A Room with a View

Even though I spend much of my day sitting at the computer gazing in despair at all of the continually horrifying headlines, I often end up turning instead to watch the various birds and squirrels enjoying our bird feeders.  Right now we just have two feeders:  one is set up about six or seven feet outside the computer room windows; the second is maybe fifteen to twenty feet beyond the first.  In addition, I sprinkle some seed under the feeders for the ground-feeding birds, plus I put a layer of seed on the bench on the back deck.

So far this season, the usual suspects have been hanging out each day:  cardinals, mourning doves, chickadees, titmice, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, blue jays, grackles, starlings, a family of groundhogs, and the ubiquitous gray squirrels.  In addition, we’ve had a couple of newcomers visiting recently – a male and a female turkey have wandered through separately, but only the female stopped to snack on the seed, and she’s come back more than once.  Red squirrels started encroaching on the gray squirrels’ territory last year, so I’m seeing a few of them in the last week or so.  And we’ve had another bird visiting that I’ve only seen once or twice before in my life, despite their supposedly being ‘common’ in our area: a rufous-sided towhee (aka ‘Eastern Towhee’), which looks like this:

I’ve been very pleased to see that, in addition to the smaller downy woodpeckers, a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers have become regular visitors, particularly enjoying ‘perching’ on the edge of the bench where the seed is easier to access than at the feeders.  A pair of them is shown in the brief video below – turn on the sound for both videos so that you can hear the birdcalls, most of which I’ve recognized for much of my life.



The few times we’ve been able to open the window, listening to the birds has been a distinct pleasure and distraction during this time of ‘shelter-at-home’.  And when I listen to them, I can’t help thinking about our dear departed friend Ebb (“ebb and flow”, “to ebb and flow”) and her love of all things “on the wing or under the sea.”  I miss her serene outlook, her insightful empathy, and her beautiful soul

This thread is dedicated to the memory of Ebb, whose spirit is flying free.

Open Thread – enjoy this little oasis whenever you need to.

28 thoughts on “A Room with a View

  1. It throws you a little bit when you look at the TV, and you see the logo for a local station in the lower corner of the screen, right next to the MSNBC logo. We apparently made the national news on Rachel Maddow, no less.

      • The one about drive by parades at nursing homes. I had to wait until the replay at 11pm to see it again. It was about 15 minutes into the program. It was WAFF – TV, channel 48. That’s our NBC affiliate here in Huntsville.

        • Ah, thank you, I did see that, I just didn’t remember the different places Rachel showed.

          There’s a nursing home just up the road from us, but I have no idea how it’s been affected by the pandemic. It’s up a big hill, and I’ve only ever seen the sign for it at the bottom of the hill. The sign now has a big “:HEROES WORK HERE” banner draped across it.

          I got a shock last week in the same way, when I saw a piece that included doctors from Saint Joseph Hospital in Yonkers, which is where I was born. I had to stop and think, are any of my relatives still living in Yonkers?

  2. It really is this simple…

  3. Fifteen years ago I was at the hospital getting a rotator cuff repaired. 05/05/2005. Not a hard date to recall.

  4. A commenter at Raw Story posted this nice summary:

    Phase 0 – “Oblivious phase”
    Too busy w/ golf, locking kids in cages, gas-lighting rallies, & exacting Senate trial vengeance

    Phase 1 – “Inepitude phase”
    Tries to con his way thru this; continues golf, rallies, only downplays to nation & misses gravity of situation

    Phase 2 – “Incompetence phase”
    Understands situation but hoping he can just bravado-talk his way through this. ‘Numbers will go to zero’

    Phase 3 – “Failure phase”
    Unbridled perpetual lying, down playing, ignoring, blundering, doing everythiing but taking appropriate action.

    Phase 4 – “Denial phase”
    Things are bad & getting worse, but Trump denies any accountability or responsibility

    Phase 5 – “Danger phase”
    Puts economy over lives and tries to force people/states to reopen country (King-like powers rhetoric)

    Phase 6 – “Distance phase”
    Put responsibility on governors to reopen then lobs h8 tweets as they try to lead and stokes protestors

    Phase 7 – “Deflection phase”
    Shuts down testing (no test results = no bad news), blames his failures on CDC, WHO, China, on & on

    Phase 8 – “Dereliction phase”
    Try to shut down briefings, blocks CDC reports, blocks congressional oversight, blames everyone, accepts no responsibility, yells at a nurse invited to his office for simply saying her facility still needs PPEs.

    Note – through all of these phases, Trump never A) starts doing the right thing B) stops locking kids in cages C) starts wearing a mask even w/ his security staff and aids coming down with COVID left-right-center D) stops painting his vanity wall E) starts acting like a leader of/by/for the people F) stops blaming everyone else G) starts acting like he anything other than a supreme and callous grifting sociopath.

    I think that last phase should be called the “Cover-up” phase, but otherwise it’s pretty spot-on.

  5. I got my $1200 by direct deposit this morning. I entered my info at the .gov website on May 2nd, so it took 11 days for it to process.

  6. Interesting. Chris Hayes is on and according to my guide, his show started at 6:30, 7:30 EDT, and runs an hour and a half.

  7. The Rs always whine a lot about their big business donor class needing ‘certainty’. If they actually approved these stimulus measures to keep cash flow in the economy, they shoot that effort in the foot, when they announce an unwillingness to extend stimulus measures for the working class, when we are hoarding any money we get to make it last as long as possible. Had they approved a second round of unemployment supplement, and maybe a subsidy for COBRA coverage, they would have gone a long way to helping the economy maintain a little ‘certainty’. Based on rules that applied during the 2008-2009 recession, the unemployment rate is clearly high enough to justify Federal unemployment extensions until the rate drops below the designated threshhold.

  8. How far into the Biden Presidency do you think we’ll go before Joe wears a long red tie, while leaving his coat open? 😉

  9. This came out in 1976, and was apparently #1 on the disco charts at the time. I can’t remember ever hearing it at the time.

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