Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Birds and Snowflakes

Look who visited the feeders! This male Orchard Oriole is a new bird for Allhaven! He blessed us with a short visit Sunday, March 29. I took this horrible photo through a window to save a memory of the special occasion. In the original photo the tiny speck of a bird was barely visible, so I practiced cropping to make the bird as large as possible. It visited twice that afternoon, a few minutes at a time, before moving on.

To see a better photo of an Orchard Oriole visit the Cornel Lab of Ornithology website.

I was excited and lucky to see this bird. I wasn't even supposed to be home. I canceled plans to attend a Global Warming Conference so that I could enjoy a restful Sunday. I am grateful for my decision!

Do you find yourself torn between travel and staying home? I find this a challenging dilemma. I love to travel, attend workshops and meetings, see and learn new things while meeting new friends, but I hate to miss the visiting birds, to see who is blooming in the garden and to witness the trees change colors throughout the seasons.

I will be giving up a spring weekend at Allhaven soon to attend the West Virginia New River Birding and Nature Festival. I'm sure this will be an AMAZING weekend! I will only be there Thursday night through Sunday, but I am thrilled to be able to attend for even part of the week. I decided I could NOT miss this opportunity a few weeks ago. I made reservations, completed the paper work to take a personal day that Friday and even printed my MapQuest directions. New birds and new friends - I HAVE to be there!

But, before the weekend away, there is a lot to be done. I am using every minute of the less than perfect weather to use spring break vacation to spring clean my house. There is A LOT of spring cleaning! Most of my time has been spent in the kitchen scrubbing and prepping walls for new blue paint. I will finally open a paint can later today.

Other than being super busy with the cleaning, it has been quiet. Nice. Snow has greeted us each of the last two mornings. It seems wrong to wake to a blanket of snow on flowers and buds during spring break. We are lucky that most of the buds are very tight. I think we will still have Magnolia, Lilac and, most importantly, Serviceberry blooms.

The garden is calling, screaming for attention. I must finish this painting project before the days turn perfect for working outdoors.


Margaret Cloud said...

I only see them come in for one day and they are gone, they are so pretty. I am glad to see you get a little relaxation and sound like you are planning on having a good time at the birding and nature festival. Hope you have a nice Easter.

Ruth said...

I think your bird is an Eastern Towhee. Orchard Orioles do not have white, but have a solid chestnut belly. We have very few Towhees here and I have only seen two. However, we have quite a few Orchard Orioles in the spring and summer.
Happy Easter, happy Spring!!!

MDScaper said...

Spring feels as though it definitely arrived this weekend!

Kathleen said...

Hi All,

I appreciate your visit and comments. Thanks!

Ruth, I'm pretty sure this is an Orchard Oriole. I've not seen them often, never in my backyard, but it looks like the one posted on the Cornell site.

Margaret Cloud said...

Kathleen, Ruth is right, that bird is a Rufous-sided-Towhee.My bird book shows an Orchard Oriole as being yellow, with stripped wings, they are seven inches long. Southwestern Louisiana seems to be the heart of this oriole's nesting country, because the highest population of them have been recorded there. Thank you for coming by.

Kathleen said...

Ruth & Margaret,

Thanks! I will check the books again!

Kathleen said...


I stand corrected! Thanks for being great teachers!