For a moment

This sweet bird has been keeping me company this month.  Alexandria, June 2015

This sweet bird has been keeping me company this month. Alexandria, June 2015

“I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” — Henry David Thoreau

Not long ago Jeff called me to the front door to show me a robin’s nest in the cherry blossom branch that extends over our front walkway.  It was fairly low, only a few feet from where we pass back and forth underneath many times each day, but the bird nesting there seems unafraid of us or our activity.  I suppose suburban birds grow accustomed to human traffic.

I’ve been watching this nest for several days now.  It’s set where I can’t get a good photo of it, because the sunlight is always coming into the lens and putting the rest of the picture in the shade, and my little semi-automatic camera doesn’t have the range to compensate for it very well.  That’s okay, though, because the important thing is to enjoy seeing the nest with my eyes, while it’s still an active home.  I’ve learned from our York “bird condo” (which is what I call the privet hedge where the robins and cardinals like to nest) that these little ones go from egg to hatchling to fledgling surprisingly quickly.

I’ve seen the mama bird (and maybe the papa bird too) standing on the edge of this nest feeding worms to the babies, so I know they have hatched.  Since I can’t see inside the nest, I watch daily to see if it’s still attended, just so I’ll know if the babies are still there.  I like having the birds making their home so close to ours.  It feels friendly and, as Thoreau expressed, it’s also a bit flattering in some strange way.

If it wasn’t for Jeff, I probably would never have noticed the nest at all. Jeff has a sort of radar for the natural world, spotting deer and birds and other critters with an eagle’s eye, though he has a more benevolent interest in them than the raptors do.  It’s nice to live with someone who can point such things out to me, because I am always excited to see them, even though I’m not good at noticing on my own.

How about you?  Do you have an eye for the natural world? If not, are you lucky enough to have someone around who can act as a scout for you?  If you have this type of radar for nature, do you share your observations with others?  Some of us are better at seeing than others, but I think most of us do care for animals (and people) when we slow down enough to notice — or when someone else points the way for us.

And sometimes, as with Thoreau, we have the happy experience of having a creature notice us first, and seemingly ask outright for our attention.  Such encounters are doubly delightful, and I wish you many of them, along with the eyes and heart to enjoy them.

Update one week later: the babies are growing! Soon they will leave the nest.

Update one week later: the babies are growing!  Their eyes and beaks are open.
Soon they will leave the nest.  Alexandria, June 2015

Second update: the light was good the morning this post published (Thursday), and I was thrilled to get this wonderful photo of the parent with hungry babies!

Second update: the light was good the morning this post published (Thursday),
and I was thrilled to get this wonderful photo of the parent with hungry babies!

Third update, 8:35 am: WHOA! This one started fluffing feathers, and before I knew it, it was standing up, almost ready to fly away! I told you they grow up quickly! It sat when the worms arrived, though.

Third update, 8:35 am: WHOA! This one started fluffing feathers,
and before I knew it, it was standing up, almost ready to fly away!
I told you they grow up quickly! It sat back down when the worms arrived, though.

And speaking of robins…look what Alys gave me!  Enjoy their lovely song here:

66 Comments

  1. Mr Snail has a knack for finding animals in trouble – stray dogs, baby birds that have fallen out of the nest, trapped frogs and birds… you name it. However, he’s very nervous about interacting with them (apart from the dogs), so it’s always me who ends up dealing with them… I don’t mind, I am an ecologist after all 😉

    • Wow, that is so cool! All of it, I mean, but especially that you have a sharp tracker to point you in the direction of the critters who need you. One of the things I most regretted about having to have a lawn service after Jeff got sick, is that I fear how many tiny bunnies and turtles might be getting mowed down by careless or impatient landscaping personnel. So often Jeff would call me out to see some tiny baby animal he had moved out of harm’s way while he was mowing. Once he helped me rescue to baby birds that were stuck together — true story! Cheers to Mr. Snail for having an eye for nature, and to you for coming to the rescue!

  2. Ann Weldon

    Hi Julia, thank you for the beautiful photos and for sharing the card from Alys. It’s been so hot here (over 100 for more than a week) that I haven’t been able to be outside and enjoy the birds. I love the quote from Thoreau, I would feel flattered if a bird perched on my shoulder.

    Hope all is well with you and yours.

    Ann

    • Hi Ann, I’m so sorry you’ve been in the midst of a heat wave. One thing I’ve given up in the past few years is walking when it’s very hot. I used to walk five miles per day whatever the weather (I would carry a bottle of frozen solid water and by the time I was about halfway through the walk, it was icy cold liquid that got me through). But now I just wait until late evening and if it’s really bad, I don’t walk at all. The birds are busy getting everything ready for you for when the cooler weather comes. They will put on quite a concert. We have finally gotten some cooler weather here; hope yours has arrived or is on the way. Thanks for being here!

  3. Jack

    A keen eye for the physical, far less so for the abundance of what lies in the spiritual! My wife thinks it odd that I can call out a mallard from a gadwall at 400 yards, but miss her frequent and tender gestures of affection after 28 years. Thanks for reminding me that practice indeed makes perfect

    • Good point Jack. We tend to differ in what we are able to see, so we need each other to balance out the picture. I won’t name any names, but I know a woman who said not long ago that she wished her husband was as aware of her setbacks and “maintenance” needs as he was of the car’s. But this woman would probably be driving around with a nearly-empty tank, flat tire and low oil if it wasn’t for her hubby’s diligent car care. Hopefully over time we all learn from one another.

  4. Cherie

    Thank you Julia for once again brightening my day! I love Robins too. My mom was a real bird person and her last name was Byrd before she married. She raised everything you can think of. Birds and mammals. She had 2 pet arctic foxes. I love those memories. I pray all is well in your neck of the natural world. Love. Cherie

    • Hi Cherie, I wonder whether your mother’s last name had anything to do with her interest in birds? I remember as a kid thinking it was interesting that the First Lady was called Lady Bird and the First Daughter was actually named Lynda Bird Johnson. Wow, arctic foxes? That WOULD have been interesting and I can see why you have fond memories of having grown up with so many animal friends. We are all OK and hope you are too! ❤

  5. Julia, thanks for sharing your feathered friend with us.
    A white dove returns each spring to nest under the car port entrance to my daughter’s home. ❤

    • Merry, I’m happy to know you have a regular guest! That would be an even bigger honor than the one Thoreau described. Obviously that dove enjoys your hospitality. Hope you are doing OK and staying cool.

  6. Mary Elizabeth Tait

    How wonderful to have a nest of robins join your family for a few weeks. I agree, you have been honored by nature.
    My grandparents were always the first to point out something amazing and beautiful in our world. When I would jump out of the car at their house, the first thing we would do was visit the backyard. I would be shown new plants, new growth on older plants, some pretty stones, a cloud formation, and be told of those events on the phone after I left home.
    My own family smiles indulgent as I detail the things I have seen in my little world; a baby jack rabbit, lizards, the wooden blossoms off the orange wood tree, and the birds and their songs.
    Our world is so rich and we can be blessed by nature everyday; especially if we take a moment to look.
    Thank you for sharing your robins.

    • Mary Elizabeth, thanks for telling us of your memories of your grandparents. You were blessed indeed by their attention to the details of the world. When we are children these things are wondrous to us, and some of us never quite outgrow that fascination. A late friend of mine and I used to share a love of lizards, which was something we didn’t find among many other women we knew. To this day I think of her when I see a lizard (real or a drawing) as I’m sure you must often think of your grandparents when you are enjoying the world. Their example has served you well! Thanks for being here and sharing your thoughts with us!

    • Mary Elizabeth, how delightful to find you here, too. You make me smile in a hundred different ways. xox

  7. I do indeed have a keen eye for the natural world. I spot slugs on branches, hummingbirds flittering over a blossom and trace their path back to the tree where they live. when they feel secure, they will return. Being in commune with natural gives me more natural joy than anthing mankind can match.

    • Bob, your eye for nature has provided many of us with some wonderful glimpses through your camera lens. So you are spreading that joy to others. Thanks for sharing some of your work with us through your blog.

      • As always, it’s my pleasure. My photography have brought me many friends and enjoyment. It has provided opportunities to give back to others such as being the official photographer for a children’s nonprofit fishing weekend, teaching photography and generally helping other enjoy their own work in the form of photographs.

        • I’m so happy you are willing to share your work in all these ways. From its earliest beginnings, photography has been an important part of documented history. With the increasing movement to web-based and digital information, along with multiple inexpensive ways to enjoy photographs (such as social media, digital scrapbooks, blogs, and all sorts of printed gifts and mementos) it’s also a huge part of how we relate to each other and stay in touch. The photographer affects people’s everyday lives as much as any type of artist, and more than most. Perhaps only musicians can claim to have their work as pervasively embedded into daily life, but even they have a segment of the population who aren’t reached by their work (due to a lack of interest). I can’t think of a single person whose life is not touched by photography in some way. Even in less-developed countries, the photographs of these societies taken by journalists affect their subjects as they bring global awareness of cultures and challenges unknown to us. I am deeply grateful that my father and older brother sparked my interest in the fun of photography, and my college photography professor will always hold a very special place in my heart.

  8. Carolyn

    Thanks for sharing your robins. We have a weird looking bird that has been visiting the back yard foe several days. Can’t find out what kind it is. Terry think that it is nesting close by. Not bad to look at, just never seem one like this before. Tuesday, doctor okay me for surgery, this Monday morning, sure will be glad to get this done. Praying that’s it for awhile. We had a great time with Jennifer and family, brought Emma home with us, she flies home Sunday. She is so much fun to be with. Will let you know how things go. Take care and hugs and love to all

    • Hmmm, a mystery bird! I wonder if it somehow got off track and migrated to the wrong area? Let me know if you find out what kind it is — I can look up and see a picture of it online. I will be thinking about you with the upcoming surgery on Monday. I too pray that you will have a LONG break from hospitals for awhile. So glad Emma was able to be with you for a time. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  9. Amy

    What a beautiful and fun post. I love the card from Alys too. The photos are fantastic of the birds. I am not a spotter but I do love to watch things when others point them out. I love to sit on the porch in the early morning and watch the trees.

    I hope you had a great week. Sorry we never got together but I am about to change jobs and will have every other Friday off. Hopefully we can get together some. Hope Matt had a wonderful time at camp.

    Love ya.

    • Hi Amy, I’m guessing Matt will be having a blast. Whenever he arrives there he is treated like a celebrity and this year was no exception, with all his British friends who work there each summer running out to see him and saying how they had all been talking about how excited they were to know he would soon be there. If only he could be so treasured by his same-age peers here, but then I guess it would not be so special. It’s wonderful how they remember him and even some of the details of his life and what’s been happening with him (they still talk about how he had to miss camp in 2013 because he broke his arm while in respite care and had to have surgery). We’ll pick him up tomorrow and if his voice isn’t gone (which it usually is, from singing, laughing, cheering and talking all week) he can tell us all about it. Needless to say he usually sleeps all the way home in the car!

      I’m guessing there is quite a lot of birdsong to be heard all around your home, although usually when I am there I am inside talking so much that I don’t notice it! But you are lucky to be surrounded by trees as you are. We’ll have to try to sit outside sometime when I’m there.

  10. Mary Ellen

    Hi Julia,
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful posts. Your post today was amazingly well connected with today’s Upper Room devotional, “Letting Go.” Love and prayers for you and yours.

    • Mary Ellen, thanks for the reminder to check out the UR blog — it has been SO LONG since I’ve been there, and I enjoyed the devotional. Learning to let go is something I have yet to master, but I’m gradually making progress. I so appreciate your presence here, and your prayers!

  11. Sheila

    Julia,this was a minute by minute post to enjoy. I am so fond of birds (no surprise there) and really am so aware of them. Their patterns are so enjoyable to watch, when they come for water, when they enjoy their food, and even when they take their exfoliating sand baths. We often watch the egrets stalk their unsuspecting “next meal” minnows in the salt water creeks in Garden City. Walter loved the bird sounds that you shared with us today. Thank you, Juia! 🐥

    • Sheila, I have a brief reference to Walter (and many other friends who are human) in Monday’s post. So I’m happy he enjoyed the bird sounds! My Aunt Peggy told me that Sweetie (her adorable cockatiel) loved them too. I must say, I’ve never seen a bird taking a sand bath, but I’d enjoy watching it! I was so surprised at how much larger the baby bird looked after its feathers had been fluffed up. I bet a sand bath would leave them really fluffy. Aren’t egrets beautiful? We see them fairly often here, too. We are lucky to have so much live entertainment…and it’s “live” in the true sense of the word! No scripts, no acting, no pre-recorded laugh tracks, just the old “wild kingdom,” up close and personal. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  12. Good morning, Julia! I agree with Thoreau. If the birds feel safe in your company, it’s like getting a stamp of approval (but hopefully not bird droppings on our shoulders)! I love your second update photo. Not knowing what the parent (dad?) Bird might be thinking, I’d want to title it “The Babysitter (hurryuphurryuphurryup-get home!)” It makes me smile.

    • Susan, the bird droppings tend to land on the cars, which Jeff does not appreciate. I always remind him that’s the price of having their lovely singing to surround our days. I agree with you, that adult bird in the photo looks more than a little bit DONE with those always-hungry babies. It seems to be a constant effort to keep them fed. They must be experts at finding worms, since there is far less grass than usual in a neighborhood of townhouses. I bet they would LOVE having a ground-to-nest delivery service!

  13. Julia, what a treat to have a nest so close. Your photos are incredible and so are you.

    It was fun hearing your card play and a reminder too that I must share the video. I intended to get video of all four cards, but only manged yours and Laurie’s (and I say something silly in Laurie’s darn me!).

    I’ll share it soon.

    I’ve always noticed nature and find myself pointing things out to others as well. I’m sure it comes from all my years of daydreaming as a kid (when I should have been doing something else, no doubt). Ha. Too late. 🙂

    • Alys, I wish I had thought to make a video of everyone’s cards before you left. I can’t remember who had what, but they were all wonderful.

      I guess your blog is one way of pointing natural things out to us, especially since it’s built on gardening. All that daydreaming served a good purpose. Sometimes I worry that kids today have not enough time for it. As a kid I spent untold hours reading, playing make believe and otherwise daydreaming, and I would not have wanted it any other way.

      Thanks so much for your presence here, your kind words and your unfailing generosity. Hope you have a beautiful week!

      • Julia, we were all so rushed when we left your place, trying to get to the next gathering. The time went by entirely too fast, that is for sure.

        I too worry that kids don’t have what they need to grow and develop. I’m glad my boys had all the time they did before the advent of tablets and phones. Like you, I spent hours daydreaming, reading, and being outdoors. When Chris was young, we went to the park 365 days a year, rain or shine. There were days when just the two of us were in the park in the rain. He loved it the way I do and still does. My younger son climbed trees, tumbled in the grass, swam, ran, made ‘fairy dust’ with sidewalk chalk and built with LEGOs, tubes, cardboard, paper and sticks. It’s so important to the developing mind to PLAY. Simply play.

        I hope you have a beautiful week, too. I miss you.

        • Alys, that sounds wonderful. Too bad Drew wasn’t there. He LOVES rain, and always has. I like it when it’s falling softly enough not to drench me, just enough to be heard in the leaves. But if it’s pouring, I like to be inside daydreaming and watching the lightning and reading. As Matt was growing up, due to his severe dyspraxia all the motor skills were very hard for him. I learned from lots of reading and info from the OT that the kinds of activities you describe here are actually the best foundation for later academic learning. Play really is essential, and it’s a need we never outgrow. Hmmm, maybe it’s time for me to color a picture…. 🙂 ❤

          • That’s a great way to describe the different levels of rain. I agree that walking in a soft rain is glorious, whereas getting a good soaking just makes you damp and uncomfortable.

            It’s still hot and dry here, so I’m mostly indoors during the day. It’s too hot to do much of anything passed 9 am and before 7:30.

            There are a few weeds that need pulling, but given how dry everything is, not much to write home about.

            How are you doing today? Any special plans for the 4th?

            • Hi Alys, hope you and your family had a great holiday. We spent the weekend in York County, cleaning out our garage as we prepare for our big remodeling project. WOW a lot of stuff accumulates in 11 years! We have never been in one place that long; military moves always forced us to clean out every 3-4 years, which I have come to realize was a big advantage of being in the Air Force. Luckily it wasn’t quite as hot here as it was for you, and the garage has an attic fan, so it could’ve been worse. I don’t blame you for not getting outside during the day. I wish I could have sent you some of our rain; we have had lots of it lately.

              As I write this, the tree removal crew is working away. Even the noise sounds dangerous. Looking out my back window, it’s raining sawdust! I can’t bear to watch much of it, but what little I’ve seen has impressed me with just how immense a job this is, and how careful they have to be (and thankfully are being). I am so glad for the expertise of people who know how to do so many things that are so far beyond my ability.

              • Hi Julia,

                We had to have a palm tree removed from our tiny townhouse courtyard many years ago. The job was immense. The tree was either planted by someone who didn’t know how large it would grow or left to grow after self-seeding there. Picture a 20 x 20 courtyard with a full grown palm tree inches away from the house and the fence. They removed it in sections, each one weighing over 200 pounds. I too value the professional services of arborists who come regularly to prune our large trees, and have removed two trees over the years: one diseased and the other rendered unsafe after (get this) too much rainfall! We are always sad to see them go.

                I’m glad you had a good clear out. It is amazing how things accumulate, especially when you have space to store them.

                Have you heard the expression, “deferred decision”? I like to share this with my clients. Instead of deciding in the here and now, they move things to another place. Over time, that space fills with other deferred decisions and before long it becomes a mass of unmade and overwhelming decisions to make, also known as clutter. Interesting, eh? I applaud your efforts in the garage and know you feel better thinning everything out. Well done, well done. With the garage clean and the tree soon gone (sad, sad, I know) you’ve made room for the next stage. I’m excited for what’s to come in its place.

                • Alys, I was guilty of planting a palm tree at our CA home without having the slightest idea how big it would get. Luckily our landlady had given me permission to plant it, and if she was surprised by its size when we moved out several years later, she did not say so. But it was not as large as the one you describe. Today they finished everything but the stump grinding. The arborist told me the hardest part was the weight of the pieces they had to haul away, which were a strain on his trucks and trailers. He said that the largest piece weighed over 8000 pounds! and there were several more that weighed about 6600. Of course, he left them longer because he will mill them.

                  Cleaning out the garage was a wonderful feeling. It had needed to be done for so long. It was one giant warehouse of deferred decisions! One thing I found helpful in the book you gave me recently was the advice to tell myself that these things had served their purpose in our lives. This was especially good to remember when we were getting rid of all Jeff’s expensive dental lab equipment, some of which he had not used at all since dental school 1980-84! At the time it cost what seemed like a small fortune, and we had intended to sell or give it away at some point along the line, but there is a very limited market for such stuff and this was before the days of ebay. Anyway, YES, it’s all representative of deferred decisions, and Jeff and I both have a hard time with being decisive, especially when sentimental memories are involved. One thing that has grown easier to do now that I’m nearing 60 (next year) is to admit to myself how many things I will simply never get around to doing, no matter how much I always hoped I would. Another question that helped was to ask myself: is this how I want to spend the very limited time I have left here on earth? That might sound morbid, but it really isn’t, it’s just realistic. In youth I saw time as something that was stretching out there endlessly, but not so anymore, and that’s actually a freeing thing.

                  Our yard looks much bigger and I’m happy you share my excitement about what is to come. I will keep you posted! 🙂 Thanks for being with us on this journey.

                  • I’m so glad you are feeling good about the big clear out, Julia. Her book is resonating with a lot of people. And you’ll recall that she has you deal with memorabilia and photos last, after you’ve built up some decision-making chops. I appreciate how challenging it can be. I’ve also implemented some of her ideas, namely hanging a lot more of my clothing then I used to and rolling the things I do keep in drawers, like my exercise pants and shirts, so they are easier to retrieve.

                    Wow, I had no idea the sections of your tree would be so heavy. I hope you took lots of photos of the process for posterity.

                    It sounds like things are moving forward.

                    • I liked her ideas about folding and vertical storage too. It really makes sense. I have done that at times with socks and t-shirts, but I think it would work great in a deep drawer with sweaters, too.

                      I did take some photos of the tree removal. I hadn’t planned to (I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to bear watching it) but it was so fascinating I just had to get some photos. Now I wish I had had my camera out from the beginning, because I missed the most amazing shots when the tree was at full height and there was more than one person high up in its branches. I’m sure some of the photos will show up here sooner or later.

                    • It’s hard loosing a tree you love. I’m not at all surprised that you avoided that scene.

                      It must look so different now. I’ll watch for your post. xox

                    • Alys, our yard looks SO much bigger, even with the huge pile of mulch that we had the arborist leave behind (we hope to move it all to the “lower 40” this weekend to cover some pathways and discourage weeds, though he warned us not to use untreated mulch anywhere near the house, due to TERMITES loving it). I’m dubious as to whether we will be able to move even half of it, but I have someone standing by to come do it for us if we decide we’d rather save money in easier ways. 😀

                    • Julia, how exciting to have all that space read to go. How did you do with the mulching project? Good to know to stay away form the house with the fresh trimmings. Termites are so prevalent here that every single time a house is sold, it has to be tented. We were amazed seeing the damage to the boards inside of our house when we remodeled. Boy are they voracious eaters.

                      I’m excited to follow along as your plans progress.

                    • Jeff and I moved almost half the mulch last weekend and the rest was done this week, except I will need to spread it out where I want it to go. WOW there was a lot of it! It really does look nice to have some pathways back there that still look fairly natural. I didn’t want to put stones or even rocks since I thought it would take away from that woodland feeling. The lawn shed is all framed up and looks so cute! It will be finished this week. I didn’t realize the termites were a problem in NorCal. Something I learned in Alexandria is that carpenter ants can also do a fair amount of damage…we had the beginnings of damage to a part of our fence that they had been munching on. Also there are carpenter bees that can eat wood too. I hate to use spray insecticide, though. Ant baits are about all I want to use. It is amazing that such tiny insects can munch through so much wood. And I’ve never seen a fat one! 😀

                    • Julia, how exciting. I bet it smells wonderful too, all those fresh wood chips. It sounds like you’ve made huge progress, including the little shed. I can’t wait to see it.

                      I’ve heard of carpenter ants. Great name, too. We’ve mostly had to deal with subterranean termites here. They’re recognized by little mud tunnels built along the foundation of the house.

                      I’m not a fan of insecticides either, though when termites were present we did have a professional come out and treat for them, fearing it would only get worse.

                      Another unfortunate consequence of our drought is the bark beetle. They live symbiotically with the pine trees, but now that so many trees are in distress, the beetles are taking over, killing many beautiful, old pines.

                      Will you be able to finish framing on the addition before your winter sets in?

                    • Alys, I actually saved some of the tiny wood chips (closer to being sawdust) in a little plastic container — I tell myself I’ll find some sort of little craft project (maybe put them in a clear glass ornament for Christmas) but for now they do smell nice and fresh. Yes, insecticide is one of life’s necessary evils, and the good that comes from using hopefully outweighs the bad. They have to spray for mosquitoes around our York area every year, but I guess malaria would be worse. At least they always let us know in advance when they are going to do the spraying, so we can plan accordingly.

                      Years ago when I worked in the Tennessee Division of Forestry I became good friends with the state entomologist, whose job included monitoring all the various infestations throughout the state. Until then I had never really thought about how destructive insects can be, not just to home and such, but also in natural settings, as you describe.

                      According to what the builder has told us, our remodel/addition should be completed sometime during the fall! Of course, such things almost always take longer than expected, but since the really cold weather doesn’t usually arrive around here until late November or early December, I’m hoping we’ll be finished before then. I’ll keep you posted!

                    • I love the idea of saving little wood chips from your tree and making an ornament to commemorate it. Maybe you can write your tree a love letter, type it in tiny font, roll it up and tuck it inside.

                      A fall completion sounds wonderful. And really, once the exterior is sealed, they don’t need to race the weather so much. That said, having it done before the holidays will be ideal. Sending you good remodel karma.

                    • Alys, that is a super idea! I might even make a tiny scroll with a written tribute and photo of the tree printed on it, and roll it up to store inside the ornament. It might someday answer the question “why would anybody make an ornament with wood chips inside?”

                      The project is moving ahead, albeit with a few glitches/minor delays already. As much as I know such things are inevitable, it still makes me nervous. But a lot of progress was made today and the bulldozer is gone (for the time being) from our back yard, so that’s a relief! We can use all the good remodel karma we can get. Jeff and I always tried to leave every place we lived better off than we found it, even if it was only base housing, so maybe some of that is headed back in our direction.

  14. LB

    As I listened to the Robin’s birdsong, I easily visualized your Alexandria kitchen. Such a lovely memory!
    I’m so glad that you and Jeff have each other and that he brought your attention to that nest. The image of the hungry birds is outstanding!!

    • LB, those robins could easily out-filibuster me! 🙂 I’m glad you liked the hungry bird photo. I am always flattered when others like my work, but never more so than when an accomplished photographer sends me a compliment. Hope things are going great with you! I think of you often.

  15. I’m late but loved reading this. You are lucky to have someone aware enough to point things out. We have robins in the grass next door but I have no grass so they don’t stay here. There are birds and a nest in the Arbor Vita by my porch but I can’t see what they are. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Marlene, no such thing as “late” around here. I am permanently challenged when it comes to getting things done in a timely way. I used to get upset about it but I’ve come to realize that I like having too much to do. I’m glad for your visits here whenever you are able to make them!

      • Ha, we are kindred spirits. I too like having too much to do. The word bored, never slips into my thoughts or from my mouth. I’m grateful I can do too many things.

        • Marlene, I don’t know how anyone could be bored. I read years ago where Marilyn vos Savant (whom I really like reading) wrote that she LOVED having too much to do because it gave her plenty to choose from, and she could always find something to match her mood. Smart lady. Once I read that, I began to look at life differently and quit fretting so much about all the things I didn’t have enough time for. Yes, we are indeed kindred spirits.

  16. I got lost in the video. It took me to a sewing tutorial and I almost forgot why I was here. 🙂 You are so lucky to have a husband that is in tune with nature. I have a birds nest in the Arbor Vita but don’t know what kind of bird it is. Can’t see it that well. Maybe one day I’ll get a photo and enlarge it so I can see it better. Isn’t Alys the best with the cards? I loved all the photos.

    • Marlene, I have problems all the time with getting lost on the internet. I don’t have the discipline to stop following all these intriguing hypertext rabbit trails (though I’ve learned to ignore the obviously commercial ones). For people such as I who have problems with distraction, it’s a real challenge. Apparently I’m not alone; I’ve been reading a book by an information scientist who says there are numerous software programs out there that simply block access internet access at various levels — some allow nothing but keyboarding — “Zenware” he calls such programs. It seems funny to have to have a piece of software for that. Hypertext is a great asset, but also a great liability. Isn’t it interesting how many things are only useful when we can keep a lid on them? I’m happy you liked the post! Alys is wonderful with cards and with many other things!

      • Zenware! Interesting. My son is the same way. It’s like the rabbit hole you fall into when on Pinterest. One good thing leads to another and the next thing you know, the day is gone. 🙂

        • Don’t you just love Pinterest? It’s the closest thing to Wonderland that I know of, but I have to exercise great discipline to keep my time there to a minimum because it’s seriously addictive. I tend to enjoy it on long car trips or in waiting rooms or other times when I don’t feel as “responsible” for getting something useful done. 😀

          • I’ve had as many as 6 tabs open at once to Pinterest. 🙂 They do know how to suck you in. But I’ve learned so much there too so it’s not a total waste.

            • I agree Marlene, Pinterest is ultimately more practical (in my opinion) than much of what goes on at Facebook or Twitter. I’ve gotten to the point where, when I want to find out how to do certain household tasks, I search Pinterest first. There are so many good ideas there! But I must admit, I still spend far more time looking at those ideas than carrying them out. Still, it’s great inspiration!

              • 🙂 I’m going to make a t-shirt that says “I love Pinterest” :))))

                • I’m thinking of making one that says “PINTEREST: because digital hoarding is less obvious and more sanitary.” 😀 😀 😀

                  • SO true. :)) No one can shame me for the stuff I hoard on Pinterest. :)))

                    • 😀

                    • Hey Marlene, I was just prowling around Pinterest trying to find you, but no luck…can you send me a link? My Pinterest boards are listed under defeatdespair. I’d love to share my digital hoarding with you and rummage around through yours too! 😀

                    • Look for Flossy Fussbudget.:) I don’t know how to send the link. That’s why I always Tech Support. :_

                    • Found it! Thanks. Hope to find the time to go exploring soon…

                    • Found yours and borrowed a lot. 🙂

                    • Don’t you just love that about Pinterest? You can lend stuff and still keep it!

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