Hop skip and a jump
towhee bustin’ out the moves
Hop skip and a jump
Hop skip and a jump
towhee bustin’ out the moves
This photo was taken last December, but it feels fitting for today because the robin is looking to the north. As I write this, people are being evacuated north of here due to the East Troublesome Fire that exploded from about 35,000 acres to 127,000 acres after 60 mph wind gusts last night. The fire jumped the Continental Divide. Rocky Mountain National Park is on fire. Homes are burning. East Troublesome Fire is currently the fourth-largest wildfire in Colorado history.
Colorado has been on fire with multiple wildfires for the last four months but I’m told I must vote for the presidential candidate who believes climate change is real, yet keeps telling us he opposes a Green New Deal and won’t ban fracking. I’m told I must help the Democrats reclaim the Senate by voting for the candidate who drank fracking fluid and opposes a Green New Deal. It doesn’t matter to them that I’ve spent much of those past four months inside as my lungs can’t handle the smoky air; I owe them my vote.
I’m angry and exhausted and just about cried out.
. . . I should stop looking at and thinking about the world at large. At least for a bit.
So today I offer this Painted Redstart which is a species of warbler we saw while visiting Cave Creek Canyon in May of 2019. Such a cheery little bird.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ~ J. R. R. Tolkien
This goldfinch seems to embrace that philosophy, as do I.
I went in search of a rabbit photo in order to post a Bunny Monday, but in the process came across this grackle.
Sorry, bunnies. It’s now a Grackle Monday.
Wishing everyone a good week. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Mother Earth needs us to keep our covenant. We will [. . .] commit to our descendants to work hard to protect this land and water for them. Whether you have feet, wings, fins, or roots, we are all in it together. ~ Winona LaDuke
These are hard days and I’m trying to find joy wherever I can. This photo lifts my spirits not only because I love the composition, but also the memory of taking it. I sat outside my little KOA cabin last June, watching the birds and bunnies moving about, and was completely engrossed in my surroundings. I remember the joy I felt aiming my camera at all that activity. So much life on display.
It’s a beautiful planet.
Over the past several years, my partner has bemoaned the scarcity of magpies in our yard. We’d see them throughout the neighborhood, but they weren’t spending much time in our yard anymore. We missed their raucous energy.
Then one day last month (which just happened to be our wedding anniversary), we noticed a whole bunch of magpies in our neighbors’ backyard, their trees, and on the fence between us. We’d hit the magpie jackpot! But why?
Well, according to our neighbor, when he came home that day to find his yard filled with magpies, he was equally puzzled. Then he went to feed his dog and couldn’t find the nearly-full bag of chow, which was also a puzzle. So he stepped out in the yard and pieced together the sequence of events. His doggo had dragged the bag of food into the yard, scattering the kibble everywhere. The smart corvids had quickly found the treasure.
They also immediately found our bath and took turns tidying up.
The best news is they’re still hanging around and we’re treated to magpie sightings every day.
We salute you, Rainbow Dash. Pure genius.
Cat and squirrel face off through the glass as a House Finch dines in the background. Meanwhile, a fish (window sticker) swims across the scene. Would’ve been even more awesome if a reptile wandered into the picture.
Guess it could happen…the day’s still young.
Hard days on the planet, yo. However, this morning I sent my revised manuscript to my agent and that feels so very good. While that project has definitely been my refuge, there were times it was hard to focus because of *gestures* everything. But after two months, the revisions are complete and I’m very proud of my tenacity (call me Tenacious T) and the finished product. Huge shout-out to all the readers who offered their insights, suggestions, and support at various stages of the process. ❤️
I’m also grateful for birds. They never, ever let me down. No matter what — watching them, listening to them, studying them — always soothes my soul and returns me to balance. More birds, please.
For the past couple years, I’ve regretted planting Russian Sage in my garden. It gets leggy and spreads all over the place. The root system makes it very difficult to remove.
Then I saw these Goldfinches.
Maybe the sage should stay, after all.
Waiting to retrieve
dead Mourning Dove from the deck
flew off without meal
Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
~ Leonard Cohen
Could be take-off or
coming in for a landing
that feather’s no clue
If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands. ~ Douglas Adams
ETA: Used this quote a little over a year ago. Oops. Knew I liked it.
The U.S. Senate just adjourned until September 8 without passing a stimulus package. They’re going back to their comfortable homes and lives, oblivious to the pain and suffering of the peasants. If we’re going to be ruled by an entitled aristocracy, I’d prefer to bow down to a feathered king.
Water for the bees
Towhee and Finch say “Yes, please”
clean feathers are key
This is an Eurasian Collared-Dove.
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery. ~ Anais Nin
Where’s the head? Are those wing or tail feathers? Did a tornado just blow through?
This photo seems fitting today as I continue revising my middle-grade novel based on a critique partner’s (CP) comments.
Her insights are helping me ground each character in key scenes. This CP excels at noting the many moving pieces in my story, reminding me to take into account each character’s perspective. Revision is a dream when I’m equipped with such a good map. Much gratitude to Marcia.
(Another CP is reading the same version Marcia received and I’m beaming thoughts to the universe that his feedback aligns with hers because otherwise, yikes. What will I do with a whole new map? Breathe, Tracy. Breathe.)
Birds are the most accomplished aeronauts the world has ever seen. They fly high and low, at great speed, and very slowly. And always with extraordinary precision and control. ~ David Attenborough
I stayed in a KOA cabin in Grand Island, Nebraska, earlier this month. The cabin was cute and cozy, but the highlight was the Barn Swallow presence.
They’d built a nest on the beam above the front porch and were very active. I was so focused on photographing this pair I didn’t realize I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I shudder to think how many bites I would’ve gotten if those swallows weren’t there to catch and eat mosquitoes on the wing. I’m definitely on #TeamSwallow when it comes to biting insects.
I didn’t leave my house today, not even for my daily walk around the neighborhood. In fact, I didn’t get exercise of any kind, unless I include snuggling with my cats and dog.
I did, however, sit in front of my computer most of the day, revising the final chapter of my novel. I’m not thrilled with the results.
I did also photograph a young scrub jay as it preened its wet feathers. In fact, I took about 50 photos of that scrub jay and this one is probably the best. (I can’t say for sure as I tired of looking at/deleting them and somewhat randomly selected this one).
Am I satisfied with this Sunday?
Does it matter at this point?
It is what it is and was what it was.
Name change is needed
this Grackle isn’t Common
note regal plumage
Eyes closed to the world
moment of calm solitude
a truly wise owl