Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Is It Covid or Just Cold?

Staying inside and avoiding the crowds once again during the holiday season is kind of depressing even for an introvert like me. The only people I talk to are the birds. I keep them well watered with a heated bird dish and I keep them well fed with numerous bird feeders as well as holly berries and pyracantha berries. This year I seem to be getting more abundant numbers and a greater variety of visitors. If you like birds, I hope you enjoy the fun photos below. Some are digitally manipulated and some are not.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

A Bird in the Hand or Six in the Bush

The mornings this time of year are much quieter. The birds do not waste energy claiming their domain. (Except for the two crazy cardinals that routinely bang their heads against my windows.)  Instead, you have to listen for the quiet turning of crispy leaves as birds search for an overwintering insect or two.

The woodpeckers are the noisiest as always, and sometimes I can get a two for one with my camera...even if blurry.

The Cedar Waxwings come in so swiftly, eat their very select version of holly berries and then disappear again for days on end.  It has to be a bitterly cold day for them to visit my birdbath.  These are the best I could get through the window as they would fly if I stepped outside.

Hard to see above, but there are at least six Waxwings chowing down.  It is like one of those picture puzzle memes.

The Bluebirds, on the other wing, are groupy and busy, and hang around for a bit.  They know they are beautiful and overwhelm the house finch that usually own the birdbath.

There are some days where I am surprised by a distant visitor.  This one landed on the osprey nest and kept getting his talons entangled in the thick grasses that have grown due to the fertilization of dead fish parts.  At first I thought he was an immature red-tailed hawk...

But no, it is an immature bald eagle. We have a nest or two just up the river.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Keep On Looking

"When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all." E.O. Wilson 

 And so, I keep looking.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Just Some Natural Thoughts

Today I have to order Christmas cards. Well, I don't HAVE to, but it is tradition and we all are a little compelled by that. Early this morning I will post some of my favorite fall photos. Some photoshopped and some right out of the camera. Seven days of autumn marching toward December.
Fall is the time to stretch your neck and look to the blue of the sky as it compliments the orange of the oak leaves.  They are just above waving goodbye.

If you are lucky enough to live near some water the angle of the sun hitting the water and then bouncing to the underside of the leaves is a natural painting.

Autumn is also crispy and crunchy and demands movement to keep warm.  Above is my son walking his dog.  This obligation has been his salvation during COVID.

Once again the sun paints golden colors on the water and artists study their palettes to capture this hue.

In spite of all the challenges of life, I can kiss the day goodby from my deck as the sun kisses the underside of the leaves of our trees.

My walk to the river's edge reveals verbena seeds against the orange leaves hanging like black rubies just over my head.

It is all a tease because once the sun is down, we can see gray winter advancing with its power. Upon reflection, with climate change, I happily welcome this colder weather.  The earth cannot survive without the yin and the yang.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

My Backyard in the Morning

Quiet this early and dark morning except for the return of that male cardinal tapping on the formal room's window.  We call it the formal room because we rarely use it.  I live in the woods, but am never alone!

Fall is almost over.  Thanksgiving week brought some piercing cold winds that tore all those golden and bronzed and crimson leaves from the trees.  They are now caramel-colored crunchy compost across my lawn.

I get drunk on autumn every year and look forward only a little to the cold weather of winter.  Our winter is about 3 and a half months long.  Here we do not usually get the heavy snows that confine one to the house for a week.  But we also do not get that lovely blanket of white that makes everything look so cozy while sitting in front of a fire.

I participate in University of Cornell's feeder watch each winter.  We put out seeds and suet and then count the birds that dine and input data to the University.  This year our brand new suet feeder needs to be hung more carefully as the furry 'birds' have brought down the jury-rigged setup.

Yes, they are really cute and also really smart and also look so innocent.  We feed them with our blue crab leftovers and our oyster bits down by the riverside, but not the entire suet cake!  I am trying to educate them on cholesterol overload. (You have something on your nose!)

We also are visited by other four-footed creatures that love the acorns.  The acorns are everywhere in the backyard from our large oak tree.  Since MANY oak trees are now being faced with disease and death due to climate change and are a keystone species for so many insects, I watch this old warrior closely.

Above he is listening to the neighbor's big dog that has been let out for its' morning run.  We do not get as many deer the past few years, and the deer we do we do get are very shy.

My coffee is now cold and since I woke hubby early to see the raccoon he will not be up for hours more.  Must get my food shopping list done for the week, even though we have eaten too much over the holidays.  Have a nice Sunday morning and I will go read and see how you all are doing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Not ANOTHER sunset!

I spend a good amount of dinner time running between our dock and the kitchen these days.  The burner gets turned to low and I slip into my outdoor shoes.  Thus far the neighbors have not called the "Whitecoats" to take me away and this is indeed surprising in this day and age where everyone seems to have a complaint against what people do in their own yards.  Although with me, there are signs of addiction!

The sun is very cooperative in moving from the northwest to the southwest and we get to see about 70% of it!   Those taken from the dock area are free of obstacles except for the far peninsula in the distance.

I check the folder labeled Sunsets 2021...10 months in and I have 1,146 files!  Do I delete and evaluate?  I do!  Guess I have to do even more.  But if I take photos 20 days a month and save just 3 each time...I still have 720 photos for the year.  It is an addiction.  I will get on it and delete half of those from the folder before I back it up!

Last Monday we had a beauty and it was very nice straight out of the camera.  

I usually shoot aperture priority and am challenged as I forget to change my other settings as needed.

This means the photos can be dark, which to me is better than overexposed.

But with software, it is easier to improve the exposure.

Sometimes it becomes a matter of taste.  I can guarantee that sunset photos are the most over-posted on social media.  But we love them.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

This May Be Where I Will Fill My Time

On my other blog I was whining with the wine. This blog I want to share how blessed I am and how I cannot complain too much or for too long.

I took these photos while walking around a nearby State Park with my son and his wife a few weeks ago.  The trails wind around a point with most having views of the water with also a few pocket beaches here and there.

This park also provides a place for horses that are used for rehabilitation and for use with children that have learning disabilities.  I understand that horses are far more gentle with these types of people while they learn to ride and accept their fear and disabilities.

These horses and others in different fields were very friendly.  They wanted food.  The signs warned of both an electric fence and to please not feed the animals.

There were even a few birds when my son's dog slowed down long enough for me to keep up and still take photos.

I am one lucky lady to live in such a rich part of the world.  By rich, I mean wildlife of all kinds!  I just have to keep up with the "kids".

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Strange Weather for Fall

Life has been exhausting with appointments, deadlines, lists, etc. Therefore I am going to just spend a few hours admiring the world outside my door and take some deep breaths of that cooler air that has dipped in. Come with me, please.  First, I will tell you about last week.

Last week it rained and rained and rained and the wind blew and blew and blew and white caps came all the way up the river. That big ole front even pushed the tide as high as ever and it stayed for 48 hours before we went back to what we know as low tide.  Some docks went under and owners had to make sure that boats were tied solid!  You did not want to find your boat on top of your dock a day later, or in even worse events some boats just disappeared!

Those who owned canoes and kayaks and floats took everything all the way to their back doors.  This week boaters will have to be careful about the flotsam that is across the waters.    We checked with neighbors on the more open side facing the actual Bay and they did somewhat worse.  Strange weather for fall, but with climate change this is the new normal.

It was perfect weather for ducks...or maybe geese?  Now let us open the door today and see what gift awaits us.  A
s always, the sun eventually breaks through and we realize that we have been spared to plod through another day.

The sky is blue again to contrast with the red maple leaves that managed to hang on.

I will now sit down at my desk and count my blessings.