Friday, June 24, 2016

A Peachy Summer Sunset

Some clouds occluded parts of the setting sun, but they made for interesting skies in this first sunset of summer.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Red-bellied Woodpecker Sings Cha-Cha-Cha

A couple years ago I went on a hike at Lighthouse West Natural Area jointly sponsored by the Leelanau Conservancy and Saving Birds Thru Habitat.  As we quietly walked through the woods and meadows, I was amazed at how the two docents identified the birds by their calls.  Since then, I’ve worked on learning the sounds of more of the birds that frequent my backyard feeders.

This week I added another bird’s songs to my vocabulary.  I’d had a Red-bellied Woodpecker visit one of my feeding stations.  It was especially enjoying the Bug, Nut, & Berry Seed Cylinder full of mealworms, sunflower chips, peanuts, raisins, and cranberries.

I checked out my birding app for this woodpecker and learned that it had two calls, one called a kwirr call and the other a cha call.  I was amazed at how often I’d heard these sounds, especially the cha-cha-cha call, but I hadn’t associated them with the Red-bellied Woodpecker until now.  

I also hadn’t realized that I’d had more than one woodpecker visiting my feeders.  The first two images were of the male bird, which has its red cap extending onto the crown.  The female, in contrast, has a much smaller cap with its crown being mostly white. 

I’m not sure how these birds came to be named Red-bellied because neither of them appeared to have a red belly, from my vantage point at least.

I tried to catch the woodpeckers in flight, but they were too fast for me.  I knew I’d have to get out my tripod if I was going to be successful with that.

I did see them take their food over to a nearby tree.  I had to wonder if they had a nest there, as the female was definitely hanging on to her peanut piece.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Deep Purple

When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls

And the stars begin to twinkle in the sky--

In the midst of a memory you wander back to me

Breathing my name with a sigh.

In the still of the night once again I hold you tight.

Tho' you're gone your love lives on when moonlight beams.

And as long as my heart will beat, lover, we'll always meet

here in my deep purple dreams...

                                                             Deep Purple piano composition written by Peter DeRose, 1933.
                                                             Lyrics added by Mitchell Parish, 1938

Friday, June 3, 2016

Pure Leelanau!

While the blossoms are gone now, it seems fitting to honor their beauty one more week.  After all, the Leelanau does lead the state and nation in cherry acreage with over a million cherry trees in the county.  In another month, we'll all be enjoying these tasty delights.