Sunday, April 30, 2023

Check Your Sparrows

There are a lot of cute little sparrows in the trees right now, hopping around, singing to attract mates,  and building nests. Like the chipping sparrow above. Click to enlarge.

I heard it singing its cheerful trilled song before I looked up and saw it. The song sounds like this: click here to listen. The bright rusty cap and black eye stripe are diagnostic.

Note the beak full of nesting material. I wish it a successful nest. And remember to check your sparrows -- they might turn out to be chippers!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Wisteria Time

Can't you just smell the sweet purple perfume? Click to enlarge.

Wisteria is blooming now in my neighborhood and it smells wonderful. It smells like summer and  childhood memories to me. 

And it seems to cry out for a haiku, right? I give you In the Moonlight by Yosa Buson:
"In pale moonlight
the wisteria's scent
comes from far away."

Sunday, April 16, 2023

The Sound of Spring


Spring really begins for me when I hear this bird sing, and that’s happening right now! White-throated sparrows are ready to breed and brightly-colored males like the one above are singing to attract mates. The song is an attention-getting series of clear whistled notes that you may have heard lately, too. Click on this sentence for a nice You-Tube video performance. Birdwatchers use this mnemonic to help remember the rhythm of the syllables in the white-throated sparrows's song: Old Sam Peabody-Peabody-Peabody.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Happy Easter!

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”

Sonnet 98, William Shakespeare

Sunday, April 2, 2023



Here's a bunch of pretty spring flowers called by the common name glory-of-the-snow. They are blooming now in gardens and lawns in South Jersey. There has been almost no snow here this year, but if there had been, these flowers might have bloomed through it in a characteristic and eponymous way.

The flower is native to the eastern Mediterranean countries of Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. It has six petals (technically tepals) that are fused at the base, a frosty white center, and tufts of yellow pollen. A very pretty combination. Click to enlarge.