I walked outside this afternoon, hoping to steal a few moments to take some butterfly pictures in the front yard. These two lovelies seemed more than happy to flutter about for my lens.
I had only managed to fire off a few shots when I heard quite a ruckus rising up from beyond the backyard fence. Glancing that direction, I saw the beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker feeding its baby in the tree-tops.
I was too far away to capture a clear image, but it was still fun to watch the action take place. Baby birds put up quite a fuss, but they are fascinating to watch.
Splotches of orange
Patches of red
Unruly feathers on this fellow’s head.
Speckles of grey
Dashes of brown
Black bandit mask with a red flaming crown
And last but not least there’s a back checked with blues
Collection of colors, a sampler of hues.
I am used to dragonflies being right-side-up and horizontal…
…but this guy insisted on being upside-down and vertical!
I have to confess, I found his dragonfly gymnastics rather entertaining.
Glad I’m not the only one who sometimes bites off more than they can chew!
Red-bellied Woodpecker (female)
Hope you have a bountiful Sunday!
My backyard is clearly a hit with the birds, but my flower-filled front yard is a hot spot for other things with wings – like this Black Swallowtail that was flitting about the other day.
He was one of those incessant wing flappers, so getting an unblurry picture was a a bit of a challenge.
While I waited for him to land and be still for a second (or even a half second!) a handful of other butterflies fluttered by, one of which was a dark morph version of a Tiger Swallowtail – a butterfly that sometimes gets confused with the Black Swallowtail.
A yellow Tiger Swallowtail also made an appearance…
as did an Unclouded Sulphur…
a Silver Spotted Skipper…
and the elegantly peculiar Gulf Fritillary.
The beauty of butterflies is one of my favorite things about summer.
Much to my delight, the Red-headed Woodpecker that returned in the spring has continued to show up during the summer months. I have to confess, he is a pretty predictable fellow.
His usual order of events is to first swoop in and survey the surroundings.
Then, once he has determined that the coast is clear (or at least that no bigger beaks are lurking about) he hops over to the Bark Butter.
Rather than immediately munching, he then gives another glance around, and usually a bit of a threatening glare just to be on the safe side.
Finally, he scoops up a glob of suety goodness and flies off to enjoy it at a more secluded location.
Despite the wee bit of molting that you can see on his head feathers, this guy is still the most stunning bird in the backyard.
I have fond memories of going to the ballpark when I was growing up, watching the Baltimore Orioles play at Memorial Stadium. Double-headers were the best; which in those days meant two games for the price of one. We would devour footlong hotdogs (our version of fine dining!) while loudly cheering for the hometeam and boisterously booing the umps. When it came time for the 7th inning stretch we all sang along (really, twang along!) to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” never missing a single word. Over the course of the games the voices of vendors rang through the air – “Cold beer! Ice cold beer! and “Peanuts! Get your peanuts!” And when the game was done and the O’s had won, we would smile and say, “How ’bout them Birds!”
Sometimes, as I am filling the feeders in my backyard I am tempted to use my best vendor voice and call out, “Peanuts! Get your Peanuts!” But my backyard birds have no need of an announcement; peanuts are always a favorite offering and they need no enticing to partake of them.
Some choose to eat from the trays on the deck rail..
…while others prefer to pluck peanuts from the hanging feeder.
As I watch them devouring the fare (their version of fine dining!) I smile and say, “How bout them birds!”