Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The line-up

Every morning I'm wakened by the gentle but insistent woof of my blonde Labrador - Bliss. As soon as I stir, Eleia the calico cat comes bouncing in for a cuddle before I go downstairs to be greeted by the big boys.

It's usually between 6 and 6:30 a.m. this happens. Often I struggle to wake if I've been up reading or writing late the night before. Eleia makes sure that I respond to the call though if she's inside. Often she's slipped out through the screen that she has cleverly torn off the window ledge to give her freedom.

This morning was one of those mornings. But Christopher was on the bed and licking my fingers was his cue that I really should get moving, he was hungry.

But first things first. Dog Invisible Fence collars had to go on, then birds had to be fed. I don't leave the feeders out over night any longer since raccoons seem to know and raid them, often breaking them in the process of lifting them off the hook or limb and dropping them on the ground.

So this morning I sat outside on the deck with my coffee, dogs having been fed and watched the lineup at the one feeder closest to the wee church. There were two male purple finches - scarlet in the morning sun rather than rosy. A female purple finch waiting her turn, several redwings flew over to the larger feeder on the other side of the yard along the treeline. That gang includes grackles and most often mourning doves.

Not this morning. A mourning dove landed on top of the little arch leading out to the lower west garden much to my surprise and as you can see a couple of house sparrows took over where the finches had left off. An American goldfinch arrived and then one of the four male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that hang around. He began eating greedily.

Then I heard a soft cry. Looking around I saw a smaller female grosbeak fluttering her wings and tail feathers, a sure sign that she was a baby and needed feeding. Or else it's mating season and Mrs. Grosbeak wants some courting. She retreated to the nearby blue spruce. (I'll have to take field glasses and see if there is a nest.) Mr. quickly followed her.

It was a busy morning at the diner. I don't often take time to go and watch the line-up but I think I will for the next while. As I was enjoying coffee, bird song, and the show, I was dive-bombed by a series of tree and barn swallows.

Later heading out into the pasture for the first doggy walk of the day - 15 tree swallows were on the hydro wire that crosses the road. I ran back for my camera - what a site - all fledglings I assume since three of the next boxes in the past couple of days have been suddenly silent as I walk past. The barn swallows too have fledged - there are two nests inside the drive shed and the adults become very irate if I walk in to get some garden tools or put something away.

So the dogs and I followed the neatly mown pathways (not my work but a neighbour's son who kindly helped out recently) and then of course they became silly.
Most often they roll at least once or twice in the tall grass of the pasture, (in winter its the snow that they love to roll in and Spirit will snorkle along for the longest time). This time they couldn't resist the dewy grass of the path. If I could have gotten closer you would have seen the grins on their faces. 

And so it was a great start to the day.
Hopefully it will end well - though they (the forecasters that is) are calling for thunderstorms - wherein both dogs will got outside and bark like fury.
But last night we were treated to a brilliant apricot sky and bit of flame as the sun set. Perhaps your day will end like this tonight


  1. A terrific way to begin any day! I trust it ended just as nicely!

  2. Lately all my days have ended beautifully - but ... you just never know what's around the corner.

    As always - such a pleasure to hear from you Bill. Some day I'm going to have to hop in the car and journey back to Maine. That State (and some summer residents that were/are dear friends) saved my life one year after I'd rolled a car and needed time to deal with the trauma. I walked Fortune's Rocks beaches for days, back and forth and swam in the cold ocean and fell in love all over again with Maine. Lucky you to live in such a beautiful spot. And yes, lucky me to live in one too and enjoy great days, magnificent sunsets and good friends.