Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 8, 2012

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

It is funny sometimes how blog posts come to be.  I realized yesterday that I hadn’t updated about my proposed birding project despite the fact that I have indeed been doing a bit of work on it.  But then, I never want to post a blog post without pictures, and I didn’t have any new bird photos to share.  It was still fairly early in the morning – yeah, 9 am is early for me in the summertime, got something to say about that? 😉 – so I went out to the backyard to see if any birds would cooperate and pose a little bit.

You know what they say about sometimes forgetting to see the forest for the trees?  While I was outside trying for those bird photos, it suddenly struck me that I was doing that.  Yesterday was one of those beautiful mornings – sunny, blue sky with just a few puffy white clouds, low humidity, temperature only in the upper 60’s.  I stepped back a little bit to breathe and take it all in.  I was getting a little dizzy from looking up into the trees and trying to focus on the fast-flitting birds.

When I took the time to be in the moment, I also noticed the cool feel of the morning dew on my toes,

dewy toes

that the moon was out,

morning moon

that the lantana was coming back for a second round of blooming,

lantana

and that the squirrel that has been vigorously picking acorns and knocking them out of my oak tree was up to some morning acrobatics.

squirrel

So did I get any new bird photos to share?  Yes and no.  I saw the bright orange flash of the Baltimore orioles near the tip-top of a tree, but this underside of the belly and tail was the best I could catch:

baltimore oriole

A bird I’ve photographed plenty of times before, an American robin, stayed fairly close for a photo.

robin

A gray catbird also posed for me.  The only photo I’d ever gotten in the past of this bird was hidden among branches and badly blurred.

gray catbird

And I was able to add a photo of a bird that I’ve seen before but hadn’t been positive about identifying and had no photos of one in my collection, a northern mockingbird.  This bird was at the top of a very tall tree, so this is very tightly cropped, but I think it came out okay:

northern mockingbird

So, progress on the birding project: I have a “confirmed” life list of 59 species of birds.  This does not include many birds I’ve seen in captivity such as parrots, parakeets, cockatiels, flamigoes and penguins.  I’m never likely to see those birds “in the wild” so my list would be well over 60 if those were included.  I’ll definitely be bringing my checklist with me to Maine in the hopes of adding a few more “lifers”.

I hope you’ll remember to step back and enjoy a few beautiful moments too.  Summer is quickly passing us by – enjoy it!

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?