Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Lazy Sunday

I'd decide to do absolutely nothing today except relax in my PJ's and do all my birding via the kitchen window considering I don't do it that often with a full time job and considering I spend  money and time feeding the birds, it only seems right to see the fruits of my labor occasionally!  I'd even sleep late and be awakened just as the sun rose by the very noisy Blue Jay's announcing their morning arrival and hoping I had peanuts.

Which of course I did as well as cracked corn and striped sunflower seeds as I spoil these birds and they reward me with nice views as they no longer flee when they see me considering I'm their source. ;-)

I'd have all of the regulars including my House Finch's with quite a few males who still have a lot of color to them like the male above.  Side Note:  No White-crowned Sparrow today and I thought that may be the case.  I actually thought of that handsome little bird just before I fell asleep last night and I'd wish it a safe migration wherever it was going and felt good knowing the bird was well fed for it's journey as I made sure of it!

But just because I was lounging didn't mean I'd be couch bound as I had things to do with the main goal of canning my cranberry sauce to last me the year.  I don't eat a lot of it, but like a few jars throughout the year whenever I cook a turkey or roast a chicken and it's so much better and healthier than the store bought brands (who use corn syrup) so it's worth the labor in the end.

And it would yield me all of this which isn't too shabby for an $9 investment!  I didn't do anything too fancy with it and kept it simple but did add lemon zest and ginger which gave it a nice balance without being over powering.

Next would be roasting a turkey to go along with the home made stuffing I made the night prior from the leftovers of the two loaves of bread I baked last week and would have plenty of company including 10 Mourning Doves all feeding on the ground (I'm guessing the cracked corn).

As well as the many American Goldfinch's who are now eating the thistle since I dumped the stuff  they weren't eating (thinking it was too stale) and refilled it with seed I bought Thursday which they seemed to prefer (and to be honest with you I tried both the stale and the fresh and can't say that I blame them!).

And soon enough the turkey would be roasted so now came the fun part of carving, storing and eating of course!  I'd have plenty left over so now came phase two which was to use every bit of both turkey and sides including a casserole I make every year as well as some soup.

And with phase two meal planning I'd also get phase two birds which were European Starlings who have finally found the bittersweet in my yard much to the American Robin's annoyance.

And it also wouldn't take them long to find my suet and then all hell broke loose as they fought for their share of the stash.  In the past this would annoy the hell out of me and ruin my yard birding so taking a different approach this year and letting them eat it as I make my own suet normally and was planning on making a batch next weekend so will just make more.  Besides I miss my Cooper's Hawk and between the starlings and Mourning Doves I have a feeling I'll have a visitor soon!  Speaking of visitors I hadn't seen the local Red-tailed Hawk near my yard in close to month and one would do a fly by late morning and was hoping it would come back to take out a squirrel in my yard (their's 4 of them now!) but not this time.  You may notice the fencing around my feeders and that is chicken wire I put up every year to keep neighbors house cats out of the feeding station and it really works as I've never seen one jump the fence or had any evidence of a bird or squirrel casualty.  I don't get many house cats in the yard in winter but like to have it just for extra insurance for the birds and am wondering if that's why the Red-tailed hasn't come in for a kill yet?  Was really hoping for luck here as the squirrel numbers continue to climb.

But not all would be lost with the starlings noisy arrival as I'd finally have a bird who appeared to be interested in my freeze dried meal worms I bought which aren't going over too well I'm afraid.  Of course the b*stard would taste it and spit it out so it looks as if I'm out six bucks and have a bunch of meal worms that will never be eaten unless I find a way to get creative with them.......Hmmmmmm.......  ;-)

You would think all the commotion would cause the other birds to flee but I've added a few new feeders and expanded the feeding station so there's room for all and it gives the Northern Cardinals something to watch while eating.  Also check out the House Sparrow watching the chaos.  This year I'm also embracing the House Sparrow's because with them came both my Fox Sparrow and White-crowned for some odd reason so thinking of them as good luck this year.  Hoping for American Tree Sparrow next!

And soon the casserole would be done.  While it may not look all that appealing, looks can be deceiving in this instance as it's a layered casserole that gives you a taste of Thanksgiving in each bite.  My base layer is caramelized onions followed by turkey, then the leftover stuffing, a can of corn (out of tradition) and then mashed potatoes on top.  I bake it until the potatoes form a crust and it's a great way to use up your leftovers instead of keeping them all in separate containers.

The finished product with some of the cranberry sauce I made earlier as well as some of my bread and butter pickles I canned just because.

And then the remainder of the turkey as well as all veggie scraps would go into the stock pot for soup.

The sun would set and the birds would leave so I sat down with a cup of tea and some soup still in my PJ's sad that the weekend was almost over, but was happy none the less.  Now that the weather is getting colder and migration winding down the only thing that will get me outdoors for sure are winter finches, new ducks, owls, vagrants and snow for snow shoeing of course, but can wait on snow until December easily.

Take care all.

1 comment:

Bill Sheehan said...

That post left me hungry!


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