As I sat here, last week, trying to write this post, I had a frustrating experience.
I was taunted…no other word works…by about 6 Flickers outside in various parts of my area. They were tapping, knocking, screeching, and imitating Woodpeckers, Quail, and that one sound they do that could be mistaken for some kind of jungle primate sound.
Taunting me. Teasing me. Harassing me, all while I combed my photo files for the hundreds of pictures I have snapped over the years of these guys!
Apparently, in the transfer to my new computer, I lost the saved bird files…a lot of them…And all I had left were poor quality rejects.
But, I can be rebellious and obstinate too, so here they are!!
Unfortunately, my all-time favorite was lost. I watched this pair of Pileated Woodpeckers dance around and around and up and down this telephone pole for almost 30 minutes one day. It was delightful, and sometimes hysterical, to witness their maneuvers, Some kind of mating ritual, I suppose? The original Pole Dancers!
These still shots are all that remains.
So in case no one else already included this, here are great YouTube examples of the songs and calls of each.
I move through most days completely alone now…occasional human sightings out on my walks, and I can hear my family in the upstairs of the house, but rarely lay eyes on them. I tell you what! I am about ready to risk my life for a hug with my grandson!! sigh.
BUT, I am also still surrounded with Spirit Lifters! I just have to remember to look, listen, smell, etc.
Here are my most recent miracles:
Camera function Mystery…
For some time now, my phone camera will not capture true purple…except when she damn well feels like it!
Though the flowers below are lovely, she insists as showing them as pink, dark pink, fuchsia, etc. They are actually a deep royal purple! (You can see tiny flashes of the deeper color purple at the center of the flowers or a little like the lavender in the vase with the pink rose.)
I’ve had some pretty “cheeky” bird visitors lately, right outside my living quarters. These Grosbeaks were fun.
And I don’t know who this next fella is but he apparently did not want me taking his picture. That glare made it very clear!
Maybe you’d have to live in the Great Northwest to appreciate these shots. First of all, slug tracks are rare when it is supposed to be 80 degrees outside. It seems our summer came and went (in about 5 minutes) back in June and the slugs think it’s Autumn…time to leave their drunken silver trails all over everywhere! (Not sure you can see them but given how slowly they move, you’d think a straight line would be much more efficient in their travels.)
Lucy keeps me entertained inside the house, finding even cuter sleeping positions every day.
And she is such a smart ass…
Here she is giving me a very clear hint.
Back outside, there’s this really tall weed that started blooming. Nobody knows where it came from or what it is but I decided to let it stay in my small flower garden, just out of curiosity.
And any visit I get with my upstairs occupants is appreciated!
Master Loki has certainly become a Princely feline! What a beauty he is!
There you have it! My Spirits are lifted just sharing all of this. I hope yours are too.
Please comment and tell us how YOU are staying healthy and content.
Oh I am so excited to find this “challenge”! BIRDS!!! One of my favorite topics!
And just yesterday, I found some old photographs (remember the paper kind?) that took me way back to my very first pet, Fluffy, the House Duck. I wrote out the story of Fluffy when I was about 10 years old and won an elementary school creative writing contest. I was so embarrassed (and proud!)
You can read the “adult version” here:
But for this week’s challenge, here are a variety of more recent photos. To me it’s no surprise I have so many pictures as ducks and geese are favorites of mine, given my early water fowl imprinting with Fluffy and all. (Just don’t tell my Crows and Hummers, as they get so jealous…)
First, even though I live in a very country-ish suburban neighborhood, a duck sighting here is unheard of. But this one year (2002), for some reason, I had a visitation.
Then, on a trip to the Deep South a couple of years ago, at the New Orleans airport, I was visited again!
Next, very recently, this guy just dropped by to say hello. He spent the afternoon hanging out in my side yard. He seemed quite tame and very amenable to a photography session. His colors were so beautiful and I kept imagining that I was seeing a flash of bright blue along his side…
Turns out a neighbor on the next street over has a large pond on their property and these ducks return to every year. That probably explains the 2002 visit also.
And not to neglect geese…on a regular trail we travel several times a year, from home to the San Juan Islands, if we are lucky, we see this! These are shots taken in the not-yet-blooming Tulip fields by La Conner, Washington, a favorite stopping place for migrating Canadian Snow Geese. The pictures are not great but you get the idea.
I just wish I could share the sound with you. It’s like nothing else. When these geese are having lunch, it kind of sounds like an audience sitting in a Concert Hall, right before the show begins…low conversations, muffled chattering.
Then when they take flight, BOOM, it’s like the explosive standing ovation, crowd clapping and cheering, when Bonnie Raitt finally walks out on the stage!!
All in all, Ducks and Geese figure bigly in my life!
Thanks for a wonderful challenge!
Now off to play a favorite childhood game…Wonder if we can do it and stayed Socially Distanced??
Duck, Duck, GOOSE!!
What a delightful challenge for this starting-to-seem-endless, cooped-up time. It comes from:
I am especially blessed these days by my father’s powerful teaching and modeling. His most strongly held spiritual belief was that boredom was a sin, and an insult to Mother Nature. He taught us to always look for that big surprise. He believed we were constantly surrounded by miracles and could find one anywhere, anytime.
Nothing cancels out boredom better than a miracle.
Being trapped in my rooms for so long has been mostly OK because of this exact philosophy. But I have to admit, I almost get to the point of boredom sometimes. When I find myself feeling that, I know it’s time to get outside. Even if just in my country-like, suburban neighborhood. Rain or shine, day or night, peopled or not, the miracles abound.
Here are some recent Surprises!!!
First, water, early morning sunlight, and shadows…a great combination for surprising beauty.
Next, the bunnies are still around, which means the Coyotes, Owls and Hawks are probably well-fed elsewhere…for now.
Surprise! The baby Apple Tree has its first baby apples!
Next, very early sunlight sometimes messes with my mind. At first I thought these lovely plants had been attacked by some strange blight, only to discover on closer examination, was surprised to see it was the sun slipping through the cracks in the fence!
I love experimenting with things that close-up, are mysteries….but a step back reveals the origin of the surprise.
And this one surprised me because I didn’t notice until writing this post, the shadow, light and colors from the Hummingbird feeder look remarkably like a Hummingbird!!
And lastly, though I’m not sure it will actually work to post this, I had a long-awaited surprise just this morning.
I love my local crows and have been feeding them everyday for many years now. I wait each year for early summer, hoping to capture the Teenage crow “Feed Me!!” phenomenon.
They put on quite the show for me today!! The video is long-ish, and kind of bumpy, but if you listen closely, you’ll hear the reason for the camera jerks.
You can hear Miss Lucy, purring her competitive little heart out, and see the results of her head-butting my camera.
What a wonderful, surprising challenge today!!
Go here to see others’ creative interpretations of “Surprise”!
Life and the world have been a bit distracting of late. For a while there, even I, the self-appointed champion of uplifting things, had a difficult time finding stuff to share.
But here are just a few things that hopefully bring you a sliver of beauty or a tiny laugh or little piece of inspiration to hang in there…yep, even longer than we had hoped!
I have enjoyed the wildlife in my yard lately.
This guy is relentless!!!
Brazen intruder in Bellevue
And Bunnies everywhere!!
And of course, flowers!
And my favorite, the Birds…
But of course, also the indoor wildlife…even though it’s often hidden…
Where is that silly cat now???
Earth Day slide show
Earth Day Entertainment and Inspiration
Downhill from Everywhere by Jackson Browne…released today…
And best for last, DEFINITELY X Rated, so watch when your kids are at Home School in the other room…
For every 5 minutes spent searching for, and reading, the terrifying news we all need to be responsible to know about now, balance it with at least 5 minutes (maybe 20) of searching for, and reading some, of the amazing good news happening all over the world right now.
Writing you from Ground Zero in Washington State, USA., I know the Bad News all too well so I am determined to add to the good.
I spotted a couple great items around here yesterday.
First, for all the struggling local parents whose working lives revolve around and depend on their children being in schools that are now closed (some for weeks), one neighborhood is doing this creative thing.
Since the only safe get outside activities include walks, I have a proposal to inject some fun! (Borrowing this from a friend out of state). Daily window scavenger hunts! Tomorrow, let’s do Shamrocks (a day late, but who cares!) Basics: 1. Put the thing in a window on the front of your house. 2. Call it exercise (walk) 3. Call it math for you kids (count the [shamrocks] each day. 4. Call it art class the day before: make a [shamrock]. Let’s see if we can find a bit of joy. If you see someone else counting on your walk, wish them luck, from 6+ feet away!
Another has organized a group sponsoring Food Trucks from all over to come to suburban neighborhoods (from all their gas station parking lots) to bring Meals for whole families. This both feeds folks who can’t find open restaurants, and helps support the many local food truck businesses.
And of course, SPRING just keeps happening, relentless and unstoppable…thank you Nature!
Maybe it’s having grown up in San Diego, but oh, how happy I am when the warmth and light return each year to the Northwest. And baby blossoms popping out everywhere mean the light is coming!!!
I spotted these yesterday and they made me smile bigly…
And then there is always THIS good sign that Spring has finally arrived.