Sunday, December 7, 2008

Milestone: 400th Blog Post!

When I signed in to Blogger this morning, my "Dashboard" page told me that my last post on December 4th was #399, so today's post will be #400. Can you believe it? Me either!

I don't have anything particularly inspiring to share in this 400th post, but there are a couple of cool pictures from something I recently discovered in the backyard that I've saved for the end. (Don't forget, you can click on any of these pictures to make them bigger.)

After waking up to a temperature of -3 degrees (F) this morning, temps have moderated to a balmy 9 degrees and we're getting some light snow as I'm writing this post. Weather like this really increases the bird activity at all my backyard feeders.

Here are a couple of nice pictures of the always attractive Mrs. Northern Cardinal.
It's a little breezy too!

Of course, the bluejays are all hanging out waiting for me to dispense more peanuts. They can really fluff themselves up in this cold weather.

Now that the leaves are off all the trees, look what I discovered in the big weeping willow tree in my backyard:
It's a Baltimore Oriole nest--made with plant fibers and pieces of the blue tarp that was blowing to shreds in my neighbor's backyard. Isn't it amazing that orioles can create a nest like that without any hands?

Here's a look with the 32X zoom.

One of these days when it gets a little warmer, I'll have to take a walk around the backyard and see how many other bird nests I can discover.


Dana and Daisy said...

I looks like a Christmas ball on the tree!

That little cardinal looks like it is shivering. And we thought it was cold here!

RuthieJ said...

I know Dana, isn't it cool? I had to wait for a cloudy and not windy day, because the blue strands wouldn't have showed up at all against a blue sky.

I'm amazed that any animal is able to survive outside in weather like this.

Kim said...

That nest is so colorful and pretty. I love your blue jay photo. He looks so cute all puffed out like that.

Congrats on your milestone.

Chicken Mama said...

I think you've got your Christmas card (scene) with either of those female Cardinal pictures!


P.S. We had -9° this AM, and we're supposed to get snow this afternoon . . . although it will have to warm up, first!!

Mama Pea said...

Your yard looks like a wildlife santuary . . . which I guess it is! Birds' nests amaze me. Your picture of the Baltimore Oriole nest is really beautiful, if we can call strips of plastic tarp material beautiful. And I think in this case we can!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Ruthie that nest is so cool! We have orioles galore but I've never found a nest. It does look like a Christmas decoration with those blue strings woven through it.
Your blue jay even looks like he's got his eyes fluffed shut from the cold.

Congrats on 400!

BTW- I love my new hat! :)

Ruth said...

We have the same temperatures here this weekend, bitter cold, wind and snow. I feel so sorry for the birds. Lovely picture of Mrs. Cardinal. Congrats on post 400! Looking forward to more.

A New England Life said...

Beautiful snow pictures! Lucky you! And that nest is an incredible find. The birds sure are resourceful.

It's amazing how once the leaves depart you can discover what the birds were up to during the summer months.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Congrats on your 400th post Ruthie. That is quite the milestone.

That oriole nest is quite spectacular too with the blue tarp woven in. They are the most amazing birds. Wouldn't they really show up pretty against the snow?

Larry said...

Cool nest phoo and congratulations on your 400th post.I think I started about a year before you and have only posted a little over 300 times.

Marsha said...

Congratulations on the 400th post!

I just love seeing that oriole nest! How fun that they used the shredded blue tarp making the nest easy to spot in the winter. I've read where some hang out colored yarn scraps for the birds to use as nesting material and after seeing this, I think I am going to try it next spring.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Ruthie on the 400th post. I really like the all the bids pics, snd they are all so fluffy, but the pic I like best is that Oriole nest, it is so colorful, to bad you can't bring it in and put it in your Christmas tree, those nests are so amazing.


Heather said...

Congrats on your 400th post Ruthie! That's pretty impressive. I had lots of activity at my feeders this weekend, too. We only got about an inch of snow, but that's enough to get our birds going.

Susan Gets Native said...

Did the birds learn to knit from you, Ruthie?
: )

They chose a pretty color, at that!

Mary C said...

Ruthie - thanks for the cardinal fix! Congrats on 400! Gosh, I think it will be forever before I post that many! ;o) Are the temps you posted "normal" for this time of year? If so, I'm doubly grateful I'm living here in CA! ;o)

Debbie said...

Hi Ruthie!
Congratulations on post #400. I don't think I've been reading that long, but I sure have enjoyed your blog.

I had to chuckle at the nest with the blue tarp fibers. We have just noticed a couple of robins nests with blue "tails" from tarps. The birds just love anything they can find don't they?

Shelley said...

Congrats on your impressive 400th post! That oriole nest w/ the blue tarp strings was pretty and neat to see!

Meggie said...

Yikes, -3 degrees...that really is cold for this time of year! I, too, have lots more activity at my feeders. The oriole nest is quite fascinating. Hope you are staying warm. Congrats on your 400th post!

Maud said...

Congratulations to post number 400! And beautiful pictures as always. The nest is amazing, beautifully crafted.

Jayne said...

Oh my... I am still trying to warm up after reading it was 9 degrees there.... brrrrrrrrrr.
Love all the activity at your feeders Ruthie. Mine is still rather slow right now, but starting to pick up.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Kallen305. I had a ball watching all of those fluffy birds.

Hi ChickenMama, Thanks for the idea. I haven't started my Christmas cards yet, so maybe I should go handmade again this year. Mrs. Cardinal is on my computer desktop for now.

Hi MamaPea,
It looks like they used the tarp material for hanging the nest from the branch, so it will probably be there for many years (unless the branch blows down).

Thanks Lynne. This is the first time I've found an oriole nest in my yard too and the willow tree is the biggest tree we've got in the backyard.
I'm glad you like your hat--this weather has been a test of all our warm clothes!

Thanks Ruth. Stay warm! (sounds like we might be sending you some more snow too....)

Hi Sharon,
Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.
I have a robin nest and a catbird nest that also utilized those blue tarp shreds.

Thanks Lisa, it's nice to have some colorful birds in the backyard with all this snow.

Thanks Larry, and remember it's not the quantity of posts, it's the quality and yours are always quality posts! :-)

Hi Marsha,
I've left colored yarn scraps out for the birds but never found then incorporated in any nests. Now I wonder if I shouldn't be leaving longer strands. We'll both have to experiment and report next spring.

Hi Mom,
That nest is probably at least 45 feet high and right out at the end of the branch, so climbing the tree to fetch it isn't even an option. I would love to be able to see that nest up close and hold it in my hands.

Thanks Heather. Good to hear you're enjoying your birds too.

Hi Susan,
I'm a basket weaver too and I can't imagine trying to do that without hands. Wouldn't it be cool to see a video of an oriole building that nest?

You're welcome Mary. I think we're a little below normal as far as temps go--this is more like January weather. I'm just thankful I have plenty of warm clothes!

Thanks Debbie. I've seen those tarp threads in some other nests in my yard too. I wonder what they like about those strings--the color? The length? It will be fun to try some experiments with some yarn clippings next spring.

Thanks Shelley, glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks Meggie. The woodpile is going down fast in this cold weather!

Thanks Maud, thanks for stopping by to enjoy my birds!

Hi Jayne,
Things were kind of slow here for a few days too, but a couple inches of snow was all it took to bring all my feathered diners back.

Cindie Ulreich said...

I've never seen an oriole nest. Actually, I've never even seen an oriole. Thanks for sharing that photo!

Heidi said...

Congrats on reaching 400! (i may never get that far :)

Great winter bird shots to share... perfect for this time of year! Hope it warms up a bit for you.

troutbirder said...

Four hundred. That's amazing. I hope to have the energy to do it. Your beautiful backyard bird photos get me to thinking the time will come when I get a better camera for closeups. Maybe Santa will.... Lots of snow in Bluff Country tonight and I am already sick of shoveling

RuthieJ said...

Hi Cindie,
Now's a good time of year to scan the tops of trees for oriole nests. I hope you get to see an oriole next summer.

Thanks Red. It warmed up, but now it's snowing--hard! Cold is easier to shovel ;-)

Hi Troutbirder,
It's nice to have some feeders and trees close to the house--lots easier to get those bird close-ups!

I think you guys are going to get a few more inches of snow down there in Bluff Country than we are. Enjoy your retirement--I'm dreading the morning commute already!

Mary said...

Congratulations on your 400th post, Ruthie. It's been fun!

What's this 32x zoom? Tell me about it!

Your shots are fantastic.

I'm still coveting those Blue Jays :o)


KGMom said...

CONGRATS on 400--so when people say "you should write a book" you can reply--I already did.

Love the mama cardinal.

And, your new personal icon. Too cute--knitting with your Christmas elf hat on.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mary, glad you could come along for my fun adventures.
32 is what it says inside the viewfinder when I push the zoom button, so I think that's what it means (I suppose I should read the manual to find out for sure :-0

Thanks Donna.
I figured it was time to dress my Meez for winter--that background is kind of what it's starting to look like around my backyard (minus the birds).

Mel said...

¡Felicidades por los 400!

Leedra said...

This nest is awesome.

I like both of the female cardinal photos.

I have decided to follow you for a while, so that is your new follower.