Sunday, June 13, 2021

Keeping Up

Time to share some seasonal changes in the yard and area around.  Spring is long gone and we have had a week of 92 F degree weather followed by 62F weather and this week it will be 80F degree weather.  It is amazing that my plants can keep up!!

Early summer storms prepare us for dramatic times ahead.

But spring and summer showers bring the flowers, so I am not complaining.

This flower bed is working on full blooms already!

With hurricane season just around the corner, I am enjoying the calmness of these weeks (days) ahead.  

As I wander down by the river I notice that the little goslings are getting their adult colors and soon will no longer need such careful watching by the adult geese.

It all 'almost' seems the earth is returning to a pre-COVID routine. It is moving back to the climate change new "normal".

Friday, June 04, 2021

Saga Finale

I had mentioned that I would provide the saga of the geese that had overtaken the osprey nest this spring.

You will remember ( of course because your lives are not filled with other trivia)  that hubby spent several times a day chasing the geese off the osprey nest using his kayak and paddle.  This was even AFTER the osprey had failed to dive-bomb and scare them off.

Once the mama goose had laid her egg(s) all bets were off and she would not fly away as hubby threatened in a kayak pass.  Once she realized that hubby was all shout and no action she settled down for the long haul.

The osprey would sometimes buzz the nest, but you will remember they had successfully built a small mansion on the sparse branches of the tree across the river.  They are very good nest builders.

All of us humans (including the neighbors who shook their heads at our futility and loss of faith in osprey nest building) went back to our regular spring activities.

Every once in a while I would hear the geese arguing or calling in fear or pain.  I would look out the window at the nest and not see an owl or osprey or other predator and wondered what was going on.  Every once in a while the gander would peck harshly at his mate and puff out his chest.  Was he angry that she had not laid any eggs?

Weeks passed and the geese moved off the nest and sometimes returned and sat on the edge.  

I would sometimes see the nest empty and found them camoflauged in the nearby grassy reeds.

I saw, or think I saw, at least one or perhaps two goslings tripping over the sticks in the nest.  Can you see it as I zoom in?

A day or three or four passed as I got busy and when I looked out the window again maybe a week later,  I saw crows on the nest.  I knew this was not a good omen.  The geese were gone and crows were flipping gosling feathers about.

I kept up hope because later I did see a pair of geese with two little ones.

I also later saw a luckier family.

As the season moves into summer the families tend to join up for greater protection...

...and just like human children, they grow faster than weeds.

I have not been out to photograph them, but the young ones are getting their adult colors and may be better able to protect themselves.  I will never know if any of these are goslings from the osprey platform, but it gives me no less joy to see them healthy and eating all our algae around the dock.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Accepting My Reward

I have paid all the bills, this time not so many, and I have emptied the dishwasher, so I am going to reward myself with some photoshopping or photo-painting or digitizing...whatever you want to call it. 

This spring has been mild and dry and is just now getting hot.  My roses have loved the weather.  Soon they will be dropping petals followed by dropping leaves covered in black spot.  But for now, they will be basking in glory under the spring sunshine.

I wandered out and about and took way too many photos and selected just a few to share with you after taking a digitized brush to their shapes and colors.

This one, whose name I have to look up, is my favorite.  It blossoms with darker edges and opens like an old-fashioned tea rose.

This one is a climber and covering my arbor.  Remember the teak gazebo wood that our neighbor gave us?  My helper built it into a nice shaded arbor in the front yard with a small stone patio.

The bench and cushion were added later.  I now have another bench AND have to order another cushion.

Above a painterly view back to the front of the house through the roses.  I am rewarded.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Look Quick!

Spending time outside is essential if you do not want to miss a single blossom, bird song, or unusual insect.  I find that my camera is in front of my face all the time because on day one there is a large bud, on day two it bursts leaking lots of colors and on day three it is in all its glory.  Below is one of my favorite peonies on day two., I cannot remember the variety.

My roses which will be full of black spot and dropping leaves from disease by early summer are in their glory now.  I cannot stay inside or I will miss it all.

And this very busy parent will also have left this nest and will be probably looking for another spot for their second family in just a few weeks!

My columbine that I planted years ago is now on a rampant march from flowerbed to flowerbed and having all kinds of sex producing such lovely varieties in color and shape.

Happening way too fast for my taste.  I find as I age, I really want things to last.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

That Special Spring

This season of new bud and bloom is way too short for most of us.  Everything about it is fragile and lacey and delicate and ephemeral.  The spring flowers are mostly pastel and transparent.  They hang on to their petals for just a week or so before rain or wind causes them to fall.  If they are more resilient the big bumblers stomp and chomp their way inside causing petals to drop.

The netted male oak flowers called catkins hang drooping and dispensing tiny yellow pollen.  They eventually fall covering patios and porches in wilted flower casings.  From the tiniest of female flowers that catch that pollen that vastness of an oak tree can emerge to tower over us all and remain to watch our grandchildren's children play.

The sunsets are later and can be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace since the cold breeze is gone.  The evenings are stiller and I can hear the call (purr) of the screech owl down in the ravine during the bedtime hour.

The bird-song is abundant but graceful as they declare their territory and call to their mates and pick their nesting sights.  They move swiftly with sticks and leaves and grasses once the perfect home has been found.  My friend told me a story the other day about her bluebird project.  She had tried to get out early on her trails to check the boxes and replace those that had been damaged by storms and age but unusually cold and rainy weather had delayed her.  When she finally set out, she found one of the old boxes already had a bluebird nest.  The mother had flown off the eggs when she checked.  She carefully took down the box and rotted post and put up a new post with a new birdhouse.  She then carefully moved the old nest with eggs inside the new box.  She waited and watched.  In due time, the mother bluebird returned and settled on the nest!  The father returned to stand watch!  

Now you can have fun posting below the conversation you think they were having...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Enough About the Damn Coughing

I am still having cough spasms every 1.2 hours to every 2 hours throughout the day and night.  I have followed the most recent therapy (now Silent Acid Reflux) taking the meds and giving up acid foods, etc.  I am eating small meals, bought a wedge pillow (which is the MOST uncomfortable thing ever if you are a side sleeper.)  I push ahead doing projects outside, going to stores, and talking on the phone while being interrupted by my intense cough every single time.  Driving requires my careful attention to avoid any dangers while coughing my head off. OK...not going to write any more about it.  But NOTHING is working and I  am fighting depression because COVID is ending isolation for all, except me!

My laptop starting getting funny and shutting down intermittently.  I took it to the technician and they put in a totally new OS, neglecting to tell me that EVERYTHING on my computer that was personalized would have to be done over again.  Logins, finding old bookmarks (?) and adjusting how I have personalized browsers and laptop settings.   Thankfully, I found Blogger and was able to log in and continue here as if nothing had happened!  One of the reasons I took it in was to fix the in-computer camera which they said they did.  Hubby picked up the laptop for me but did not ask them to show him the camera was working.  My family has been waiting for a Zoom meeting and the camera is STILL not working.  I cannot get help.  The call goes into a long phone tree and then I wait for 24 hours and they say they will call back to work remotely and that did not happen yesterday while I waited 4 hours!

I have not been to the dentist for almost two years for a cleaning...the cough, of course.

I need to finally make an appointment for an eye exam, but I am putting that off because I have been on so many meds, I am afraid they might impact the results I get for a new prescription.

My SIL is visiting her son in the city and I am now wondering how we will get together.  She does not have a car and wants to meet up! 

The only good thing about all of this is that the meds have subdued my appetite and I am eating less.  Maybe I will lose weight?

Enough about the damn coughing.  Here is a vole that was left on my driveway by someone or something this past week  (probably the feral cat that roams about trying to win me over)...maybe they know something I do not?

Friday, April 09, 2021

Those Feather Friends

This has been a fun winter and spring in terms of birding.  Hubby and I are so in sync with our feathered neighbors that we find mornings pointing out this and that to each other.  While we failed to get the osprey to nest in their old home, we realized we should have cleaned it out from the grasses and just left a few sticks for them to rebuild.  That would have made the geese dismiss the site.  There is always next year.

The osprey did build a small mansion of a nest across the river at the top of a tall tree and while distant we can still watch them!  You can just see the small brown smudge below.

But I have a telephoto!

We have also had the migration birds come swiftly through before heading up north and I was able to catch a few photos of those!  (Red-breasted Mergansers).

They look like the Steven Tyler version of the musical world.

I failed to clean out the birdhouses last month and now am afraid to try to open any, but we do have bluebirds checking out the area and they are in their best colors right now.

Next post, the woodpeckers!