Blessed Imbolc

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May the joy of Imbolc bring you health, light, and peace. Blessed be :}

https://concordriverlady.com/2017/02/02/imbolc-2017-brigids-day/

 

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Be Counted

No, I’m not referring to the US Census.

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Oh, and by the way, do NOT shake the census taker’s hand–you don’t know where it’s been.

Being counted refers to joining the The Great Backyard Bird Count.

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It’s super fun.

And super easy.  Plus you can do your counting in your jammies with bed-head hair if you’re so inclined.

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“All you have to do is count. 1…2…3…….”

Join at: https://gbbc.birdcount.org/

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Once your there, register your name, etc. Don’t worry, Audubon won’t sell your info.

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That’s it, easy-cheesy.

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“While you’re counting, why not join Project FeederWatch too? Oh, and I’m an immature Cooper’s Hawk.”

Project FeederWatch is sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. All you’ll need is a feeder, some bird seed, preferably sunflower seed, and your eyeballs. A pen or pencil and some paper will come in handy unless you have a James Bond type of memory.

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When you register you’ll receive a cool welcome kit that contains a colorful poster, calendar, and other nifty items.

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If you have children, or grandchildren, Project FeederWatch is a fun way to spend some quality time with them. Heck, my son is almost 26 and he enjoys it!

I hope you’ll join one or both of these important projects. Remember my post about bird numbers declining? Well, if you don’t, here’s the link: https://concordriverlady.com/2019/10/27/hey-buddy-can-you-spare-some-food/

Songbirds need our help if they’re going to survive the chaos humans are wreaking on Mother Earth.

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Help out a feathered friend and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

And now for the magical portion of this post. It’s a new moon tonight and the two month mark of my sister’s passing. Before she died, we talked. She knew she only had a day or two left to her life, but she wasn’t afraid. She’d lived a good life, she said, and was ready for the physical and emotional pain she’d been dealing with to end. Ovarian cancer sucks. I had asked her many years ago what bird she’ll come back as, a question I ask the people I love. I need to know how to spot them when they appear in my life. My mother chose a Northern Cardinal.

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It’s okay to come back as the brightly colored male of the species. Mother Nature is cool with gender transitioning.

Me, I’m coming back as a Chimney Swift.

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I love to watch them dart and swoop in the late afternoon summer sky. The freedom they display is breathtaking and I want to be a part of it, damn it.

Dyan had chosen an Eastern Bluebird.

I spent some with a grief counselor and told her about Dyan’s reincarnation bird. That was on January 8th. The very next day what did my red-rimmed eyes spy outside the window? You guessed it.

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Since then I’ve been blessed with a flock of bluebirds. Over two dozen. My sister is soaring in her brilliant beauty.

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Thank you, Goddess.

I’ll be selling these photos as greeting cards on Zazzle, and will post the link when I have them finished. The money I raise will go to Ovations for the Cure, an ovarian cancer research and support group. I do hope you’ll help me raise the much needed funds so we can stop this bitch of a disease from destroying more lives.

Until then, watch for bluebirds, and when you see one, say hello to Dyan.

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Blessed be :}

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Bleak

This is my new favorite word – bleak. Bleakness works too. The state of being bleak. According to dictionary.com bleak means:

  • bare, desolate, and often windswept; (Naw, I don’t feel windswept.)
  • cold and piercing; raw; (Getting closer.)
  • without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary. (That’s it!!!!!)

I feel hopeless, depressed, dreary in my soul, and I lack any encouragement to believe the future will get better.

Bleak!

Such a great word. When my sister was doing her time in the hospital we chose bleak to describe the scene outside her window. It was bleak indeed. She had full view of the hospital’s air conditioning duct-work in all its filthy, gray glory. When the sun shone, its rays reflected off the dirty metal and were directed through her dingy windows. It’s a shame hospitals don’t clean patient room windows.

One rainy day when her depression was at a low place, I sprang into action and insisted we move her. If she must spend her final days in a hospital at least give her a tree to look at. Her new room was the balls. She had a view of a Victorian house’s rooftop and several treetops.

Sadly, however, the bleakness followed us. That’s the thing about bleakness, it clings to one’s skin like tar and has to be scraped off with a dull, rusty blade. Most uncomfortable.

So, my sister is still gone. I know, I know, she died, and what was I expecting, for her to suddenly appear in all her pink-lipsticked glory and say, “Surprise, I was just fooling around with you. I’m still here!”?

Yes, I was.

As for the bleakness, it’s still here. Despite the arrival of the Winter Solstice, typically a magical time for me, one where I celebrate the return of the light, the darkness prevails.

The bleakness is holding tight.

However, life does continue on its track into the unforeseeable future and I do have a few river stories to share with you so let’s pull over and park this bleak train and spend some time on the Concord River.

This past Saturday, the first day of winter, I was at my table tending to some bleak tasks regarding my sister’s meager estate and my ducks were happily eating their corn on the beach outside my window.

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Then what to my wondering ears should I hear but a sharp sound from outside my window and the ducks took off like bats fleeing Hades. My brain ignored the sound and I thought the Eagle had come by for a snack.

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Time for lunch?

You can imagine my surprise as I scanned the bank opposite my property to see a man dressed in green camo aiming a rifle with a huge-ass scope at my property.

Not caring about the bathrobe or slippers I was wearing I flew out of my house, screaming expletives: Hey, you #%$!#Q@#@#  @#$@#$hole, you can’t shot at my house, you @#$@@#$#$ piece of @#$#Q#!”

The moron hightailed his white ass up the embankment and ran into the woods and I called 911. Soon, well, not too soon, let me say, later, a police cruiser rolled up and a polite officer came by for a chat. This is how it played out.

Officer: What seems to be the problem?

Me: (I had exchanged my bathroom and slippers for a coat and boots. Cue Harlee barking from inside the house.) “Some guy was shooting at the ducks that were on my property.”

Officer: It’s duck hunting season.

Me: Okay, but he can’t shoot at my property.

Officer: It’s duck hunting season.

Me: I get that but he was aiming at my property.

Officer: It’s duck hunting season.

Me: I understand but just because it’s duck hunting season he can’t fire at someone’s property. What if my dog had been outside.

Officer: Keep your dog inside until the season is over.

Me: When is that?

Officer: February

Me: What! Isn’t there a law about firing within certain feet of a residential building or something?

Officer: It’s duck hunting season. And it depends on what he was firing with. 

Me: He had a huge ass rifle and he took at shot at my beach. One slight slip and he might have fired through my window.

Officer: Well, it’s duck hunting season. It all depends if he was shooting with a firearm he shouldn’t. If he comes back call us.

Me: What?????? He shot at my beach. Obviously he’s using a gun powerful enough to send bullets across the river.

Officer: Listen, all I can tell you is it’s duck hunting season. I’m not a hunter but people have the right to hunt. Try not to go outside on your property until the season is over and shoo the ducks away. That way nobody will shoot at your property. Call us if he comes back.

End of exchange.

Sigh.

Time for a little levity.

And, my favorite…

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Of course the eagles and the jerks in their camouflage gear who can’t read the regulations on the Mass Fish and Wildlife’s website aren’t the only predators the ducks need to watch out for.

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Red-tailed hawk and Mallard hen.

The circle of life can be a very bleak circle indeed.

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale, con il mio cuore e la mia anima.

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Blessed be :{

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A Farewell Letter to My Sister

Dear Dyan, It is with a heavy heart…Boy, does that sound cliché but you get it, and, yes, I know, written words don’t make sounds. See, I’m continuing to learn from you even though you’re gone. Oh wait, you’re not gone, it’s just your body that’s missing. Wrong again. It’s not missing. You’re in a frigid holding cell waiting to be cremated.

Where am I going with this letter?  Give me a minute and I’ll connect my thoughts.

Okay, I’m back and I’m ready.

My purpose of this letter is to say how much I enjoyed being your sister and that I’ll miss you with a profound depth I didn’t realize my soul possessed. You were a rare gem, a shining light in a world darkened by the daily burdens we all carry.

Even ovarian cancer didn’t hold you down. Despite the pain your body suffered you greeted everyone you met with a beaming smile and sincere desire to know their story. You touched too many hearts to count.

Our time together was too short, shortened still by our sisterly squabbles. Like a couple of spitting kittens we battled but we always managed to find our way back to each other, our love for one another stronger for having snipped and scratched with our tiny claws and teeth.

You were my confident, my guru, the one who always knew the wise advice I needed, although many times not heeded…sorry, I’m a slow learner.

I will miss our chats over tea and lemon donuts; I will miss the smell of your perfume. I will miss your smile and the softness of your skin. And most of all, I will miss your laughter. If the universe set out to create a song of the gods, your laughter was the result.

Dearest Dyan, I will miss you. Oh, I know you’re with me still, but, damn, just one more time to hear you say hello when I call your number, that’s all I’m asking.

Silly, I know. You have better things to do than answer my call. You’re with Ma and Romeo and you’re all walking along the shore of some sandy beach. Your body is healed and whole once again. Your legs are strong and Romeo is barking for you to throw a stick.

Go, play with him. And give Ma a hug from me. Soon enough I’ll be there with you.

Farewell, my immortal beloved. Farewell.

June, 1951 – November, 2019

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

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Hey Buddy, can you spare some food?

Nearly 3 Billion Birds Gone Since 1970

According to a new study published online in September by the journal Science, wild bird populations in the continental U.S. and Canada have declined by almost 30% since 1970.

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Far from Passenger Pigeons, once the most numerous bird on the planet, the lost birds include songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and most notably grassland birds.

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“These bird losses are a strong signal that our human-altered landscapes are losing their ability to support birdlife.” ~Ken Rosenberg, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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I don’t know about you but I find these statistics disturbing on so many levels. Spring would be sad indeed if my Rose-Breasted Grosbeak didn’t arrive to raise his family in my yard.

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Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

And Northern Cardinals are animals I assume will always be there when I look out my window on a winter’s day.

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And Black-Capped Chickadees are one species I expect to frequent my bird feeder.

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Black-Capped Chickadee

AND what would America be without our national bird?

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American Bald Eagle

But hey, who am I to argue with people who see Mother Nature as a cash cow.

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Who needs forests anyway?

According to the U.S. Forest Service, for the first time in more than a century, the United States is facing a net forest loss.

Even my little corner of the Concord River isn’t free from mismanagement of natural resources.

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2018–The start of deforestation in my little corner of the Concord River.

Many people think trees are the only organisms affected by the destruction of forests. There are a whole host of critters receiving eviction notices when a tree is felled. Bats roost in tree crevices and the Little Brown Bat is facing enough challenges to add losing its home to the list.

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Little Brown Bat

Did you know that a chickadee must consume 60 percent of its body weight each and every day. During a cold night they use up these Calories in an effort to stay warm, and they do this in the nooks and crannies of trees.

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“If you cut down a tree, where will I sleep?”

You can help save our feathered (and furred) friends. Unless you absolutely have to, don’t cut down trees on your property, even if the tree is dead. Just because the tree looks barren to you it’s supporting a whole host of life.

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Visit Cornell Labs for more ways to help the birds who share this great planet with us humans. Start by putting out sunflower feeders NOW! Don’t wait until the snow flies. For a Black-Capped Chickadee, it might be too late by then.

Blessed be :}

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Stop playing games with my head!

I’m referring to Old Man Time. He’s messing with my head again and I want him to stop!

“Old man time, he’s so mean; Meanest man you’ve ever seen.” (Lyrics from the song.)

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And he’ll play tricks with your mind, yes, indeed; making you think you’re on LSD! (My lyrics.)

By now you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m going on about and I don’t blame you. I’m ranting. This time it’s not about pesticides, though. This time its about time. That illusion that slips though our fingers like some mysterious smoke from a distant, unseen fire.

Let’s begin.

Just yesterday, or so it seems, summer began. I had finished enlarging several of my backyard gardens and by June they were awash with color.

I hosted my usual visitors to the river. Colorful songbirds and hungry hawks;


Snappy turtles and slithery snakes;

Sublime creatures great and small;

I even played hostess to some visitors I’d never met before.

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Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

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Little Brown Bat

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Juvenile Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

A juvenile Osprey stopped by and surveyed my ducks. I didn’t get a chance to run in the house for my camera. Note to self: attach camera to my hip.

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Juvenile Osprey. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Silly bird thinking he was strong enough to lift one of my plump Mallards.

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My most amazing visitor was Deborah, a woman who, as a young girl, spent summers as at the house next door to mine. Her grandfather and grandmother lived there. We had a delightful morning getting to know each other, and her companion too. Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your memories with me.

Of course the ducks were always here, as was Harlee, keeping me company through the long, summer days as I toiled away in the heat of the sun.

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Can you spot the impostor? A fawn-colored Mallard drake spent a little time with my flock.

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Feed me, please.

Speaking of toiling in the hot sun (actually I’m not speaking, I’m typing, but whatever), my friend Bob helped me, or should I say I helped him, fix the rotted portion of my house where it meets the deck.

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Funny story, I had paid one contractor to do the work and he never showed up. Yup, took my money and ran. I asked four other contractors if they would do the work and none of them showed up to look at the job. What happened to the American work ethic?

Did I mention it was close to 100 degrees that day? Thank you, Bob.

The summer brought an adventure for Harlee. Here he is donning his new life vest. Yup, first time on a canoe…and the river.

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He took to the excursion like a fish to water.

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Now, will you feed me?

Aside from a few missteps, it was a great summer. I’m not ready for it to end. Please, Father Time, may I have a few more days before Autumn arrives? Just two or three to once more drink a gin and tonic while listening to the crickets on the night air? Please.

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Okay, I get it. Time marches on. Blessed be :}

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Painted turtles on my river.

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Silent Summer

On September 27, 1962, Rachel Carson published her infamous book Silent Spring, chronicling the disastrous affect pesticides have on the environment.

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I’d love to write that in the 57 years since Silent Spring was published we’ve learned how to work with the environment so humans and other living organisms can co-exist, but, sadly, it isn’t so. In reality, we’ve become more aggressive in our use of contaminants, releasing them with the carefree abandon of a child blowing bubbles.

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Photo courtesy of Pexels.com/Hiếu Hoàng

According to a recent New York Times (And, no, NYT is not failing) analysis, based on research from Harvard Law SchoolColumbia Law School and other sources, more than 80 environmental rules and regulations on the way out under our dictator-in-chief. Oh, I can hear Trump’s base now: ‘What do we care about the Sage Grouse?’

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Mono Basin sage grouse (National Park Service)

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Obviously they don’t care about clean air and water, either, because fracking destroys those things too. www.downwindersatrisk.org

Depressed yet?

 

 

Well, here comes the kick in the ass: my town recently sprayed for mosquitoes due to the Triple-E threat within the State. In their infinite wisdom the town leaders approved the use of malathion, a non-discriminatory pesticide used to also control aphids, leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, and Cotton Boll Weevils. Yup, we have loads of boll weevils in this town. Phew, I have to shovel a path just to get to my mailbox at the end of the driveway.

The sad side of the story is malathion also kills caterpillars, cicadas, and a slew of other insects that don’t carry Triple-E.

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One of the many cicadas I found while walking Harlee.

Back in early July I was dancing with joy when I photographed a Monarch butterfly laying eggs on my milkweed plants.

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And when I found Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed leaves, I sang as I danced.

I’m sad to report, they all died, including the adult butterflies. Dead as dead can be, thanks to the town’s spraying. My butterfly bush, busy with activity last summer…

… no longer plays host to the Monarch butterflies. Even the handful of Hummingbird moths that came by to eat have vanished. Thank goodness the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds appear untouched.

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Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at my butterfly bush.

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Oh, Rachel, I wish that were true. Blessed be :{

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Contagion

In the movie Contagion, Gwyneth Paltrow’s character received a virus from a chef she came in contact with in Macau.

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Photo: Warner Bros. Industries

The chef got the virus from the carcass of a pig which got the virus from a chunk of banana an infected bat had dropped into the pig’s pen.

The screenplay was the brainchild of writer Scott Z. Burns, who may or may not have read Cook’s novel of the same name, although the two stories are world’s apart. That’s not important, what is important is that the movie demonstrated the ability of viruses to jump between species. A little thing called species-jumping. You might remember from high school biology that animals of one species can’t breed with animals of another species. That’s what makes them, well, species! And vectors, such as viruses and bacteria, love jumping between species.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4948863/

Where am I going with this? No, I haven’t decided to start a career as a virologist, although, back in the day, I did look great in a lab coat.

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In my dreams.

The reason I’m discussing the topic of species-jumping is I’m faced with a potential outbreak (Now, that was a fun movie!). The annoying creature I’m dealing with is a bacterium called Mycoplasma gallisepticum, and it’s jumping all over the place.

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Mycoplasma gallisepticum, super, duper enlarged.

This little devil originally worked its damage on domestic birds such as chickens and turkeys, giving them all sorts of nasty respiratory problems like cloudy eyes, conjunctivitis, swollen sinuses, sticky nasal mucous, and labored breathing. First described in the early 1900’s, MG, as it’s affectionately called, had extracted a serious toll on the poultry industry, but, for many years it stayed species specific. Unfortunately, MG mutated and has jumped to a whole new group of species: the taxonomic class called Passerines.

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Songbirds!

According to Cornell Lab’s Feeder Watch (www.feederwatch.org):

In the winter of 1994, Project FeederWatch participants in the Washington, D.C., area began reporting that House Finches at their feeders had swollen, red, crusty eyes. Lab tests revealed that the birds had Mycoplasma gallisepticum, a parasitic bacterium previously known to infect poultry. 

From Washington, D.C., let’s give a warm Concord River welcome to (drum roll, please) Mycoplasma gallisepticum.  

I first noticed this little lady at the end of July.

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My Patient Zero: a female House Finch with the first signs of Avian Conjunctivitis.

A few days later, this guy developed conjunctivitis too.

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My infected American Goldfinch.

Species-jumping at its finest!

How does the infection spread, you ask with a breathlessness that is nothing short of amazing? Watch and learn:

My bird feeder is like a Roman bath; a veritable hot bed of disease.

It’s the style of feeder that seems to enhance the spread of the infection. Feeders with large ports seem to enhance the spread of the disease. To feed, the infected bird has to poke its head into the seed hole and the bird’s eyes scrape against the edges of the opening, thus leaving a tiny trace of nastiness for the next bird. Think of it like this: you meet someone who has conjunctivitis, who has just rubbed her eye, and then you shake hands. Yuck!

Avian Conjunctivitis doesn’t kill, although new studies indicate it is getting more virulent. https://feederwatch.org/blog/house-finch-eye-disease-increased-virulence-disease-progresses/ It can result in blindness, however, which prevents the bird from finding food, ultimately resulting in starvation. Also, if the bird becomes blind, there’s the risk of flying into solid objects like trees and windows, another thing that has a negative effect on the bird’s overall health.

Many birds overcome the disease, as some research suggests. If the birds can find food, they stand a chance of their immune system defeating the infection, and becoming healthy again. My little finch still manages to find the seed, despite being visually impaired.

What can you do to help? If you see a bird at your feeder with eyes issues, don’t try to catch it. No, the condition can’t be passed to humans or other mammals, but you might risk injuring the bird more than it already is. Take down your feeder, and dispose of the seed. Soak the feeder in a 10% bleach solution for about 20 minutes, rinse it really well, and let it dry completely before using it again. I recommend a drying time of 48 hours. If you have more than one feeder, disinfect them all, disposing of ALL the seed.

 

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“You don’t eat off of dirty dishes so don’t make me eat from a dirty feeder.”

Following good bird feeding practices will help reduce the spread of the disease and, according to Cornell Labs, might stop infections from starting. Here are their guidelines:

  1. Space your feeders widely to discourage crowding.
  2. Clean your feeders on a regular basis (weekly) with a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach and 9 parts water).
  3. Remove any build-ups of dirt around the food openings. Allow your feeders to dry completely before rehanging them. It’s a good idea to have a back-up feeder to use while one is drying.
  4. Rake the area underneath your feeder to remove droppings and old, moldy seed.
  5. If you see one or two diseased birds, take your feeder down immediately and clean it with a 10% bleach solution.

You can opt to stop feeding the birds until the diseased bird has moved on, but you’ll just drive the infected bird to a new location which will increase the chance of spreading the bacteria. Be vigilant about cleaning your feeders during an outbreak. Disinfect your feeders with every seed change. Follow these guidelines established by Wild Birds Unlimited.

  • Always store your bird seed in a cool and dry location outside of your home.
  • Store bird seed in rodent- and insect-proof containers.
  • Never mix old seed with new seed.
  • During periods of warm weather, store only the amount of seed that your birds can consume over a two-week period.
  • During the cooler winter weather, store only the amount of seed your birds can consume over a four-week period.
  • Keep your bird feeders filled with a one- or two-day supply of seed to ensure it is eaten quickly and stays fresh.
  • Discard moldy, rancid or foul-smelling seed, because it can be a health hazard to birds.

My added recommendations are to remove perches from your feeders to discourage lingering lunches and dinners.

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Also, avoid communal feeders.

Screen feeders reduce the issues created by the large feeding holes. Soon, my feeders will be replaced by the style shown below. I’m just waiting for Amazon to deliver them

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I like this type because it also allows the spent seed shells to drop to the ground for easy sweeping up.

Now, this is what I want you to do. I want you to go on Netflix and rent Contagion, and while you’re there, rent Outbreak too, but disinfect your feeders first.

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And help the songbird population by contributing to ongoing research, join Feeder Watch at: https://feederwatch.org/join-or-renew/

Blessed be :}

 

 

 

 

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Finally!!!!!!!

It took her long enough!

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Here comes Mama Hen with her Mallard chicks close behind.

I’ve been patient, I have, but I’d given up hope at ever seeing chicks this season when what do I see, a proud hen with six cute, little ducklings. It took her long enough.

She wasn’t the only one with chicks in tow. Another hen arrived a few days later with a few older ducklings, and they had a lot to say to the adult ducks when they arrived. Two of them didn’t hesitate to blend right in with the flock, leaving siblings and Mama to fend for themselves.

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“Hey, that’s my corn!”

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Mama kept a close eye on them as they chowed down on the cracked corn.

I’m sad to report the six little chicks didn’t last very long, and soon Mama Hen was down to five.

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And then two.

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Maybe it was losing most of her brood that made her so protective, but their mama kept a tight reign on them when they were feeding with the flock.

Hearing about all the fun, a third hen brought her slightly older, pre-teens to the party.

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All-in-all, I’d say it was a successful breeding season.

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Thank you, Goddess. Blessed be :}

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Summer 2019

Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as writing The earth laughs in flowers. If that is the case, my little corner of the Concord River is a raucous riot of laughter.

flowers - rivers - lilies - geraniums - gardens

My gardens are a blaze with color to welcome the first day of summer. Litha. A time of celebration for the abundance that is Mother Nature.

flowers - gardens - pink - yellow - beauty - summer - porchHave you ever wondered what each summertime flower means? What you’re saying when you give the one you love a bunch of posies? Here’s some meanings to help get you going: Dianthus: pure affection; Lavender: devotions; Pansies: loving thoughts; Violets: faithfulness; Red Salvia: esteem; Red Roses: I’ve got the hots for you!

Some people find the first day of summer a day for sadness. After all, the days begin to shorten from this point on as winter turns over in his sleep and dreams of snowstorms and icicles.

junco - birds - songbirds - animals - wildlife

Slate-colored Junco wondering when the heck summer would arrive.

But Old Man Winter isn’t my concern right now for today is a day for celebration. A time to bask in the light. As the grasshopper knew, summertime is a time for making music.

grasshopper - ant - fable - aesops

Aesop’s fable about the Ants and the Grasshopper teaches us a valuable lesson: There’s a time for work and a time for play.

When I was a young girl I didn’t get the message about work and play. I took Aesop’s fable to mean our friends will turn their backs on us when we need them the most. This interpretation goes a long way in explaining my philia relationships.

Here’s the full fable. You be the judge.

The Ants & the Grasshopper

One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.

“What!” cried the Ants in surprise, “haven’t you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?”

“I didn’t have time to store up any food,” whined the Grasshopper; “I was so busy making music that before I knew it the summer was gone.”

The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust.

“Making music, were you?” they cried. “Very well; now dance!” And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.

Reprinted with permission from the Library of Congress. http://read.gov/aesop/052.html

My Great Blue Heron isn’t sitting on her tail feathers and fiddling in the sunshine. She’s busy doing what she must to survive, and doing a bang-up job of it, too.

Sorry for the shaky camera work; pretend you’re watching a John Wick movie.

A blog post about summer wouldn’t be complete without a recipe for Caprese Salad.

caprese salad - food - summer foods - tomatoes

caprese salad - summer foods - salads

Italians certainly know how to savor the flavors of summer.

As you enjoy your salad I hope you’ll take some time to thank the earth for her beauty. No matter where you live, city or country, in an apartment building or on a farm, there is beauty all around you.

Sometimes all you have to do is look straight ahead.

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Other times you need to look up.

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Wherever you look, take a moment and pause. Summertime is here, and the living is so, so easy.

Blessed be :}

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Hey, it’s my blog and I can advertise my book all I want. 😉

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