Trees And Other Things

Discussion in 'Personal Diaries' started by Nancy Hart, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I'm sure the elites would like me to eat insect larvae, but no thanks.
     
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  2. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    I think I posted about cricket flour being included in some processed food. It raises the protein content of the food...and the FDA doesn't require it to be listed as an ingredient. Some with shellfish allergies react to it, so be cautious if you have that allergy. Not larva, though, @Ken Anderson .
     
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  3. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    4/4/23

    BSF larvae arrived today. The first 6 off the top looked dead. About a third are almost black. Not good. The ones that move look dehydrated, shrunken flat. They are well over a half inch long. Female bluebird got a good look at the dark ones and passed on them. Then took one that had not turned dark.

    These are most like #6 & #7.

    upload_2023-4-4_17-8-12.png

    This is disappointing. This place ships worms all over the country. Maybe it is a bad time of the year to order them?
     
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  4. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    Mary, I think black soldier fly is a poor choice of names. It sounds sinister. But I won't try to describe anything good about them, because it might be taken as pushing an agenda. [​IMG]

    Our goats were suspicious of anything new (to eat). They would start with a tiny nibble and work up. They wouldn't touch kudzu when they first saw it. Then they loved it. Makes sense. The point is, these birds don't want to try these things. They've likely never seen them before.

    They are mostly used for turtles, salamanders, and other lizard type pets.
     
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  5. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    All the panels for the kitchen ceiling that needed to be cut to size were finished last night. The side pieces don't sit right because the channels aren't spliced well above the cabinets. That was why the caulking was there. There are 2 full rows up now, with 4 panels left over. The 2 rows look good in daylight. Not so good at night. I think I know where to put the 4 extras now.

    This has not been a fun job because I know it won't look great when it's finished. The channels are slightly bent due to years of fiddling around above the ceiling, and were not installed neatly to begin with. The only mistake so far was forgetting to number the panels when they came down. :oops: The next time this happens, someone else is going to have to fix it.

    Also stumbled on the swatch for the kitchen wall paint—Artichoke Heart, by Martha Stewart. :) Martha has gone out of the paint business, but it will be easy to match now.
    .
     
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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2023
  6. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    If a pair of Carolina wrens finds two suitable places for a nest close together, they will choose one to build a nest, and put a "fake" nest — just a pile of sticks and leaves — in the other. This keeps other birds out. My mailbox serves as a fake nest every spring. The mailman said everyone else's does too. When you're little guys on the block, you have to improvise to survive, I suppose.

    It looked like the chickadees might be doing the same thing with their birdhouse. They peeked in occasionally and that's it, or so I thought. But starting 2 days ago they have been in and out all day. They must have a nest there too. They are extra cautious. You have to pay very close attention to see them.

    Then there's the bonus nuthatch nest. They have been going in and out regularly, but it's hard to see what they are carrying without binoculars. I have no idea what stage they are at but somewhere near that of the bluebirds.

    Looking back at the calendar, the bluebirds could be at the halfway to fledge point. I think it's another only child. Maybe 2. I thought this pair might do better. The previous pair didn't seem to be a good match. Either the female got bored sitting on the eggs, or the male got bored carrying her food so she had to leave, or both. The problem was always at the hatching stage.

    I looked at a wireless zoom camera to set up in the yard, but it's above my pay grade, so I'll have to remain clueless to what's going on.

    The mockingbirds finally took a chance on a black soldier fly larvae, and came back for a whole dish full. There are two very healthy fat mockingbirds here. At least the worms are not going to waste completely.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2023
  7. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    All the extra ceiling tiles went up last week — the 3 rows on the right. The odd reflections of the sunlight make it look like there is still smoke stain on the new panels. :confused: Day or night, lights on or off, doesn't matter, just different shadows. I never noticed that before. Why bother? :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    A quart of green paint should be just enough to do the small wall on the right and the beam. No left over paint calling out my name to do more than necessary. There may be another smoke incident before that gets done. A smoke detector would fit easily on the side of the cabinet by the window. Now it needs new curtains. And the lights should have LED bright white bulbs. Would that require new fixtures?

    This project has to stop somewhere. {sigh}
     
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  8. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    You can get LED bulbs that fit into the old fluorescent fixtures. In my experience, they only work as advertised in some fixtures but not all. It might be worth a try, though, as it is cheaper and easier than new fixtures. Just decide what heat you want the light to be. 6500K would be very bright white light, 5000K not as bright but a little easier on the eyes.
     
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  9. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    I believe today is the day the bluebirds think it's time for the little one(s) to take off. Both adults have been fluttering near the opening of the birdhouse, showing how it's done. The pair is working as a team, dive-bombing the squirrels in the back yard to clear the way. If it's an only child, it may have different thoughts.
     
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  10. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    (4/17/23) Monday

    The old Sears mower I was keeping as a backup went out to the curb today. Nothing would stop it from cutting, if you could ever get it started. New gaskets and a primer bulb fixed it for one season, but last year it wouldn't start again.

    Within a few minutes a tiny woman, looked to be in her late 60s, hair in a bun, driving a little old Toyota car, stopped by. Asked if she could move the mower away from the curb until she could come back at 5:30 to pick it up. She was pale and very thin. Her voice quivered when she spoke, so I could barely understand her. I told her to ring the doorbell so I could help load it.

    When she returned I asked if she knew someone who worked on mowers. "Yes, that's who I met while I was gone." She wanted the handle off so the mower would fit completely inside her trunk. Told me she has Parkinson's disease and was shaking so much I thought at times she might fall down. She found a crescent wrench in her car, I found a pair of pliers, and we got the handle off together. Her only reaction was a thumbs up, and she took off.

    Unusual encounter. She did not have a southern accent. Did not seem like someone who would be interested in picking up a used lawnmower on the street. I wonder if she was doing her friend a favor.
     
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  11. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    (4/21/2023) Friday

    After watching from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, including 48 oz of coffee, it looked like this was not going to be the day for the bluebird(s) to leave the nest. Loaded the truck with hedge cuttings to dump at the farm instead. Approximately 5:30 pm I just happened to glance out the kitchen window to see an unfamiliar head poking out from the bluebird house. Dropped everything. Twenty minutes later it flew out and ***UP*** into the poplar tree. Only a few degrees up, but more impressive than coasting. Maybe it was worth it to spend a couple extra days in the nest. The male parent flew over to meet it.

    How lucky to catch this! :cool:

    There is a free smartphone App called BirdNet from Cornell University which tries to identify bird calls. Bluebirds are so quiet I can barely hear them, even if they are right on the deck. I tested all the bird calls from 6 pm until dark. It identified several calls from bluebirds with almost certain confidence. That's what they are supposed to do—call back and forth to the little ones in the trees. I could not hear them myself, only saw the markings on the sound spectrograph it provides. Double :cool: :cool:

    No more food went into the birdhouse (confirmed Saturday). Either this was the last, or the only, one. I'll likely never know for sure. For the record they started building the nest approx March 11th. A total of 41 days. That's within normal limits. But why do my bluebirds wait until evening to fledge? :confused:
     
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  12. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    (4/23/23) Sunday morning

    Three unhatched eggs, just like last spring. :( (4 is the typical nest size.)

    upload_2023-4-24_3-54-58.png

    All 3 looked like they stopped growing at the same time, very early.

    upload_2023-4-24_3-55-44.png

    The bottom of the nest was just one pine needle thickness. The first nest last year was on top of a chickadee nest. In that case 2 of the eggs fell down behind the nest.

    "Temps -2.0°C (28.4°F) and below for sustained periods will cause cold injury to bluebird eggs"

    Around the important timeframe there were 5 days down to 27-30 degrees. Nest building started ~March 11th, then 4 days of laying, before incubation. Is this just bad luck in timing?


    March 14 .15 .16 .17 .18 .19 .20 .21
    High .53° 61° 69° 60° 56° 49° 55° 62°
    Low ..30° 27° 30° 49° 37° 32° 27° 29°

    Washed down the walls of the birdhouse, took covering off of extra vent holes, opened the 3/8" vent at the top, ready for hot weather in case they start again.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2023
  13. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    We have had a few springs lately that were too cold and had heavy snow when the robins showed up. Many died. Same this year. I have a nest in my fir tree out front. Just completed in same spot as last year.
    I don't think it is global warming or climate change in the 'traditional' liberal sense. I think our axis move over a few degrees and the birds are confused.
    i noticed the shadow on my desk changing over the years when it faced east so I could see the moves north and south.
     
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  14. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Supreme Member
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    In spite of a colder winter here, the trees came out much earlier (2 weeks?), and this nest was built over a week earlier than the first one last year.

    I imagine the cold snaps might also cause a scarcity of insects and worms for the birds like robins (and bluebirds).
     
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2023
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  15. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    During that week long hot streak everything here started to bud and bugs came from everywhere to my patio peach tree which I set out. But then the cold came back and I wonder if buds on other fruit trees were hurt.
    I must say, there were a large variety of pollinators that I watched out my patio doors, at my peach, that week and none were honey bees.:)
    I think my honey bees sleep in longer than anyone's around here which is good. They don't come out till June.
     
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