Saturday, March 18, 2023

Birds and Seeds and Trees


                                                                        Purple Finch

Tommy saw this bird right outside the front door on the railing of the ramp. He said it kept coming back, flying off over and over again. My guess is that it is going to build or has built a nest. He used the bird book I gave him for his birthday two years ago. 

The drive to Cullman along the interstate was beautiful. Most of the trees have some green, a few have many tender leaves. None are fully in leaf. But, the hope is there. Bradford pears and redbud make for a colorful drive. 

Many of my stored plants are becoming very green. Some I am not sure about. They were covered last night and will stay covered for two more nights. I still need to sow seeds in the tiny greenhouses! 

Speaking of seeds--at the lunch and lecture at the ag center this last week, there was a box of seeds for us to have. I chose three packets and got two for Lynda. I will use the soup containers that Tommy did not want to throw away for sowing these seeds and others I have saved from last year. 

The front yard is getting nice and weedy. I have weed killer for the unruly interlopers. Neither of us can spray it, so I have to figure out how to get that done. The St. Augustine Grass is getting green, so I love that sight. 

My cleaner called and left a message. She and her two girls, 2 and 5 are throwing up. So she will not be here in the morning. I can sleep late as I need. 

Dinner on Saturday--ham, beans, carrots. I had a huge center cut portion of ham that I heated. Well, sort of burned it. But, it was Later, we had strawberries over a tiny piece of Angel food cake.

We have a bowlful of oranges and I want one! However, I am allergic to citrus and right now I have an earache, am coughing and sneezing periodically. So, it is not a good idea to further irritate my allergies. I did eat strawberries and now have hurting places all over my now-swollen tongue, so it sounds like I am allergic to strawberries. But, I am not. At least, I am not allergic to the apple and banana I ate. 

Tommy went to the mailbox today, and I opened the storm door and looked out. That is the extent of activity today. He emptied the dishwasher and loaded the few dishes in them. I took a nap because I slept little last night. 

We have plans for tomorrow, so it is up to me to get up in time and wash my hair. Wish me luck on the sleep. 

Do you or anyone in your circle/family identify the birds that come in the yard? Do you have a bird book? Do you have a birdfeeder? We don't have one because there are pigeons nearby. I don't know if they come into a neighborhood or not. 


  1. I know all the birds that show up and there are many. I do feed them all. Yes, pigeons show up in neighborhoods. I don't like them, but I will not stop feeding the other birds. Pigeons generally stay on the ground to feed - so the others get the feeders. I do have a bird book as well.

    1. Cheryl,
      I mean I don't want pigeons all over the place, pooping and making a mess. Maybe I will try it. I want to get a bird feeder for Tommy because he would love it. Maybe I can get a feeder and see how much falls out or how many pigeons come.

  2. We have a lot of purple finches here in my corner of New England. I never understood why they are named "purple" when they are so much more red than purple! Must have been a color-blind ornithologist that named them or something. Hah!

    We don't get regular pigeons, but we do get mourning doves, which are in the same family and just as dumb/annoying. They are always crowded onto my pole feeders, so they will hang out anywhere for a free meal. They are the only birds I know that aren't afraid of starlings (but that may be because of their stupidity, I don't know). Even a bluejay won't confront a starling.

    I feed all the birds, regardless of whether I find them pretty or not. I can't exactly keep the ones I don't like away, so everyone eats when they come to my house! LOL!

    1. Sue,
      I think maybe the finches have a tinge of purple in the red. Maybe I am overthinking that. But, the color-blind ornithologist works for me.
      I like mourning doves because they only hang around in pairs, never more than two that I have seen. They seem so peaceful lying around in the grass with their wings stretched out. Okay, maybe they are stupid. I will be looking for signs of stupidity.
      Yes, that is what I am afraid of, feeding all the birds. I will check with people in the neighborhood to see what happens around here.

  3. Both of my parents were avid bird watchers. My dad, being a teacher, went further with the concept by having different classrooms make blue bird houses and then he mounted them all over my grandparents farm. He always fed the birds, as did my mom. (divorced ages ago) My dad probably knows the identity of any bird, although he also had many bird books for reference. My dad is in assisted living now, but they have put a bird feeder outside his window, which he enjoys. We do not feed the birds having had serious issues with previous neighbor putting bird feed everywhere, feeders, dishes on the ground, piles on their patio, which led to striped gophers, raccoons and skunks in the area. The striped gophers chewed into our foundation (wood boards above cement block where patio door was) in an attempt to get into our house when winter came. Caused a lot of damage to ours, as well as her home. (townhomes) I appreciate the birds but I know many others feed them so I do not worry. We get cardinals in a large bush in the back yard for the berries and we get hummingbirds in our hosta flowers in mid to late summer, so I guess we do our part. Ranee

    1. Rae,
      That is a sweet story. I would love to have lots or even one What did he teach?
      That is great he has a bird feeder outside his room so he does not lose touch with what he loved.
      I really hate people who feed animals and cause problems. I had a neighbor around the block who fed raccoons causing them to become a major problem. That much bird seed around would really be a problem. And, striped gophers are pests! I had about 8 cardinals at my house. A man who lived a mile away said he had not seen a cardinal in years. They loved my privets. It is fully of berries in the winter. Planting things birds like is a great thing to do.

    2. My dad taught 5th and 6th grade, while also principle of the grade school. (very tiny community) Later he became the principle of the North Elementary, in the town where he lived (and we live now), while developing what was considered to be progress of an open floor plan. No actual class rooms but with movable walls to separate areas, when needed. He kept that new concept going for several years before they realized it was not really in the best interest of the students. (which my dad was always there for the students - he dealt with the administrative side but never enjoyed it the same as he did when he was teaching. He would tell you, that even as the principle, every day was a teaching moment, whether it be child, parent or staff.) He actually has a small apartment within the assisted living building, so the bird feeder is outside his picture window of the living room. The smaller window in the bedroom wouldn't be the best location for the feeder, so he is fortunate to have the larger LR window. He always has the blinds open and his door open to the hallway. Unlike a lot of people his age (90), he likes being around other people and animals and misses his old life very much but has found a way to make do. He is a chatty cathy and is always trying to initiate conversation with the other patrons with limited success. Ranee

    3. Rae,
      That is an interesting background. Our town had a round building with no walls. It was finally declared a disaster and "walls" put up to separate the classrooms. The walls do not go to the very high, round ceiling, so there is still noise.
      Every day has lots of teachable moments! I do agree. His apt sounds great with the picture window. It is too bad that the other patrons are not receptive to his conversation. I am sure he could teach the other seniors about birds.

  4. Yes I have a bird book. I loved feeding the birds, back in MI, starting on Thanksgiving Day onward through the winter.

  5. Here's a very interesting article about the unintended effects of feeding birds. The research was done in the U.K., but the rammifications would apply here as well.

    I did buy a ground feeder late last fall and used it for most of the winter, thinking I was doing the smaller, ground feeding birds a favor.

    But quite recently some critter has been in it at night, foraging and leaving scat behind. Google tells me it's either a skunk or a rat, and the last thing I intended was to feed varmints!

    So I have completely stopped putting food out at ground level, and won't ever resume it.

    I would like to plant natural food sources for birds in my yard. We'll see how that goes.

    Meanwhile, I will always, always run and maintain a bird bath. Water is so important for birds as much as food. Just as many birds die of thirst as of starvation, especially in winter.

  6. Thanks for the article. Yes, it is not a good thing to feed animals of all kinds.
    I have heard about people bringing in birdfeeders at night to prevent varmints from becoming a pest.
    There is a stream, deep and wide, running about a mile from here. But, birds bathing are a joy to watch. I have thought about getting a birdfeeder and put it where Tommy can see it from his chair.

  7. I have a few bird books and some binoculars near the bay window in the kitchen. I no longer feed the birds because the neighborhood assassin cat thought I was putting out bait just for him.

    1. Anne,
      When I had a bird feeder out, the cats in the neighborhood had no yet discovered it. There is only one cat around here. Someone said there is a lady who kills cats. I don't know, but it is eerie how there are no cats.

  8. I do have a well worn bird book. When John and I were using the camper we saw a lot of interesting birds, trees and flowers. I had books for each of these.

    When John and I first married we hung 5 or 6 bird feeders on shepherds hooks form out deck railings This proved to be a big mistake! The bird feeders turned out to be a rat smorgasbord! Many birds are messy eaters and the excess seed that they dropped brought a large amount of unwelcome rats to our yard. Now I only feed humming birds.

    Several years ago a pigeon showed up in our patio. I made the mistake of feeding it! It just wouldn't leave. Just my luck to feed a homing pigeon! John had a friend from High School who raised pigeons he was kind enough to come capture the bird and take it home with him.

    Where I live there is at least one flock of wild green parotts. They are beautiful and VERY NOISY!

  9. Janet,
    I bought those three books and mistakenly bought a tree or flower book for New England! Well, that was a big help.

    I hear bird feeders draw rats, too. That is enough to make me not feed the birds. Yuck. That was lucky you had someone to get him. They just poop all over, no manners.

    People who write from NZ and Aus say the parrots are noisy, but I had no reason CA had flocks of parrots.Feeding a stray pigeon is like feeding a stay cat? Friend for life.



 I do not have a uti! But, I do have an antibiotic. This ailment must be a sinus infection. Did I say that Tommy took the specimen to my doc...