Food for the kids.
A few nights ago we heard an unfamiliar sound – a persistent, high-pitched squawk – through the open dining room window. What could it be? A small mammal in its death throes? I padded barefoot around the back yard, listening, and got a surprise: the sound was coming from two directions, maybe more. Back inside, I made a wild guess and a quick internet search, which confirmed my suspicions. We had newly fledged great horned owls in our neighborhood.
The next morning, as I walked upstream along the river, an American redstart flew across my path and into a small tree where she delivered a morsel into the mouth of a waiting baby bird. Another sign of the season. Continue reading
Rivers, meadows, and wetlands may beckon, but sometimes the nicest place to be is at home in your own back yard. This morning I’m outside, feet propped up, a glass of sun tea at my side. I’m watching the creatures who live – or at least take their meals – in our yard. Our tiny prairie planting attracts butterflies, bees, and other insects, as do our vegetable gardens.
The insects attract bluebirds, house wrens, catbirds, and other birds. More species, including chickadees, cardinals, and goldfinches, come for the seeds in the feeders. The songbirds sometimes attract Cooper’s hawks and nest-raiding blue jays and crows. Continue reading
I was at my desk today, deep in thought, when I gradually became award of a growing din outside. Blue jays screamed, crows cawed. Then I heard within the frenzy a single, descending whinny. Ah. Even before I reached the back yard and looked uphill, I knew what I would see. A bald eagle, which makes occasional visits, was perched atop the old white pine at the south edge of our yard. Continue reading