Sunday, June 25, 2006

Birds and fireflies

I discovered, last night, how to use my zoom better. Then this morning, I found goldfinches on my new feeders. I had, yesterday, put two out on the west lawn to see out the west window .. and there they were, today! I have a total of four, I think – two couples. Actually, later on this morning, I saw both males and a female on the south feeders and one female on the west feeder. Anyway, I snuck outside (Tasha was unhappy) and got as close to the feeder and birds as possible. Then got this lovely shot. Now THIS is what I got my new camera for!

I also have a Kingbird around here – I haven’t seen it at the feeder but I’ve seen it several times in the pastures, sitting on tall weeds or looking for food. Now, a Kingbird, so I’ve read, will eat grasshoppers, bugs and flies (something DOES eat them!). I noticed today that mine was hovering in the air – kind of like a feathered (quiet) helicopter. I read that they hover while looking for or catching the flying bugs. So, we have another bug eating bird (we have lots of swallows) .. perhaps someday I’ll have my camera with me when I see it.

Every night we have fireflies. Every night I ask – what do they eat? What good are they? I finally looked it up on the internet. The larvae eat grubs, snails, mosquitoes (yaaaay!) and other obnoxious things. Of course most people know that fireflies glow to attract the other sex for their mating. I found that the female is the one that sits in the grass (and I thought it was just starting to rest or something when I saw one on the ground) and the male flies around. As with most animals, it is the female that chooses the male (smart girls!) and can reject one if she doesn’t like the way he’s glowing and beeping that little tail of his!

On another note, I had to dispose of the poor little hen who passed away in the night. In one way, I wish I had gotten Norm to take care of her before he left, but in another, I am glad I didn’t .. she passed in her own time, quietly and calmly. Now, we do not bury our dead chickens, as I am worried about coyotes digging them up, so we burn them. I set a pyre for her, put her in a cardboard box and put gasoline over the pile. Man! Does gas light quickly – it poufs! You have to remember to not get any on your hands, move the gas can away from the intended burn, stand away (far away) from the burn and toss a lighted match. Normally we burn our paper and things with no problem, but with a chicken, the gas burns hotter and helps dispose of the body quicker. I hate doing it, but what are you going to do?

My sister will be picking me up, soon, so that I can go help harvest mulberries today. I am excited – I’ve never had any and everyone says how good they are! I will take my camera along in case I see any of Candy’s birds – she seems to have more, but the ‘tree’ man says that the mulberry trees attract more birds. We will be planting some of Candy’s excess trees this fall so we will hopefully have a bigger variety next year!

A cloudy, overcast day with hints of sun, but a beautiful day, none-the-less. You have a beautiful day!


Candy Duell said...

Oh, nice picture of your finches. I am so glad you are enjoying your new camera!

The Unusually Unsual Farmchick said...

Oh Connie, I am posting a recipe link this week to mulberry mead & mulberry cobbler as part of the "Summer of wild foods& wine "challenge. I hope you get to join in the making of one of the recipes.