Saturday, January 23, 2010

To the left, Carolina Wren.


“Everything you own in the box to the left”

Nod and smile. Overhearing a pair of sweet Carolina Wrens in a dispute on the front porch isn’t unusual. Again. They’re at it again. Their warning call, a huge noise from a tiny bird, a raspy eee-eee-eee-eee-eee-eee, is enough to wake a sleeping infant.

Not knowing much about birds in general and Carolina Wrens in particular, I assumed the two were having a lovers’ quarrel. After all, there were two and they seemed to tango. I later learned that was not the case as they are monogamous and rarely “break up”, hence not a lovers’ quarrel. More likely, there was an intruder threatening their space or a hawk nearby, perhaps. I didn’t see a threat to the nest they occupy on the front porch, or a snake, or the Coop who surveys the holly bushes below them. I only saw two snarky Carolina Wrens.

I adore how they prefer living close to the house. They live under the back deck, also. If the door is open, they’ll zip into the garage for a quick inspection. On two occasions, one visited our family room at dinnertime and was smart enough to cooperate with my invitation to freedom. That little Wren escaped through the window I lifted within seconds. Didn’t hesitate. Incredible.

The upturned tail exudes ATTITUDE.


Oooo, she was hot ‘bout something.

Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” came to mind while I stood behind the dining room blinds to photograph the alleged lovers’ spat. I laughed and remembered a few lines of the lyrics,


“You must not know ‘bout me”…


And here is the poor Wren fearing the wild one on the porch...or so I imagined.


(He) hanging back in a front yard tree for safety while she continued her rant…

Then came her hairy eyeball.


“Go ahead and get gone! Call up that chick, and see if she’s home!”
“Standing in the front yard, telling me how I’m such a fool…”


“You must not know ‘bout me
I could have another you by tomorrow
Don’t you ever for a second get to thinkin’
You’re irreplaceable...”


What’s up over there? I’m all about peace, dude.


Minding my own business, man.



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.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

No! Not Goof Off!


Our brand new candy apple red metallic high efficiency washer and dryer sat in the garage this sub-freezing morning while the installation technicians readied them for the laundry room. It was so frigid that the packing tape adhered like cement to the front loading doors on each and I distinctly heard my husband inquire, “Will Goof Off take it off?” Then I distinctly heard the technician reply, “No, don’t use Goof Off cuz it’ll leave a film on the glass that won’t come off. When they (the machines) warm up inside, just use your fingers to scrape it off.” Alrighty then.

One hour later.

Yoga mat under my arm, I pass the laundry room heading into the garage, on my way to a Body Flow class (Yoga slash Pilates slash Tai Chi) but I caught a glimpse of something to my right that forced me to stop dead in my tracks. Husband, looking seriously contemplative, was standing in front of the machines. He was fidgeting with a few things, in random order – a Scotch pad, several wadded up paper towels and rags, Windex and



No. Disbelief.

Is he flipping out of his mind?!?

I took one step backwards and saw the damage.

My first thought was we're all very fortunate that I’m in a you-can’t-ruffle-my-feathers frame of mind. Otherwise, I would have shot straight up through the roof and exploded in space.

The only words I could muster before I slammed the door behind me were, “You’d better order a new door for that machine and have someone install it because I don’t want you to ever touch it again…blah blah blah…”


Nice, huh?

I let it go. Everyone is entitled to experience a brain fart now and then.

Letting it go is new to me.

In Body Flow class, there’s an overly enthusiastic, know-it-all perky young blonde with slender limbs who can contort her body like no other. I’ll even stop my balancing act to watch her perform. It doesn’t matter that I stop because I can't maintain my balance anyway. During the balancing track I can look around to see what I can’t do. Hey, but that’s OK. I let it go.

The perky gal had the audacity to ask the teacher, “Why don’t we do inversions?” Yes, she meant as in standing on your head and I almost choked. The teacher reminded her that the class is for everyone and not everyone can stand or should stand on their heads. Oh, I wanted to be bold enough to laugh out loud; however, I let it go, but I would love to fake leaning into her and watch her topple over during her Sun Warrior pose. Yeah!

I replied to an invitation to come to a Body Pump class (intense exercise with weights), “When I can bend over without grunting and kiss my knees again, I’ll join you in Body Pump.” And that’s the way it is.


I need a new figure.

Getting fit is hard work and I’m not too good at folding myself into a pretzel shape. My middle region gets in the way.

I keep going.

And letting it go. My embarrassment, at times...


Those darn birds won’t let me near them anymore.


I don’t care. Instead of getting frustrated, I let it go.

They’ll warm up to me again.


Hoodies, come here! Come baaaaack! (kicking dirt, dammit) ;-)