Tag Archives: woodpecker

Backyard Birds of East Texas

I love to be outdoors but, I admit, I’m a fair-weather outdoors-girl.  As I was in east Texas, on Houston County Lake, over Labor Day, the temps were close to 100.  Looking outside I could see a gentle breeze that kept enticing me out.  Any who have spent a summer in Texas know what happens as soon as you go outside.  I began to sweat and couldn’t even find relief from the heat in the shade or the breeze.  But I wanted to get some pix of the backyard birds so I pulled up a chair and tried not to exert any energy.  🙂

Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

I thought the above photo was of a red-headed woodpecker but I got some help with the bird identification from nature@twpd.texas.gov.

Goldfinch
Goldfinch

My Dad says his mother used to call the goldfinch “salad” birds.

Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker

The Downy woodpecker is such a cute little bird.

Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird

The Easter Bluebird is pretty common; especially if you put up a nesting box for them.

bird identification request
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Again, nature@twpd.texas.gov helped me out to identify the bird in the above photo.  It is a female Red-bellied woodpecker.  The Yellow-fronted woodpeckers aren’t found in this part of Texas.

As I came back in the house, where my parents stayed, my Dad asked me what I was doing out there.  I told him I was taking photos.  He told me I should have gotten some good pix of the birds who came to see the crazy person sitting outside in the Texas heat because they never see that.  🙂

Listening to General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Advertisements

Pileated Woodpecker and Roosevelt Elk

I didn’t know that woodpeckers ate apples?

Pileated Woodpecker In Apple Tree
Pileated Woodpecker In Apple Tree

Between the birds, deer, raccoons and even bear, the competition is high for our apples.

We saw 2 other species of woodpeckers besides this Pileated while we were harvesting this day.

Apple Cider
Apple Cider

We got busy!  I love either hot apple cider or very cold over vanilla ice cream.  Ever tried an apple cider float?

Roosevelt Elk
Roosevelt Elk

Roosevelt Elk are one thing we haven’t seen in our yard eating our apples.

Aren’t their coats pretty this time of year?!

That light-colored bump on the top of the cow’s head is actually an elk on the hill behind her.

Day One on the Alsea River

Some may say we live out in the sticks.

Barn
Barn

I love old barns.  This one is along the single-lane-dead-end road where we bought property last year.  We are full-time RVers but wanted a place to live in case we had to stop travelling.  I mean, besides parking in our children or parent’s driveway. 🙂

Yesterday's Sunrise from Tillicum Beach
Yesterday’s Sunrise from Tillicum Beach

We’ve decided to take the winter off.  We’ve been workamping at Tillicum Beach Campground for the last two years.  I’ll try not to whine, too much, about missing my sunrise/sunset/whenever beach walks.

Woodpecker
Woodpecker or Sapsucker?

So look who greeted me this morning, “at the river”, before I even opened the door.  I’m not sure what it is.  I’m still trying to ID it.  S/he has really worked-over our apple tree though.  Look at the rows of holes in the tree.  If you look closely at the bird’s feet, he’s using the holes as foot-holds.  They are precisely the right distance apart!  Smart bird!

Reflections-upsidedown
Reflections-upsidedown

I love nature sounds!  This morning, as I sat on our deck overlooking the Alsea River, I heard the woodpecker, a king fisher and the river rippling over the rocks.  At high tide there are no ripples.  This is at low tide.  I couldn’t resist the reflections and then turning the photo upside down…just for my morning giggle.

Getting into the swing at Lodgepole Campground, Utah

The aspen on the hillside are finally leafing out.  Aspen spread by sending up new shoots from the roots instead of by seeds.  By the way you see clumps of trees leafing out at the same time, I wonder if they are from the same root system (family)?  You can see some on the hillside that look that they might be dead.  But I suspect that a couple days of warm temps will bring that sap up the trunk and get those leaves out.

Lodgepole Campground Host Site
Lodgepole Campground Host Site - Aspen on hillside

The aspen are so pretty with the morning dew and the sun backlighting them.  The little stands of trees, with their white bark and bright green leaves, stop me in my tracks. 

Aspen Stand In Lodgepole Campground
Aspen Stand In Lodgepole Campground

If I get up early enough, I like to walk around the campground.  I should measure it to see how far I’m walking.  It’s on a nice rolling hill so it’s good exercise to get me going.  I usually see a deer somewhere along my route.  As I was walking around, yesterday, I found a hose stretched out between the water hydrant and a camper’s trailer.  It was connected to the trailer but not the hydrant.  I didn’t see anyone stirring yet so I left it and walked, the other way around the loop, so I’d pass it again later.  As I passed it again, I started rolling up the 100’ of hose.  An older gentleman apologized for leaving it.  He said he was helping his brother with a repair.  I kindly told him that we can’t allow connections from hydrants to trailers due to the cross-connection contamination risk.  He told me it wasn’t connected to the hydrant; that it was laying on the rock.  I said, “Well, I figured that that’s why it was there, right?”  He said, “Yes.”  I don’t know why it surprises me when people think I’m stupid.  I have it written right on my forehead!  Anyway, he finished putting away his hose and I think he was embarrassed for trying to lie to me.

Deer in Lodgepole Campground, near Heber City, Utah
Deer in Lodgepole Campground, near Heber City, Utah

Love is in the air!  But, be aware, Spring Fever can be hazardous to your health – not to mention life-threatening!  I had to call a chipmunk meeting this morning.  I’d noticed the chipmunks chasing each other, carefree, through the campground.  They aren’t even aware of where they are running!  I’m not so worried about them tripping on a rock and stubbing their toe or even tripping ME!  But, after what I found this morning, I am truly concerned for their cute little lives.  We had to have a chipmunk funeral this morning for Romeo and Juliet Chipmunk.  You see, they were chasing each other around the restroom.  They went through the vent to enter the Ladies Room, chased around the floor and then jumped up onto the toilet seat.  You know those (clean) seats can be very slippery to those little paws with the long claws.  Well, Juliet slipped right into the bowl and, like jets flying in close formation, Romeo went in before he knew it!  Too much water and sides too slippery to get out, they died of hypothermia.  Stiff as little boards when I fished them out with my handy-dandy-campground-manager-grabber-tool.  …into the bucket and tossed into the woods…dust-to-dust… hand over my heart…moment of silence…heavy sigh and back to work!

Chipmunk Love
Chipmunk Love

We had a nice lightening show a couple nights ago.  The forecast is for scattered thunderstorms for the next 5 days.  However, we’ve gotten very little rain out them.  Our campground is the greenest one around here.  Just a couple miles up the canyon is Strawberry Reservoir in a high mountain valley that is not much more than sagebrush.  I like our spot!

Thunderstorms acomin'
Thunderstorms acomin'

Apparently the Mountain Bluebirds like the sagebrush.  We don’t see any in Lodgepole but they are all along the road to Strawberry.  Of course, that’s where all their houses are too!  Cheaters!

Mountain Bluebird - male
Mountain Bluebird - male - females have a grey front

We have Hairy Woodpeckers and Ruby –throated hummingbirds.  The throat actually looks black (on the male) until the sun hits it.  This one turned around to pose for me!  The females don’t have the coloring on the throat.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Next are pix of two different Hairy Woodpeckers.  No, they have feathers, not hair.  I don’t know who named them.  One has more red on the head.  I wonder if that’s the male and the other is the female?  In the “critter” world, the male is the most colorful!  hhmmm, I guess human males are pretty “colorful” too – hahaha – just listen to them

Hairy Woodpecker - female?
Hairy Woodpecker - female?
Hairy Woodpecker - male?
Hairy Woodpecker - male?