Monday, June 5, 2017

When Momma Ain't Happy...

Brown Thrasher on nest
...ain't nobody happy!  That's the way it is, isn't it?  Humans, birds, beagles, it's all the same.  At home, Mom rules the roost.

While out working outside on Sunday, I checked the Brown Thrasher nest and was able to photograph Mrs. Thrasher while she stared at me with a gimlet eye.  Correction, Mrs. Thrasher HAD a gimlet eye, since the definition of "gimlet eye" is "an eye with a piercing stare" and so my statement that she "stared at me with a gimlet eye" has some built-in redundancy.  Obviously I don't mind digressing, but I'd rather not be redundant.  But look closely at the photo.  Isn't that the very picture of a "gimlet eye?"  I can see "fight or flight" reflected in that dark pupil and yellow iris.

Brown Thrasher chick
At one point, Mrs. Thrasher left the nest and moved into a viburnum in the next border, so I took advantage of the moment to take a picture of a newly hatched chick in the nest.  I first saw it yesterday, so this little guy is less than 2 days old.  And hungry.  Remember when I mentioned that Brown Thrasher's are known to be territorial about their nests?  Well, Mrs. Thrasher was not happy when I moved toward the nest in her absence.  I heard various nervous clucks in the viburnum behind me as I leaned in for the shot and then suddenly Mrs. Thrasher was just across from me in my 'Banshee' rose bush, ready to defend the nest if I got any closer.  I didn't hang around to see if I could get a better picture.

Chapeau de Napoleon
I have declared ProfessorRoush's garden back under some semblance of control after my neglect of the last year and the hard winter.  While not in "garden tour" shape, it's at least not completely embarrassing if someone drops by.  I have a lot of old roses to trim back yet, and some projects to do, but drastic weed safaris have brought the weeds under control, particularly in the soon-to-bloom daylily beds.  I have trimmed back the roses that were severely damaged so a random stranger would conclude that the garden is not totally abandoned, but there are  still some roses with bare tips that will need to be trimmed after blooming.  The picture at the left is the last remaining bloom of 'Chapeau de Napoleon' which I brought in for Mrs. ProfessorRoush to enjoy.

Speaking of unhappy females, my dear Bella has taken to hiding in the house as I come in from outside on the weekends when I'm home working.  We first noticed it last year and we finally realized that she had connected her every-other-week baths, which she doesn't like but tolerates, to me coming in from working outside.   I often take the opportunity to bathe her while I'm sweaty and dirty and before I clean up myself, and Bella recognized it faster than Mrs. ProfessorRoush and I realized why she was hiding when we looked for her at bath time.  Pretty darned smart, that dog.  In this picture, she's simply exhausted from following me around in the hot sunshine of Kansas.  You know she's pooped when she's too tired to even try to play Frisbee!

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