Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge fits right in with my yard this week…birds. I have learned a lot about birds this year as in the birds you wants verses the birds you get. There are two major things that dictate that, the type of food and the type of feeder. Some of these pics are repeats but they tell and explain the reason for their repeat.
This feeder above had belong to my sister so it has sentimental value as well as interesting feeder options. The platform feeder draw those birds who usually feed on the ground.
I enjoy the mourning doves but not so much the chipmunks. Also a big fan of the platform feeders are sparrows. Since they are also ground feeder, they love the platform feeders as well. What a lot of amateurs’ like me don’t understand is that sparrows, while they are cute, they are take over birds, meaning they run everyone else off with their sizable gathering. So I changed feeder types…
But I didn’t read the fine print of my research. To distract sparrows, you need tube feeders with less perching options. Then maybe they won’t end up inside the feeder. Silly bird. Food type is also important. Your basic mixed bird food also draws in other non-bird feeders to you station.
So I learned that squirrels don’t like safflower seeds and other birds do, so we swapped to that and at least eliminated that particular pest problem. Now to be rid of sparrow problem or at lease tone them down. Switch to thistle seed. This seed is a favorite for finches, juncos and chickadees. The seed stackers are also an option and they come in “hot” flavors to distract squirrels.
So the drawing paper is out for new yard design for next spring to add in other types of feeders while still allowing the sparrows to come play. The air is cooling (finally) so the thistle seed will come out as it adds for the energy nutrients needed for cooler weather. When it really gets cold, we will add out the suet feeders with the extra fat needed for warmth.
But we cant leave our bird story until we also show our zippy friend…
Of all the hummingbird feeder I have tried, I like this one the best. I have one at the house as well as at the church. So regardless of the birds you enjoy watching, remember they are also a gift of creation, so remember to always be kind to all kinds.
I want to share with you this morning the thoughts from Steven Scott’s devotion “Jesus Speaks”.
It is one thing to read and try to understand the scriptures of the bible and a very different thing to believe the words as truth. Jesus knew that understand the words was not enough. They needed to believe in the words and who they said he was, and to also believe in the relationship between him and the father. It is no small task and it is the same for us today. While we need to understand the words of Jesus, we must first believe in the relationship between Jesus and the Father. Believing in this relationship alters everything you do. For the evidence of this belief is demonstrated by our behavior. Jesus explained to his disciple that if you can’t believe in who he is from the things he tells them, to at least believe in him because of the works he was doing.
When we believe in this truth, our entire lives are changed. Everything that we are and that we do are changed for the better. And goodness will flow out from us to others because of this belief. So believe in Him and watch him work in you.
I encourage you to close your eyes and envision Jesus walking into the room where you are standing. Can you feel His love radiating towards you? This love that He is sending your way is stronger than you can imagine and He wants surround you in it as He takes care of you. Allow Him to be part of your life.
Have a safe and blessed weekend and may to feel the love and peace of Christ in all that you do.
We, who play with Cee’s challenges of FOTD, understand that all things growing are allowed for this fun challenge. So today I give you a really pretty flower, looking similar to a morning glory but is a larger and thicker tube shaped flower.
This is the flower of a sweet potato. Due to the crazy spring we had in the midwest, these were later getting in the ground and they are still blooming like crazy. Today was the last hold out for summer – it was 96 today – so with cooler temps coming, we are hoping these vines will slow down their growth and begin to turn yellow. The notes I read said wait until the vines start to turn on the ends. Well, these vines are in four foot high planters in our community garden and the vines cascade down all four sides to the ground. They are quite beautiful but I cant wait to see it we really have potatoes. Its our first time planting those.
Fun stuff. While we are having fun, I remind you of the easiness and powerfulness of kindness. It can make any situation sparkle brighter.
We all know this is a fact that the animal kingdom is always in self preservation mode from predators or from “friends of like kind” who want what they have. Greed knows no limits of creature types. Today we are talking about a few creatures that came across my path this week. I am choosing to highlight their paths of possible doom to highlight that kindness can stretch across all specie types. While I don’t have a picture of doomed fate of this butterfly, I did manage to save it from drowning in the birdbath.
After a couple of hours in the sun, he was able to completely dry and fly off to his next error of judgement for his very short life.
I work part time at my church answering the phone so of course I set up bird feeders outside my window. I have share many photos of the antics the birds, squirrels and rabbits do there. They do keep us entertained. But yesterday…well, I am not sure what to say or be able explain how this happened, However, my gut tells me somehow there was a squirrel involved.
He was quite terrified as I approached to release him from his trap but finally I was able to turn the feeder upside down and he scrambled under a bush. Twenty minutes later, with a full feeder, they were all back eating. I am sure he was part of the group.
Now this next creature was not so fortunate in getting rescued as this stairwell of the church is seldom used but alas somehow he managed to get inside of it and find no way out.
Bats really are quite interesting creatures and watching the Zoo shows on TV, it reminds us they are vital to our environment. They eat lots of skeeters. We hope we don’t have bats again in the bellfry of the church. Not a fun thing to deal with.
The last creature, the tiniest of the creatures, is the winner of the fight. After an extended fight over who owned the feeder, there was a clear winner.
Maybe that is just under plumage but it looked to be missing feathers. Seems the same bird is clearly marking this as his for the better part of the week.
There are so many wonderful things going on around us in nature. You just need to open you eyes to see them. Embrace the beauty you see, help when help is needed and always be kind.
The week is almost over and the weekend is coming – a time of rest, a time for ourselves.
Our weeks are sometimes so busy that the weekend is too short to fully rest, so Matthew reminds us of Jesus’ words to come to Him to find complete restoration regardless of our business. He is gentle and humble in heart and never forces us to come to Him but he patiently waits for us to choose to come. Once we choose to come and rely on His fatherly comfort, that’s when the battle has been won.
It is only after we have begun to experience what salvation really means, that we surrender our will to Jesus for the rest He has ready for us. And it is a voluntary surrender. Surrender in today’s mindset is a negative concept that we fight against, but Jesus reminds us of the power we gain in His surrender and the rewards he has for us.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory, with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Oswald Chambers
Once we surrender to His will, His grace, His love and His peace, then the remainder of our life will exhibit nothing but the evidence of this surrender. And we will never need to be concerned again with what the future may hold for us, for Jesus is totally sufficient. Even though at times we may be shaking in our boots.
Even though you may feel you are alone in a snowstorm or vast desert, your tiny self is being watched over, and you will be given the strength to grow taller in His care.
And always remember to show the power of kindness. It shows your inner beauty.
Well, we enjoyed him throughout the summer, but the sunflower giants have finished their life. Their goal, beside being beautiful, is to create seeds…that create more flowers…that create more seeds…that …well you know.
I find the evolution of the bloom itself amazing. It never stops growing. It can’t, for it has to get big enough to sustain the growth of the seeds. The bloom at the stage above is approximately 9 inches, not counting the beautiful yellow petals. But once the petals die and fall off, the flower center continues to gain in size as it produces the hundreds of seeds.
The much needed rain we had this past weekend did the giant in, as the stem could no longer support the bloom’s weight of over 4 pounds. The stalk had bent over from its weight over the last few weeks to nearly 180 degrees but the hardiness of the stalk refused to let the bloom fall. It fell over from the root ball and soft ground. I could not get my fingers completely around the stalk.
I had to take a machete to take it to get it to the trash pile but I put the bloom out for the birds to enjoy the seeds. Yes, I will pull some seeds for next years project…a sunflower circle, a fun thing we saw on FB. I still have 1 giant left and 1 multi-bloom that are still surviving. I was also amazed by the size of the leaves. They looked like elephant ears – over 18 inches across.
But the seeds were the most amazing how they are packed tighter than seeds in a grape.
Look at the little flowerets for the ends of the seeds.
For now is the time for season change. The sugar maples are beginning to change to show their red beauty with a sprinkling of yellow scattered through the leaves. As the season changes to a cooler climate, remember to keep your kindness warm.
Today was a day of much needed rain, a good slow soaker. So not much activity at the feeder. But yesterday…
But there was another visitor to the sugar water feeder…
I could not figure out why he chose to be there, so I did a little research on what mantis eat. This must be the season they are really coming out or maybe they are just extra hungry. Below is a big one that visited the church.
My research tells me they eat all kinds of insects, grubs and even the occasional small bird. Small bird…a hummer is a small bird. Well maybe Big George, but surely not Littler George. Still I am not taking chances.
Research said they eat things bigger than themselves….okay, not having that. So I went outside and shooed him off. I didn’t hurt him, just made him leave that spot. I enjoy my hummers way more than any bug.
I close with a reminder to always being kind. Even a smile can take the hardness out of someone’s day.