Tulips, Muscari, and Red-Bellied Woodpecker Male…

Hello again! When I was mowing Friday afternoon I saw the red tulips in front of the old foundation were flowering. Dad said he didn’t plant them and I don’t think I did in the 1980’s. So, apparently, they have been here since grandma planted them. The last photos I took of them was on April 10, 2015. There used to be a good-sized tulip bed in the middle of the front yard. When I lived here in the early 1980’s I decided to dig the tulips up and move them along the fence next to the garden where I had planted other tulips. Although I did manage to dig some of them out, a lot of them were way to deep to even find. To this day, there are tulips coming up in the front yard. I would like to know how deep the bulbs are for the ones in the above photo so maybe I will check once they go dormant.


We have a lot of Grape Hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) in both yards and some in the ditch. They have had a lot of difficulty growing and flowering this spring for some reason. There are several nice sized colonies and hundreds of stragglers I try to mow around the best I can. Even if I mow them off, it seems they are flowering again within a few days.

The woodpecker has really been loud lately in “the other yard”. Hmmm… If I am in “the other yard” taking photos, is it actually the other yard if I am standing in it? 🙂 A few days ago I was out by the shade beds and a Downy Woodpecker was up and down making its noise. You know, that strange “nasal” Roadrunner beep-beep. Once in a while, there was the louder call like the Red-Bellied Woodpecker but the only I woodpecker I could see was the Downey… I told him, “MAN, you sure are loud for a little guy.” Then I realized the Downy was not making the call and I think it was a female. I didn’t have my camera with me and I still don’t have a photo of the Downey Woodpecker male or female. There is also a pair by the hayfield about 1/4 of the way up the lane.

So, on Friday while I was a photo of the tulips, the woodpecker was at it as usual. He was really carrying on! I went out to the tree next to the shade bed and I could not see him anywhere. I knew where the sound was coming from, but there was no woodpecker… I walked around to the other side and looked up into the tree and got a glimpse of something red. I turned on the camera and zoomed in…


He said, “Here I am human!” It was the Red-Bellied male! IN A HOLE! He is calling out to the female but she was nowhere around. The only other woodpecker was a Downy female in the same tree. I told this guy I thought she liked him.


He gave me a puzzled look and said he already knew his female was nearby but she was playing hard-to-get. Well, a few posts ago, I did share a photo of the female in question… So, we both know she is around somewhere.

Now, if I could just get the Downy Woodpeckers to sit still…

Well, that’s it for this post and on to the next one. I am also about ready for the yard tour. 🙂 As always, stay positive, be safe, be well and GET DIRTY!

Red-Bellied Woodpecker & House Finch Females

Red-Bellied Woodpecker female on March 29, 2018, #422-12.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well. I was surprised this morning to see my first Red-Bellied Woodpecker and Purple Finch females. I know they have been here but they haven’t been feeding when I was watching. I was glad to see them so I could get a few photos.


House Finch female on March 29, 2018, #422-8.

When I first saw the female House Finch I had been looking at a female House Sparrow, which I didn’t recognize at first either. I know that sounds pretty funny, huh? Not recognizing a bird as common as a House Sparrow.


House Sparrow female on March 29, 2018, #422-3.

I didn’t recognize her because I never paid much attention before to their color pattern, especially up close. On the south side of the house, there are usually a lot of males but no females. I guess maybe they don’t stay together until mating season.


Red-Bellied Woodpecker female on March 29, 2018, #422-13.

The female Red-Bellied Woodpecker lacks the red crown of the males but has a red nape and the orange-red color above her bill.


Red-Bellied Woodpecker female on March 29, 2018.

She was flying from the tree in front of the window then back down to the feeding area in front of the window. She went back and forth several times like she was picking up food and taking it back to the fork in the tree.


Purple Finch female on March 29, 2018, #422-6.

The female Purple Finch certainly doesn’t have any purple color on her anywhere. One might mistake her for a sparrow. She does have the same wing bars and white edged wings and similar tail as the males.


Purple Finch female on March 29, 2018.

AHHHH! She has a sunflower seed that she can crack open easily with her strong bill.


Purple Finch male on March 29, 2018.

There several males feeding this morning but I only saw two females.


The Grackles were back in full force again and I was wondering if I should put seed in the feeder in the “other yard”. It was almost empty but I knew the Grackles would eat most of the seed and the smaller birds wouldn’t have a chance. I put food out anyway then poured out another gallon under the tree in front of the flower bed in front of the window. As you can see in the photo, there are two Red-Winged Blackbird males. They barely have any red showing on their wings until they fly. Non-breeding males lack the red. A few days ago I took a few photos but they looked weird. It looked like they had snow on their backs. That look is also associated with non-breeding males…

I must have flipped! I am studying and taking photos of birds instead of plants! I need to get back to adding more plant pages. I am in the “S’s” now and am ready to add the Saxifraga stolonifera (Strawberry Begonia), Scaevola (Fan Flower), Schlumbergera truncata (Christmas Cactus) then the 13 Sedums… 🙂

Until next time, be well, stay warm, be thankful and stay positive. As always, GET DIRTY!