Saturday, May 15, 2010


There’s a bird bath in our garden just outside the dining room window.

Many birds pause there to get a drink.

But the other day I caught a glimpse of
a flash of blue and a lot of splattering water. I realized it was a Lazuli Bunting taking advantage of the bath to get rid of some travel dirt.

These little birds look like pieces of sky on a brilliant day.

For a week or so in the middle of May we see them as they take a break on their migration north.
By the time I got my camera Mr. Bunting had moved from the bath to some brush where he could take a shower in the sprinkler.

It sort of reminded me of the Seven Dwarves when they decided to wash up for Snow white.

Now scrub good an' hard
It can't be denied

That he'll look mighty cute
As soon as he's dried

Well it's good for the soul
And it's good for the hide
To go blud-dle-ud-dle-ud-dle

And then he was gone.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Yellow tulips were taking over my flower garden.

They were showing up in places I KNOW I didn’t plant them. As lovely as they were; they were crowding out other flowers.

So last summer I dug up a couple of buckets full of yellow tulip bulbs and buried them on the canal bank across the street from our house.

Last fall, not long after my brother’s cancer diagnosis changed from hopeful to grim,

I planted a dozen pink “Plant for Hope” tulip bulbs in one vacated spot.

The pink tulips survived the long cold winter. Sadly he did not.
Sail on little brother.

I’d almost forgotten about the yellow tulip bulbs buried on the canal bank.

This spring, there they were.

They survived, untended, the long, dry summer and the deep harsh winter.

Last Sunday, Mothers’ Day, DH called me to the window. He pointed out a young man who had been hurrying his bicycle down the street.

He stopped, returned to the patch of yellow and gathered blossoms, then continued on.

We imagined a mother or young wife who would get fresh yellow flowers for Mothers’ Day. It made me smile.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I’m not a “birder.” I can’t identify specific species. That gets too complicated too fast. In fact, I sometime just give them better names.

This is some kind of goldfinch. I just call them “flying bananas.” Note how this little guy is getting ready to chuck a sunflower seed off the feeder. This is the reason I have dozens of sunflowers coming up in my garden…in the wrong places.

I love how this picture shows his ear as the wind fluffs up his feathers.

I also get a kick out of how they puff up their feathers in the cold weather.

This one matches the mug shot of a white crowned sparrow in my bird book.

I think he looks like he is wearing one of those biker “do-rags."

There is probably a story about the cross on the back of his head.

Meet Lola and Spike CassinsFinch. They both have been using a lot of hair product. She also appears a bit cranky.

Maybe it’s because of what he said when she asked, “Do my feathers make my butt look big?”

“Hey, I meant it when I said I love your big butt!”

“What did I say?”


Monday, May 10, 2010


So I was out with my camera having a great time

taking pictures of the new spring leaves on the cottonwoods and…

ducks and...

vanishing bunnies.

At the same time I was dodging nasty things

like burdock thistles

and cockle burrs.

I thought I’d gotten home safely. But discovered I’d picked up a bunch of hitchhikers.

These sticky prickles have many names such as sticktights, beggar’s ticks and hound’s tongue.

I had some other names for them.

A burr is a seed or dry fruit in which the seeds bear hooks or teeth which attach themselves to fur or clothing of passing animals or people. The hooks or teeth can be irritants and very hard to get off of clothing, such as wool or cotton. It was the inspiration for Velcro.