Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Wreaths Are a Success!

I have been surprised at the number of birds that are eating from the wreaths that I made.

Here are a few pictures that I have taken over the last couple of days. I have taken probably a thousand pictures since I hung the wreaths! I even bundled up for a few minutes today and sat on the patio near the feeders. The birds are more bold when it is cold! A blue jay, white-breasted nuthatch, Carolina wren and a dove came to the feeders while I sat there. I was shocked that a blue jay came with me so close.

Now that they have learned how to maneuver them and feel secure landing on them, they come and go just like they do on the other feeders. In fact they rarely use the other feeders now. They prefer the wreaths.

The blue jays come and go constantly, as long as the peanut supply lasts. I was able to buy a stash of Spanish peanuts on sale at Aldis for .69 a bag.

They will also eat the seeds from the pine cones and they like the homemade suet too. I'm not sure how much they are actually eating. They do a lot of storing and stashing; I think they are preparing for a long winter.

I'm still waiting for the cardinals to land on them. So far they aren't very interested.

Thank you all for your comments on the wreaths! Several of you said that you wanted to make one too. I'd love to see it if you decide to do it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Bird Food Wreaths

Today the sweet little Carolina wren entertained me. It loved the homemade suet! All day long, into the evening, it hung around the wreaths I made. It made me very happy!

Last Saturday, for some reason, I was having difficulty swallowing and aspirated twice while eating and drinking water. All week long I have had the most obnoxious cough that aggravated my asthma making breathing difficult. I was concerned that I might be getting pneumonia. The constant coughing was exhausting.

I've just been resting and doing a lot of bird watching over the last few days. Which is what prompted me to make the wreaths.

The wonderful thing is so far the house sparrows are leaving the wreaths alone and only the more desirable birds are enjoying it.

The female downy came and ate off of both wreaths.

I haven't seen much of the downy woodpeckers this winter. Usually they hang around all winter. Hopefully now she will be back and bring her mate.

Notice the wren and the woodpecker both at the wreath!

I painted a little pastel colored basket that I had picked up at a garage sale and attached it to the wreath. I put a few Spanish peanuts in it hoping to lure the blue jays to the wreath.

The brave little wren discovered the treats pretty quickly.

I went outside to fill the feeders and it stayed close by. I have a feeling that with some patience this one could be trained to eat right out of my hand.

The blue jays are curious about the wreath and are trying to get the peanuts that are attached. So far they haven't landed on the wreath, hopefully tomorrow.

The sweet little chickadees landed all around it but never on it. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow too.

I have enjoyed looking out the windows and sliding glass doors and seeing the bright, bold colors on the wreaths. Watching the birds enjoy them is a delight!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Today I made a wreath for the birds. It adds a wonderful splash of cheerful color to an otherwise drab winter landscape.

The pine cones were collected over 10 years ago from my former home in Alabama. I dipped them in melted lard and peanut butter and rolled them in bird seed.

It took about five to ten minutes before the sparrow started eating. I need to set up the tripod to get some better pictures, but I was pretty excited to have a guest that soon. I am hoping that a male cardinal will land on the wreath. That will be very sweet!

I made another wreath and threaded popcorn, peanuts and dried cherries. I hope to have that in place tomorrow.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Member of the Family

My 23 year old daughter has talked for a long time of wanting a kitten of her own. Now that she has graduated from school and has a full-time job, her desire to have a pet of her own intensified.

Saturday morning, while browsing the local news, I noticed that the Hamilton County Humane Society was hosting a Homeward Bound Adopt-a-Thon. Fees had been reduced to only $25.00 for cats and kittens. I told my daughter that this might be her chance to get that kitten that she had been talking about for so long.

She and I went to the shelter and after looking at a multitude of cats and kittens, she found the one. It is a match made in heaven. Just what she wanted, a sweet tempered, affectionate and playful  kitten. This one is seven months old and had been in foster care with several other cats and kittens. Her name was Bubbles but it was promptly changed to Jasmine.

I personally have never seen a kitten with such a wonderful disposition. She is as loving
as they come and not at all skittish. Just what my daughter wanted, a little snuggle buddy.

Someone else is not at all happy with the new addition. She keeps grunting and hissing at the kitten. She is a precious sweetheart too, so I know they will eventually be friends. In the meantime, our golden retriever, Lilly, is keeping Libby away from the kitten. She has actually chased her away when she hissed at her. Lilly is already smitten with the kitten, but the kitten isn't quite comfortable enough to let her get too close.

I want to add here, in case there are concerns about the Adopt-a-thon, that I was so impressed with our Humane Society. The process was very thorough. Jamie had to fill out several forms and was thoroughly and carefully interviewed. I even had to give my OK for her to adopt a pet since she still lived in my home. My husband also had to give his approval.

The place was packed so hopefully there were a lot of dogs and cats to find forever homes. I know that we couldn't be more pleased with our sweet kitty!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Smoking Birds!

It was so cold this morning that you could see the breath of the cardinals and blue jays!

I didn't notice it on any of the smaller birds at the feeders.

It looked like they were smoking!

Rebel birds!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Birds

My favorite part of winter is sitting at my kitchen table, in front of the sliding glass doors, with a hot cup of coffee or tea, watching the snow fall, while the birds flock to the feeders.

Of course I have my camera close by to capture the birds.

Our average snow fall for December in the Indianapolis area is about 6.4", so far this month we have had 7.9". I'm afraid that we may be in for a long snowy winter!

I'm not going to apologize again for my absence from the blog. The first holidays without my mom are difficult and I just don't have a lot to say right now. I hope you understand.

I'll leave you now to enjoy the rest of the pictures. Thank you for stopping by!