Nature Notes (#389)~A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers.~Suzy Kassem

nature notes logo

Join Nature Notes from Mondays at 11:00 pm EST  to Friday at 11:00 pm EST.

More information can be found at the top of the blog on a separate page, but it really is easy. What are you or have you seen and enjoyed in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? Do you garden? Have you read a good book on nature? 

Write a blog post with a photo, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. Please submit one blog post per week and link back to Nature Notes in some way.

Below is last week’s Nature Notes’ blogger thumbnail photos in a collage. If you photos are protected and/or you don’t want me to use them, please let know. Also listed are all the links to last week’s Nature Notes blog posts if you missed any.

collage-379

1. Pat in Colorado 7. A Quiet Corner 13. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
2. Hootin’ Anni 8. Pictografio 14. Birgitta
3. Eileen 9. bettyl – NZ 15. MP UPPAL
4. Sallie (Full Time- Life) 10. Alexa T. 16. Raquel Jimenez
5. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening 11. Day One 17. Jutta.K Deutschland
6. Mama Zen 12. Jesh StG 18. JBigg – USA

I love listening to the baby American Goldfinch begging for food in their sing-song wing quivering “Chip-ee….Chip-ee…Chip-ee”..voices. Goldfinch are the latest nesting birds in my yard waiting for the thistle-down to use in their nests. They are the only birds in my yards to feed their offspring strictly seeds unlike most other birds who feed their babies a diet of insects or mourning doves who feed their offspring a slurry from their throat pouch called “crop milk”.

Cool Facts from Cornell Lab of Ornithology

American Goldfinches are the only finch that molts its body feathers twice a year, once in late winter and again in late summer. The brightening yellow of male goldfinches each spring is one welcome mark of approaching warm months.

What is a group of these birds called? A charm of Goldfinches…

American Goldfinches breed later than most North American birds. They wait to nest until June or July when milkweed, thistle, and other plants have produced their fibrous seeds, which goldfinches incorporate into their nests and also feed their young.

Goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, selecting an entirely vegetable diet and only inadvertently swallowing an occasional insect.

When Brown-headed Cowbirds lay eggs in an American Goldfinch nest, the cowbird egg may hatch but the nestling seldom survives longer than three days. The cowbird chick simply can’t survive on the all-seed diet that goldfinches feed their young.

Goldfinches move south in winter following a pattern that seems to coincide with regions where the minimum January temperature is no colder than 0 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

Paired-up goldfinches make virtually identical flight calls; goldfinches may be able to distinguish members of various pairs by these calls.

The oldest known American Goldfinch was 10 years 9 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during a banding operation in Maryland.

american goldfinch-2007

american goldfinch-2007

You can encourage Goldfinches to nest in your yard by providing nest material including the following:

Nyjer Seed resembles grains of wild rice and is coveted by Goldfinches for its high fat and protein content. House Finches, Purple Finches, Towhees, Pine Siskins, and Juncos enjoy a little Nyjer in their diet. Nyjer imported into the United States has been heated to prevent it from germinating-so seed sprouting is not a concern. But because of its high oil content it can become rancid more quickly than other seeds. Replace the seed if it gets wet or the mold could harm the bird…

thistle or nyger feeder

 

goldfinch

 

goldfinch using heated birdbath

goldfinch using heated birdbath

What are you seeing in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? What do you find interesting in nature? Take a photo, write a post, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. PS..please check back and visit bloggers who post later in the week!

What I have been doing….Playing with Blake…..

This summer has not been one where I could sit on the deck and enjoy the wildlife. The drought made it so I had to buy soaker hoses and develop a plan for watering the shrubs and trees and the garden with targeted slow watering. I would step out to fill the bird feeders and bird baths and be a sweaty mess by the time I came in. I would take the camera out and it would fog over making taking photos impossible.

In June we were supposed to have five windows replaced and then the ice storm damage int he family room repaired. The windows came in damaged and were not able to be put in until the end of June.

Our wonderful painter was trying to repair staining on the family room popcorn ceiling. As she painted, the popcorn came down. The entire ceiling had to be taken down. It had to be patched and sanded ….Even with the room being closed with plastic, the dust got everywhere downstairs. The books in the living room had dust inside. We cleaned every single book and every cupboard in the downstairs. It was a bid task for me as my knee was so limiting.

As we cleaned upstairs, we decided to clean some things out of the basement. That led to an entire cleaning. We donated, recycled and threw out junk and stuff we did not need. The basement is organized and clean. Then we did the garage.

In the meantime, our kitchen sink leaked while we weren’t home. A plumber had to come out and replace the faucet but every thing got wet and we will have to replace the counter. Right after this one of the outside hose spigots broke and we had both replaced from the inside out…

We are still waiting for the bathroom shower to be re-tiled as it really needs it. That was supposed to be done in May….

I ran out of room on this blog as it will be 10 years in January. I contacted WordPress as I didn’t know if I would have to upgrade my level of service and was told I had many photos were huge and if I reduced the size, I could free up a lot of space. So I started with my Nature Notes collages and so far have done 150 of the almost 380 and have freed up 3 GB of space, but it takes time to do this. It has cut into my nightly blog visits and for that I am sorry…

The high point has been seeing our grandson. I was not able to travel in July but my doctor put me on steroids so that my symptoms would calm down and that allowed me to travel to see him..

Blake is almost 17 months old now, not the baby anymore and much as I enjoy the toddler, I miss the baby who let me snuggle him. Now he is too busy to be snuggled..

Blake

Blake

A Ghost in the Making…. 20 minute short film….

Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.— Aldo Leopold

Everyone has heard about bee declines, but with so much attention focused on domesticated honeybees, someone has to speak up for the 4,000 species of native bees in North America. Natural history photographer Clay Bolt is on a multi-year quest to tell the stories of our native bees, and one elusive species – the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee – has become his white whale.

Traveling from state to state in search of the Rusty-patched, he meets the scientists and conservationists working tirelessly to preserve it. Clay’s journey finally brings him to Wisconsin, where he comes face to face with his quarry and discovers an answer to the question that has been nagging him: why save a species?

 In September 2015, thanks to the efforts of the Xerces Society and others, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally issued a positive 90-day finding for the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee. They agreed to consider the bee for listing under the endangered species act. In 2016, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether the Rusty-patched Bumble Bee needs to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

 

The rusty patched bumble bee is an essential pollinator that contributes to our food security and healthy ecosystems, but their existence is under attack. Without pollinators, many of the fruits, vegetables, and flowers we all love and depend on are at risk.

These bees have disappeared from nearly 90% of their historic range likely due to threats related to pesticides, diseases from commercially managed bees, habitat loss, and climate change. The rusty patched bumble bee was once common from the Upper Midwest to the eastern seaboard, but no more. Now, these iconic native pollinators are restricted to small, isolated populations and are risk of extinction.

Please sign the petition…..

https://www.change.org/p/add-the-rusty-patched-bumble-bee-to-the-list-of-endangered-species

Nature Notes #(379)….Summer is coming to an end already….

nature notes logo

Join Nature Notes from Mondays at 11:00 pm EST  to Friday at 11:00 pm EST.

More information can be found at the top of the blog on a separate page, but it really is easy. What are you or have you seen and enjoyed in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? Do you garden? Have you read a good book on nature? 

Write a blog post with a photo, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. Please submit one blog post per week and link back to Nature Notes in some way.

Below is last week’s Nature Notes’ blogger thumbnail photos in a collage. If you photos are protected and/or you don’t want me to use them, please let know. Also listed are all the links to last week’s Nature Notes blog posts if you missed any.

collage 379

1. Gabi, Stich- Schlinge -Germany 7. Orchid’s Daily Voice-( Japan) 13. Raquel Jimenez -Spain
2. Eileen- Viewing Nature- USA 8. Adam Jones- Early Birder- UK 14. Angie The Freckled Rose- USA
3. JP-A Quiet Corner- USA 9. Photos by Birgitta B-Sweden 15. JP- A Quiet Corner- Eagle- USA
4. Juliet- craftygreenpoet- Scotland 10. Freda- Day One- Canada 16. MP UPPAL- You and I-India
5. Krzysiek Helak- Pictografio -Poland 11. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© 17. Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 33: 52
6. Sallie (Full Time- Life)- USA 12. JBigg’s Little Pieces – USA

It has been very hot and very humid and when I take the camera out, the lens fogs up making taking photos impossible… We were out of town visiting our grandson so this is a short post…

Red Admiral-Vanessa atalanta

Red Admiral-Vanessa atalanta

What are you seeing in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? What do you find interesting in nature? Take a photo, write a post, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. PS..please check back and visit bloggers who post later in the week!

Have a wonderful week from Michelle