At first the birds were avoiding our back yard like the plague. I guess the flamingos I got for my birthday looked too menacing. After tossing birdseed at the feet of the flamingos we got our first visitor. A bright red cardinal.
The quail are still wary and they walk on the opposite side of the yard — as far away from the flamingos as possible.
Here’s are other views from the week:
Sunset on a cloudy day.
I loved how the sunset reflected on the trees.
A view of snow covered hills on a morning walk in the neighborhood.
The cardinal hanging out on a rock.
Other exciting news. We got our dishwasher installed. We got the solar approved. I turned on the breakers to the solar and the house didn’t blow up. I was more than concerned about that!
I went to a lunch with a very energizing and encouraging speaker. I almost groaned when the waiters served the typical chicken lunch. But it was the best chicken banquet meal I’ve ever had. Tender, juicy and flavorful with tons of veggies. Good speaker, good lunch. I feel spoiled.
What are some of the highlights from your week so far?
I’ll keep this short. We have a planned power outage today for an upgrade to our electrical panel. It’s four to five hours without electricity. Who knows? That’s why I’m powerless today. I’m using my iphone as a hotspot to write this post. I want to conserve my iphone and laptop battery until the power is back on — so I won’t ramble on too much. FYI the upgrade has to do with solar panels.
As far as my Bird Buddy goes, I haven’t been posting any photos lately because a covey of quail jumped on it all at once and the bird feeder flew off the fence into the wash. The solar panel roof hit hard on the ground, popped off and the usb-c connection broke in half.
I contacted Bird Buddy to see if I could get a new cord, but they said I needed to order a new solar panel roof. They sent me a code for a discount, but the solar panel roof isn’t expected to ship until late February or early March. Also, we need to find a better place for the Bird Buddy so it’s stable and can’t be knocked over by wind or greedy feeding birds.
If your power is out, what’s do you miss using the most?
When you don’t have electricity, do you find yourself forgetting the power is out and try to use something like the microwave? I found myself hitting the lights in the dark bathroom.
I brought the Bird Buddy AI feeder inside until after Christmas. I found it on the ground one morning after our GIla Woodpeckers were hanging on it upside down and got it to slide with their weight. It’s strapped on the fence with a velcro strap that came with it, but it’s not secure — obviously!
We decided to cement a pole into the ground and do away with the velcro sliding strap. That was the project for last weekend, but I got sick. I think we’ll wait until after Christmas when we return home after spending a few days with family.
In the meantime, I bought some “critter crunch” bird seed and tossed a scoop on the ground. The quail went nuts!
You can visit my Instagram @e.a.wickham to view quail dancing to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” I didn’t know how to add music to the video on WordPress or I would have.
I’m not decorating for Christmas this year, so I’m looking to wildlife to make it festive!
Does anyone know how to add music to photos or videos on WordPress? If so, can you share?
If you have an Instagram account, would you share it in the comments so I can follow you?
A Gilded Flicker who visited my Bird Buddy feeder.
I received a notification to update my Bird Buddy AI feeder. That’s when the trouble began. The update stopped halfway through the process. I read the instructions on the app. It said to press the on button until you got a flashing green light. I pressed and got a red flashing light.
Then the app said my bird feeder was offline. I spent the better part of a day fiddling with it. In order to do the update, the helpful notes said to fully charge the camera unit.
I brought the Bird Buddy inside, unscrewed the camera and plugged it in for hours.
I won’t go through all the things I tried repeatedly. But I finally decided I should do a factory reset. I was quite upset, because the Bird Buddy has given me lots of joy the past few weeks. I’d be frustrated to have it break already.
I wrote about Bird Buddy HERE and posted bird photos on Thanksgiving.
The Bird Buddy has to pair with Bluetooth on your phone. It also has to be connected to WiFI. I couldn’t get either to work. It worked until I tried the update.
Fortunately, the app has a troubleshooting tab and I went through the steps. It turns out I had inadvertently done a factory reset by pressing the button too long — getting the red flashing light.
I had to unpair the Bird Buddy from my Bluetooth and remove my feeder from the App. Then I started over as if it was a new feeder and Voila! It works again.
I bought a Bird Buddy for my soon to be 91-year-old dad. I will set it up for him and hopefully he won’t have issues with updates!
With electronic devices, are you handy at figuring them out or do you let someone else in your family fix issues? What frustrates you about electronics?
We saw this styrofoam on our walk. This is on the other side of the road from where we cleaned up last week.
As I wrote last week, we decided to have a quiet weekend without cooking, cleaning and entertaining.
It was lovely. We’ve been entertaining and going out with friends more than introvert me prefers. I don’t know why our neighborhood is so darn social. Maybe it’s the years of being shut down. The newcomers — like us — who moved during the pandemic were looking to end isolation and make new friends.
Anyhow, a weekend alone was much needed and appreciated.
Some of the highlights were our morning and afternoon walks. We decided to double up on walking and although my feet and knees hurt, I think it may be good for me?
Last week, we noticed trash on the side of the road and sidewalk. We picked up several bags and felt good about our good deed. I wrote about that HERE. After this weekend, we are up to eight bags of trash. The side of the road we started on looks wonderful. But then one day we ventured to the other side of the road — and it’s a mess!
As we were headed back to our garbage cans at our house with our stuffed bags and my husband holding random pieces of styrofoam too big for the bags, we ran into neighbors. They said they thought about doing the same thing. The wife asked her husband to take a photo of us holding our trash! She said, “You can put it in the newsletter and maybe it will encourage others to do the same.”
“That’s a great idea,” the husband said snapping our picture. “We’ll put you guys in the newsletter.”
I laughed along with the wife. He obviously didn’t know that I’m the one who writes and lays out the newsletter.
After they left my husband said, “Over my dead body.”
He explained that he likes to pick up trash because it makes the desert cleaner and it gives him a sense of satisfaction. He doesn’t want any recognition or attaboys for it. Thankfully, he doesn’t read my blog!
Another highlight of our afternoon walks, besides listening to the birds, who I can now identify by their calls and songs — thanks to Bird Buddy — was when a neighbor drove up the road and unrolled her window.
“Down across the street is a big bobcat,” she said.
We thanked her and I wanted to turn around. My husband pushed on. “They are afraid of us,” he said.
We walked to the end of the block and a few feet from us was a bobcat — who is much stockier and filled out than the skinny one we see in our yard. He walked nonchalantly across the road. He was in no rush and didn’t give us a glance. My husband tried to snap his picture — for the newsletter of course — but he quickly disappeared in the brush on the other side of the road.
This is our skinny bobcat on our patio. She passes through for a bird snack from time to time.
Saturday night we watched football. But in two different rooms. I’m a big Utah Utes fan. My husband is rooting for USC and both games were on Saturday night.
USC is already headed to the PAC 12 champs, regardless of what happened Saturday.
Utah had a few hurdles:
They had to beat CO — done 63-21
Oregon State had to beat Oregon — done 38-34
UCLA had to beat CAL — done 35 – 28
Washington had to beat Washington State — done 51 – 33
All the dominoes fell into place. Can you believe it? Our next game is Utah vs. USC for the conference title. I have a feeling we’ll be watching in separate rooms again.
What are some of the simple pleasures you enjoyed this past weekend?
Here are some bird photos from my Bird Buddy Gallery. The Bird Buddy is an AI bird feeder that my son was involved with bringing to market.
The first three photos are Gila Woodpeckers.
The Bird Buddy arrived last week and I’ve been having a blast with it. I am learning about the species of birds who hang out in our backyard. The app on my phone IDs the birds, gives me information about them and has recordings of the their songs and calls.
I decided not to cook this Thanksgiving, but we will go out for a simple meal. We’ve hosted Thanksgiving for most of the past 30 years and I don’t feel like doing the shopping, the prep, the cooking, inviting guests and cleaning up.
So instead of turkey, I’m sharing my Thanksgiving birds in my yard with my fellow bloggers and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving! What are your plans for Thanksgiving?