SPIKY PINK CACTUS – Marilyn Armstrong

Spiky Pink Cactus – 03/16/19

It has been very springlike for the past couple of days, though it will be rather colder for the next few days. Probably because spring is actually coming and it always seems to get cold as the season technically arrives.

This is more or less normal in this part of the country. It’s usually in the low or mid-40s as we slide into spring. It’s not uncommon to get a few inches of snow in April, too.

More square pink cactus

Wet snow that feels slushy even as it falls, mind you. I need the snow to go away because I need to replace our mailbox. They will not deliver mail until we replace the box

Square cactus and it’s also rather pink

And I absolutely have to fix our chimney. It has been a seriously windy, stormy year. The chimney wasn’t in good shape before all the storms. It’s worse now and I don’t know how much worse. I have to get someone up there to see how bad it is and deal with it. A collapsed chimney is a big, expensive problem. Summer doesn’t last very long. We need to get to fixing things before we are into next winter.

I have to remember it’s not only spiky squares. I have to look for other things, like jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things.

THE SPIKIEST MARCH WOODPECKERS YET – Marilyn Armstrong

More Spiky Birds in March – 03/15/19

They are redoing our bathroom today and we finally put the two Scotties in the crate and the flying Duke is on a lead. No dog is going anywhere we don’t want them to go.

I’m sure it will do them a world of good. Duke doesn’t mind all that much. He likes being glued to us anyhow. The crate is every dog’s favorite hangout, so that’s fine. Shortly, we’ll put them outside for a couple of hours. I just needed to let the workmen get their materials into the house before putting the pooches out.

So far, so good. Of course, the water is off so I sure hope no one has to do anything bathroom-related anytime soon!

I woke up and there was the Cardinal. I came into the dining room and he was gone — even before I got my hands on the camera. I just sighed. It’s a daily ritual.

I did take a lot of pictures the other day, mainly of our persistent woodpeckers. I keep changing my mind about which one this one is — Downy or Hairy. I think I see both and I was pretty sure this one was a Hairy, but I could be wrong.

Your guess is as good (maybe better!) than mine!

Hairy or Downy? I think he is big enough for a Hairy and that beak looks big enough, too. You think?

And remember it is not just spiky squares we are looking for, you can also be jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy.

A MORNING FOR BIRDS WITH POINTY BEAKS – Marilyn Armstrong

Spiky Squares and Pointy Beaks

Every morning I get up and peer out of my bathroom window. Every day, there is a Cardinal there, eating at the flat feeder. By the time I get to the kitchen, he is gone. Or he is there. I grab the camera. He is gone.

Junco and Nuthatch, sharing the feeder

Two birds who are NOT afraid of other birds … or each other

All the fun birds to photograph are the first to fly — except the woodpeckers. But they always eat from the back of the feeder. I know they are there from the movement of the feeder, but I can’t get pictures unless they come to the front. They do sometimes.

Downy or Hairy Woodpecker? I thought this was a Hairy, but I’m not sure. Seems bigger than the other one who I’m sure is a downy (smaller beak).

This little Downy Woodpecker is pretty funny and rather athletic! He also seems smaller than the other one …

I also think they are intentionally cute.

Earliest in the morning, it’s squirrels, emptying out the flat feeder. As soon as the squirrels left, I got the big mourning doves who are pretty good at emptying out the feeders too.

My morning squirrel

Time to go home!

They are really fat. Actually, all my birds are fat. The Juncos are particularly fat, though Garry thinks the Cardinal is the fattest bird he has seen to date.

He definitely can’t see his feet. His stomach is in the way.

SPIKY WATER LILIES IN THE BLACKSTONE RIVER – Marilyn Armstrong

Now, these are spikes!

I thought you might be tired of my cactus, so allow me to introduce the spikiest water lilies I’ve ever seen. We think of water lilies as flat, but they come in a lot of shapes and this one is very common along the shores of the Blackstone River.

Taken last November, but neglected until today.

Spiky water lilies

And remember it is not just spiky squares we are looking for, you can also be jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy.

Oh, and today is my birthday. I’m … gasp … 72. And still alive!

BIRDY, SQUIRRELLY, SNOWY, SQUARE, AND SPIKY — MARCH DAY 8 — Marilyn Armstrong

Birdy, Squirrelly, Snowy, Square, and Spiky – 8

The world? It is full of birds, squirrels, and snow.

The photographs? All square and spiky.

The month is March.

Remarkably, it will be officially Spring in a few weeks.

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Probably a Hairy because that’s a real BEAK!

Hanging on with sharp little claws

Athletic, isn’t he? And he’s hanging on with his just two feet!

Pointed pickets in the snow – Photo Garry Armstrong

Happy spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and barbed’ squares!

ORIGINAL ANGRY BIRDS: SQUARE AND SPIKY MARCH DAY 7 – Marilyn Armstrong

Original Angry Birds -7- March Spiky Squares!

Whoever created angry birds must have had his eye on woodpeckers. I was watching them today. There were probably a dozen birds, many of them Goldfinches and the rest Juncos or Nuthatches and the odd Chickadee when one of the big Red-Bellied Woodpeckers cruised to halt in the flat feeder.

Every other bird jumped off the feeder and flew into the trees. They weren’t messing with a woodpecker. Those birds are wacko.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker at feeding time. That is some beak!

I think this one could peck MY eyes out!!

You can see it in their faces. Even on the little Down Woodpeckers, they all seem to be scowling. Definitely angry birds and even the little ones have longer than average sharp beaks and thicker than normal skulls. And they have an attitude: “Beat it or I’ll peck those eyes right out of your head.”

Look at the fierce face on this one. Angry bird ahoy!

“Yes sir,” say all the other birds. They aren’t messing with those crazy woodpeckers. Just look at their faces. They are, apparently, in a permanently bad mood.

And of course, this is why the birds are so miffed. I’m a little miffed myself!

Note that our mailbox has been squashed into the snow bank – and no, this picture is NOT square. Photo: Garry Armstrong

Our house in the snow from the street – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Happy spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and barbed’ squares!

POINTY BEAKED BIRDS: SQUARE AND SPIKY MARCH DAY 6 – Marilyn Armstrong

Birds with pointy beaks -6- March Spiky Squares!

Our world is still buried in snow but somehow, Garry got out on the deck and shoveled his way to the feeder. Which was good because one of our squirrels had just emptied it.

That squirrel stares me down through the windows. I KNOW he can see me but he seems to know that as long as I’m in the house, I’m no danger, so he just eats and eats and eats. I don’t mind his eating, but it would be nice if he left a little for the birds.

So after Garry put fresh food out, the birds descended in force!

Who has the pointiest beak? The woodpeckers. This is the downy, the little one, but he still has a hard head and a strong beak.

Move Downy Woodpecker

Also a very pointy pecker, the nuthatch is nearly as pointy as the woodpecker.

Happy spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and barbed’ squares!