Life's Little Moments

By dbifulco

Chipper #43

I only recently realized that I hadn't blipped a Chipping Sparrow for my visual yard bird record this year.  That's a significant oversight since they arrive here in the spring, breed on our property and then hang out being cute until late September.  How the heck did I fail to blip one before today?  Well, I'm just happy this little guy showed up in the flock of Purple Finches and Pine Siskins today, and then that he posed so nicely with some fall colors in the background.  

I also saw my first red-breasted nuthatch of the year this afternoon - actually, I heard him "tooting" before I spotted him.  The only shot I got was on a feeder (which I will put in Extra).  I am going to wait to add this species to my yard list in hopes of getting a better photo.  Those of you in Europe will see a strong resemblance between these little nuthatches and your Eurasian Nuthatches.  

Since it was gloomy and chillier than predicted, I skipped the kayak in favor of time in the hide and garden.  While in the garden, I found a slow-moving blister beetle.  Specifically an Oil Beetle in the Genus Meloe - they are large, flightless beetles that emit a noxious oil which causes blisters (and is also toxic if eaten).  I've only seen these large beetles a few times, always in the fall.  This one, I believe, is a female and you can get a look at her in all her shiny blue-black splendor HERE on Flickr .  I think she's really rather beautiful in her own way.  

I am now going to head back out to the hide.  I am feeling rather stressed today and I know that spending some time observing the comings and goings of chipmunks, squirrels and birds will provide some balm for my frayed nerves.  

Remember to be kind to yourselves, people.  And, please, please, please - stay safe!  This virus is far from being done with us.


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