Before I begin this blog, allow me to address my two month absence from Concord River Lady. I’d love to write that Keanu Reeves whisked me away to a tropical island or that I won Mass Millions and I’ve been traveling to the outskirts of remote countries, delivering water and food, but, alas, none of that is true. I’ve been here, on the banks of the Concord River, working on my new novel, marketing The Summer of Annah, watching my gardens wilt, tending my ducks, and trying to stay cool in the hot, humid weather. Along with teaching four summer courses, eating three times my weight in ice cream, and napping, it’s been a full two months.
Sadly, August is over. The new school year is beginning, the trees are already dropping their leaves, and the ducks are molting. So, let’s get this blog post started. (Cue music!)
I have a pair of downy woodpeckers who decided to build their upcoming winter nest in my house. No, I don’t mean in one of the rooms of my house. I mean IN MY HOUSE! Literally, in the house.
I went online and found out silvery, shiny streamers deter them from their carpentry work. Chris and I spent an hour decorating the house. Now the birds just think I’m celebrating their new homes. They build under the streamers!
The ducklings are big and flying and fully integrated into the flock. Let’s reminisce.
These days, over eighty Mallards stop by each morning and afternoon for their handouts. I can’t afford to feed them cracked corn on a daily basis so I supplement with Cheerios. It took a while to get them to accept the switch but when I explained how the oat cereal was better for their cholesterol levels, they all agreed to give it a try.
The drakes are starting to molt which can only mean one thing. Well, two things, actually. One, they’ll be eager for some hanky-panky to help form a bond with a hen and, two, they’re going to look gorgeous.
Feeding Time with the Turtles and Fish
Oh, boy. The snapping turtle has been hanging around during feeding time. He’s massive, with a neck as thick as the Rock’s arm.
And a mouth only a mother snapping turtle would kiss.
The carp and painted turtles are still here, along with sunfish, sunfish, and more sunfish.
I wonder if the Federal Government would consider my property a wildlife sanctuary and give me a tax break?
The ruby-throated hummingbirds have yet to migrate. In fact, I have a record number–five! I’ve never had this many and I’m thrilled. Next year, I’ll add more nectar feeders to help boost their numbers into the double digits.
Birds (other than downy woodpeckers and hummingbirds)
Ready? I took the mother of all pictures.
Nice, right? A pair of great egrets visited one morning while I was at my desk writing. I ran outside and they were nice enough to pose.
Not to be outdone, my great blue heron did a fly by.
This has been a cool summer for birds. Each evening I’m treated to a pair of birds calling until the wee hours of the morning. I’ve tried to figure out what type of birds they are and I’ve even tried recording the calls, but the quality stinks. Well, one night, one of them located itself on the riverbank directly across from my back porch. I flashed my spotlight and snapped a shot.
Here’s what one looks like in the daylight.
My succulent ducks are extremely enticing. All that juicy goodness. A Cooper’s hawk has been licking his beak and eyeing my ducks. He flew onto the grass and scared the flock featherless (get it?) then chose the dead oak tree in my back yard (the dead tree the downy woodpeckers refuse to use) for his perch.
As long as I mentioned insects, how about a little show?
Phew, I’m beat. Anyway, don’t give up on summer just yet. She has a little more time to thrill us with her beauty. Drink deep from the well and celebrate her bounty. Blessed be. :}