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

Friday, April 20, 2018

Long Story, Must Share...This is Who I Am~

Long story...must share...
4 years ago I happened to see a Bald Eagle carrying a fish across land where I was taking pictures of a Red-Tailed Hawk. I never could quite figure out where the Eagle flew and then someone invited me to go see a Bald Eagle 17 miles from home. It had to have been one of two that I had seen a few weeks prior as it was really close to where I had pulled off the road to snag a few shots of the Hawk. I would go to the land the Eagles were on and just sit in my car and observe them. One day a truck pulled up beside my car and a man rolled down his window..."Hi there... are you getting any good pictures?" he asked. "No not really, they are out of my camera's range." He said "well then, follow me, let's drive on back." He opened the big entry gates and I followed him. Robert had done renovations on historical homes and he had put in a whole lot of love and work into this property, along with his father and son at times. His heart was very attached to this old home. He talked with the Property Manager Juan and another gentleman and allowed me to come and just sit in the quiet of the beauty of this place. Not only were there Bald Eagles, there was a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks, Coopers Hawks, American Kestrels, Baltimore Orioles, White-tailed Deer, Wild Turkeys and so much more. The home was absolutely gorgeous and I was blessed in being able to photograph the interior twice and that meant so much to me. So many take vacation journeys to the beach, the mountains, but for going on 4 years, this was my place, and I spent hundreds of hours there, alone and quiet and taking in His nature. In 3 seasons with the Eagles I was blessed to watch 2+2+3 Eaglets go from young fluffiness into beautiful soaring birds. In fact last season Kentucky Fish and Wildlife sent a plane over all of the nest sites to see how many eggs were in each nest and last year they thought this nest site had two. It was me who got to officially make the announcement that there were three on the nest and everyone was delighted, but probably not any more than I was. I met some wonderful people along the way and I am forever grateful for having this beautiful blessing given to me. Last year the Governor wanted the property SOLD and I knew that it was just a matter of time then and I would no longer be able to sit on the porch and observe. Last July the nest that had been used for 3 years suddenly broke away and most of it fell to the ground. The birds built a nest in one of their original nest trees, where they had enjoyed perching. It kind of slopes towards the back and it's still under construction. From the first time I observed it I thought...please only a single bird this season and as far as I can tell, that is exactly what there is. Last Tuesday I got the text message that I knew would come...Juan alerted me that the house had been SOLD and they had closed the deal. A family with five children will move in and I am happy for them and filled with some sadness for me. Grateful for the opportunities I have had in this and hoping that I can see the finality of this season and get to observe the young one soar in coming weeks. My heart is full of mixed emotions. This is what I do, this is who I am and for me this is huge. Ever since I was in the 6th grade these large Birds of Prey have been in my heart...since 1978 and having had a Federal permit along with my husband to rehab and release them for a couple of years and then watching them in our area, it is something that is in my blood and this has been so rewarding, and precious for me. These images are heavily cropped and were taken in falling snow this week, but I was filled with such joy in seeing that sweet face of what appears so far to be the only Eaglet on this nest...

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

I am joining in the fun with Eileen at:
Saturday's Critter

Anni at: 
I'd Rather Be Birdin'

 Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global

Stewart for:

The snow just will not quit in Kentucky, or many parts of the USA...and I am so over being tired of cold weather... 
I can't complain though for having too much snow, we have not had a whole lot, just enough to call it in for a school day off and bad road conditions.

National Symbol - Turkey vs. Eagle

"As an old tale goes, after the eagle was chosen for national emblem, Benjamin Franklin questioned the choice. In a letter to his daughter regarding a medal created by the Society of the Cincinnati, he wrote wryly: "The Bald Eagle is too lazy to fish for himself; when the Osprey has taken a fish ... the eagle pursues him and takes it away from him. ... Besides he is a rank coward ..." frightened by a Kingbird. But the Wild Turkey, Franklin wrote, is "a bird of courage [that] would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on."

Wild Turkeys in the snow and on display mode ;) ~

I didn't even see this delightful Red-Fox Squirrel until I got home and uploaded my images for the day.
The second Squirrel was at the local park, so adorable, just love this species.  Raised and released 6 of them~

A male with two female Mallard Ducks down the lane from Tingsgrove~

As I said above, I am over the cold weather.  I have a difficult time getting out in the fresh air when it's cold.  My feet have poor circulation and they become very painful.  So...I have continued on with my Marbling pour paintings, which have been a great way to escape time and cold.  This is my favorite and it will soon be framed.  I took close-ups of sections of it.  Can you see faces, animals in the large formed cells?  Use your imagination...;) I can see lots of things~

The two images on the left are the same painting and I have not decided which direction will be up, or down ;)  The two on the right are very small paintings~

These 4 images are of the same painting, with turning it in all four directions, trying to determine it's best look~

These two turned out very nicely and I will have trouble giving either of them up in the future~

Golden Crowned Kinglet~

Had to get some colour inside, ready for the real Spring~

Yellow-rumped Warbler...aka Butter Butt~

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher~

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Sunrise reflections a few minutes apart, the same body of water~

Swallows snagging insects, love these birds~

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Two Life Birds in a Single Week and I am Thrilled~

~Hellebore and double blossom Daffodils from my garden view~

Thanking those who spoke such kind thoughts about my dear friend who had been so very ill.  He is doing so much better and in fact has been released from physical therapy and may be heading back to work soon.  He and his wife have a planned journey to Spain the end of the month and I am beginning to think that I will be watching little Mister again ;)

I have been on an email list for several years now that shows what birds are flying our way, whether returning from migration, or simply migrating through thousands of miles from where they came.  My life bird list is not huge like many others have.  In fact maybe only ten in recent years including top of the list Great Gray Owl which I still long to view in the wild, Snowy Owl, Common Loon, which for the life of me, I can't understand why they use the word Common for such beauty...
Common...some of the meanings...widespread (Not here ;), frequent occurrence ( Not here ;), usual (Not exactly ;)~  I think their name should have been called something like Exquisite Loons ;)
 And a few other birds are on the short list to one day get to see and photograph.
Last week I saw the Common Loons for the first time and went on 3 occasions to try and get better quality photos.  The first time it was absolutely pouring down rain. The second time the sun was glaring right on them and the water.  The third time, they were just too far out on the water, BUT I saw them...check mark!
Many years ago my husband and I were invited to be some of the few that would be allowed to see a rare visitor to our area.  A Snowy Owl.  We went the next day and I was so excited at the thought, but the bird was no longer there.  It had already moved on.  Then we received a nice pair at our Louisville Zoo and I saw them there.  Just not the same as one in the wild, I was certain of that.
About three weeks ago I began to get the alerts that a Snowy was a two hour drive from Tingsgrove and it had been there since mid-January.  It took me until this past Monday to try and get there.  My oldest daughter Hillary, her two twin boys and I made the journey which was beautiful scenery along the way.  My heart began to race...I know kind of over the top.  Thoughts began to come, like what if it left during the night, what if we can't locate it, what if... and then we spotted 5 photographers standing along the roadway in front of a brick home, out in the middle of pastureland.  Now what else could they be there for but to be photographing a rare visitor to Kentucky from the far off Arctic thousands of miles away... They come from Canada, Greenland and the North Pole and here it was in our state with very little snow and doing well.  It was ID'd positively just last week as a juvenile/first year male.  I am still stunned that of all places, not far away I had the privilege of seeing this beautiful bird and it was just amazing~   

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

I am joining in the fun with Eileen at:
Saturday's Critter

Anni at: 
I'd Rather Be Birdin'

 Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global

Stewart for:

Male and female Wood Ducks...a single female and several males at a near by park~

     There were several Buffleheads  at the location of the Loons~

                   We had visitors to our creek last week...Mr. and Mrs. Mallard Ducks~

Our local Red-Shouldered Hawk pair have finally built a nice nest this year following two years of disastrous attempts.  I am so hoping that the owners of the land will allow me to pend the one tree as Raccoons are notorious for robbing the hawks of their young~  

The female takes a long break and catches a frog for her meal~

On my way to my daughter's this past Monday, I went to her local park and just missed seeing this Great Blue Heron fly through this bridge tunnel.  I was standing on the other side and heard it vocalize as it flew out my side~

Here is a very nicely written and brief article about the rare visitor in our state~

~ Snowy Owl~

I took 430 photographs, slimmed that number down to 375 and came up with a few favorites to share~

I kept my distance which is not what everyone was doing evidently, and so all of my images are heavily cropped.  It turns out that no one lives in this ranch style brick home right now and so the bird has been using this porch covering as one of it's favorite safe places~

On the way home from seeing the Snowy Owl I took a few photographs through the car window~

Peach trees a long way from their fruit explosion~

A very old grave yard out in the middle of a corn field~
After my daughter dropped me off at my car I took a few images of the Bradford Pear trees that line the lane behind their home~

This mosaic shows the flooded field that I shared a few weeks ago and the same field now with White-tailed Deer grazing~

Some of my Spring Posies popping up.  More snow coming in tomorrow evening~