Monday, August 15, 2011

You Can Observe a Lot by Just Watching

Saturday the heat, humidity, low water and generally poor stream conditions continued in my general location, so trout fishing was out.  I spent much of the day doing yard work, and after lunch I sat out on the deck and watched our feathered friends for a bit.  Like Yogi said, you can observe a lot, especially if you remain still.

Here's a couple of piliated woodpeckers searching for food on the silver maple off the back corner of our house.  They worked their way up the tree from here, circling the trunk as they ascended the hulking old hardwood, all the while communicating in soft squeaks and chirps, sounding much like guinea pigs as they went.  If you closed your eyes, you would have thought there were furry pets nearby.  

Here's a close up of one as it listens for crawling bugs under the surface of the bark.  They better take advantage of it now, because come the fall, the tree is coming down before it comes down on its own.

And here is the very best of why I love living where I do. I have identified about 6 hummingbirds that frequent our feeder by there coloring.  One, a mature male dominates the others.  He sits on the wire and puffs his ruby red chest out when the others fly close.  And if they have the nerve to try to feed while he is present, he chirps loudly and attacks them with abandon.  Still, they all manage to find the feeder free of antagonists often enough that they can feed without stress.  Karen and I often sit out on the deck after dinner watching them as they feed.  They are beautiful birds, and for some reason, watching them can be the most relaxing things I can do.      

Here  is the alpha male taking a sip of my home made nectar.  I make my own - the pre-made stuff you buy has dyes and other preservatives in it that I don't want these beautiful wild animals to ingest.

The tiny birds are fascinating.  They hoover one moment, and then the next they are streaming away like a winged bullet into the canopy.  When they hoover, the sound of their wings is pitched differently depending on whether they are moving forward or backward.  Sometimes they just hang in the air without any lateral or horizontal movement whatsoever.  They must be the most agile animals in the world.

The moral of the story...........just because you can't fish, doesn't mean you can't enjoy what nature has to offer. 


Brk Trt said...

Hummingbirds are works of art, not to mention their speed.

Watching local wild life is a good way to spend time away from the stream


Mr. Q said...

But you can fish, just not for stream trout. I was at spruce run last night(fishing next to that guy from NY.....) when i caught several catfish up too 8 pounds, and hooked a monster of some persuasion that proceeded to come close to spooling my medium weight fin-nor spinning reel before severing the 12 pound test with its sharp teeth. I am assuming it was a large pike. Next weekend is looking up for wetting the flys again(can't wait)!!! Great post

Matt Grobert said...

Brk Trt - This one is a sub adult male, he challenges the alpha male sometimes and gets his butt kicked.

M. Q - Excussse me! I should have said fly fishing......maybe Sunday or Monday evening we can hit the trout streams.