ramblings from the noisedoctor

May 19, 2009

ants, ants, everywhere?

Filed under: wildlife — noisedoctor @ 10:01 am

Is the rest of the world suffering from the ant over-population we’re seeing here? I can barely pull a weed in the yard without disturbing an ant colony. We’ve had house invasion after invasion. I talked to some folks that work in a local hardware store and they said they’ve never had so many people coming in for ant bait products as they have this year. What’s up with that?


March 26, 2009

no such thing…

Filed under: freecycle, humor, wildlife — noisedoctor @ 8:19 am

I saw someone posted this on our local freecycle group yesterday:

WANTED: Squirrel proof bird feeders

Yeah… I guess this person doesn’t realize there is no such thing as a “squirrel proof” bird feeder. The best you can ever hope for is “squirrel slow-them-down-and-make-them-think-about-how-to-outwit-the-contraption-and-frustrate-you-to-no-end” bird feeder.

Oh well, it’s nice to hope…

November 1, 2006

silly woodpecker

Filed under: wildlife — noisedoctor @ 9:40 pm

My sister asked for help from me and my dad. Her husband was out of town on a business trip. She found a bunch of insulation from her attic on her driveway. When she looked up, she could see a small hole in the side of the house.

So, Dad and I went over tonight to take a look. We went up to the attic and found where we thought the hole should be. I went in for a closer look while he held a flashlight where I could see. I moved some of the insulation and soon could see light from the outside spotlights shining in. So, I started to move all the insulation from around the area (so we’d be able to put some sort of patch there to seal the hole) and as I swept my hand along there, I hit something solid. And then it moved.

I can’t even come up with the metaphor (maybe two-sheds gomer will come up with one for me) to describe how quickly my hand shot out of that spot. I was sure it was a squirrel, rat, or some sort of rodent. But, it quickly started hopping and flapping and soon was flying around the attic. It looked just like this pic over on wikipedia.

I was able to find a small empty box in my sister’s attic and after chasing the bird all over the attic for 20-30 minutes, I finally got it safely (and gently) closed in the box. A quick patch to the side of the house and we were done with our repair mission.

We took the bird for a little ride and released it a few miles away. Hopefully this little experience will teach it not to drill holes in anyone else’s house.

Oh, and an hour later, I think my heart rate has returned to normal.

August 23, 2006

cammo is in this year

Filed under: wildlife — noisedoctor @ 1:59 pm

A couple weeks ago, I was painting the wood trim around our front door. I went in and out of the house several times before I noticed something under the door.


Looks sort of like a leaf, doesn’t it? But, if you get close (and this thing let me get really close):


August 18, 2006

the turf war begins

Filed under: Christianity, wildlife — noisedoctor @ 8:10 am

As I pondered last week, the hummingbird turf war has begun. If you’ve never seen this, it is quite interesting. These birds are so cute, it’s hard to imagine them fighting with each other, yet they do. It’s getting late in the season for them and they’re trying to “fatten up” for their migration (they head to Mexico or Central America) and get really defensive of their food sources.

There is one male hummingbird that swoops down out of a tree any time another hummingbird tries to get near the feeder in my back yard. Their normally tender little chirp (more like a squeak at times) is replaced by coarse, shrill noise.

Last night as I was working on a flowerbed in the front yard, two hummingbirds got into a
little battle. One gave up his efforts to get to the feeder and took off right toward me with other chasing him. They buzzed no more than a foot from my head on the way by. My first thought was, “Aren’t you guys scared of me here?” If I had stuck my hand up quickly I might have been able to end their little battle–permanently.

So, now the life lesson. These two hummingbirds flew right by me last night, totally oblivious to the fact that I was the person that cleans and fills these feeders for them. I am the source of this food for them which they are currently fighting for control of. Yet they had no idea that I’m the person supplying that for them.

How often am I like that with God? Sure, I don’t walk right by Him in a physical sense. But how often do I ignore Him as the source of my blessings? How often do I ignore His mighty handiwork in this world? How often am I close to “the least of these” and fail to recognize it? And, as I described last week, how often am I in my own little turf war defending some source of blessing when there’s more than enough food to go around.

Sometimes, I just don’t get it, do I?

August 13, 2006

don’t drink the water falling from the tree

Filed under: useless junk, wildlife — noisedoctor @ 7:49 am

In San Antonio, there’s a Red Oak tree that has been “gurgling” out water for three months–particularly interesting given the dry conditions there. The world is a mighty interesting place.

August 10, 2006

what did you watch during breakfast?

Filed under: gardening, wildlife — noisedoctor @ 7:13 am

CNN? ESPN? Not me. I got a live show just outside my kitchen window. I got to watch a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.

If you’re wondering how I knew he was a male, I got out my binoculars and could clearly see under his belly… oh come on now! Males have red on their throat.

Anyway… I spotted him sitting on the shepherd’s hook that holds a hummingbird feeder in my back yard. In my experience, it’s rare to see them just sitting. So, I stood and watched as he would fly down to the feeder, get a drink, then fly back to his perch. He would dart down to the flowers below (particularly the globe thistle) and eat a bit. He also followed a female hummingbird after she got a drink at the feeder, but he soon returned to his perch.

One thing made me laugh. Most birds, when wanting to change the direction they face on a perch, just do a little fancy footwork to turn around. Not this guy. He would just fly up in the air about a foot over the perch and then settle back down facing the other direction.

I love watching hummingbirds. Today was a unique event and is making me feel really blessed. God is wickedly awesomely creative!

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