Archive for August, 2010

Sometimes Birds Are Bullies

August 30, 2010
Author: Wind-Music

If you have a birdfeeder in your yard, you may have dealt with “bully birds”. Bully birds are usually blackbirds, grackles, house sparrows, and pigeons who want the birdseed in your feeder or on the ground and will chase away your favorite birds so they can inhale it all.

Bully birds are usually bigger than the birds you are trying to attract with your feeder, so try to limit accessibility of the feeding ports and keep the area under the feeder as free of seed and suet as possible to discourage pigeons. It can also be beneficial to eliminate favorite bully bird foods from your bird feeding area-they seem to prefer bread, corn, wheat and sunflower seeds.  Finches prefer hanging thistle bird feeders, while safflower seeds in hopper or tray feeders will appeal to cardinals, nuthatches, and chickadees.

The family Screech…

August 26, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

When I was a kid we moved to a large old house in a small historic town.  My parents bought it from an elderly lady who had lived there for over 80 years.  The house was big and old and was surrounded by many trees.  She had several wind chimes hanging in those trees.

There was a large swamp nearby and you could always tell when winter was really over because the frogs started singing when spring had truly arrived.

One night we were standing out front and happened to see something dark over one of the windows.  We got a flash light and shined it on the shadow and discovered it was a Screech Owl.  Turned out there was a whole family of seven owls living in the tree right next to the front porch.

They only lived there for the first year we lived in the house.  I guess they didn’t appreciate having four noisy kids as neighbors.

A Heron Bird Feeder???

August 25, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

I think it is a rare treat to see a heron in a pond along the road.

My parents knew a lady who had a pretty, back yard water garden.  They said the lady complained a lot because she had problems with herons stealing the fish out of her pond as if it were a heron bird feeder.

I guess some of the herons were lazy.  It must be so much easier for herons to hunt for fish in a small garden pond rather than in an actual swamp or lake where they usually hang out.

Come to Jesus

August 24, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

A few years ago we had a long rainy period and large puddle formed alongside our church.  A Cardinal started making a habit out of flying up and tapping on the window next to the puddle during worship service every week.  We all found it amusing.

We couldn’t figure out what was causing him to do that.

Birds eat insects, so maybe he was trying to catch bugs against the window pane.  There were no bird feeders in the area.

Or maybe he was confused about where to fly because of reflections off of the puddle on the glass.  Eventually the puddle dried up and the bird stopped tapping on the window, so it must have had something to do with the puddle somehow.

Or maybe he found Religion!

Toad Houses?

August 23, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

When I was young we had a small creek behind our house.  There were minnows and frogs and we used to go out there and catch the frogs and then release them.  I loved listening to the frogs on summer nights.

I don’t know much about Toads but I like them as much as frogs.  I’ve heard of Bird Houses, but Toad Houses?  I wonder if Toad Houses really work?  I wonder if Toads sing like Frogs do in summer?

Does anyone know?  Maybe I should research that online!

To Feed a Mockingbird.

August 22, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

I used to eat Spaghettios almost everyday but I didn’t like the meatballs.  So instead of throwing them in the garbage I would throw them out back so they would be eaten by the birds and not go to waste.

I noticed a pair of Mockingbirds sitting on the fence and they seemed to be waiting for me to toss the meatballs out in the yard.

Seems they liked meatballs and learned to come by each day around lunch time to wait for the meat ball smorgasbord.  We had a bird feeder but the Mockingbirds seemed to like meat better than seeds.

So, I decided to try to use the meatballs and see if I could tame the Mockingbirds enough to get them to eat from my hand.

Instead of throwing all the meatballs out at one time, I saved them and threw two out at a time, one for each bird.  Then I started throwing them on the deck instead of out in the yard, then putting them closer and closer to the house.

Before long I had the birds coming by for breakfast, lunch dinner and sunset snacks where they would sit on the deck railing and wait for me.

It took a lot of time but it worked.  I got one bird to take meat balls out of my hand.

And then we started thinking about moving.  So I started feeding them only twice a day for a while, then once…then every other day.  It was nice, but I knew the Mockingbirds would be much better off if they didn’t depend on humans for their food supply.

I wonder if they make bird feeders that would dispense meat balls?

Do you hear that?

August 21, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

We had a hummingbird feeder just outside our family room window and a sectional sofa just under the window.  When the hummingbirds came to it, you could hear the buzzing noise from their wings.

When they came to the feeder while the cats were asleep on the back of the sofa, the wimpy cats would wake up and duck or jump down off of the sofa because of the sounds.  I guess they thought they were bees or some sort of large insect.

Crazy Cat

August 20, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

I have always liked feeding birds.  I had a deck with a sliding glass door.  I didn’t have a bird feeder so I used to toss bread onto to the deck for the birds.  It was really funny to watch my cat watching the birds.  He would crouch down as if stalking them and then he would jump!  Bang!  Right into the glass door which naturally made all the birds fly away.  Then he would sit and turn around as if to say, “I meant to do that”.

I decided to get a bird feeder for the yard, and put it far enough away from the sliding glass door so that my cat wouldn’t get a concussion.

Cow Birds

August 19, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

Bird Feeders

 

When I was a kid we had a bird feeder outside the kitchen window.  One winter we had a really heavy snow storm.  My father noticed a bird lying in the snow.  Another bird was trying to put snow into its mouth. He went out and brought the sick or injured bird in the house.

We put the bird in a home made cage we had and within minutes it was hopping about the cage but still seemed as if it couldn’t fly.  We decided to keep it until we were sure it was well.

It was a Cowbird and it would eat from our hand, sit on our fingers and fly around the kitchen landing on my mom’s head.

One warm spring day, when we were sure the winter weather was over, we took the whole cage out to the patio and opened the lid.

The bird sat there for a while, then flew up to a branch on a small tree next to the patio.

He looked around for a few minutes, as if he was saying good-bye, then he flew away.

Every time Cowbirds would eat from our bird feeder we wondered if one of the Cowbirds

was our bird.  Whether he is or not, at least we know he is well and living free as he was

meant to be.

How Grandfather Clocks Got Their Name

August 18, 2010
Author: Miagro2000

How Grandfather Clocks Got Their Name

 

 

In England’s North Yorkshire region, there was a town called Piercebridge sometime in the late 1700’s. In this town was a hotel, known as the George Hotel, which was a popular place for travelers to stop and rest their horses while the traveler’s went inside for refreshments. This establishment was run by the Jenkins brothers.

As the story goes, there was a long-case clock in this hotel which reportedly kept remarkably good time. That is until one of the two Jenkins brothers passed away.  Suddenly, it is said, an odd thing occurred –  the old floor clock began losing time.  It started to lose as much as 15 minutes per day. Then, it lost even more time each day until it was losing well over an hour each and every day. 

 


No clocksmith could repair the long-case clock, and eventually they all gave up.The clock stayed put in this hotel.  Having been remarkable in its ability to keep time, now it was remarkable in its lack of accuracy and the strange timing coinciding with the brother’s death. It was the source of much discussion, as the travelers came and went year after year.As the story goes, another, stranger event took place.  The second brother passed away at the age of 90 and the clock stopped running completely. Even when wound completely, the clock workings refused to move and the hands would not turn.

When the hotel acquired a new owner, the old clock was left standing in a corner of the lobby, its hands reportedly stuck showing the moment that the last Jenkins brother died.

In 1875, Henry Work, an American songwriter, was on holiday in England and found himself at the George Hotel.  The story of the clock was still alive.  It sparked Henry’s creativity and imagination. So Henry wrote a song and published it. His sheet music eventually sold over a million copies.

 Here are the lyrics to the song:
 

“My grandfather’s clock was too tall for the shelf
So it stood ninety years on the floor
It was taller by half than the old man himself
But it weighed not a pennyweight more

It was bought on the morn on the day that he was born
It was always his treasure and pride
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died

Ninety years without slumbering
Tic toc tic toc
His life’s seconds numbering
Tic toc tic toc
It stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.
In watching its pendulum swing to and fro
Many hours he had spent when a boy
And through childhood and manhood, the clock seemed to know
And to share both his grief and his joy

For it struck 24 when he entered at the door
With a blooming and beautiful bride,
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died

CHORUS

My grandfather said that of those he could hire
Not a servant so faithful he’d found,
For it kept perfect time and it had one desire
At the close of each day to be wound

At it kept to its place, not a frown upon its face
At its hands never hung by its side
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died

CHORUS

It rang an alarm in the still of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb
And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight
That his hour of departure had come

Still the clock kept the time
With a soft and muffled chime
As we silently stood by his side
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died”

Where are we today?Prior to this song, these clocks had a variety of names – long case clocks, tall case clocks, floor clocks, and pendulum clocks.  Since the popularity of Henry Work’s song, these clocks have been referred to primarily as Grandfather Clocks