Monday, March 12, 2007

Bring it, Spring!!!!

Word of the Day:
trepidation \trep-uh-DAY-shuhn\, noun:
1. [Archaic] An involuntary trembling; quaking; quivering.
2. A state of dread or alarm; nervous agitation; apprehension; fright.

The weather is really doing all of us a lot of good. The girls have been stuck in the house for months, only able to go outside for brief moments. And I have been a basket case.
It is looking to be 76 degrees tomorrow!
I had two programs at a preschool today, and after dropping off the birds, I spent time frolicking with the girls in the backyard. I needed my kids around me...after presenting to a roomful of preschoolers, I can appreciate my girls' bird knowledge even more. Three and four-year olds just can't be expected to sit still, or know the difference between a question and a story. But they were cute, and they like the birds I brought.
Onto the yard:

Isabelle found the ONE dandelion in the yard. And gave it to me.
crayfish claw
I was poking around the dutchman's pipe I planted last year, and found a crayfish claw. There's a creek across the road from us, and I guess the raccoons have been getting their food to go.

Isabelle was thrilled when I found a slug, her favorite animal.
Slug 2
We admired him for a minute, then tucked him back under the dutchman's pipe.
Waiting for the tree swallows
The gourd is cleaned and hung and awaiting the tree swallows who graced our yard last year.
They arrived around April 30 last year, but I am hoping that they come back sooner this year, knowing that they have a home waiting for them.

Now, some RAPTOR pics:
The Three Stooges
There are three juvenile red-tailed hawks recouperating in one of the mews. I tried to get a picture of them all lined up staring at me, but as soon as you stick your head in the door, they get nervous and jump around. So I made it quick, because stress isn't good for a bird on the mend.
Juv RT 1

Tail Juv RT
Here's a good shot of what a juvenile RT tail looks like. In a year or so, red feathers will appear and the streaks will dwindle down to one single stripe across the bottom of the tail.

Junior relaxed foot

Here's our Junior.
Look at that relaxed foot. He was right on the other side of the door when I came in, so I just talked to him and he gave me a nice serenade of hoots and chittering. Cute little bugger.


Trixie said...

I just LOVE the Isabelle's favorite animal is a slug. That rocks!

And Junior is so very handsome.

katdoc said...

Keep a close eye out for returning Tree Swallows, Susan. I had my first one back Mon, March 12. I have to check my records, but I think that is early.

Here's a tip: If you want to get martins in that house, move your tree swallow gourd about 15 feet away. If it is hanging from the house, the tree swallows will defend the whole set-up.

Here is a link to a site on "trihabitation," getting bluebirds, tree swallows, and purple martins to live together in harmony:

~Kathi, scrambling to get bird housing ready for Spring

katdoc said...

Trying that link again:

Mary said...

A slug???? That's very funny. I really like that little girl...

Doesn't it seem like Spring came to SW Ohio overnight? Your photos are so bright and springy. I just love that clip of Junior. Love the close-up of those inquiring eyes. I need to learn how to post clips!

NatureWoman said...

Junior says "hi girlfriend!"
Wow - dandelions and slugs already - that's so cool! It's supposed to be warmer here today - maybe it will melt the snowpiles a bit more! Enjoy the warm weather!

Gourdy said...

I'm surprised you can get Purple Martins to come near where the Raptors are. They usually try to stay away from their predators. Here's an interesting site for Purple martins and Gourds.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Love, love, love, love, LOVE those pictures of Junior. The one of his eye -- uh, WOW! You rock!

Lynne said...

I think I would just pee my pants to be that close to Junior! He's SO beautiful. Lucky you!

mon@rch said...

Still a few weeks away from Tree Swallows arriving here! I love your video of the owl checking you out! Also, great to see your macro shots that you are taking! Go Slugs!