Seasons of Me!

"A glimpse into the life of a birder, beach comber, self taught naturalist, an antique dealer, and junker! There are many seasons that happen here!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I love all of have too! What is there not to love?? Everything is fascinating in its own way. Nature is the circle of life and you have to love it as a whole. Of course I have areas where I am stronger or weaker in though. Birds are my strong area. A whole big group of areas in the center and snakes are my weak area. What makes snakes so hard for me to identify? I think it is because their colors and patterns are TOO simple, if that makes any sense. I am not afraid of them, I do respect them, and I have seen some truly pretty snakes. I think a ribbon snake is gorgeous! But show me some common snakes and I am lost!

This past September (2009) while on our annual family beach trip we had a snake encounter. I can't say that I would ever expect to see a snake on the beach, but a snake on the beach we did see.

Mom and I broke away from everyone else and was walking well up and above the high tide line. Walking and meandering, picking up shells, picking up trinkets, drift wood, and other treasure. Mom casually said, "There's a snake". I glanced over, seen a funky shaped stick and commented, "That does look like a snake". By then the tone in moms voice went up a few octaves. "It is a snake"! Taking a second look--yes, it IS a snake! Short, stumpy, chunky, and alive! Any laying well out in the open, on the beach, no cover, no protection--a snake!

Me, being on a picture happy trip and trying to preserve all memories and aspects of my trip, whipped out my camera. Going in close, zooming in, bending down I am putting my mother into a panic! "Watch out, it might jump on you, it will bite you"! Me, thinking about how few poisonous snakes we have in relation to the many common non-poisonous snakes in our area, continued to snap pictures while he was raising his head and posing for me. Of course non-poisonous snakes bite too...I realize...So I got my pictures taken and we left this snake to sun.

Later in the day me and Elena went to my most favorite book store ever in Buxton, North Carolina. Gigi--the owner of the book store--loves nature herself and is very knowledgeable about the critters in the area. Living on the coast, loving nature, loving books, and owning a book store--does it get any better than that? She gladly took a look at our picture and immediately identified it as a cottonmouth. Glad mom was not there at the moment! She pointed out some of the characteristic traits of a cottonmouth for us. She also said this was the second one in a week she knew of that had been seen. In the few days prior to our arrival there had been a torrential down pour of rain. In fact, on the day we had arrived highway 12 was flooded in areas where it normally does not flood and there were areas that stayed flooded the whole time we were there! We are talking 2-3 feet of water in some had no where to go. The snakes were simply displaced--ran out of their abodes.

When we returned to the house we gave mom the verdict of the snake id. I can still hear her groaning now and giving me the big "I TOLD YOU SO". For the rest of the week I noticed mom taking second and third looks at the sticks on the beach....okay, I took a few extra glances myself!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)...

It's always ourselves we find in the seas...

~E.E. Cummings

(my brother in law, Perry, at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina)

Monday, February 22, 2010


I truly credit my love of nature (as a whole) to my parents. That has never been a mystery to me. My love for the birds was nurtured in me early on by my father. The bobwhite quail and the cardinal were key birds. My love for the ocean and marine environment were a mystery to me...until my mom cleaned out a closet. I now know that my mother instilled this love in me years ago.

From 1985 to 1992 I lived on the coast of North Carolina. When Tommy got out of the Marine Corp and we moved back home to Indiana I told him then that a part of me would never come home. For various reasons, but the ocean being one of them. Every year now, at least once--sometimes twice, we make a trek to the beach. There we find peace, some serenity, and there I find myself. And no, truly, all of me never came home.

We pick up shells, coral, sea glass and other treasure finds. We take in and are fascinated by the fish, the dolphins, crabs, sea cucumbers, jellyfish, and all of the ocean life that it brings into us. Every aspect of the ocean and surrounding habitat are appreciated and absorbed. I adore sea glass--I am astounded by the beauty of what was first discarded as refuse and then tumbled into ocean beauty. I am also fascinated by sea beans. By their travels, where they originated from and by the forces and paths they took to get here. I thought my first encounter with them was on South Padre Island, Texas when I found a thick-banded mucuna and a sea heart. But no, this was not my first encounter...

Back to my moms closet! Recently she went on a cleaning binge in one of her closets--nothing was safe. Secrets were uncovered, found was lost, and lost was found--including my first and original love for the ocean that my mother gave to me!

Back in the 1970's we went on a trip to Florida over our Christmas break. My grandparents wintered over there every year and we went to visit them. This was my first ever experience with the ocean. I must have been 11 or 12 years old.

Out of the closet my mother found my treasure that I picked up on the beach. Everything you would expect a 11 year old to pick up. Pieces, parts, and shards of shells and...what is this?? A piece of sea glass! And a sea bean! No, this was obviously not a new found love for me! Apparently those finds spoke to me as a kid--spoke loudly enough for me to pick them up and add them to my treasure of seashells. And that love and fascination has sat in me idle....idle all the while when I was growing up, going through my teen years with so many other important things to do. The love sat waiting...patiently waiting...never giving up on me and the day when I would return. Return to childhood, return to my true self, a coming of me.

Mothers help daughters find themselves in various ways and give them many gifts that last a lifetime. My mother gave me the sea. Thank you mom for hording my shells all those years...thank you for giving me the sea!

The picture above is my mom on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in September 2009 among the sea oats. She has her own love within her!

Friday, February 19, 2010

To Know a Bird

To me there is more meaning to birding when you can actually come to "know" a certain individual bird. To "know" in my own dictionary can reflect a couple of different meanings. It can mean recognizing the same bird over and over, day after day, or year after year by some kind of physical trait or habit. Or it can also mean coming to know a bird from just a short, one time chance meeting, where the circumstances were in such a way that the bird never left your mind or memory, and from time to time you think about this particular moment and bird.

One such chance meeting came to me in the spring of 1995 at Hawk Mountain Pennsylvania. Tommy and I were at the top of the North Lookout. It was early in the morning and the foggy mist still covered the stream valley below. We could hear mainly Canada geese honking below us, but we could not yet see them. As we sat there in the peaceful solitude of the morning, still having the point to ourselves, and enjoying the sounds of the geese, we suddenly realized there were other tweeps and chirps beginning to surround us. They started out softly and then got louder and louder. We then realized that it was a migrating warbler wave coming and we were right in the middle of it! Suddenly, every direction that we looked in there was a warbler! They were in the trees, on the ground, in the shrubby undergrowth and on the rocks all around us! It was apparent that this group of birds had been flying all night and was just landing to rest and feed. We did not know which direction to point our binoculars in first and many were to close to focus in on with binoculars. It was a group of mostly Tennessee warblers, American redstarts, and Black and white warblers. But one individual has been with me every since...not three feet away from me was a male Black throated green warbler standing on a rock opposite of the one I was sitting on. It was obvious that he was exhausted from his journey as we sat there and stared at each other for what seemed several minutes and I did not dare move an inch! And then as fast as that wave moved in, it moved on and and he went with them. We sat through two more warbler waves that morning. There was apparently some heavy movement the night before.

I have often thought of that one particular Black throated green warbler--I have wondered if he was able to complete his journey north and if he did was he successful at finding a mate and raising young? Perhaps his journey took him right here through our county and I would see him again...of course I would never know.

Several, several years have passed since that chance meeting and I do still think about it and his fate. I like to think that any Black throated green warbler I see now could very well be his off-spring. He is kind of a part of my "birding soul" and in ways I have traveled with him on part of his journey and no matter where he is now I continue to travel with him....

The picture here of the Black throated green warbler was taken on South Padre Island, Texas by Khanh Batran of Portland Oregon. We met and birded there together and this was "our" Black throated green warbler.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hope Is A Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers--
That perches in the soul--
And sings the tune without the words--
And never stops--at all--

And sweetest-in the gale-is heard--
And sore must be the storm-
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm--

I've heard it in the chillest land--
And on the strangest sea--
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb--of Me.

~~Emily Dickinson, Poem 254, ca. 1861~~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Pelican I Would Be

"If you could be any bird, which bird would you be?" As a birder I get put on the spot a lot with this question. It is as tough as the question of "What's your favorite bird?" I have not yet been able to answer that question...not sure I would even want too. However, with several years on contemplating what bird I would be--I finally have an answer!
A brown pelican...Not the most beautiful, not the most colorful, not the most powerful, but--very endearing. A bird of patience, peace, agility-yes, agility, a bird who is high on life and takes all the time in the world to do it. A bird partial to none and enemy to none. A bird that answers to no one and who takes its time in doing it. Never in a hurry.
In contemplating this question I considered hawks of various species--they are regal and powerful, they are commanding and on top. Others fear them and give them their space. They are also persecuted for who and what they are (not as much today as in years past) and misunderstood. So no-that is not my personality. I considered tree swallows with their glorious white front and bluish-green backs which only God the Creator could ever duplicate. I considered the barn swallow--sure sign of summer and all that it stands for. And there is no doubt that I am a summer person. And I also considered a hummingbird-but no, the swallows and the hummingbirds are always in a hurry. Zipping this way and that way--never stopping much to perch and take things in. I get enough of this rush-rush everyday in my own life. So one day while sitting on the beach, chilling out, slowing down, watching the pelicans go by as I always do, the question was immediately answered. I would choose to be a brown pelican.
They may not have all the beauty on the outside, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or so it is said. They are endearing, patient, laid back...they seem to take life as it comes. Moment by moment-and they relish in its every second. And they are never in a hurry. Hmmm, did I say that once already? Perhaps there is something to that.
They do have grace over the water as they skim the waves. Just when you think a wave will jump up to get them, just one slight adjustment and skim that one too--they do. What could be more glorious than skimming the ocean all day every day? They seem fair and impartial. They seem to mind their own business going about their own ways. Day after day following the same stride and stroke. They seem to have no enemies. They are low key and try not to stand out in a crowd. They have rhythm.
I can sit on the beach for hours and watch the pelicans. I feel a kinship with them-a kinship of tide and time..Yes, a brown pelican I would be.
My pictures are of a pelican nesting site in North Carolina and of my pelican weather vane back home here in Indiana.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some Things Never Change

For my whole life this picture has hung in my mom and dads house. It was a constant in the house, a constand in our lives. One of those things that never change. It just has ALWAYS been, especially for me since it was taken in 1967, the year I was born! Here I am being held by my one and only big sister Elena. Look at that cute, little hint of a smile on my face! And look at those dimples on Elena Marie! She loved her little chair...The years have passed and the little rocking chair is gone...but the dimples remain and the little hint of a smile remains also!
So years later, in 2003, here we are again! Different rocking chair, same dimples, same hint of a smile...and the wonderful memories of that picture etched in our minds! She is still the big sister...Some things never change....

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Last Day Magnificent Frigatebird

I have seen frigate birds before--quite a few of them actually when we went to the Dry Tortugas in Florida. Each and every one intrigued me, fascinated me, and amazed me. They truly are an awesome size, breadth, agility, strength, and beauty in their own way. They hold a power of mystique over me--of their wanderings over the wide open ocean, mostly alone. But this frigatebird, well, this one was different. It was the one who pulled at my heart strings and tugged at my soul. It was the one who created a yearning--one of those yearnings that is so hard to put into words. A yearning that has to be felt, a yearning that makes you ache from the beauty. But wait...didn't I have these same exact feelings before when watching another frigatebird? Then it occurred to me and haunted me.

The many frigatebirds in the Tortugas were truly amazing-, but, several years ago there was but "one" frigatebird that stirred feelings. We were at South Padre Island, Texas. It was our last night there after spending close to two weeks in the area birding. We were relaxing in the hot tub at our hotel that was ocean front. As we sat there we watched the palms swaying in the evening ocean breeze, the sun was doing down and there were still a few Franklins gulls and Great-tailed grackles hanging around the pool side. I caught a glimpse of a rather large bird coming in from over the ocean. As it came closer it got larger and larger and I then realized it was a Magnificent frigatebird! It sailed and glided over us, went back out over the water and then sailed back in over us. It was motionless for an instant right over us before continuing on down the beach. I was struck with that yearning I was telling you about--I was filled with awe and wonder and I swear at that moment my soul was in flight with that bird! It is one of the most grand feelings I have ever encountered. I felt ALL of life in that instant!

Several years have passed since then and we found ourselves on the outer banks of North Carolina. We spent a week there birding and shelling. On our last morning there we were preparing things and packing things to leave. We were finishing up the last of odd and end clean up jobs in the house we had rented. I stepped out on the balcony and before my wonderous eyes did appear a solitary Magnificent frigatebird! It gave me the show of all shows! It hung over me like a kite-motionless. In this kiting position I watched this bird scratch its head and preen with its feet all the while attesting to its strength of wings and flight. I watched it turning its head to and fro-I watched it stay in position yet rise and fall in altitude...never once flapping or batting a wing! I seen truly magnificent feats in flight that day! And there again were those same yearning and bigger than life feelings overwhelming me! I thought my soul had left in flight with the "Last Day" Texas frigatebird, but once again, I felt it leave with this "Last Day" North Carolina frigatebird. How odd--they were both last day-last chance birds. That frigatebird gave me a full 45 minute show that day before heading away and down the coast. I was truly prepared to stay there forever--as I always am--but mentally I knew I had already taken flight...and it was not on my own wings.

When we made our final exit that day--driving down highway 12 and getting glimpses of the ocean now and then between the dunes I was mentally imprinting my last views in my heart. Imagine my wonder when several miles down the road from the house I caught a glimpse, once again, of a frigatebird! I never once told anyone else in the truck what I saw. This final treasure I have kept to myself--til now. There was something to be said for me seeing that bird again!

The same one? Probably. The same one from Texas? I am just romantic crazy enough to think so! After all, I have but only one soul to part with...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Sea Star NOT as Odd as You Think

A lot of people call them starfish...but the more proper common term is Sea Star. It does have a more mystical magic in the name, don't you think? They are treasures to be searched for and found on my ocean beaches. I remember how excited I was when I found my first one! I pampered and babied it until it dried. In reality, by the time we find these on the beach there is not much we can do for them anymore. Their life time is usually over at that point. The most we can do for them at that time is to enjoy them...

Since then I have had the opportunity of finding more. I have shared them with friends and family. When you look into the life of a sea star you will find some amazing things out about it!

For starters they are an echinoderm--a spiny skinned animal which has ossicles or plates that make up an internal skeleton. It is located below an outer skin layer. They are radially symmetrical. It is estimated that there are about 1500 living species of sea stars worldwide.

They have tube feet which are responsible for movement with suckers present on the ends. Its spines are scattered so they do not form any type of pattern. They vary in color from tan to olive, from red to purple...Their habitat is on rocks, sand, or gravel in the low intertidal zone.

While they are beautiful to behold and present no danger to us, they can be formidable predators on small clams, oysters, and other bivalves. They use their tube feet to pry open bivalves, sometimes releasing a relaxant, and then prying open the shell to feast on the meat.

One of the most amazing feats that I can see from a sea star is that it can regenerate its limbs! If it should happen to lose one or time it will grow them back! In earlier days people harvesting clams and oysters would go out of their way to chop these sea stars in half trying to cut their populations down and therefore reducing their "crop" losses. They did not realize that they were not really killing them at all!

On a recent trip to Cape Lookout, North Carolina we found quite a few sea stars on the beach. Some were in varying states. As this picture shows, this one has lost 2 of its appendages. I saw another which had four and a half arms...the fifth arm was grown about halfway out...Why didn't I get a picture of that one?? I am still asking myself that question! It would have been the perfect picture showing this feat in progress!

Sea stars are beautiful, but they sure have many more wonders in there other than all beauty! There is a lot to be amazed about than meets the eye! Most of us tend to look at them through child like eyes--and there is absolutely nothing less amazing about that either!

Friday, February 12, 2010

They Says Its the Simple Things in Life

Many times have I heard "It's the simple things in life..." I have even said the same exact thing myself--several times.
You see a baby bird, a bunny on the lawn, hear the song of a robin--generally things we take for granted and usually do not give a second though too--These are the type of things we see when we say "Its the simple things in life that make it worthwhile." While this may be true of some things, its not true for all.
I was recently looking through some of my pictures when I came across the ones of the cardinal nest that was in my yard this past summer. I also have three pictures of one of the young that fledged from this nest.
As I reflected on these pictures the thought came to my mind..."oh, the simple things of life..." I remember how simple "my" life was for the moment when I discovered that nest, as I admired the beauty of the nest, then of the eggs, and how I enjoyed walking past and seeing the parent cardinal on the nest. I reflected on the joy I felt at the simplicity of life when I heard those baby cardinals voicing out their hunger, when I watched the parents make endless trips to and from the nest feeding them. I marveled at how easy life appeared when I saw the baby cardinals fledge and when I took their picture...
And then it occurred to me. It was a simple thing for "me" in life to watch this beauty unfold. And then I started thinking of it from the perspective of the cardinal. Of the labor that went into nest building, of the endless trips to and from putting it together one strand of grass at a time. Of the hours sitting quietly, patiently on those eggs--all the while alert for any danger. Of the endless hours of searching for food for the three young. And then the stress of the young fledging in three different directions and trying to keep up with the where abouts of all three and keeping them fed!
There is much more than our eyes will ever be able to see in this miracle of nature! Even though we see, we will never be able to comprehend. There are many intricacy's going on here--and many that are not ours to comprehend. Just the construction of the nest goes beyond our comprehension. Nothing simple here and nothing short of the "simple" term amazing and awesome will describe this.
Sure, its the simple things in life that make it worthwhile--but always remember how simple-minded we really are and there our limitations lie.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This Possum Was NOT Playing Possum !

My dad always used to razz us about playing possum! I can tell you that this possum was NOT playing possum! My great friend (retired ornithology professor from Purdue and co-author of Birds of Indiana) frequently get together and go birding. While out and about it never fails that we ALWAYS get side tracked by some other wonder of nature and with us it could be anything. One day found us wading in a marsh up to our chests, one night we got side tracked on glow worms...there is no limit to what we get into! On this chilly morning we found ourselves stopped in the road by a crossing possum...taking its sweet ole time...lollygagging around! What else did it have to do! But by witnessing this lollygagging I can now understand why I see so many looking like they are playing possum but are really not ON THE ROAD! Anyway, Russ, who is 85 going on 16, jumps out of the truck and grabs this possum by the tail! This possum was none to happy about it either. It hissed and squirmed and mostly just hissed! By the looks of it, the end of his tail had been frost bitten at one time or another. A small part of it was missing. There was a tree snag nearby and Russ put the possum up on the tree, got his camera from the truck, and the possum preceded to pose and smile for you can see on this picture. After this little modeling stint was done, Russ put him back on the ground, he gave us one last hiss and started on his merry way. No running...just lollygagging in the direction it was headed to in the beginning! He was not really concerned about us, just ticked off at us! And this all just in a day of birding!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Going to Create My Own Sunshine!

Okay,,,now the snow is getting dirty, mushy, slushy, and things are just plain sloppy...Even though I am not a winter weather person, I have to agree that the UNTOUCHED blanket of snow is pretty and serene...but once the first few footprints and tire tracks are in it, it is marred! And I am so ready for some warmth, sunshine, and birdsong! My mother once told me that sometimes we have to make our own sunshine...So on this day I am retrieving a memory and creating my own sunshine! You see this pretty sea star, piece of purple sea glass, black knobbed whelk, and scotch bonnet? They were all treasures that we found on one of our trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My favorite place in all the world! The scotch bonnet was found on a day when my mom, my husband Tommy, and I were all out on the point shelling...A storm was brewing in the distance and we watched it draw closer and closer. With the first few sprinkles everyone around us cleared out. Dedicated as we are with the finding of treasure and the love for the ocean, we stayed put and we shelled in the pouring down rain...I will never forget how COLD the rain was and how WARM the water of the ocean was! And it was then that I saw Tommy DIVE for his find of the most beautiful and perfect SCOTCH BONNET shell that I have ever you can see in the picture! This is the state shell of North Carolina and every sheller in North Carolina covets this shell. A lot of times you will only find pieces and parts, and then they are so quickly faded. The color on this is superb! I remember the shell hash on that trip...So many shells and hash washing up...The waves would bring them in and as the waves took them out you could just hear them tinkle...I still hear it now. And I love sea glass. To me it is mysterious and holds a beauty all of its own. I love to hold it and feel the smooth edges. Wonder where it came from, how old it is...this piece must have had a lot of magnesium in it as it has turned a very pretty hue of purple. The sea star was picked up near the light house. And the black whelk was also a find on the point. The storm quickly passed, the sun came out! I reside year round on that point. If not physically, then in spirit! And the sun is always shining!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And Yet MORE Snow!

I have really officially been over winter since at this point in time I am way past over it! I want sunshine and warmth, comfort, the singing of birds, the green of grass...I know winter is pretty in its own way BUT... Woke up this morning to another 4 inches of snow on the ground and it is still falling. The weatherman predicts up to 6 inches for us by the time it is all said and done! I trekked out into the snow this morning to put seed out for the birds. By the time I was back in the house the feeders were loaded! The snow was falling so hard though that the platform feeders were easily covered with snow in no time. So back out I went to uncover the seed for the birds. This I done several times! At one point in time while I was out there I suddenly heard the flush of wings whooshing in the air...chirps everywhere around me. Scared and startled birds colliding with each other. I knew instantly what the commotion was and did not need to look far to see the neighborhood terror. A coopers hawk has been stalking the neighborhood for the past week. We watched him pluck a morsel on the ground over at church this past Sunday. So the birds are having a rough time today...between trying to find the food under the snow and watch for this bully at the same time. And bully's have to eat too! I tried to snap a picture of him. The lighting is not real good and he has his back turned to me, but I was surprised he tolerated me under the tree he was in. I also snapped a picture of a carolina chickadee. The snow is really coming down around him! Bless his heart!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Make Way for New Merchandise !

In this business you always have to be on the move. You have to be constantly out and about scrounging up new merchandise! With our booth at Tickled Pink, our monthly show in Nashville, and my little shop in etsy we are always on the go! This morning found us up and about very early going to pick up this baby load! We wanted to get there and get it done before the forecasted snows got to us! This load holds a variety for us...some furniture, some nice glassware, some very nice Tootsie Toys, pole lamps, dolls, a marble top parlor table, a stick and ball screen, and more. There are a lot of nice little tinies in this load that cannot even begun to be seen! We can't wait to get into it, unload it and see what all we have! Check out the sunrise we encountered along our way. You know the say, "red in the morning, sailors take warning". By this sunrise it looks like we are in for a doozey of a snow. For us, 4-6 inches in predicted between tonight and tomorrow!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wintery Birding

Cabin fever finally got to me yesterday! I could no longer stand being in the house---snow or no snow. So we decided to take a wintery birding drive through one of our favorite birding locales that we call the PHOENIX MINES. There have been short-eared owls over there for the past several years so I always have to go and see them...if not for me, for my dad. This bird held a special place in his last year of life. It was the highlight of his day through the winter months. He would get to go on a drive and through the mines that was the bird he looked for and was always so thrilled to see one or ten! So out we went. I took a few pictures of the winter landscape. Even though I am not much of a cold weather person, it did look pretty!

I was not lucky enough on this day to see the short-eared owls. SO another drive will follow. I know they are there. My sister has been seeing them out there. They are a daily highlight for her also. They vary their fields from year to year. I guess following the food source.

The highlight of todays birding was a Loggerhead Shrike. We regularly see the shrikes in this mining area. We used to be able to go right to their nesting tree along the roadside. We have shown many a birder their lifer loggerhead shrike here. But someone could not stand this lone cedar tree along this fence row and had to spray and kill it! I do not understand the purpose since now all that is there is the dead skeleton of a tree! The tree is STILL there! I do not see that they accomplished much except destroy life and beauty! So since then our loggereheads come in various places in the area.
Other birds for this foray included: bald eagle, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, american kestrel, canada geese, mallard, red-headed woodpecker, flicker, eastern meadowlark, red-winged blackbirds (which were o-kee-reeing!), rusty blackbirds, brown headed cowbirds, european starling, mourning dove, american tree sparrow, song sparrow, junco, cardinal, and blue jay.
Hearing the red-winged blackbirds was glorious to say the least! To me it sounds like spring!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Snowy Saturday Morning

They predicted it, and we got it. Some more snow. We were so much more lucky than many people further north and east of us though. They are getting hammered with snow! I guess this is good if you like winter and like snow. Me? I am not much of a winter person. Never have been. I can remember as a kid the only reason I went out to play in the snow is because that is where all the other kids were. I was always glad when they were ready to go in! I am a spring and summer person, there is no doubt about that. Here are a few pictures, taken from INSIDE the house! The feeders were loaded with birds until I tried to get pictures, then only the not so camera shy would stay. You know the saying about a watched pot? Well, it holds true for bird feeders too.


The chickadees and the titmice have been hitting the suet especially hard this week. Time to make some more! I also keep a bird bath with a heater in through the winter. It is usually the most popular attraction in the yard...there is that watched pot again!

I also took a picture of my neighbors yard as it look especially pretty in the snow today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Linus Rocks

That is what we call them! They are named after the designer, our neighbor down the road, named, of course, Linus. He really is artistic and very much a loner. When we started landscaping our yard we had a pile of sandstone rocks sitting out back. No one would ever miss one or two, or more... Until one by one they started showing up in odd places in our yard with creatures carved into them! One day I just happened to look out the window and seen this sandstone rock sitting on my front porch. It was carved to look like a frog. I have to wonder how long it had been sitting there before I even noticed it was there.
Another day an elephant showed up...then a cat...and then the Easter Island head. That is what it reminds me of!

Linus would find time on his hands, come up and examine the rock pile, pick a few out, and carve his imagination into them...with nothing more than a hammer and nail.

This is not new to Linus. My mother-in-law still has one in her flower bed with a face carved into it. She has had it up there for more than 30 years.
Years from now someone will find these rocks and think of them as a great archalogical find!

They are definitely one of a kinds and they definitely have character!