(Un)Common Grackle

This Common Grackle stopped by and helped himself to a bit of a snack.

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I know he is considered an ill-mannered intruder at most feeders, but I rather enjoy having him around.

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When I saw his colorful markings I couldn’t help but think that we should change his name to Uncommon Grackle!

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Flowers, Falls, and Friendly Frogs

This morning, I paid my first (but definitely not my last) visit to Gibbs Gardens, a flower lovers paradise nestled in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains.

Before I had even entered, I had to ooh and aah over the beautiful grounds that greeted me upon arrival.

waterfall

Now normally, the gardens are closed for most of the winter, but they reopened two weeks early because the daffodils decided to blossom in full force, all 20 million of them!  Over 50 of their 220 acres are devoted to these beauties, so at times it seems as if you are standing in a sea of sunshiny petals.

It was fun to take pictures of the rolling fields of flowers…

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…but overall, I find that I like to let a single flower shine…

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…or maybe two…

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…or sometimes three.

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…oh what the heck…sometimes even four!

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And if you’re into Monet, there were photo opps of that type too.

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I loved strolling through the flowers, but my favorite part of the morning was spent in the company of some friendly frogs.

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Can I just say that these guys, although a bit hard to see since they blended in with their surroundings so well, were not hard to hear.  They were noisy!

frog1 I think this will end up being one of those places that I can retreat to when I want a little soul nourishment.

If you’re ever in the North Georgia area, I would encourage you to add this to your list of places to visit…but if you want to see the daffodils…you’d better go soon!

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A Popular Place to Perch

Whenever I attach a new branch to my deck rail and then smear a little bark butter on it, you can bet that it will soon be a popular place to perch!

Here are nine fine posers who have taken a liking to the latest limb.

yellowrumped

Yellow-rumped Warbler

robin

American Robin

mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

thrasher

Brown Thrasher

titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Now I should warn you, if you begin using this approach to attracting birds, you will find yourself looking at the scenery around you differently and may even hear yourself saying things like, “Now that’s a beautiful dead branch!”  Or, you may find yourself pulling over to the side of the road to try and load a lovely limb into your vehicle, a behavior your friends and family might find strange, but no worries, I am here for you!

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Looking Rather Bird-legged

I have heard of one having a bow-legged appearance, but this Brown Thrasher landed in a rather bird-legged stance.

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He must have realized that this put quite a hurting on his intimidation factor, as he quickly remedied his position and adopted a more threatening stance.

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Still, despite his golden glare, his reign on the branch was short lived…

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…and his place was stolen by a bird of slightly longer beak.

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The Red-bellied Woodpecker really is the King of the branch.

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Beauty Begets Beauty

I recently shared this photo of some stunning Cedar Waxwings, scavenging berries off the ground.

waxwing3

It brings me such joy to take pictures of the beauty that God has created and then share that beauty with others.  But my joy is magnified when someone else then takes that picture and is inspired to create beauty of their own – like the talented Snehal Kank did, whom I met via the word of WordPress.  This morning, she shared this painting on her blog site – which you really do want to check out if you want to see some lovely artwork.

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Who knows…perhaps someone will see Snehal’s painting and be inspired to write a poem…and then perhaps someone will read that poem and find that song lyrics are dancing in their head…beauty just has a way of begetting more beauty, and that’s a beautiful thing!

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Jubilant with Joy

warbler

Thought I’d try and give your week a joyful jump start with this jubilant male Pine Warbler.  This fellow has been warbling at the top of his little lungs!

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Peanut Plunder

Oh the joy and wonder
of peanut plunder
whether right-side-up
or up-side-under

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Though he flies away quick
he’ll be back in a bit
To greedily plunder another

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Same song,…different bird

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Though not quite as greedy as the Jays, these Nuthatches really are peanut plunderers

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