img_2257.jpgOn a previous blog, Mr. Green Jeans and his annual seeding of the fields was the topic.

Yesterday, was the day for spreading the chicken litter, aka manure, aka poop!!! That cloud following our neighbor’s tractor is not dust, but billowing clouds of aromatic, dried chicken poo!

I have to admit, thankfully, this year’s spreading was not as fragrant as last year’s. Maybe because the weather was cooler, and the heat and humidity were not there to cook the manure! While walking the fields later in the day, with the dogs, the smell was apparent, but not obnoxious. One of the dogs could not believe what he was smelling, and all his obedience training left his brain and his nose took over!  His scent hound heritage ruled, and it was all we could do to keep him from rolling and /or eating the stuff!

Now our fields are seeded, fertilized, and just waiting for rain! That, we are learning, is the farmer’s lot- waiting and praying for rain. The weather channel is a must in our house!

While the neighbor was fertilizing, I took care of the horses. I  walked around the side of the barn and noticed something moving on the shale and slate by the barn door. There was a tiny little bird, walking along and shivering. He moved just fast enough to stay out of my reach, but did not attempt to fly away. I backed up a little and spoke soothingly while I dug out my camera. Finally, I did actually HAVE the camera with me when I needed it!

My new little avian friend was apparently not well, a little fluffed up- his eyes were clear, but not completely opened. He stopped shivering and started walking, while a mate hovered nearby. He walked under the pickup truck then over to the grassy area. Fortunately, he did start to eat, so that was a good sign. I followed at a polite distance for some time, and then left him alone. Years ago, I would have attempted a rescue, but now, I watch nature from a distance, and try not to interfere. Unless I am really needed or know I can help, I tend to let nature take its course.

When I went inside, I looked up the little guy (or girl) in my Peterson Field Guide and on the internet. He appears to be a White Crowned Sparrow, who winters in this area and parts southwest, and spends the rest of the year in the northernmost parts of Canada to breed. Their song is one I have often heard here, and from what I read, the area they are from can often be identified by the dialect. Now, mind you, I could not do that- I am still depending on my Audubon clock to help me identify the voices of different birds. I am getting better at it- I can identify the birds of 1 o’clock, 2,3, 4, 5,7, and 12 o’clock!

 I like to think positively and hope the little White Crowned Sparrow recovered and went on his way, but I was glad to have been allowed to get close enough to observe and get pictures.