Finally, at long last the marigolds I planted from seed are blooming. I don't know what took them so long! This one reminds me of a Latin dancer's skirt.
So, today, when I have so much work to do, I keep finding myself distracted by what is going on outdoors. Below is a snap of the part of my backyard I see when I walk out my back door and look up. Notice the sky is white? Very characteristic. There is a Tennessee Williams play where a character says the sky is like a big clean white sheet of paper. This was another one of those white Southern sky days.
But here is why I was distracted. The bird activity in these trees today has been incredible! It started off early, when I heard this guy laughing. He is a pileated woodpecker--pretty rare. I can't believe I got a picture of him. He is a really big bird--about 15 inches. His beak is like a pencil. He's the Woody Woodpecker bird, with a big red crest and loud laugh. Today there were a pair of them hanging out banging on the pines around my house.
It was a truly woodpecker day. I also saw several downy woodpeckers, a red belly woodpecker, and a couple of flickers. Either there are a lot of insects right now, or the sap is running. And it wasn't only woodpeckers; I was very excited to see some female American redstarts. These are little birds who flick up their tails and show the colorful underside--in females yellow.
As you can see, I am a bit of a birder. I don't have a lot of pictures because as you know if you watch birds, it sometimes is all you can do to fix your binoculars on the little guys before they flit away. And of course, my camera isn't really all that good for close ups.