Life with the Family Around Pearl River
May 9-10, 2016
We had settled into Judy's spare bedroom when we had arrived on Saturday and were very appreciative of her hospitality and the chance to visit with her. Every morning we enjoyed the birds that came to her bird feeders, and that made us feel right at home since watching the birds is one thing we do every morning at home.
We really enjoyed her bold pair of towhees that came every morning. We have a couple of pairs at home, but we mainly just hear them - they are really shy and stay under the bushes. The male on the left appears to have an insect, but we mostly saw them eating the seed and suet that Judy provided.
Judy also had more brown thrashers visiting her feeders. We see them occasionally at our house, but they like Marty's house down the street much better. Here they liked the suet that Judy put out and would fly up to peck some suet loose and then go back to the ground, showing their preference for ground feeding.
The other birds who visited were old friends from around our feeders as well. The behavior of the red bellied woodpecker was significantly different from ours at home. He would hang on the gutter of the house and fly to her hummingbird feeder. It was open enough that he could get some of the sweet solution in it. That was interesting - we don't have anything like that.The information about him is that he sometimes eats tree sap, so maybe this "sap-sucking" was similar to that of his cousin, the yellow-bellied sapsucker.
Judy had three feeders, but they were being regularly raided by a rowdy group of squirrels. We entered into a war against the squirrels, with questionable outcome. I'm inclined to bet on the squirrels, even when I'm the one doing battle against them. They are amazingly agile, clever and persistent (not to mention hungry). Our first step was to get some pepper suet, and that did pretty well shut them down on the suet feeders. I had had success at home with aluminum discs on the poles, but all I had was thin aluminum pie pans. I put a couple up, and they went right by them as shown at right in the photo above. My next step was a baffle made of aluminum sheet riveted together in a cone, and from the pictures bottom left above, I left them looking puzzled. However, it was reported to me that at least one squirrel had gotten past that baffle, so the war is still on.
May 11, 2016
On Wednesday before Ashleigh's graduation, we had the rare opportunity to get the whole family together for a picture at Jeff's house. Rod, Brenda,Darla, Jordan, Ashleigh, Jeff, Elyse and Mark.
It was great to get Uncle Mark together with the girls. This is on the back patio. This is the first time Mark had been to Jeff's house in Pearl River.
We were also looking for and opportunity to get a picture of Jeff's whole family, so that worked out well at supper time as well.
Everyone was scrambling around to get ready for the graduation, but we managed to get this picture of Darla, Ashleigh and Jordan in their nice black dresses before they rushed out the door. Darla as a faculty member at Pearl River High School had to robe up for the procession and sit with the graduates. Jordan as a junior at the High School was helping to usher. After they all left, Mark, Cindi and Jeff went together to the Northshore Harbor Center for the event. Brenda and I picked up Judy and proceeded to the Harbor Center for Ashleigh's graduation.
May 12, 2016
After joining Elyse at Riverside Elementary for their awards program, we spent some time at Jeff's house. Jeff and Darla had responsibilities at the reception on the NOBTS campus, so we got together with the girls and Mark and Cindi to go to dinner at Carretta's, one of their favorites. We enjoyed a nice Mexican dinner and got this family picture afterward.
May 13, 2016
We got to take Elyse to her Friday afternoon riding lesson and enjoyed the time with her. She rides mostly English style, but near t he end of the lesson rode a bit bareback as shown above right.
Elyse took her horse around the field a number of times with different gaits, and even over a low barrier under Mrs Cookie's careful supervision.
May 14, 2016
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