Feeling Chipper

I was down in the backyard taking a picture of this handsome Robin as he perched on the fountain rocks…

…when out  popped this chipper little fellow.  I’m pretty sure we were both a bit startled.

After retreating several rocks away, he gave me a glance and I guess decided that I posed no threat to him.

He then proceeded to give himself a thorough grooming.

As he stood giving himself a “cat bath”, he was completely oblivious to the fact that he was in danger of becoming “cat bait.”

Unlike the chipmunk, however, the cat clearly decided that I was undesirable company and opted to explore other hunting grounds.

Meanwhile, this little guy darted into his rock fortress, only to emerge right beside me.

There’s no denying that he’s a cutie!

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Keeping Planters In Production

If you were to analyze the amount of peanuts that I purchase, you might come to the conclusion that my life purpose is to keep Planters in production!

Although I do confess to spending more than I care to admit on peanuts, I am certainly not the main culprit when it comes to consuming them.  That title belongs to my backyard Blue Jays.

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As soon as I fill the trays, these fellows show up and load up!

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I have personally seen them pick up at least a dozen peanuts in one sitting.  One of the reasons they can stuff so many in at once is that they have a pouch in their throat that is kind of like a grocery bag.  They can load up the goods and then take them away to hide or to munch.

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Once their pouch is packed and their beak is stacked, they fly off with the plunder in a blur of blue feathers.

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Planters certainly produces a delicious people snack, but I wonder if they know that it makes even better Blue Jay bait!

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The Stall Wall

I met a friend for lunch yesterday at Semper Fi, a bar and grille owned and operated (you guessed it) by former marines.  The food was delicious and the company was delightful, but I did come away with the conclusion that marines know more about valor than decor!

You see, after a glass and a half of lemonade, I was in need of a visit to the ladies room, which turned out to be a single stall whose wall was plastered with pictures of bare-chested, muscle-bound firemen.  Anyway, the photos got me thinking – not about the firemen – I’ll stick with my handsome hubby – but about the many gorgeous guys that I see on a daily basis in my own backyard.

Here’s some of the eye candy that has showed up lately.

While I doubt I’ll be decorating the stall wall with these fine feathered fellows, they did seem worthy of WordPress. 🙂

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Ditch The List!

This morning was one of those mornings where I decided to ditch the list, or at least delay it!

I had already spent a couple of hours working on a lesson for the last chapter of Jonah (In case you were curious, I am blessed to get to lead a diverse group of wonderful women who want to know, love, and live for God!) and was getting ready to tackle a few items on my  to-do list for the day, when a blur of birds flew by and caught my eye.  I walked out onto my deck and immediately had my suspicions confirmed – Cedar Waxwings!  And of course, when Waxwings appear there is only one choice to be made – ditch the list!

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The birds, about three dozen of them, flew into the tangle of trees in my neighbor’s backyard.  Most of them stayed concealed behind leaves and branches, but some perched in enough of a clearing that I could get a few pictures.

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I love how the tips of their wings and tails look like they’ve been dipped in paint.

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Every so often, several of the birds would dive into the shrubs that separate our two yards, which I quickly learned contained a plentiful supply of some plump little grape-like berries.

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Some opted to dine in..

waxwings7…while others preferred carry out.

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Ahhh…the beauty of Waxwings…it’s always nice to take some time to marvel in the midst of the mundane.

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(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.

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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.

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

robin

American Robin

mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

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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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