Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poison Ivy, Bug Bites, and Sore Joints...

...The signs of a GREAT weekend!  I've finally quit gimping on my right hip today.  Had a hitch in my gettalong for a couple days - I assume from crawling around on slopes digging up and replanting ground cover.

Spectacular weather - dry and mid-80s.  And the weekend started Friday evening when a neighbor showed up with a couple bottles of wine, cheese, and crackers.  Supplemented with fresh fruit it was a fine dinner on the back deck with bird books and binoculars at hand.  I pissed and moaned about the destruction caused by cankerworms earlier, but there has been a bright side.  Although our bird feeders emptied out as birds went into the woods after the worms, they were joined by birds not normally spotted here who arrived looking for the same worms.  With the defoliation, it's been easier to see them, too.  In quick succession we spotted both a red-headed woodpecker and a flock of cedar waxwings.

I've kept a life list since the mid-70s, and this was my first sighting of a red-headed woodpecker.

The cankerworms have gone into the ground now, relieving us of the constant rain of their poop.  Now we have to figure out what to do about next year.  Our trees can only stand so many rounds of complete defoliation, and agent orange has nothing on those miserable things.

Saturday was shooting, which Murphy's Law blogged a bit about, and I pure-dee SUCKED.  I pull right, and I'm betting it's because of lack of practice and because, with such an extended winter this year causing gardening to start so late, my hands have weakened, making the trigger feel heavier.  Having to squeeze harder to fire causes my hand to shift.  Need to aim and dry fire when I'm not reading in the evening, and get to the range more often.  I'm only kidding when I say "Well, at least maybe I scared 'em."  I need to be able to HIT 'em!

A quick run to Frederick that evening to finally get a passport photo taken, since the family is heading to Costa Rica for my nephew's wedding in December and I don't have a passport:

Then Sunday and Monday blissfully digging in the dirt.  Moving things from here to there, contemplating what else I need to do to repair winter damage, and sitting on the deck with a book or staring out into the woods, following bird songs and watching to see if there were any new visitors.  I think I saw a pair of Baltimore Orioles, but I'm not sure - I didn't get a good enough look at them.  There are a couple other birds with a lot of bright yellow/orange that it could have been.

I'm hoping to see them again so I can get a positive id, but if not the flash of color was a delightful addition to a terrific weekend.  And this fellow, an indigo bunting, is still singing in my trees:


  1. Nice! One thing I haven't done is birding...

    1. I used to actually get up so I could be in some prime place at dawn, which is when they're most active. Now I'm more a back deck birder.

  2. My birding interest tends to lean towards mechanical birds as are regularly found on OldAFSarge's place. That having been said, my wife has about 20 hummingbird feeders in the front yard, and she and I have taken to enjoying a glass or three on the front porch watching them. If I squint my eyes just right, it reminds me of a many v. many fight at Red Flag.

    1. Hummingbirds are incredibly territorial little buggers. I keep telling them "There's 4 spots on that feeder, there's two of you, what the heck are you fighting about?"

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks but I stole them. A cell phone camera just doesn't cut it.