Beautiful Predators

2015-02-28 Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Got a visit today from a local sharp-shinned hawk. We’ve seen this type of hawk around before, but only very rarely. When it does come around, it only perches and observes for a moment and then is off.

While hawks are predators to the birds and small animals that frequent our feeders, they are still very elegant animals to appreciate and are a part of the wildlife who live in our area.

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More Snow Days

 

2015-02-16 Flurries 01

It’s truly uncanny how wildlife reacts to big weather about to happen. Yesterday, our backyard turned into an all-you-can-eat buffet for what seemed like every feathered creature for miles just hours before the big snow hit Virginia. I didn’t get any good pictures then, but we were covered with them.

2015-02-17 Snow 01

 

Here in central Virginia we got a healthy 6 inches in most places. It was really odd though as that snow came from mostly the finest, shimmering snow dust rather than fluffy flakes. We watched it fall for hours yesterday thinking no way would we get more than maybe 2 inches tops.

2015-02-17 Snow 02

 

And Mother Nature said, oh ye of little faith 🙂

 

Be Still

2015-01-18 Dove

In preparing for the onslaught of today, I opened up my computer and found this picture on my camera card from a few days ago. While walking to a window then, I had noticed this dove, holding as still as possible, soaking in every inch of the warm sunbeams blanketing the ground.

And I sighed.

No literally, I stood there at the window and just sighed. Immediate relaxation and quiet came over me and I took in the sight of this small creature just being….still.

See, this is why I created this blog in the first place. The occasional glance to the feeders or seeing birds and nature flitting about in the yard reminds of me pretty important stuff every once in a while.

Take yesterday for example. Yesterday was one of those days where stuff hit the fan at work. You don’t even try to take the opportunity to address the mis-steps. Nope. Doesn’t even register. You’re in full-on DEFCON 1 all day long, friend. You’re only potential victory is towing that boat back to the dock at the end of the day in whatever smoldering, crumpled heap it may be left in.

Yep, yesterday was one of those career-considering days we all have every so often.

Once I knew all were out of the woods though, I just slumped in my chair and became still. Sure, it was partly my adrenal glands likely shriveling into prunes and shutting down after the hours-long panic-driven rush. But I was grateful nonetheless to pull up the do-no-disturb status on my computer, hold my calls and just sit quietly for a moment to collect myself again. I recognized and needed the time to be still.

Don’t we all cherish and hold tightly to those moments when our only weapon against the world sometimes is to just step away and find our own mossy patch in the sun and take that one quiet minute? There’s power and necessity in these moments and sometimes it takes a little dove in the woods to remind me.

Something’s Better than Nothing

2015-01-14 Junco Snow

It was just a dusting, but something’s better than nothing!

 

2015-01-14 Carmen SnowCarmen the cat is ever-present for window watch duty when snowy weather brings the birds out to feed on the ground below. She treats this job very seriously, of course,

When the weather is bad, it’s tempting to stay inside rather than head out to fill up your feeders. But a friendly reminder, that if you do feed birds (or any other wildlife) throughout the year, they will come to depend on you as a food source, so be sure they always have enough when the temperature drops.

 

 

Indigo Buntings

My parents share my appreciation for birds. While watching the feeders from their back deck during my visit here in North Carolina, I saw my first Indigo Buntings.

2014-04-27 I.Buntings 1

After a quick familial consensus of what they were, I snagged someone else’s camera to at least come home with a picture. This was the first sighting of these bright blue birds here as well and I was afraid it might be a one-time visit.

2014-04-27 I.Buntings 2

We didn’t see any females about, just the two males. They enjoyed the seed buffet that had fallen under the feeders and then flitted off to the nearby azalea bushes.

2014-04-27 I.Buntings 3

Such striking and brilliant birds to get to see. Hopefully, they’ll stick around the rest of this summer and be there the next time I visit.

2014-04-27 I.Buntings 4