Misery Loves Company

To say today’s weather has been miserable would be an understatement. Pouring rain for 24+ hours, strong gusting wind, and a high temperature barely above 60 degrees. Is this summer?? I’m actually wearing polar fleece today!

It has been a good day to stay cuddled up inside with the two granddoggers (the doxies are staying with us while their parents – our daughter & son-in-law – take a little trip to the Upper Peninsula) and watch the poor, waterlogged birds.

Considering my photography is not that good even on the best of days, it was probably pretty foolish of me to try and capture my feathered friends in the driving rain, but hey, it was better than scrubbing the bathrooms! 🙂

To start off with, here is our beagle, Daisy, who we have decided has OCD – Obsessive Critter Disorder. If she thinks there is a squirrel, mole, or rabbit anywhere around, she will not come in the house no matter the weather. She literally sat outside in the pouring rain for HOURS today staring up at the crabapple tree.

Daisy waiting for the non-existent squirrel to come down from the crabapple tree.
Daisy waiting for the non-existent squirrel to come down from the crabapple tree.

The beagles often tree squirrels in that crabapple right outside my kitchen window, (one day I was entertained for more than an hour as a squirrel tried to figure out how to get down from there while being watched by Daisy and Ruby) but I know there was no squirrel up there today. I know this because the squirrel was in the front yard on the bird feeder stump!

Raiding fox squirrel.
Raiding fox squirrel.

 I ran that guy off at least a dozen times, but he never went far. All he did was scramble up the sassafras tree right next to the house and then he would come right back down the moment my back was turned.

Even when the weather is miserable, the birds still need to eat.

Female house finches in the rain.
Female house finches in the rain.
Soaked blue jay.
Soaked blue jay.

Don’t they look pathetic? But, misery must love company, because despite the rain, there were plenty of birds at the feeders!

With this shot I was attempting to copy H.J. at Avian 101, he always captures birds in these awesome perch poses. Of course, he’s a real pro at bird photography and I’m…well, I am not.

Grackle doing the splits.
Grackle doing the splits.
Brown-headed cowbird.
Brown-headed cowbird.

Don’t you just feel terrible for this pitiful mourning dove?

Pitiful mourning dove.
Pitiful mourning dove.

And here’s a white-breasted nuthatch for Mr. Tootlepedal. It started off on the cherry tree…

White-breasted nuthatch.
White-breasted nuthatch.

Then moved to the bark butter feeder.

White-breasted nuthatch on the bark butter feeder.
White-breasted nuthatch on the bark butter feeder.

The bark butter was very popular today.

Downy woodpecker on the bark butter feeder.
Downy woodpecker on the bark butter feeder.
Rec-bellied woodpecker (F) on the bark butter feeder.
Red-bellied woodpecker (F) on the bark butter feeder.
Hairy woodpecker on the cherry tree after getting some bark butter.

Hairy woodpecker on the cherry tree after getting some bark butter.

But the other feeders saw plenty of action, too.

Male house finch eating from the swing feeder.
Male house finch eating from the swing feeder.
European sparrow on the stump.

European sparrow on the stump.

Finches feasting in the downpour.

Finches feasting in the downpour.

Male house finch.  Probably my favorite image of the day.

Male house finch. Probably my favorite image of the day.

Eventually the hanging basket of red flowers you see in the finch/swing photo had to be taken down and brought onto the porch because it was getting so waterlogged.  The red hummingbird feeder pole, where the grackle and cowbird had perched, also had to come down as it was practically being blown over in the wind.

As the dreariness of the day increased (really, could it get any worse?), I noticed a downy on the bark butter. He then flew onto the sassafras to feed a youngster. I watched for quite some time, trying to capture them together without success. The juvenile went too far up in the sassafras tree.

Daddy downy woodpecker getting bark butter for the baby.
Daddy downy woodpecker getting bark butter for the baby.
He took it way up in the sassafras tree to the baby.  Can you spot him way up there?
He took it way up in the sassafras tree to the baby. Can you spot him way up there?

Later, as I took a break from cleaning bathrooms – yes I did eventually clean them but it took me forever because I kept stopping to look out the window and take pictures! – I saw the father and baby together. Unfortunately, these shots are pretty terrible because of the light and the glare off the tree. But, you get the idea.  I tried to fix them up with a little editing, but there wasn’t much I could do to help them.

Father and baby.
Father and baby.
Daddy downy and baby.
Daddy downy and baby.

Even drenched, the cardinals were hard to get a shot of. I managed to sneak and get one decent photo over the back of the sofa. Shhhh, don’t tell! 🙂

Male cardinal hoping for some seed to fall from the stump.
Male cardinal hoping for some seed to fall from the stump.

To make up for these fairly bad, rainy-day photos, I am going to leave you with one from yesterday, when it wasn’t raining! (No rain is a rare occurrence around here these days!) Two baby bunnies have a nest under our burn pile. When Mark was out mowing yesterday, they got scared and crawled farther up into the pile. Mark was worried they wouldn’t be able to get back out, so we propped the wood up a bit and I took a couple of pictures before leaving them to come out in their own good time.

Cute baby bunnies - future garden destroyers. :)
Cute baby bunnies – future garden destroyers. 🙂

On a side note, these bunnies have been driving the beagles CRAZY because their nest is a mere two feet outside the fence! Thankfully, they will probably be hopping off soon. Of course, their nest is also a mere four feet from Mark’s vegetable garden, sooooooo, they might not go anywhere.

Lastly, here a couple photos taken last weekend when we were still up north. I did not write any more Northwoods Journal posts because we really didn’t do anything worth talking about and the photos I did take were sorely disappointing to me. I was close to giving up on this whole trying-to-learn-photography thing. These aren’t very good, either, but I caught a couple deer on “film” (okay, a memory card) and with a bit of editing they aren’t gosh-awful. I liked the buck showing off his newly sprouted antlers.

Doe in the northwoods.
Doe in the northwoods.
Young buck with fuzz-covered antlers.
Young buck with fuzz-covered antlers.

I hope you are all having a blessed weekend. Stay dry, my friends!!

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14 Responses to Misery Loves Company

  1. tootlepedal says:

    What a good set of pictures you got from a miserable day. You certainly have an excellent range of feeders and visitors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. eduardolibby says:

    Rainy days are great at my feeders too! Nice photos.

    Like

    • Thank you!! I’m so glad you stopped in for a visit. I’m not very good at photography, I’m still learning and I have a small, easy-to-use camera. I figure I need to get proficient with it before I invest in something more complicated! Your photography is gorgeous!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I am hyper-critical of myself, so sometimes it’s hard for me to see what I am doing well and right. I think I get frustrated because I’ve tried to learn and understand the mechanics of photography and for some reason it just won’t stay in my brain. If I try too hard to do the “right things” my photos seem to get worse, so I am learning to stick with what I feel I do well and not overthink things. I get easily discouraged or frustrated when I can’t get it right. (That’s the “continually recovering perfectionist” in me. 🙂 ) I appreciate the encouragement more than I can express!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Considering the rain, lack of light, and the fact that you were shooting through a window, I think that your photos are very good! Rainy days seems to bring out all the birds, but those days make the photography even more difficult. We’re getting lots of practice though, as the rain from one system is hardly out of the area before the next system moves in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jerry! You are so right about all this rain. Ugh! It’s crazy. I don’t remember how many inches of rain we got Saturday but someone told me had it been snow it would have been 57 inches of snow! I’m just glad we don’t have a basement or low-lying property. My sister, who lives just a few miles from me and has a hobby farm, is dealing with terrible flooding. The farm fields are a quagmire. Between the droughts in the west and the flooding in the Midwest, I hate to think what is going to happen to our food supply!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tiny says:

    What a wonderful post, Amy!! Great photos all of them! I’d hope we could send some weather to each other…we’d love some rain and cooler air and you could use some heat and sunshine 🙂 Your birds are soaked and ours are thirsty. I loved the swing feeder! And the baby bunnies are too cute ❤ Thanks for not cleaning the bathroom, but instead going out in the rain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Amy, what a great variety of birds. I finally bought some bark butter at Wild Birds Unlimited, but my birds are ignoring it 😞. Our weather on Sunday was the same. Only 58 degrees as I drove to church. Daisy is adorable! Beagles can be very stubborn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It took awhile for me to find a good spot for the bark butter before the birds found it and then they went wild for it, so don’t give up trying! I was disappointed at first, when they didn’t pay any attention to it, but then I moved it a couple of times and finally found the perfect spot. Now it’s the regular suet that doesn’t get even a passing glance.

      Like

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