Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Mystery..

IMG_5408a by chipnjo1999
IMG_5408a, a photo by chipnjo1999 on Flickr.

Where in St. Louis am I?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yogi Berra House

Yogi Berra House
Originally uploaded by chipnjo1999
Got a chance to get back down to The Hill neighborhood in St. Louis, MO, today again. This area is rich in Italian, Catholic tradition. From fire hydrants painted like the Italian flag to the Italian cuisine, The Hill is an area classified as "must see" for any tourist coming to St. Louis for a visit.

"Shotgun" housing used to be more commonplace here, but has given way to some renovation as the area modernizes with the times. The term "shotgun house" comes from the design of the structure. A long, narrow house with either a single hallway down one side or no hallway at all allowed urban legend to state you could step in the front door, fire a shotgun straight through the middle of the house and out the back door, and not do any damage to the home or it's rooms.

The Hill was home to many Italian immigrants starting around the turn of the 20th century. Not wealthy, these families clung to their communities through some of the tougher times this country, and city, has faced. Where most communities lose their tradition and "keep up with the Jones'," not The Hill. The hold very close to their roots.

Above, is the childhood home of legendary Yankee, Yogi Berra. Yogi lived directly across the street from another Yankee legend, Joe Garagiola. Buddies in childhood, their homes are both honored with plaques out front making them easy to find as you drive around the neighborhood on Elizabeth St.

For more information on this and other St. Louis neighborhoods, check out the following link to my Flickr account and read the descriptions of my "collections," "sets," and individual photos.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

White-Crowned Sparrow

White-Crowned Sparrow
Originally uploaded by chipnjo1999
Saw my first ever White-Crowned Sparrow yesterday. There was a pair under my feeder and scratching through the mulch.

I did some research online and found they are not permanent to the St. Louis area. They winter here and farther south, but breed up in Canada. The only resident WCSparrows are in the Pacific Northwest.

They start appearing in April here, but peak in May. By Memorial Day, they are extremely scarce. So, I hope to see these guys this winter along with my Juncos. They were neat to watch for the 10 minutes I had the chance.

I haven't had a chance to get my feeder station plans moving forward. But, pics will follow when I do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Here come the Finches..

Originally uploaded by chipnjo1999
I frequently see American Goldfinches now (here the female is on left and the male is on the right) along with a male House Finch.

Lately, the bird traffic has been on the light side. But, we have also had very stormy weather for the past few days. Here are some shots of the storm's damage.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shed Demolition..

Shed Demolition..
Originally uploaded by chipnjo1999

Last weekend the shed came down. Yay! I hope to get this mess cleaned up soon. However, work is making things tough. Yay, again!

The new shed is a slow-going process, but will be located off the frame to the right along the BACK of the yard. The reason I emphasize "back" is because the fools before us put their shed right smack in the middle of the backyard. I doubt I will offend anyone when I call these folks complete idiots. Once cleared away, I will plant grass seed where the old shed was. And, we will add some Forsythia bushes to frame the new shed next spring. All along the back fence will be a wildflower garden with Shasta Daisies, Black-eyed Susans, Echinechea, Purple Coneflower, and a variety of Sunflowers (that hopefully get huge). The idea is to attract birds and butterflies, and provide some nesting supplies near my bird feeding stations.

I hope to have my own wild bird sanctuary in a couple of years right in my backyard.

More details to follow....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Time Is Limited

I just wanted to say that my time is limited right now. I have been busy....very busy.

The bird feeder station renovation is beginning. I have removed my ugly shed. I now have two nice piles of wood and debris in the yard. Maybe tomorrow I will put up a pic or two. I need to get this trash hauled off, though, before it rains because I have some things that are now exposed to the my stash of fertilizer. Haha..I had a bag of quick-set concrete that apparently got wet, and is now a 50lb block of rock. That was a nice discovery today.

I have also bought a nyjer feeding sock for the finches. Yes, I spent $35 on a nice, durable metal mesh nyjer feeder. But, the birds don't seem to care for it. So, I wanted to buy something to compare. Day 3 and I have a pair of Amercian Goldfinches, and a House Finch, that can't leave the sock alone. I caught the Goldfinch male on it three times this morning alone. And, if they were visiting the other feeder while I wasn't looking (doubtful), they prefer the sock since that is all I see them feeding on. I may switch some of the feed to see if it's a "freshness" thing, but something tells me it's the style of feeder. The goal, however, is to get them used to feeding from the station, and pull the sock, leaving them with nothing but the other feeder. Maybe they will get "hooked" on the nyjer seed in this specific location and keep coming around. If not, I will need to sell the other feeder just to get some of the money back. I am not fond of wasting $35.

Now, I have to get some pics up

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Originally uploaded by chipnjo1999
April 8th.. Saw usual suspects in the morning. But, I put up a Nyjer Sock yesterday, to compare with my other Nyjer feeder, and it got more attention today. I saw a Goldfinch pair both feeding at the same time, and I saw my first House Finch this year. The House Finch was feeding while the Cardinal pair was feeding on the sunflower feeder. The Cardinals jumped to the ground where the male fed the female by mouth again. A squirrel came out of a tree, and, suddenly, all four bolted for the trees. I thought my dog was nearby, but it was the Red-Shouldered Hawk doing a fly through of the yard. Apparently, the hawk has discovered the feeder, too. That may explain a little of the birds’ anxieties. LOL, the squirrel didn’t flinch even an ear for 5 minutes.