Quick! Duck!

Running into his workroom at the lab, she said, “Honey, quick, where’s my camera? There’s a duck out here I’ve never seen before.”

He didn’t even look up from his microscope. “Hmmm, probably a Hooded Merganser.”

She said: “It’s red-headed and looks like it has a Mohawk hair-do.”

Female Hooded Merganser

Still without glancing away from his microscope, he said, “It’s a female.”

She grabbed her camera and ran back outside. Her mad dash to the waterside startled the duck.

Female Hooded Merganser

She didn’t mean to scare the lady, but isn’t sorry she did.

Female Hooded Merganser

After the wing flapping show the little lady settled back into the water and swam quickly away.

After capturing her photos She went back into the lab where He was still peering into the microscope.   “The duck put on quite a show for me.  I got  some great pictures.”

He said, “Nice.”

Sigh. She really does know better than to try to talk to him when He’s working.  Would you get excited about the duck, please?!

Rockin’ Sockin’ Dinner

He: “You did good with the main course tonight, love, I don’t understand why you’re putting Tabasco sauce in it.”

She: “It’s missing something. I wanted a bolder flavor.”

He: “Really? I don’t think one of those will fit in the pot, never mind your bowl. There’s a hammer and chisel in the garage, if that will help …”

She: “It’s beef stew, not stone soup!

He: “Oh, ok. Just as well. Sandstone would be a little gritty, granite a bit flinty, and the basalt would need pepper. Anyway, thanks for dinner … Oh good grief!”

She: “What now?

He: “This sack of wild bird food you’ve got by the kitchen door here. ‘Attacks cardinals, finches, sparrows …’ What are you feeding these poor things?”

She: “That’s attRacts, dear, not attAcks. Trust me, this stuff is the attackEE, not the attackER. And at the rate the birds are going through it, it’s we who are going to be ‘poor’, not them!

He: “Do they lay carpet, hang pictures, and stuff?”

She: “What?”

He: “The birds. You said they were tackers. And if we have to do repairs on the poorhouse, we might have to use their services. I’ve always heard they’ll work for cheep.”

Hummingbirds in Snow

People say Hummingbirds are too fragile to withstand extreme weather.  Ha!  Hummingbirds are strong, resilient and fierce.

On December 29th, 2010, I video taped this Anna’s Hummingbird sipping nectar from a feeder on our back deck.  Three hummingbirds that we know of wintered here on San Juan Island in Puget Sound.  During the snowstorm they were out flitting around and playing chase. They all come in to feed, but only one at a time. They are very territorial and they fight over the nectar even though there is more than plenty to go around.

Lunch With A Woodpecker & Some Snow

Yesterday as I sat at the dining room table eating my lunch I watched the Juncos and Chickadees fighting over the suet in the woodpecker feeder and wondered why the woodpecker had never come back.  I figured our greasy spoon cuisine didn’t suit him.  Alas.

No sooner had that thought crossed my mind than his missus showed up!  I was so excited I deserted my Pad Thai noodles and ran for my camera.  Of course, when I got back, the woodpecker had gone. I put my camera down on the snack bar, returned to the dining room table and resumed eating.

The missus came back.  I jumped from my chair and she fled again.  Too much movement behind the windows.  I got my camera, moved to sit closer to the window, and waited.  I sat very, very still.

It paid off.  She returned.

a female Hairy Woodpecker hanging from a suet basket.

Mrs. Hairy Woodpecker

We know this is a lady because Mr. Hairy Woodpecker wears a bright red cap.  This little lady is quite liking her cherry-walnut suet.  She returned to it several times today and I’ll likely have to refill the feeder tomorrow.   The store didn’t have the same flavor this week, so I am hoping she likes oats, peanuts, almonds and pecans as well — and maybe the new menu will draw Mr. Woodpecker back!


We had quite a snowstorm today!

About the time I was getting Amoeba’s breakfast this morning, it started to snow — huge white flakes falling fast.  And sticking.   You all know by now that snow isn’t one of my favorite things.

By the time Amoeba was ready to leave for work, I had given him directions on how to run my errands, an assurance of my undying devotion in the face of anything but snow, and the keys to the car.  I kissed him good-bye and went and got a sweater.  I was staying inside where it was warm.  Just think, I could catch up on my blogging!

The power went out.


Oh well, I’ll make cookies … oh, no oven.


I could read.  I don’t need electricity to read and I have plenty of books to choose from.  I’ll just make a cup of tea and … crap.  A book just isn’t a book without a good cup of tea.

I texted Thom. I talked to Amoeba on the phone. I texted my sister.  I talked to my sister on the phone.  I talked to Amoeba on the phone.  I took a video of the hummingbird at the feeder while it was snowing like crazy (if I ever figure out how to crop it, I’ll share it).

Then I saw the orange-suited power company guys in my backyard and went out to talk to them.  They said they knew the outage occurred somewhere between Pear Point Road and Egg Lake.  Oh goody, that’s only half the island.  They told me the power would be up as soon as possible.  I wasn’t cranky with them, it was snowing and cold out and I was glad they were doing their jobs. I did, however, resign myself to a long wait.  Imagine my surprise when the power came back on about 15 minutes later.   The guys in my backyard might nowt have known where the problem was, but obviously somebody found it and it was a quick fix.

It quit snowing, the sun emerged, and all was right with my world again!