Bikes, Books and Birds

May 23, 2007

Rode a little over 12 miles this evening. Not too bad at all, and I’m starting to get the hang (I think) if switching the front gears back and forth. The only soreness at the end of it all was the seat area, if you get my drift. I suspect I’ll get used to that. Lovely countryside – once you get out of the neighborhoods, you’re smack in the middle of farmland: hayfields, pasture and the like. Wonderful stuff, and I didn’t get hassled once by any drivers. Did spend a bit of time going over state law on the subject of bicycles, roads and whatnot.

The Tolkien wave continues apace: The Unfinished Tales for me, RoTK for the bigger kids at bedtime and the generalissima is reading The Silmarillion at my recommendation.

Things we like: the collection of bird feeders outside the kitchen window: four in total, containing hummingbird nectar, finch seed, standard songbird mix and suet. The grackles tore the suet apart in just a few days, so I’m in no hurry to refill it. Maybe when the weather starts to cool off. Our bird resources are as follows:

A (very) few species specific links I’ve collected:

My favorite species, in no particular order: the Red-Winged Blackbird, the Eastern Screech Owl, Red-Tailed Hawk and Red Shouldered Hawk. The first is just a sharp looking bird, especially when a whole group of them take flight at once. The remaining three have all treated us to some back-yard close encounters. In some cases, very close encounters. We managed to attract a Screech Owl right after hanging a nesting box. He hung around for weeks, softly purring in the back yard. Never did attract a mate, as best as we can tell – the squirrels moved into the box and we’d hoped for better luck this year. Then we moved to another state. In any case, he seemed quite un-perturbed by my stumbling around in the grass beneath him, shining flashlights and snapping pictures. He’d just sort of slowly look down, blink a few times, then go back to his hooting as if he couldn’t have cared less. It was awesome.

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