Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Essence of a Holiday

Less than two days after my most recent post, I got a Christmas wish!cropped-santa-up-close.jpg

My son and I had a great day together!

We had a late start, but when we did make it out, the traffic was gone for the evening and we made it to the electronics store where we purchased him his first Tablet.  He’s so excited!

We stopped for lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants in the center of Chapel Hill.

Strangely, when we approached the street-corner, a hawk that looked the same as the Red-shouldered one that lives in my little corner of the world, flew through the intersection in the sidewalk’s path!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  That hawk was flying about five or six feet above the ground in plain sight.  People were walking by, but nobody seemed to notice the hawk but me, which I thought was odd.

There is no way I can prove things that feel more than random or meaningful in a mystical way, but I admit to thinking that perhaps the hawk is helping me.

Life has been mostly difficult for me over the past couple of years.  A good day with my son came as a true blessing and desperately, what I needed.

I feel like my body is falling apart and perhaps, the way I had my life organized already has, but my spirit is strong and awareness is intact.

Nature helps me survive the hardest of times.

I’ve watched the Red-shouldered hawk since early Autumn.  The majestic bird perches close to my door on nearby electric lines.  I can get closer than I ever imagined I would to a hawk!  Honestly, I feel that if I got closer, I would disturb the animal’s hunting endeavors, but wow!  What a great bird to hang out with!

Since I haven’t been able to blog regularly or read other blogs, then sharing with you the beauty and interesting parts of my natural world is a way I can communicate.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you have a peaceful holiday.

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Coloring my World

It’s hard to live your life in color, and tell the truth in black and white. (Gregg Allman)

The Eastern Bluebird!

Backyard Birding in CarolinaI don’t think nature gets better than in the beauty of the Eastern Bluebird!

The little one in the above photo showed up in my yard with four or five more of the pretty blue beauties.  I reached for my Canon right away!

Differentiating between the male and female is somewhat challenging to me.

“Marvelous birds to capture in your binoculars, male Eastern Bluebirds are a brilliant royal blue on the back and head, and warm red-brown on the breast. Blue tinges in the wings and tail give the grayer females an elegant look.”  (Eastern Bluebird, Identification, All About Birds – Cornell lab of Ornithology).

Once in a while, when I have the energy, I practice photographing my winged friends in flight, which is a fun challenge, but not one I’ve mastered.

Eastern Bluebird landing on feeder

Winged in Blue, at the favorite feeder.

Fatigue has been a consistent companion since I moved to town in the beginning of 2014.  Taking photographs and uploading them to my computer meet my current energy limitations, but I enjoy browsing through the pictures.

I also enjoy recalling how I felt while taking a particular photograph.  The Eastern Bluebird’s backyard visit was exciting.   Watching them is a special time when nature is coloring my world.

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds foraging in grass and leaves.

Blue-Winged, Backyard Beauties!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at the Eastern Bluebird from my wild corner of town.

Thank you for visiting my blog, dogkisses!

Hello Butterfly!

The Butterfly Gently Whispers DreamsWELCOME!

RX: Notice Nature

I live in one wild corner!

Our newest wild resident is a deer.

She’s a brave young Momma and struts around like she owns the place!  Her territorial behavior makes me a little nervous.  In the photo below, she’s only a few feet from my door.  I stay back, keep my distance and she looks over at me from time to time, I guess checking to see if I’m still there.  After all, this is her new home and maybe in her mind, I am the resident human, who she thinks acts a little weird.

the young mother deer hangs around the yard

MY Home!

A few nights back, a neighbor knocked on my door.  She looked rather stunned.  I stepped outside.

First, she pointed at the deer standing close to us.

“Oh my!”  I gasped.

The deer was closer than usual!

We’ve become used to the deer and its territorial antics, but we had never seen it come for a sleepover right outside our doors, which is exactly what the deer did.

The neighbor pointed to our right and in a slight voice, suggesting she was taken by all the wild activity going on, she said, “The owls are here too.”

Two Barred Owls were perched under the street light on the electrical wires behind our building.  Oh, we’ve seen them before, both day and night, but lately, we’ve heard them too!

The owls were making a sort of hissing sound.  I’d heard the nightly noise for about ten days, but I wasn’t sure of the source. 

Barred Owls make several sounds other than the most known call (hoot), that can sound like they’re saying, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?” 

I think the hissing sound we heard was from a fledgling.  The timing makes sense, because I heard the Barred Owls mating in springtime.

The hissing is a mysterious sound, and I think it’s a bit eerie for some people, but I love the owls and their presence is soothing.

Some people are afraid of owls.  Others say seeing one is a bad omen.

I respect the owl and feel protected when they come around.  Owls eat snakes, mice and rats.  They watch the darkness and alert their mate or youngsters (and me), of unusual intruders.

If you’d like to see the Barred Owl and hear the hissing sound, here is a video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on YouTube:

My neighbor and I stood together for a few more minutes in the wild of our otherwise pretty normal residential neighborhood.  We watched and listened.  The owls were successfully hunting.  The deer was cozy in the corner of the yard.

OUR BEAUTIFUL RESIDENT BARRED OWL

Barred Owl hunting in daylight in North Carolina Town

Perched Above Creek

The air was thick with wild.

“I also saw a big snake on my walk home,” my neighbor added.  “I think it was a Copperhead.”

Our wild backyard scenario was becoming more interesting by the second!

Barred Owls at Night

To our left, the Barred Owls hunt

wildlife comes to camp

To our right, the deer prepares for bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank goodness, I don’t have a photo of the snake!  I’d rather they are not seen by me.

 

Nature is very much alive where I live and the residents do take notice.  Every neighbor I’ve talked with mentions something about the natural environment around here, usually pointing out one creature or another.  The children seem to like the turtles and the adults often mention the Great Blue Heron. 

A sense of community can be felt in our common awe, interest or simple excitement, inspired by the wild things that live amongst us.

Seeing the owls during the day (and capturing a few photos), is a beautiful thing.  Watching all the pretty birds, listening to the sounds of nature, and once in a while, getting a glimpse of the Great Blue Heron, are each blessings of beauty.

Nature’s beauty is healing in so many ways.  Beauty shows up unexpectedly too, like in the green muddy moss on the turtle’s shell and the hissing owls.  I think those are beautiful things.

A flood zone, surrounded by a creek, with a pond in the center, apparently has a unique ecological system, which is a big reason why we have a diverse community of wildlife, such as the family of turtles that live in the pond.

Below Photo:

A resident turtle.

Normally, the family of turtles take leave and dive into the water when people approach, which they did, but one came back after a minute or two of my arrival, climbed on the rock and gave me a stare!

Pond Turtle is Big!

I Like Water, Mud and Sunshine

Maybe I imagine these wild-life-looks I get, but I must say, I believe communication happens.  I like that.

For instance, I played with a white butterfly the other day.  That’s right.  We played and I had a grand time!

I was growing a few Kohlrabi plants, which might have been the reason for my playful winged visitor, the Cabbage White Butterfly!

I was so happy about my time with the butterfly, that I shared photos and wrote a little about it in my photo journal blog, Green Healing Notes.

Photo Below:

A Green Healing Morning with the Cabbage White Butterfly!

Nature is Beauty

Beauty in the Cabbage Patch!

I need the outdoors to thrive; whether it’s walking through woods, tending plants, birdwatching, chasing butterflies, or taking photographs of the beauty I see. 

In nature, even in my own little green space, with one butterfly hovering around, I lose myself.  Or perhaps, I find myself and lose the rest.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Logo by Leslie Sigal Javorek, IconDoIt, the blog, and other places of original art
dogkisses

 

 

Please respect my Creative Commons Copyright License and Share Kindly, giving credit for any non-commercial use of images and/or text in this blog, with a clear link back to this blog, “dogkisses,” or Michelle, at https://dogkisses.wordpress.com.  Thanks!

 

Pond Life in the Neighborhood

Now, if I could just get a nighttime shot of the Bullfrogs I love listening to by the pond.

Singing Spring

American Robin

Waiting on Worms

Not to fret.  Spring is on the way.

American Robin sings in Tree

Singing Spring

Happy March!

This Mourning Dove

Beautiful Backyard Bird is the Mourning Dove

This Mourning Dove is Smiling!

Mourning Dove in October One Mourning Dove stays when I approach with the camera.

I hope you enjoyed the photos of this beautiful backyard visitor.

 

The following is a link about this bird’s life history. (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/mourning_dove/lifehistory).

Please see related links (at the bottom of this page) for interesting posts (and pretty photos) about the Mourning Dove!

Thanks for visiting my blog, dogkisses!

A note to those of you who are aware that my sweet dog, Ruthie Mae, has been recovering from a severe GI upset that happened after our end of summer camping trip. 

I’m happy to report that Ruthie is doing well!

She is still on a prescription diet, Hill’s ID, which is expensive, but has helped tremendously in her recovery.  I’m working on transitioning her to a more normal diet by adding boiled chicken and rice, along with pumpkin, to the ID food.

I’ve been working on a post about HGE, which is a rare and mysterious condition in dogs and is the diagnosis Ruthie received in early September.  I’m not used to writing about such factual information and I’m tired these days, so it’s taking me a while to finish the post.  I wanted to at least offer an update. 

Thanks to all of you who have expressed your kindness and concern.  Ruthie and I are most grateful!

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