Tag Archives: Pileated Woodpecker

the view from my front porch…almost

Just a little over two weeks ago our flower beds were covered over with freeze protecting tarps.  The temperatures hovered in the 20’s and 30’s for several days.  The water puddles left behind from the rain were frozen over and the wind was howling out of the north at 30-40 miles per hour.  Winter was in full swing!

Texans will tell you if you don’t like the weather just wait a minute and you will.  That certainly seems to be the case today.  The temperatures this week have been in the 50’s overnight and mid to upper 70’s during the day.  Today was a delightful spring day. 

Sitting on the front porch of our Texas home my senses are aware that change is in the air.  I can see that spring is arriving.  Slowly peeking her head out from the blanket of winter.  Shyly at first.   The new growth teases me.  Looking closely I see that the azaleas and gardenia are covered with new buds.  The Indian Hawthorne is brimming with new growth.  The miniature azaleas and the Texas Red Bud trees are almost ready to show off their beautiful pink party dresses. 

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In South Texas the birds never completely disappear during the winter months.  However, on this beautiful warm February day their numbers seem to be increasing.   In the past few days we have been visited by Eastern Bluebirds, Pileated Woodpeckers, Red Winged Black Birds, Nuthatches, Sparrows, Downey Woodpeckers, Mockingbirds, Cardinals and a host of others I have yet to identify.

There has been a delicate yellow butterfly dancing around our place for the past several days.  Where did she come from?  Where is she going?  Is my yard her destination?  My friendly yellow butterfly has a new friend.  He is mostly black with a little color on his wings, he is a little more elusive.    *note to self-find a butterfly app for my iPhone.*

The one thing that has come to the party without an invitation and with great boldness are the ever-present pesky weeds.  They have me two-steppin at the party; two steps forward one step back, all season long.  Not a day passes without plucking a weed or 2 from the flowerbeds.  Not if you want to keep up perfect party appearances. 

The view from the my front porch shows me …Spring is in the air.

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Filed under gardening and other green things, postaweek2011

birds + birdseed + binoculars = birdwatching…birdlady…

We live in an area that is home to large variety of bird species.  I have always enjoyed watching birds in their natural habitat.  However that isn’t easy to do when you live in suburbia.  That is not the case now!

Since moving in we have encountered a variety of wild life.  We have been visited by deer, hogs, possum, raccoons, squirrel and armadillo.  The bird variety is just as varied.  However, I am not as familiar with my avian friends. 

I know that we have had cardinals, downy or red bellied woodpeckers as well as a pileated woodpecker, northeastern blue birds, nuthatches, meadowlarks, hummingbirds, mourning doves, bluejay, owls and red-tailed hawks.  Not to mention the homely vulture and the common blackbirds. 

I have just recently discovered that I can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count.  The GBBC will take place February 18-21, 2011.  The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4 day event that engages birdwatchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.  Anyone can participate, from beginner birdwatchers to experts.  You can spend as little as 15 minutes are as much time as you would like to spend each day of the event.  It’s free, fun and easy!  Well at least that’s what I have read.

I think it would be fun if a few of you joined me in the GBBC.  We can meet back up here the week following the count and share our bird watching experiences.  And for you Home Schoolers this would be a great science project for the kids.  Check out the link for the Great Backyard Bird Count for all the information you need to participate in this free, fun and easy event!

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Filed under Life in Texas