Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cardinals Hatch

Late last week there was a flurry of activity in the rhododendron bush by the kitchen window and mother cardinal was doing a lot of coming and going instead of just sitting in the nest as she had been for nearly two weeks. I figured the babies had hatched.
So I managed to poke the camera in the bush . . .
 . . . and got a couple decent shots while mother was out on a food run.
 Mother was very protective chasing off a couple of sparrows that came by with worms wanting to feed the little ones.
The nest is well hidden behind the stalk just to the right of the bird
Mr Cardinal also got in on the act . . .
. . . keeping busy feeding the little ones
Back and forth all day
Then suddenly today in another flurry of chirping, the little ones jumped out of the nest.
We counted three in total. One made his way to the other side of the house and was looking a bit lost. So I picked him up and put him back under the bush and they were all soon back in the nest. These guys can't be much more than a week old. They did manage to flutter about a bit in little ten foot hops. But they are not quite ready for solo flights.
 Later in the evening there was an awful lot of chirping out there so I stuck my head out the upstairs window and saw one little fellow sitting on top of a flower calling for mom.
Zooming in a bit
The ground level view. Funny looking creatures at this point as they are mostly all beak.
There was one left in the nest by 7:30 pm. . . but what do I see? that has totally different coloring from the cardinal chicks. Those look like sparrow stripes, could it be? No wonder the mother sparrow kept trying to feed the chicks. Perhaps she sneaked an egg in the nest when the cardinal was not looking.
Meanwhile Mr Chipmunk . . .
Contemplates his domain.
                                                SUNDAY MORNING ADDENDUM
Mother Cardinal pushed the last chick out of the nest this morning.
But this fellow is definitely not a cardinal chick. Completely different coloring from the other three chicks.
And his flying if definitely not as well along as his siblings.
I think mom got duped in to raising a sparrow's baby.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Garden update

Tulips are in full bloom.
This first one is some kind of mutated tulip, the rest need no explanation.

Got my tomatoes and peppers planted yesterday
A soda bottle with a 1/16th inch hole drilled in the cap makes for a nice slow soaker. A bit of Miracle Grow helps them along.
A bit of cheap green spray paint makes assorted colored buckets match.
Almost forgot . . .  we have a Cardinal nesting in the Rhododendron bush by the kitchen window.
While cleaning out the garden tool shed this week I found this tidy mouse nest made of grass clippings and hair.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Some Saturday R and R

The last two weeks have been a bit of a blur. We learned the distressing news that dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my friend Clint's mom passed away. In addition to our regular routine and springtime chores, digesting it all and helping Clint with clearing out his mom's assisted living apartment and her old house has kept us busy.
So as Saturday dawned sunny and clear, and we were due for a bit of R&R, some flying was in order.
180 hp in the Decathlon makes for a quick take-off out of KPWM. Taking off on RWY 18 we are almost 1000 ft AGL as we cross RWY 29-11
We are soon over my house
Looking back over my right shoulder as we pass my house, the arrow points at the airport.
We are over the Scarborough marsh in no time.
While the fog bank stayed mostly off shore.
A quick stop in to Sanford for some fuel and a quick sandwich.
On landing we pass a home built all composite Cozy canard taxiing for take-off
After lunch we head off for lake Winnipesaukee
For a bit of sight seeing
And catch a glimpse of Mt Washington still covered in snow
And we are soon back at Portland with the fog bank still hanging just off-shore.