Sunday, September 9, 2012


ALL last week I was sporting 2 black eyes and fire ant bites on my left foot!! Course the 2 black eyes were not on my left foot they were on my face! AND still are but not as bad this week....I called it the week from Hell..the grass bagger fell on me while I tried unsuccessfully to slide it on top of the tool shed...and while I was engrossed in photographing some butterflies I stood in a fire ant hill...they let me know right away I was NOT welcome there and since its the south and summer flip flops are the favored footwear...SO OUCH!!

BUT NOW...FOR the first time in a LONG time the windows are open! Finally a  beautiful cool day; sunny and breezy - just perfect.  Had a great girls night out last evening with my best girlfriend at Outback, blooming onion and garlic mashed potatoes, and all the beer I could guzzle and still drive home... yeah I had some  amazingly bad breath this
and then I did some birding today...YES Sondra,  there is a Santa Claus!

IN the trees of the pasture I spotted this pair of what looks like immature pine warblers, male n female..I say immature due to the dark line through the eye as they mature that will be less visible.

The female

the male..

Upside down and gorgeous was the brownheaded nuthatch..

More nuthatches feeding high up in the canopy...

I heard summer tanagers, hairy and red bellied woodpeckers, chickadees every where, and white eyed vireos but too quick for photos...did manage a shot of this busy immature northern cardinal when he waited a turn at the feeder..

A tufted timouse scolded me for a while then went on his way..

AND WTHECK is this thing? Found it devouring one of my potted plants...had to get my butterfly n moth book to look it up...

 LOOKS like graphic art.....Its called a saddleback caterpillar, and it turns into a rather dull brown moth...amazing, book says its a STINGING caterpillar ouch..I did move it but it didnt sting me, also had some black swallowtail larve eating the devil outta my parsley!

Flossie was showing off her beautiful tail in the breeze, she moved just as I pulled the trigger on this one but her coat was so pretty I let it slide...SHE's a tough keep cause of this heavy long coat its a grooming nightmare!

ANNIE was around but not in the mood for picture posing...see this house finch (below)....well I walked right up and grabbed her off this feeder, she is almost blind! So now she's in infirmary and receiving treatment for conjunctivitis...she should be fine a few days..

Here she is in the treatment cage its small but I'll need to be able to catch her everyday and treat her eyes so smaller is better in this case I can catch her without a big "chase".
THE star of the weekend bird watch was a pair of Red Breasted Nuthatches that are hanging out in the yard !! ITS been fun to watch them...and thats NEW to my yard list! Usually see them a bit farther north, but they DONT know that....LOL..

NEXT weekend my MOM finally returns from Colorado! She went to stay a month and stayed a  my sister will be driving her back and she will be with us for a month...and MY sisters and I  plan to do at least one waterfall hike...3 of us are having birthdays too..
One of us will be 56, one of us will be 59, one of us is 63, and one of us will be 88...
YA'll can figure out who is how old 'iffin you want to.
Im enjoying good times while I can! Hope you're doing the same where ever you are!



  1. An I thought I was the only one who did things like that and got black eyes LOL!
    Hey Sondra..You have some lovely birds photos here, the Brown headed Nuthatch is new to me. He must be one of those southerners : }
    Yup you got some trouble in the Parsley, but aren't they beautiful!! The Saddle back is an odd one, but also a beauty!
    So sad the poor little birdie, but I believe you will get him all fixed up!
    Hope the get together goes great..I wish my sister's where more like that you want to adopt me : }}}!
    And Flossie cute!!

    1. HI Grace, yes Im become quite accident prone..not happy to say..but oh well we have to take our punches I guess.

  2. It was wonderfully cool for me today. Had the door open with only a fan blowing.
    Sorry about your misfortunes. Black eyes and fire ant bites are bad news.
    Love your feathered friends. I have yet to see a Red-breasted Nuthatch here.
    How do you treat bird conjunctivitis? Sometimes I have House Finches with this disorder.
    Love your furbaby and....
    Happy Birthday...:)

    1. Thank you Jean! I will email you on the way I try to cure these birds...

  3. More gorgeous bird pictures! I had never even heard of a brown headed nuthatch. But that caterpillar . . . I think you just put a little jacket on him to mess with us.

    Where's the picture of your black eyes?

    1. I did take a photo...but it was just too embarrassing to post...

  4. Sounds like you've had an enjoyable few days; apart from the brush with the ants and grass bagger.
    It's good that you can help that House Finch. Hope she makes a good recovery.
    The birds are great, but that Saddleback caterpillar, wow! Amazing.

    1. YEP this saddleback is a first for me...its only about an inch long too... I forgot to mention that in the post.

  5. Beautiful photos as usual. That caterpillar looks like it's wearing a t-shirt with a whole in it - very strange looking!

    1. LOL yeah thats true the color was so sharp and I really love the "outline" around his spots...nature is amazing right?

  6. Oh jeez girl -- with all that happened to you its probably pure luck that the pretty caterpillar didn't sting you. Gosh. I think you should give up mowing the lawn and just take pictures, preferably without standing in an ant pile!!!

    These pix are all beautiful -- just amazing really as usual. Hope your bites and black eyes are all totally healed b/f your mom gets home (moms hate to see those ;>)!

    1. I would love to give up mowing the lawn!!

  7. Sounds like you've been in the wars but great photos. That Saddleback caterpillar is out of this world!

  8. I've found a saddleback before and they are the coolest! We have lots of black swallowtail cats right now too. So happy you helped that house finch! Have a great night!! :)

  9. Holy crap that caterpillar is insane! Never seen anything like it- certainly wouldn't want to come across it late at night in a dark alley.

    Bummer about the black eyes and fire ants, but glad you had a good (and well-deserved) night out. Nice job on the finch capture too- you are quite the master of bird rehabilitation!

  10. Such great pictures! Love that caterpillar....aren't they amazing? So, a happy birthday is coming up, huh? Me, too. One of us will be 58. I am not aging gracefully, either physically or mentally. I don't want to be old!

  11. Sondra, so many nice pictures but the saddleback caterpillar wins the first prize! It looks like having a blanket on its back to be dried after a fast run :)

  12. Injured and attacked by nature, still you seek and appreciate its beauty. Then reach out to save that sweet bird. The caterpillar is strange and I'm glad such stingy things are not at my home. Hope your wounds are healing quickly.

  13. Hi Sondra, I'm sorry to have missed commenting on your posts for a while, I have read and enjoyed them all but have really struggled with blogging lately :-(

    Well, you have been in the wars! Black eyes and ant bites, you don't believe in doing things by halves do you!!! ;-) And I looked up that caterpillar, you were very lucky not to add to your woes, apparently they are very aggressive and the sting causes immediate swelling, severe nausea and a rash that takes days to clear up. What an incredible looking creature though, the strangest thing I have ever seen!!

    I hope you manage to work your magic on the little bird, if anyone can help it you can.


Comments are appreciated, and reciprocated!