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A NEW LIFE AT TRILLIUM WOODS

August 14, 2015

You’ve not heard from me recently – over a year, actually! We’ve retired from our jobs and from living in South Florida, where we both grew up and lived most of our lives. We are now living in and enjoying our small cabin and large barn on about 25 acres of mostly hardwood forest and creeks at what we call “Trillium Woods’. We’ve spent summers here for over 30 years, but seeing all the leaves fall off the trees in October and all come back on again in April and May is amazing! We are at about 2800 feet elevation and located in the Nantahala National Forest of Western North Carolina. If we get up to a nearby peak at Hooper Bald, we can see the Great Smoky Mountains National Park off to the north of us. And we are about a half hour away from the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness Area.

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Our new “birdventure” is right here at Trillium Woods – keeping track of what comes to our feeders, such as the resident Tufted Titmice, Carolina Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Mourning Doves, American Goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

During the winter the Dark-eyed Juncos and Winter Wrens come down from the higher elevations and stay here for a couple of months. The Cherokee Indians who live nearby have always called the Juncos the snowbirds, and one of the ranges nearby are the Snowbird Mountains. The Winter Wrens seem to like the nooks and crannies of the warm barn during cold spells, and occasionally Phil has to help one find its way out. One delight is hearing their tinkling musical song once in a while during their stay.

We also have resident Wood Thrushes, Pileated Woodpeckers, Broad-winged Hawks, Downy Woodpeckers, Louisiana Waterthrushes, Hooded Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Parula Warblers, Black and White Warblers, Eastern Towhees, American Crows, Yellow-throated Warblers, Ovenbirds, and more to be discovered.

During fall migration last year we had up to 10 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks visiting our feeders – at one time! The biggest challenge with our new life, though, is learning the bird calls, since many of them hang out high up in the treetops out of sight – one of the problems of living in a forest. Fortunately, I have an app on my iPhone that has the calls, and I wander down our road listening hard, then try to match the call with something on my phone. It’s a slow process, but a nice way to spend a few minutes each day on my half-mile walk to the mailbox.

I plan to be reporting on our bird adventures regularly, now that things are beginning to get settled in our new life, and on my agenda is to tell you about our 25-day trip to Ecuador last January and February. Hope you enjoy it!

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4 Comments
  1. Kay permalink

    Great to hear from you again Ann. Picturing all the mentioned birds around your lovely porch. I,m currently on Deer Isle, Maine with Lisa Hanley who has a new to us summer home here. Looking forward to more of your posts.
    Kay Gates

  2. Denise Clarey permalink

    I feel so blessed to hear from the two of you,my inspirations! I have visited Seattle and Vancover this summer saw some amazing sites. Of course the birds are always on my mind. The magnificent bald eagles are as common as pelicans here at home. Enjoying the posts immensley!

  3. C and L permalink

    Hi Ann and Phil,
    So happy to hear about your adventures. We hope to get over in your neck of the woods
    since Colleen moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
    Best regards,
    C and L

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