Friday, June 6, 2008

Life in The Gully-Part One of Many (I hope)

Gully-A gully is a landform created by running water eroding sharply into soil, typically on a hillside. Gullies resemble large ditches or small valleys, but are meters to tens of meters in depth and width.

Yes, that's where we live, my hubby and I, in a gully created by Six Mile Creek (which runs about 100 feet from our house). We affectionately call our neighborhood, which is comprised of our home and those of four other families, The Gully. 80 feet below the main road and accessible only by a narrow and often rutted one lane dirt drive, it is truly secluded...yet only 5 minutes from our local WalMart. Yes, the best of both worlds:)

My Neighbors to the north :)

Our House

The Gully is truly idyllic and never fails to amaze me with the variety of birds and wildlife it has to offer. I guess the diverse habitat: the creek, pine-oak forest, grassy areas, marshy areas, etc... the gully is comprised of attracts this cornucopia of creatures.

Just yesterday I was walking along the drive beyond my house, which leads to my neighbor's yard, and was surprised by this green heron that flew up into a nearby tulip tree. He didn't stick around long but it was a very nice surpise to see him at all. I've seen plenty of great blues on the creek but never a green before.

I also spotted not one but two active Baltimore Oriole nests as well as two song sparrows. I think the sparrows were tending to hatchlings because they stuck close by a low shrub and occasionally flew into the shrub with a bug.

Besides these beauties I also saw a common yellow throat, a pair of scarlet tanagers, a red-eyed vireo, , a few cedar waxwings, the resident kingfisher pair(my nemesis, more on that later), the usual robins, catbirds, grosbeaks, house wrens, mourning doves, assorted sparrows, cardinals, tons of blue jays, and the list goes on and on-and this, believe it or not, was all within two hours!

I hope to get out this weekend and get a few more shots of the orioles as well as a sneaky hooded warbler who has been evading me! I'll keep you posted!

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