He’s back!

Napoleon, the boss hummingbird is back, having made a successful trans-Gulf flight from his winter quarters in Mexico or south Florida. He went right to where the feeder had been hanging the last few summers. Took a few minutes this morning to make some nectar and give the feeder an overdue scrub. Not long afterward, a second hummingbird appeared.

Napoleon surveys his domain in the Arkansas Ouachitas from the bottom half of our flag staff. We took the top half, with flag, inside in anticipation of some heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week.
Napoleon surveys his domain in the Arkansas Ouachitas from the bottom half of our flag staff. (We took the top half, with flag, inside in anticipation of some heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week.)

Equal parts water and dirt

Alternating stripes of water and dirt mark a field awaiting a crop in the Arkansas Delta along U.S. 165.

Water filled rows in the Delta.
ROWS– Frequent rain in the last few weeks has filled the rows and ditches of farmfields in the Delta. Some fields looked more like lakes. While it may mean frustration to farmers who want to plant, the local ducks, geese, frogs and the herons who eat them, aren’t minding a bit.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Hummingbirds are a regular fixture in the spring and summer here on the mountain. The dominant bird finds the spot with the most commanding view leaving only to chase other birds away from the feeder.

CHECK ME OUT – Napoleon, the summer’s big bird, in full fluff atop the staff that usually carries the flag. 
IN FLIGHT — Hummingbird leaves his perch.

Local color

Some random shots of local color.

CATERPILLAR - Wandering around the driveway.
SUMMER TANAGER -- He's back and he's red. Hard to miss him in the canopy.
DAISY -- Shadows of taller wildflowers fall across the daisy's face.
ORANGE -- Tiny flower peers up from the grass.
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS -- Grapes ready to bloom.
FLASH OF RED -- Ruby-throated hummingbird shows his colors from his favorite perch in the sumac.

Where the snow geese are

The farmland of the Arkansas Delta is wonderful place for migratory birds to stop. The harvested rice fields hold grain that escaped the combine and many farmers let the fields flood with winter rain to attract ducks and geese.

SEA OF GEESE -- Snow geese take over a field in Prairie Co., between Carlisle and Hazen. Thousands of birds filled the winter-dormant farmland at the southern end of their commute down the Mississippi Flyway. Many more fields like this one flanked U.S. 70.

Wood ducks

With the arrival of spring, the buffleheads, our winter guests, have gone, and the returning pair of geese, are returning fewer times. This morning, a pair of wood ducks were plowing Vs in the lake surface.

 

Wood ducks cruise the pond.
A pair of wood ducks cruises the pond recently vacated by wintering birds.