When Emma and I returned from our driving tour of the refuge yesterday, things weren’t the same as when we left.
A prescribed burn was underway surrounding the maintenance area and RV pads on two sides.
I was informed earlier in the morning that this was going to happen, and that there might be a little smoke drifting through the RV sites. Since I had a load of laundry drying out on the lines, I made sure I brought those clothes in before we left.
It’s a good thing I did, because there was more than a little smoke drifting through. I closed all the windows, and we stayed inside all afternoon just watching what was going on. There were ashes floating through the air on the stiff south wind, and it reminded me of all the ashes that coated my little trailer back when I toured Alaska in 2004. Those fires weren’t prescribed however.
This morning I drove around to get a few pictures of the results of the burn. It was a lot more extensive than I thought. I bet within two weeks or so, all of this will be green again.
A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I had been watching the weather and winds, and had a feeling that the Baltimore orioles might be arriving on Sunday morning. So, I made sure my oriole and hummingbird feeders were out and waiting on Saturday morning. I did have one oriole and one hummer last evening.
But the real excitement was when I got up this morning. I had nailed that prediction right on the head! The orioles were swirling all around the rig. I counted at least twelve of them at one time checking out and partaking of the orange, nectar, and grape jelly that I had put out.
They were even clinging to the windows of the motorhome waiting for their turn at the feeder! Almost all were males, but I did see one female off and on all day. As you can see, the purple finches have also discovered the Hard Rock Bird Café.
It was time to sit outside in my rocker and see what else blew in overnight. How nice to find a Harris’ sparrow stopping by. These little dudes nest in the northern forests surrounding the tundra. They’ve still got a ways to go to reach their breeding grounds, and I’m happy to provide them with some easy fuel. It always amazes me how these birds find a solitary feeder in the middle of nowhere along their route. Don’t you just love his black mask and Mohawk?
This was my favorite shot of the day. All those orioles had wiped out the orange half, and the jelly cups, so I had to restock by noon. I just stuffed the orange peel with jelly, as that seems to be their favorite. I’ve got a 32 oz. jug of jelly, but it’s already 1/4 gone, so I’m thinking I’d better stock up on a few more jugs.
This afternoon, I got a real kick out of watching a second year male oriole interacting with the older boys. This young one is no push over! He chattered away and fought with the big guys, and sent them on their way. Survival of the fittest?? I’d put my money on a successful nesting for that one if he finds a mate that likes younger men.
I got calls from both of my boys for Mother’s Day. That warmed the cockles of my heart…
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy