Twofer Tuesday: snow birds

We woke to a snowstorm this morning (hooray!) and it’s been fun watching the birds. The usual suspects have shown up — Eurasian Collared-dove parked in the feeder dish while a Mourning Dove perched on the rim of the heated bath — along with a visit from a Blue Jay. We do see them now and again, but they are a bit more rare, so it was a nice surprise when I spotted this one through the kitchen window.

January 25, 2022

Wildebeest and Zebu are coming for a visit and we’ve been spending lots of time cleaning the house that has become quite messy over the past months. “Wash windows” was on my to-do list but that hasn’t happened yet which means my bird photos suffer. This Red-breasted Nuthatch would appear more vibrant had I washed the window as planned.

Ah, well. As long as the glass doesn’t become opaque, I guess it’s okay.

Crow Fun

Zippy took this photo and I played with the settings. Not sure he or the crow would appreciate my artistic input, but that’s okay because I very much like the lighting and colors, and what I interpret as a stance both confident and vulnerable.

Photo by Zippy. November 22, 2021.

I can relate to that juxtaposition  of attitudes.

Twofer Tuesday: House Finch edition

These finches (look closely, there are two) offer a good representation for my current emotional and mental state.

January 1, 2022

Sometimes my feelings are bright, cheery, and upbeat–as they were yesterday while walking in the sunshine with Emma Jean-Jean–and other times my emotions feel more drab and less hopeful, as this morning when tears overwhelmed me during my first yoga session in a while.

The good news is that nature always provides. During that same yoga session, feeders outside the window were visited by a flock of twenty or so wee Bushtits, reminding me of the power of community. Bushtits stick together, chipping and twittering as they forage in a tree and move on to another.

We’re not alone in this difficult reality and I’m grateful for my communities, including this one here.

Magpie Monday: shadow dancing

Right after I cleaned and refilled the bird bath, an assortment of magpies utilized the facilities. Not sure if this is the same bird in each photo, but I enjoyed watching their appreciation for the water.

December 19, 2021

It’s always a good day when Black-billed Magpies pay a visit.

Few clever enough

If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Photo by Zippy. November 22, 2021

Unfortunately, that also goes for many women. I don’t see crows mucking up things and then gaslighting everyone into thinking stuff’s just dandy. That’s purely the province of rich and powerful men/women.

Autumnal state of mind

Dark-eyed Junco. November 12, 2021

Not the sun or the summer alone, but every hour and season yields its tribute of delight; for every hour and change corresponds to and authorizes a different state of the mind, from breathless noon to grimmest midnight. Nature is a setting that fits equally well a comic or a mourning piece. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thankful Thursday: out my window

It means even more to me than usual to have winged visitors to my yard. Because I’m currently stuck in a walking boot, I haven’t been venturing out much at all. So, today I dedicate my gratitude to these four birds, in the order in which they appeared.

First up, is a House Finch that immediately flew to the bath right after I’d cleaned and filled it this morning:

Moments later, this Red-breasted Nuthatch came for a drink:

Then another male House Finch posed in the maple tree:

And this afternoon, while taking a break from revisions, I spotted a radiant Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay:

It’s only Day 4 of my walking-boot-sentence and the Herman Munster clomp-clomp-clomp is already wearing thin. All gratitude for birds!

Payback

Wait, what? You wanted this sunflower bud to blossom?

September 9, 2021

Well, maybe you shouldn’t have chased me away from the peanut feeder. What goes around, comes around.

Sunday Confessional: stealthy art

I get where Patti Smith is coming from in this quote: “In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” And I think when I originally drafted my work-in-progress, I did approach my art with abandon.

But today, as I continue to revise, I’m feeling a bit stealthy as I sow bits and pieces of backstory throughout the first 50 pages of this middle grade novel. I need the reader to know certain things, but I don’t want the reader aware of my presence. I very much do NOT want those bits and pieces to scream
BACKSTORY!
INFO DUMP!
WARNING: HEAVY-HANDED AUTHOR ON THE LOOSE!

Instead, I’m trying my best to adopt this squirrel’s attitude.

July 30, 2021

No sudden moves. Only careful and deliberate revisions that I hope won’t call attention to my presence.

(Note: Patti’s quote resonates with me so much I previously used it here.)

Refuge

Western Scrub Jay. June 21, 2020

This isn’t a great photo, but I resonate with its vibe. Grumpy-looking scrub jay hunkered down in a hideaway sheltered by green foliage. I spent lots of my childhood seeking these same kinds of spaces, whether I was grumpy or not. Unlike this bird, I’d usually have a book and peanut butter sandwich which always made everything seem better. Unfortunately, this picture was taken a year ago so it’s too late to offer a book or snack . . .

Green me up!

The rain continues here in Colorado. I admit to missing sunshine, but it’s been pleasant running weather and I’m very hyped for the green-green-green landscape.

Out my window on May 18, 2021

Every time I catch a glimpse of that intense green, I think of Loudon Wainwright III’s “The Acid Song” which tells a story of Loudon and four others dropping acid in a city bar and then escaping that unsettling urban landscape for nature:

Oh we got to my house in the country
Yeah, the country, I like this
The trees were all throbbing and green

That line has been my longtime go-to whenever I’m in a place that receives lots of moisture. Oddly enough, that place is now Colorado. All throbbing and green.

Hallelujah

Despite the National Weather Service’s warning that a boatload of snow was headed our way last night, we woke to only three inches this morning.

Vinca blooming among the snow. May 11, 2021

And they were incorrect again when they predicted a whole bunch more snow this afternoon. It did snow quite hard at times, but it didn’t stick. It’s been a mix of rain and snow and more rain. And rain beats melts snow.

The trees and shrubs are intact. Hallelujah!

Inauspicious beginning

We’re headed out for our first camping trip of the year and this is what it looks like outside:

April 28, 2021

The good news? We’re headed to another part of Colorado (John Martin Reservoir State Park) where the high will be an acceptable 59 degrees. Cloudy, but warm enough. And maybe that cloud cover will make for better bird photos. We shall see.

The other good news? Even though it’ll get down to 39 degrees tonight, we’ll be toasty (we hope) in this work-in-progess:

This is our maiden voyage in Moby, the cargo van we’re converting to a campervan. I’m excited to hit the road!