Red, White and Bl…ack (An Almost Patriotic Post)

As we celebrate Independence Day here in the U.S., many folks will be sporting their red, white and blue attire.  I wish I had a bird that boasted all three of those colors, but the best I could do was red, white and black.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker is a regular at the backyard Bark Butter branch, and since he comes closest to looking patriotic I figured he should have the spotlight in today’s post.

Well…I guess I should say that he can share the spotlight…because we all know that no post is complete these days without an appearance by Tucker, who started off keeping watch on the deck…

…but then quickly got bored and went off for some romping and racing.

He finished it off like he does every play session, with some lapping and some lounging. I know he’s a mutt, but there’s no denying this guy has a lot of Lab in him!

I’m finding it comical how just about everyday when we are out walking someone looks at him and exclaims, “Look at those feet!”  This guy is going to be a beast!

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Faithful When I Am Not

Toddler training is not for the faint of heart!

As many of you know, I have a youngster in the house these days who is occupying a lot of my time.

Tucker is close to six months old and can go from being “the sweetest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on” to “willful beyond belief” in a mere heartbeat!  I know (hope…plead…pray!) that the training will pay off in the long run, but in the short run, it is definitely taking a toll on my photography time.

But despite my lack of faithfulness in showing up with a camera, the ever faithful Blue Jays have been showing up for their peanuts.  Often, they are watching from the branches while I am filling the feeders.

This morning, we tuckered Tucker out on a hike at Red Top Mountain; then, while he took an afternoon nap, I snapped a few pictures…and no surprise…the Blue Jays were the ones who paid a visit.

Some came impeccably groomed…

…while others were a bit on the scruffy side.

A youngster who still had some juvenile feathers popped in as well…I wonder how his training is going!

I know that in time I will once again be able to head out for more than a few moments with the camera…and I’m pretty sure that when I do, the Blue Jays will be the first birds I see.

As long as I am faithful to put out the peanuts, these ever faithful birds are certain to keep showing up!

P.S. – Any helpful hints on training Tucker to climb into the jeep?  He can’t seem to figure out how to climb in, and he is getting pretty heavy to lift!

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The Simple Joys of Summer

Bumble Bees

And Butterflies

Hummingbirds

And Dragonflies

Vibrant colors

Soaring Hawks

Curling tongues

And “tuckered” dogs

The simple joys that summer brings
Beautiful blossoms and lovely wings

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Far too Flitty to Focus

While I was outside, snapping a few pictures of flowers between showers…

this Hummingbird Moth showed up.

These are extremely cool creatures, that have a bee like body with hummingbird mannerisms.

They are far too flitty to get in clear focus, but too fascinating not to share!

I hope he keeps showing up and enjoying the blossoms.

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Nothing Says Summer Like Sunflowers!

Summer and Sunflowers go hand in hand, so on this day where (here in the U.S.) we welcome the start of the season, a post featuring these flowers seemed the perfect fit.

My front yard looks so cheerful right now, as I have a bunch of these beauties blossoming.
Whenever I walk outside, it seems like they are smiling and giving me a friendly greeting. Some are of the larger variety…

…while others are a bit daintier.

You’d better bee-lieve it when I say that I’m not the only one who can’t seem to resist their glorious loveliness.

Anyway you look at them…

…Sunflowers put the sun in summer. 🙂

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Black with a Splash of Red

Photography time has been limited lately, with the addition of a playful pup to the mix. Still, I try to head out when I can and see who shows up and is willing to pose for a picture.

This Red-winged Blackbird has been one of the most frequent visitors this week.  I love when you can see the splash of red that is on his wings.

Hearing that the theme was “black with a splash of red,” Tucker (who already doesn’t like to be left out of anything!) decided to get in on the action, only he took the splash part literally!

This fellow is too cute…bursts of badness, but still cute!

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Losing Feathers and Losing Teeth

It’s that time of year where several of my backyard birds have started to molt, losing some of their old worn out feathers and replacing them with fresh new ones.

Some do it gradually, and end up looking a bit scruffy, like this Blue Jay…

…while others (like this Cardinal) drop their feathers in chunks, and end up looking scary ugly!

Meanwhile, as my birds are losing feathers, Tucker is losing his puppy teeth.  This makes him want to chew, chew, and then chew some more.

Today, I let him run around the backyard with a hard plastic aloe container, which brought him great delight.

In between serious bouts of teething, he would jump in the fountain and channel his inner Cujo!

Eventually, he opted to simply take the container into the fountain.

My birds are losing their feathers, my dog is losing his puppy teeth, and I’m pretty sure I am losing my mind!  Ah well, life is good!

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