Sunday, April 27, 2008

At least the camera is working

Rory gave me a clue, so now my camera is operational again.  Yay!  Just in time for serious gardening season.  It's late, but not too late, to weed like crazy in hopes to limit weed seed generation and spread.  We're high enough on the hill that the dandelions haven't turned into puffballs yet, but I noticed that lower down there's lots of yellow and white in the meadows and along the roads.  Other weeds are just getting wound up so if you have a garden, or even just a few containers, get out there and get to work.  Locally the soil is the perfect texture--not too hard and dry, not so wet that everything clumps into yucky globs.
It's too early for tomatoes, peppers, beans and other warm crops to go into the ground, though they can go into containers.  The air is the right temp but the soil isn't, yet.  But just about anything that isn't a tropical or sub-tropical dainty can get planted.  I spent the whole day on hands and knees filling the white garden beds with sweet alyssum, pansies, wave petunias and snapdragons.  When they all fill in it should look really sharp.
I've identified the mystery hummers.  There are two female rufous hummingbirds as well as the lone male we've seen so far.  They're fearless--too fearless, as I saw one humming around my hanging flower baskets sedately dodging Huntress as she leapt repeatedly for the bird.  I chased Huntress off before she got it, but the kids reported that Wizard got one a couple of weeks ago.  So we had four, and are down to three unless the captured one managed to get away.  Their numbers will probably grow as we warm up.  We're keeping the cats in most of the time, which will help, I hope.
While I was adding bird seed to one of the feeders I noticed there was a pine siskin that didn't want to fly off.  It just hopped around.  It looks like a male to me, and too bright to be an immature one.  Maybe it's sick?  The pine siskins let me get very, very close and often watch me from a couple of feet away in the tree when I fill their feeders, but I've never seen one hop around on the ground like this before.  If he's sick he's not going to make it, not with all the predators around, even if we keep the cats in continuously for the next several days.  He's so cute, it makes me sad.  But maybe he's fine.  He stayed in the area long enough for me to get my camera, come back, and take pics of him, and then I decided to stay away from him so he didn't get stressed.  Unfortunately that means I don't know if he eventually flew off, so I'll be thinking about him worried that he's suffering.  I don't know if the dirty bill means anything.  I think it's just cracked nyjer seeds.  There may be an illness going around, because I've heard others mention finding more dead birds than usual, especially pine siskins.  I've also found a towhee with no apparent cause of death visible on it, and the dogs have ended up with an unusual number of dead birds in their clutches this year.
I'm all stressed, depressed (not real bad, just gloomy) and hormonal right now.  Chocolate is helping.  Maybe I'll have some red wine tonight too.  Last glass for a while, because I'll probably need ibuprofen in the morning and I never mix alcohol and ibuprofen.  It's too hard on the liver.

1 comment:

Kai Jones said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with depression. I know how that feels. Any time you want to talk, give me a call. You can whine at me and I won't think less of you.