Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

May 19, 2013

Nest Watch, week 2

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 5:42 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Things are getting busy these days! Meghan’s final days of high school are sliding by in a hurry, the paperwork for college is rolling in, preparations for recital and graduation are busily moving along. I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride for the last couple of weeks, and I don’t think the ride will be coming to an end any time soon. In the meantime however, I have been keeping an eye on those robins’ nests I told you about in this post.

The first nest has babies in it. I poked my head outside one day to see 3 hungry open beaks swaying in the nest.
first baby robin sighting
It’s difficult to see all three in this photo, but I think they are all there. One particularly hungry little one made an extra effort to get some attention.
hungry baby

I moved around to the other side of the nest and was able to get this little charmer:
baby robin gets some sun
I love the tuft of down and the satisfied look!

feed me!
Feed me!

I think the second nest is maybe a week or so behind the first one, but I have seen mama robin sitting on it fairly consistently over the last week, so I’m thinking another set of babies isn’t too far away.
mama robin

My perennial bed is looking fresh and healthy with its new coating of mulch, but I’ve neglected to take its picture. I’ll remember one of these days.

Planting will be continuing as well. I’ve been back to the garden center for annuals and vegetables:
garden center purchases
There are tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, geraniums, dahlias, zinnias and much more all awaiting their summer homes. Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, my traditional planting weekend, so they won’t have to wait too long.

Whether you are enjoying your own gardens, visiting vistas around your home state, unpacking and getting used to a new home or just trying to fly a kite, I hope you have a lovely week!

May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:21 am
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Happy Mother’s Day, moms! I hope you are having a lovely day wherever you are. To my mom, I hope the weather is cooperating on Cape Cod and you are having a cup of tea at the beach! Thinking of you today. 🙂

My family was very kind to me today. Dear hubby provided the hanging flower baskets that I love for my shepard’s hook in the backyard:
hanging baskets

My two sweetest of daughters presented me with a gift bag of things they knew that I would appreciate:
great gifts
The green packet contains a new set of herb snips and the brown box contains these:
biscotti!
Biscotti! Yum!
While I was outside photographing my gifts, I noticed a second robin’s nest in the yard. Remember I told you (I think?) about the nest on the downspout? There’s a new one on the floodlights:
robin's nest on floodlights
It surprised me to see it there – I swear it was built overnight. I swung my lens around to take a picture of the other nest
robin's nest on downspout
and I couldn’t believe it – while I stood there with the camera pointed at it, the robin arrived to sit on the nest!
robin arrives at nest

robin on nest
I’m hoping I’ll get lucky again sometime in the coming weeks and get a shot of the babies.
I also took some photos of those hummingbird feeders I mentioned in a previous post. I filled and hung them up yesterday, despite not seeing any hummingbirds just yet. I’m sure this is the time of year they arrive back in this area so hopefully I will see them soon.
I found this one while shopping with my mom on the Cape and just loved the unique antique bottle look of it. Mom saw my enchantment with it and promptly decided to buy it for me as an additional birthday gift!:
new hummingbird feeder 1
I just noticed the little hummingbird design on it today while I was taking pictures!
hummingbird feeder close-up
This feeder was given to me by my dad for my birthday. The “petals” are made from recylced cans! Very cool looking!
new hummingbird feeder 2
The lilacs have become heavy with bloom and with the much-needed rain we’ve had the past couple of days, but they are still gorgeous and perfuming the air and bringing me joy each time I see and smell them.
lilacs
I hope you all are having a lovely day, enjoying the things you love.

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!

February 19, 2012

Moments

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 2:49 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Thanks to the Great Backyard Bird Count, I had some really lovely moments this weekend while I was out counting birds.  Our incredibly mild winter weather continued, and both mornings this weekend I stepped outside and looked into beautiful blue skies.
IMG_7260

It was about 40°F each morning, and I stayed warm enough just wearing sweats and my bathrobe.  I stepped out on my deck and took it all in.  Birds sang like it was spring time.  I quietly watched the fluttering around me, that I’m sure I’m not always aware of because I don’t take the time to notice.  The dogs had followed me outside and had a playful morning romp, but eventually even they seemed to take in the specialness of the moment.
IMG_7263

Daphne and Teddy became quiet too, almost like they were taking it in too.  Breathing deep, listening, watching, appreciating.

I was rewarded with the sight of a beautiful red-tailed hawk with its gorgeous red feathers against that clear blue sky.  At first I regretted not having camera in hand, but then I was okay with it.  It was enough to experience the moment.

But, if you’ve learned anything at all about me since I started this blog, you must know I eventually did grab the camera.  The hawk returned and landed in the neighbor’s yard, a few houses up the street.
hawk1

I enjoyed the simple site of a sparrow singing in morning sunshine.
sparrow1

I chuckled at the sight of Mr. Cardinal finding himself a drinking fountain, in the form of the return fitting on the side of my pool.

card1

(had a little disagreement with Mr. Autofocus there – wish this shot was clearer, but I’m not letting it ruin the moment)

And I was granted a new photo session with our friend the robin who, I’ve learned since my last post about him, really isn’t so strange to see at this time of year.

robin1

So thank you GBBC, and thank you backyard birds, for providing me with these moments.

April 9, 2011

Sights of Early Spring

Hi Everyone!  Sorry I’ve been a bit absent from the blog this week.  I’ve tried to keep up with reading all of you, but I haven’t posted myself since last weekend.  It has been a busy week, especially with waiting for my Red Sox to finally win a game during this first week of the baseball season.  That the win came against the Yankees made the win even sweeter – though I wish I didn’t have to wait through 6 losses to see it!  I did still manage to get outside a bit with my camera, so I wanted to share a few signs of spring I’ve managed to find.

This isn’t really a sign of spring, but I did buy a new bird feeder that seems to be more friendly to a variety of bird sizes:
new feeder

It has easily accessible openings for birds, but it closes down when something heavier than a bird, like a big ol’ gray squirrel, lands on it.  The squirrels eat frustrating amounts of seed, so I’d prefer to not have them emptying this feeder.  I have another feeder in a near-by tree that I’ll maybe put some cereal or other squirrel treat in so they don’t get too upset with me.

The new suet-cake I hung next to the feeder has been attracting some new visitors – this one is sunflower seed, and it seems to be popular.  I’ve never had grackle stop by before now:

male grackle

I guess these birds can be considered to be pests, but I’ve never had any issue with them.  I think the iridescent feathers are pretty.

The robins have been back around in fairly large flocks, but I haven’t gotten a nice picture just yet.  They are one of the first signs of spring around here (they seem to return in early March) so I wanted to include at least one picture in this post.  I didn’t get the nice red breast, but I thought this one looking like it was looking back at me was kind of cute:
robin

In addition to having my eyes out for bird visitors, I’ve been scouring the yard looking for signs of growth.  Some of my favorite perennials are just beginning to reach for the light of day:

bleeding heart sprout

Bleeding Heart

peony sprout

Peony

lupin sprout

Lupin

daffodils to be

Daffodils… many daffodils are actually blooming right now, but it will be a couple weeks still before I see mine.  Mine are planted on the north side of my house, so it is generally late April before I have blooms.

I was experimenting with fill-flash trying to get a picture of rhododendron buds, possibly to be used for my photo hunt.  I wasn’t overly impressed with the shots I took, and wasn’t sure my flash actually fired. According to the EXIF data on this one, it didn’t:

rhododendron bud

I’ll keep trying; maybe these buds just aren’t too photogenic?  Maybe it’s me?  Anyway, for the heck of it, I took this picture to see if my flash was firing:

IMG_4110

It fired there!  That got me thinking about this week’s Picture Inspiration prompt, which was: “The Shape of Surprise….As you continue your reflection seeking, this week study shape. You don’t need to show context or the object reflected, just pay attention to the shape, color, light of the reflection itself. Share your own shape of surprise this week in this reflection from your world.”

I can’t decide if I want to use this shot for my prompt submission or not.  Any thoughts about it?  I’ll keep looking for other shots too.

Tomorrow is the big Worldwide WordPress 5kBecky and I are planning to walk together; it should be fun to see our different blog posts about the day.  Today is actually looking like the nicer day of the weekend – I hope the weather holds out for our walk!