This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6

Friday, December 5, 2014

No Ducks............

We took a quick walk down by the river today. I was hoping to get pictures of ducks. No such luck. Not one duck in sight.
We took Bodicea for a walk, she was in shock and didn't know what to think about it. She has not been for a walk in years. Back when we had the other poodles she would go for walks in the fields, but that was long ago now. She seemed to sort of enjoy it. Was not really sure though.
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Tristen had wanted to go for a walk, its still cold out so Gerry wanted it to be quick. SO I suggested taking Bodi, I knew he would like that.
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Well later on I was watching the BlueJays in the back garden. I had put out some peanuts. The BlueJays really like them. I had put out shelled ones but they liked the ones in shells best. They took those first.
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There were quite a few Jays around today. They usually come one or two at a time but they must have really liked the peanuts and told all their friends.
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The squirrels are voracious they eat so much, why don't they hibernate or something? I have seen so many this year, they hang around and come in 4 or 5 at a time.
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Here is Bella waiting for daddy to come home. The trellis is just handy for peeping through and looks so cute from the other side.
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Boots the cat wants to be outside, but its too cold. She goes out, checks the territory and then comes inside. She makes sure she is in at night now. I confess I do wait for her some nights. Its way too cold for her out there but she does have thick fur and she does have some places to get out of it. Still, I cant think of her being outside.
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The cat watches the birds, she will sit there on the deck. The other day I saw her make a go for one and yelled at her so she missed. I got her butt inside. The finches are the most likely to get caught but most of the birds seem to ignore her. She does not have claws up front but can still climb and still hunt. She does not go far from home.
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The Crows come every day, but when the weather is good they find other things to do.
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Well thats all thats going on around here the last few days. Oh, actually no its not, Gerry was able to cut up some trim and do the basement bedroom. Tristen helped.
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Granddads little helper.






Monday, December 1, 2014

Finches.............

I have not seen any animals around yet. I have put out food for the Crows and I fully expected to see a few raccoons or possums come visiting. Maybe it's too early yet.
So for now I will write about the finches who come. As I said in a previous post there are several finches that come together. The Yellow ones........Seen here at my bird bath one summer
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The yellow finch looks somewhat like a Canary. They do sing, not sure how well compared to the Canary. When they come in, they usually come with somewhat less brilliant companions.Finches are seed eaters. The females less brilliant than the males.
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The House Finch has a rosy breast and head. Sometimes called Rosefinches. I am not too observant but they all look different. The markings are those of the finches with the speckled chests and some look like the yellow ones. I would presume that means males and females and juveniles all look slightly different.
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The speckled ones are Siskins. Still finches but.........I am not sure if mine are Pine Siskins but I think so.
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Then there are the sparrow like finches. The black striped headed ones (above and below)
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They look a lot like English Sparrows. Just a little more exotic. Well they come and go, sometimes with the Finches and sometimes alone. Just like all the other little birds. They go around with others like them. This summer I saw some little birds that looked like Thrushes. They had the speckled chests but could have been the Siskins. They seemed more copper coloured with creamy speckled chests. This is the Thrush.
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Anyway........thats the Finches for you.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Winter birds..........

Well today I found out that there are actually 3 female Cardinals around. I saw them all together. Only one male today. He was handsome though. I have no idea what girl he belonged to.
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Today I had a whole flock of little finches. They are strange because the other day they were all yellow finches. Today I had a mixture of yellow, the red crowned ones and the speckled finches. I need to look up and see if they are all the same.
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So those are the Finches. I will be looking them up because even though they all come around together, they can not be the same. Its like the little ones, the Chickadees, Nuthatches, Junco's and Downey's
I did have some luck today with the Nuthatches.
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I must say that the BlueJays look very handsome in the snow.
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I am greedy though I really want to see some different birds come in. There is such a wide variety of bird life in Northern Michigan but they seem to stay away from town. When we go to the Dunes we see the Indigo Bunting and the Oriols, now I don't expect to see field warblers or skylarks but come on. I have not seen Cedar Waxwings around for quite some time. They used to come years ago. I saw some out at the beach this summer. So, how do I coax them in????? Do they fly over looking for the food they like? I know the Crows do. So do the BlueJays. I see them scouting out the area. Today I called to the Crows and they came to the trees nearby. I was very happy about that but they don't like me parking the van in the drive. So thats today.............will things liven up or will I be posting these same guys all winter?



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cardinals............

We have two pairs of  Cardinals who live around here. They have been here two years. I think that the first couple probably are the parents of at least one of the other pair. They tollerate each other pretty well.
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Above is one happy couple taken last winter. I actually think the female is prettier than the male.
She has a variety of colours in her plumage.
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They certainly make a handsome couple. They wake me up on summer mornings. They seem to be the first to get up and sit on the bush under my bedroom window. They have a somewhat annoying call. They are seed eating birds. They also like berries.
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The Cardinal, especially the male looks his best in Winter when the snow flys
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Its pretty easy to get good pictures.
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I wanted to get some of the pictures on here while I had a few nice ones.
Sharing with A southern Daydreamer Outdoor Wednesday
Also with WIldbird Wednesday

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Crows..................

Success at last. I have been trying to get the local Crow population to visit my feeders. This year I have had success. There is one brave one who hangs around and gradually got closer. Last year he would sit up in the trees but never come close. This year, he came down in the garden nearer the feeders. On a couple of occassions he would sneak off with a piece of bread. He got so that he would stay on a branch when I went out to fill the feeders.
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A very handsome bird. Crows are very intelligent. They can recognize people and their voices. They can communicate with other crows and pass along information. So that if the boss crow says a person is OK then the others will also trust the human.
He was looking rather cold in this picture, it was snowing
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I decided to help him out. There he was sitting on his branch, back to the wind.........I went out and shoveled a spot on the driveway. Then I put out some bread. I talked to him as I did all that. He went off and came back with company. I have not counted (I should) but believe there are at least 6 or maybe 8 individuals. I will make the effort to count them.
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I got all my windows clean to get pictures and waited. They came together and sat in the trees. One by one they came for the bread........pretty soon it became comical.
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They would cram so much into their mouths that they could barely get lift off, then the ones who were too shy to come down would all chase them to try to get the goods.
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This guy (above) crammed all of that bread in his beak. Really, he did........I don't know how they do it. They always try for just one more piece. Then trying to fly without dropping it. Ah well thats the rub......I love the next picture, it makes me think of an aircraft, you just don't think it will quite make it.
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He did though and was chased from tree to tree. I suppose the flock (Murder) consists of juvenials from the last couple of years. I see these crows blocks away but mainly they stay where they know they will get food. They send out scouts and then send messages. As soon as I put out food the shout goes out. It doesn't take long and they rest of the gang shows up.
Today I put out some hot dogs and that went really quickly, I didn't even get pictures. They will eat meat and so I have been taking old stuff out of my freezer. They have dined well this week.
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Handsome isn't he. Not sure how to tell male from female. I must be more observant. My only thing is that they will eat birds eggs and babies and I have seen them take off with Robins eggs. Somehow I will have to find a way to feed them all year. I am pretty sure I wont stop the bad behaviour though. Meanwhile they are getting used to my voice and wait around for their meals. About time.
Sharing with Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer
Also with Wildbird Wednesday

Friday, November 14, 2014

Look who came today................

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This is a Pileated Woodpecker. A big guy compared to the little Downies that come to the feeder and I even had a couple of those today. Anyway, I saw the Woody Woodpecker fly through the yard, he was a big'n. He flew to the electric pole opposite so I could not get sharp close ups. Still I don't see them often so was very happy to get what I did. He found a hole in the side and investigated that for bugs
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Meanwhile at my feeder......we have a little Downey Woodpecker
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They like the suet. They also like the sunflower seeds. I think I have to replenish this weekend and I think I will get some peanuts in shells too.Mrs C came for a visit. Actually there were two females today so I still have two couples.
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She is looking very pretty in her winter feathers. They all look so scruffy during the molting season.
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Mrs C was partial to the berries today, did not come for seeds
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Among others today was the male Nuthatch. I still have not got a shot of him. He came same time as the Pileated Woodpecker and I have seen Mr Nuthatch the last few days so I went for the Pileated Woodpecker.
The Bluejays were back in force.........I put out bread for them and old popcorn for the squirrels. Everyone had fun.
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The Chickadees were busy as always, about 5 little squabbling bundles of cuteness
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The Jays were happy to share
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I was very happy to see a nice variety of birds today. They had all sorts of treats out there. Apple slices, cheese, suet and all kinds of seeds. They should be happy and seemed to be. Had about 4 squirrels too and I didn't chase them off because there was enough for everyone today.

I am sharing this with Outdoor Wednesday

I am linking with Inspire Me Monday