Monday, May 14, 2018

The Jelly Wars, or The Orioles are Back!

   A flash of orange caught my eye early last week.   I ran and got my camera and so began the annual invasion of Baltimore Orioles.  I had put out their favorite grape jelly in anticipation of their arrival.  I usually see one or two, but this year I have counted up to 5 at one time!  Males, females, juveniles, all hungry and ready to stop in the Gaga Cafe.  Word has gotten around.
I call it the Jelly Wars.  They are waiting up in the maple tree above the feeding station every morning.  Waiting, hopping from limb to limb till I go out the door.  I put more jelly and orange halves in the feeding tray for them and add more worms for the bluebirds.  They fuss and fight and argue over the best place in line.  Some of them wait patiently and some butt in line, squawking all the while.  Now that I have hung up the hummingbird feeder, some will go straight to that.  I think some just like to dive bomb the others and cause a flurry of bright orange feathers.  I love it.  

This was during a particularly wild encounter.

 Over the weekend I watched and studied them.  The feeder is right outside my kitchen window, so I can see them clearly and if I don't make any sudden moves, they don't notice me much.  It is my bird blind.  The oriole on the left is a juvenile female.  The one below is an older female.

Mostly I just watch them eat.  I have noticed other birds sharing the jelly; catbirds and a Swainson's Thrush really like it too.

Since they are gobbling down at least a third cup of jelly a day, I was sure glad to see this on sale sign at the grocery store!  Now that I have really looked them over and have good pix, I am ready to try to make a couple.  Stay tuned for that!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Spring Flowers and Warm Sunshine

It's been a long cold winter.  Just look at this little bluebird, all puffed out to keep warm earlier this spring.  He can relax now, because the temps are warmer and the sun is out!  I am so happy for the warm up, I can hardly stay in the studio to do my work.  Spring has finally come!

The spring flowers are finally popping out.  This Virginia BlueBell is stunning.  It sits next to some tall phlox.  The bit of pink on tiny buds contrasts nicely with the full blown blue of the older blossoms, and the green leaves are a perfect background.  I love this wild flower.

The Jack in the Pulpit is unfurling and Celadine Poppy is just beautiful.  Spring!  Color!  Warmth!  It all makes me so happy.  Time to be outside as much as possible and enjoy the gardens and the birds.