Backyard Birds: Red-Bellied Woodpecker

This morning when I went out to feed and tend to my backyard flock, I heard the telltale sound of a woodpecker tapping the tree in our backyard.

Red-bellied woodpecker.

 

Now that the trees mostly have dropped their leaves, you can clearly see the birds in them. The name of this woodpecker is curious to me, considering his head is red and not his belly.

Woodpecker looking for insects in the trees.

 

Thanks to my trusty telephoto lense, I was able to capture this guy. A few days ago the wide angle was the winner, today it’s the telephoto.

Red-bellied woodpeckers do not migrate south for the winter.

 

This little guy kept eyeing me. He was very chirpy to the other birds in the area that were singing their own songs. It was almost like there was an inter-species conversation going on.

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Feeding the Critters

My parents were out of town for a few days at a conference, so we had to take care of “the critters.” Today we woke up to snow and hit the high temperature for the day before noon. It was a wet snow that mostly melted by the afternoon, perfect for snowball fights and snowman building. The ground was too warm for it to stick, but it should be interesting tomorrow.

It wasn't as cold as it looks. Pretty all the same.

My husband went this morning to check on things and feed. I took the afternoon shift.

On my way out to the ranch I saw this pretty oak tree. (this was a southern-facing tree, so no snow).

Oak trees are awesome. I think this one is a post oak. Can't be sure and I wasn't going to find out for sure in my fancy pretty boots.

When I drove up, two of the four horses greeted me. The sun was going down, the wind was blowing and it was starting to get really cold.

Sugar and Bucky. I've always been partial to red roans.

They had to get a closer look …

Bucky (aka McCool) had to see for himself.
Then Sugar had to go and stick her nose in it.
I think this is such a cool photo.

Before anything can happen, I had to change my boots. Pretty, fashion boots to working-hard-rubber boots.

Taking Kelly's advice ... changed my boots before tromping around in wet manure.

My husband said he ran out of feed after the morning rounds. Before I went to the ranch I stopped and got a couple bags of feed (this was when Kelly, at the feed story, passed on friendly advice to change boots. check.). Once I opened the saddle house (aka the tack room) to get the cat food, I found, hmmm curiously, three more bags of feed.

Feed.

The barn cats are almost feral. Most can be persuaded into a little petting, but a few are very skittish around people except for my dad. He can woo almost any animal into trusting him.

Barn cats are awesome critters. The keep the mice and snakes away.

Although this fluffy Tom cat crawled on top of the saddle house and stared down at me.

Snake-killing Tom Cat says: "I'm not coming down and you can't make me."

The weaning calves were looking for a bite to eat too. They saw me and starting coming briskly to the barn. I gave them an extra dab since the cold was coming on. With an expected low in the lower 20s, a few extra cubes couldn’t hurt.

Sore thumb? Who sticks out like a sore thumb?

This corriente calf looks out of place among the black baldy/Angus calves. We’re currently eating a corriente hybrid out of our freezer—good eats!

Happy critters.

Then I went in the house to feed the indoor cats, only to find that they opted out of the litter box 😦