Wednesday, March 30, 2016

One of My Favorite Places

Some people see the landscape above and think of bugs, alligators, snakes, mud and bad smells.  On the right is the bridge to Hilton Head, South Carolina.  While Hilton Head is condos, hotels, million dollar homes, golf courses, and restaurants, the place where I am standing when I took this photo is an island preserve called Pinkney.  It is a precious island of swamp, marsh grass, freshwater ponds, and hardwoods that shelter the bugs that birds eat, the baby fish that lots of things eat, the migratory waterfowl, and of course, gaters.  It is a very rich and unforgiving place.  We take our bikes and ride the miles of gravel, tree root bumpy trails.  We get down close and personal with hatching egrets, re-awakening alligators and just a few tiny bugs that annoy.  It is one of our favorite haunts in spring and is hot but tolerable in summer.

In the distance that black spot is probably a coot.  And below is my first "gater" of the season.  He was about three feet and very somnambulant.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Pink Elephants

Nope, not seeing those, but spring has splashed on in here!

Not my trees, but at an historic garden to the north.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

This is it.

All I have for now...catching up from travel, but thought I would share this sunset from Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Monday, March 14, 2016


My first real bouquet of the season from my front yard!

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Follow the Sun

I am so fortunate to live on a small river that also faces the setting sun. I get to follow its arc across the horizon of the earth and then feel privileged to document its encores each night.  Some nights there is cloud cover or rain or snow and no sunset. But I get enough sunsets each month to treasure.  Below is a series of these beginning in January when the sun set on the left of the photo over the near trees until mid March where warmer weather lets me take its reflection in the water from the dock instead of the deck of my house through the trees. I thought it would be nice to share these views and I hope you enjoy them!

December 12, 2015

January 13, 2016

January 31,2016

February 7, 2016

February 13, 2016

February 26, 2015

March 5, 2016

March 7, 2016

Sunday, March 06, 2016

The Lion and the Lamb

Early last week was another tease of spring...longer this time.  Weather pushing 60F and me in shirt sleeves shoveling mulch on top of the one inch high green fingers of the optimistic daffodils.  Must get some mulch on things before they get too tall.  Cutting my struggling roses way back and committing "crepe murder" along the driveway.

Even the song birds were placing bets on the long shot.  The bluebirds were hanging out over the arbor checking out the birdhouse on that structure.  I was excited because we lost all of our bluebirds last year, some to the late spring cold blast and others to some predator.  I suddenly realized we had not cleaned out our 10 or so houses scattered around the property this past fall and stopped the mulching to clean out bird houses while hubby tackled the thorny pyracantha.  I was happy to see that most of the houses had been occupied last year.  Unfortunately I had inadvertently chased off the bluebird who did not return the rest of the day.

Several more hours of yard work (meaning I did not have to justify other more boring exercise indoors) ended with cutting back the tall grasses on the retaining wall and heading inside for a well earned cup of tea and my mystery book.

Within days Mother Nature slapped me up the side of the head, reminding me how fickle spring can be.

The weather did not turn bitter cold, but the snow hung on for a day or two and with temperatures in the 70s this week I will be compelled to return outside and finish the job.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Shrugging His Red Shoulders

He has become a somewhat familiar figure stopping by almost once a week while his mate does a high wire act and sings arias. He watches her with a careful eye as she sails over the river and then back over the oak trees.   They are in love and it is spring.

He soon returns to the buffet just 15 feet below his perch. He seems unable to decide which beauty should be the first to break his winter diet.  Oddly the songbirds either forget he is there or realize they must be down pecking at the ground for capture as they frequently fly to the feeders fearlessly.  Perhaps he is not quick enough to navigate around the feeders themselves and they know this.

I was surprised to find he did not seem to be more interested in the two mourning doves that scuffled on the ground later in the day.  Maybe he is on a diet.   Maybe he is trying to make friends?

He is very handsome with his smooth russet feathers and golden eye.  Much like a Leonardo De Caprio of the woods. Looking good all dressed up.  Many times being brave and giving me the stare down.