Monday, January 30, 2012

Feeding the Birds in Winter

Getting ready to leap onto the feeder!

Puffing up to warm up

 The best part of winter is feeding the birds.  It is like having outdoor pets who visit the same time every day.  Each variety is fun and different to watch, and especially on cold days I am happy to see droves of these feathered friends show up to feast.  That is because birds need more food during those days on which the mercury dips low....if they didn't eat more they would not be able to generate enough body heat and would quickly perish.  So, I like putting out seeds that help them keep warm and safe in those cold winter days.

Swallow it whole?!

 For any regular reader on this blog you will notice a new   banner on the top of my sidebar.  That is a NEW blog that I  am running for a dear friend on mine.  She too is facing some cold winter days right now in her life.  I wanted to make a special post today in honor of her, her children, and late husband.  There are points in all of our lives when it is colder, times are harder, and we need a helping hand more than ever.  Her struggle reminds me that we are fragile like my feather friends seen in today's photos....and sometimes the generous help offered from others makes all the difference between being warm or facing peril.


So, please enjoy these photos, and short excerpts, and then head on over to:

Read about a great family facing great trial, and consider, "While earning your daily bread, be sure you share a slice with those less fortunate."

Can I offer you a napkin?
 By Thomas Watson:
 Consider the poor. Behold their tears, their   sighs, their dying groans. Look upon the  deep furrows made in their faces and consider if there is not reason why you should scatter your seed in these furrows…..We ourselves may be brought to poverty, and then it will be no small comfort to us that we relieved others while we were in a capacity to do it. We cannot always promise ourselves halcyon days. God knows how soon any of us may change our pasture. The cup which now runs over with wine—may be soon filled with the waters of Marah. Ruth 1:21: "I went out full—and the Lord has brought me home again empty."

By J.R. Miller:

Every disclosure of heavenly existence that has been made to us in this world, shows a life devoted to unselfish serving of others....Every disclosure of the character of God himself, reveals in him the same quality. His name is Love, and love is not love—which does not serve. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, and he said of his own mission that he came, "not to be served—but to serve."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Not a Partridge in My Pear Tree

This morning it was dreary.  Do I sound like a broken record yet?  Well, it is the Ohio Valley....we get 300 days of  clouds the way Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine!!!  But amongst the thick gray blanket outside my office window a flash of color caught my eye.  Perched in the large pear tree just feet from the window was a Northern Cardinal, both male and female!  Any reader to this blog knows I have a love affair with cardinals...but it extends to any bright plumage bird.   So imagine my delight to spot two Eastern Bluebirds seated lower down in said pear tree!!  I sounded like Steve Irwin as I grabbed my camera and started shooting ... "GORGEOUS!!"    Being this close to these skittish birds is rare for me...usually they perch far enough away from the house to only be a delight to see the flash of bright blue as they fly by...but never close enough to bother making the move for the trusty camera.

Well, for once the rainy weather worked in my favor, as this lovely pair perched in the pear tree hunting for some breakfast in the soggy, wet earth.  Sufficed to say I squatted in front of the window shooting long enough that my legs have been sore all day!  But it was worth it!

While these are by no means ever going to make the cover of National Geographic, for me the excitement level is about equivalent, so I hope you enjoy them too.   It was nice bright touch to a day that started off so dark that I questioned whether or not the sun was up when my alarm went off! 

By Thomas Watson:

Every bird can sing in spring—but some birds will sing in the dead of winter. Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity—but a true saint can be thankful in adversity.

A godly man will bless God, not only at sun-rise—but at sun-set. Well may we, in the worst which befalls us, have a psalm of thankfulness, because all things work for good.
Oh, be much in blessing of God—who befriends us—and
makes all things work out to our good.

Look at that blue on the male!!!  GORGEOUS!

I included these two shots that are not perfect close-ups...but I thought those tiny narrow strips of color burst out in the frame, not just in overcast weather, but against the more drab portions of the other feathers.  I love seeing the burst of color amongst the drear...just as sometimes the best blessings stand out when hidden amongst the hardest trials.  Three cheers for drear!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snow Day!

We kicked the New Year off in my neck of the woods with a nice snowfall at the beginning of the week.  After writing my New Year's Eve post I thought this snow day series of shots would be a nice follow up.  In that post I mentioned how my hounds are averse to change and love getting into ruts, habits, and doing the same thing EVERY day!   Well, sometimes even when you don't want change, you find that divine intervention can force you into doing things a little different on a day you least expect it.   It took some divine intervention to change up the hound dogs morning romp in the yard....and the results were rather amusing.  Sometimes change can be lots of fun!  I won't have a reading for this post so the photos can be viewed in the series as they unfolded in a few minutes time.  So it is part two for my previous post which you can check out here.

Well enjoy these shots of my hounds learning that into each life some snow must fall!
Found a scent to track

Alert pause....

Target acquired!

Sniff sniff...

Dive!  Dive!

Visual confirmation

"Hey...what are you doing?"

"There is something in there!"

Tag team burrowing

Figgy patrolling the younger fellas

This was Houdini's first encounter with snow.  Although he was born in Canada, we was a spring puppy so he never had a chance to see it before...or eat it, which I think was his favorite part of the whole experience!

And despite all the snow burrowing....Houdini and Smudge never surfaced anything other than more snow.  What were they up me!  But it was very funny to watch!!