Showing posts from January, 2017

The Cardinal comes calling

By Kate Crowley By mid-January we are beginning to feel the oppression of too little color in our lives. The scene outside the windows is white/brown/gray, with some green thrown in if you are lucky enough to have conifers on your property. One of the ways we deal with this monotone world is by encouraging the blooms of Hyacinths – those ubiquitous boxed bulbs found in stores before the Christmas holidays. I have two from previous years that have refused to regenerate new flowers, though they are supposed to. Mike on the other hand has one plant in his office that he started from a seed given to him by a cousin and said to be from his Great Grandmother. For two years in a row now, it has produced the most beautiful coral/orange blossoms – 7 this year! I have a new Hyacinth my mom gave me this November which has just opened its first flower – in a gorgeous red and white stripe pattern. Since Mike’s office has east facing windows and apparently the right touch with water an…

The year of the Pileated

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley
Photos by Mike Link I decided that the first bird I saw this morning (January 1) would be my bird for the year – as in the Chinese New Year custom, i.e., Year of the Rooster, Year of the Ox, etc.  I was in my usual morning location – reading in bed when I saw a flash of black pass over the skylight.  It could have been a crow, but I didn’t see it well enough to ID with certainty, so I thought I’d wait for a definite sighting.  A moment or two later there was a loud pounding on the front of the house.  Mike yelled upstairs, “Is that you?”  I let him know it wasn’t as I went into my office to open a window and shoo away what by now I knew to be a Pileated Woodpecker.  As I reached the window the large black and white bird flew off to a nearby dead aspen where it gripped the trunk and looked around.  So – this is the Year of the Pileated, which I will consider auspicious since these largest of the woodpecker family are strong, striking and with the behavior of a m…