Category Archives: birdwatching

Sunday to Saturday (A Belated Five on Friday)

Since I work most Fridays, my Five on Fridays tend to be belated and show up on Saturdays.

A bit of a random post this morning. I’m a bit tired after Murphy and his aggravating law showed up for an unannounced visit.  Not a lot of photos either and they are a bit random as well.

Sunday And Monday:

On yet another snowy Sunday in April, I opted to make hot chocolate using all the fancy dressings: whipped cream, mini chocolate chips, and left-over Easter sprinkles. 

I also took photos of my groceries thinking I’d share what I bought in a post.  Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom does this in her grocery haul posts. Are you a snoop like me wondering about the things you see the people buy at the grocery store? Sometimes I wonder if the person surveying my groceries can tell I’m attempting to purchase healthy items (mostly for me) and trying to feed two teenage boys and keep my junk-food loving family content all at the same time?

On Monday, the outside world no longer looked like this:

These are Grackles, I think. The tree is a block over so the camera is at its zoom limits to see.

However, Monday night our phones buzzed with the news that my husband’s grandfather fell. He’s back in the hospital.  This time in the ICU. The diagnosis of two broken vertebrae and pneumonia did not sound optimistic.

TUESDAY And WEDNESDAY:

My husband and his brother opted to travel to Oklahoma on Tuesday. I stayed here and juggled working with the school runs.   I arrived late to work on Tuesday (Traffic! Ugh! And…don’t let me jump on my soapbox about the need of some car-line parents to watch their 7th and 8th graders walk 100 feet into a building…please, keep it moving! Some of us have places to be.)

Tuesday, the weather began to improve.  On Wednesday, I broke the coffee cup pictured above. Knocked the handle off of it. Super-glued it back on though.

The Carolina Wren popped out of hiding! Actually, I spotted two wrens but only managed to capture one with the camera. My fuzzy gray assistant kept bumping the camera and switching the angle. Some sort of cat petting emergency.  This wren sang a beautiful song of spring! Wednesday evening, my husband called. They moved his grandpa out of the ICU, no pneumonia although he did break a rib. He’s still in the hospital but recovering.  Quite miraculous!  He and his brother were coming home on Thursday.

THURSDAY And FRIDAY:

Tiny signs of spring in our backyard

Work days for me. Thankfully, my work is full of understanding and compassionate people who adjusted their schedules a bit since I now had to arrive later than my promised time.

We had a wonderful outside day at preschool cleaning up the playground and surrounding area.  And my husband arrived home in time to go with me to our tax appointment (Something he usually handles that I dreaded doing on my own).

Friday (yesterday), another day spent mostly outside at work enjoying the wonderful weather. It felt like summer!  And, I hardly noticed any bad luck with it being Friday the 13th, quite the opposite for me.

Today, we’re full-circle back to winter weather with a chance of snow showers tonight and tomorrow.  Yet, over all it’s been a good week.

What kinds of ups and downs did your week bring you?

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Linking this post to both Five on Friday hosted by The F.A.S.T. blog as well as The Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’.  Both great blogs to go visit!

 

Five On Friday: Spring Break, Dreary Weather, And Easter Panic

I should be doing lots of other things. So of course, I’m doing the one thing I don’t “have” to do.

Taking a minute from my Easter panic to join in with Five On Friday. And it’s still Friday. Go me!

Going to be a super random post tonight.

ONE: EASTER PANIC 

Fourteen guests plus the maybe count coming over for Easter brunch on Sunday morning. Am I ready? Not at all.  Is the house clean? Not at all.  What have I done? Well, I do have 2 ham and cheese Quiche in the freezer plus one pound of caramelized bacon twists. And a strawberry mousse I made ahead and am now having second thoughts on using. A jar of lemon curd (store-bought) hanging out in the cupboard.

Do I have a menu planned? Not really, going to be one of those years where I just throw it all together and hope for the best. Oops, I forgot, we also have a brisket and some buns. And plates (note: next year, do NOT put husband in charge of buying cute Easter plates) and a (plastic) tablecloth.

After I finish this post, I’ll start making a few things. Tomorrow, I’ve a full day in the kitchen. Better set my alarm and actually get out of bed when I hear it.

TWO: SPRING BREAK

Getting out of bed when I hear the alarm over spring break is a bit tougher than I expected. My spring break plan: Get up at the normal time every day and enjoy the quiet mornings. My spring break reality: Turn it off, kick the meowing “furry” alarm out of the bedroom, and go back to sleep until almost 9 every morning. Going back to reality’s going to be tough on us all next week.

THREE: DREARY WEATHER 

It feels more like a Christmas break than a spring break around here. Complete with a forecast for snow on Easter!

Oh, how I hope they have that one wrong. However, the dreary weather does make for excellent staying at home in pajamas, reading books, and just sleeping weather. We just about have laziness down to an art form in these parts.

FOUR: HOPEFUL SIGNS OF SPRING

The cutest Robin couple moved into our neighborhood and picked out a residence in the neighbor’s backyard.

House hunting:  Sold! A New Home: 

FIVE: TIME WITH THE TEENAGERS

“Remember when we used to wonder if they’d ever sleep in?” me to my husband just before noon today. I finally managed to get the creatures of the night into the car for a spring break outing in the ONE day of sun we’ve had this week.

We went to the art gallery (“The Nelson” aka The Nelson Atkins Museum) to see two special exhibits and then, over to Winsteads (a local hamburger restaurant) for dinner. 

While the Through the Eyes of Picasso exhibit was perhaps not ideal to visit with teenage sons (let’s just say parts of it focused heavily on male fertility, ahem), it was nice spending time with them. I think they both preferred the other exhibit, Dreams of the Kings: A Jade Suit For Eternity (a 2000 year-old jade burial suit starred in it).

We’ll just pretend the 13-year-old didn’t describe the outing to the museum as “excruciatingly boring.” The 16-year-old was a much better sport though he couldn’t resist a few “I told you so” remarks about my making his brother come with us.

I did have a good laugh and a brief moment of comradery with another couple at the museum. Their boy who appeared close in age to J had a similar “I’m so miserable” expression on his face.  We crossed paths a couple of times during the afternoon.

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Time to check my butter and start baking and perhaps, panicking less. Hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!

*Linking up with Five on Friday hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog and The Bird D’Pot hosted by I’d Rather B Birdin’.  Don’t forget to check them out!

 

Five On Friday (Er…Saturday): Spring Favorites

I’m already on spring break time over here (too bad the little gray cat is not). Didn’t want to miss the Five On Friday fun for a second week in a row. Surely, it’s still Friday somewhere.

Of course, since it’s Saturday, I’m going to make this my bird-watching post as well. Birds are one of my spring time favorites after all.

Spring is one of my favorite seasons! I love the warm sunny days and how everything becomes green again after boring blah browns (and sometimes whites) of winter.

ONE: FLOWERS

Once these little purple flowers start randomly popping up around the yard, I know spring is really here.  At one time, I used to make myself crazy trying to dig them up and move them since they really are pretty much all over the place. Now, I welcome seeing them since I know what they mean. It’s springtime! 

TWO: BEES

I’m actually a bit scared of bees but I’ve learned to take my own advice to the preschool kids: They’re just doing their work so if we leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone.  They were busy doing their work with the little purple flowers last Thursday afternoon. I braved standing close to them (with a zoom lens, I’m not that brave) and trying to get a decent photo. Do you see the bee in flight, just to the right in the photo above?

And here’s one busy working a flower in the photo below.

THREE: THE ROBINS

I love how one day the snowbirds all around give way to robins and grackles instead. This robin watched me with a lot of interest as I stood trying to get a decent bee photo. So did this squirrel. Once I must have stood too close to “his” tree and he came down to chatter at me for a moment. Later, I enjoyed watching another robin or maybe the same one, search for worms on the front lawn. The ones with the darker heads are the male robins.

FOUR: THE WEATHER

There’s nothing wrong with a good spring thunderstorm or rainy day. However, I think the best spring days are the warm sunny ones. The days meant for taking afternoon walks or sitting on the porch soaking in the sunlight.

I loved how the sun came through these trees.

FIVE: EASTER BRUNCH PLANNING

This one is my holiday.  Well, not my holiday but the one I do traditionally host for our families. I’ve been hosting it since G was a baby. So, this makes either the 15th or 16th Easter brunch for me to plan. We’ve only canceled one time in those years when both boys suffered from the stomach flu the weekend of Easter.

a peek at the centerpiece from last year

I love getting out the “real” dishes, planning what favorites to make, what new things to try, and of course, seeing whatever family can come to it. Some years, we have a large crowd. Other years, the crowd is a bit smaller. Always a good time.

On my to-do list for later today is to hop over to my Pinterest board and plan the menu with probably too much ambition.

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What are some of your favorite things about spring?

(Don’t forget to check out the link ups for both Five on Friday hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog and The Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’)

Goose, Goose, Robin

Out of bird seed and seeing nothing but an impatient squirrel on our deck, we went around the block.

Have you heard it’s almost spring?  The Canada geese are back at the end of the road and venturing further from the pond.

Caught a couple in flight near the pond! This goose wondered what I was doing. I noticed the geese were up near the playground and parking lot at the park I visit on my lunch break from work as well.  Meant to get back and get some better pictures but didn’t make it over there again.

The last few weeks I’ve shared pictures (sometimes blurry) of our returning robins. The weather treated them a bit nicer this week. My husband mulched the end of the fall leaves with the mower today.

Made our robins quite happy especially this one who agreed to pose for me a minute. Spring is coming! And is that a bit of green grass there as well? Yes, it is! Worms, wake up! Are you ready? And now, it’s time to get back to yard work before the rain moves this way…

Are you ready for spring?  I saw on the news where it’s something called “meteorological spring” already.  Just a few more weeks for the real thing.  Some tulips and lilies sprouting in the yard..it’s coming!  Waiting impatiently over here…better weather, more birds moving through, pretty flowers…I’m ready!

Linking up with the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather Be Birdin’.

 

Ice, Ice, Birdie

We’ve had nothing but rain, freezing rain, and now more rain this week.  So all my birding activities were out the window (quite literally) this week.

Good thing the birds didn’t seem to mind our ice-glazed deck.  I hope they appreciated the fresh seed on top of the frozen seed.  

The Birds On My Deck:

This little dark-eyed junco seems content.

This one didn’t seem put off by the ice either.  These little snow birds earned my respect.  Squirrels don’t seem to faze them and they can really hold their own against the other birds.  I have noticed they seem a bit mean at times though.  Chasing off my other little song birds like this white-throated sparrow and his kin.

Right after I snapped this, a different dark-eyed junco chased my sparrow away for a bit. Thankfully, my little sparrow returned to pose for me a bit longer.

(Not the most in focus photo but I love the pose so I shared it anyway.) Here’s one that’s a bit better. I’ve become a bit smitten with these little sparrows. We all need a little dab of yellow in the middle of winter (or year-round), I think.

The yucky weather brought all types of birds to the deck although I’m afraid I was a bit too slow to get decent captures of many of them.

Even the robin stopped by to take a glance at the wares offered on our deck! This is the best I managed before he decided ice or no ice, he could do better than my meager offerings.

Other birds spotted on the back deck this week:

Bluejays, The red-bellied woodpecker, the nuthatch, sparrows, cardinals, and of course, that annoying fur-covered bird family of squirrels.

Birds spotted other places:

A small brown warbler of some sort on a tree in the front (on Sunday before the weather arrived), a few doves flying and on the wires in the front again. Starlings and crows (not together). The hawk making a few circles quite a few blocks away. More robins near my work and some geese flying overhead.

Also spotted, someone growing weary of all this attention bestowed upon the birds:

What birds did you spot this week? Also, if you see some sunshine, could you send it this way, please?

Joining in with The Bird Depot, hosted by Anni of I’d Rather B Birdin’.

 

 

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