Monday, December 29, 2008

Small Neighbors between snows

Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus)(female?) feeding under hydrangea bush
Pine Siskin (female?) on the black oil seed feeder

We had a good dozen or more Pine Siskins appear today, now that it's thawed (again). I understand we're supposed to get more snow, after the rain that wiped away much of the Christmas snowstorm. (There are still soggy piles, one of which you can see behind the feeder, but a good bit of wilted and chilled-crispy grass and mud is now visible all across to the yard.)

The photos were taken through the glass door, and on a fairly high zoom, so any blurriness is probably camera shake and vague dust. IF you click them, of course you get them larger... and there's the album as well.

I think I've seen this species before, but haven't had a chance yet to root through the older photos and journals to be sure. Ah well, some other organized version of me in some other alternate universe is keeping a detailed, accurate, citizen-science-y life list... With any luck though, I'll remember to post this at least in eBird!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Three of a kind

Driving home, we reached our mailbox around 6 p.m., full dark. The mailbox is at the junction of a side road; opposite is the old farmhouse (the reason our road is here at all), and on the far corner is an apple tree (same variety as ours?) and a low cement-block dairy barn, used now for storage and the occasional pigs.

Between the apple tree and the barn were three white-tailed deer, eyes gleaming in our headlights, bodies deep bark-colored shadows.

A pause, a neighbor pulled around us and two sets of headlights illumined them briefly. The neighbor passed up the side road and then, easily, they leaped down the slight slope under the spreading bare branches, over the road, and into the old meadow and a different neighbor's leftover gardens.