birds, Blog

My Love of Birds

Day 268

My love of birds most likely came from my grandmother. I have vivid memories of sitting in her dining room, looking out into the backyard after a heavy snowstorm. A flush of red moved against the undisturbed snow as cardinals left the first tracks looking for food.

Very little time would pass before my grandmother would don her boots, throw on a long coat, tie a scarf around her head and go outside. I can still see her rounding the corner of the house with an old well-worn straw broom in hand.

She would make her way to a beautiful old forsythia bush and start sweeping away the snow. Once a spot had been cleared tucked under the branches, she would pull an old bread wrapper from her coat pocket. Inside were bread scraps and oatmeal which she would scatter for the birds. There was no commercial birdseed available — or if there was, it certainly was not in our budget.

Our Birds in Winter

It would not be long before there was a flurry of activity as birds darted in and out to take advantage of the feast she had so carefully laid out for them. It’s funny, I tried to leave oatmeal and breadcrumbs once for the birds here. They would not touch any of it. Must say something about our processed food supply.

I remember an incident once when my brother was attempting to shoot at a bird with his B.B. gun. Oh, was my grandmother beside herself! He got a stern talking to and I honestly do not think he ever raised his B.B. gun at another bird.

It reminds me of this scene from The Andy Griffith Show. Still makes me cry, but then I’m a softie and I know it.

We watch the birds year-round – our children refer to our view as ‘the outdoor tv’. We feed the birds every day unless the black bears are making their presence known. They are beautiful creatures and they hold such wonderful memories for me.

It’s nice to be back living in a place that reminds me so much of my home as a child. I think it sparks a lot of good memories of times gone by. As I sit here writing this, I see the birds out of the corner of my eye, taking full advantage of the bounty in the birdfeeders. Not a bad life — for me or the birds.

birds, Blog, rainy day

More Rainy Days

Day 257

Today we entered into what will be a long week of rain. Too much rain, unfortunately. It will be hard on the garden because we are predicted to receive between 5 and 8 inches of rain. Today we have already received 2.81 inches today.

Last year we had some horrible rainstorms and flooding. Unfortunately, we also had some loss of life. Our home is on a bit of a hill, so most of the water runs off. Most of the land surrounding our house has a good bit of trees and vegetation which helps prevent any erosion.

The prediction for the worst rains is supposed to be along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The Escarpment is the line where the mountains are reduced to foothills. It is full of waterfalls and deep drop-offs. Since I do not understand it very well, here’s an educational video about the geology of the Blue Ridge Escarpment:

For now, the rain has held off but it will pick up again tomorrow and continue for several days. I am hoping the rain is less than what has been predicted and there will not be any damage or loss of life. The threat of mudslides is always looming when we get saturating rain that lingers for days.

In the breaks between the weather today, the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds were very active around the feeders. We always have an abundance of birds at the feeders when it rains which is the opposite of what I would have thought.

 

I managed to catch a little activity on some video loops which didn’t loop. I guess I need to download that app and update these tomorrow. Bear with me for now.

This weekend I am off to spend a week with my daughter-in-law and grandchildren while my son goes out of town on business. I’ll be blogging, but I would imagine they will be short and sweet, just like my loops above. Have a good weekend and a good upcoming week.

 

birds, Blog, gardening, nature

Taking in Nature’s Gifts

img_9934Day 229

The weekend was odd. I thought I had recovered from my cold and sinus headache only to be a mess all day Saturday. I was in full-blown cold mode. I had Kleenex stuffed in every pocket I had. I was running errands and as the day progressed, I got worse. I finally called it a night early, took some NyQuil and went to bed. Sunday I woke up with no symptoms at all. Maybe it was an allergy attack but whatever it was it just disappeared.

This morning I slept in and am just relaxing a bit. I am so excited to have my children here and Saturday I hope to have my son and his children here as well. It is so important that the kids grow up knowing each other and forging a family bond. I am so glad my children feel the same way.

I thought it was time to go out and check out the garden. We have several tomatoes, a pepper, and some very tiny cucumbers coming on. I just hope they make it. We are expecting some very hot weather through the weekend. I understand it may be record-breaking temperatures.

I was hoping the weather would be cooler so our family from Florida would have a break from the heat they live with every day. At least where we live we have a lot of trees which helps keep things a little cooler. These are the days when my husband laments about our need to move higher into the mountains where it is cooler.

We only have a few flowers blooming now, but what is blooming is beautiful. The heat takes a toll on them very quickly.

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For now, I will water and try to nurse the plants through this heat wave. There is no prediction for rain in the short-term so the plants will need some extra TLC.

As I sip my last bit of coffee, I am watching the Downy Woodpeckers fly to the suet and bring the food back to the camellia bush and feed their young. The Cardinals will do this as well. They look like they are sharing tiny kisses. Such a sweet moment and one that begs you to stay and watch for just a minute longer.

birds, Blog, children, grandchildren

Foggy Friday

Day 226

Unfortunately, I am in a bit of a fog today. I woke early with a mild headache, but dressed for our morning walk just the same. As we stepped outside it started to rain. Just recovering from a cold, I did not want to get caught in the rain. We came in, checked the radar, and managed to get a short walk in between storms.

I saw this bird nest lying on the ground as we walked. Hopefully, it has served its purpose. Our bluebirds and our Carolina wrens have hatched and the nests are now empty so maybe the same is true for this abandoned nest.

I took a class last year that explained how to tell the bird by the construction of the nest, but I honestly don’t remember now. Maybe when this headache subsides I will try to look it up. Waiting for this sinus pill to kick in.

Last night we saw the first lightening bugs of the season. To me that signals the transition from spring to summer. I am not ready for the heat of summer. Our weather predictions are in the 80-90° F range all this week through Memorial Day.

But all-in-all, next week will be wonderful regardless. Our children and granddaughter will be here for the long weekend. There will be adventures to be had no matter the weather.