It's For The Birds

My back yard is a playground for the birds.  I don't know if it's because it's my last morning to sit at my laptop that's strategically placed on the breakfast table with a bay window facing out back or what, but the birds seem to be in rare form today!  Crazy cardinals visiting the garden in search of tomato remnants, a random Hummingbird flitting to and fro the one flowering rose bush that survived the summer sizzle, tiny Pine Warblers darting in and out of the lattice atop my porch.  What is going on?  Have they all come by to bid me adieu?
   Summer 2011 has been a magnificently memorable one on many fronts but especially in the back.  Since I'm a Lark myself, I've thoroughly enjoyed spending the dawn hours watching the sun rise and the birds awaken.  The sightings - and songs - of summer have relaxed and refreshed me.  My favorite birding moment was probably when this Painted Bunting on my friend Mary's ranch caught my eye.  Colorfully-breathtaking, it's the male, of course.  Just like its friends the Blue Jay and the Cardinal, the male sports a brighter hue to attract its mate and to distract their prey away from her, two appropriate jobs for the king of the nest, wouldn't you say?  In any event, I was tickled to see an Oriole and a Goldfinch in Wisconsin and spot a Crested Caracara out in La Grange.  I'm also enjoying the Red-headed and Pileated Woodpeckers as well as the Black-capped Vireo (or maybe it's actually a Carolina Chickadee?) at our feeder and in our forest.  Oh, and I can't forget the Owls that call to me every night as if to say, "Lights out, lark; sweet dreams.  See you in the morning!"  Such a treat to watch these fanciful feathered friends stop for some seed as they fly by on their way through life.  

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