A Bird-tastic day at the park

The road commission was working on our road yesterday (what else is new?), and the constant backup beeping of the trucks was driving me absolutely bonkers.   The person who came up with that idea for backup beepers should be shot was brilliant, because I’m sure it has prevented many accidents.  But tell me, WHY is it necessary for any truck to be left in reverse, beeping away, for 30 minutes at a time?  I’ll bet the construction guys all wear earplugs just to keep from going insane.  Sheesh.

Anyway, because of the incessant beeping, I loaded up all my stuff in the car and went to a local metropark to knit work.  It’s one of my favorite places to go when I need a break — in fact, I keep a folding chair in my car all summer long just in case I decide to escape to the park.   It was a bit chilly near the water yesterday, so I mostly stayed in the car with windows down to catch the breeze, and got several very productive work hours.   I love to birdwatch as well, and was thrilled to see a Baltimore Oriole only a dozen yards away.  He treated me to a good 15 minutes of beautiful singing as he hopped around in a big tree.  (Here’s a website where you can hear him sing too)  I think that’s the first time I ever got to hear an oriole sing!  As usual, the park was hosting lots of red-winged blackbirds too.  They’re always so easy to spot, but I still get a thrill every single time I see one of them — is that weird?  At home we just spotted our resident hummingbird for the first time this year, so Eric quickly filled its feeder and put it out.   The feeder hangs from a hook on the roof overhang just outside our back windows, so we have a clear view of it from inside the house.  All summer long, whenever either of us sees him at the feeder we get excited and shout “the hummer’s here!”   Even if we see him every day, we still get that same thrill.   I think it’s because we only get a fleeting glimpse of him and then he’s gone.   I should try to get a photo of him this year.   What, you don’t think I can catch him with the camera?  I think I can.  I was lucky enough to get this photo of a hummingbird when we were on vacation in Ontario a couple years ago:

It's blurry because he moves fast, but can you see him?

It's blurry because he moves fast, but can you see him?

This one was visiting the flowers on the deck of our rental house, and he buzzed my head several times during the week as he dined on the nectar in the plant right beside me. It was way cool to hear that buzzing sound so close.  So I’m confident I can get a shot of our own hummer if I put any effort into it.

Spring has finally sprung here in southeastern Michigan, and the flowering trees are in full bloom.  Our forsythia bloomed while I was in Savannah a couple weeks ago, but now there are crabapples and almond trees covered with blossoms.  And even a magnolia tree here and there — gotta love those!

When I talked to Mom today for Mother’s Day, she said that my sister was taking her flower shopping — it’s become a tradition to get her flowers or mulch or something for her garden every year since she got serious about her flowers several years ago.  One year we went down to Ohio and dug a bed to start her garden for her, and have watched as she tries different flowers every year and reports on the success or failure of each one.  Here’s a picture of her little garden from 2  years ago.

The labels were for her, so she'd remember what was planted there.

The labels were for her, so she'd remember what was planted there.

She reported today that the rhododendron has died this year though, so she’s trying to decide what to put in its place.  She’s got a beautiful azalea bush on the other side of the porch.  But this side has southwest exposure, so she probably wouldn’t be able to have another azalea here.  I’m excited to see what she ends up putting in there though.  Maybe I’ll go for a visit in June and surprise her with some new plants.  I really need to visit more than once a year anyway…just wish it wasn’t such a drive to get there.

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