We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
No, I am not referring to Washington, DC. I am referring to one of the smallest North American birds, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.
Yesterday was classic New England weather - 50 degrees and clear in the morning, 70 degrees, drizzling and calm at noon, then branch-breaking wind gusts with a 25 degree temperature drop at 4 pm. By night-time, it felt like fall had truly arrived, and today it was clear and crisp, and the maples showed some red.
All day long, small flocks of Kinglets were fluttering around the shrubs, and poking into the sedum, outside my window. Close enough that you could occasionally get a slight glimpse of the red crown, if they tilted their heads in the right way. But, basically, you cannot count on that as an identifying feature.
These drab, tiny warbler-like guys - but smaller than warblers - weigh about a quarter of an ounce, lay clutches of 12 eggs (a clutch can easily weigh more than the mother), and winter wherever the temperatures stay above 25 degrees. The flocks outside my window are working their way south, but I hope they will hang around for a while.
They must have had a good breeding year up in the coniferous forests, because I have never seen so many.