Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A day with the birds and my husband wants a gun

Yesterday was a good day. I've got birds again. Since we moved in almost two weeks ago, we've heard them and seen a few from afar, but they weren't coming around the house much. I had put bird seed out about 5 days ago hoping to lure them in, but I was beginning to get frustrated by their lack of interest. How could I possibly have fewer birds in the country than at my city feeder?

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of pouring rain - a type of rain that, I would guess, is indigenous to Oregon: heavy, pelting, elongated drops - and the wonderful sound of something else....a huge flock of birds nearby. The chirping and tweeting and singing that was right outside our windows was incredible and it made me so happy!!

I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera and my telephoto lens, and pretty much spent the next two hours just watching them and snapping shots.

I think this was the finch party that was making all the noise when I woke up. I caught one in flight (lower right-hand side of picture):

I think this little guy is called a chestnut-backed chickadee:

Here's a beautiful nuthatch. We didn't get many of these guys in the city because we didn't have any fir trees around us:

More finches:

And then this. Look at the lower right half of the picture below. It looks like our horse got out of the barn and dropped a few on our lawn. Neat thought, but we don't have a horse. Those are mole hills. Now that Jim has his chainsaw, he talks a lot about getting a shotgun. He says he's going to sit in a chair on the back deck and shoot the moles when they come up. Poor little guys. What's happening to my peace-loving, pacifist husband???

We've moved to the country, that's what. :-)


  1. I'm laughing at your husband's desire to get a gun. Moles'll do that to you!

    Those finch pictures were sweet! Glad to see you online.

  2. Wow, you are 'up and running' (at least on the blog) congrats!!

  3. Oh, when you move to the country, it starts to get crazy (lol). My dad has a gun-deer, and the occasional squirrel :-).
    It's a guy-thing, I tell you!


  4. Yes, but when do the goats come?

  5. You probably have an infestation of grubs, a feast for moles. Milky Spore is a natural pesticide. The nematodes in MS kill the grubs. Over time they multiply. You won't see immediate results but it's a good long term solution.

    I have star nosed moles around the barn. They're cool and creepy at the same time.

  6. Do not approve that bizarre post. some thing is so wrong with blogger right now. It popped in the last comment that I had sent!!! Just know I am loving your new home and pics!

  7. Moles and Gophers can drive you nuts. My parents (who live in the country) battle them all the time. My mother has been known to stand in the yard in her robe with the shot gun to get them...she's a peace-loving pacifist too! I'd recommend not worrying too much about them. You might get rid of a few, but there are always more. Ditch the idea of a "city lawn." Nice to see the bird pics!!

  8. Hey farmgirl_dk. Glad to see you back. I too have the sooo slow dial-up. No such thing as cable internet around here. Did it take you a very long time to upload your photos?
    So happy you are enjoying your new home and country life.
    The birds look wonderful.

  9. Well, if your moles are like ours, you will see them a lot while the ground is wet, but as it dries and the ground becomes hard, you won't see the hills again until winter. That being said, tell Mr. Hubby if he can actually catch one of those guys coming out, more power to him. On the other hand, it might keep him out of your hair. :)
    Watching goats is a far better past time, if you ask me. So glad to see you posting again! Come visit us at the Meadow!

  10. A g-g-g-gun? Say it isn't so!

    We had an armadillo try to burrow under the house, but my husband wasn't tempted. He said he would probably shot a toe off instead of shooting the armadillo!

    I hope there is another way. :(

  11. Hi pichinde - glad at least one of us is laughing... :-)

    Thanks, gudl - it's very nice to be back!

    Hey mellimaus, it really is a guy thing, isn't it...makes me really glad not to be one! :-)

    Hi goatgirl...when do the goats come, you ask? Not soon enough, in my book! But I have a lot of work to do (I'll do a post on my current 'goat house') before I can even begin thinking about where to find the goat of my dreams. sigh. I'm SO not a patient person.

    Hi Robin - I had heard this, too, about the grubs, but Jim came home tonight saying he read something from the extension service stating that, while moles do eat grubs, their predominant food is ...worms! And one doesn't want to eliminate those guys from your dirt.

    Ooooh, star-nosed I've seen shows on those guys on Discovery channel. You're right, eerie, too! :-)

    Thanks, Judy - love your positive feedback! It makes me smile.

    Oh michele, you and i are too much alike. I swear the exact words "let go of the city lawn" came out of my mouth tonight while jim and I were debating 'mole control'. Sheesh - we live in the country now - what a strange thing to obsess about, eh? :-) The image of your mom in her robe with a shotgun CRACKED me up!

    And yes, the birds! I thought of you today when I got a couple shots of what looked like a very young varied thrush!

    Hi fellow dial-up compatriot! It's taking me so long tonight to pull up every's like watching paint dry. You asked whether it took me long to upload my photos....not at all!! Especially since I went to the local library where they have wirelss and I uploaded from there! :-) :-)

    Hi marigold - jim laughed so loud when I read your response to him. I agree completely that goats are much more fun and interesting to watch!

    Fay, an armadillo? How very cool - although it would be a bugger to have them digging under your house. Yes, there has to be a better way. In fact, I am using my feminine wiles to convince him not to shoot the little beasties. I have little doubt that I will ultimately get my way on this. :-)

  12. When you hubby's done with clipping off your moles, would you mind sending him out to NM to irradicate the gophers on our property?? Please.

    I've been told that moles and gophers are actually quite helpful to the land because they assist in aerating the soil.

    I'm sure that falling and tripping into holes must be even better for the soil....because it's not so good for my patience.

    Enjoyed the photos of the birds very much!

  13. I enjoyed your blog and your beautiful photos and am hoping your h decides against the gun!

    I would suggest a jack russel terier for the moles but mine goes against his breeding, completely ignores anything rodent and goes after the 'big game'-- horses, cows, goats....

    Oh, almost forgot- you've been tagged. I posted what that means on my blog. :)

    Take care!

  14. To twinville and farmgirl,
    Hello from a goat! :) Speaking of holes you trip in, we have Mountain Beavers (which really aren't beavers at all). Talk about holes you trip in! Oy. Do you have any of those, farmgirl? I've heard that the moles and gophers are good for aerating the soil too, but Mountain Beavers...that is like bringing in the Santa Ana winds!

  15. Wheat suggests a small caliber rifle with a scope and night vision goggles since moles do their dirty work after dark!

  16. I want a gun too! Just thinking about moving to the country has planted the bug.

  17. Wie Ghets?! I love your blog, especially the way your writing makes me feel like I'm actually there! I was about to move to Oregon from Cali a few years ago. I wanted to move to Jacksonville, Oregon (near Medford) and we changed our minds and ended up in Florida! I still would love to live there. By the way, you have a great camera and photo skills! I've linked to you from my blog about Eco-Converts


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