Author Archives: Laura

We’ve been found!

robin-smallSteve and I have new friends in Texas but they won’t be “friending” us on Facebook anytime soon. They all sport beaks and feathers … our house has gone to the birds! Last winter, we reported 14 species at our feeders … this year we’re seeing over 20 species every day. This morning started slow and, still, we had 16 species before breakfast. Wahoo… it is busy outside our windows.

A few days ago we were excited to see our first American Robin and we think s/he spread the word because the today’s highlight was a flock of about 140! Twenty or so perched in our trees, eating berries and drinking out of the bird bath. At one point, both Robins and Cedar Waxwings (our other big flock of the week) were drinking together. Dang, even with each of us holding a camera we missed that shot!

At the top of our favorites list is a pair of Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers dubbed “Sadie” and “Mister Mister”. “Missy”, our female Ladderback Woodpecker visits daily.mister-sm Sometimes, her handsome beau is also in attendance though he isn’t very reliable. The Bewick’s and Carolina Wrens, a pair each, are almost always here and, at any given moment, there might be dozens of American Goldfinches with, if we’re lucky, a Lesser Goldfinch or two mixed in. A couple pair of House Finches are usually around, as well as the Pine Siskins who are newcomers this week.

When the ground appears to be moving, look close. Likely it is a flock of chipping sparrows. Zip … what was that? Just one of the Yellow-Rumped Warblers chasing someone off of a suet log. They have staked their claim! The Orange-Crowned Warblers, skittish at first, practically land on Steve when he’s filling feeders and titmousethis afternoon, one looked like it wanted to join us inside. Steve has gotten pretty friendly with the little Ruby Crowned Kinglet too. Scrub Jays and Blue Jays, Cardinals, Titmice, Mourning and White-Winged Doves round out the list of birds at the feeders. Look a little farther out to find the Eastern Phoebe, and a little higher in the sky to catch the vultures, both Turkey and Black, and Red-Tailed Hawks, and you’ll have our list for this week. Now if only our Roadrunner and the Hermit Thrush will show up, our life will be complete. Oh, and the Bald Eagle we saw in November. We want it to come back. And the Crested Cara Cara we saw from the back deck. And … and … and …

With twelve feeders of varying types, as well as the bird bath, it’s hard to know where to look. Or to get anything else done. My neck hurts a bit, but overall, it’s not a bad way to spend a cold and dreary, drizzly winter day. (more photos)


The Power of Love


Today is the fourth day of 2011 and maybe today I can shake off the doldrums that started on New Year’s morning when my parents said “goodbye” and drove away. One might think that after almost two weeks of family visiting, we would be happy to get our house and our lives back to normal, and I suppose, on some levels, that is true. momOn a deeper level though, we just felt sort of empty. Steve and I both wandered around, restless and unsettled for a whole day. We stayed busy on days two and three so it got easier but it was clear to both of us that this Christmas season had given us something we had been missing. We even identified what that something was. We felt loved.

It’s hard to admit that in our day-to-day lives we are missing feeling loved. We have each other and we are almost always together so, in truth, every day IS filled with love. Not to mention the dogs and yes, even the cat, who share themselves so freely with us. brother-dottieAnd still, we feel a lack. Facebook can be fun but it is a sad replacement for authentic relationships, and sometimes it just serves to point out all that we are missing. We have made new acquaintances in Texas but sometimes that isn’t enough, and real friendships take time.

Last year was a hard year for our extended family … much acknowledged estrangement and more lurking under the surface unaddressed. My faith in family was shaken. Maybe this is why it has been so hard to drum up motivation to update this site. I want to tell happy stories and show off beautiful pictures. And I want to feel like it matters … that people care. I do know that my mom and sister appreciate the effort. And even a few of you lurkers out there have let me know it’s time for an update. Is it wrong to want more? (Yes, that is a rhetorical question.)

Okay, enough. I don’t want to dwell in this place and I’m not looking to be reassured. I just couldn’t bring myself to recount the activities of our days without acknowledging some underlying sorrow for a change. Thank you, Mom and Dad, and Michele, Shaun and Steve, for filling the end of 2010 with love. May 2011 be filled with even more. Love. It’s powerful stuff.


Winter Solstice pics with Mom and Dad out on the pontoon are on facebook. Too bad my brother and sister didn’t get here in time for lake weather!