Sunday, April 24, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 4/24/11 - Pink Violets?

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it!  And, Happy Sunday to everyone else!  It's just an ordinary Spring day here.  There isn't much sun, but no rain either, and the temperature is in the mid-40's.  The yard is looking decent.  It's greening up nicely.  We had high wind a few days ago, and there are some dead branches down, that I have to take care of.

While I'm thinking about it, I have been asked by a couple of you how the bird watering station, on the right, is working out.  It's OK, but, I don't think I would advise anyone to buy one.  In high wind, all the water sloshes out, but, ever more frustrating, it's very hard to get the base unscrewed to refill the contraption.  I'll keep it up now that I have it, because I do see evidence that the birds are using it, but, if it breaks, I won't buy another.

Visitors to the feeder included this Canada goose, who shows up just about every day, sometimes spending hours just hanging around.  I like the two squirrels playing catch me as you can, too.
We're down to two Turkey Ladies.  I hope that the other three are nesting and I hope that the eggs don't hatch until after this wet period is over.  Turkey chicks don't do well in wet weather, and I think we need to see babies this year, after two years without any.
There was a new visitor to the suet feeder this week.  This handsome hairy woodpecker has paid several visits.
Spring flowers are making their appearance, at last.

Promising flowers to come
And, the brilliant red new growth of the peony.  I always love how they don't green up until they are pretty well grown.
And, perhaps most fascinating of all -- violets.  But, pink violets.  They came up this year under the lilac trees.  I've never seen any violets this color before.

Anyone have any ideas about just what kind of violets these are?

I'm celebrating Easter with one of my best friends and her parents.  We're having the very unconventional fare of Thai food -- yum!  And, for dessert, cheesecake -- double yum!!   Hmmmm, hope my after dinner mint doesn't turn out to be a couple of Tums.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Just a quick stop by to tell you all hello.  And, to let you know that we have had so much rain this Spring that I have fish swimming in my back yard.

Actually, I saw these windsocks on the facebook page of a friend of mine, and just had to have some of my own.  Here's a video of them.
 I've been staring out the window at them all afternoon.  They really are designed so that they look like they're swimming.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 4/17/11

This week hasn't been the best.  Towards the end of the week some serious problems developed.  Nothing negative to my personal health and well-being, however.  My most sincere apologies for not visiting your blogs.  I will try to blog at least a couple of times a week, and more if I can swing it.  Visiting all of your blogs for a while might prove to be a problem for a while.  I will certainly try and visit, but might prove to be an off and on visitor.

Yesterday was very windy and rainy, but, nothing like was experienced down South.  The only thing that happened around here is that the little hanging bird waterer that you see on the lower right of the picture swung wildly in the wind, dumping all of its water in the process.  It's still windy today, so I'll wait until tomorrow to refill it.  If you plan to get one, it might be a good idea to have a regular bird bath handy also.

There were a couple of different visitors to the feeders this week.  This mallard pair has, I think, been here before.  Every Spring, they decide that the water-filled cover of my neighbor's pool would make a great swimming hole, and decide to settle in.  Who wouldn't, with water and food so close together.
And, this morning, when I looked out, I saw this Canada Goose pair eating away.  They stayed most of the morning.  I hope that they don't become regular visitors, and bring all of their relatives.  I think that they are lovely birds, but I just can't deal with the mess.  Even with just the two of them, my driveway is full of big green poo piles.
I hope that your Sunday is happy, and full of peace.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Goldfinch Glory

The Common Redpolls have definitely gone.  I haven't seen a one in a few days.  Now that they are no longer hogging the feeders, the other small birds are venturing back.  That includes this lovely Goldfinch pair, sampling the sunflowers.  The male is in all of his mating glory, all the better to impress his trim and tidy little mate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Still Courting

The turkey ladies were back at the feeder today.  And, they brought along their beau.  But, there is one big difference.  There were only four ladies.  At first I was worried, but, then, I started to think.  Could it be, could one of the ladies possibly be nesting?  I hope so.  Maybe later this year there will be little turkeylets hanging around the yard!
Meanwhile, Mr. "I'm so handsome I've got to give your heart palpitations" was still strutting his stuff.

Good side
Other good side.
Who can resist this handsome and sexy face side?
I wonder if this is where they get the "All puffed up" cliche?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Becky Enjoys the Spring Air

Right now, the temperature is 75 F.  I have every window in the house open, to let in some of that sweet Spring air.  Becky spent quite a bit of time sitting in front of the rear window, breathing in all of the smells of the outdoors that she hasn't inhaled since last Fall.
Ahhhh, the simple pleasures!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 4/10/11

Yup, that's the beginnings of green grass there.  The weather has been warmer, the plants are greening up, and the tree pollen is flying.  Spring is here!  It looks like the Common Redpolls are gone.  Since I got back from Virginia, I have seen fewer and fewer until, today, I have not seen a single one.  Now I just hope that the Goldfinches come back.

The feeder is pretty quiet today, but I did see this Red-bellied Woodpecker on my suet feeder.
 And, someone else was feeding there, also.   They certainly are opportunistic little critters.  Good thing they're so cute.
High on a telephone pole in the front, this turkey vulture was surveying his kingdom, seeing what dead things he could find.  It's not the greatest shot, and I had to adjust the picture quite a bit to bring him out more against the background.
Gina was watching it all from her perch in my kitchen window. 
And, I think that she was watching this little fellow most closely.  Here he is, my perpetual sign that Spring is not coming any more, it's here.  I love chipmunks, they're so cute, and such hard workers.  This guy, and all of his relatives, will spend the Spring, Summer and Fall under my feeder, frantically gathering up sunflower seeds.  I can just picture his underground lair as Winter comes, stuffed to the top with hundreds and hundreds of the seeds.  He'll be nice and cozy down there, as the cold winds blow.

Have a Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Back from Virginia

This has been quite a week.  I had scheduled a visit to Virginia, to see my Aunt, pictured above a few years ago when she was still in independent living at the continuing care facility where she has lived for many years. She had moved to the assisted living section a couple of years ago.  I take care of her, as she had no children of her own.

When I got there, I could see that she had deteriorated significantly from the last time I had visited.  After a little visit, I went to talk to the head nurse.  She told me that she was very glad to see me, that they had intended to call me next week.  They told me that she could no longer function in assisted living and that they felt that she should move to the Nursing Center.  She was no longer eating on her own, was not capable of taking care of her personal needs and she was sundowning, which means that, as night falls she undergoes a personality change and becomes increasingly fearful and paranoid.

I agreed, and we discussed the whens and wheres.  It was decided to move her right away.  That meant that, the next day, we had to completely clean out her room in assisted living and move her clothes, and what furnishings that would fit, into her new room in the Nursing Center, one floor down.  It was quite a job, as her room in assisted living was jam packed with her "stuff" and there wasn't nearly as much space in her new room.

Luckily (or not, for her), my very good friend had ridden down with me, just to keep me company on the long drive.  She helped me with the move, and we got everything done in one day.  It was a real job, not only moving, but deciding what furniture and clothing would go to the facilities' second hand shop, and what of her furniture would go into storage, with the rest of her stuff that was already there.

It took us that entire day, of solid work, to get her situated, and we were both pooped by the end of the day.  We made sure she would be settled in her room after the mandatory chest x-ray, and headed back to where we were staying.  We got a good night's sleep, and headed back, yesterday, for home.  It's an eight or nine hour drive and we weren't fully recovered from the day before, so by the time we got home last night, we were exhausted again.

I plan to do absolutely nothing today but go to the grocery, and take a nice long nap.

Emotionally, I'm a little shell-shocked.  It all happened so fast, and while she is 91 and things like this are to be expected, it was very hard to have it descend so quickly.  She has been like a second Mom to me for my entire life and is the last living member of that generation, on both sides of the family.  It is going to be very hard to lose her.

The next job, which will happen in a couple of months, will be having an estate sale of the "good stuff" that she insisted be moved into storage when she moved to assisted living.  Now that she has deteriorated to the point where she no longer remembers it, we can move it along.

I often think that it isn't fair that people who have lived such good lives have to spend their last years in such a continuing state of decline.

I'll try and catch up on your blogs in the next day or so.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Out of My Rear Window 4/3/11

It's starting out to be a beautiful day here, but will cloud up and start to rain, later in the day.  Like the new addition, on the right?  That's a bird waterer.  I saw it in Lowe's this week and couldn't resist.  I think that the smaller birds will like it because it will be easier for them to get a drink than in the bigger bird bath.

Who's hanging around this morning?  Well, the squirrels, of course.

A handsome grackle

A pretty mourning dove.
And, the ever-present horde of common redpolls.
A few of whom decided to prove me wrong about small birds and birdbaths.  I like the way the one little lady seems to be admiring her reflection in the water.
All in all, a lovely day in the neighborhood.  I hope that your day is lovely, too.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Turkey Ladies are Back and -------

They brought a man!
He obviously thinks that he's quite the handsome dude, but, the Ladies don't seem very impressed.

Oh well, it's early yet.