Thursday, December 6, 2007

Downy Woodpecker

A beautiful day dawned, with the sun shining brightly for most of it, but we worried it might not be a good day in the end.
Last night, Simba couldn't stand up, and this morning was no different. She didn't seem to be in pain, and we wondered if she might have suffered a stroke. She's nearly fourteen years old, so anything's possible.

Romie came home from work so we could take her to the vet, since I couldn't lift a 60-pound dog into the van by myself. When he lifted her up, she was able to stand, but very shakily. Dr. Kleman checked her over and determined she was having back pain about midway back. A cortisone injection and oral medication for the next few days may be all that's needed. She's already moving around much better!

When we got home, I walked around the yard because it was such a pretty day. Temperatures were in the high twenties and there was barely a breeze, so with the sun shining, it was quite nice out there. I heard a woodpecker above me and when I looked up, there he was, pecking away at the shagbark hickory. We've got many different kinds of woodpeckers here and I could probably hear one pecking away every day if I really listened. This one was a male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), the smallest woodpecker in North America.

Snow still hangs heavy on most things . . .

Scotch Heather (Calluna vulgaris 'Tib') blooms hold out for a warmer day.

The Woodstock Garden Chimes, bells filled with snow,
make a winter bouquet.

Pennisetum alepocuroides 'Hameln'
is festooned with snow crystals.

Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus'
lives up to its cultivar name.

Japanese False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)

The Sweet Autumn Clematis (Clematis terniflora)
is trimmed in hoarfrost.

Radiation frost (also called hoar frost or, sometimes, hoarfrost) refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form when the air is moist, the wind is weak or absent and surfaces are cold. It is often seen on clear winter nights, especially in valleys and hollows. Hoar frost can form in these areas even when the reported temperature is above the freezing point of water.¹

The thyme seems to be unfazed by the snow that's nearly buried it.

At this point, I'm still enjoying the snow. It hasn't yet gotten dirty from cars, or taken on that weary look that it gets after it's been laying there for awhile. No mud, no crusty ice. Just fluffy, pristine, and white - Nature's meringue.

¹Wikipedia, Frost


Meems said...

Hi Kylee,
I just love the sound of the Downy at work. All your snow photos are a delight for me to view and just to think about how pretty all that white fluff would be to see everyday. This is what I love about garden blogs ---all over the globe. Kind of amazing how down here in Florida it is busy gardening season still.

Funny how your sunset photo from Dec 5 and your 'Gracillimus' photo from this post almost look like beach shots... if you didn't know.

I posted a video on my blog of a Downy working away a couple of weeks ago. I've included the link here in case you want to see it...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Love your snow pictures Kylee. Is Hoarfrost the same thing as frozen fog? Robin said they had that and the pictures looked like hoarfrost to me. I have only seen hoar frost twice. It doesn't usually get cold enough around here or the conditions are just right for it.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I want to add that I hope Simba gets to feeling better.

Kylee Baumle said...

Hi Lisa ~ Yes, frozen fog would be the same thing as hoarfrost. I actually had not heard the term "frozen fog" before. We get hoarfrost here many times when it's been foggy and the temperature is cold enough to have it form on the edges of things. It's very fragile and the slightest breeze many times blows it off. I just love it!!

Kylee Baumle said...

Thanks, Lisa. She seems to be doing so much better with the Prednisone. Now when that's done, I hope she'll still be doing as well. It's likely that she's just got arthritis and because of her age and the cold, it got the better of her.

Meems said...

Hi Kylee,
I left you a comment a few hours ago and it isn't showing up here. I hope Blogger didn't globble it ---although I am getting the follow-up comments to my e-mail... hmmmm. The mysteries of Blogger????

Anyway, I wanted to tell you I was working in my yard for the past few hours and spotted another Downy having fun on the dried wood in my trees. They are SO adorable.

I also meant to comment about Simba and hope he will be much better after the steroids give his bones a rest.

Have a great weekend!

LoveAppleFarm said...

I love the way you can evoke a mood just be using a few words to caption a photo. I also appreciate your botanical names added to the common ones. Really pretty photos.

MrBrownThumb said...


I just wanted to say the pics are fantastic as usual. I especially like the one in the previous post looking out the window at the snow.

Anonymous said...

Pam @ Digging says:

Kylee, I'm trying to figure out what your garden backs up to. In the photo of the miscanthus, is that a corn field behind you?

Kylee Baumle said...

meems ~ Yes, Blogger continues to act up. Earlier this week, I went into moderate comments and there were SIXTEEN unmoderated waiting for me! I hadn't received notice of a single one. And that's just what happened to your first comment, too. I guess I shouldn't rely on the e-mail notifications!

I saw your Downy Woodpecker video. That was really neat that you captured that!

loveapplefarm ~ Thank you for saying that! Photos speak to me. I look at them and remember just how I felt when I took them, and sometimes that's hard to put into words.

mrbrownthumb ~ Thanks! I find capturing my gardens via photography as challenging as gardening itself. And that's why it appeals to me, I think!

Pam ~ Yes, that's a big ol' cornfield back there. We are plopped right out in the middle of corn, wheat, and soybeans here in farm country. Next year there will be soybeans I think. If it were wheat, it would probably be in the ground already, unless they're going to grow summer wheat, but I doubt it. We had corn across the road this year, too.

Ewa said...

Your winter pictures are beautiful! Steady, fresh snow and sun - this is the delight of winter I like. It is exactly like on your pictures.
I hope Simba is better.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hoar frost turns the garden into a fairy land. We have those hoar frosts too but not all that often.

Cute little woodpecker, good shot!

How is Simba doing now? Old pets can be a bit of a worry as I well know.

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