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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

~ Joyeux Noel ~

~Merry Christmas to all whom celebrate the season~

Also this week... 
My husby has a birthday today.
Mine is on December 21st.
Our 45th wedding anniversary is on the 22nd.
It is going to be a very busy week for sure.

Some 34 years ago, I spotted my very first Carolina Wren and fell in love with them.  
Thinking back, they may have been the beginning of my love of birds and so on this my first of 2 final entries for this year, I wanted to begin with them.  
These are some of my personal favorite shares from this past year for these two blog posts.  There were already so many shares from our past journey last September and this season with the Red-Shouldered Hawks, that I decided not to include those at this time~

For all of those who have inquired. 
My pain is slowly, yet surely subsiding. 
I am dealing with the tightness of compressed nerve endings now, and began my physical therapy Tuesday.  
I must remain hopeful!
All of my entries the last couple of weeks have been done from either sitting, or lying down...
A huge sigh.  
I want my life back and am moving in that direction.

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the narratives~

I will be linking up with Judith for:


Stewart for:

Above is a Red-Shouldered Hawk that hunts often down the lane from our neighborhood.  It is not one of ours that I follow.
Below is the beautiful Barred Owl, that I had a few opportunities to photograph this past year at Anchorage Trail.
They are absolutely stunning birds~

It had snowed and my daughter and her fiance were taking me to see engagement rings, when I spotted this barn.  
I shot the images through the windscreen~

Wood Duck strutting at Foxhollow Farm~

Pie-billed, Horned and Red-necked Grebes were just a few that I was introduced to this year for the first time. 
Grebes are such lovely birds~ 

A Coopers Hawk at Draut Park, did not seem to mind me for the longest time~

Everyone was looking for and missing the Great Horned Owl and young owlets, that we had been alerted to at the Anchorage Trail one day and THEN, I got very lucky~

The old general store in Skylight~

A handsome White-tailed Deer greeted me at the far end of Anchorage Trail one morning before my walk there~

As well as the Great Blue Heron~

One Sunday morning, I was astonished to come upon 2 battling Canada Geese.  
A third goose was frantically trying to break the fight up across from Henry's Ark in Prospect~

Another outing at Anchorage Trail and another close encounter with the Barred Owl.  
This particular morning it was hunting for itself, following a long period of nest care~

More images of our Christmas tree, and the cherished adornments~

One of our beloved favorites turned 7 on December 2nd.  
Meaka Von Warfenburg~

My favorite Christmas Carol, sung by one of my favorite singers~

Celine Dion singing "Oh Holy Night"

Our beloved favorite affectionately called Silveit...
Silvie Aleit of Von Haus Dettmer will turn 2 on January 9th~

I could not complete this share without adding in my charming kit-cat Survhee Pipka, who was being my Christmas helper ;)

Merry Christmas to all.  
May you have an abundance of good cheer and much love and blessings~

My neighbor Linda gave this to me last week.  
I had never heard of these before.


  1. Mary, I enjoyed your photos as always. The barred owl is so pretty. Your Christmas tree is beautiful. Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. I also wish you a wonderfully blessed Christmas. Enjoy! Pamela

  2. Mary. Great shots as always. Dina and my 29th in Saturday. Yeah to us all. Happy birthday to Hubs.

  3. Dear Mary, A most wonderful and colorful post. My favorite shot is the first group of photographs presented in a collage. It is especially charming. Merry Christmas to you and yours. ox, Gina

  4. Oh my, I almost have no words! This is SUCH a beautiful post, Mary! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and collages again. Love that Barred Owl, and the Spider story is very sweet. I had never heard of it before.

  5. happy birthdays to you and anniversary. a blessed christmas to you and yours!

  6. All great photos but I especially like the ones of the Barred Owl.
    I hope your health continues to improve and that you can get back the movement you need without all that pain!

  7. Happy Happy Birthdays and Anniversary to you and your husband, dear Mary! May you be blessed with good health, love and joy!

    Your pretty, wintry images are exactly what I needed to bring some cool, quiet beauty to my very busy day, as I am up to my knees in tinsel and won't feel like myself until Liberty arrives, safe and sound.

    Oh, that beautiful Barred Owl! He's full of intrigue, isn't he, with those wise eyes; I wonder what he's thinking, whereas the Great Horned Owl appears to be more defensive - perhaps it's those horns? On the contrary, Meaka and Silveit seem like such sweet natured souls, standing at the ready, to help Santa with his long list of deliveries!

    Your tree is charming and I'm sure your home is filled with Christmas cheer. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and joyful celebrations of your special days.


  8. Happy Birthday to husby. Happy Birthday to you Mary and Congratulations to both of you on your 45th, just three behind us!

    It’s good to hear that you are on the mend in time for the colourful festivities that you showcase so beautifully today. Next is a return to bird watching and photo normality for you I am sure.

    I really enjoyed your selection of the year’s pictures. The owls and raptors rather stole the show, The Barred Owl and Cooper’s hawk in particular although I must say the perky Wood Duck ran them close.

    Have a lovely and restful Christmas.

  9. Wonderful images! Happy Birthday to both of you and a Happy Anniversary!

  10. Mary, Happy birthday to you and your hubby! I love this post, the owls are cool and I love the ducks too. Your doggies are beautiful. Your tree is lovely! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  11. Everything wonderful... the birds, the Christmas tree and ornaments, and the really cute doggies!
    Hoping your health will improve, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! ♥

  12. Happy Birthday today, and anniversary this week too. Merry Christmas too.

  13. A beautiful post of birds, your furbabies and Christmas. The folklore of the spider webs is new to me.
    Birthday and anniversary wishes to you.
    Merry Christmas and thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  14. Busy week, indeed!! Congratulations to you all and Merry Christmas!!!!

  15. I hope you both have Happy birthdays and a wonderful Anniversary! You give us a treat each week with your beautiful photos! Merry Christmas my friend! Sweet hugs, Diane

  16. Great set of pictures for a very busy week! May next year be as good as you hope it will be! Full of birds and pictures and generally lacking in medical stress!

    Hope you have a great Christmas.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  17. What an absolutely fabulous post with so many beautiful images.
    Happy birthday, Happy Anniversary and a Merry Christmas!!

  18. HI Mary As usual you give us wonderful collages of birds and decoration even on the dogs and cat. For me all the Owl shots are very special. I hope you BOTH have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY and that you will have a wonderful Christmas as well as being blessed in 2015. You card will be posted on Christmas Day

  19. A lovely seasonal post... I love your Owls.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year xx

  20. A great series of photos. All the birds are beautiful but I agree that the little Wren is the cutest!

  21. Hi Mary. Belated Birthday and Anniversary Wishes to you and hubby.

    Another selection of wonderful images. Hoping your health continues to improve so you can continue to enthrall us with your glorious wildlife stories.

  22. The Barred Owl is very special but so are those Grebes. Hope you have a great Christmas

  23. You've given all of us a beautiful Christmas gift here Mary! Again just sheer perfection. I love your beautiful tree and your extraordinary pets. And the owl is amazing. Merry Christmas to you and yours and I hope you feel well .

  24. beautiful images! thank-you for sharing,phyllis

  25. You barred owl photos are sensational. Thanks for sharing them.

  26. Happy birthday to you and your husband and great 45 anniversary, lovely. Happy holiday coming right up. Love your pictures.

  27. Beautiful photos, Mary! I had thought the deer was my favorite until I scrolled down and saw your long-haired Shepherd. It tugged at my heartstrings. Ours died at 12+ years in 2013. I miss that sweet and loyal dog so much. I'm still trying to talk Mr. C. into getting another GSD, long-haired. (Photo on my sidebar) He left a big hole in my life when he died. A little late to the congratulations, but congratulations on the wedding anniversary! Our 45th was on the 13th. Have a wonderful and merry Christmas.

  28. Awesome shots of the owls! I really liked your photographs of the old barn as well.

  29. Happy belated birthday and anniversary! O love your photo of the barred owl, especially!


I love and enjoy each visitor to "Red Shouldered Hawks of Tingsgrove and Beyond." I truly appreciate those who have become followers to my blog and really am encouraged by the wonderful comments. I also enjoy leaving comments and would like to ask that you please make your blog word verification free! You still have top security settings and you still have control over the comments published. It would make it so much easier, if you would consider doing this. I switched several months ago and am thrilled with the results.
FYI if you leave ANONYMOUS comments, they will never get published, so please don't waste your time~