Tag Archive: birds



Yet again I’ve allowed myself to get way behind on the posting of my photos, and will try to catch up now. I admit – I missed taking a photo during one of the days during this time. Much has happened since I last posted. I’ve returned from a wonderful visit to my friends Claire and Terry. While there, I attended the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church on the day that the new retirees made 3 minute speeches capsulizing their ministries. Terry is now retired, and I was there and took photos while he spoke and Claire stood next to him. It was a moving experience to be a part of their transition to “retired status”.

We also had dinner in a Japanese steak house at their hibachi grill and on another day we went to “Mark of the Potter” gift shop to check out their hand crafted pottery. But, most of all, I just enjoyed being with Claire and Terry in their lovely new home which they purchased a few months ago for their retirement years. It’s beautiful and a house which just screams “I’m home” when you’re inside. It’s also not far from a National forest so birds and wildlife are never far. At dusk it’s not uncommon to see deer scampering through the yards in the neighborhood.

Now that I’m home, it’s back in mundane routine. There are days when I am at a loss as to what to photograph, as I fear I’m repeating myself. Same subject, just different day. Maybe I am, but often the second photograph reveals something new I didn’t see the first time, so there is nothing wrong with that, either. there also have been days I’ve not been in the mood to take photos, but that is also part of the process – to push myself even when I don’t want to bother. On one day my photo was taken close to midnight.

So … with that – I’ll pick up where I left off:

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365 photo #163 (June 11). This was one of the nights we went to the Japanese Restaurant “Kiku’s” – and I took pictures during the show. This is taken when the chef piles onion slices in the shape of a volcano, and then lights it to allow smoke and flames to come from inside so it truly appears like an erupting volcano. You can see our main course is also cooking at the same time!

365 photo #164 (June 12) – EPIC FAIL. No photo taken

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365 photo #165 (June 13) – This was the day we were at the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. This was a globe from a world missions booth. The dove is a symbol of peace, and the globe has Africa facing the outward. I took many photos of Claire and Terry but not sure they should be posted, as they were taken particularly for them.

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365 photo #166 (June 14) – this photo was taken at “Mark of the Potter”, which is located right along a flowing stream. In fact there is a balcony in the shop that looks over this stream. What a beautiful setting!

Bonus photos for this day:

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1. The rushing stream
2. I love this sign 🙂 It pretty much gets the message across from the trout’s point of view!

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Both photos were taken near Claire’s feeders outside her front door…
1. male goldfinch
2. female cardinal

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365 photo #167 (June 15). I left Claire and Terry’s on this day and this photo is taken at the Hampton Inn motel where I stayed that night. I was on the 4th floor – and it was an interesting view at sunset. Sometimes high tension wires can be photogenic!

Bonus photos from the motel:

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1. view as a whole from my room
2. purple clouds of sunset – also from the room.

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365 photo # 168 (June 16) – These are the coffee mugs I purchased from “Mark of the Potter”. I love the shape, and they are very comfortable to hold, not to mention that they hold a lot of coffee, which is a requirement for a coffee mug for me!

I just checked – and according to my camera, I technically took this photo at 12:03 a.m. on June 17, but I’m going to count it as June 16th!

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365 photo #169 (June 17). Periodically I must make sure the kitties are subjects for the photo of the day. This is Felix lying on one of his favorite beds, on the back of the couch where we’ve placed their fleece beds. 🙂

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365 photo #170 (June 18) Late afternoon sun looking out over our front yard. You can see the shadow of the top of the house on the lawn at the bottom of the photo, plus our arbor vitae, and the birch tree to the right in the photo.

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365 photo #171 (June 19) – male and female cardinal ground feeding under the feeders.

Two bonus photos of male cardinals near the bird feeders out back:

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365 photo #172 – (June 20). This is not that great a photo, as I had to take it out a rather dirty window. the deer is at the edge of our property all set to dart away through the bushes. If I’d tried to go out, I’m sure this very skittish deer would have been long gone and the photo would never have happened. I messed with contrast and saturation to make it a bit more clear, but it still feels a bit distorted. At dusk we have so many deer who frequent our yard. The hedge in front of our house has been pretty much decimated by the deer this year, and we have to do something about planting something else — making sure it’s something deer don’t like to eat!

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365 photo #173 (June 21) Our hydrangea is beginning to come out!! More photos will come later of these!

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365 photo #174 (June 22 – yesterday) I was not in the mood for photography yesterday and I don’t know why. So – later in the evening I took a photo of the soda I was drinking – black cherry Fresca. It’s my favorite flavor. Sadly it’s next to impossible to get in Hilton Head. I bring down a few 12 packs, and then drink it sparingly while we’re there.

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365 photo #175 (June 23 – today). This is a view of our side yard (I’m standing in the front yard) showing the brick walkway which goes up to the front of our house, and a section of our driveway. It was a gorgeous day today!

And – that completes the photos – – until tomorrow, of course. Until then….!

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Let’s see if I can catch up … only to get behind again!

Tomorrow I’m leaving on yet another trip. Due to needing to go to PA because of my mom’s illness in March, I was unable to visit my good friend, Claire in North Georgia. At that time we were planning to do a spring piano / flute concert in her church. She ended up doing the concert alone, and I can’t redo that experience. However, I can finally do a visit, and I am leaving for her house tomorrow. Among other interests we share, we both are photography enthusiasts, so I will have lots of different photos to share for my daily 365 photo during my visit. I”m looking forward to the change of scenery and some different kinds of photos from a different area. Claire lives in a beautiful area, so who knows what my subjects will be for my photos!!

But – before I do – I am going to finally catch up on the photos that are not yet posted…

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365 photo #150 – (May 29) – House Finch in the black pine staging area for the feeders.

Bonus photos:

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1. Grackle – kind of a bully bird. I feed the birds only safflower seeds mainly because the grackles don’t much like it so they are less likely to be around to bully the smaller birds. However, they try…!
2. Male Cardinal in the black pine “staging area” of the bird feeders.

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365 photo # 151 (May 30) – a gorgeous sunset which gave the world an orange glow for a bit!

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365 photo #152 (May 31) – I believe these are crabapple blossoms which grow wild around our yard and neighborhood.

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365 photo #153 – (June 1) Misty lying on her fleece mat which we have placed on the couch above our head as we’re sitting. I will miss my kitties when I’m gone…

Bonus photo:

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I must include Felix if I’ve shown Misty! 🙂

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365 photo #154 (June 2) – Female cardinal hanging out on an old wrought iron railing that was placed there after being removed a very long time ago. I had forgotten it was there until I saw Mrs. Cardinal there that day. I can’t believe it hasn’t been pitched, as it was from a patio that has long since been transformed.

Bonus photos:

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1. Red winged blackbird — Sometimes they are “bully birds” to the smaller birds, but they are so pretty, I think.
2. Dove

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1. White Rhododendron. The white ones are the last to bloom, so these flowers are almost done for the season. They are so pretty and am always sad when they’re done blooming.
2. The white rhododendron bush

Yesterday I made a point of going down the street to where I’ve noticed a vacant field that’s had numerous wildflowers planted. I don’t know who owns the field and why they are planting these flowers. I think it’s a future development – but it is really pretty. I stopped by to take some close up and landscape photos of the field while it’s so pretty. I don’t know what many of the flowers are…

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365 photo #155 (June 3) I don’t know what this purple flower is, but blurred in the background is a large area of wild daisies.

Bonus photos:

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365 photo #156 (June 4) – suitcase packed — ready to go tomorrow morning – pronto! It was not much of a photo day today…

And — that brings me up to date. I don’t know how well I can keep this up while I’m gone, but there will be photos for those days to post later….

Laterz…!


I’m never going to catch up if I let days go by before writing any entries. I end up just as behind as ever! Photos are being taken and I’m happy to say that I’m finding almost as much interest here on Long Island as I did when I was in Hilton Head. The landscape, plants and wildlife are different but still beautiful in their own way. I have places I want to go for future photos – so it’s all good. I do miss Hilton Head, the lagoon, the beach, Great Blue Herons, egrets and bluebirds. In the last few days the island has been inundated with bad weather. Tropical Storm Beryl has dropped torrents of rain, and I hope there has been no flooding or wind damage.

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365 photo #141 (May 20) – a blue jay in the “staging area” trees – not far from the feeders. They don’t get on the feeders much but are basically ground feeders. Blue Jays can be such bullies to the smaller song birds (along with grackles and red winged blackbirds), but despite that, they are so pretty to look at with such beautiful blue markings!

A few bonus photos:

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1. The lilac bush is blooming!
2. More rhododendrons. We have several bushes, and they don’t bloom all at the same time, which is nice as it extends the season.

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365 photo #142 – (May 21) — Ooops – I nearly forgot to take a photo that day. This is a mug I purchased when I went into NYC to see CATS – the musical. And, ironically, Ray and I will be seeing it again tomorrow night at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY. I did not know this when I took this photo. I’m very excited as it’s my favorite musical. Figures – because of my love of all things feline!

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365 photo #143 (May 22) — Another day of not much interest in photography – so I took a photo of a photo. Not exciting, nor innovative or creative, but it is a chance to show off one of my favorite photographers, Dan Williams. This is one printed on photo canvas I purchased from him at “Springtime Made in the South” craft fair in Savannah. He told me that he took this in the Savannah Wildlife Refuge at sunrise. If you check out this link you will see just HOW gifted he is!! On the day I took this photo, I was also preparing to go to PA for my Uncle Ned’s funeral…

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365 photo #144 (May 23) — flowers at my sister’s house in PA

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365 photo #145 (May 24) — I arrived home from PA to misty, foggy, damp weather, and took a photo of the rhododendron bush that’s just outside of the living room window that looks out to our front yard.

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365 photo #146 (May 25) — It was another rainy day – and I took this photo of one of my lucite kitties which I have on one of my window sills where it picks up the light and interesting colors from the outside.

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365 photo #147 (May 26) — finally a clear day and I discovered the goldfinches have found our nyger feeder. Here is one, in all it’s glorious yellow summer plumage, on the trees just around the corner from the nyger feeder!

Bonus photos:

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1. Male house finch – in the staging area near the feeders
2. Male cardinal – also in those same trees

Not quite caught up — but I’ll end here. For now.


Our trip north was when things deteriorated with my 365 photo project. I’d planned to quick run out and take one last photo of the lagoon the morning we left Hilton Head. I went to get my camera, which I’d placed in the “staging area” of our living room – but my husband had been ever so vigilant – and the camera had been long since packed in the car – and buried under a multitude of other things. There was no way I could unearth it for the photo… 😦 However, when I ran out to remove the bird feeders (which is such a sad job for me, so I wait to do it at the very last minute — the morning we are leaving), there was a most magnificent Great Blue Heron walking right on our lawn along the shore of the lagoon. I stopped short and looked at him — and “snapped the photo” in my mind. If only that camera was with me… I looked at him squarely in the eye — and he looked at me. I finally said … out loud, “Goodbye sweet Great Blue Heron, I will miss you so very much. I’ll see you in the fall.” Yeah — I know … I’m sappy. I thought my voice would scare him and he’d fly off – but he continued to look at me even as I said, “I love you sweet birdie”. I don’t know if he/she was the bird who belonged to the nest we had in our yard this spring, but I also thanked him for allowing me to see his nest while he/she raised his/her babies. He continued to look at me, but then started walking slowly across our yard — and faced the lagoon – fishing, as always.

So – – in honor of this great blue heron — a photo of another one is my photo of the day. I’m sorry that the “real” photo is only in my mind and that I can’t share it here, but here is a photo of another great blue heron in it’s place:

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365 substitute photo of the day #129 (May 8) of a great blue heron taken 1/7/11 on the shores of our lagoon

And … with that we were on our way north…

The following day was a complete blur, and once my camera was unpacked, I was way too exhausted to even think about a photo of the day. These trips north (or south) with the cats are tiring, and fray my nerves. I need to remember that they always end up fine, and that it’s my lack of confidence in the entire process that makes me nervous.

365 photo #130 — Epic Fail. (May 9)

365 photo #131 — Another Epic Fail. Wildly distracted in “Unpacking hell”! (May 10)

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365 photo #132 (May 11) — Finally a photo was taken. This is a mirror which we purchased from Lori Wilkinson, a vendor at “Springtime Made in the South” in February. Check out her website to see more of her wonderful work! I knew when I purchased it where it would go – in the dressing area of the bedroom. It’s made of a lovely color combination of mosaic tile and it’s gorgeous. You can see the reflection of the window to the back yard in the mirror.

365 photo #133 (May 12) – Another Epic Fail. How did that day get away from me? I was getting nervous that this project was headed for the trash. Even with forgetfulness, however, I have decided to continue…

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365 photo #134 (May 13) – a sparrow of some kind – – I hope not a house sparrow, as they are the arch enemy of bluebirds and bluebird nests. I think it’s a song sparrow, though, and it was singing it’s heart out the entire time I was snapping photos! It was taken – by chance in one of our bushes. Our feeders were not yet up at this point.

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365 photo #135 (May 14) – azalea bush in full bloom – with the rhododendron bush next to it just coming into bloom

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365 photo #136 (May 15) – Sweet Little Misty kitty. I almost forgot to take the photo that day! The cats have made themselves at home in their Long Island home!

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365 photo #137 (May 16) – the rhododendron buds are are beginning to bloom!

And .. with that I will end for this entry, but will continue with the catch-up soon…. Stay tuned!


To continue… We had another week left in Hilton Head after our wonderful walk – so here are some more daily photos:

On the side of our house on Hilton Head, we have lots of bushes, trees and pine straw. This photo is of a fungus of sorts that was growing on the stump of a tree which had been cut down quite a while ago… It’s amazing what these things can grow from, and the intricacies of the growth. At the time I took the photo, everything was wet, but it was from our sprinkler system, which is turned on when things are dry.

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365 photo #123 (May 2) — the fungus on the tree stump
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365 photo #124 (May 3) — A female cardinal in the pine tree. I stand quietly in the yard and wait for these birds to become visible in a tree…
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365 photo #125 (May 4) — sweet Felix on the couch in the great room

On Saturday, May 5th Ray and I went to Savannah to see the Tall ships, and I’ll leave those photos for their own entry.


This is our last day in Hilton Head for the season. Tomorrow we head north to eastern Long Island for the summer (and part of the fall), and I am having withdrawal pains — missing the “wildlife in my backyard” already. The way I get photos will be very different up there, in that there’s not as much nature close by to me, and – frankly – it will take more work and “hunting” for the nature I so crave now. I suspect there will be more days when my daily photos will be more mundane. But – I will work to find places to go to show you some of the beauties of Long Island. We live less than a mile from the ocean beach. But – it’s different – and crammed with sun bathing tourists in the summer. Wildlife – understandably “scatters” while humans take over the sandy beaches.

I am so behind in posting here – – but I have not forgotten to take my daily photos. Admittedly some have been “rushed” – as I have been busy packing and doing the necessary chores one has to do before leaving one home and going to another. But — I will take the time to post once I’m safely settled up north. It will be nice to reminisce about my time here as I go through my photos to post them.

Sadly I must add one last thing. I am now almost positive that my backyard bluebird nest met with a bad ending. Mom and pop bluebird do not come anymore – and I see even more unidentifiable “dead looking things” on the ground surrounding the bird box. They do look like the tiniest birds… 😦 So sad, and I really don’t know what happened. Predator? Disease?

I probably should clean out the bird box before leaving, but I probably won’t. I admit – I’m a little scared to look inside. But – in the fall, when no one is nesting, I will clean it out and rehang it — this time NOT on a tree, but on a pole. Predators can too easily invade the nest from a tree where it’s much more difficult using a pole that has a predator guard.

See you soon — from eastern Long Island!


As we enter the last week we will be here for this season, I’m relishing all that nature has to offer us right in our own back yard. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many species of animals live in close proximity to one other – most times amicably. Different kinds of songbirds frequent the feeders without concern for the other. Admittedly, certain birds can be more feisty and chase the more docile away, but basically it’s ok. But – there are dangers that lurk, and sometimes I wonder about the tension that exists for most species – just to exist. Birds, rodents, and squirrels worry about raptors. Fish worry about ospreys and human fishermen. And, all small animals worry about the alligator.

I don’t think they worry in the sense that humans worry. They are programmed to take the precautions that they do, so it comes naturally. It’s not “worry” or any kind of “intellect” or “thought” which which causes their actions. They simply do what their instinct tells them to do with no human emotions attached. Maybe there is an advantage in not knowing the ramifications to their life. They just … “live” … as God intended. (Might we learn a little from this way of being?) However, from the human vantage point, life is hard in nature. And, it’s hard for me to watch as I sometimes project my human emotions onto animals in the wild. I wonder what the percentage is of baby animals in the wild which actually make it to adulthood? It’s different for every species, I know…

Yesterday when we were talking with our neighbor, he told us that last year the ospreys lost a baby which fell out of the nest located across the lagoon from us. The crows are relentless in pursuit of nesting ospreys – tormenting the parents, and working hard to get the eggs – as well as – I think – the babies. According to our neighbor, it was a crow that caused the accident – and they happened to be looking when it happened.

In reading about bluebirds, I was astounded at the predators which can invade bluebird nests – house sparrows, snakes, squirrels, and even cats. I now realize that having my bluebird box attached on a tree rather than a pole is dangerous as it allows more easy access to predators to climb up and get inside. Today these thoughts came to mind when inspecting the bluebird nest area. I noticed on the grass not far from the box some evidence of “something unidentifiable” that appeared dead. It was so small and there were no feathers, nor did it appear to be the right color, but I still wondered if it was a bluebird baby, mainly because of the proximity to the bluebird box. Clearly I am very inexperienced! However, not long after the father bluebird came to the box and I could – again – hear the little bluebirds inside. Maybe it was only one baby? Maybe it was something else? But – I just don’t know.

With all this in mind, my 365 photos will include many parts of nature that live close by to me:

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365 photo #119 – the alligator. I am always watchful when I’m walking not far from the lagoon edge. I’m always looking for a gator head pointed at the shoreline – or watchful that one is silently sunning itself not far from the edge. They are so quiet and still when lying there that sometimes you don’t realize he’s there until you’re quite near. With that in mind, I noticed one on the bank before I went outside the other day. I did go out – but snapped the photo from the safety of the patio – with my 100-400 lens!
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365 photo #120 — the magnolias are out! However, the squirrels love them. As fast as they bloom the squirrels get the blooms and drop them to the ground. I guess they like the seeds therein. So – this tree never covered with these white blooms, but they come out – one at a time – and leave just as quickly

Bonus photos:

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1. Click to see this photo larger, so you can really see the osprey, as he was quite far away. The crow was bothering him – and when he left this perch, he flew with the crow taunting him – in hot pursuit!
2. A gecko on the side of the bluebird box. I flicked him off as I do not want him to get inside. Not sure he’s a danger – but didn’t want him there anyway.
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365 photo #121. We are in a drought now, so we have our sprinkler system scheduled to come on in different spots periodically throughout the day. Just after the sprinklers stopped on these leaves in the front yard, I took a photo of the droplets.

Bonus photos:

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1. Mrs. Bluebird posing for the camera on top of the bluebird box
2. one random leaf – changing color.

I’m not caught up yet, but yesterday I took a sunrise photo walk along Folly Field Beach, and I think I’ll devote an entire entry to that… So — til next time…!


I’m still into birds, but have decided not to make another bluebird my photo of the day. Yes – I am taking daily photos of mom and dad bluebird as they come in and out of the box. I stand close (but not too close) so that I can hear the babies squeal as one of their parents brings in a new worm or bug for them to eat. As each day goes by, their chirping and squealing gets louder, and I now can almost hear them when standing on the patio! It warms my heart to hear them, knowing I have a nest only a few feet from our house. I remain clueless as to when the eggs hatched to how old the baby birds are and when they might fledge. I searched on the internet to learn how long the babies are in the nest before they fledge, and it’s about 16 – 22 days. From the audible sounds of them – it’s possible that it could be next week… I’ve been reading up on what to do with the birdbox after they have fledged, and, from what it says in this site, it’s important to immediately clean the nest out of the bird box, then wash out the box because they might start all over again in only a few days. Bluebirds have several broods a season. We’re only here until a week from Monday – a little more than a week, so we may not be able to clean out the box. 😦

But – I digress…

Yesterday’s photo of the day will be something NONbird. in the front yard of our house, I love my sego palm, so today’s photo is a close up of the branches and some pine tree droppings that fall on them in sometimes artistic ways…

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365 photo #117

Now – for the bonus photos – – and yes – they will be birds! 🙂

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1. Cardinal in the tree. Clearly there are turf wars with the male cardinals in our yard now. During nesting season this is very common
2. Here is Daddy Bluebird carrying one huge bug into the nest for the babies dinner! 🙂

For today’s 365 photo, I found a great blue heron fishing in our neighbor’s yard in front of the lagoon. I took lots of photos and here’s one of a close up of this upper torso. He was so focused on his fishing that he barely had time to be worried about me slowly getting closer to him to get the photos.

Speaking of nests, the great blue heron is still on his nest high up on the tree that overlooks the lagoon in our yard – only a few feet from the bluebird nest. I find it fascinating that they both are so different, yet are nesting so close by each other. Might we humans learn a bit about peaceful co-existence from our birdie friends?? I don’t know the status of eggs / babies, as I can’t see from the ground vantage point.

Here is the the great blue fishing:

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365 photo #118

Bonus photos:

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1. a soaring osprey. Not that great a photo as I clipped one of it’s wings, but I’m learning….
2. portrait of that fishing egret.

Don’t expect much in the way of bird photos once we go north. Nothing like this anyway…. 😦


I cannot believe how many birds are flying around our yard. I go out with my camera – or not – and stand quietly and they are flying – almost as if in a frenzy. They are feeding on the grass, and flying back and forth from the trees on either side of the yard, often stopping off at the feeders to have a nip of seed. I can hear them in the trees calling to each other – but usually can’t find them. These birds are busy and very focused, and sometimes squabbling for “turf” or “territory”. I suspect we have lots of nests around, and these birds are busy trying to feed and raise babies. Except for the great blue heron and the nest in the bluebird box, I don’t know where the other nests are. The seed in the feeder is being eaten faster than ever before. Even though there is great activity, and they are more visible than usual, they are very hard to photograph, as they are just out of sight, or extra skittish if in sight.

Today’s 365 photo will be what I believe to be a juvenile male cardinal. This is the same cardinal who was one of yesterday’s bonus photos. It’s my opinion that he’s brighter than a female cardinal – and I see some red on his belly and side making me think that his color is changing. But — I am only guessing. Check out the seed he’s dropping from his mouth! 🙂 (Taken from inside the house from the sliding glass door.

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365 photo #115

Bonus photos:

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1. This is not a well composed or good photo, but it’s an interesting one. I caught the female bluebird flying out of the bluebird box!
2. three birds on the edge of the lagoon. Not sure what they are

What happened to the warm spring temperatures? Today was sunny but rather chilly. Not sure it got above 65 – if that, and the wind sent the wind chill feeling like it was in the 50’s. I need to be very careful about my complaining, as my friends in the northeast are wondering if they will have snow. And – if the truth be known, I find this kind of weather enjoyable and invigorating. I do not love the heat of summer.

Today’s 365 photo is of another bird – but a different one than I’ve photographed before. For most of this spring I have been spotting a male and female Eastern Towhee scurrying around on our back patio under the feeders and camellia bush. They were never on our feeders as they are ground feeders only. However, no pictures have been forthcoming because my camera was rarely handy, or if it was, I didn’t snap the picture in time. They are quite flighty birds, never stopping to “pose” for my camera!

Today’s 365 photo will be the female eastern towhee:

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365 photo #114 — taken from out in the yard looking at the patio.

Bonus photos: a juvenile male cardinal (please correct me if I’m wrong – I’m not totally sure) and a male and a male eastern towhee:

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1. It’s my opinion that it’s a male juvenile because he seems brighter than a female cardinal. I can spot some red feathers appearing on his belly, and he’s a bit smaller than an adult cardinal, too.
2. This photo of the male towhee. Contrary to what you see, the male’s coloring is significantly more dramatic than the female, but this was taken through the sliding glass door from inside the house, which kind of subdues it’s color somewhat. I added to the contrast and a little to the saturation, but something is lost in the translation.
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