Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ.
This downy woodpecker really enjoyed the suet log, but for some reason his head feathers were up giving him a bad hair day. There's always something amusing going on at the feeders if you just keep your eyes open.

The downy wasn't the only critter at the suet feeder. At dusk, this raccoon, now named Satan, was found atop the feeder taking a snack. I came out and yelled, but he looked at me as if to say, "If you are not actually going to come out here and run after me, I'm not moving." So I ran outside waving like a banshee. I had to chase him twice more from the vicinity of the feeders, but in the morning the feeders were still as I'd left them showing that raccoons are less persistent than squirrels.


This photo was taken through the glass door with the flash hence the glare.

Also in town was the blue jay. Very handsome if a little noisy and perhaps a tad arrogant. (Must we always anthropomorphize? Yes, I guess we must!)

Blue Jay

And the titmouse.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sick Chipmunk

Sick Chipmunk
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ.
This is the sad story of a sick chipmunk and how tough life in the wild can be. I was in Connecticut on a drizzly spring day and noticed that some of the chipmunks in the yard were a lot smaller than the others. It seems there were quite a few chipmunk babies.

One chipmunk, the one pictured here, was lethargic and somewhat strange looking. (Its eyes were never completely open and its rear legs didn't move right.) I approached it to throw some birdseed right near it since moving seemed to be a problem. He (or she?) managed to pick up some of the seed, but the other chippers didn't even bother to chase him. They must of realized that he wasn't right.

At one point I saw him belly up under the pachysandra, and I thought he'd met his maker. But he managed to right himself. He ultimately disappeared under the greenery. I don't know if he found shelter for the night or if exposure and other critters hastened his departure, but I kept reminding myself that 75% of creatures born in the wild don't make it to their first birthday. It's a jungle out there.

The irises were coming into bud. More than 30 buds are about to bloom. Spring birds have shown up: hummingbirds, chipping sparrows, rose-breasted grosbeaks. New frogs too.

Grosbeak & Chipping


The wood frogs had laid eggs weeks ago. Those eggs are now tadpoles which are getting bigger by the day. There are also some much smaller tads who may be other frogs or salamanders. I can't tell!

Tadpoles II