The Finches are Here

It's a great day in our neighborhood...the goldfinches have returned in their Summer finery! As I sat on the deck this morning enjoying the glorious weather (no rain), the clear blue sky (did I rain?), and my third (or was it fourth?) cup of coffee, I realized that those little birds darting about were goldfinches. They're ba-a-ack!

I got my camera ready and got as close as they (and my zoom lens) would allow...and here is a shot (right) of Mama and Papa Finch at one of the feeders. Aren't they beautiful?
Mr. T has a feeder just for the thistle seed that the goldfinches love...and it was attracting 4 and 5 at a time. Unfortunately, it hangs on a rather shady limb of the sassafras tree, so I couldn't get a decent shot of the activity. Here's the best one of the 20 or so that I took (!) (left). There are two males on the feeder and one waiting in the limb to the right. That feeder, by the way, was full three days ago (and it's been raining pretty steadily since last weekend).

This other picture is of a male goldfinch at our "Squirrel Slinger" feeder, which in hanging on the Arch in our back yard. [The "Arch" in this case is a re-purposed swing stand, which now supports a Trumpet Honeysuckle vine on one side (shown in the photo...great for attracting hummingbirds!), a Jackman clematis on the other, and bird feeders in between.] The base of this particular feeder, officially known as The Yankee Flipper, offers a nice perch for a bird (like the goldfinch, shown), but will mechanically...and quickly...rotate if anything a squirrel...tries to hang on it. Hence, slinging the offending squirrel off the feeder onto the ground. Wheeee! Of course, the squirrels seem to have figured out a work-around, as they just slide the whole feeder from the middle of the Arch over to the sidebar...and then tilt the feeder up to their hungry little mouths. Squirrel-proof bird feeder, indeed.

Of course, all that rain we've had, followed by this lovely, warm sunny day, brought out the blooms all over the yard. Unfortunately, it has also encouraged rampant growth in the lawn...which has gone to seed while the lawn mower has been in the shop this week. Looks like our work is "cut out" (pun intended) for us this weekend, for sure. No's my favorite time of the year!


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