Friday, May 15, 2009

Another rainy day here but boy can the birds at my feeder just lift my spirits. There were three male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and one female at my feeder. I caught a picture of the one on the ground because you could see his beautiful color better.
I get like a little kid when I see these colorful birds like the Grosbeaks and Orioles. For thirty years we lived in the city of Madison. It was a residential area very close to the lake but we just didn't have the variety of birds that we have out here in the country. Most likely because many are woods edge habitat.
I took one of the screens off of the windows in front of my computer table.
I wanted to be able to get some photos when these birds came to the feeder.
When I was probably six years old my Uncle Harry a TB patient, artist, wild flower recorder and bird watcher, took me for my first bird walk.
We didn't go very far probably because excursion made him cough. The very first bird he pointed out to me was the Red Wing Blackbird. I thought it was exotic. Now, as you drive along the highway, out in the country you can see them perched along the fence posts, staking out their territory.
I remember Uncle Harry carried a bird list and a little black moleskin journal. He checked off the Red Wing Blackbird and probably dated the page. But, then I remember him sketching the bird in flight. It was just a black and white pencil sketch but my mind could fill in all the beautiful colors of black, red with a little touch of yellow.
A birding walk also consisted of learning about the wild flowers. I guess Queen Anne's Lace was my first wild flower. I still think it is a beautiful flower although some around here call it an aggressive weed.
Aggressive weed? I've got one for you. A couple of years ago I planted a Tansy plant in the front yard. Seemed like a good prairie plant to use.
Well, it's seeded itself all over the place. It's moved from the front of the ridge around to the back. It's a huge, gorgeous plant with yellow flowers and beautiful fern like early growth but it's everywhere! I'll take a picture of my perennial bed where it has taken over in just one year. This year I have to dig it all up and try to keep better control of it.


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    Tansy makes a yellow-green dye, and the dried leaves are supposed to keep ants away.


  2. I haven't seen Tansy I don't think. I shall avoid planting it!! A bit like teasle by the sound of it. Love the photo of Murphy below.