Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Yard Critter of the Day

Munching away in the side yard.

I still need to mow the lawn. They need to get busy.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Soda Colors

I was at my desk in my office, enjoying diet coke while on conference call. It seems that's all I do these days, call after call, when I noticed the colors in my soda bottle.

I notice things like this.

And I find them much more interesting then yet another conference call.

So I set to multi-tasking. I confirmed that I was on mute. And grabbed my camera.

And I tried various angles and got the shots you see here. The central "ring" getting smaller and more outer rings appearing.

The light form the computer monitor is polarized. And the plastic of the soda bottle is under stress, making it birefringent. And thus, colored rings.

And had something to do while someone(s) on the other end of the phone droned on and on.


As always, a fuller explanation can be found here, at Les Cowley's site.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week

Great Crested Flycatcher.

And unlike the last few birds featured as Yard Critter of the Week, this one sticks around for the summer, breeding here, before heading south in the fall.

They've been here, at least the calling males, for a couple of weeks now. The call, a rough "weep!", earns the nickname, "weeper bird".

I noted the first of year bird on here April 29th.

These two, (a mating pair?), visited our garden this past Tuesday. And were kind enough to linger for pictures.


We've enjoyed watching them in our yard every spring since we've moved to Piney Place. Here's a couple of prior visitors.

This one is munching on what appears to be a moth in May of last year.

And his one was helping with yard work in June of 2015.


You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts here.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Fly Catchin'

In this post I noted that there would be "... more on the way soon."

Seems that prediction has come true.*

A Golden-backed Snipe Fly. Patty spotted it as we were chasing down a flycatcher we'd seen earlier in the yard. Perhaps why this fly was hiding in the garden.

Several of the flycatchers we have in our area are very similar looking, and it helps to hear them calling; the one we were chasing was not being cooperative.

We think it was a Willow Flycatcher. Feel free to suggest otherwise.


* This was the first Yard Critter of the Week post, not quite a year ago. So perhaps I was a bit off with the "soon" part.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week

Indigo Bunting.

Another one day migration wonder. We've had them before in the yard, but it is always the same, just passing through on their way somewhere else. Apparently our yard is not quite the right habit, as they prefer open woods. Alas, our yard isn't quite big or open enough.

This one arrived one afternoon as I was working from home. By chance I looked out the window and spotted a very blue bird.

I sprung into action and grabbed the camera.

And was able to (obviously!) get some shots. It was still here for Patty to see as she arrived home from work. And then it was gone.


You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts here.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week


Patty and I were sitting on eat deck one evening, when I noticed a bird on a log. Of course, it flew before I could get my binoculars and get a good look.

Fortunately it did not fly too far, and Patty was able to relocate it, while I went to grab the camera.

This was the first time we saw a Veery in our yard. And we've not seen it, or any other, since.

A migrant, just passing through. We're glad it chose our yard to visit.


You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts here.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week

Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Like the Pine Warbler, this bird shows up like clockwork each year. Since we've moved here it has arrived on April 30 2015; May 4, 2016; April 27, 2017; and April 29 this year. All within a week's time each year.

It seems to prefer the 'big house' feeder, returning throughout the day to chow down on the sunflower seeds.

Maybe it likes this feeder because of a of drama at the platform feeder?

Seems the Red-bellied Woodpecker was not interested in sharing. Good thing we have multiple feeders.


You can find all of the Yard Critter of the Week posts here.