Birding in the Fog

Admittedly, I was excited to go to Galveston Island, because I had the thought that a lot of the migratory birds would still be hanging around and I could see them. I didn’t count on it being a rather dismal day for photography, in which everything around was the same shade of brownish gray.

We certainly couldn’t see anything from our hotel room other than exotic Beach Pigeons (same as any other pigeon). The birds were probably all frightened away by the belching pseudo-volcano at the Rainforest Cafe that was the primary view from our balcony (we could also see the Gulf, when the fog lifted slightly).

Here I am pretending that the Rainforest cafe is 1) open or 2) fun.

Once we were awake (-ish, since the hotel didn’t have any reasonable coffee), we took a walk on the beach. This proved to us that it doesn’t have to be a warm and sunny day to enjoy the shore.

Look how well these birds blend in with the rocks and surf.

At first we didn’t see anything other than gulls, pigeons, and grackles, but once we walked down the jetty, we adjusted our eyes, and boom! There were some beautiful little ruddy turnstones busily picking at the moss and seaweed growing on the granite (from Marble Falls!). They were very industrious and blended amazingly well among the blocks. You really only noticed them when they moved.

Evrybody’s head is all tucked. Nap time?

We kept walking down the jetty until Lee stopped me and said, “Look!” Sure enough, there was a flock of what appear to me to be sanderlings, huddling together to stay warm, or something. They were at least a little easier to spot. They let us get nice and close, so I could get a good photo.

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Beachy Keen

Tree trunk with ocean decor

We spent last night in a misty Galveston Island, Texas. I’ll write more about it later, but thought I’d share a few pictures of things I found washed up on the beach.

The tree looks like a whale from this angle.

One particular piece of wood that had been in the water enough for barnacles to grow on it really seemed beautiful. Such a mix of land and sea.

What’s your guess as to what this is?

We also found another rock or piece of tree or coral. It was hard to say. But there were some cool worm tubes on it, too.

Little shells in a heap.

Of course there were shells, mostly broken up, but in many shapes and colors. Where they washed up in piles I kept thinking they’d make a great computer monitor background.

Coral, and my Valentine nails, which are red, pink, coral, or watermelon.

I did find a small piece of coral, too. I have to say these and the oysters in the bay kept distracting me from my bird and plant recording duties, but that’s okay. I had time to enjoy all the gifts the ocean and wetlands gave me.

Eww. Ocean foam.

More tomorrow!

More Teeny Tiny Flowers

Today I am on a trip (so I wrote ahead of time), but I’m still thinking about the power of teeny tiny flowers to lift our spirits. You don’t have to be big to sparkle, shine, and make a difference in the world. Here are some of the little guys who brighten up the area near our old church building.

This henbit deadnettle looks like an orchid from this angle. It’s a teeny tiny thing of beauty.

When you get down on the level of these ground-hugging darlings, you often see even more tiny life. I mean, look at that little fly, or wasp, or bee (not sure, Master Naturalist Fail). That’s probably just a centimeter long.

Speedwell and a tiny friend. You can barely see these flowers if you are standing up.

I have noticed we have a lot of yellow and white tiny flowers. Perhaps those colors make them easier to see for pollinators that find them visually. In any case, this time of year, anything cheerfully yellow is fine with me.

Tihs is screamingly yellow creeping woodsorrel. I’m guessing those leaves are tasty and sour. There sure are lots of sorrels around here!

And I do need to share just one flower that’s not so tiny, because I was so happy to see it, an anenome! They were among the first spring flowers at my old Austin house. Some are white, some are deep purple, and some are a mixture. I always had to convince people that to me, they are not weeds, so I kept them. They die back quickly, anyway.

Anenomes pushing up from among the dead leaves.

Y’all have a good Saturday. No doubt I’ll be back to my “deep thoughts” series, but I’ll never give up sharing what’s blooming around me!

Egg Production UP!

Hooray! I can’t wait until tomorrow to share this! The winter slump is over, and the ten or eleven remaining hens are starting to lay again. Mandi and Seth (the weekday gatherers) report that every day this week there are more.

Buckbeak is very proud of his remaining ladies.

Today’s 7 is pretty darned good! The owl deterrent measures seem to have helped, and we think it went to other hunting grounds.

We’re the big mamas. Ready to make you some eggs! Thanks for feeding us all winter!

Now maybe we can get a few more. We’re still going to do more coop work. But I’m so glad they’re out of the winter doldrums.

Reblog and share please!!

I’m sharing this blog post, because the author coincidentally said pretty much what I was saying yesterday about why I like blogging. And yes, you can reblog my posts, too.

Forty Something Life As We Know It

As a Forty Plusser I learn about blogging on a daily basis.   The what, the how, etc.

This blogosphere world is real exiting.  I love to connect with fellow bloggers.   It is like meeting new friends, but not in person. My experience with blogging so far: people from all around the world connect with each other in a peaceful manner.  Bloggers connect and relate with each other about daily life and mutual interests.   I have not experienced  a single “social media fight”or snotty comment on WordPress.   Yes, I really like blogging on WordPress…  no keyboard warriors…   Maybe my circle of fellow bloggers are the “peaceful type”.  Lol!

Image result for image of wordpress

When I first set up my WordPress account I read about the rules, how to set up a beautiful blog, what to do and what not to do.   You know, technical stuff, but also stuff like blogging etiquette.

I absolute love the reblog button.   I have no problem with fellow bloggers…

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Imbolc: Spring Is Coming

In many parts of the US, Easter-time is when spring is celebrated. Here in Texas, the spring new growth starts around the beginning of February, at a time traditionally called Imbolc or Candlemas (or in US folk culture, Groundhog Day).

This is one of my favorite images of Brighid. It’s on sale right now, too. I had to borrow this photo, since I’m not at home to take my own picture.

It’s also the day sacred to St. Bridget or the goddess Brighid, depending on your tradition. She’s always been my favorite, since not only is she the Mother Goddess of Ireland, but she protects the hearth, the home, spinning and weaving, and fire! That’s why there is an “eternal flame” in Kildare, Ireland in her honor.

I was pretty thrilled to find a goddess who cares for all the things I care so deeply about, so I’ve always loved her. Back when I got to go to Ireland often, I visited her sacred well and cathedral many times. If you’re ever in Kildare town, check it out.

Here, though, I celebrate Imbolc by giving thanks to all the little plants and flowers that have kept me going through the winter (the very damp winter this year!). The little bluets are a real favorite, as is the chickweed I shared earlier in the week.

I’m glad I met Monique Reed, my botanist friend, because when she came to inventory plants on the ranch last year, she showed me how many wonderful tiny plants there are here at the Hermits’ Rest; you just have to look for them.

Looking at the tiny blossoms, the tiny berries, and all the plants that keep on going through the winter reminds me that we, too, have to keep on going through the dark periods, and just keep looking toward the light. That’s what the Imbolc season tells us, too. Spring is coming. Keep looking at the light and stay warm (yes, even those of you in the Polar Vortex right now!).

Hey!

If you want your own statue of Brigit or Brigid or however you want to spel it, I recommend you visit my friend Liana’s business, Sacred Source, and see some great options/

Why All the Blogging?

A number of years ago, I quit writing in my blogs (I had one on knitting and one on traveling in our RV). I basically quit reading them, too. I found, at the time, that all my blogging friends had moved to Facebook and were posting updates there, or in Instagram.

I used Blogger for my first blog. It is apparently still there, with a happy message from 2011 and some depressing things about my dad dying.

Why did I blog before?

Throughout my life I’ve enjoyed keeping journals. Writing my thoughts down helps me process. When I found blogs in 2005, I was thrilled to be able to journal without writing by hand, and at first kept a private blog (which I think my spouse still does, but who knows; it’s private!).

Then, I discovered many cool people on email lists (another love of my past) blogging about knitting, sharing their work, sharing their patterns, and interacting with each other. It was so great to share photos and instructions, as well as what was going on in our lives.

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