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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Still winter

I stayed indoors working/playing on ancestry but my husband insisted I photograph a helper cutting a limb from our biggest pecan tree. The limb broke during a bad ice storm a while back. My husband and I cut off what we could get to at the time, but weren't up to climbing the tree So here it is.

Ho-hum! But what was more interesting was my ancestry day. Included in that was a photo. You see, quite a while ago (obviously I lose track of time) a contact furnished me with a photo of  the wedding of my first cousins twice removed (isn't it splendid of ancestry to keep track of all that for me). These ladies married brothers, also related to me. 

Only problem was, the top of the head of one of the brothers was cut off on the photo. It didn't bother me that much, after all, it is a distant relation. But this contact wanted to use the photo for something or the other and urged me to find my source of the photo and see if I could get the whole picture. Well, one thing and another, and I finally located the person who provided the link to my source, but no luck. That was all he had or knew about or something. So I just took matters into my own hands and whipped up a head-top on photoshop. That should solve that!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A bird! A bird!

That Bullock's Oriole that I had visiting the feeders mid-December in Alpine is back!  Not great photos through a window, but documentary.

The oriole works very hard at getting sugar solution from the feeder.

Three days until February. And in February the hummingbirds will start arriving. How cool is that! Meanwhile, I'm having fun working on my ancestry tree. I was contacted by a distant relative, related through marriage. He had a couple hundred pages of letters written by my first cousin twice removed, per ancestry lingo. (Per my lingo she's the niece of my beloved great-grandmother.)  He shared those letters with me. I'm transcribing them and putting them onto my tree for posterity. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hibernating in town

In case you're wondering what has become of me, I'm in town most of the time working on my ancestry tree and cleaning pecans. Spring is just around the corner.

We have about ten feed sacks full of pecans. Hugh cracks them and I clean them.

That project will take me well into spring.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Days are lengthening

Surviving as best I can. Today Kelly and I went to Lajitas to see what hummers we could band there. Saw three and caught two of them, one Rufous, and one Anna's.

Here's a juvenile Yellow-breasted Sapsucker that Kelly discovered and photographed. I hadn't taken my big camera along, so sure there would be nothing to photograph. That's how bleak it is these days.

Before leaving we checked out the pond by the golf shop. The most interesting bird there was this Eared Grebe which I managed to get a poor shot of with my little Lumix camera. (Coot on left)

In four weeks or so I can start watching for early arriving Lucifer Hummingbirds.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Trying to cheer myself up

I saw a couple of gorgeous male Mallards on our pond so decided to photograph them. Before I could get out there some woman walking her dogs down our alley between the house and ponds flushed them off. Grrrr!!!! I said something about it and she glibly stated they'd be right back. Of course, as I expected, they never returned.

So I kept searching for something to photograph, anything. Finally found an American Goldfinch. Better than nothing.

Since we have more pecans on the trees than we have the energy to deal with we are giving some away. One of the people my husband gave some to has been out flailing for hours. Wish I still had that kind of energy. Just glad the pecans aren't going to waste.

Hubby's at the river fishing. He's catching fish but it's cool there too. Since I assured him the next few days are going to be warmer he's going to hang in there. If he came home he'd just wish he was back there.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Headed toward normal

I actually saw my first two butterfly species for the year today. One was at a banding site about ten miles south of CMO, near Terlingua, and the other was at CMO. Reakirt's Blue (Terlingua) and Sleepy Orange (CMO), about the most common species. It's a start.

At that Terlingua banding site we waited patiently for this Anna's Hummingbird to enter the trap. It had been banded several weeks before we think, which may be why it never did go in.

Meanwhile, as we waited, a Pyrrhuloxia landed on my head. 

Photo by Kelly Bryan
Photo by Bonnie Wunderlich
I know I look dorky with my head all wrapped up, but by keeping my ears and throat warm I never get sore throats, earaches, or even colds or flu, so it's worth it. Plus it keeps me warm.

In keeping with the strangeness so far this year, my feeders have been bedeviled by bees. Here's one from under the roof where rainwater can't overflow the baffles. Either rain came in sideways or wind blew the feeder excessively. 

So I changed it out with a fresh one, and half an hour later it looked like this. All I can imagine is that when I rehung the fresh one some solution must have gotten sloshed during the process of flipping it over. That does happen occasionally. I'm going to leave it and see if by tomorrow the bees have gotten all they're able to reach. Whew!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Can I hibernate?

This year has started out so strange that I just want to hibernate until March 1st. Wish my water supply could hibernate, too, so none is lost to evaporation between now and then. I haven't even photographed anything yet this year.

We're banding at Lajitas tomorrow. Maybe something interesting, or worth photographing, will happen there.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's resolutions

I didn't bother to make many resolutions since I never really heed any of them for long, but it's always nice to take a little inventory. A few of my usual health-related resolutions and one to go oding and butterflying to the Lower Rio Grande Valley this year. I'm very serious about the few resolutions I've made.

Also I've noted that I'm not very consistent with keeping odonate and butterfly records at CMO. I do keep a daily lists of birds. I've tried a few flawed and inconsistent methods for odes and butterflies. This year I'm trying a new one and determined it'll at least be an improvement. By the new process, in my bird journal, I'll mark a species in every month that I see it. Better than what I had before anyway.

These pages are at the back of my bird journal for 2016 with tabs for easy access. I document bird species daily except for the year-round species, which are recorded on the first page. There are 21 year-round species. I know I'm not going to be consistent at documenting butterfly and ode species daily so I figure I'll try to do it monthly. I'm optimistic that I can accomplish that. I've kept my bird journals since around 1995 (ie. 20 yrs) but have only been into butterflies and odes the last several years.