Friday, May 04, 2007

It's the Final Countdown...

...anyone remember that song?
I would love to live at the Cincinnati Nature Center.
Every turn leads to a new gasp of delight. It's great in every season.
Spring, though, is special.
I have created two little monsters in Isabelle and Lorelei. They expect me to take them somewhere cool every day.
So yesterday, I took them to the CNC.
I am meeting lots of the CNC staff, and that's nice, because the new RAPTOR property used to belong to the CNC, and we have a nice, friendly relationship with them. One of the CNC's trails leads right to the Red Barn.
I really need a wildflower field guide.
I Googled until I couldn't Google any more, looking for the names of these flowers.
I saw yellow ones:
...and some purple ones:
...and many, many white ones:



I would really like to learn more about makes you a better birder and all around smarter person.
And I don't like to brag...well, okay, I do...but we had an indigo bunting in the yard this morning!
Yard indigo!
When I come down every morning, I am in the habit of looking out our front window at the feeders. And this blue cutie was sampling the spilled seed.
That's yard bird #46, for those keeping score.
I am so proud of our property. Everywhere around us, there are street after street of manicured, perfect, boring lawns. And then there's us.
I watch birds as I leave our neighborhood, and everyone else has starlings and house sparrows. We have everybody other species in the area.
We have two things going for us...
1. We don't think like people. We think like birds.
2. The back of our house faces mature forest across the state route we live on.
Like I have said before, I am bad about answering comments.
Laura asked the other day what we had in the prairie besides grass.
Answer: Cosmos, black-eyed Susan's, a bayberry bush, blackberry brambles, and left over from last year (I didn't get them into the ground in time) Queen of the Prairie, swamp milkweed and a cup plant. And I want to add more this year.

This time next week, I will be settling into a hotel room in Port Clinton, Ohio. International Migratory Bird Day, my birding pilgrimage every year.
And I will be going alone. Now, I love my husband and sweet precious children, but two days of unfettered birding? With no whining from the back seat on the drive up? And no one to worry about but me? Me, set free to run amok in one of the top ten birding areas in the country?
Oh, yeah. Heaven on Earth.


Mary said...

That Indigo Bunting is making me sweat with jealosy.

A weekend alone to drive to a birding weekend? No kids? No husband? God, girl - that IS pure heaven!

Liza Lee Miller said...

I'm sure you had a nice long blog with lots of cool pictures and all but as soon as I read about the solitary birding weekend, it all left my brain. I hope you enjoy every solitary moment! Congratulations! I can't wait to hear all about it! :)

Jayne said...

Sounds like a magical trip! Enjoy the "me" time... hope you see a plethora of birdies. :c)

mon@rch said...

such amazing flower pictures and I bet you can't wait to do you birding thing! Yeah on another yard bird!

katdoc said...

Just back from a week of birding at the New River Gorge Birding and Nature Festival. Guides included Jeff Gordon, Jim McCormac, Bill Thompson III and Julie Zickefoose! Yes, I got to bird with the Science Chimp herself and picked up a Life Bird, Swainson's Warbler. This is a very hard bird to see, but Julie wore her lucky socks and we all had excellent looks. I got 3 Lifers with BT3, too - Prairie and Canada Warbler and Broad-winged Hawk, for the raptor fans. Anyone into birds should take this trip - it totally ROCKED!

Lynne: I know you like Turkey Vultures, I'll bet you would love Black Vultures. Very classy with their white wing-tips.

Laura: That was definitely an Indigo Bunting. Blue Grosbeak are pretty rare in our area. The only place I know to see them is Adams County, where Susan and I went for the Amish Bird Symposium. It is my nemesis bird - I have been trying for 2 years to get it, but this is the year.

Susan: I'm so jealous of your yard Indigo Bunting - I will never get one here. The Higginsport Bald Eagles have at least 1 eaglet - I saw both parents and a baby this afternoon on my way home. You GOTTA see these guys! Can't wait to hear about your trip to Magee.

For whoever wanted bulk mealworms, try Nature's Way.

As far as having Tree Swallows and Purple Martins together, it can be done, but it is difficult. If you have martins first, there is no problem, but if you get Tree Swallows first, as most of us do, they are much more aggressive than the Purple Martins are and will compete with them for their housing. A guy named Dan Drew worked out a "Trihabitation" plan to have bluebirds, tree swallows and martins co-exist in the same yard. Go to his site for more info:

Think I am caught up on comments, except for the IDs. I will think on them and get back to you if I have any useful input. I am so bird-weary right now it's ridiculous.

~Kathi, whose ears are ringing with bird songs