Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly

After much patient waiting, the butterfly and hummingbird flowers are in bloom, attracting lovelies such as this female Ruby Throated Hummingbird, and a Red-Spotted Purple butterfly, which is the first I've seen in our yard. The mosquitos have been there, ready for a sweet snack on my legs, for many months. They don't seem to care what flowers are blooming.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Room with a View

It's been hot and humid lately, and I just haven't gotten too far from the house. I hate sweating if I can avoid it. Today the temperature is only in the 70's and the humidity is low, so I went to Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve to help with the open house. The Nature Center's observation room behind a one-way window is just what I've needed for these summer doldrums. The garden is in full bloom, and we had a great day with flowers and the creatures that need them. Our first visitor was a determined little chipmunk. "Is it safe?" he asked, looking around. Up the sunflower stalk he climbed and helped himself to a breakfast of fresh sunflower seeds. The chipmunks in my yard would be so jealous. No baffles to frustrate this guy! Sunflower heads provide not only the seeds to eat, but the table to stand on to reach more seeds! The female Goldfinch perched on some iris stems, watching the male with a smile on her face at his antics. Well, it looks like a smile to me... Red bee balm attracted a hummingbird, just as the book promises. The long red flowers were more temptation than she could resist. It's hard to tell if this little bee collected all the pollen on her legs from cone flowers only, or if she brings a potpourri of pollen back to the hive. What will this honey taste like, I wonder? Green frogs hide in the lily pads, waiting for just the right insect to approach. Or maybe they just enjoy the pleasant afternoon. Flower shapes never fail to amaze me. Each one is tailored for just the right pollinator. I couldn't guess how many Mockingbird nests there were at the preserve this year, but they all fledged at the same time, apparently, since the sky and branches were filled with loud juvenile Mockingbirds. They have the flight thing down pretty well, now they just have to learn about finding the best source of food. After that, they can start listening to cell phone rings to learn what songs to sing! If you plant the garden, they will come....

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Good Zoo Morning

The Louisville Zoo and Norton's Hospital have a joint program to improve your health by a walking club. The Zoo opens at 8:00 am for walkers, before the rest of the crowd arrives. This morning was delightfully cool, so we drove to the zoo to be there when they opened for walking.

You get a different perspective without a lot of other people around. Since our last zoo visit a year ago, they have started several construction projects to improve the ingress and egress on Newburg Road, and to create Glacier Run for the polar bears, who are currently on vacation at another zoo during the construction period. As the animals came out for the morning, they were quite talkative.
Secretary Bird, me? No Way!
I'm a Grey Crowned Crane and I do not take dictation!

Do you think it's time I started using Oil of Olay for these wrinkles?

Just look at me...aren't I the most beautiful bird you've ever seen? Beautiful face...

beautiful tail feathers.....

...and, well, I always try to show just my good side to the camera.

ROAR! ROAR! No matter how much I try,
those giraffes next door just won't cower in fear.

She gets like that sometimes. I try to stay out of it.

Did your mother tell you to chew with your mouth closed?

Well, this is why!