Thursday, March 24, 2005

March 24
Spring continues to burgeon; blossoms to blossom. It is exciting to look at all the plants around the house and watch them burst forth. When we moved in most of the main blooming was over, so it's all new and fun. I don't know what a lot of the plants are. I have some kind of bulbs about to bloom, I think. I hope they're irises.

Random nature notes: our #2 cat was very interested in something on the kitchen counter yesterday morning. I assumed it was a roach, which seemed to be hiding under the telephone. I moved the phone and found a rather large scorpion. Large is good--it's the little bitty guys that are most venomous, but it freaked me out. My hands were shaking. Gotta get used to these incidents now that I live in the desert!

Cardinals and pyrrhuloxia continue to flock to the cardinal feeder. The seeds deplete rapidly. This morning I found one reason why: at least one clever finch has figured out how to operate it! The door on the feeder is restrained by a weight that lets it slide down to reveal the feeding hole. It's set exactly for birds of cardinal/pyrrhuloxia size. A dove, which is heavier, would cause the door to slide down too far. A finch is lighter, and causes the door to slide down not far enough. But the enterprising finch I watched this morning had figured out that if she shifts her weight on the perch, the door swings out far enough for her to stick her head between the door and the feeder and grab a seed! (Her beak isn't strong enough to open the seed, but that's another story.)

I saw a second finch watching the first and try the same thing, but this one didn't get the trick and instead pecked futilely at the plastic.

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