Sunday, December 9, 2012

Birding North Worcester County

I'd head north with Alan this morning in my continued search for winter finches with the first stop being a cracker factory in Westminster Alan had heard about through Tom which threw me for a loop considering the line of banking I'm in does a lot of business with manufacturers and know just about every Worcester County factory there is so it had me stumped.  I'd be happy we made the stop despite there not being any Pine Grosbeaks as it was very picturesque as you can see in the photo above and wish more factories was as quaint as this one ;-).  Our next stop would be near Heywood Hospital in Gardner hoping for better luck than we had at the cracker factory.

And the first thing we'd see were the two wind turbines above.  Sigh....I understand the need for alternative energy but would by lying if I said I don't care much for them as not only are they ugly, but have claimed the lives of many birds with raptors in particular.

I'd soon forget about the turbines as we made our way to the strand of trees Tom had spotted the grosbeaks  earlier in the month and we'd be happy to see one on the very last tree!

This would be a life bird for me and a special one at that as I've waited for it since 2008 and the bird would be so tame I could have touched it if I wanted to.

The birds were so beautiful and close I'd find myself catching my breath from time to time and tried to resist the urge to talk baby talk which basically means I've gone past the point of no return when it comes to swooning hard for a bird!

Swoon!!!!  I was dizzy at this point!

Sigh, what a fantastic bird to get and it has now trumped the White-winged Crossbill as my favorite bird thus far for the year.  What can I say, I LOVE my winter finches and hope I get an Evening Grosbeak before the end of the year, but it doesn't look good considering the lack of numerous reports!

We'd head to Royalston next hoping for the E Grosbeaks there and it wouldn't take me long to remember my fondness of the town which is even nicer this time of the year with the tasteful Christmas decorations adorned on every house.  I'd also stop for a photo of the barn I was drawn to last time I was there and was glad to see nothing had changed.

And the street lights I love so much considering the only time I see them besides here are the black and white movies from the 30's and 40's which is another hobby of mine.

We'd strike out on the Evening Grosbeaks at the center of town so went to another area these birds can be somewhat reliable at.

With a couple of stops in between of course including a stop to get a picture of the sheep above who was actually running to meet up with his flock.  It would be running and baahing at the same time which made for not only good pictures but laughs as well!

And a stop to look at Mount Monadnock as the view was phenomenal.  Until next year my friend!

We'd finally make it to our destination and I'd be very happy to find yet another friend- this very cute and cooperative cow!  We'd get out of the truck and walk the street some and be disappointed to not see any Evening Grosbeaks, but we did see some Common Redpolls as well as the regular winter feeder birds.

It would also be here that I'd realize the place I want to live when I retire.  Don't give me Florida or the beach or anything fancy like that, just put me on the land above with a modest house with the view of Mount Monadnock from my kitchen window (should mention there's a pond in view too).  I'd be in my element all year round with the beauty and wild life and have the winter finches anytime I wanted in the winter and probably coming right to my feeders no less!

It would also be here that I realized why I love Royalston so much as it reminds me of the place my father grew up in Rose, New York near the Canadian border.  After my father died, we didn't get out there as much as my mother was raising us on her own and she was a city girl and brought us up the same way but as soon as I saw the rolling cornfields and cows along the interstate I knew we were close to grandmas house and her chocolate chip cookies, vegetable garden, tree house and dill pickles she had canned that she told me were my fathers favorite.  I'd cry everytime we had to leave and head back to over crowded Worcester so like to think my tendency to garden, can and be out in the woods is a gift my father gave me before he passed away.   We'd leave Royalston but not before making one last stop.

Which would be Wachusett Reservoir where I'd be thrilled to not only get the Common Goldeneye, but the Barrow's as well, which made for a productive day with three FOY birds including a wonderful lifer!

Lastly,  some of you may have noticed I've cut back on my blogging some and plan to continue the rest of the year as I'm in "the zone" with getting things done around the house and doing more of my canning including my dijon mustard that came out FABULOUS and averaged about $1.25 a jar vs. the $4.00 or more you'd pay at the grocery store!

I wouldn't stop at that though and decided to can some marinated mushrooms to go with the prime rib Christmas Day.  One jar is already eaten (for sampling) and have to say they are even better than the Pastene ones I normally buy for $7.00 a jar vs my price of $$2.25 per jar!  Woot.

And just to prove how frugal I am let me introduce you to an "old school" way of being green.  The bottle to the right are lavender scraps from my garden harvest this year as well as some fresh rosemary I have in my house along side the lemon peel I used to dress up my pal the chicken to the left.  All you do is add any of your chosen scraps to white wine vinegar and put it in a dark place for 2 to 3 weeks and then voilla!  instant cleaning solution in a spray bottle for your counter tops.  Now that the green movement is trendy people fork over big bucks for fru-fru things such as this when all they have to do is re-use which is what the green movement should be in the first place (not consuming more).  I do have a feeling my Grandma Allen would approve. ;-)

Take care all.

1 comment:

Dawn Puliafico said...

Love that bird! Waiting for my turn!

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