Thursday, 25 March 2010

Snap, grackle and pop

Yesterday morning I was up bright and early (mainly due to Biggles needing to be let out) and was actually downstairs before anyone else so I had the run of the bottom of the house all to my lonesome. It was refreshing to be able to open my eyes without having to rub them furiously before I could do so – it would seem that what I thought was an allergic reaction to something in foreign climes may just be a case of conjunctivitis so it will mean a visit to the doctor to procure some eye drops I suppose.

After my second cup of coffee, I was still staring at the pile of paperwork that was to be sorted through, but once started I achieved a fair bit. Everything is now back to normal, in more ways than one, after two weeks away and I cannot believe that it is nearly Easter already! It is that time of year when you walk down the allotted aisle in the supermarket and drool at all the chocolate on display Рlet us hope they have a bit more in stock this year as it became a race against time to obtain what was required last year. It does not seem that long ago that Woolworths was buckling at the seams with the volume of the cornucopia of shapes and sizes, price tags and fillings of assorted confectionary to mark the annual occasion. But at least we were not let down and the tiny (I am sure they have shrunk) cr̬me eggs were on sale by Boxing Day! In fact, were they ever not on sale? Ah well. I can honestly say that I have not had one yet this year.

I miss the grackle. “I beg your pardon?” I hear you mutter. Although it does sound a bit like some sort of boiled sweet or even a mixture of cold vegetables fried up like bubble and squeak, it is in fact a bird. Grackles are all over the place in Texas and are the most wonderful birds to watch. They were busy at their courting displays whilst we were there and there were grand displays of feather fluttering and chest puffing-out on branches here, there and everywhere.

It is one of the best things with going abroad - seeing and hearing the different wildlife, and apart from the grackle - and amongst others - it was great to see the weird looking pelican again.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

Odd thing about Grackles. Where I live is supposed to be in the territory of the bronzed variety and I cannot say that I have ever seen any bronzed ones. Everyone around here calls them "Purple grackles" although that subspecies is supposed to live someplace else.

Grackles around my house have some favorite haunts and although they commonly comingle with the mases of Starlings, they are also known to muscle in and chase off the other birds. My nextdoor neighbor has a birdbath which is a focal point of activity in drier weather, right now we have a large rainpond that takes up the West end of my yard and the two adjoining yards so the grackles splash in that and look contemptuously at the birdbath. Some people around here confuse the grackles with purple martins. There is a martin birdhouse hotel on the next block over, but I think actually the grackles have run the martins off. There is a favorite grackle perch behind our yard and across the street in front-which are lookout points also favored by the mourning doves. Those are on the power lines, crows prefer the higher branches of the big trees for their lookouts.

I have a large cottonwood growing next to the corner of the house and inside that end of the house is the library. The North side of the tree is heavily overgrown with mistletoe (I had to inform the neighbor that it was not "Poison Ivy") On one occasion I was looking out the North window of the library and it just so happened a Pileated woodpecker was pulling a grub out of the cottonwood, at the base of the mistletoe growth, only a few feet from the window. After the woodpecker left a grackle moved in an poked around to see if he could find any grub left. I had not known thet would do that.