Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ Sisters

 Christmas gift to Amber Skye December 2012....Amber is 3 1/4 years old

I love how Daddy was showing her all the pieces and how to use them.
Amber's sister, Zoe just under 8 months old.   It suddenly dawned on us last week that she could be playing with this!   Grateful for baby toys that were big girl enough in design to make a tiny, precious physically limited little girl feel so grown up.  Grateful for big sister's special toys that bring delight to a curious growing baby sister.  Grateful for a heart full of memories and making more.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Wild Encounters

The Chipping Sparrows fledged and I missed it.  Sunday afternoon I managed to see babies being fed and captured a few distant photos, counting four hungry beaks.  Monday ~ not a peep from the nest, no activity.  Monday morning brought this hungry visitor to my yard.  From the size, I would say a Sharp shinned Hawk.  It hopped around the rocky banking near the edge of the road and before I could snap had snatched something and flew off to this same tree branch.  For the dining shot, the hawk had it's back to me and I couldn't make out what it had grabbed.  Mouse, chipmunk?  I hoped not a fledgling sparrow.

This photo I took with my iPhone.  I was picking raspberries early Tuesday morning, a terribly muggy morning.  I startled a rabbit and was enjoying the company of an adult Cat Bird, although I wasn't happy sharing the berries with the birds.  The adult bird was not leaving.  It flew off but flew right back each time.  I continued to pick, down the long row, rounding the corner where the bird was and heading down between two rows.  Some beautiful big berries in the middle caught my eye but I couldn't quite reach.  I adjusted my angle to try again and my heart stopped as I spotted this little one a berry's width from my fingertips!!!  It was so very still, barely blinking.  I backed away and moved to the far end of the row.
It's been "wild" taking my turn staying overnight at my mom's.  An old farmhouse on a dead end street, close to 6 acres abutting conservation land.   Rabbits were here during my growing up years but disappeared for a good 20, 25 years.  They are back.
 Monday night was hot and humid.  With no ceiling fans or air conditioning, I gave up and opened the upstairs bedroom windows.  About midnight I heard the most curious noises!  I tried to capture a voice memo on my phone, but the sound wasn't loud enough to record.   Wide awake, I was trying to figure out what in the world could be making such strange noises!  The only thing that came close was the sound for "rabbit" on a couple electronic baby toys.  I never believed that it was an actual rabbit sound and thought it was just a filler because they didn't make a sound, other than screaming!  My husband found this sound bite on line and that is exactly what I heard, but multiplied as several rabbits were "purring" (I would say chortling) at once.   http://www.soundboard.com/sb/rabbit_bunny_sounds_audio

Sunday, July 19, 2015

View Around the Yard

 Parent has landed just below the nest and the babes are crowding to the front of the nest.
 If you enlarge this one a bit more, you can see beak to beak feeding.  The parent is well hidden by the leaves, but you can see a beak and something stuffed into baby's beak.
 I think I count four hungry beaks in this shot.
You can just make out the adult bird behind the leaves.  This nest needed a fancy nest cam attached to a branch above it, somehow!
First groundhog I've seen in our yard.  Munching away on clover about 7 this morning.  When I walked past the window to get a second cup of coffee, I thought this was a huge squirrel!  In my sister's yard, they are mostly light brown.  This one had a lot of gray and white streaking.  I'm grateful for some activity in my yard.  My butterfly bushes are not doing well at all, so I'll have to be content with the sparrows.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nesting Update

A hint of fluff just above the rim of the nest.
 I think you can see beak in these two photos.  It is a well camouflaged spot and they are so small.

 If you enlarge this one, you should be able to see a glimpse of a parent feeding a baby just about center.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Second Brood

The Chipping Sparrows have taken over their tiny nest in the dogwood tree.  They've added some more material to the unused nest from last year.  They are nearly impossible to see.  I can sometimes see activity from just the right spot in my living room with binoculars but can't get a picture as there are screens on my windows.  Most of the spots in the yard are just not the right angle.  I thought that one of the above pictures showed a hint of rusty red cap, but with my bleary morning eyes I can't tell.
This morning there was a bit of drama as a few American Goldfinch chose to land in the tree.  Both parents came flying.  My SD card was not in my camera!!

There has been a great deal of logging in and around my neighborhood lately as landowners are looking for extra income and wood prices are high.  Knowing all the second round nesting that happens, I'm a bit undone as I hear the loggers at work.  I take comfort in knowing "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."   Every day is a choice to trust in His unfailing love.