+
wildlife photos, new york wildlife, carla rhodes

Two northern cardinals captured on Carla Rhodes' bird-feeder camera.

This article originally appeared on 01.03.22


The pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their surroundings. When you’re stuck at home more often than you’d like, you start to pay a lot more attention to what goes on in your own backyard.

This type of introspection inspired wildlife photographer Carla Rhodes to get a closer look at the furry friends that live near her home in the Catskill mountains of New York.

What she found was magical.

“The winter of 2020-2021 was particularly brutal to humankind. After months of enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, we were now collectively slogging through winter. As a result of being stuck at home, I focused on my immediate surroundings like never before,” Rhodes said in a statement.


Rhodes positioned a DSLR camera trap beneath her bird feeder to get an up-close glimpse of the wildlife that came to sample her delicious seeds. The results are an incredible series of photos of birds and other woodland creatures from a vantage point most people never see. Rhodes calls her project, "Beneath the Bird Feeder."

The birdfeeder photos also gave a new glimpse into the behavior of several species of birds and rodents that call the Catskills home.

“As I got deeper into the project, intriguing observations emerged,” Rhodes says. “I noticed distinct repeat visitors such as a Dark-Eyed Junco with an overgrown beak, a deer mouse with a notched ear, and an irruption of Red-Breasted Nuthatches. Dark-Eyed Juncos always showed up at the crack of dawn and Northern Cardinals would always be the last visitor of the day as dusk turned into evening.”

Here are 15 of the most captivating photos that Rhodes captured from beneath her bird feeder.

1. Dark-eyed junco

via Carla Rhodes

"Often overlooked and considered drab ground-feeding birds, Dark-Eyed Juncos hold a special place in my heart due to their funny and curious behaviors. Every day they were first to arrive beneath the bird feeder," Rhodes says. "Dark-Eyed Juncos were one of the most frequent and curious subjects beneath the bird feeder."

2. Dark-eyed junco

via Carla Rhodes

3. Dark-eyed junco

via Carla Rhodes

4. Tufted titmouse

via Carla Rhodes

According to All About Birds, the tufted titmouse is "common in eastern deciduous forests and a frequent visitor to feeders."

5. Mourning dove

via Carla Rhodes

​"Observing Mourning Doves was a daily pleasure, especially when they gathered to form a clean-up crew beneath the bird feeder. Mourning doves are monogamous and possibly mate for life," Rhodes writes.

6. Mourning dove 

via Carla Rhodes

7.  Mourning doves

via Carla Rhodes

8. Blue jay

via Carla Rhodes

"Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds," All About Birds says. "Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period."

9. Northern cardinal

via Carla Rhodes

"Northern Cardinals were always the last to show up beneath the bird feeder, shortly after dusk every evening," Rhodes writes.

10. Black-capped chickadee

via Carla Rhodes

"Little flocks of Black-capped Chickadees enliven the winter woods with their active behavior and their cheery-sounding chick-a-dee callnotes as they fly from tree to tree, often accompanied by an assortment of nuthatches, creepers, kinglets, and other birds," the Audubon field guide to North American birds says.

11. Black-capped chickadee

via Carla Rhodes

12. Eastern gray squirrel

via Carla Rhodes

Eastern gray squirrels are important members of forest ecosystems as they play a vital role in dispersing seeds.

 13. American red squirrel

via Carla Rhodes

The American red squirrel is known for its distinct bushy and dark red tail with hints of a white outline.

14. American red squirrel

via Carla Rhodes

15. Northern short-tailed shrew

via Carla Rhodes

If you see a northern short-tailed shrew, be careful. It's venomous and paralyzes its victims with poisonous saliva. In humans, a bite can cause swelling and intense pain.

All photos courtesy of Biofinity Energys®

True

The human eye reveals so much about who we are. One look can convey love, annoyance, exhaustion, or wisdom.

Our eyes tell the world if we are getting enough sleep, if we’ve been crying, or whether we are truly happy (or just faking it). When looking at the face, the eyes dominate emotional communication—after all, they’ve long been known as the “window to the soul.”

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pixabay

A good ol' fashioned strip bandage.

It's annoying to get a cut on your knuckles, because they're a hard place to put a Band-Aid. If you put it on too tight, you can’t move your finger and if you put it on too loose, it easily slips off. Of course, you can buy Band-Aids made to go over knuckles, but unless you have a MacGyver-level first-aid kit, you probably only have basic strips.

A new video shared by everyone's "mom hack bestie" Autumn Grace, aka HonestlyAutumnb, on Instagram shows an easy way to transform a run-of-the-mill strip Band-Aid into a fully-functional knuckle bandage. “This is one of the best band aid life hacks!” she captioned the video.

To transform a strip bandage into a knuckle Band-Aid, you must make two cuts with scissors, and voila! "The hack I never thought I needed to know until today!" VermillionChicago commented on the post.

Keep ReadingShow less
Sponsored

This is the most important van in NYC… and it’s full of socks.

How can socks make such a huge difference? You'd be surprised.

all photos provided by Coalition for The Homeless

Every night, the van delivers nourishment in all kinds of ways to those who need it most

True

Homelessness in New York City has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Over 50,000 people sleep each night in a shelter, while thousands of others rely on city streets, the subway system and other public locations as spaces to rest.

That’s why this meal (and sock) delivery van is an effective resource for providing aid to those experiencing homelessness in New York City.

Every night of the year, from 7pm to 9:30, the Coalition for the Homeless drives a small fleet of vans to over 25 stops throughout upper and lower Manhattan and in the Bronx. At each stop, adults and families in need can receive a warm meal, a welcoming smile from volunteers, and a fresh, comfy new pair of Bombas socks. Socks may be even more important than you think.

Bombas was founded in 2013 after the discovery that socks were the #1 most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.

Access to fresh, clean socks is often limited for individuals experiencing homelessness—whether someone is living on the street and walking for much of the day, or is unstably housed without reliable access to laundry or storage. And for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness —expenses might need to be prioritized for more critical needs like food, medication, school supplies, or gas. Used socks can’t be donated to shelters for hygienic reasons, making this important item even more difficult to supply to those who need it the most.

Bombas offers its consumers durable, long-lasting and comfortable socks, and for every pair of Bombas socks purchased, an additional pair of specially-designed socks is donated to organizations supporting those in need, like Coalition for the Homeless. What started out as a simple collaboration with a few organizations and nonprofits to help individuals without housing security has quickly become a bona fide giving movement. Bombas now has approximately 3,500 Giving Partners nationwide.

Though every individual’s experience is unique, there can frequently be an inherent lack of trust of institutions that want to help—making a solution even more challenging to achieve. “I’ve had people reach out when I’m handing them a pair of socks and their hands are shaking and they’re looking around, and they’re wondering ‘why is this person being nice to me?’” Robbi Montoya—director at Dorothy Day House, another Giving Partner—told Bombas.

Donations like socks are a small way to create connection. And they can quickly become something much bigger. Right now over 1,000 people receive clothing and warm food every night, rain or shine, from a Coalition for the Homeless van. That bit of consistent kindness during a time of struggle can help offer the feeling of true support. This type of encouragement is often crucial for organizations to help those take the next difficult steps towards stability.

This philosophy helped Bombas and its abundance of Giving Partners extend their reach beyond New York City. Over 75 million clothing items have been donated to those who need it the most across all 50 states. Over the years Bombas has accumulated all kinds of valuable statistics, information, and highlights from Giving Partners similar to the Coalition for the Homeless vans and Dorothy Day House, which can be found in the Bombas Impact Report.

In the Impact Report, you’ll also find out how to get involved—whether it’s purchasing a pair of Bombas socks to get another item donated, joining a volunteer group, or shifting the conversation around homelessness to prioritize compassion and humanity.

To find out more, visit BeeBetter.com.

Pop Culture

Bride knits her own gorgeous wedding dress and it only cost $300

This bride saved tons of money and has something that is truly one-of-a-kind.

The ultimate DIY.

Sometimes, getting creatively frugal can make a wedding moment all the more special and unique. We’ve seen a growing trend of cost-effective, yet totally cool wedding ideas lately—from brides hitting up thrift stores instead of buying luxury items to couples taking engagement photos in completely unexpected locations. There’s an added thrill of being able to pull off romance and glamor without breaking the bank.

And thanks to the internet, by seeing others go viral for their budget-friendly choices, people might feel less pressure to spend tons of money on their big day. Because really, a celebration of two people coming together in love and partnership should be just that—not a financial obligation.

One bride has recently been wowing the internet with her DIY wedding dress, which she completely knitted and crocheted in just 45 days, and spent less than $300 on. Considering the average wedding dress costs around $1,800 … yeah, I’d say she saved big time. And the result was gorgeous.
Keep ReadingShow less

Robin Williams—the comedic genius

We all know the late, great Robin Williams was a comic genius. Many people also know that he was classically trained in theater. In a recently unearthed clip from 1991, Williams combines those two talents, leaving people splitting at the seams even decades later.

Williams was a guest on “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson, when he and Carson began chatting about William Shakespeare, who Williams quickly quipped was a “man with a second grade education, [who] wrote some of the greatest poetry of all time, and sometimes I think, maybe not.”

Carson then asked Williams how he felt about other actors playing Hamlet (for context, Mel Gibson had recently starred in the role). Williams, being no stranger to the Bard’s work, then went into one of his delightfully creative frenzies, managing to effortlessly slide into the voices of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson while throwing out verses like it was nothing.

Keep ReadingShow less