Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 22, 2012

Sunny Sunday Morning

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 2:44 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

My snowy Saturday morning has turned into a sunny Sunday morning.  It is still plenty cold outside, but the gray snow clouds have departed, and left us with sparkly snow
IMG_7184

and shiny, sunlit branches
IMG_7182

This morning was also good for the neighborhood birds; I replaced my broken feeder.  I bought a set of two glass and copper feeders:
IMG_7188

I figure I will lose some seed to the squirrels inevitably, but they shouldn’t be able to destroy these.  My favorite winter birds wasted no time in locating this new food supply this morning.  I had a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal and they seemed more than willing to hang around for a few photos this morning (although I still haven’t managed a shot with the two of them together yet):
mrcardinal1

mscardinal

This is clearest shot of the Mrs. I got today; she seemed rather coy – but I thought this over-the-shoulder look was cute. (Do birds have shoulders???)  Mr. happily posed for a few more:

mrcardinal2

mrcardinal3

First day out with the new feeders and I’m lucky enough for pretty cardinal shots! Money well spent, I say! 🙂

May 8, 2011

My Mother’s Day Melange

Photo-heavy post ahead!  I’m having a nice Mother’s Day (hope you are too!) I have a variety of shots I feel like sharing today, so here we go.
IMG_4487

I woke up this morning to find this pretty hanging basket along with a card (calling me “one hot mama” LOL!) from hubby.

charms2

Meghan got out of bed a little later, looking quite proud of herself, and presented me with a gift bag that contained this charm.  She went out and bought it herself, no assistance from her dad.  I was really touched.

charms1

While I was taking the picture of the Mom charm, I remembered the other cool charms I received for my birthday a couple weeks ago and decided to throw a shot in to this post.  Left to right: Red Sox charm from my mom, hearts charm from the girls, sparkly and camera charms from hubby.

After lunch, I decided to take my “furry children” for a walk.  My neighbors’ trees are gorgeously in bloom right now:
IMG_4492

While I walked up the street, I saw this pretty, puffy cloud.  What shape do you see?

IMG_4491

I see a bear cub!  No, really, look:

cubcloud

When we got into the woods, I heard the song of a bird I’d been hearing around the yard.  I hadn’t been able to identify the bird yet, so when I got this picture today, I was very surprised to discover its identity:
graybird

It isn’t the clearest bird picture, but it was enough for me to realize it was a catbird.  I was surprised because last summer, it was also a catbird that I found somewhat annoying with a screechy type of call.  I discovered the reason on a website I’ve found very helpful and interesting this year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  If you scroll down about halfway on this page, and click on the “typical voice” you can hear the pretty song I’ve been hearing in the first half of the soundbite, but in the second half, you’ll hear the screechy call I mentioned last summer.  Turns out these birds are related to mockingbirds, and like them are able to copy other birds calls and string them together to make their own song.

As we approached the swampy area on the walk, I saw a red-winged blackbird sitting in a small tree close to the edge of our path.  The dogs were dallying in the stream that crosses the path, so my picture came out shaky, but I was happy to have gotten my first picture of this bird.
blackbird

I got a slightly clearer shot (but less of a view of the red feathers) as it got ready to take off:
blackbird2

Around the corner from the swamp, I found a tree in bloom:
tree2

The blossoms make me think it is some type of fruit tree.  Maybe a crabapple?  Any thoughts?  Here’s a closer look at the blossoms:
tree3

Whatever it is, it is pretty!  I’ll have to keep an eye on the tree later into the summer.

How was your Mother’s Day? Or your wife’s Mother’s Day?

February 5, 2011

Bird Feeder Antics and Excellent Treats

First thing I saw when I wandered down the hall this morning were some acrobatics being performed on the bird seed bell:
gray squirrel antics 4

He reaches up for more seed:
gray squirrel antics 2

And then hangs upside down to eat them!

gray squirrel antics 3

I had many of the birds I’ve already shown you pictures of this week, as well as a couple of new comers, also crowding the feeders this morning.

I think this is a white-breasted nuthatch:

Nuthatch

The chickadees returned too.  In this photo, there is a black-capped chickadee on the left, but I’m not sure about the bird on the right.  It looks like a chickadee, but I’m not sure what type.  I’d love it if you might be able to let me know in the comments:
Chickadees

Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal did make a brief appearance this morning as well, but I was either too quick or too slow to get a picture, depending on how you look at it.  I saw Mrs. Cardinal out of the corner of my eye, and quickly grabbed my camera figuring Mr. was probably close by as well.  However, I think my quick movement in the window spooked them and they took off before I could get the picture.

The squirrels and birds were not the only ones to have excellent treats (to steal a term from Gerry Sell over on Torch Lake) this morning.  I recently discovered Dunkin Donuts has new chocolate lovers’ donuts for February.  These required investigation:

New DD donuts for February

(Sorry I didn’t think to take the picture before I had a bite!)

Top left: Reverse Boston Creme – white frosted chocolate donut with chocolate creme

Top right: Cocoa puff – sugar dusted chocolate donut with chocolate creme

Bottom right: Cocoa confetti (without the confetti) – chocolate donut glazed, normally with sprinkles.  Different from usual very heavy chocolate cake donut; it was light and fluffy, as were the other two new chocolate ones.

Bottom left: Cupid’s Choice – heart-shaped, filled with vanilla creme and decorated with pink icing and Valentine sprinkles.  My Sarah is not a big chocolate donut fan, so I thought she would prefer those.

Quite delicious!  I think my waistline would prefer I stay out of Dunkin Donuts this month.  My mouth disagrees.

January 30, 2011

Picture Winter Day 30.. and then some

“Glimmers of Hope”

I’m not going to say it, but those of you who’ve been following this month’s photo prompt series can probably guess what I was thinking when I read this morning’s prompt: “On the days when you’re feeling like there’s no end in sight, what signs help remind you that change is on its way; that something new is right around the bend? Today, use your lens to seek out the kind of hope that you can hold onto until spring’s splendor comes knocking.”

Luckily, the neighborhood birds provided me with some great photo-taking opportunities this morning.  I mentioned yesterday that I changed my feeder to a more bird-friendly format, and the birds took little time making the discovery.  From my front window with the 55-250 lens, I happily clicked away.  The shot that made me happiest, which I submitted to the gallery today, was this one of a male house finch:

male house finch

Isn’t he cheerful with his red head and chest, happily posed on my near-by lilac bush – which happens to be one of my first shrubs with buds come spring time.  Definitely a little glimmer of hope, I thought.

In addition to today’s house finch and the downy woodpeckers and tufted titmouse that showed up yesterday, I was treated to a nice variety of bird visitors.  I think I’ve identified most of them, but I’d love for anyone in the know to either correct me if I am wrong, or give me more specific names of these birds:
IMG_3380

yellow finch

yellow finch

I think all of the above are yellow finches in their winter “clothes.”

sparrow

Some kind of sparrow?

chicadee

Chicadee-dee-dee!

blue jay

Bully blue jay.  All the smaller birds scattered when this one came to feed.

mourning doves

Even the mourning doves came cooing along

IMG_3341

I have lots of these little mystery birds.  Anyone know what they are?

Even as I was treated to this lovely avian display, I couldn’t help thinking it how nice it would have been if the local cardinal pair showed up.  The day’s chores must go on however, and I headed out to grocery shop.  Coming back in the door, lugging the purchases, Meghan was bubbling at me, “Guess who showed up while you were gone!  The cardinals!  I tried to take pictures for you but I couldn’t figure out how to make it zoom in.”

Alas, I had left the 50mm on the camera after attempting to take some pictures of Cedric fascinated and chattering his “killer” instinct at the birds.  Meghan took several shots like this one:

cardinal

Imagine how nice it would have been with the zoom lens attached!

The seed supply we sprinkled on the ground is about wiped out now, although the bell and suet still have plenty.  I’ll be sure to spread more seed soon (MORE SNOW forecast for us Tuesday into Wednesday) and hope that Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal make a return visit!