KINDA GLORIOUS By GARRY ARMSTRONG

Kinda Glorious – Photos by Garry Armstrong

It was a beautiful day. I got my flu shot, we voted … and then we took pictures of foliage because this is peak. The wind blew away a lot of leaves, but what are left are kinda glorious.

Northbound on Aldrich
Across the road
Southbound on Aldrich

I should mention that we didn’t get the “senior” flu shots because no one has any. There’s a national waiting list at all pharmacies. The current advice is get a flu shot. The regular (not the stronger) one is better than nothing.

KINDA LIKE AUTUMN LEAVES

Not by the river or along the road, but in our backyard … 

Most of the places on our property are either still green (the oaks) or bare (the maples) …. but these trees are aspen and I think in transition from green to gone. They are among our last autumn leaves.

Backyard autumn
In the front, still golden

KINDA LIKE A VERY SMALL AND FURRY CREATURE

Kinda like a tiny little chipmunk

As I was watching the coffee brew, I watched our “least Chipmunk” skittle up our deck and jump onto the feeder. As her little cheeks got stuffed with seeds, she would run off to feed her babies, wherever they may be. She was back and forth for about and hour and between her travels, I got a few nice — square — pictures.

KINDA LIKE BIRDS OF MANY FEATHERS

Kinda like Birds of Many Feathers

I have to admit, I have taken a lot of pictures of birds. i know this because when i look for pictures — any kind of pictures — the page is dominated by photographs of birds. I hadn’t realized I’d become so obsessive about taking birdy pictures, but the evidence is hard to ignore.

That for the past 7 months we have rarely left this property probably has a lot to do with it. The birds — and associated other small wildlife — are the only interesting things to take pictures of.

KINDA LIKE THE MIDDLE OF A SMALL TOWN

Kinda like the Middle of Town

Squarely in the middle of Uxbridge, it’s easy to miss the fact that you’re in the middle of anywhere. But hey, this is where you will find a grocery store, a couple of banks, the library (the first free library in the United States), Town Hall, and our brand new firehouse. And of course, Uxbridge Town Commons and its many churches.

The picture was take by Garry on his way back from the pharmacy. It’s autumn, after all and those beautiful leaves won’t last forever.

KIND OF A BIRDY DAY

Imagination Kindled: A Very Birdy Day

It finally rained! Not just a little drizzle, but the real deal. It rained pretty heavily for several hours and more lightly the rest of the day. I was thrilled to see it. We are supposed to get more rain on the weekend. Maybe our trees won’t die!

A very typical Nuthatch

The birds seemed to enjoy the rain too. There certainly were a lot of them although not as many as we had a month ago. The Goldfinch have gone north to breed. Gone north to breed? Do birds do that? Well, the Goldfinches do. They go to Canada to breed and come back here in December or January. They breed in the winter. I’m sure someone understands this, but i don’t. So today, we had “the regulars.”

Orange Cardinal and incoming Chickadee (I thinK, but It’s hard to tell when they are in flight)

A lot of orange Cardinals. We don’t seem to have red ones anymore. Only orange and they all look terribly angry. Lots — bunches and bunches — of Nuthatches, Tufted Titmouses, Chickadees and Mourning Doves.

You can still see that he’s not yet full grown

I took pictures and they didn’t all fly away the minute I took my camera out of the bag. Yay!

KINDA FULL OF GOLDFINCHES

Kinda full of Goldfinches

From late in December, they show up in flocks. They are gone now, off to Ontario where in November, they breed. When they come back, they won’t be the same bright yellow they were all summer. They won’t be in breeding colors. But they will still be a pleasure to have around.

A small flock of Goldfinches on the feeder

 

KINDA UP A TREE

Kinda up a tree

This is the one time of year where getting stuck up a tree might be kinda good. Or at least very pretty. These sugar maple trees turn the best colors of all the trees. Scarlet and orange, they are the absolutely prettiest trees in New England. We don’t have many on our property because the oaks are so tall, they shade the maples and keep them from growing. But where they have the light, the are magnificent.

ORANGE CARDINALS ARE NOT ONE OF A KIND …

One of a Kind Or Maybe Not …


When I first saw my bright orange Cardinal, I was sure I had seen something absolutely unique. Cardinals are red. That’s their thing. Their redness is their thing. Then  I discovered that other clusters of orange cardinals have been found, a bunch down in North Carolina. Now they are tracking them to see if this is change is an actual genetic change. I can tell them it is and it’s inherited. These orange Cardinals have had at least two sets of babies. One set of them are almost grey with shafts of orange in their tails and huge orange beaks. The next set is orange, but has a variety of other colors mixed in. This photo picked up the variety of colors very well. But I’m going to add a few other pictures so you can see the differences.

Some of these differences may be because these birds all have the same father. Cardinals are very possessive. They like to collect lady Cardinals and will fight any other male who flies into their territory. I suspect that most Cardinals are probably inbred, given the possessiveness of the males.

One of the first fledglings. Don’t you love that beak?
Mother and very big fledgling
I think this is mom.
Growing up – one of the early orange Cardinal babies

There may have been three nestings this season. It’s hard to tell. I think the mother of the most recent fledglings was part of the first batch of baby orange Cardinals. But we definitely have a cluster!

KIND OF SQUARE IN A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER WAY

A RED BELLIED WOODPECKER TAKING A SEED BREAK

Kind of square with feathers. A red-bellied woodpecker taking a break from debugging a tree for a yummy seed snack. The bugs must have had a really serious “go” at the trees this year because they have been very busy stripping the bark off various trees.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

SOMETHING OF THE RED SQUIRREL KIND?

Something like a red squirrel?

This is a mama red squirrel. I can tell because she has teats full of milk, so I guess these cute red squirrels are also breeding. They don’t come out as often as the big gray ones, but they do come when they are hungry. She’s a very pretty one!

KIND OF MUSICAL: THE SQUARE CIGAR BOX GUITAR WITH ITS OWN PHOENIX

THE SQUARE COMMUNITY

It’s kind of musical around here. I have my guitar, ukulele, two penny whistles, a small xylophone and a tiny electric piano. I had a very different idea of what to do with today’s pictures, but the lights were out for hours.

A square musical treat!

If the wind had calmed down, we’d have had a little more time to write. Sadly, we also got a very small amount of rain … just another dribble.