Noticing Things in My Neck of the Woods


Our squirrels go a little crazy at this time of year.  It's vaguely creepy.  The other morning I walked outside to see five of them, each perfectly perched on a fence post, twitching his (her?) tail, and staring at me.  And, last weekend, one had a stare down with Gladys when it got too close to one of her babies.  I don't know if it's a mating thing or what, but they have no fear in the springtime.

Almost as if to assure us that everything is ok, every so often they leave a present on the table on our back porch.  It's always perfectly placed in the center, and not something that could have gotten there on its own.  In the past we've gotten select bits from the compost bin or bunches of chicken feathers collected from the ground.  

The latest peace offering--and perhaps my favorite so far--was this old, crumbly wasp nest.  Even though it's rotting away, you can see--in a way that you don't often get to inspect up close on a wasp nest--how perfectly built each section is.  I may bring it inside and display it in a jar.


Along with the crazy squirrels, we have some crazy birds too.  The two yellow birds were chasing each other through the yard, and narrowly avoided running into my head in the process.  According to Sweet Husband--who knows all sorts of tidbits that often come in handy--they're oriels and if we want to encourage them to come back we should put out grape jelly.  

I'm not sure I'm up for another such narrow miss, but they are pretty, yes?

Also very pretty, and not even a bit crazy, are the red-winged blackbirds that have taken up residence on one of our favorite walking trails.  Easily recognizable because of their unique coloring, I've always thought of these guys as my own little totem animal.

I think I need to start a birding journal to record some of this.  I'm not great at such quick (and often far away) picture taking, but I'd still like to keep track somehow.