A Commotion of Cuteness

The baby Bluebirds have arrived, and are causing a commotion of cuteness in my backyard!

There are four youngsters this time around, and to say they are keeping Mama busy would be an understatement.

While she is focused on feeding one, without fail, there is another waiting impatiently in the wings.

Sometimes I cringe a bit when I watch her feed these greedy little guys – it looks like they are going to bite her beak off!

You can’t blame her for trying to deliver in bulk. I think she is bringing four mealworms at once in the picture below!

I have discovered that these little ones are not quite as helpless as they would have Mom believe. One minute they are loudly demanding that she feed them…

…but the moment she flies off to feed another, they help themselves to a snack.

I had to laugh at one point, when she was just getting ready to deliver a mouthful of food to one of the youngsters…

…and the rest of the crew came crashing in. A frenzied feeding photo bomb!

Suffice it to say, patience is a virtue they have not yet acquired.

Ah well, they may be causing a commotion, but at least they’re cute!

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Granny’s Gauntlet

One of the joys of blogging is connecting and being inspired by other bloggers, like “Granny” over at Granny Shot It,  who recently threw down the gauntlet, issuing a “Bird of the Day” challenge. Needless to say, that sounded right up my alley…so…

…my “BOTD” is a female Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Check out Granny’s site and play along with the challenge. 🙂


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Vibrant Visitors

Sunflowers are some of my favorite summer visitors!

Seriously, it’s just about impossible to see one and not smile.

My Goldfinches, who like to pick the petals to partake of the seeds, agree that their appearance is most welcome!

And this year was especially delightful because not only did we have our traditional yellow sunflowers, but we had some radiant red ones pop up as well!

The bees seem quite smitten with this variety, as am I!

Ahhh…if painting were in my skill-set I would be rushing out to buy a canvas for this beauty is surely worth some brushstrokes!

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Happy Humming

Some people hum when they are happy (like my Dad when he is sneaking snacks from the kitchen!) – and I am happy around wings that hum – like hummingbirds and hummingbird moths.

While I was out taking pictures in the front yard the other day, this lovely hummingbird dropped by for a visit…

…as did this hummingbird moth.

These are such cool creatures, and great fun to photograph. 🙂

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Diamonds Are Not This Girl’s Best Friend

You’ve surely heard it said (or sung!) that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” – well, not this girl! Call me quirky, but I get more joy from a beautiful dead branch than from a dazzling diamond. So, needless to say,  I was thrilled when hubby and I found a lovely limb just laying on the pathway on one of our recent Labra-walks. We carried it with us (once again, I take liberties with the pronoun) and brought it back to the house, then “we” drilled holes in it and stuffed it with peanuts.

And just look who has claimed it as his own!

Not only are there holes in the side, but there is a perfect nut nook right at the top, which is his preferred place to perch.

This fellow has become quite possessive of this new snacking spot and when he is not eating, he is on guard, doing his best to prevent others from visiting.

It brings me so much joy to sit and watch him feast.

Money just can’t buy this kind of beauty!

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The Presence of a Pileated

I knew there was a Pileated Woodpecker in the area, as I’ve been hearing it’s call (which sounds a bit like maniacal laughter) for the last several weeks. Then yesterday, a pair blessed me with their presence in the backyard.

The female flew to the backside of the tree when I came out with my camera, but the male – identified by his red mustache and full red head crown – investigated the dead branches on the large Oak that stands at the back edge of the yard.

This fascinating, rather prehistoric looking bird, can break some serious chunks of bark with that beak of his.

Getting to grab a few moments with this fellow was a sweet way to officially kick off the summer season.

Here’s hoping that this duo makes many more repeat appearances!

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Awe in the Ordinary

The front yard flowers are bursting into bloom and the butterflies are beginning to make an appearance.

This female Swallowtail stopped by the other day and spent a good bit of time sipping sweetness from the aptly named Butterfly Bush.

Tiger Swallowtails often bear vibrant yellow and black markings, but the females also come in a black-morph (or dark-morph) variety – like this lovely lady.

She leisurely flitted from one blossom to another, with no competition for the nectar save for a couple of bees.

There is something so wonderful – dare I say worshipful – about standing outside and witnessing such beauty. It reminds me of a quote I read just this morning which said, “A wonder-filled life is grateful attentiveness to the awe in our ordinary.” (Glorious Weakness by Alia Joy) I find both that sentence and that sentiment worth savoring!

Seriously though – just pause for a moment and really take in how magnificent she is. It makes me wonder – if the creation is this glorious, how much more glorious must the Creator be?!

Eventually, this beauty departed, probably off to sample from flowers in another yard…

…and I headed back inside with a happy heart, grateful for the stillness and the chance to nourish my soul.




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