Encouraging Signs of Spring

For whatever reason, this spring seems to be dragging it’s butt. In reality it is probably just me, as I am so ready to be outside and working in my flowers. And the seeds planted in the small pots for the community garden are well on their way of needing to be in the ground real soon.

Today we had more rain…with snow mix…tomorrow more rain but maybe a hint of sunshine. I honestly think spring is close. I now see the robins in my yard. A sure sign for me.

Its not a real clear picture…but neither is spring. So onward we go. Then in two and a half months we will be complaining of being hot. I heard an old man say one time that there are three stages of life – you are born, you pay taxes and then you die. How sad is that? I was born in the last century, I paid 2021 taxes yesterday, so all I have left is death???

Guess that old man doesn’t know me that well. I just got started and have yet to dance…so dance we must. And as the breeze flows gently through the air we dance in its currents…

Dance in Moonlight Daffodils

While these have not broken through the ground yet, I look forward to their dance. I planted them last year so hopefully they will dance with me this year. Just a note to remind you while things may seem dreary, you can always dance. Some may laugh, some shake their heads but all will smile. What a great excuse to dance in life.

Have a safe and blessed weekend. Laugh, dance, smile and ALWAYS be kind.

AND…Always Be kind

Cellpic Sunday, March 28

Found a new wonderful blog to follow with amazing pictures. Journeys with Johnbo. Check out his blog for some amazing pictures.

While this was not taken of a fantastic sight, to some, it did make me smile. And it was taken from my cell phone. Proof that spring is coming. Yay!!

From the office window at church, this cardinal was enjoying the feeder.

He chirped with every bite. I was not sure if he was calling others to come eat or if he was saying “Mine”.

As always I remind you to be kind. You never know what comfort you may give someone who is hurting.

Backyard Acrobatics

I enjoy watching the antics of the birds and squirrels our my windows. It is amazing how animals can adapt to the humans who have invaded their areas. We could probably learn a thing or two from them.

Twice now I have had to call animal control to come get the ground hogs who are bound and determined to dig tunnels in my yard. Guess that is better that porcupines.

Then the squirrels became creative in getting to the suet feeder at the office. I later added a slinky to the post so they can’t climb up it. It a gentle and effective way to keep them off certain feeders. They have their own feeder further over.

Then the antics of the sparrows was amusing when the suet cake got to small. I would think eating from the side of the cage would be easier…no, he climbed down inside it where no one would bother him…smart bird.

The woodpeckers we are used to seeing hanging upside down, which is why I have the bottom feeders. But they like the regular ones better. The nuthatches like the bottom feeders but are very skittish of movement.

Guess its time to pull up the dried up sunflower. All the birds enjoyed eating the seeds from them. Well, I guess they should have, they planted them. Having nature come into your yard is a fun way to help you relax. You can actually learn a lot about the hierarchy of the different birds. Think of putting out a feeder, you would be amazed of who may come by.

And as always remember to be kind…to all kinds. All of nature understands kindness and are part of God’s creation plan too.

Wordle 527

Its fun when you spot a challenge you have never seen before by reading the post of people you do follow. Susi Bocks of I Write Her has encouraged me over the past couple of year with my meager attempts of writing. I am of the old adage that if you do use it you will lose it and the creative process, regardless of the genre, stimulates the brain and I want mine to stay stimulated so I play with writing. And she wrote a story here on Wordle 527.

Bwarren creates a fun challenge with The Sunday Whirl and Wordle 527 by giving you a list of words that you have to assimilate into a 100 word story. Join in with it and see how you can stimulate your brain. Today’s list is below.

Meredith looked down the stone path of the enchanted forest. She knew the legend of this forest but she had no clue of its truth. The icy wind blew making her breath hang in the heavily scented evergreen air. She knew few people dared to walk this path during this time of year but winter was the best time to spot this elusive bird. Sparks of anticipation spread up her spine as her courage began to brew. Stepping on the path her eyes caught sight of a huge feather lying along the paths edge. Did she dare go?

Hope you enjoyed my fun. Remember in all that you do, always be kind. It can make all of our stone paths a little smoother.

Plant seeds of Kindness

Afternoon Smiles for a Rainy Day

While we in Iowa are not suffering from Ida, we are having the typical summer rainy day. I am not complaining as we needed it badly. I was able to do my chore for the day before it started which was laying out some repair sidewalk pavers from a plumbing catastrophe from this spring. But since about 11:00am it has been softly to occasionally raining hard. I was thoroughly entertained by watching my birds. First it was the daddy cardinal that was still somewhat in molt. He looked even more stressed as what feathers he had regrown were not wet making him look like what we call down south “a drowned cat”. I found an example for you on the internet…

Now this cat is obviously getting a bath but you can tell how much he hates water. He just looks bedraggled, like the bird I saw. But I was very touched by this daddy bird. He was trying to train one of his fledglings how to eat from the feeder. He would show him, then he would feed him to make sure he understood the process. It was interesting and made me smile as all creation understand kindness. Mankind was the one that broke the system…in Eden…but that another story for another day. Today we are smiling.

The birds that were the most fascinating on this rainy day were the hummers. They were unfazed by the rain, sitting out on top of the other feeder hooks as it rained down on top of them with only occasional shaking of their feathers. My hummingbird feeder hangs under the eaves of the house so it is somewhat protected from the rain.

They usually always feed from the outer hole where she is about to land but as the rain would roll around the edge of the gutters above, it would drip right on her head. Boink! This young female would look up at the gutter and you could hear her say “What the hey!”

The wind and rain come up the hill from the river below and blow between mine and my neighbors house and that can sometimes create a strong tunnel of wind. After a few minutes she caught on and moved to the inside feeder hole giving me a better chance of closer pictures. They have gotten use to me always being there so they don’t shy away too often. Especially when I put out fresh food, like I did today.

All of nature is so fascinating and I have really gotten into the backyard birdwatching, well actually this is my front yard but you get the idea. So I post this so that even on a dreary day, if you look hard enough, you can find something to smile about. Maybe its nature, or a good book or what ever you desire is, just let more smiles out. I promise it will make your day brighter.

And as always, I remind you to be kind. It will make you feel more like smiling which makes you beautiful.

A Finch’s Confusion

I see the little guys swoop all around this water thing. They drink from it through those tiny holes. My beak won’t fit so maybe I can drink from the center. Nope too shallow. Everybody is over at the bath getting water. Too crowded for me. So I will just rest in the shade.

Young House Finch

What are you doing here? This is no place for you. Got to the bath with the big guys. This is for us little guys.

Hummer and Finch

I am not bothering you I am just resting.

Then go rest on your feeder. This one is ours.

Hummer and Finch

This cant be a feeder, there are no seeds. This is clear like water. And I was thirsty, less bodies are here.

We don’t eat seeds, we eat nectar from flowers. That’s is why my beak is thin to drink from flowers or here and yours is thick to crush seeds. Go to your seeds.

Hummer

The young ones just don’t get it sometimes. Can you believe that guy!

As we watch and laugh at the things of nature that amuse us, you can’t help but put words to what seems silly. These two birds watched each other for a good ten minutes before the finch decided to go to the large bird bath with his friends. I know the pictures are not real clear but I think you can still enjoy the silliness of the situation they created.

And as always, I remind you of the power of kindness. Even though they were totally different species of bird, they were kind and sharing of the space…for a short spell.

Always Be Kind

No Professional, But Fun

There are many novice photographers better than me, but I would venture to say I at least will tie with someone who has the most fun trying. Since retiring a few years ago(I retired when I was very young, Ha) I have developed a love of bird watching and tie that into my love for photography and you have mostly fun photographs.

I work part time at the church and have also placed bird feeder there so today is a sample of birds at home as well as at church. Most of the pictures are new but some are favorites. I have become fascinated with the hummingbirds of the area and most from the church were taken today as the phone were very quiet.

These two seem to fight over the feeder or at least like to play chase. I know the pictures are not real clear but I did not have my telephoto lens with me today, so we are zooming way in per the computer.

They seem to have no tail feathers when they sit as their wings are longer and cover them when they rest. But when they fly, it is amazing how they move those for balance and direction.

I love this picture even though the hummer is not real clear. But his reflection shows up in the water as do the flowers below. And you can see how he spreads his tail feathers.

Both of these birds seem to be females as they males have that legendary red throat. I have a male one at my home that guards that feeder.

I need to learn how to work with the shutter speed on my camera to see if I can catch the wings clearer. Below are some other pictures I took today and a few of my favorites of my bigger birds. The cardinals are beginning their molt so they are looking real sad as they lose old before the new arrives.

As we enjoy nature around us, remember nature likes kindness too so remember to be kind to all kinds.

Hello Again, Its me!

Life. It can get so out of control sometimes that you just need to stop, get your bearings and say hello. That’s what life was for me last week. I don’t think I even saw my computer much less wrote anything so this week I will unload with flowers, birds and activities. For now lets talk about birds. I put in a new feeder at work and am now enjoying hummers at the office. The pictures aren’t great but they are from a phone and they are fast little critters.

I also added a new cloth thistle bag at home and the goldfinches seem to like it better than the large thistle feeders.

The blue jays, the woodpeckers and the nuthatch enjoy the peanuts I put in the ring.

And of course the rest of the birds enjoy the house feeder. I have even had some mourning doves stop by.

about I do enjoy the birds and the flowers during the warmer months. They help me settle and bring enjoyment while I see the birds scamper and sometimes become territorial over whose feeder it really is. I hope they enjoy the sunflowers now that they are beginning to seed out. I already have ideas for next year. Enjoy nature in your back yard and remember to always be kind.

And the War Goes On

Since the fall of creation, the planet and its many species have been at war with each other. Some fight to establish dominance, some fight to protect their homes. When we think of war, we think of people for they are the most ruthless and demeaning of all but I want us to think of smaller territories…basically the back yard.

Google Pics

Since March I switched from the suet feeders to the seed feeders. I have been enjoying the various birds that come to my yard and through switching feeds around, I have settled on Saffron seeds for two reasons. One squirrels don’t like them and various birds that I consider take over birds (Grackles & sparrows) are generally not a big fan of Saffron. Yes, I lose some of the other birds I enjoy watching but the ‘war’ seems to be less intense. While sparrows are cute and cuddly, they come in swarms and deplete the feeders before anyone else can have any so, sorry guys but you are pigs.

Even sparrows watch in amazement

What I did not expect to see was the war between the Blue Jay and the Robin. While I do have a ring of peanuts for the Blue Jays and the Woodpeckers, I have a platform feeder with Saffron for the Robins and the Mourning Doves. The rest of the feeders are tube feeders filled with Saffron.

I did some research and found that Jays and Robins generally have strong animosity towards each other but will nest in the same tree. Coming from the south, I am well aware of tactics of Jays and always thought the Robins to be the gentle bird. Not in my yard. If a Jay dare show his face in my yard, the Robins come out of nowhere and run them off. Its quite comical. The obvious leader of the Jays in this area is quite large and beautiful. He is a large male that is a good bit bigger that the Robin – no matter, he runs from the Robin.

I write a lot in my blogs about being kind to all kinds but you can’t train out instincts of nature. One day we will all get along, but not today. So until, that day, try to always be kind. You will be surprised of the encouragement you will spread.

Weekend Writing Prompt #214, Unkown

Sammi Cox tells us with her challenge that Weekend Writing prompt is a word prompt to get your creativity flowing.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Word Prompt is:

Unknown

Unknown meal

The hawk’s next meal is unknown to him as he soars effortlessly on the summer breeze. He sends out his shrill call to his mate or fellow hawks as they all float in the upper air drafts of the sky while scanning the earth floor below in search of an unknown victim that will be their next meal.

While all life is precious, the rules of nature are always at play. So it is always important to share kindness wherever you can, for some are victims and some are just plain lost.

Always Be Kind.