Needlework, Finishing, Designing, Quilting, Some Discoveries and Adventures in Stitching from Windy Ridge Designs

Sunday, May 15, 2011


 You should probably know something about me.  I'm a closet ornithologist.  Ever since I was 13 and read Elswyth Thane's book From This Day Forward.  The hero of the story was an ornithologist.  I remember I had to look up the word to find out what that was.

Ever since I've watched birds.  This morning I had a wonderful surprise.  This lovely lady was collecting my floss tails and dog hair where I'd hung it in the Chaste Tree outside.  I saw her at about 6:30 AM, before my coffee - and I wasn't sure if I was seeing things until a female goldfinch landed in the bush too.  That when I ran to grab the camera and the Peterson's Guide.  When I found the orioles in the guide, I still wasn't sure that I was correct.  Then this fella showed up in the ash tree out back.  The photo shows him in the mulberry tree out front (where I was first able to photograph him).  Finally this afternoon he came back to the ash tree where I was able to get a much better picture.  Actually, I think it is possible that there are two males.  They look just a little different colored in these pictures, so I'm not sure.  In any case, they are all Baltimore Orioles.

 The last time I saw a Baltimore Oriole, I was a kid and found this funny looking nest in the pyracantha.  I showed my dad and he said right away it was a Baltimore Oriole nest.  Us kids were to stay out of the rock garden while the birds nested.  We would watch them, however, from the window.  They have a lovely song.  There's a Cornell University website about birds - well, I think Cornell University has something to do with it, but I'm not really sure.  Anyway, I went there, found the Baltimore Orioles page and then listened to the song.  When I played it our windows were open and the speakers played and then the bird here responded to the song on the computer.  It was neat.  We've walked around the house all afternoon hearing him singing.

About four years ago we had a visitor at the feeder that I identified as a Rose Breasted Grosbeak.  It only came a couple of times, but I got one good picture.  And I haven't seen anymore since until this spring.  I was outside weeding and stood up to find one of these guys at the feeder - about two feet away from me.  I stood there, looking at him, he was looking at me.  And I started talking to him, telling him how handsome he was.  Typical man - he stood still to hear a woman compliment him.  My husband saw us from inside and couldn't believe it.  I've been able to stand pretty close a couple of times now.

 This picture was taken from the doorway.  They were a little more skittish that morning - I think because there were two of them and they were competing over the feeder.  But aren't they just gorgeous?  According to the guide, they are orchard dwellers.  No surprise there; the orchard is just next door.  So these two handsome fellows must attract the opposite sex, right?  Yep.  This afternoon the girls showed up (below).  Clearly the men have all the flashy looks.
No needlework updates yet, maybe mid-week.  Sorry, I know the bird thing is a little weird, but it makes me feel good to listen to them outside and I enjoy how pretty they are.  And soemtime I'll have to write about Elswyth Thane's books - I really enjoyed them when I was younger.  Hope you enjoyed. 


  1. I've never seen a Balt. Oriole in real life. Isn't he pretty!

  2. Beautiful birds! I have never seen either of these birds before!

  3. I do so enjoy you sharing your bird pictures. I just put up a new birdhouse today and I already have a bird checking it out...I love looking and listening to them!

  4. They are beautiful, they seem so exotic to me as they are species we don't get in England, but then perhaps some of my garden birds would seem exotic to you

  5. I also enjoy birds, though I am not very knowledgeable and I am easily impressed by even the most plain and common bird. I like them best from a distance. Close up they make me a little nervous. You got some wonderful pictures!

  6. I was so excited last summer because I saw a Baltimore Oriole for the first time. It was so pretty! Cardinals and blue jays are 'my' birds, though--I just love them. One of my favorite memories is of taking my FIL, who was very active in the ornithology clubs here, to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. He was beside himself with excitement, quickly scanning every spot he could with his binoculars, writing down the birds he was seeing for the first time. For such a quiet, unassuming man, it was a wonderful thing--both for him and for me, since I was able to provide him with the opportunity. I also took him to Cape May to the parklands there but he didn't get to see quite so much.


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