Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds Have Arrived In My Backyard

After much anticipation, the first sighting of a ruby throated hummingbird occurred today. In the first week of May, I put out a hummingbird feeder in the hopes to attract ruby throated hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles. This year, the Baltimore Orioles arrived on May 4th, and the first sighting of hummingbird of the season was at my feeder today - May 17, 2008.

Here are a few photos and a movie to mark the occasion.

Magnificent Plumage

What a wonderful sight to start the day.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Balmy Breezes and Swaying Palm Trees At Harbortown

We began our southern vacation today with lunch at Harbortown in the Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island, SC. We met with our friend Danny, and his lovely girlfriend Sarah. Our destination was the Crazy Crab at Harbortown, for an afternoon lunch of seafood and pleasant conversation. A cold seafood salad was the perfect choice on a sunny breezy day at the harbor. Delicious food, cheerful conversation and a relaxing atmosphere was the perfect antidote to the winter blues still embracing our thoughts.

Danny showed us the two yachts that he works on as a tour guide. A great job for a college intern with free sailing, and an idyllic atmosphere. Danny works on a racing yacht, that was once in the America's Cup race, and is now serving as a tourist sailing vessel.

We enjoyed a lazy walk on the boardwalk, watched a parasailor lifting in the breezes out in the ocean, the sounds of flags flapping in the breeze and dozens of Brown Pelicans sunning themselves on the docks. With temps in the 70s, and light breezes it made for a perfect day admiring the yachts moored in the harbor. A few minutes with the sand in our toes at the beach brought smiles to our faces.

My daughter Sarah and I popped into beach shops for the required tourist souvenirs. My husband spent his time sunning on the beach, enjoying the breezes and forgetting about the office for a while. He deserves this vacation and much, much more, from the stress he endures for our creaure comforts.

With it getting late in the day, we stopped for a quick refreshment under the spanish moss draped live oak trees and carefree swaying palm trees.

We are planning a dolphin cruise on Wednesday, with a tour of local islands and low country. Thursday is set aside for a day in Charleston, SC. A city rich with history, lovely architecture and picturesque scenery.

With rain and severe thunderstorms in store for tomorrow, maybe we will grab a movie or just kick back with a juicy beach novel to lollygag the day away.

Enjoying the island life of palm trees and ocean breezes,


Friday, January 4, 2008

2008, The Year of the Common Redpoll

The new year is starting off with loads of backyard activity. Heavy snowfall, aerial hunting by a Red Tail Hawk and the appearance of a rather uncommon visitor - the Common Redpoll.

On New Year's Day, a winter storm enveloped the Detroit area with 9-12 inches of wet snow. The house windows had to be scraped (that is a first) because of the blowing wet snow, the winds caused deep drifts in the backyard, and the pine trees hung low with the heavy snow deposits. A pristine beautiful winterscape.

New Year's Day brought an array of usual birds and 13 fox squirrels to the backyard looking for food in the deep snow. Being the good birder that I am, I shoveled the area underneath the feeders so the birds and squirrels could find food. The birdfeeders had to be cleaned off so the birds could access them, and new seed refilled.

Today, also brought the appearance of the Common Redpoll to the backyard feeders. There have been numerous reports of these northern visitors to the greater Detroit area, however, I have not been able to see them in my backyard, up until today. This is a new life list bird for me. I am so thrilled to see these rare birds for the first time in my life.

That's what is happening today in the backyard, hopefully, photos of the redpoll will follow.