Thursday, 25 August 2016

Lawn Service

We finally received some much needed rain, bringing an end to months of oppressive heat and severe drought. Our brittle lawns no longer crackle under foot and the air has a wonderful, freshly laundered fragrance. 

Starlings, grackles and red-winged blackbirds have vacated these summer breeding grounds and are now further south. Among our remaining birds is a colourful woodpecker, the Northern Flicker. Over the past few weeks, a female of the yellow-shafted variety has been providing me with a complimentary lawn service of pest control and soil aeration.

Bill deep in my patchy lawn, she probes for edibles.

You can see why this flicker is the yellow-shafted version.

She pulls out an item that might be a spider.

A quick check for danger before resuming her treasure hunt.

Jackpot! A plump and juicy grub. Sweet!


  1. I love watching the birds clean up the lawn...we don't use pesticides or herbicides so we have lots of weeds and bugs.

  2. What a luscious green patch full of goodies, she is a beauty.

  3. I love it! "complimentary lawn service" I was watching robins, the grasshoppers were backlight by the sun, and it was so funny watching try escape!!! We still have grackles. Now that you mention it, no blackbirds. Jays and robins in the water fountain bathing, though!

  4. I love norther flickers and finally had one trolling the front lawn at our old place. I find them rather shy (perhaps cautious because they have to be on the ground) so how nice to get such wonderful photos. Florence, early morning last week, glancing out my kitchen window I watched two fox cross the property...young, a little small but looking gloriously red and healthy in the morning sunlight. The sight of them is still in my mind's eye.

    1. Oh, Jocelyn, what a glorious sight those foxes must have been. I can just imagine them. Often the very best pictures are the ones without a camera but captured by our eyes alone and imbedded forever in our minds.


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