Saturday, May 24, 2014
Mark let us sleep in – until a whopping 7:30! At least I was allowed one cup of coffee on the porch and a shower before heading out for a second day of sales. The sky was clear and it promised to be a glorious day.
We started west of town and worked our way east all the way to Hillman. At the very first sale we found a really nice glass-fronted bookcase/cabinet that will go perfectly in our vintage dining room back home. It looks like we will be hauling the trailer home after all. Mark had planned to leave it here for hauling the canoe, but we had a more successful day of buying treasures today and I don’t think we will get it all home in the FJ!
Being the classy people that we are, we had lunch at the senior center in Hillman. I was disappointed because a year or so ago we got sloppy Joes there and they were the best and I had my heart set on that again this year but all they had were hot dogs. Oh well, by then it was well past lunch time and we were hungry. After our short break we drove north of Hillman to several sales around Long Lake. It was 2:30 before we headed home. By then I was pretty much garage saled out!
The temperature rose and pretty soon Mark was complaining that it was too hot. I am just beginning to thaw out from our long and very cold winter and have vowed to NOT complain about the heat this summer!
I enjoyed the antics of the birds for an hour or so. I watched a male Baltimore oriole take a dip in the water that is standing in the low-lying area beyond our fire pit. That part of our woods gets very swampy and almost has a little stream running through it in the spring. The oriole flew high up into a maple to preen and fluff his feathers. It was fun to watch!
At one point I got up from the porch and was walking toward the fire pit when a flash of blue landed on the platform feeder – an indigo bunting!! And there I was half-way between the bird and my camera on the porch table! I quietly made my way back to the camera and had one chance to get a photo before it flew off. It stayed in our woods though and we saw it a few more times throughout the afternoon and evening.
I also worked at getting a photo of a hummingbird. All my attempts to get a photo of one on the nectar or the red flowers met with abysmal failure, but I did manage several shots of one perching in the maple tree!
Mark had plans to meet my nephews down in Fairview for a night of playing war games, so we had an early dinner. He made us BBQ chicken and potato wedges and we ate out on the porch. Mark had told me yesterday he had seen a couple of flycatchers when he was back by the shed. During dinner, they showed up in the woods. I was able to get a few photos. Although not the best shots, we were able to identify the birds as great-crested flycatchers.
Mark didn’t linger after dinner was over, but hopped right up and hit the road, leaving me to see to the clean-up. I did up the dishes and then decided I really should take the beagles for a walk since they had been left alone a good portion of the day.
With no vehicle, my options were limited, especially because of the SPOTC. Normally I would have walked the dogs up Stevens Spring and back to Sportsmen Dam, but with them in residence, this was not an option. One time we made the mistake of walking our dogs past their place and they had a pit bull mix dog that came flying out of their yard and attacked Milo in the middle of the road. I was kicking the dog in the head with my hiking boot while the stupid people stood on their porch and watched. It wasn’t until Mark went for his gun that they decided they should intervene. (This is another thing on that 13 years-long list I mentioned yesterday.) One of my biggest fears has been having my dogs attacked while I am walking them alone. After this incident on the corner I have had two other close calls – both while by myself – at public parks near our home. It is very scary to me!
The cabin across the way from ours is owned by a wealthy Ohio farm family. They have a couple miles of hiking trails cut into their woods and have given us permission to use them, so that is where I decided to take the dogs. This family is devout Catholic and there are many interesting little shrines along the way, including the Stations of the Cross.
We didn’t see anything exciting on our little jaunt but there was a black squirrel high up in a tree giving Ruby fits and, maybe it was my imagination but I am almost positive that squirrel was throwing things down at us! It reminded me of Mr. Tootlepedal and his recent encounter with a red squirrel in Scotland! I did find two morel mushrooms in the driveway of a cabin down the road. I took a photo with my phone and texted it to Mark.
I had just gotten back and got the dogs settled in and was going to work at my computer when I saw a large something fly into the yard. I got up and peeked out the window – it was a pileated woodpecker on the suet!! I was positively trembling with excitement and muttering, “please don’t fly off, please don’t fly off” as I reached for my camera. I was forced to take the photos through the kitchen window, so they didn’t turn out the best. The windows here are crank-outs and have four horizontal sections with metal trim. The glass itself is something out of a carnival fun house, very wavy, which you can see in the photo!
I could not believe it! We have had pileated woodpeckers in our woods regularly and I’ve even gotten a few bad photos, but I’ve never had one this close before – on the suet!! And Mark wasn’t here to see it! I was practically dancing around the kitchen! I LOVE NATURE!!
A short while later it came back, landing on the tree with the suet that is a little farther away. I was able to open the door a crack, stick my camera out and shoot two quick photos before it flew off again. Only one of them came out. This isn’t bad, for a super-quick attempt!
It was a great day for birding. Altogether I counted 19 species in our yard: indigo bunting, Baltimore oriole, rose-breasted grosbeak, white-crowned sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, grackle, blue jay, chipping sparrow, great-crested flycatcher, purple finch, chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, mourning dove, robin, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, ruby-throated hummingbird, goldfinch, and pileated woodpecker.
I will leave you with a few random bird photos from my day. 🙂