Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Forward: Music to my Ears

As Susan Gets Native said this week, if you have dial-up, go make a sandwich. Loads of photos follow from this photo-happy person in NC.


6:45 a.m. The sound of songbirds, almost frightening. Whirling grey/white splashes – the mockers are competing for mates. Suet is being consumed feverishly. Wrens visit my deck. Pairs of house finches are investigating nests in the hanging baskets on my front porch. Goldfinches are getting brighter every day and seem to be frantic at the thistle feeder. Red Wing Blackbirds arrived, only one or two today, but it’s a welcome sight for me to see them again since I haven’t seen them visit since the summer of 2005 when I lived in Delaware. I heard Chickadees chattering. Lots of them. I realize I have talked about them incessantly in recent posts, but this is a little bird with a recognizable language that haunts me. A Carolina Chickadee will land and perch on my feeders, four feet away from my face, and, in an instant it flees, realizing there is a silly blonde lady smiling at it with a camera on her face. Are they on auto-pilot in search of food? Recently, I have started to notice that the birds don’t flee as quickly when they see me. That’s a good thing because I’ll be around them quite often for the next two seasons. We need to have a trusting relationship.

Tomorrow, the sun will set an hour later and I am so giddy about it! More daylight for walks and playing! It was warm and sunny today and I shed my jacket after I ran some errands in the morning. As you will see, it was a day I put cleaning the house on hold to enjoy outdoors. There is always tomorrow to tend to inside work, although I did manage several loads of laundry today. I'll pay for my frivolity tomorrow.


Cell phone rang: “Mom, can Mr. Biggins come over for a few hours? I have a surprise for you.” Honestly, I wasn’t in the mood for a surprise or a “three dog” house today but I reluctantly replied, “OK”.

An hour later, Sarah walked through the door with Gina, Billy, and Mr. Biggins. I was thrilled to see her again! Sarah was a roommate of Gina’s a few years ago when they lived in a small house in Wilmington. Sarah makes you smile. Born and raised in Valdese, a community located in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, her heavy southern accent makes me giggle, her wide smile is contagious, and I love her. She’s a tall young woman with legs that start at my armpits. She and Gina rented the smallest bedrooms I’ve ever seen but they shared ideas on organization and made it work. Sarah is working and living in Raleigh now and I hope she visits us often.


Here’s an opportunity to smile… Dogs give relief to over-burdened souls.

While they went off to enjoy their afternoon for a few hours including lunch and a pedicure, I kept the dogs close to me and examined some work I need to do…

It took a bit of hunting around in the garage, but I found my necessary tools. The mosquitoes will need to be repelled as I’m allergic to their bites. During warm months, I smell like “Off” instead of my lovely Lancome Hypnose.

Work to do…

Pond Canna sprouting!

Hungry! I shopped for pond plants today but it’s too early to buy them. I’ll wait a few weeks and look again.

Our new camellia japonicas are bursting with color!

Lowe’s Home Store had ferns on sale today. I bought one to hide the skimmer/pump assembly on the pond.

I’ve been neglecting the ground feeders for a long time. The brave little sparrows deserve some recognition.

Chloe loves to scratch her back on a pine cone after she rips it apart.

While Gina, Mr. Biggins and Sara were getting ready to leave, I said, “Stop! A hawk!” I saw it swoop by and Sarah saw it perch. (Click to enlarge photos)

“Oooo…a blow-dry feels soooo good.” This hawk left without a meal, but there's always tomorrow...

They didn’t know Gina was blowing bubbles…

If there is one message I'd like to share with you today, it would be:

Free yourself now and then,
Throw caution to the wind,
Live for the moment,
Go for the gusto, and
Bite the bubble!



Anonymous said...

I am one of those dial up people! Lucky I am able to read this here in the comments without the pictures! You probably have the record for post now!

Cuppa said...

Hawk on "fluff dry" is fabulous. What a hoot!

I think I have to get me a bottle of bubbles. I'll blow a few your way when I do. What fun.

A new skipping rope and a bottle of bubbles - sure signs of spring.

Mary said...

Mon@rch - you didn't get the photos??? Awwww. They're on Flickr.

dmmgmfm said...

Your post was a breath of fresh air, Mary. What wonderful pictures and I love your poem. Thank you!!

Susan Gets Native said...

Hawk ID test, Mary...
What KIND of hawk was it?

I love your photos. You are GOOD, girl.
And I want to adopt Mr. Biggins. Can he come over for a playdate with Nellie? Please?

Rock on, and bite the bubble!

LauraHinNJ said...

Love the hawk pic - very ferocious (giggle)!

It's nice to see so much color and the dogs having such fun.

Ruth said...

I enjoyed your excellent pics on Flickr before you posted on Blogger. Nice to hear the stories behind them.

Jayne said...

Mary, I love the sheer joy that oozes from this post! So glad it was such a perfect day!!!!

NatureWoman said...

I love all of your photos, as usual, but I can tell yesterday was a real special day and I can't wait to have real special day soon, with warm weather and waking up to bird calls, and etc.
Love the hawk blow drying itself. And Chloe & Bella - they always look so happy and energetic!
Ohhh, flowers about reading to burst forth - ohhh, how wonderful! Can't wait to see flowers myself!
Thank you so much for bringing your beautiful spring day to us, especially us that still have piles of snow on the ground!

Unknown said...

Poor Mon@rch. Dial-up. :(

Mary, those pics are fabulous. So, glad you had such a great day!

The hawk on blow-dry is hilarious! Love it!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Boy-o-boy! You got some terrific pictures on your "day off". I have never gotten a good chickadee picture, they're too darned flitty and fast. How in the heck did you capture that hawk fluffed? Flower buds are soooo far in the future around MN. I'd love to come watch your dogs chase bubbles! Too cute!!

Anonymous said...

Great photos, Mary. The dogs always look like they are having such a good time. I sent that bubble shot to my husband. I didn't know until today that you could pull a permalink off a flickr photo.

KGMom said...

Thank goodness for our lightning speed cable hook-up for the internet. No time at all downloading all your photos.
I LOVE the last one of the bubble biting dog! Too fun for words.

Mary said...

Cuppa, I haven't skip roped in years. Thanks for the idea!

Laurie, glad you enjoyed them. I love the bubble shot.

Susan, OK - I KNEW you would ask. First clue - accipiter. This hawk appeared to have reddish eyes. Has light vertical streaking on the break. I say adult Cooper's. It's so dang confusing when I read about adult, immature, juvenile, male vs. female, etc. etc. etc. Your recent post helped. Come on, tell me I'm wrong :o)

Laura, those dogs wear me out.

Ruth, it was a good photo day. I haven't even touched my camera today, though.

Jayne, I hope you get outdoors this weekend. It was fun.

Pam, your days are coming...

Liza, I agree with you. Poor Mon@rch!

Lynne, I'm determined to get better photos of those chicks. Out of 100, I have two decent ones. You need patience when dealing with them.

Sandy, thanks. Bella's bubble picture is special, I think.

Donna, yep. She's a bubble biter. Later this afternoon (when I finish CHORES), we'll play again.

Cathy said...

I'm cry'n (cause there's dang little birdsong here) BUT - mainly I'm smiling. These are the cutest, most hopeful images and I kept passing my laptop to my husband and son (who are watching TV in our Holiday Inn room (funeral overnight). Mary, you create some very pleasant posts. Wait! I can hear birds! Thanks:0)

Susan Gets Native said...

You got it right. Good girl.

Julie Zickefoose said...

You got more than the hawk right in this faaabulous post. You're gettin' the comments, girl, because you are On Fire. We Got a Live One Tonight, Dawg!

Bella Bites Bubble. Please forward to Universe at Large. Universe could use more views like Mary's.

Beth said...

OOOO great pics and a fun day. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, and more photos like this. You make us all smile, Mary.

Anonymous said...

Mary your post has brought such joy to me today! The pictures of the hawk and description of the birdsong, your writing, and that final wonderful poem and shot of Bella biting the bubble is fantastic! I'm ending my usual "Moanday" on a Springtime high thanks to you! Mega thanks Mary... Spring is coming....I can hardly wait!!

Mary said...

Cathy, Julie, Beth, Dorothy,

It was a great day, but lets see what my next post brings... We all have days to forget.