missed by all. Jake was on National News, Cnn.and was seen by people all over the United States. Over Thanksgiving week-end people drove to Whittier to see the wild turkey that liked to stop traffic. There were a lot of people video-ing Jake. He was quite a turkey that put Whittier on the map.
Good-bye Jake

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Turkey Attack

This morning as I was going into town on the edge Whittier, south of my house there were 5 turkeys standing in the middle of the road. I slowed way down and then saw that they were not getting off the road. So I stopped. The turkeys stretched up their necks very high and then continued to charge my truck. They were gobbling thier head off. I just laughed and thought O.K. turkeys I think I'm bigger than you. So I revved up the engine thinking that would make them move. They just stood their ground. I then honked the horn and one by one they walked off the road and into the field. I just laughed, this had never happened to me. Well, when I got through Whittier I turned left and headed West.. There was Jake the pet wild turkey that lives on this side of town. He was standing in the middle of the road. I slowed down and thought I would pass on the left side of him. He moved over to the left side of the road. I came to a complete stop. Jake then preceded to make his neck raise high and tall and his was gobbling at me and charging the truck.. I laughed and revved up my engine. He stood his ground. So I honked and he moved to the right hand side of the road and I passed by him while he chewed me out. I must say I was so surprised. These turkeys must know that Thanksgiving is over and they are free to do whatever they want and have no fear for their lives anymore. What a morning to get through Whittier. I just chuckled.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Afternoon of January 19, 2005

WOW. In the yard right now, there is 6 cockbirds. (Pheasants..) Hunting season is over and they are coming out. Course, I don't allow anyone to hunt on our farm. They are so gorgeous with the sun shining on their beautiful feathers. They are looking for food. They haven't found the black oiled sunflower seeds I put out this morning.

Woodpeckers January 19,2005

Good Morning~!
The woodpeckers are busy at the suet feeder this morning. They must be really hungry. This is the second suet cake this week. Feed your birds this winter. It's very important.
Did you know that birds like the gingerbread houses that are made at Christmas time? Put those houses outside on a picnic table or something sturdy and then watch the birds. They will entertain you and they will thank you by eating this sweet treat. Is this another way of recycling?