You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘grackle’ category.

This looks like a polished piece of porcelain with hairs sticking wayward, but it is a close up of an Alaskan King crab claw. That was dinner last night, (not mine, I ate shrimp and they were ‘shrimpy’ in comparison with the width of that leg!) But, when I saw the cracked claws, I had to take some close ups, the hair was just too bizarre! The orange was such a pretty color.
Outside it is like a blast furnace and everywhere I go, I notice the mockingbirds chasing everything out of their way. I did happen to get a few of the crow sitting on one of my cut off trees getting ‘buzzed’ at by the mockingbird. Here’s the story in pics:
the crow retreats to tree stump, he looks out at the oncoming vengeance of two mockingbirds.

They swoop down and fake attack that stubborn crow,  The crow took off,   heading
right in my direction and then veering off.  The crows and mockingbirds can be seen all over as the ‘mockers’ love to dive bomb the crows. The crows just go about their business looking overhead all the time.  Here’s some crow pics: 

My cranes were here on and off all afternoon, I witnessed the tender moments between parent and child by the lake. The babies do love to chase off the other birds, they have been taught well.    Here’s Mom grooming.   Baby watches to see how close the ducks get.     ah, the love!  It was so sweet how tenderly the mother would tap the baby’s beak.   My mallard pair are hanging around too. The foot that looked broken is up and running again I am glad to report. Birds must injure themselves from time to time. I have noticed my grackle since last year who has the mis-shapen toe,     notice that wayward toe on the right.
He hops on it, gets along well and makes up for the impediment by being very much of a bully.  

That grackle is a great example of  ‘making do’!
The flowers are looking good, but the heat is getting to them as there has been no rain for over a week and 90+ degree temps that actually feel like over 100!     It’s so hot even the doves

have become feisty!    Blue jay and dove eye to eye.   The dove was

“unflappable”  Stood its’ ground.     Then it actually moved forward at the jay and they both flew off.    The heat is making our tempers short. Confrontation isn’t limited to humans – I see well executed sparring right in my own yard!
P/S, now I am in possession of a dove that got pounced on by the neighbors cat.    I saw it out of the window and ran out. The poor dove was stunned and not flying. Right now it is sitting quietly inside the cat cage with food and drink, in a dark bedroom and later or in the morning I will let it loose…(When Ringo is in the house)

The rains have been coming off and on today. The heat is tremendous under the weight of all the humidity. The birds seemed to be panting.    They cooled off a lot in the bird baths.
The one baby and it’s mother were back.   I noticed that there were actually two fledgling babies begging for food, but she refused to feed the second one, (in the middle) though both seem fine because if they have to eat on their own, they do, they are just lazy.  The rejected baby at the bottom right of the photo finally got his own seed.
Have young jays coming in also,  Got nice photo of the handsome young male
They hear me clicking the camera from at my desk inside and jump!
I had a baby thrasher come in and eat, then get exhausted and sat down to relax.  I felt like that too, I had a hard time getting my camera to adjust to the heat outside, it took about ten minutes before I could defog my lens.|

The BOB’s, band of brothers stopped by for a drink, they ambled away into the steam of the afternoon. I walked down to the lake and saw the Mallard couple, the male is one of the BOM’s band of mallards from May, he was the weakest of them and they dominated him.   The two stronger ducks left. The weaker link stayed here and took a mate. His foot was injured back then he was limping. The female stays with him all the time, the pair stay on the edge of the lake as they are shy of people and head right out on the lake when I get too close.  He hobbles on the left leg. But today he got up and could hardly walk on it.  It was so pathetic watching him swim off not using that leg.  The leg looks broken poor guy. I hope the Band of Brothers don’t find him down there, they will take advantage of him for sure as they did with our sweet Carbs, the muscovy who was hanging out here last year until the BOB’s made him leave “their” lake, nature can be so very cruel.  (That’s Carbs)  What will happen? Oh, it is the secrets of the lake that keep us all guessing around here! Like, will I fish tonight? All I have to do is look at the lake to see the sky is telling me no!  

Well, it’s a bit dark at 3:22am, but do have nature pics to upload from yesterday:
Loved all the grackles coming for breakfast.  There’s usually a flock and they sing and boss each other around.

Here’s a few out melody-ing each other.   As you can see, they grab as much as they can before flying away.    The grackle in the foreground is a youngster and was not quite sure how to gather the food so it began making a big racket about wanting something to eat too.  It’s Mama complied.

Really giving a thorough inspection.   It was very funny.
Those are the common grackles, the fancier ones come too.   Today it felt like a steam bath, they said it was in the 90’s but actually it was 103degrees from the humidity and it was humid, my lens had to be wiped many times during my sweaty venture into the yard.  Bees and bugs thought nothing of going about business as usual.     and even two enemies decided it was not worth arguing over the same plant.    The roses are blooming all over. They love this weather.

Now, I’m going to bed and will add to this later – Abbe

A hot hot Saturday played out today. My friend, Sonja Greenlee was headed to Seminole State College for the annual reading by the winners of the Revelry poetry contest.   Each year they have submissions starting in February nationwide for this wonderful literary venue with a nice cash prize. Sonja was one of the top winners  I am proud to say, she is an excellent writer! Congrats to her and I wish I would have gone to hear the winners read their poems.  If you are interested in a copy, contact the SSC English Dept.
This morning the sky was killer bright at 7am –   It felt like almost a dozen suns had lit the sky showing no mercy!   The Weatherman said it would feel like over 100 degrees and they were right, WHOO, the humidity stuck to you as close as an oil slicked bird!
I was at the computer working on my art blog when I heard a banging on the porch, it was a grackle trying to get the heck out. I bought a butterfly net for $1.00 at the flea market and it has been one of the best purchases ever! The poor bird was tired as it ran into the screen over and over. I got it in the net and lifted it out, (camera close by of course.)   He was mad, but he was not as mad as he might have been if Ringo had been on the porch! So off he flew to join his flock as I went back in and tried to read up on a few things in my camera manual to bone up for the Camera class with Ken Elliott.
The class was nicely filled with people holding their DSLR Canons and Nikons, me always being the only one who shoots with a Sony Alpha.
Ken explained how aperture, shutter and ISO all worked in conjunction and had everyone working their f-stops and shutters, my camera does not have the same button positions and it is still a bit confusing to me, but I plan on getting out and try and use my Manual mode more often.  Ken gave an interesting history lesson on cameras and the inner workings and had good visuals. Afterwards he did a sidewalk shoot so the people could go experiment.   Whoops, I screwed up the settings on that!  Here’s Ken talking to one of the attendees.  He may do this again. His photography is hanging in the Art Affair gallery in Sanford, go take a look at his work. I’ll tell you a secret about him, he has a tripod fetish, loves his tripods and all the fittings.
I walked over to The Gallery On First for Hot Summer Nights. The artists were out meeting and greeting and eating. They had a nice reception going with new works upon the walls. That crazy baby mixed media of Cherie Dacko was on the wall, that just cracks me up! I saw Stewart Jones new work and of course, his pelican really got to me..
Another bird painting that was so beautiful was by Debra DePollo Ryan, beautiful white herons     mastered on canvas. Debra has a wonderful way with showing us her thoughts via calm water and peaceful settings.  She is delightful to talk to.
Sharon Hyder had wonderful sunrise and moon paintings and I admired a turtle painting which her artist daughter and booth mate, Lori Anne Harris had painted the frame  and of course Sharon’s husband had made the frame, again, they always have a solid family unit always going on.
Stan Surman had beautiful oil work. I liked his painting of a young child who had paint all over it. And then there was Aurore Brunet who does gorgeous crafting of collage and paint. Her colors and compositions are always so interesting.  
What I found most amazing were the artists’ visions – the depth of meaning to their personal work. Aurore gave me such insight into the painting next to her showing a sad letter covering the woman’s heart with the words of the French children’s song, Allouette written on the paper. Allouette is a bird, a skylark and the song is about plucking the feathers from it. The expression and detailed work can’t be seen to do it justice from this photo.  All I know is I was singing that song in my head as I came out of the gallery and looked out at the angry sky.  I hummed the tune all the way home thinking it such a haunting song really , telling a bird that it was going to have the feathers pulled from the head, wings, feet. I thought about holding that struggling grackle in my hands today before freeing it, the feel of the sturdy warm body, it’s heart beating furiously, — could I have pulled even one feather?

NO PLUCKING WAY!

and I mean that title literally! For some reason the birds were bossy today.  First, there were two blue jays coming to enjoy some seed and water.   A woodpecker came in and decided to partake.    and things got heated,    

The woodpecker bowed in a subservient  position.  He tried to calmly discuss his position But the jay chased him off.  Though they didn’t bother the doves. Nor the sandhill cranes,   Though the crow chased everyone off so he could stuff his mouth.

Sweet cardinals .  The mallard couple came too. Everyone was hungry for bird seed.

The cranes even decided to come and knock on my sliding glass doors.  When I answered they hurried outside the porch patiently waiting for rations.   
A storm threatened and a squealing osprey sat in the tree warning of lightning.  

I took photos of flowers,   

The common grackle took to bossing the other birds around. One jay came back   

challenging the grackle    face to face they each showed their attitudes.  

and then the jay flew off after a threatening jab of grackle beak.   The jay landed on the pot and looked down at the despicable grackle.
A back up grackle came in ,   as a squirrel ran up the tree and raided all the food in the birdfeeder,    peace at last…   Wonder where Ringo was? he slept through it all, silly boy.   

Ah, Tuesday has morphed into Wednesday – I am in a time warp again as another day squeaked by. Where oh where do these hours go?
Anyway, it was a hot one. Woke at 7am yesterday and the moon was still gleaming against the blue.  Aaron threw out the cast net and got a few shiners and he brought in a bass and a gar. 

Then he and Leila headed back to Tampa  with their Bella,     I  had so much fun being with all my kids this weekend, family is so important! Don’t forget to tell yours how you feel and often…

On Saturday I had run over to Sanford and was in Maya’s Bookstore and saw this,   an adorable baby sated in sleep. Yvette, the owner was keeping a very close eye on him as his mom, Wee Gauthier, an orchid vendor with “Orchids For All Occasions” put away her flowers as the Saturday Farmers Market was coming to a close. They were gorgeous orchids:  As you know, I have a black thumb.  But back to the sleeping baby, I am excited to have my own new grand baby this August! I hope I will be a big part of the babies life.  My daughter made sure to get a romper for the baby that expresses who I am,   The weekend with family was wonderful and went so fast, only wish Aaron and Leila lived here so we could all be together much more, what can I say, I’m selfish! But Tampa certainly is not California — get over it Abbe!
Andrea had come over with all kinds of baby madness shopping and had made an ADORABLE diaper cake, she’s such a talent:  
Back to Tuesday:  wildlife and the yard.
The cranes came this morning and Papa crane had quite a conversation with one of the babies:
I still have not heard any baby noises from the wood duck box, but she keeps an eye out for me and flies away as soon as she senses I am near. She is a very nervous duck.   I also bet the mallard couple have some eggs somewhere around here too, they are still hanging around.
The baby heron are so funny, one flew up in the tree after Papa crane chased him off, and he acted like he was going to kick some crane butt, but he was only making a spectacle of himself.  
The flowers too look beautiful:   the rains do make them bloom and die faster. The birds too have been busy and the cardinals are back again, it seems they were MIA for a while.   and of course the crows    common grackle.   and Mr. squirrel.
and of course my window view. Head on outside and enjoy something in nature.

Yesterday I set up my solo exhibit at the Maitland Library which is a wonderful place. I am also working on an Etsy site to sell my work, but left the details to drive over to the beautiful Library.
The librarians I encountered could not have been nicer or more accommodating, Pat, thanks so much if you read this. My work will be up for the month.

Here’s a few pics of my show,  “Cat Dreams and Wings

Afterwards I walked around Lake Lily next door and took pictures then headed to the Maitland Art Center just a short hop away. A photo of mine did not sell at an auction last week and it was to be dropped off there by Jerry Bell whose wife, Gayle, a painter, had rounded up other artists to donate work for an auction to send to the group, Doctors Without Borders for continuing their work in Haiti. I was sad to hear my photo did not sell along with a few others. But they did raise $5000!
AT MAC they looked for my picture, but couldn’t find it. I figured maybe Jerry had not dropped it off yet. I lounged around a bit and enjoyed the surroundings, though the giftshop and gallery were not opened. I headed across the short street for the Chapel, a wonderfully serene and soothing place. The style of the chapel is called ‘Mayan Fantasy’. The buildings and grounds are all part of the National Register of Historic Places. The first photo is of the original home which is now the Gallery and Gift Center.

The Chapel in its’ Mayan theme is an intricate and captivating work of art, have a look.

The owner, Jules Andre Smith bought and designed this place in 1938– he was an architect besides being an artist and he set up an artist colony called The Research Center. He lived there until 1959 and during that time he saw the need for artists to come and find their own solace and inspiration – I can’t imagine how cool it would have been to have belonged to the ‘entourage’,  those lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the place back in the day.
Now the city of  Maitland owns the land and buildings and makes great use of it  for conferences, art classes and lots of Weddings which is a perfect place for them! I went to a writers conference there years ago, the atmosphere was electric. It’s the aura! Here’s the link  www.maitlandartcenter.org
Here is the view of the Formal Garden.  

I decided to head back to Sanford as it was getting to be about 4pm and traffic moves at a turtle pace.After arriving, I grabbed Adam and got some dinner at Applebees. His friend Ari was at the AAA building in Lake Mary where the Seminole County High Schools were showcasing the area AP Art students. There was to be a reception and awards. We went and the place was packed and the art was amazing and professional. These students have big futures! The style and individual work was so impressive. The show will remain up for 3 weeks, so you have time to head up there and take your time, there is so much to look at — it is definitely worth the time. Adam and I really enjoyed the quality of the art. Ari’s work shows she has a solid artistic soul!
Finally when I got home I sat down to email Gayle to ask where and when I should pick up my picture. There was an unread email from her, I opened it and she said my photo sold at the golf course that Jerry had been playing on that monring, he was showing a golfer the picture and the guy bought it! That made me really happy. being an artist and selling art is hard work, so it sure is nice when someone appreciates it enough to buy a piece. I always feel honored when that happens, especially with something kind of ‘off par’ – an ‘out of gallery experience’ for sure…

These are funny birds. They are boisterous and that’s what I love about them.
The neon feathers are gorgeous when reflecting the sun. And they entertain me while I fish as they look for food around the lily pads.   
Walking magisterially like they own them, or maybe tame them.  They lift up pad after pad using their beaks and claws to push them back to reveal what might be lurking beneath as they eat frogs and fish and even baby birds.   

They come in to eat with the blackbirds and crows, but dominate the blackbirds.   What I love is when they puff all up and show the other male how ready they are to find a female.
I watched two males take turn pumping up in competition, first one then the other about three times.  
I have seen others release their inner “Hulk”.  

In the sun they gleam!  
I will have several like the last photo in my exhibit at the Maitland Library after Wednesday.
I can’t take enough photos of their beautiful faces. 
They come and hog about every drop of food at the feeder, but it’s wonderful watching all their antics.
Take a walk – I bet if you live in many states, you will see the Grackle. Enjoy them, observe their interaction, and laugh at their “puffery”.     

Blog Stats

  • 51,208 hits

Archives