Monday, April 30, 2007

New Life a Coming

Some new birds are a coming to The Singing Woods!! A Mourning Dove laid the single egg on Saturday morn. They just roost on the ground, no nest or anything..I sure hope the babe makes it. It' next to the Catmint inside our fence on the side yard.
The other picture is the nest full of eggs in the Bluebird house. I am sure it's Chipping Sparrows, and today I heard some faint peeps coming for the house, so I think some babes have hatched already. I'll try to get pictures of the babies too.
I also have a new nest in my birdhouse above my gate, I can't tell what it is, but tis something SMALL who is bringing very soft scraps to build with. Oh I hope I can eventually figure out who's nesting there.
Tis turned EXTRA warm here & the tree leaves are finally coming out!!
Happy May Day to you all,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A bit about the Singing Woods

This is our backyard at the edge of Singing Woods.

Owned by the Peoria Park District, Singing Woods is nearly 1000 acres of wooded river bluff. It also includes several hill prairie restoration areas. Although there are no developed access it provides important migratory and breeding habitat for forest interior birds.
Sheer size makes this among the best areas to search for migrating songbirds in spring and fall. Barred, Eastern Screech, and Great Horned Owls are also common in winter. Since this is an undeveloped area, with few trails, and steep bluffs plan your hike accordingly. The area along the creek, off of Ivy Lake Road if the most productive during migration. The upland wooded bluff and hill prairies can be good for finding breeding woodland birds.

Commonly Seen Birds Spring/Fall -- Good for woodland warblers
Summer -- Red-headed & Pileated Woodpeckers, nesting owls, Cooper's Hawk, Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Scarlet and Summer Tanager
Winter -- Owls
This is some info I found in the "minutes" of Illinois Wildlife Preservation meeting

Peoria Co. - Singing Woods Nature Preserve, Dedication Singing Woods is part of the 899-acre North Bluff Wildlife Preserve, owned and managed by the Peoria Park District. The Peoria Park District proposes to dedicate 694 acres of oak-hickory forest, interspersed with hill prairie, barrens, wetland seeps, and intermittent streams, as Singing Woods Nature Preserve. The natural communities of Singing Woods are representative of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Singing Woods is part of a corridor of large tracts of woodlands (known as the Peoria Wilds Resource Rich Area) within the bluffs overlooking the Illinois River Valley, north of Peoria. This site is the largest contiguous tract of oak-hickory forest in Illinois, north of the Shawnee National Forest. Singing Woods supports a diverse population of high sensitive and moderate sensitive forest breeding birds such as the Ovenbird, Hooded Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager, and Louisiana Waterthrush. The state-threatened downy arrowwood (Viburnum molle ) is found at two separate locations within the proposed preserve, as are a vast array of conservative prairie and woodland plants.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

ONCE a year

Usually one time a year we see Mr Red Headed Woodpecker at our backyard feeders. I saw him yesterday about
5.45 AM & told hubby ..redhead, redhead..come quick. My dear hubby got the camera out, the window open & RedHead decided to fly to the tree~~but still Rich got a decent picture of him!!! I love how cool his markings are
and sure wish we'd have gotten him up close. Tis a joy to see new friends in The Singing Woods.

Today, I again checked the bluebird house & again, there was a Sparrow's Nest in it
..I reached in, pulled the nest out, in ONE piece & right before I tossed it to the ground
I looked inside the nest..OH MY , I am SO glad I did. There were four tiny eggs nestled in it.
Needless to say, I gently put the nest back in the box & closed the front. SO , I guess the
Sparrow's will have the box, as no matter what sweet bird that house was intended for, I
would never destroy eggs!!
soo, I hope to get some Sparrow babe picks soon.

enjoy life, Deena

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Journal to treasure

Oh how I love this sweet treasure! My sweet friend Katie of Sparrow's Cottage made this. I was delighted
to own it. Isn't it lovely??
Katie has some of the best paper treasures ever. Tis always a good day when something arrives with Katie as the sender!!
Her site is listed on my Eclectic Places to visit. Tis a soothing and fun site!
fondly, Deena

Sunday, April 22, 2007

GoldFinch & Red Belly Woodpecker

I have seen so many GoldFinch at the feeders, but they are more shy than usual. I can sit out & see tens of them
in the trees, but right now, they don't want me any closer
..Well I finally got a lil guy who wasn't so fearful of me today. The males are SO bright at nesting time & the gals are just a dull shade of yellow green. In the animal world tis opposite of us humans we ALL know the FEMALE is the one with beauty in the human species.

I was at the SIDE yard ..with my NEW eyes & spotted this FEMALE Red Belly Woodpecker at the feeder, zoomed in & here she is. She has a bit of red on her nape as opposed to the male , who has red on the top of his head..just a touch more than her. And though you can't see , YES their lil bellies are red.

The are nesting in the Hickory Tree, in the back ..even though our bird book says the are NOT nesters in this region...and we had a family last year too. What a delight

Hope life is good in your corner of Heaven.
Fondly, Deena

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A bit of SPRING

Mother Nature gave us a wee taste of Spring & now it's disappeared so I've created a bit of
Spring for all to view . Here's a couple of vignettes, birds by Paula of Hidden in the Attic & the
hearts in the apothecary jar are by Stacy Nash. In my other photo, the bunny is by Annie
of Chickadee Primitives & the Bunny Hop picture is by Cheryl Kuhn of Small Stories Studio.
All of these folk artists are currently on Hoping winter leaves SOON!!!
greetings from
The Singing Woods

Silly ME with no glasses

TIs Saturday & I went for a follow up visit of my Lasik today..I'm seeing BETTER than 20/20
I also got a pair of sunglasses OH YEAH BABY!!
I slept most of the day yesterday which was good, because
there is some pain in the first 5 hours or so after surgery, but
feeling great today!!

I can see for miles!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Me with Glasses for the last time I hope

My gift for my birthday this year will be eyes that see without glasses!! My birthday is Sunday
and tomorrow the 13th, I will be having Lasik Eye Surgery. It will
be wonderful to see the clock in the AM, see the birds in The Courting
Tree without rising to get spectacles on . By Saturday I should be
seeing quite well.

Now the world may see my BLUE eyes again!! Tis a delightful gift from a loving husband.

Till we meet again, Deena


Tis been so cold here, after all the nice days & warm weather, the buds promising flowers, waking to SNOW
today was so disappointing. We've had COLD days & nights , and after such a long hard winter , the promise
of Spring was so uplifting. My lamb's ear was so growing so fast , I'm sure the bit of snow cover will not harm it.
Can you see the snow atop the bird house?

The migration maps for the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds show them in our area, but I am not able to put
out feeders as the lows in the 20s & not much better in the days will only freeze any nectar. Alas I long for
the little guys to greet me in the garden. I long to dig my hands into the dirt & see the fruits of last years
labor begin to sprout.

I know Spring will come, but I so wish it would come NOW!!

I've been trying to capture the Goldfinches on my camera, but they seem shy right now. Such BRIGHT colors
the males have.

Hope Spring is visiting all of us soon, Deena

Monday, April 09, 2007

Cedar Wax Wings & The Courting Tree

We've been blessed with Cedar Wax Wings for the last week. They love the berries on our tree. Tis just outside our
bedroom window, which gives me a great view of them from my bed.
Tis nesting season & Waxwings use berries to court. The male will take a berry, offer it to the female, she takes the berry & offers it back.
So our crab apple tree has been lovingly renamed to
"The Courting Tree"

I was so lucky today, despite the cold, to get LOTS of pictures of the "lil masked bandits"
So happy to be able to share them!!
enjoy, Deena

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Olde & The New

Oh I love the way the Olde leaves & berries cling to their mother plant, at the same time the New blooms & blossoms appear on that same mother plant.
The contrast is glorious. The forest looks barren, but in the distance you can see a bit of RedBud Blossom.... then as the crab apple begins to sprout new leaves & blossoms , last year's berries still cling to the branches. Tis time to renew & refresh.
And ALAS the birds are a flurry of activity as they begin their nesting season & their colors become bright again.

Nature is our Lord's gift to each of us & Spring is a reminder that all things Olde become New again.
Stop & renew your soul.