SPRING AND CACTUS FLOWERS – Marilyn Armstrong

Fresh forest leaves, a Chickadee, and cactus flowers – 05/12/19

Usually, I limit these posts to actual flowers, but it was such a glorious, lovely, warm, bright day and all the new leaves in the woods look like flowers. Even the birds look like flowers.

A flyaway Chickadee

We intended to go take pictures, but we wound up cleaning the house, which badly needed it. I had to clear the dead leaves off the deck and also clear off at least some of the millions of seeds. Then there was vacuuming and floor washing and sofa cover changing, and the vacuum cleaner bag exploded.

You know. A lovely weekend day at home.

I also have a little bird story.

Very red cactus flower

Yesterday I was in the bathroom about to do something I felt was somewhat urgent, but I made the mistake of looking out the window. “Holy Moly!” I cried. There was a Pileated Woodpecker on the flat-feeder. That’s the really big woodpecker who looks just like  Woody Woodpecker. He has a hammer-shaped head with a huge, heavy beak.  He’s a big guy, too. About as big as a medium-sized hawk.

My azalea

That beak that can break through a chunk of live oak in search of a bug and they have no objection to whacking some other bird over the head if he or she gets in the way.

So the Pileated Woodpecker who I have seen before, but never gotten a picture of him, was right there. There were also about a dozen Brown-headed Cowbirds lined up on the railing, waiting for him to leave. One Cowbird (they aren’t afraid of anything, probably because following herds of buffalo had its own perils) jumped up on the feeder and without a second thought, Mr. Pileated Woodpeckeder bonked him on the head.

Cowbird returned to the railing. Brave, but not stupid.

A crowd of cowbirds

I ran to the dining room, grabbed my camera, turned it on. And, of course, the woodpecker was gone. Vamoose.

Meanwhile, the cowbirds were jumping onto the feeder. I guess they felt they’d waited long enough.

Baby leaves

Me? I sighed, turned off the camera and went back to the bathroom. I’m getting used the disappearing act. So is Garry. He can’t understand how they completely vanish in literally the blink of an eye. But they do. Kind of amazing in a frustrating way.

Baby oak leaves and a very blue sky

So today, I took pictures. Mostly of plants and trees because they do not disappear. They sit still, roots firmly in the ground or in their pots. They let me take their pictures and do not fly away while I turn on the camera.

11 thoughts on “SPRING AND CACTUS FLOWERS – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. What a shame you missed the woodpecker! You’re right, though, it can be so difficult to capture these moments as they’re just so fast. I remember a photo my mum took once when we were on holiday in Florida. There was an amazing looking Pelican sitting perfectly on a post we were cruising past on a boat. These were the days of film, and I remember we were all really excited to see the photo she took, but when the snaps came back from the processors there was only a perfectly focussed post, with a white blur exiting stage right. You’ve still got some wonderful pics of your garden visitors though, so well done. 🙂

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    1. I have an entire portfolio of empty hanging feeders and the butt end of a disappearing bird. The fun thing are the birds that literally vanish. There — blink — gone! This was one of those. it was always like a fantasy anyway, that one of these big guys was actually at our feeder. Woody Woodpecker came home!

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      1. Oh well, at least you saw it and he was on your feeder, and I can see how amazing that would be. You never know, he may come back… 🙂
        Glad it’s not just us who have daft birdless photos! 🙂

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    1. He’s a pretty fast bonker. I wouldn’t want the beak hitting any part of me. They are also STRONG, designed to have a hammerhead.

      I often wonder why the birds don’t — ala Hitchcock — gang up on the squirrels. But they never do. Except for the hawks. They just eat them, a whole different situation. Sometimes you see the squirrel on one feeder and the birds on the other, but Garry filled the feeder YESTERDAY and it is more than half empty today. I can’t afford that. There’s no reason the squirrels can’t start feeding in the woods. They’ve gotten very lazy.

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