Tag Archive | odd

Bald Cardinal

This is the third year I’ve seen this guy and every summer he sports a chrome dome! The first year, I was quite worried about him. How would he survive the winter? Would he fly South? Luckily, in September, I noticed feathers growing back and by October, his full, red crest was back. I figured it was a mite or bug thing and figured the cold killed them off. The second year, when it happened again, I researched what was happening to the guy.

I found out baldness may result from feather mites, lice or an environmental or nutritional imbalance. Often in those cases, growths or a scabby coating can be seen on the skin. My Cardinal had a clean, black head, which indicates he was healthy. So now what?

Since he was otherwise healthy and the feathers did come back, he most likely has some issues with molting. Birds usually lose random feathers and they get replaced without a notice. Something in his wiring is off and instead of randomly, he lost them all at once. Blue Jays are known to be afflicted with this same pattern balding. There does seem to be a few wild hairs coming back. Hopefully, he’ll again grow back his beautiful crest.

While researching for this post, I came across a fun page on the Project Feeder Watch website called Unusual Birds. Check it out for some funky chickens ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I’ve been ready to write this post for two years… It’s taken me 3 years to finally get a picture of this skitty bird!!

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Buddha’s Hand – Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis


I was at my local grocery store, when I noticed this oddity. I had no clue what it was, so a photograph would have to do until I could research it. This wasn’t for sale, ironically.

Turns out this is called a Buddha’s Hand.

It is believed that sometime after the fourth century, Buddhist monks carried this fruit from India to China, where it came to symbolize happiness, wealth and longevity. The Chinese like to use it as a centerpiece in their homes, and present it as an offering on temple altars. The Japanese like to use it as a decorative ornament and place it on top of specially pounded rice cakes, or they use it in lieu of flowers in the home’s sacred tokonomo (alcove).

Though esteemed chiefly for its exquisite form and aroma, the Buddha’s Hand citron is also prescribed as a stimulant, expectorant, and tonic in non-traditional medicine.


  • Seasonal centerpiece
  • A fragrant air freshener


  • Shave thin slices of Buddha’s hand and add it to a salad
  • Top steamed tofu or fish
  • Sugar and Salt: Use zest or a whole finger to make scented sugar and flavored salt
  • Zest mixed into cake frosting makes it very aromatic
  • For salad dressing:
    • 4 Tbsps olive oil – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 2 Tbsps Meyer Lemon juice – 2 Tbsps zested Buddhaโ€™s Hand
    • 1 Tbsps balsamic vinegar – 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme, minced – 1 clove minced garlic
  • Combine all vinaigrette together in bowl and allow vinaigrette to marinade overnight.
  • Candied citrus peel – which you can eat by itself or use in baked goods.
  • Make infused vodka or flavored simple syrup for cocktails.

ยฉ Ilex Farrell