Sunday, January 17, 2010

Berry Picking


A brilliant, golden sunset brought with it a flock of about twenty American Robins.


It’s berry picking time and


they’re plentiful this year. I’ll bet there are a hundred pounds of berries around my home, weighing heavily on their branches.


Yes, there are Eastern Bluebirds to adore.

On the following morning, the sky was dark and the clouds were low. And under the gloomy skies, returned the Robins, along with a small flock of Cedar Waxwings.



It wasn’t a good day for photographs. Cedar Waxwings deserve some sunshine or at least daylight and I was a bit annoyed to miss their full color, stunning beauty. I only see them a few times a year.

It was a day to stay indoors and scrub the bathrooms.


My nose was pressed against the windows too often. I stood in the bathtub and took pictures through a dirty window.


Early that morning, I found more important things to do…


You're welcome, Chicky.


Do I believe they expect certain things? Yes, I do.

The laundry was calling me and the bathrooms were downright screaming for my attention. But... I found reasons to be outdoors.


It was the sort of day I had not witnessed in a year, when all the birds attended homecoming.

Throughout the day, there were American Robins, Northern Cardinals, European Starlings, Brown Thrashers, Eastern Bluebirds, House Finches, Goldfinches, White-throated Sparrows, Northern Mockingbirds, Dark-eyed Juncos, Song Sparrows, Carolina Chickadees, House Sparrows, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwings, Pigeons, Tufted Titmice, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Carolina Wrens, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mourning Doves, Red-winged Blackbirds, and a very tiny bird with long legs. It was not much larger than a hummingbird. I only had one look at it’s silhouette on the Zick Dough. Hmmmm…

A warm front arrived and later brought rain.


The birds were super-charged and thirsty.

Through this small wildlife habitat, I think the most satisfaction I receive is when there is life on the pond. It's the center of everything, a lifeline - looking worn and shabby now but it should be that way.



Butter Butt on its way for a sip and dip.


Brown Thrasher is the secretive, modest type who chooses to bathe under the Rosemary curtain where bullfrogs live and was shocked when I flung it open…


I smile and sigh when Robin tilts its head back to swallow


and comments on the temperature of the water to a friend.

Oh, this is all just my silly imagination.

I wish I could have brought a photo of everything here.

Use your imagination. My head was spinning, yet I felt peace.


Bluebirds joined the Robins.

Who cares about the bathrooms? They can wait.


jane augenstein said...

Mary, glad you fought the urge to clean and photographed the birds instead! Beautiful, beautiful pictures!!!

Murr Brewster said...

You made the right call. Love the brown thrasher photo. I've never seen one. I've never seen you either. Is it true I shall soon be able to add you to my life list?

A New England Life said...

I don't know how you get such great photos of the birds Mary but I'm impressed! Like Murr I adore the Thrasher shot. I think you caught it off guard.

We have the opposite, lack of berries. Usually our tree is jam packed with them but this year there were far fewer than usual. Theres still some left just not as many as usual. Luckily there are many other fruit trees in other peoples yards, especially considering how many Robins we have.

Kerri Farley said...

Fabulous post and Fabulous pics Mary! What a wonderful day!

Jayne said...

I've not yet seen any Robins here. What a great day you had watching them all feast in your backyard paradise. Indeed, the bathrooms can wait!

Anonymous said...

Much nicer than pics of a clean bathtub. :)

Seriously, great birds. That pond is obviously the avian place to be.

NatureWoman said...

Wow! Mary, I can't believe all of the birds in your yard! How wonderful! I'm glad you ended up outside.

RuthieJ said...

Great post and pictures Mary! At my house being outside with a camera and watching birds would always trump cleaning the bathrooms too!

dguzman said...

Mary, your yard list kicks butter-butt!

Minerva said...

WOnderful pictures, Mary! Thank you for sharing them all. Especially the Cedar Waxwings. My mother would have loved this post.

jason said...

I'm with you, Mary. My cleaning goes the same way--which explains why it takes me so long.

These are gorgeous shots, but I especially adore the thrasher! Talk about feeling put upon. The poor bird looks totally offended. Too cute.

Appalachian Lady said...

Your place is like a resort for the birds--spa and gourmet treats. Great photos and I always find a good excuse not to clean (laundry can wait for another day!).

Susan Ellis said...

Hmmm...ring around the drain pipe or butter bum sitting on a wee statue, robins galore, bluebirds, brown thrasher, waxwings? There are times (and this is one of them) when I wished I lived just a few thousand km further south! Beautiful shots Mary!
Hope those robins are heading north!

jeanmac said...

Oh, Mary, robins should be headed our way soon if they are at your place - my favorite thing - seeing my first robin of the year.

dugfresh said...

what a time you must have had. i love when so many different birds seem to descend from out of nowhere and fill in all the gaps in the landscape. cedar waxwing. i'm jealous. that is one of my life birds, and i'm exciting to find out it makes stops in nc.

it's funny you mention standing with your nose to the window. i find myself standing at my sliding glass door, staring out into the woods, and then something will snap me out of it, and i'll be like, "woah. how did i get here? wasn't i just sitting over there at my computer?!?"

once you start watching birds, you get hooked. and i'm glad you're hooked, 'cause i love your posts and your pictures.

Julie Zickefoose said...

What a breathtaking post. Your photos are exquisite. That robin in the holly!! Oh!! And boy, you're nailing the bluebirds. Love the drinking that you HAVE thrashers in the winter! The array of birds you're calling in is ample testament to your skill in laying out what they need.

Here's my guess to the tiny long-legged suet eater: ruby-crowned kinglet. Or, less likely, golden-crowned kinglet. Either way, it's a major coup.

Eee! Eee! Eee!

Rose said...

I find there is always something more important to do than clean bathrooms:) Wonderful photos, Mary--there must have been a bird convention at your house!

Dawn Fine said...

Birds birds birds...Mary you are bird brained like most of us here! Great shots..but the one that sticks in my mind..well besides the awesome Robin shot..and the thrasher..well and a few others..
is the butterbutt sitting on a bird.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see your blog I want to dig a pond.

Or hang out at yours.

Cathy said...

No way! No way that pix of the butter butt on the little bird bronze AND the thrasher enjoying a poolside perch.

Bluebirds, too?!

No way!


You have spun some kind of nature magic in that backyard.

Have neighbors ever wondered aloud about the glitter and music that wafts over the fence?

Kathie Brown said...

Amen and amen about the housework! I so know what it feels like to want to be outside! And the sound of the birds makes me feel alive. Their antics always make me smile and brighten up my day! I'm so glad they do the same for you! What a collection you have there! I miss you Mary!

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