Orioles at Orange Slices, Bird in the Chimney

Not the sports team, but the oriole birds have been daily visitors for about a week now. Orioles are a species that had been on my sighting wish list since we moved to the Ozarks. They migrate through our area on their way to Maryland (I suppose they’re going to Maryland-isn’t that where the team’s home is?).

Baltimore Orioles

These colorful song birds do spend their summers in more northern regions but I’d never gotten to see one until this year. We’ve had about five or six of them here. Some juveniles and some females and a couple of males.

They’re very shy. I couldn’t get a good photo of them because they wouldn’t come to eat while I was outside with the camera and tripod. So I had to sit inside and shoot through the screen door. This is the best image I got:

The orioles have been visiting Wild Ozark!

Some of my local friends tell me that they really love grape jelly, but I didn’t have any of that. So I sliced oranges for them and they loved that too.

Other birds we’ve spotted this spring include rose-breasted grosbeak, blue grosbeak, American goldfinch, and heard but not seen the tanagers. There’s also the usual birds like blue jays, cardinals, flickers, indigo buntings, and woodpeckers. The phoebe who builds a nest on the porch has been working on freshening it up.

Bird in the Stove

This afternoon when I came in from working in the ginseng habitat nursery and garden, I heard something fluttering around in the living-room. Turned out a bird had gone down the chimney and landed in the wood-stove. Good thing there was no fire going! I took it out, checked for injury and turned it loose on the front porch. It flew so hard and fast it was over the trees and up to the mountain on the other side of the creek in no time. Apparently it was glad to be free.

I opted not to torture the poor thing long enough to get my camera out to take a picture of it. I’m not sure what kind it was,  but it was blue with a rosy chest. I thought it might be a blue bird, but it was pretty soot-covered and I didn’t want to scare it to the point of having a heart attack by cleaning it up, so I just let it go. It would make more sense had it been a chimney swift. Seemed too small to be a blue bird, too, but then I’ve never held one in my hands before to know how they feel. The only other birds with blue on them here are the indigo buntings and grosbeaks, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t either of those.


First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.

Nature Farming


Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


2 thoughts on “Orioles at Orange Slices, Bird in the Chimney

    1. Thanks 🙂 The only yellow birds I know of out here are American goldfinch. The males are very bright yellow with black wings. Females are a bit more dingy but still yellowish.

Info or feedback to share?