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

Sunday, December 27, 2015

55 Favorite Mosaics and Image Shares From 2015~

~Happy New Year~

This will be my year ending post and I wanted to once again thank everyone who makes this effort so worth while.  I could not, would not want to do it without you.  It was so much fun going through all of my posts from a year ago now and in choosing many of your favorites, as well as my own and combined them into 55 mosaics/single image shares.  Call it a labor of love, for is that not what each of us try and produce every week?  When I first began, I would post a few times a week and then a couple of years ago got to where I could only make it happen once a week.  For you that continue to post more often, whoosh, I wish that I had your energy.  Just as the blog began six years ago this past June, I begin this last post share of 2015 with the Red-Shouldered Hawks that I enjoy so much~

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

I will be linking up with Judith for:


Stewart for:

OK, I had to sneak our favorite White Tailed Deer in too ;) ~

This year the nest was successful in that the pair raised three beauties~

The difference between a juvenile above and an adult Red-Shouldered Hawk below~

Icelandic Pony at Foxhollow Farm, three images of a juvenile Cooper's Hawk top right and a juvenile Red-Shouldered Hawk below left~

A Blue Jay in the falling snow and one of my favorite gifts, the Owl sculpture below~

We had as many as 16  Cardinals along with other birds in a single bush one day last Winter~

I made the trek to Cecelia, KY twice early this year to once again see the amazing Sandhill Cranes.
My friend who is a Master Falconer, Beau Solley introduced me to his Harris Hawk, Tara.
Buck White Tailed Deer at Anchorage Trail~

I was truly blessed to have the beautiful opportunity of photographing from a safe distance a pair of Bald Eagles and their two eaglets, last season~

Last Winter I made a 10 day visit to see my daughter Ashleigh and her husby Matty down in Florida.  I saw so many beautiful scenes as well as the bird life was amazing down there. 
Below are Anhingas and Great Egrets~

There were several first this past year, including a Merlin, an American Bittern and a Bob White~

While in Florida, my friend Sandy Hensley Britt called to say that the neighbors across the lane had a Great Horned Owl nest in their yard.  It was a 60 mile round trip journey for me every time that I went, but I went as often as possible, for this was only the second time for me to witness them, from a VERY safe distance.  They successfully raised two owlets~

Take a good look at this image...can you see both owlets?  The rain was coming down in sheets and they were soaked and seemed to melt into the feathers of the mother owl~

My blogging friend Phil Slade thought for a moment in time, that I had placed the red apple on that fence post, but no I expect the farmer had done that.  I would drive by for months and even saw it frozen and kind of collapsing into the post at the end ;)  
The Squirrel and brand newly out from it's nest Cottontail Rabbit saw each other for the first time in Dad's back yard.
The Northern Mockingbirds are extremely territorial, and oh so pretty~

Yet another first for me was seeing a Mississippi Kite.  I saw and photographed the adults from a flying distance, but this post I am sharing the only young one they had and the first flight day for it~

Red-Tailed Hawk and American Kestrel over a sea of Sugar Gum pods hanging from their tree.
Eastern Meadowlark~

A juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk at Foxhollow Farm.  
A single adult on Commerce near my home that caught 3 field mice in 45 minutes and ate them before attempting another kill, but missing.
Then a mosaic with in flight birds... juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk in 3, a Bald Eaglet with scraggly tail feathers and an American Kestrel stilling~

Oh I love Swallows and here I am sharing Tree Swallows and then young Barn Swallows...they just make me happy...they devour Mosquitoes...yes!~

Yeah I got to see and photograph finally a real long horned steer and guess what it is right down the lane a bit from where I live, and then a mommy cow looking pretty in a field of wild flowers~

Another one of my very favorite birds, Cedar Waxwings.  Every year for about two weeks they come to my yard and I spend hours observing and photographing them~

This was the sweet little runt of the litter of Groundhogs that was born down the lane.  We affectionately named him Rolphie.  He had several good months and then a car met him and I buried him in our garden~

Magnolia blossoms meeting up with my kit cat Survhee Pipka~

A Coyote was a scarred face in Prospect, and a Gray Squirrel in my yard during the Autumn colour change~

My pup cubs 3 year old Silveit and 8 year old Meaka looking pretty.
Black Swallowtail dipping it's wings into the Turk Lily pollen and  a few sunrises.
An old grocery store, European Starling murmuration and an old building in Paducah, KY where the river is taking away the earth at a fast rate and the dwellings closest to the river are now abandoned.
That is where I shall leave you to enjoy your New year festivities.  
Be wise, be careful and have a great time.
See you on the other side~


  1. a wonderful year of memories Mary - both the good and the sad - they are all part of the mosaic of life. Wishing you all good things in 2016. Hugs from me to you from Australia. x

  2. Hello Mary, what a lovely year you had. So many beautiful photos, I could never choose a favorite they are all awesome. I wish you all the best in 2016, Happy New Year!

    Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  3. Oh Thank you Mary for all of these beautiful shares... What an amazing birder you are , equaled by your amazing photography skills. Thank you for sharing the joy ( and the sorrow too, your words on those pictures here and earlier were lovely tributes). I loved all your birds so much...

  4. Dear Mary, These spectacular photographs are like a gift. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy and prosperous New Year. ox, Gina

  5. What a joy to see all these images of your memories....and your tribute to those loved ones gone. Here's to a wonderful New Year ahead!

  6. I enjoyed looking back over your year with the stunning photography you share Mary. I'm glad you showed your dad and niece because we all felt the sadness along with you when they passed.
    Thank you for participating in Mosaic Monday this year and for the comments you leave on my efforts.
    All the best for 2016!

  7. Fantastic collection! I adore that kitty! I can't believe he sits like that!

  8. Mary, Thanks for your year in review. Wishing you a very good 2016 and look forward to more of your great photos. Sylvia D.

  9. An amazing journey back through 2015! Such incredible beauty! Some family sadness as life is felt in its darkest times; tempered with the joy of God's world at our fingertips. Hope you and yours are healing through the losses. Keep up your wonderful photography...I brings joy to us all!

  10. Stunning mosaics and not only a wonderful reminder of your year but a beautiful tribute to your loved ones lost. Every visit to your blog opens up a world I would never normally see and introduces me to such an amazing abundance of wildlife - it's always a joy to visit. I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing more of your stunning photos in 2016!

  11. Mary, what a great collection of shots for the year. The beauty that you record is awesome and a collection to treasure. Happy 2016 to you with much health and happiness.

  12. Dear Mary, your photography is just amazing. (If I managed to take one photo like this, I would be happy for a long time!) I found indeed many of my favourite images in this post.
    Thank you for sharing a year of beauty with us. Have a Happy and Blessed New Year! ♥

  13. Looking back at 2015, lovely images Mary. Happy new year 2016.

  14. Hello Mary. I hope that your Christmas was a wonderful as your birding year as portrayed in those pictures, despite the real sadness I felt as you recalled the loss of dear father and your precious niece.

    There are so many highlights in your post. For me it was all those Sandhill Cranes and just a pity we couldn’t enjoy their calling in unison as they fed in that field. Also I loved the two owlets and the way their lichen-coloured plumage serves as camouflage in their parents’ chosen nesting tree - such things are not pure chance. Then of course the Meadowlark, the juvenile hawk and the beautiful Tree Swallows are simply gorgeous photos. Our Barn Swallows are truly beautiful but the simplicity of Tree Swallows blue and white plumage is quite something.

    It sounds like you have suffered from the unseasonably warm and wet weather too. As I speak it still rains here with floods in northern England, Scotland and Ireland, and there seems to end to it.

    I’m sure there really is and I am hopeful that the Jet Stream will change next week and we may experience some cold, frosty and sunny weather.

    Have a great New Year party. Happy 2016.

  15. Wonderful images of 2015. At each one I'd stop and say, "this is my favorite," then a few more and I'd say the same thing again. I love the blue jays, the cardinals, and the cedar waxwings.
    It's been a hard year for you, and I hope that 2016 brings healing and joy into your life. Happy New Year!

  16. It was just a delight to scroll through your photo collages for 2015. Your photos really do bring joy to us all. May you have a wonderful 2016.

  17. You've taken so many amazing photos! Mosaics are a great way to share them. Happy New year sweet friend. It's been a great year to enjoy nature. Hugs, Diane

  18. Absolutely exquisite!!! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. May 2016 be prosperous and the good dreams; a reality.

  19. What a beautifully spectacular way to summarize your year! With the New Year comes New Hope. We wish you and your family a year filled with Peace and Love.

    There is no way I could pick a favorite image from your very special collection. I simply look forward to more!

  20. It's been so nice to look through your amazing photos again--highlights from this year's photos. I am always so blessed by your eye for nature and the beauty of God's creation as seen through your camera. Thanks for all your work in putting them in such lovely mosaics to share with us. I hope this new year is dawning brightly for your family and wishing you much grace for the new year.

  21. Your beautiful blog reminds me that even though we all have sorrows, those of us who bless ourselves with wildlife, can cope a little better.

  22. What a great set of pictures - that shot with all the frames is remarkable.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  23. Your photos and collages are all amazing to see again. So beautiful!

  24. I especially liked the hawks and eagles. That one against the gum tree is very striking and artful. Then, there are the waxwings... I could go on, but a very enjoyable visit to your page.

  25. My Dear, Sweet Mary,

    Happy New Year from the other side!;))

    I apologize for my late arrival, but life, as you yourself know all too well, has made some pressing demands on me, lately. And so, starting with this bewitchingly beautiful post of yours, your last for 2015, I will commence a series of visits until I reach your current post in this new year!

    Where do I begin, for all of these mosaics are magically alluring; what a wonderful way in which to look back on the year that was 2015, for you. Having said that, I'm sure your beloved father-in-law and niece are greatly missed, but I know they are close to your heart, and your lovely photos surely help to keep them there.

    The blue jay on those bare branches - be still my heart - looks completely at home in its snowy surroundings, as if it does not feel the cold at all.

    Colour, contrast, motion, stillness, each factor exactly right in its place, your images conjure up peace, gratitude and love. Thank you for sharing your treasures with us.

    Wishing you the very best in this coming year and always, my beautiful friend.

    Sending you lots of love,



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