Posts Tagged ‘Photos’

A Holiday Season for the Birds

“We missed you at the dinner,” my mother said.

“I missed being there,” I replied, sincerely.

We let the sadness sit in silence for a moment.

I’ve missed so many important occasions over the past decade.

Family reunions, weddings, birthdays, baby showers and this year, our Christmas gathering, have all happened without me.

Mother always tells me who showed up and gives me bits of updates on my loved ones.  Loved ones I’ve lost contact with, except through photos or indirect stories.

I’m trying not to let things get me down this holiday season, but so far, it is a huge challenge.

Not only am I in more pain from fibromyalgia and a few new ailments too, my son and I are not getting along.  It’s a double dose of holiday grief!

While talking with Mother about the Christmas gathering that I wasn’t able to attend, I immediately felt my heart-strings pull.  My efforts to be positive seemed to pay off because right away I decided to try and take joy in her account of the gathering.  I was surprised when soon I was smiling, as I imagined one of my great nieces bringing one of her cousins five wrapped presents.

“I don’t know if she got the other ones anything, but she sure had five,” Mother said, with that pure joy a Great-Grandmother has.  “She had every one of them wrapped too,” she added with a little laugh.

After a few minutes into the conversation, I walked to the window where I could see a flock of Robins in the yard. They love the grassy lawn where I live and they are spectacular to see!  They always seem to come when the light shows their silhouettes under the Sycamore tree.  Many of them move toward my door, and I get to see them up close and personal as they lean in towards the ground, turning their heads slightly, listening for earthworms.

Robin listening for worms

The Robin Listens

“Hey Mother!  The Robins are here!”

I’ve told her about the Robins before.

Amidst the flock were other birds about the same size as Robins, but with black with golden stripes.  One or two had iridescent blue heads, so perhaps they were young Common Grackles.

Sometimes, when I mention the birds in my yard over the phone to people, they’re silent for a moment afterward.  I always wonder if they think I’m making up these tales of many birds!

Mother was quiet for a moment, but then she remarked that I should, “send a photo to that wildlife magazine.”

I wish I could.  I wish I could, if for no other reason than to make her proud.  She would be happy to see one of my photos in a magazine.

I’m in pain and can’t sit long enough to complete even the most simplest of photo projects.

“Now,” I started telling my bird tales again, “there are Black-capped Chickadees, two or three bluejay, some Orioles, and the Hawk has landed on the ground!”

As if that wasn’t enough, a flock of Cardinals were perched on the bushes by the treeline!

“It’s a winged-oasis out there!” I told Mother.  “It’s so beautiful!”

I didn’t have the energy to go outside to take a photo.  At least, not yet.

I was happy to see the pretty winged visitors, as always, but when I’m feeling unusually blue, I am especially grateful because the beauty and life they bring lifts a part of my spirit every time.

I sensed my mother knew, or somehow, she could feel what I saw.

Mother and I have always had a connection on a level other than this physical one that we can see and understand.

Our talk ended when my son called.  “I hope he’ll stay and have the chocolate croissants with me,” I remarked to Mother.

He’s in the habit of taking food that I cooked to his apartment to eat.  He won’t visit me at home or talk to me much lately.

The hawk was still on the ground when my son arrived.  A neighbor walked by and we each watched the bird for a few minutes.

He was excited over the beautiful pastries and gave me a hug, thanking me for baking them, but he took his croissants and headed back home.  I was disappointed, but at least I knew he would enjoy them and that gave me comfort.

Practicing gratitude helps me get through hard times, even if the feeling only last for a little while.  I need to remember the better times and keep hope alive.

I’m glad for the ability to enjoy the natural world around me.  The wild ones keep coming back, so I have plenty of chances to take in nature’s beauty!

The hawk was still in the yard when my son left, but was perched on the electric wires.

I reached for my Canon!

The Red-shouldered hawk and that streak of beautiful Carolina sky!

Getting closer to the red-shouldered hawk

“How close are you going to get?”

Red-shouldered hawk perched on wire in backyard

“That’s Close Enough.”

Thank you for visiting my blog, dogkisses.

Peace and Happy Holidays!

Your blogger, Michelle.

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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!

Dogs Make Good Neighbors

Four-legged Neighbors

Ruthie and Happy sure know how to be good neighbors.  They’re polite and respectful to one another.  They always greet each other with a bark or if there is time, several dogkisses!  They are good friends.

Happy has a busy schedule of walks, playing and sleeping, but she enthusiastically remembers Ruthie on her way home from her morning walks.  Ruthie is always happy to see her friend and neighbor, the dog, Happy!

Open for Grace

Ruthie Mae inspired what turned into a beautiful walk and an emotionally moving time for me.  We ventured out just before dusk, which is often the time of day I’m drawn to go outside, particularly when I’m in a melancholic mood.  I can’t think of anything that could have helped me more than our time together did.  It was perfect!

Ruthie saw a daring squirrel perched on a big tree.  She looked surprised when it didn’t immediately flee upon her arrival.  First, she appeared perplexed.  After a short moment, she had a hunter’s gaze that is so much a part of who she is, and which I do love.

There were several interesting sculptures in the park where we walked.  My favorite one is of three metal figures in the shape of women, holding their arms toward the sky.  They remind me of my two sisters, so I call them, The Three Sisters, but I don’t know the true title.

We came upon a bench formed into the shape of open hands.  I was especially inspired by the quote. 

park bench of open hands

The message touched my low spirit, lifting me from melancholia, to an inner place of hope.

“And Never Cease to Keep Your Wait

for Grace Lamp Ready.”

Hands Open.  Lighting Brown.

 

Thanks for visiting my blog, dogkisses, and I hope you have a blessed new year!

Stately Winged in Carolina

The Stately and Lovely Northern Cardinal

In the first weeks of Spring, a female Cardinal started visiting my backyard.  She liked the fallen seeds below our bird feeder.  

Within days of her arrival, she had two bright and very handsome red suitors.

I watched for weeks as the two male Cardinals chased her through the edge of the woods, swooping from branch to branch, stopping momentarily to show off their plumage or grab the best perching seat.

The female Cardinal appeared to enjoy the chase.  From where I stood, her future looked pretty good.

I don’t know which of the two males finally got her attention, but on Mother’s Day, I was delighted when just before Dusk, I walked outside to catch the last of daylight and heard a symphony of unfamiliar sounds.  

I thought at first the frenzy was normal dinner-time excitement in the backyard.  I soon suspected something more special was going on out there.  And it was!

A female Cardinal was feeding a fledgling!  I could barely make out the color of the little bird, but I sure heard it, and siblings too! 

I felt a surge of delight.

Slowly, I walked a little closer to a nearby briar patch where the loud and persistent cries were coming from.  I hoped for a photograph.

A bright male Cardinal flew across the yard, landing clear on the other side.  I’m pretty sure he was asking me not to get one step closer to his family.  I returned to the view from my deck.

The cries of the young birds moved me.  Although, the fledglings made lots of noise, I had a feeling their tweets were more a communication of location and confident awaiting, rather than ones of unmet needs.  

The mother was surely capable of providing and proving as much to her new children!  She looked well-fed and strong, yet when she bent over to offer her little one a bit of food, it was with an amazing gentleness. 

My heart was struck with love.

I returned inside to give the beautiful family peace and privacy.  I watched from my kitchen window until dark.

What a terrific gift for Mother’s Day!

I’ve seen many beautiful birds so far this Spring, but I must say, like my Winter resident, the American Robin, the Northern Cardinal has captured my heart.

Thank you for visiting dogkisses!

A Green Healing Backyard Beauty



Wishing you beautiful days in Nature!

 

Illuminating Blogger Award

My enthusiastic thanks to CJ, at Food Stories, for giving Dogkisses’s blog the Illuminating Blogger Award! Thank you CJ! 

Blogger Award

“A fabulous award that anyone can bestow on their fellow bloggers for illuminating, informative blog content.”  CJ

Visit Food Stories via above link.  CJ is a nurse, with type-11 diabetes, offering interesting food facts and education, along with ‘illuminating’ tasty recipes! 

Below are the five blogs I’ve chosen for this award:

Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary

IconDoIt, the blog!

DorkeyDeb.com  (Deb also has a nature blog)

Learning From Dogs

The Soulsby Farm

I enjoy many blogs when I have time to read.  It’s hard not to choose more bloggers.  In the interest of time, I can only offer five.  The ones I chose have particularly ‘illuminating content’ via images and of course, each of them are also informative and interesting.

Again, thanks to CJ at Food Stories for the award and creating the Food Stories blogroll/nominee page.

Thanks also to the blogging community for offering interesting and illuminating content 🙂

Accepting the Award (See below)

Just follow the steps below:

The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.

Include a courtesy link back to the official award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/) in your blog post.

Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.

Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award.

Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/).

I hope you have fun!

Oh yeah, one random thing about myself…

I like good thrift shop finds!  Today I bought a nice mirror for my son framed in thick strong Bamboo.  It’s pretty, matches his furniture and I saved about 150 US Dollars!  Only spent 8.  Pretty good 🙂

For the sake of illuminating content, I’d like to share a photo from the horticulture gardens where my son and I are volunteering and having many ‘Green Healing‘ Days!

Image of Merlot sweet peppers

Green Healing Merlot Peppers


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