Birds on the feeder

A few weeks ago I purchased a bag of wild bird feed with the intent of just throwing it on the ground to feed the cardinals and finches. Sue found a couple of feeders on clearance and we hung one just outside the back dinning room window and one from a branch under the pine tree within eyesight of the dinning room. Over the period of a few days we have hundreds of birds that visit our feeders daily. Following are a few pictures. More to come soon.

More on the Cooper’s Hawk family

Good perch.

Good perch.

This morning the camera memory chip was still in my computer and the camera on my table in front of the keyboard. I thought I’d put it back together before getting started this am. As I was reassembling the camera I glanced out the window and saw one of the baby hawks sitting on the pickup. I hurried to get the batteries back in the camera before it flew off.  There was no need to hurry, the entire family was outside and they hung around for awhile.

Got away this time.

Got away this time.

As I was soon to find out, there is a reason they were hanging around the pickup. A young cottontail darted from under the pickup seeking shelter under another pickup parked nearby. Moments later he made a mad dash for the safety of a wisteria vine about 20 yards away. I think the hawks had picked up on my presents and did not pursue the rabbit.

Excuse the quality of the pictures as I was shooting through a dirty window with the rising sun glare on it.

This baby didn't see the rabbit run.

This baby didn’t see the rabbit run.

This baby still looking.

This baby still looking.

I think I'll just sit here and wait.

I think I’ll just sit here and wait.

Coopers Hawks

Coopers Hawk and her babies.

Coopers Hawk and her babies.

For the last three years I have been blessed to watch a pair of Coopers Hawks nest and raise their babies on my property. Yesterday morning I walked out on the back patio with Po for her early morning run. While waiting for her to do her business I caught movement out the corner of my eye. I watched and could see movement in the shadows of the woods at the back of the property. I then realized that it was a hawk on the ground and I assumed it was eating something. I watched for awhile and saw another hawk and a couple of minutes later a third. I came in and got my camera and started working my way in the direction of the three hawks. Two of them took flight but one landed on a tree stump and stayed for quite sometime.  From a distance I got a few pictures and felt lucky to have observed this event. I walked out to see if they had been eating a catch but saw no evidence of such.

Squirrel and baby hawk.

Squirrel and baby hawk.

Today I took a break from the Indy 500 and was looking outside in the same area as yesterday and saw three hawks again on the ground. I grabbed my camera and started working my way towards the hawks for a better view. I stopped behind an old pickup and watched for awhile. It was then I saw the mama hawk pick up something and drop it in front of one of the baby hawks. As I moved closer, one of the hawks took off and the other baby jumped up on a tree stump. Mama hawk then picked up the captured squirrel and again dropped it in front of the baby hawk. The mama hawk then flew up in the trees and perched above to watch her baby. Shortly the squirrel scampered over to a tree and started up the tree but stopped about 3 feet off the ground. The squirrel stayed hanging on the side of the tree not three feet from the baby hawk that was perched on the tree stump. The squirrel finally took off and left the baby hawk on its perch.

It was sometime into this event that I realized what I was watching. Mama hawk was teaching baby hawk to hunt for it’s food.  I’m sorry the pictures are not better but I was about 30 yards away and in very bright sunlight and the hawks in very dark shadows.

I Had Chocolate Cake For Breakfast

I had chocolate cake for breakfast today. So, there you have it. It’s done and can’t be undone. So what? If you want to chastise me, have at it.

I’m not the first to have chocolate cake for breakfast. From eons ago I remember that Bill Cosby fed his kids chocolate cake for breakfast. Mr. Cosby rightly points out that chocolate cake has milk, eggs and wheat. No one can deny that these are healthy ingredients. So it’s good for you. I had chocolate cake for breakfast today.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the cardiologist and told him that I might be having chest pains again when I ride my bike. So he scheduled a chemical stress test. They give you a chemical stress when they think you can’t walk on a treadmill for a long enough period of time. They inject a Dr. Frankenstein developed chemical into your body and for a few minutes you are sure that you are going to die and then you become fearful that you won’t die. A couple of days later I got a call from a young lady telling me that I didn’t do well with the stress test and she had scheduled me for a heart cath on the 15th. I told her that I was busy on that day and I wanted to ride my bike in the warm days of spring, but she insisted that I come to Mother Frances Hospital at 6:00 am. I told her that I’ll still be sleeping at 6:00 am, but again, she insisted.

So yesterday I got up at 4:00 am and begin the preparation for a heart cath. Its an hour drive from my house to the hospital and I arrived at the hospital before valet parking and had to park myself. I walked some distance to admissions and then I’m put into a wheel chair big enough to hold three of me. I felt like Lily Tomlin in her big rocking chair. I’m wheeled out from admissions and told by this very chatty lady that I’m being taken to pre-op.

I’m in pre-op at 6:20 where they strip me naked, shave me in places not meant to be shaven, punctured my body in various places extracting blood and injecting other chemicals to make me relax or so she said. I ask her if it was the same herb as we used to put in brownies; she giggled and explained it worked in much the same way. I told her to just give me one of those warm blankets and I’ll relax. Man they keep that place cold.

I was then laid on my back and didn’t move for the next 10 hours. They wheeled this bed to the most frigid side of the North Pole, took away my warm blanket and slid me over on a stainless steel table with icicles hanging from it. I’m telling this guy as he swabs a gallon of alcohol between my legs that I’m not relaxed anymore. I told the nurse that he looked like he was enjoying it. He smiled and replied that he gave up holiday pay to do this everyday. A lady walked up behind me, stuck a rubber hose up my nose, bent over and in a satanic tone whispered in my ear that she needed me to breathe deeply for awhile. The rest of it went somewhat better as I breathed deeply and watched the doctor yank and pull and push this long wire from my groan, through my body and into my heart. I watched the overhead monitor as the dye was pumped from my heart and talked with the doctor as he pointed out the cause of my most recent chest pains. There was some brief chest pain as he expanded a stent in the area of concern and he told me I would feel better and ride faster now. I’m looking forward to that.

After surgery, I was placed in a recovery room and told not to move my legs under any circumstances. Really now, would’en you at least check to make sure they still worked. At first I just wiggled my toes on the left foot. That’s the side they didn’t go through my groan. Then I wiggled my left foot. All working. Then bounce my left knee up and down. Yep, OK. Then I wiggle my toes on my right foot and Sargent Rude Nurse yells out the order again not to move my legs.

I’ve been on my back now for an hour and a half and Sargent Rude Nurse walks around to the operating side of my bed and asked if I would like to have my tube removed now. NO! I don’t want my tube removed. She then pushed back the covers, placed her hand on my groan and pulled this tube from my groan. I had to look twice to make sure I was still there. She then covered my groan with a big wad of gauze and launched her entire 260 pounds onto this one small spot on my groan and held it there for a full 5 minutes. This is one of the same spots that the judo guys use to make you scream for help from Heaven. She finally released her grip and I ask in a weak voice if it was about time for me to go home. She said sure, just another 6 hours on your back and DON’T move your leg.

After seven and a half torturous hours of laying on my back in the recovery room I was released from the hospital. On my release I was given several instructions, one of which was not to lift anything over 3 pounds for the next 3 days. A gallon of milk weights 7 plus pounds. If I make oatmeal I use milk, likewise in cereal. I can’t pick up the milk because it is too heavy. That’s when I spot the chocolate cake on the cake pedestal under the glass cover.

I had chocolate cake for breakfast today.

I didn’t know that!

From time to time my daughters mother-in-law sends me an email of helpful information. This one caught my eye right away. There is a place in Dallas that if I miss my exit it is very simple to go on down the road and take another exit that goes to the same place. Problem, I never remember which side of the road the exit is on and I’m never in the right land. What I now know will fix that.

Road Sign

Oxblood Lilly

Today I was down on the ground working on my trike when in the distance I saw a color that I was not accustomed to seeing in that location. Over by the creek under a dead tree limb was growing this lovely clump of Oxblood Lillie’s. The Oxblood springs up after a rain in the fall putting on a spectacular display of deep red color for just a couple of days and then its gone. They are not native to Texas. In fact they were imported to the states from Germany years ago. Each fall I see them growing at older houses, in ditches by the road and like these, in a very unlikely spot away from danger of the lawn mower. These pictures don’t show the deep red color, but I keep them for the days this winter when there is no color.

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