We’ve had a week of visitors to our home in Vermont. Last weekend, we enjoyed a visit from my son and daughter-in-law and throughout the past week we’ve been entertaining Jim’s brother from Wisconsin. It’s been nice to have someone else to talk with besides ourselves!! The most exciting part of both visits was discovering and observing the NEOWISE comet in the northwestern sky with them!
In addition to human company, this summer has seen the arrival and residence of many feathered friends. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a variety of avian visitors, or perhaps I’m just more attuned to their presence.
I’ve been meaning to start a list of birds we see frequently. The song sparrows have been nesting in the ground hugging Juniper shrubs along our house foundation. We listen to their melodies every morning and throughout the day. They like to perch on top of the garden shed roof and sing to each other! Of course, we have a multitude of robins that return each year. They have been comical to watch as they try to jump up from the ground and grab blueberries from our bushes. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds love to sit on a dead branch at the tip-top of the birch tree in the front yard. They use this limb as a resting spot and observation point – flying down to the garden and visiting my flowers – especially the petunias I have growing in my hanging baskets on the porch. Black-capped Chickadees are often heard rather than seen while I enjoy my coffee on the porch. Their two-toned “fee-bee” whistle piercing the cool, crisp morning air. Eastern Phoebes like to perch in the oak tree near our front garden. They have been nesting nearby for years.
We’ve observed many species of birds hanging out in the birch tree simultaneously. You remember that birch tree we almost cut down at the beginning of the summer! 🙂 The parade of birds includes a Gray Catbird with its unusual cat-like call, the beautifully exotic looking Cedar Waxwings, Mourning Doves, American Goldfinches and Hairy Woodpeckers. There’s a Brown Thrasher that has been checking out our blueberry patch as well. Contrary to the dull sounding name, he’s actually quite colorful with his bright rufous-colored back and striped chest.
Occasionally, we catch a flash of an Eastern Kingbird and I caught a glimpse of a Baltimore Oriole once flying along the ash tree hedgerow along our property.
On my walks around the neighborhood, the red-winged blackbirds are always active near the twin ponds up the road from me. There is also a huge multi-family Canadian Goose population living between the two ponds. I’m thankful they chose to nest up there and not at my pond! I love to watch them but they do make a mess! At the “beaver pond” further up the road, Mallard Ducks are often hiding among the tree branches submerged in the water. Yesterday on my walk, I’m pretty sure I spotted a Broad-winged Hawk fly across a meadow and perch on a telephone wire near the road. I can usually also hear, but not see, Vermont’s state bird – the Hermit Thrush – in the forest environment along my route.
As for my garden flowers, some perennials have finished blooming only to be replaced by others just starting to put on a show!
We’ve been hanging out back at the pond on these hot days, especially in the late afternoon to cool off a bit. I do laps in the kayak while Jim swims! I have not measured how many laps equal a mile – but it’s a few! The dragon-fly activity is insane and loads of green frogs inhabit the pond’s edge. 🙂
Hard to believe it’s the height of the summer already. Soon, we will be seeing signs of fall!