Sunday, December 28, 2014

11_2014 Dave's woodworking projects

While I was in Houston, Dave worked on two wood-working projects: a roosting box and a shelter for Flickers.

The photo to the left is the beginning stages of the roosting box.  
A roosting box is something birds can use to shelter from the cold in winter. It has a hole at the bottom of the box (versus nests with holes at the top) to keep the warm air in. It has multiple perches for a group of birds who will huddle in the cold. A bird's next will never have perches.
Dave scored the back as well as some birds can use these to 'climb' the box once inside.
With most of the roosting box assembled, you can see all the perches for the roosters.
Ready to go!
Note the little extra square by the hole - this protects from mammals reaching inside and possible grabbing birds.
Looks great!
The second project is the Flicker (or other bird) shelter. These birds often hang on the sides of trees during bad weather. This shelter offers them someplace to hide during bad weather.
The inside of the box has a single perch (note that this is a double occupancy box).  And the back wall is scored to provide a place to hang if the bird prefers that.
Front covers added. This box isn't as closed in, but it does provide far more protection than hanging on a tree trunk being snowed on.
The finished product!
Dave mounted the Flicker's box on our back porch under an overhang.
He really takes a lot of time to get the details right. I think most houses aren't built as carefully!
The songbird roosting box is on the side of our back deck. We can see it from the kitchen window.
So, will they use it?  Who knows. We know that Dave got them up before the big snow started. And we know that a Flicker and Red-Breasted Nuthatch did go into this box. Very exciting! Glad they have it available for them.
And what about this one? Dave saw a Junco exit it so we chose to believe that during these really cold nights, the box is full of a bunch of toasty warm Dark-Eyed Juncos!

11_05 to 09_2014 Quick Houston Trip

It should feel normal by now to read these entries a little bit out of order. This one is no exception. In November, I made an excuse to go to Houston for a quick visit. While there, mom and I did some acrylic painting one evening. Bud wanted to assist.
He looked excellent in his multicolor tattoo.
I laughed so hard, but that actually hurt his feelings. He knew I was laughing at him so he started pouting.
The paint came off pretty easy and after a LOT of "Pretty Boy" talk he perked up again. Silly dog!
Mom ended up with a nice painting.
I ended up with a deranged rooster. It didn't work out at all like I envisioned it. Bud didn't like it either as he barked at it! I have to get better about taking photos when in town. These are all the photos I took. :/

Saturday, December 27, 2014

12_25_2014 Christmas in Boulder

It's time for the annual installment of Christmas present opening. As is usual, we each get a photo of us in front of the gifts. And as usual, Pente photo bombs us!
Dave and Pente. Dave is suffering from a nasty flu so he's working hard not to pass out the entire time.
Not all gifts are shown here but this should give a good idea. Here are some shot glasses from Rachel and Jim. Thanks!
Some bad tv dvds for me to watch since we don't have a tv signal here. I will binge on these shortly!
A nice solar powered bird feeder for Dave from my parents. It is hanging up front now (see below).
The biggest surprise of the morning was that I got a commemorative set of stamps!! :)
It looked like a cat-toy explosion happened based on the toys that Santa Claws brought to Pente.
A comedy CD for Dave
Bike lights. You can see he is coming to life a little here...
A vest and gloves from my mom and dad. My attempt and a Madonna pose in these garments. :)
A magic wand. It's technically not a holiday gift, but something that Rachel sent for me to use in my Wizard Outfit (commencement robe). A student told me a year or so ago I looked like a wizard in it - I like that better than robe so it stuck.
Mom and dad sent a book so Dave can up his game on the Squirrel war.
Fun t-shirt for Dave from my folks.
The only gift Dave got from me under our non-tree - some really awesome tequila.  In reality he also got a camera body and a trip to a beach resort for the holiday too. Though sick, he was very happy with all his gifts.
Dave's brother and sister-in-law sent some really great Teavana flavors. We've already enjoyed one.
How Dave really felt though he was trying hard to feel better.
Moments after the last gift was open - he was down for a couple more days.
New solar bird feeder out front! Happy Holidays and thanks to everyone for their gifts!

12_2014 A Birdy Post

December has been a birdy month already. First, we found this poor little American Goldfinch down on the deck. He likely hit a window and was stunned (aka bonk disease). We held him for some time (hour?) warming him and then he was ready to go.
He flew right out of our hands up into the tree and looked good. Hopefully he did well. It was freezing and snowing when I found him - glad I got to him before he froze or a predator got him.
Next bird of the post is Henri. Henri is completing his 35th year and will turn 36 next month. He came up to share in some breakfast with us recently.
He was fond on the french toast made with little nuts in the bread. He picked out every nut and ate a fair amount of the bread too.
He was happy as good be!  (Notice the brilliant one sitting there with her shirt on inside out. Dave noticed it hours later. I didn't even bother changing it!)
Henri is (oddly) molting a little bit about his face right now and he's looking a little rough.  There is no doubt he's slowing down due to old age, but he's still a very happy bird.
We got pummeled with a foot of snow that started on Christmas day. A treat of this was that we've had some Cassin's Finches coming to our feeder. This is the first time we've seen them in the yard. The bird to the left is either an immature Cassin's male, or a female. The bird to the right is a House Finch female. You can see the difference in body shape and facial feather markings.

We've since seen as many as four Cassin's on the back porch (plus an American Tree Sparrow).  All other regular customers are around too.