In almost six years, we never saw a magpie at Little House in the Rockies.
And then on the Fall Colors 2018 Trek in late September, there they were at Tarryall Reservoir. With the blue on their wings, they are mag(pie)nificent!
And over Thanksgiving, they finally came right up to our front porch to feed on the suet. Despite their chatty reputation, our maggies were a little shy, so I wasn’t able to get many photos of their tuxedo coloring with bright blue wingtips. However, the one below, which is accidentally dark, made me happy enough to haiku. Intensifying the blue made me even happier. So I give you, Magpie’s Blue Period:
blue-winged forager stopping at the suet bar gorgeous in profile
I’m in a birdy mood! Yesterday’s post had a haiku and a variety of our feathered friends. Today, I’m sharing the social networking of just one flock of birds who fascinated me on a recent trip to Scotland’s Aberdeenshire region.
The ruins of Dunnotar Castle in Stonehaven are surrounded by nature’s beauty: the sea, fields of heather dancing in the wind, gorgeous grain meadows and huge open skies. I’ve got a lot more to show you from the castle, but today, it’s just about that flock of fun little birds.
They swooped in en masse and settled on tall grasses, chirping and squawking. It seemed like they were talking.
I got too close and scared them, so they moved their party to the tree.
Aren’t they marvelous?
I’ve done my homework trying to identify the species who gave me so much pleasure that afternoon, and I’m not quite sure…I think they are twites, but I look to my Scottish readers to correct me.
And now I see an easy haiku in this:
a treasure trove of twites in a tree near the sea in Aberdeenshire
I like them. They remind me of where I grew up, in Gilchrist, Texas on the Bolivar Peninsula. Where nothing ever happened, and yet every day was interesting and different. We had lots of gulls.
Join me in gull-watching, in Aberdeen, mostly in the harbor. Just for a few minutes. Hear them squawking and cawing, and smell the sea air. Feel the peace seeping through your soul as the staccato screech of the gulls is accompanied by the soothing sounds of the waves. A gull haiku:
gulls soaring, screeching pulling me home to the sea you should come with me
I’ve lately lamented on the lack of time for the Glover Gardens blog due to time-consuming springtime chores around Glover Gardens. I shouldn’t complain, though, because every hour spent in the spring garden pays off exponentially as the yard comes into full bloom. More on that soon!
Today is Earth Day, a great day to bask in the glory of our wonderful, life-giving planet. My celebration here in the blog comes in a set of nature photos I took recently during a road trip to visit our Musical Millennial at college in Austin. I was at Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, along the edge of Lady Bird Lake. I was killing time waiting for him to finish a rehearsal for the next day’s University of Texas Jazz Orchestra concert, using my new camera to stalk humans and animals around the park and practicing with the zoom lens. This post focuses on the animals, who were perfect models. Like this squirrel – can’t you just hear him saying: “Got nuts?”
It was a glorious couple of hours on a sunny, cool afternoon as I wandered through the park. Enjoying the sights and sounds of nature with only my camera as a companion was tranquil and restorative. Just looking at the photos brings me back there – won’t you join me?
A Walk Around Butler Shores Metropolitan Park
A spirited dog chased a frisbee, over and over.
She posed for me afterward. She acted just like the men in my family when I make them pose for a picture, resigned and mildly impatient: “Just get it over with!”
There were turtles all along the water, sunbathing. This one was like me, having a solo day at the park.
These turtles were having a social hangout. I watched them for ten minutes or more as they watched people gliding by in kayaks and canoes, and gently kicked their back legs to keep their log perch floating in their chosen trajectory.
A purple bearded iris was opening up in the sunlight.
Birds of all kinds were everywhere, darting about and singing. And seemingly, posing.
The swans did a whole routine for me, turning into synchronized swimmers. A haiku popped into my head when I was watching them, which I’m saving for a post later in the week.
Thanks for joining the animals and me on this little excursion through Butler Shores Metropolitan Park. And Happy Earth Day!
Spring is breaking out early at Glover Gardens, and the backyard is like a bird sanctuary. I have a new DSLR camera that I am learning how to use, and have taken to carrying it with me as much as I can when I’m outside (weekends only; I have a corporate job with a long commute). I am not good at schlepping the camera around yet and marvel at how pro photographers lug around all their equipment, ready to seize that great photo op when it appears. There are so many peripheral skills that they have to support the primary one of knowing what would make a great photo, and how to use their sophisticated equipment.
If you’ve been following Glover Gardens, you’ll know that I’m observing National Haiku Writing Month (#NaHaiWriMo)and posting one haiku per day in February. I started late, and it is a little more difficult than I thought, but I’m going to see it through. Fortunately, the backyard at Glover Gardens is a source of inspiration for me.
joy in my backyard: Mama Cardinal ponders life while I sit and watch
Brrrrr! It’s hunker down time here in Southeast Texas where harsh Lady Winter (actually “Winter Storm Inga”) has found us and seems to be settling in for a good long visit.
We had hail and snow and sub-freezing weather all day today, which is confusing to the plants and wildlife here at Glover Gardens. There were birds we’ve never seen before eating from the feeders: yellow-bellied flycatchers; they are northern birds who should have migrated further south into Mexico by now. Alas, I didn’t get a photo because they scattered when I opened the door, but All About Birds has a nice one.
But I did catch this cardinal across the yard, using the big ol’ zoom lens on my new camera. What a beautiful sentry he is on that frozen twig.