Sunday, October 30, 2016

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is not purple. The male has a pink head and chest.  The rest of the feathers are brown and white.  The female (and the juvenile) are brown and white.  A stocky finch, with a melodic though not highly remarkable voice, is fairly common throughout its range.  The Purple Finch is seen year round in the eastern half of the US and in California.  Some travel to Canada in summer.

Purple finches live in coniferous and mixed woodlands, suburbs, orchards, parks.  They gather in large flocks in fall and winter.  In spring, they pair off to mate and raise young.  The female builds a nest of twigs, grasses and animal hair in pine trees, deciduous trees, or tangled vines anywhere from 3 feet to 60 feet off the ground.

Some Purple Finch Facts

- length:  4.7-6.3 inches
- wingspan:  8.7-10.2 inches
- 4-5 eggs, 2 broods per year
- incubation (by female only) 12-14 days
- nestling:   2 weeks
- food:  seeds, bugs, berries, flowers

Friday, October 28, 2016

Leave My Thumb Out of It

For the last couple of weeks, I've been under a cloud.  That problem I've been having with my thumb has been diagnosed.

No surprises.  Arthritis.  Well, one surprise.  It seems there are grades of arthritis.  I'm in the fourth grade.  How many grades are there?  Four.

So there's been some boohoo poor me. Oh my thumb!  I hate wearing this thumb support thing on my hand.  Oh the pain.  Oh the suffering.  Poor me.

In times of deep self absorption, it often helps to remember that some have it worse.  Like these guys.  It is, after all, Wild Turkey season.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bugged II

After picking some tomatoes, the gardener headed toward the house.

Suddenly, out of nowhere.  A hit to the wrist!  A hit to the ankle!

Lily, a witness at the scene said, "it was bizarre.  Totally unprovoked.  A coordinated attack.  Dastardly.  The gardener didn't have a chance. "

"Later",  Lily continued, "I heard the gardener cursing.  It seems that calamine lotion has limited effectiveness on the swelling and itching, especially when spilled on the bathroom rug."

This local resident remarked that some bugs go a little crazy this time of year.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 51

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.

Somewhere in Michigan, via live Eagle Cam, beyond and below the nest containing a couple of baby eagles, something else was seen.

What was it?

A wolverine?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.


A squirrel?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
A homeless person?

Hostmaster:  incorrect.

A creepy clown?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.

A creepy clown urinating against a tree?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.

A squirrel urinating against a tree?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.

A member of PETA?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.

A PETA member urinating against a tree?

You guys are out of control.
Hostmaster:  correct.
Cyndi, what did the Eagle Cam catch?

Hostmaster:  correct again.  Probably.  Maybe.  Who knows?

I bet Bigfoot urinates against a tree.

So ends this round.
Want to see it?  Go here.

Round 51
Fluffy/Molly  21
Bryan/Cyndi  20

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Bugged 1

Lots of grasshoppers at large lately, here at the homestead.  Also, surely not coincidentally, there has been lots of heavy webbage.

 Grasshoppers travelling willy-nilly often end up entangled.  Pictures of such occurrences are just too graphic to show.

Suffice it to say, spiders catch their prey and process them, as spiders do.

Good thing there are lots of grasshoppers because the resident ducks enjoy them too.

Other bugs have also been active lately, some of them of the stinging variety.  More on that after the swelling goes down.