Wednesday, November 09, 2005

November 9, 2005

Well, the damned woodpeckers have destroyed the new feeder. No way I can get it to work. I called The Wild Bird store which has handmade, wooden cardinal feeders and explained my problem. The owner told me he is sure that his feeders will withstand manhandling (birdhandling) by woodpeckers, plus he stand by his products, so I'm going to get one, even though they cost something like four times what the plastic one cost. Gulp. But I can't stand to see the cardinals and pyrrhuloxias have to leave empty-beaked.They look so frustrated when the feeder doesn't work for them.

In other news, we've had a small wolf spider in the house, which I have been trying to protect from my cats and husband. It really gets around; I see it on the ceiling in different rooms. The other day it was in the foyer, in the crack between wall and ceiling, just resting or sleeping. They do that by stretching half their legs out on each side, in a bunch, so they look sort of like a bundle of twigs. I'm going to try to find it doing that again and photograph it.

Watching a flock of quail on the Riverwalk this morning I realized how the flocks form: in the spring, they all split up (except Mama and Daddy, who presumably stay together), and all the children go off and find new mates. Then these new pairs spend the summer raising broods, and however many young quails are left stay with their parents for the rest of the year, learning more about surviving in this harsh environment. Then in the spring the whole thing starts again. You can tell how successful a quail couple has been by the size of the flock.

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