Try not to faint.
Today we got a slight break from the oppressive heat and humidity of the past week. Or at least enough of one that you could move around without instantly breaking into a full-body sweat—instead, it took a whole 5-10 minutes for it to happen. I did my best to take advantage of the change, keeping my windows open and using my fans to draw the slightly cooler outside air through my apartment for a good deal of the day.
After lunch, I figured it was as good a time as any to catch up on backing up my photo files; because I'm just paranoid enough, I both write copies to disks and save them on an external hard drive. As I worked, I caught up on email while half-listening to the baseball game, albeit with the volume fairly low; I'd heard a Cardinal close by during the morning, and wanted to be ready in case it decided to land on my feeder.
Suddenly, I realized that in addition to the usual chirps and whistles produced by the finches, sparrows, and other songbirds I see around, I was also hearing a call that was completely unfamiliar to me—it was low and kinda ragged, reminding me a bit of an unhappy red squirrel. So I stood up and crept over to the window. To be honest, I was expecting to see a wounded or dying bird lying on the ground, perhaps the victim of one of the cats that live around the complex. Instead, I saw a fledgling Redpoll being fed by its mother; the sound I heard was its version of "feed me!"
Momma bird holding some seeds:
Junior with its mouth open:
She's either feeding it or performing a tonsillectomy:
Another satisfied diner:
A pair of Goldfinches sitting on my feeder:
In the afternoon I headed over to Mom and Dad's for the family cookout I mentioned yesterday. For whatever reason, the songbirds weren't very active while I was there; I saw a Hairy Woodpecker and a few Goldfinches come in to use the feeder, and that was it. However, the hummingbirds were fairly busy, spending most of their time chasing other hummingbirds away from the various feeders. When they're in this combative mode, the top of the blue spruce is a prime piece of real estate for the male hummingbirds; sitting up there he can keep an eye on two feeders at once. I was lucky enough to get a few interesting shots of one such male as he monitored the feeder usage:
And one from a while later, when a bird departed as I clicked away:
A chipmunk on its way back down the feeder pole:
A shot I got of a bee as it worked a vase of flowers sitting on the table my folks use when they're out on the porch:
Looking straight down at an echinacea blossom:
Finally, today's selection of doggie pics. My aunt, uncle, and one of my cousins joined us for the cookout, and, naturally, they brought Molly. Upon their arrival Kaylee went out to properly greet them, and I took this shot as she and Molly came running back over to the back door. As far as I can tell, at this particular moment only two of Kaylee's feet are actually touching solid ground:
Despite the somewhat lower temperature and humidity, it was still a tough day to be wearing a permanent fur coat:
A solo shot of Molly:
Kaylee standing by the back screen door:
To me, this picture begs for a funny caption. Maybe something like "this dog saw you naked":
Finally, I just loved her expression in this one: