To think the second day of September is almost gone! Not hard to tell fall’s coming when I look out and see the leaves on the lawn. The weather has held fair so far; today was quite warm in fact, but it’s supposed to cool of steadily during the next few days.
Some hummingbirds are still around. When I first stuck my nose out the door this morning, after I’d let Pookie in, I noticed a hummer peering down at me from the feeder just outside the door. And he stayed put as I shut the door and went past the hallway window and into the kitchen. I don’t know how long they’ll be with us, nor how many there are still around, but they were so frequent at the feeder today that I made fresh juice for them.
Swainson’s Hawk Drops In
Yesterday morning a hawk dropped into the yard and settled on the far side of our driveway not far from the garage. We had a young great-horned owl wander around our yard one morning a few years back, but have never seen a hawk land here before. In fact, when it first lit and strutted around a bit my first thought was “Turkey vulture.” It was dark and had a funny white “patch” on its nose, but I realized that no, this is nowhere near big enough to be a vulture and it has no red on its head.
I eyed it for a few minutes, picking up what particulars I could, then grabbed the binoculars. After a couple of minutes it caught sight of me peering at it through the hallway window — birds have amazing eyesight! — and decided it had a pressing engagement elsewhere.
For those who don’t know what a Swainson’s hawk looks like, here’s an article that describes it. The bird I saw was one of the dark phase, somewhat mottled but mostly dark brown, like the last two in the line of photos.
Our cats are bad for catching things, then leaving them around for other creatures to deal with. Yesterday Pookie must have caught a mother mouse (or shrew?) with a couple of wee babies with her, because he gnawed on the adult and left the little ones lying dead beside her. And left it all near our sidewalk. Yuck! I cleaned the mess up and tossed it, but it gave me a queer dream early this morning. (We were trying to raise a batch of baby gerbils and it was a frustrating with three cats ready to pounce on them. We’d try to find hiding places but it was a futile effort.) Silly how real life things work their way into your dreams.
This afternoon I noticed a couple more birds hopping around in the chokecherry bushes. Good luck to them if they’re hoping for a few berries; I think the robins cleaned every one up before they left. Haven’t seen a robin for about ten days now.
The birds I saw today were migrating warblers. The one could have been a fall blackpoll. They nest further north so we see a few of them coming through in spring when they’re black and white. In fall they are more yellow with distinct black & white wing bars, as this one had. Another warbler I saw today was more solid brown/olive, white tummy, and with a noticeable dot of yellow on its back end. And what fancy name does Audubon have for this one? A “yellow-rump warbler.” (Unless it’s a myrtle warbler. The thing wouldn’t sit still so identification was more guesswork than good vision.)
I also saw a hermit thrush sitting on a fence rail this evening. They are cute, plump little guys with grey coats and white fronts speckled at the throat. Again, we only see them passing through.
To change the subject entirely, I’ve recently gotten interested in an old book series: the Tommy & Tuppence mysteries written by Agatha Christie. I’ve read several; there are only about half a dozen — which is too bad. This series is much milder than her usual murder mysteries; in the one I’m reading now, titled N or M, the year is 1940 and T & T are trying to ferret out a German spy who’s plotting toward an invasion of England. Has anyone else read them?
Apart from that I’ve been working on sewing a dress — very slowly — and planning in my mind the party I’ve going to have at the end of the month to celebrate the end of my chemotherapy. Any suggestions what I should have written on my cake? Something like “THE END” or “It’s OVER!” or “SURVIVOR” or “It’s A Wonderful Life”?