Friday, October 10, 2014


With the coming of frosty mornings it takes a little extra resolve to leave a warm bed for an early morning walk.

 Still, I was up and on my way long before the sun decided to climb over the Grand Teton Mountains along the Wyoming-Idaho border.

 When I walked along the path by the golf course near the airport my shadow was wonderfully tall and long legged.

 The trees are putting on their fall foliage but haven’t dropped many leaves yet.

Black billed magpies are a common sight around here.  Usually they are spooked of cameras and are a challenge to photograph.

 However, I caught these two working on a duet of sorts.  Mostly magpies aren’t much for singing.  They give warning calls and the young ones create quite a racket when they want to be fed.

 I think this may be a couple of parents celebrating their empty nest and a bit of free time now that the kids have left home.

 I got in a few more photos before they spotted me and took off with a flash of white wings and flit of long tail feathers.

When I was a kid we had a jump rope rhyme about magpies.

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told,
Eight for a wish
Nine for a kiss
Ten for a bird
You must not miss.

O-U-T jump out!

Do kids even jump rope on the playground anymore?


Carla said...

I love magpies, but we don't have them around here. My first siting of one was in Colorado two years ago. He was very cheeky and quickly became my friend when I put old bread out on the deck.
I have such fond memories of jump roping! I don't think they let kids use them anymore. Many schools don't let the kids even have an actual playground. Liability is the word. :(

Joanne Noragon said...

You are a wonder. Thanks for the lovely pictures.
My granddaughters jump rope occasionally. They're not very good.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Magpies are such gorgeous birds. That irridescent blue/black against that white just can't be beat.

No idea if they still jump rope or not, but we sure did!

Terry and Linda said...

Your shadow looked like a halo!


Val said...

I don't know if kids jump rope on the playground, but until a few years ago, our elementary had a jump-rope team. They practiced after school, not for competitions, but to perform at half time at the high school basketball games. There must have been 30 kids on that team, girls and boys. They each jumped individual ropes, choreographed in a routine.

Then that teacher retired. I haven't seen kids jumping rope lately.

No magpies around here. They're quite attractive.

Elizabeth said...

We had the same rhyme about magpies in England.
I always hate to see a lone magpie.
No frost here yet!

TALON said...

I love that you caught the magpies trilling, Leenie. :) I imagine that is exactly what they are doing - celebrating an empty nest!

Beautiful shots, as always. Due to the heavy rains and high winds we've been having, a lot of the color has been prematurely stripped from the trees. I'm going out (first dry hours in days and days) to see what's left.

My Mom taught me that rhyme when I was very little. Brought back great memories. And, yes, there seems to be a lack of jumping rope. Used to love that and doing Double Dutch. Such fun! Simple fun.

Thank you for the birthday wishes. Was a stellar day!

Alica said...

Those magpies look like they're having some kind of a pow wow...I like your interpretation of what they're celebrating! :)