Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lots Of Birds And A Big Surprise Ending~

These were some of my faves, for various reasons following our journey in late September and early October. 
They touched a chord in me, for different reasons, and I could not leave them behind and so this truly is my final share from our 2012 journey. 
I hope that you enjoy your day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. 
May it be filled with nothing short of joy and blessings~

I am linking up with Stewart at:
Wild Bird Wednesday


We were leaving Santa Fe, New Mexico, and had not traveled very far, when I saw something up on a utility pole.  Seeing it from a good distance, I wondered what it was, and then I saw a hard hat. 
I wondered why it was up there, it was out in the middle of has to have had meaning~

Not exactly sure what the bird above was...seemed larger than a European Starling, and that rich colour...hmm ID appreciated~

Rock Pigeons...we have them here, though I have only seen one of them once. 
This selection was taken in Santa Fe. 
They were such large birds and did not seem too concerned by my photographing them~

AND...stumped again... 
I thought at first that this was a Dark Eyed Junco, but then I changed my mind...look at the yellow colouration under the tail...just not sorry, but it was pretty and it was a bird and so...
I hope that someone knows what this is also...thanking you~

As we drove thru California, we saw Olives and Pistachio trees, as well as Orange groves and wine vineyards, for miles upon miles~

Above is a Brewer's Blackbird and below a Western Scrub Jay, cracking open an acorn. 
I had never seen a Scrub Jay before, or the Acorn Woodpecker a little further down in this post~

At one of the lodges where we stayed, the managers fed the Mourning Doves and other assorted songbirds.  I love when people take care of the birds in this way~

My husby was walking the Meaka-pup-cub one evening before sunset and heard some birds making noise from the electrical poles above. 
He had me check it out and there were 4 Acorn Woodpeckers, having a little fun trilling fuss and head bobbing time~

A Double Crested Cormorant in flight. 
These were taken through the windshield/windscreen~

Autumn Colours near Sequoia and Kings Canyon in California above. 
Below a Raven flies over a meadow of golden yellow~

Above more Western Scrub Jays and below a Clark's Nutcracker in flight~

Finches gathering in seed and a Red-tailed Hawk taking to the clouds~

We were traveling on a really dangerous road out of Death Valley and heading in the direction of Sequoia and King's Canyon, when out of my window, I spotted these 2 Red-tailed Hawks back off the roadway and clipped a quick shot of them~

Another young Red-tailed Hawk soaring near the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado~

A pair of Raven flying over the Loneliest Road in America~

I believe that the hawk above is a Swaison's but please feel free to correct me, if I am wrong. 
Below is a California Red-Shouldered Hawk, so much paler than the ones that my blog is named after~

Yeah, another new bird on my Anna's Hummingbird...such beauty!

Sometimes as we travel, I just like to photograph old structures, and then ponder what they may have been like when they were new, who had owned them, what were the families like~

OK, and another new one for me, and once again, just hate to guess and be wrong and would rather arrive at a proper ID with some help~

As we traveled through Kansas, I spotted these wonderful limestone fence posts and "google's them.  This is what I learned...fascinating...
“Land of the Post Rock” is a distinction given to about 3 million acres in North Central Kansas- an area where a single bed of rock (the 8-12” Fencepost bed of the Greenhorn limestone layer) was used so extensively for fence posts during early Kansas settlement days that the posts have become an identifying feature of the landscape.
Settlers to Kansas found that the area was destitute of timber and turned to the material at hand…a layer of rock close to the surface that they soon found could be used for fencing as well as building. Besides being durable and fire resistant, this limestone had several other advantages. Being close to the surface it could be obtained easily with the proper tools and techniques. It was uniform in thickness (8-12”). It was persistent, extending with little interruption for miles. And when freshly quarried it was soft enough to shape with tools and hardened after being exposed to air.
There were of course disadvantages. Quarrying rock in “post” length required skill, hard work, and time. Once split out and shaped they had to be transported. This again required hard work and ingenuity as each 5 to 6 ft long post weighed about 350-400 lbs.
Posts were hauled/delivered to the pasture using various means. To go short distances a “sled” or “boat” was often used. This has been described as being a large forked tree limb with branches laid crosswise to make a platform which would hold several posts. A team of horses would then pull the sled to the post hole.
After being delivered to the fence line it was considered a simple job to tip the post (always the heavier end) into the prepared holes. The holes were dug by hand to a depth of 18” to two or more feet (depending on the height of the posts). Holes were dug about every 15 feet so that in the finished fence line there were about 320 posts per mile. Corner posts were propped to stay in a vertical position by leaning other posts against them at about a 45 degree angle (generally in the direction of the fence lines).
~After our daughter Brittany's blood pressure remained dangerously high, it was decided that our grand-daughter Maci would be born last evening, rather than on Thanksgiving Day morning.
 It is with the greatest of pleasure, that I introduce to you Maci Marette~
Happy Thanksgiving for those living in the United Sates and Happy week to all others~


  1. wow, you packed a lot of stuff into this post!

    first, congratulations on your dear granddaughter's safe arrival!

    i love all the grasslands, the fences, the trees. so pretty! the hawks are beautiful.

    the first unknown bird looks like a molting female grackle. not sure about the others, though.

  2. Congratulations on your granddaughter! That's awesome! I trust mom is doing fine?

    So many fantastic photos! You got a wonderful variety of birds! I love the raptors, of course. Gorgeous scenery and flowers, too!

  3. All the pictures were really nice until that last one. That one is amazing. Best shot ever! Is this your first grand? Congrats.

  4. Gorgeous mosaics of birds, and the baby is precious!

    Happy Thanksgiving..

  5. A happy journey that you had, and a great treat when the little one came into this world.

  6. Congrats on your granddaughter Mary - grand being the operative word. She's a little beauty and you must be very proud - now the hard work begins. That was a wonderful trip you just took us on once again with almost too many views and birds to take in. Thought I spotted a grackle species there and maybe a cowbird? But not sure about the third.

  7. What a great selection of photos Mary! Love the 'action' shots of the Mourning Doves and the Humming Birds! Brilliant!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  8. Your pictures looks great !
    We've millions of pigeons here in Paris...
    Best regards from France,


  9. LOVING the Brewers blackbird, and the finches and the hummer photos. Enjoyed the collages very much

  10. Congratulations, Mary!

    The birds look like Great-tailed Grackles, and a towhee-- not sure whether it is Canyon (New Mexico/Arizona), Abert's (more common in Arizona) or California Towhee.

  11. WHat a wonderful trip - makes me miss living in CA, for sure! Glad you had such a great time and got som any beautiful photos - congrats too on the new edition! :)

  12. Oh my! A sweet grand daughter! Babies are such a blessing for the whole family. I'm so glad she is safe and I wish the best for this precious new life and her mommy and daddy. What a joyous Thanksgiving for your family! Sweet hugs!

  13. I there - I would have gone for grackle for the first - but then again I am from Australia!!!

    Great sets of pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: here is a link you may like:


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