Sunday, May 06, 2007

Damp Feathers and a Little Shopping


A weekend of rain rushes new life.

A shopping spree with Gina was in order today. It’s been a long time since we headed out with mall coupons. She and Billy will settle on their house in less than a month and she’s full of chatter about paint colors, furniture, window blinds, garden hoses, fencing, shrubs, etc. The list is long for first-time homeowners and I remember it so well.

Mr. Biggins says, “I’m here! I’m here! Open the gate, Chloe! Let’s play Bell Bell! Where’s my grandma? Oh, Joy! Oh, Boy!”

Before we turned into the mall, we stopped by her future house and she showed me the boundaries of the fence they will build. I could hear her talking but I didn’t see her, as my eyes were overhead, watching the bright, white belly of a Tree Swallow.

“Mom!” She knew I was bird watching again.

“Sorry, Gina, but you have Tree Swallows here!”

I followed her lead at the mall and I was very surprised she only glanced at handbags and shoes instead of drooling and lingering over the latest wedge and Dooneys. We didn’t even enter the Coach store! She wanted to show me some prints she and Billy found to decorate their walls. While I browsed through Ron Burns’ abstract, colorful prints of dogs and cats that she loves so much, I thought about priorities. Sure, they need buckets and brooms and garden hoses, but more than that, they need some color and pizzazz to surround them in their new home already decorated with dull, off-white walls. So that is what I set out to do - to buy them something eye-pleasing. I bought “Toby” and “Landy” – framed in black, to compliment their contemporary taste in decorating.

She, in turn, gave me a compliment without knowing how much it made my head swell. When she said, “I want to frame one of your sunrises or sunsets for our house…”. I couldn’t even speak.

I could use a few new things to wear but I prefer giving to the children. That’s what a Mother does.

It was my pleasure to treat her today. For me, she’s sunshine on a rainy day.

It rained continually from Friday through Saturday night and I could not believe the birds I saw. Indigo Buntings flew overhead and landed nearby. Brown-headed Nuthatches visited my feeders but I fumbled the camera in a desperate attempt to catch them. Not a chance. I just could not keep my eyes off the back yard. Most of the following photos were taken during the rain but some were taken today – sunny, chilly, and “hold on to your hat” windy. I hope to get much better photos this week. A few of these birds have their back facing me. Perhaps it's a message for me to scram?

“Please don’t tire of me. I love it here.”

“I’ll let you take my picture for some suet...”

“I don’t see you; therefore, you don’t see me.” This song sparrow has a nest nearby but I haven’t found it yet.

“Will…you…please…put that camera away, woman?”

“It’s her again. That nosy lady with bright hair…”

“Uh Oh. I think she caught me.” There are two Brown Thrashers here now. They’re peaceful and quiet birds.

“Wanna take my picture, lady?”

“May I please have a little privacy to wet my whistle and rinse my armpits?”

“I don’t think she sees me. Just one extra sip." The hummers have grown into a small army of mini-aircraft. I love it!


LostRoses said...

Well Mary, I'm glad you have your priorities straight! What could be more important at Gina's new house than what birds come there? Good for you! And what a good mother you are presenting her with her first house-warming gifts.

Love your rogues' gallery of wet birds. It was that kind of weekend but I did manage to get the lawn mowed in between rainstorms!

Cathy said...

Mary! Those birds in your backyard are just awesome! Your captions are as sweet an funny as the photos. I really cannot believe the diversity. I AM SERIOUS. You are doing something so right. I mean you must be sending out some vibes that say ' nice lady lives here and welcomes all God's furred and feathered'. (Oh Right! Finned, too ) I mean - even with the pups in and out and about - you're still getting birds, birds, birds.

My son hasn't asked for a copy of any of my photos. Now that would swell my heart.

Ruth said...

Is it the food, the flowers or the pond that attracts so many birds to your yard? I would have to hike 10 miles to see that many different kinds. Thanks for sharing your great pictures. I would frame more than one of yours!

dmmgmfm said...

I love your photos and the story of going to the mall. I can just imagine the look on your face when Gina said she wanted to frame some of your photos for the house. I can see why she'd want to, you have a wonderful eye for that sort of thing.

Great post, Mary.

And, um, er, well, when you go to my blog later, please don't hate me. Because I love you.

(**Runs and hides**)

Unknown said...

Awesomeness! You are a great mom. And, a mindreader. I was just thinking yesterday, I wonder how Gina's new house is coming along! :) So cool that you updated us!

Your birds are gorgeous! As are your flowers! So wonderful!

Do you know that when a Brown Thrasher shows up around here, people come for miles around to see it.


Susie said...

The photos you take of all your birdlife amaze me. The clarity is just wonderful.
I can imagine how proud you must have been to have your daughter ask for a framed pic of yours!!

Mary said...

It was a real shock to me that Gina asked for a framed photo of mine because she's very..ummm..what's the word? "Unconcerned" about what I do. However, now and then, she'll send me an e-mail from work:

"Mom - Don't take this comment too seriously, but those are great photos on your post..."

Damned kids!!!!

KGMom said...

Mary--it is fun to treat our daughters, isn't it. In two months, my daughter heads to London, England to study for her master's degree. We will miss her a whole lot!
Love the bird pics, as usual.

Susan Gets Native said...

Can Gina put up a TRES house before the closing?
"Gina's got swallows...Gina's got swallows!"

And Mary has a brown thrasher. Humph.

What a nice compliment she gave you. Isabelle gave me one today, too.
She said, "You look beautiful, Mommy." Does it still count, even if she is only five?

Anonymous said...

Hello - I really like your pictures and loved this story about your daughter. I like the little things you write under each picture. I followed Donna of kgmom site here and I am happy to find such a wonderful place.

Chrissie said...

Really beautiful pics, Mary. Your garden must be wonderful. Do you find the little tray under the seed feeder fills with water when it rains or does it have drainage? Feeders like that are difficult to find where I live, we expect the birds to hang on :-)

Elaine Cougler Author said...

Aw, Mary, your pics are awesome and your comments inspired.
Isn't it fun watching your own chicks set up their nests? Being supportive and trying to keep your mother-knows-best voice in check?
Great blog.

Beth said...

Good for you. Good mom, good bird-feeding lady with the bright hair.

GREAT photographer.

I'm glad you were blessed in your time with Gina today. Thanks for sharing the love!

You should start renting rooms in your house for weekend bird-watching expeditions. You could probably make enough money to buy a few new handbags....

Jayne said...

As usual, glorious photos Mary!! I've yet to see a Thrasher here.

Glad you and Gina got to have such great "girl time" together!

Mary said...

Lost Roses, we got the grass cut between storms, too. Now we have fierce wind!

Cathy, I think I do have quite an assortment of birds that visit every day. I should always be grateful.

Ruth, I think it's the water...

Laurie, well you know what I have to say to you... :o)

Liza, see what you have to look forward to? The giving never gets old.

Susie, once in a while she shocks me :o)

Donna, I know you will miss her. We missed Gina for 7 years.

Susan, of course the compliment counts! Five year old know a pretty lady when they see one.

Hi Ocean and Forest Walks! Thanks for visiting and the kind words. You are always welcome.

Chris, the nicer feeders have drainage holes on the tray. I have a few that I need to tip, though.

Hi Beader Girl! I guess you never stop being a mother and assessing your kids' priorities, ey? I don't need to worry too much her, though.

Beth - your imagination runs wild. You're making me laugh!

Jayne, the thrasher has been hanging around for several weeks and now I think there are two!

Mark said...

Hi Mary,
A bit of a disaster today, a magpie has ate all of the Goldfinch chicks.Hope yours do better.
Cheers Mark

Mary said...

Oh, Mark. That's devastating news. I wish the goldfinches better luck when they try again...

Dorothy said...

What a nice story Mary. Gina's new artwork is sweet...and her request of your framed photo..well no wonder!
I'm awestruck at the numbers of birds you get on your many different species. And they all hold still for you when you take a close-up! Wonderful photos!
Great blog. :o)

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, you get so many wonderful birds at you feeders! You always take such wonderful photos!

Anonymous said...

So your into Dog art? I just ran into the most amazing dog artist and his name is Nathan Janes and his work is found at

Truly "Top Dog" when it comes to painting pups!

Those are some amazing photos by the way.

Gotta Garden said...

Lol, my daughter says the same thing to me regarding plants ("Are you even listening, Mom? MOM??")! How incredibly DO have the most wonderful pictures! And, I love the pics you purchased for her!

While I enjoy your pictures for themselves, I do love (and laugh) at your captions! It's a great way to start the morning! They make me appreciate and look at the birds around me in a new light.