Monday, August 27, 2012

Miles' First Birthday Celebration

Miles was a bit leery when his mom, Brittany (my niece), presented him with his own personal birthday cake.

It didn't take long before he ventured to touch and taste it.

I suspect he's thinking "this stuff feels good AND tastes good."

A lot on his hands and face and a little in his belly, that's what it's all about.

The rest of us were served massive quantities of this colorful and delicious cake for dessert.  

Next, we moved on to the best part, Miles opening his presents.  What I wouldn't give to be a kid again!

Of course, Miles enjoyed playing with the ribbons as all one year olds do.  (That jack-in-the-box on the table has been around.  My son, Jared, received it as a gift when he was a baby; it was passed on to Brittany and now it's one of Miles' toys). 
Ya gotta love Miles' happy face! 

Grandpa John and Miles  

Grandma Phyllis, Grandpa John and Miles 

John, Phyllis, and Miles' parents, Brittany and Travis
Brittany and Miles having a quiet moment.  

Once again:  Happy Birthday, Miles from all
of your friends and family.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Caught In The Act

This photo of a male House Sparrow at our peanut feeder makes me smile.  It's pictures like these that keep me clicking away. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Farmer's Market

We had a very successful trip to the Farmer's Market last Saturday morning.  We came home with these flowers, five Black-eyed Susan plants, some smoked salmon, a bag of apples, a canteloupe and a framed picture.

We arrived early on that cool morning so we didn't have a big crowd to deal with.  Yay!!

We're pleased with all of our purchases; something tells me that won't be our last trip downtown to experience Beloit's Farmer's Market.

(Are you ready to be amazed?  We paid a mere $5 for the awesome flower bouquet).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hey, Hey, We've Got Hummingbirds

This ruby-throated hummingbird has become a regular at our two red feeders.  We fill the feeders with sugar water (1 cup of sugar dissolved in 4 cups of water). 

His ruby throat isn't visible in this photo.  The black throat patch reflects bright ruby red when the sun hits it.   

Thank you, sun.  I love that bright ruby-red color.

Is that one cool bird, or what!  He's only 3 inches long.  Maybe that's why he attracts my attention.  You know, the best things come in small packages. 

Several weeks ago, I concluded that I'd probably never get a photo of a hummingbird.  Hummers came and went so fast that I could never get my camera, turn it on, zoom in and shoot before they were gone.

Now, we see hummingbirds many times every day.  This hummer is standing on a metal branch of our feeder system.

I see them everywhere, even on our telephone and cable wires.  I don't know how they grip the thick wires. 

This female hummer (same as male, but lacking the throat patch) has no trouble at all perching on this lofty spot; she's in the thick of things, surrounded by trees and shrubs.  She can watch all the activity of her neighbors at the feeders and birdbaths.

I took this through the screen.

I captured this photo as he hovered beside the feeder.  If I'm close enough, I can hear the hum of their wings as they fly in.

I have a rather unbelievable tale to tell:

  "Lon and I were sitting on the screen porch (with the screen door propped open) early one evening.  It was when we were beginning to see hummers more frequently.  We'd seen several females.  I was looking at hummingbirds in our Birds of Wisconsin field guide.  The only kind listed was the ruby-throated.   I commented to Lon on how pretty the males were and how much I'd like to see them at our feeders.

I put the field guide down beside me and looked out the open door.  At that exact moment, a male ruby-throated hummingbird came flying in my direction.  It hung in the air in the doorway about 3 to 4 feet from me as if to say, 'Here I am.  I've come to grant you your wish.' "

Can you imagine how excited I was?  Was it just a crazy coincidence or something more?  I choose to go with "something more."   

Since then we've seen countless males and females.  Now that I have several good photos of them, I can relax and really enjoy them.  No more frantic scrambling for my camera when I spot one!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lazy Bird

I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this bird lying on the base of our birdfeeder.

The cups on this feeder hold dried mealworms.  I suspect this fellow ate his fill and needed a few moments to digest his lunch before moving on.  

I'd never seen a bird in this position except when on its nest.  Too funny!!  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Elusive Downy Woodpecker

I have only two photos of the downy woodpecker who comes to our feeders.  When I spot him, or I should say her (males have red on their heads), she's always only partially visible.
As soon as I get a better photo, I'll share it here.