No big disasters struck today, other than realizing that new hotspot just won’t cut it for work, because it’s actually a not-so-hot hotspot. It gives up after about 40 minutes of a 60-minute Zoom call. Not helpful if you’re in the middle of helping someone out. So, I’ll be working from the Red House on Fannin for a while until we have another option.
So, I’ll share some things that help one forget technology annoyances, like birds and plants. First, I got to see something rare for me as I was out trying to find something to give my chickens, now that their garden got mowed. I heard an unfamiliar bird call, and looked up to see two dark birds coming to the pond behind the house.
They circled a couple of times, which was quite lovely, then ended up at the shore of the pond. They were dark, but vaguely egret-like, so I got the binoculars to get a better view. While they refused to make a sound while I had the Merlin’s Bird ID app listening, the app did hint to me that it could be a green heron pair. I’ve seen them before, but not this time of year.
Sure enough, the binoculars confirmed the identity. They are beautiful birds, even hiding in a very dark corner of a pond on a cloudy day. That started my day off right!
I had lunch outside with Lee, and heard a few songs I didn’t recognize, in addition to the incessant dickcissels and cardinals. So, I fired up Merlin Bird ID again and had it listen for a few minutes. Now I know exactly what a painted bunting sounds like! I’d probably see them if I had a bird feeder, but if I put one in the back yard, dogs would bother the birds, and if I put one on the other side of the fence, cattle would knock it down in no time. But I can hear the beautiful song of the most beautiful bird in North America!
I also got a glimpse of the turkey as Goldie yelled at it (thanks, Goldie). And I spent a lot of time listening to anxious killdeer protecting their nest, which I think is over by the front pond and not at all accessible by me. I wish they would chill out. The dickcissels drowned them out, though. Over half the photos I’ve taken of those little darlings are in mid chirp. They say their name, loudly, like phoebes do. I know they’ll move on shortly, so I’m trying to enjoy them.
There are sill some pretty patches of flowers around the ranch, where the lawn mowers can’t reach. So I can enjoy being less likely to step on a snake yet enjoy floral beauty. Enjoy my series, wildflowers with iron poles. It’s romantic.
I can’t help but try to capture some of the beauty I see. It’s the same old property but decorated differently from week to week!
Admittedly, I spent a long time today listening. I think I’m in love with the birdsong identification feature in the Merlin app. I indulged myself this evening by figuring out how many different birds were behind our house (by the pond, in the back yard, and in the woods) in twenty minutes. Whoa, there sure are bunches of birds hiding around here (I did hear a mourning dove and a barred owl the app didn’t pick up – guess I have good hearing still). But check out this list!
- House sparrow (duh)
- Barn swallow
- Cedar waxwing
- Carolina chickadee
- Red bellied woodpecker
- European starling
- Nighthawk (!)
- Eastern bluebird
- Purple martin
- Red-winged blackbird
That’s a lot of birds, even without hearing another painted bunting or egret in the mix. What a chorus! By the way, the app doesn’t appear to acknowledge chickens. Aren’t they birds? I guess they are too domestic.
I hope my bird and flower enthusiasm were contagious. If so, download that app on your phone and try to listen where you live!