Monday, December 28, 2009

For the Birds

If you don't have a bird feeder or feeders hanging in your yard, now is the time to do so. The Great Backyard Bird Count will be held February 12-15, 2010. Why not join in and help count the birds this year. You can get all the information by visiting www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ Not only will you be helping to feed and count the birds you'll also be treated everyday to the beauty of these little and large wonders. Pictured is a tiny House Wren. This little bird is always a delight to see. A pair of them found a way into the screened porch this spring and built their nest in a folded up lounge chair before I knew what they were up to. Even though I had to remove it they went right on with the construction of their new home in another location.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Icy Pond

Temperatures in the teens at night have left a skim of ice on the pond. Thankfully, this will not impede the animals that are in need of a drink or even a swim. The remarkable thing is that many of the pictures taken look like works of art. The longer you look the more you will see. The white in the center of this shot are ice crystals formed on the stem of a plant.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Eastern Cottontail

Eastern Cottontail rabbits vary in color from grey to brown. Their large hind feet and ears help to regulate their body heat as rabbits don't pant or sweat. They are rather small animals, usually about a foot long and weighing between 2 to 3 pounds. They are most active at dawn and dusk and feed on leafy plants during the growing season and the bark of woody plants in the winter. Hawks, owls, foxes, raccoons, skunks and opossums prey on rabbits and they seldom survive more than a year in the wild.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

White Tailed Deer

There has been a lot of traffic through the back field the last few days. Seen here is a white tail deer, they are the smallest of the deer families that reside in North America. The name refers to the white underside of the tail, which the deer raises and wags to alert other deer to danger. They are agile, quick and able to run at speeds up to 30 mph. They can leap as high as ten feet and as far as 30 feet in a single bound. I have seen them do this and it is amazing. We see them through out the year and female doe have left their fawns in the back field for days and sometimes weeks at a time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Frost Weed,White Crownbeard, White Wingstem

My post of September 14th was about Frost Weed also known as White Crownbeard and White Wingstem. When the temperatures dip to freezing the stem of the plant splits and the sap that exudes freezes into icy sculptures. Some of these are beautiful as the ice is very thin and can look like ribbon, as it does in this photo. Some of the stems split almost their entire length and result in tall icy towers. Of course, you must be out early to see this, once the sun rises the ice sculptures are history.