Backyard Bird Wars

One of the great advantages of being temporarily retired is I get to start each morning on my back porch with a cup of coffee and a book.  I bring along knitting and my camera just in case.

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One of our friends actually at rest.

This morning was no different than the others.  I was greeted with the background clamor of the cicadas.  I have learned to tune them out, but after the quiet of the house it is hard to ignore.  I sit in my favorite chair and put my feet up and watch the action.  The hummingbirds are at it.  They perch above the feeder in the adjacent trees and watch for anything to get close to their food source.  Some days it is so frenzied I fear my husband may have put a little something extra in the hummingbird brew.

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An unusual photo of a female woodpecker perching. Wish the photo was better but it was really bright out this morning and you take these when they happen.

We have three bird feeders in the backyard and a bird bath.  The birdbath doesn’t see a lot of action other than the deer drinking from it and toward evening some well fed dove gather for a meet and greet and exchange gossip while soaking their feet.

Back to the layout.  Closer to the house we have the hummingbird feeder on a black metal post with two arms.  On the other arm is the finch feeder.  I don’t know if the hummingbirds are rubbing off on the finch or if they, too, are territorial, but every once in awhile they will get feisty and start a little bird battle.

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In the woods, hanging from a tree, is our “all the rest” bird feeder.  It seems “all the rest” can and does include squirrels.  I wouldn’t mind, but their weight swings it around and most of the grain ends up on the ground.  Hmmmm, have I watched too many Chip and Dale type cartoons?  I am sure this is their plan.  My husband is trying to scare them away.

The tree feeder attracts doves, cardinals, an occasional blue bird, and my favorite, the woodpeckers.  I could do a whole blog post on the woodpeckers because they are fascinating.  For the most part, the birds are so used to us they don’t take flight when we come out on the porch.  I think their birdsong even changes when the food gets low like they are telling us to get our rears in gear and feed them.  Happy Times~

Enjoyed this essay on Backyard Bird Wars

 

“Anyone can take an adventure even if it’s only in your own backyard. Let your imagination be your adventure and see where it takes you.”
― Carmela Dutra

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Leaves or Trees

“Of all the trees we could’ve hit, we had to get one that hits back.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

So this week Cee’s Fun Foto topic is Leaves or Trees.  I love trees.  Not always the easiest thing to photograph because they are just so darn big!  My favorite tree is one painted by Georgia O’Keefe – The Lawrence Tree.  She made me look at trees differently.

treeThis is actually being shown upside down.  Georgia preferred it to be shown with the trunk in the top left hand corner and the top of the tree to the lower right.

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Having moved to Charlotte, I am in awe of all the big old Oaks.  The one pictured was huge and I wanted to get on the ground and take a photo to emulate the Lawrence Tree, but it was, after all, a garden tour….  Can you imagine?

tour_magestic tree_smThis is my daytime, right side up, standing, not from the prone position on the ground, version of the Lawrence Tree… and this is an Oak.  I would like to sneak back and try again.  But it truly is magnificent.

“I am at home among trees.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 To enjoy more photos of Leaves and Trees or to learn how to participate select the icon.

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Exploring Charlotte

Last June we moved from Indianapolis to Charlotte to be closer to our children and grandchildren.  After living in the same home for 26 years, it was a tough move to make.  As much as I miss all my friends, it is one of the best decisions we have ever made.  We are busier than ever and get to see our family so much more.  In addition there is a whole new city to explore.  Saturday was a busy day and one filled with hidden discoveries in Charlotte.

persian_rugThe long runner my husband discovered at Classic Attic.  It was in great shape and we got a very good price for it.

My husband had discovered a place called Classic Attic, it is a great little consignment shop that is tucked into an unusual space.  It is on the backside of Park Road Shopping Center.  Normally, one would think this is where the dumpsters and employees park.  Not in Charlotte!  They  tuck the coolest things there.  It is a lower level than the Shopping Center… like a walk-out basement effect.

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In the map above is the shopping center.  I have marked my favorite spots with hearts.  Classic Attic is next door to one of the nicest garden shops.  Great plants I am going to have to go back and spend more time (money).  And then as we were leaving to go to a soccer game we passed a great little pub (also on the backside)  It had an outdoor area with umbrellas and beautiful blooms.  It was located just under a walkway that went from the shopping center to a group of apartments.  So quaint.  Sir Edmond Halley’s

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This was our table.  The food was wonderful.  We ordered something quick so we wouldn’t be late for the game.  A cuban with sweet potato fries.

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What would we do without our cell phones and Instagram?
And a nicer view of the outside of the restaurant.

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From there we went to the soccer game at Dillworth Elementary which is worthy of photos, too, but I was watching the game….kind of.

Next stop Farmer’s Market on King.

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The plants, the plants!  I purchased a couple of sweet potato vines, vinca and some mosquito plants that smell like lemons!

veggiesThe veggies were awesome as were the strawberries.

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We couldn’t get home without some of these!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Spring

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

tulips_red_sm_fr“You’re strictly a tulip girl—a red tulip girl.”
Alyson Noel, Evermore

wisteria_sm_fr“Wisteria is my favorite flowering vine. Do you know why?’

I shook my head. ‘No, ma’am.’

‘Because it’s strong — just like me.”
Beth Hoffman, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

brookgreen garden_sm_fr“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”
Ruth Stout

There is no better place to greet spring than at Brookgreen Gardens in Pawleys Isalnd, SC.

Select photos to get larger views.

Too see more photos depicting spring visit The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge Spring.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Flowers

“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made and forgot to put a soul into.”
– Henry Ward Beecher

aaleas_white2_fr_smThese azaleas were at Brookgreen Gardens.  What a fabulous combination of man’s art and God’s art.  So peaceful and beautiful.

bg_lavendar3_sm_frI love Wisteria, but, for someone reason I always thought it lived off other plants and trees.  Since moving South though, I have discovered Wisteria trees.  I may have to rethink this…. I do love it.  I am partially right… here is an explanation on Wisteria.

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I did a little bit of work on these only in the sense that I blackened out all the background.  It was already pretty dark, but I loved the contrast so much I wanted it all that way.  Please forgive me for messing with Mother Nature does so well herself.

pink_azaleas_1_sm_frAnd, of course, it wouldn’t be the South without out bright pink Azaleas.  I am looking forward to viewing everyone’s photos of flowers as they happen to be one of my favorite photographic subjects.

To see others participating click on the icon.  cees-fun-foto

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Shadows

Almost a year after we have moved I feel like I can finally sit back and relax and get back into blogging.  This includes all the fun foto challenges available.  Cee always has a couple going that are challenging.  This week it is Shadows.

trin_shadows_sm_frThis is my granddaughter.  She and I were spending the day at Brookgreen Gardens with our cameras.  It was actually her idea, I think, to pose in the patterned shadows and play with the effects.  A fun day with great company.

To view other photos participating in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge click on the icon.

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Charlotte Garden Tour 2014

hydrangea_white_cr_sm“The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.”
Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Well, this weekend I viewed a few masters of the garden and I was just an acolyte.  And I will probably remain an acolyte until I can find my way around this rock hard clay.  In the meantime, walk along the paths…

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I loved this gate.  The location on the shady side of an out building was perfect.  It looks like it has been there forever and makes you wonder what treasures are on the other side.

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One of my favorite parts of gardens are the secret, hidden places that reveal treasures in the dappled light and shadow.

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“An ordinary visit to a beautiful garden always creates an extraordinary time!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

tour_flowering tree_smThe photo above is just one tiny branch of a tree full of these delicate little flowers.  I have never seen one of these before.  A gentleman told me what it was – in Latin – most definitely a Master Gardener.  So beautiful and delicate.  Reminded me of the lacy white sweet autumn Clematis I had in my former garden.  I have really missed that garden this year.  Slowly but surely we will have this one going, but we are not as young and strong as before.

 

 

A Brief Visit to Brookgreen Gardens

bg_path_cr_sm“God made a beauteous garden
With lovely flowers strown,
But one straight, narrow pathway
That was not overgrown.
And to this beauteous garden
He brought mankind to live,
And said “To you, my children,
These lovely flowers I give.
Prune ye my vines and fig trees,
With care my flowers tend,
But keep the pathway open
Your home is at the end.”

God’s Garden”
Robert Frost

bg_foxglove_1_pos_smThe Foxglove were beautiful and plentiful.

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Everyone might not see the beauty I see in this moss hanging from one of the great Oaks.  I love the tangled chaos of color.

More to come….later.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Happy

These photos all depict something that makes me happy.  First of all, photography makes me happy.  Editing and creating photos makes me happy.  The photos are in no specific order, but family and grandchildren make my life very happy.  I love the water whether it be ocean, lake, river, stream or even the bathtub.  I love taking photos of animals, gardens and nature in general.  It takes me outside of myself and stills my mind.  I love travel and absorbing new sights, sounds and knowledge. I also love books, knitting and quilting, but I will save those for another time.

This has been fun learning to use the gallery skills.  I will be sure and try it again.  For more Happy photos go here.