Wednesday, June 19, 2019

No place like it. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . when you're feeling ill!
HOME, even when requiring some TLC because you've left it to collect
dust, dirty windows, and a dead mouse in a trap (I apparently forget to take
 one up prior to leaving), is the only place to be.

So I've played with my hydrangeas, bringing many in the house, moving them about, 
to brighten up these days when I've had little energy to do much whilst coughing my
 way into oblivion. 

I've tried to start organizing the many photos (and the stories to accompany them)
  taken in Northern Ireland and Ireland in order to start posting here. 
For some reason PicMonkey editor is causing me many problems - I'm
 still using the old version - so am thinking I need to spend time learning to use
 the new version which just has to be better. Or, I my have to just forget about editing,
and post lower quality photos taken with my iPhone used on days it was raining (often)
when I didn't want to lug a bulky camera around.
I hate change when it comes to using the computer - I'm afraid I no longer have
 patience or skills necessary for technical challenges - and am always nervous I'll
totally mess up and never be able to keep my poor old blog going!

But then I met an interesting published author in a lovely
 pub in Kilkenny and, after exchanging stories, he said I might
 well have a book in me. . . . . . . . . . . but that's a story
for another day!

Even Blogger appears to be having constant hiccups since getting back. 
That said, I must just mention that Internet/WiFi in Europe is so awesome compared
 to here in the US. The speed, even in hotel rooms with so many guests using
laptops, tablets etc. blew me away. I had no connection problems and was able
to do things so much faster. 

"HOME SWEET HOME" and "Singing the Blues"

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Special Sunday. . . . . . for birds and Dads!

It turned out there were actually eight baby House wrens in that little 
nesting box on the front porch! How they managed to fit in there,
and sometimes one or the other parents would get in there with them,
I'll never know.  During yesterday's sunshine and perfect temperatures,
I spent much of the day sitting at the window, nursing one of the worst 
colds ever, watching these birds and getting quite an education.
This adorable little guy, No.4, actually decided not to fly away immediately 
spending about 5 minutes looking in the window from the back of
the porch chairs before flying off.

As darkness fell last night there were still two left in the box and they
tucked in for another night. This morning I dashed to the window at 
6:20 am and saw a parent feeding them. At 6:30 am the two of them 
were pushing each other out the entry hole and off they flew one at a
 time into the fig tree. Ten minutes later they flew back to the porch,
chirping for their mom I guess, then both flew onto the roof of my car
and from there into the back garden where hopefully the entire family
 was waiting to be reunited.

Returned home from Ireland to find the hydrangeas looking really fabulous! 
Apparently there was not only heat but also a lot of heavy rain here so 
everything grew abundantly. Need to shop for Boston ferns this week as
my two hanging baskets are still empty!
Hung the flags for Flag Day on Friday and decided to leave them up over
 the weekend as it's a special day today.

A very HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the dads here
 in the USA . . . . . . and everywhere around the world
 where they are celebrated on this date.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Ready to fly?

I took a few more photos of the wrens yesterday afternoon, actually sitting out
 on the porch just a few feet from them. The parents were coming and going and
 didn't seem to mind me there as long as I didn't move.........or breathe!  
My arms were aching holding the camera at the ready and I was stifling my
 cough, so I didn't stay long.  I really think they will be fledging any day now
 as they seem anxious to come way out of the entry hole when the parents arrive
with a tasty morsels.

House wrens love insects and rarely eat seeds at the feeders - these babies
 are scoffing down grasshoppers, spiders, moths in wild abandon. . . . . . 

. . . . . . . and, although I'd only seen two the past day, I did catch three in 
the photo below. There could be even more as the first brood in May had
 five - I was able to count them as they flew out of the nest box.

I'll be watching today as it's very warm, dry and sunny, perfect conditions
 for a first flight. 
Those poor parents must be exhausted by now and need a vacation trip after
 raising so many babies!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Being Welcomed Home. . . . . . . . .

We flew in from Dublin to Philadelphia Wednesday evening - a smooth 71/2 hour
crossing of the pond, done so many times now I've lost count - then a short flight
 to Raleigh.
It started to rain as we made our way home by taxi, but rain is what we are so used
 to after almost daily showers and the somewhat foreboding low cloud cover daily.
Ireland's weather is not for lovers of warmth, balmy sunshine, dry days and
 clear blue skies. Here it is halfway through June and no sign of days when one
 can leave off the hooded rain jacket and not stuff the collapsible umbrella into
 bag or pocket.

Ireland is beautiful, greener than any other place on earth perhaps.
 More on all that and the loveliness of the countryside, the towns, even
 the cities of Dublin and Belfast, soon. The trip was certainly a busy one
and we saw/did so much as always. 

So this is front porch, as usual a surprising little space. Arriving home to noisy
 squawking as we unlocked the front door, we realized the House wrens were
 back with a second brood of young in the same hanging box!

You know how much I love our garden birds, gosh sometimes I feel we spend
 more money feeding them than ourselves! We have never encouraged this particular 
tiny bird as they can be very mean to other nesting birds - pecking their eggs
 to destroy them, even flinging newly-hatched babies out of a nest and taking over
 their space.

The above photos I took this morning (pardon my dirty dining room windows) as the
 parents were back and forth feeding their new brood.
Note the long twig protruding from the entrance hole. The parent is apparently
 using it for balance. I read that this particular bird does often leave one twig
like this after building its nest, so I guess that's the reason why.

These earlier photos were taken the morning we were leaving for Ireland and this
 is actually a baby wren, one of five, we saw fledge all within a few minutes - great
 timing and really quite exciting to view.
Certainly didn't expect them to return to the same place even though it's usual
for them to have two broods each spring. Guess they liked their accommodation!
This decorative box has actually hung here at least three years and this is first time 
it has been used by any bird.

Not to be mistaken for the quieter, better behaved Carolina wren, the House wren 
though similar in size and coloring, does not have the white stripe over the eye so
is easy to identify. Their brash chirping is quite annoying and nowhere near as 
sweet as the songs of the Carolina wren.

Once again I've arrived home feeling under the weather - a miserable cold/cough
which hopefully is not another bout of what we now call "the European travel bug",
that one which hangs on for weeks and drags one down. Last day in Dublin I felt
 something was going on so started taking meds which obviously didn't work.  
At least I can't blame the recycled air on the plane this time.

Hope to catch up with everyone soon. . . . . good to be home.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...