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Singing for Summer . . .

10 Sep

Red-winged Blackbird, male

We saw so many Red-winged Blackbirds on our trip.  This one was in Valentine, Nebraska.  He was singing his heart out!

Happy International Vulture Day!

4 Sep

Turkey Vulture at the beach

Happy International Vulture Day (IVAD) 2010.

The most common bird I see when driving around California is the Turkey Vulture.  They sore around in their tippy way over cities and mountains and farmland alike.

In July, we were coming home from our 5 week camping trip and spent our last night along the California coast at a fabulous campground.  We’d explored the cliffs the day before and seen so many birds — osprey, gulls, sparrows, and even turkey vultures.  When I got up in the morning, it was foggy and cold.  This charmer greeted me as I walked out to the cliff edge to look at the water.

Vultures like to warm up their wings before they do much flying which may explain why he (she?) just sat there while I stood so nearby.  I’m zoomed in a bit but still we were surprisingly near to each other.

I’d love to share that we had a communal moment there on the cliffs in the foggy morning but really, I think the vulture was pretending I wasn’t there and hoping I’d go away and leave it alone.

Which, of course, I did.

The beach and sand . . .

30 Aug

Paula Poundstone is a very funny woman and there are gems of truth in her funniness.  Like this . . . that she said on Twitter on Sunday: I love the beach. I just hate sand.

You know what, I agree.  Yup.  What she said.

Oregon's Beautiful Coast

Beaches are beautiful and relaxing and inspirational. Beaches soothe your soul and smooth your feet. Beaches are peaceful and contemplative. I love beaches.

Natural bridge

Beaches are awe-inspiring and small. Beaches are full of life and empty of distractions. Beaches are exciting and calming.

Oregon coast

But sand . . .

I hate sand. It’s gritty and sticky and itchy. It gets into and onto everything. It fills your shoes and blows in your eyes. Sand loves to find food. Sand finds its way into places its not meant to be. Sand is just plain annoying.  I hate sand.

It was windy at the beach

This beach is on the Oregon Coast . . . home of some really spectacular beaches that I love . . . except for all the sand.

Look what I almost stepped on

16 Aug
Garter Snake photo

Garter Snake at school

I don’t know which one of us was more startled as I nearly stepped on this guy.  He was flattened out, soaking up heat from the cement.  He thought if he didn’t move, I wouldn’t see him.  He was firm in that conviction.  He held on to that thought as I stopped and said, “Oh my goodness!”  He continued to believe as I set my basket down and fumbled for my iPhone.  He had deep faith as I snapped a picture of him.

His belief was finally broken when I decided he’d better scoot off the path and touched him gently near that last big curve.  He scurried on his way but tossed baleful glances my way.

I couldn’t blame him.  Who likes to have their faith destroyed?

Sweetest Sight on our big Trip

15 Aug

Bebe bunny, Kent, WA

We saw lots of bunnies on our trip. Bunnies like campgrounds, we discovered. This bunny, however, was a bebe bunny. It hid under our motorhome while we were packing up to leave. It was curled up next to our “Brake Buddy” (which applies the brakes in my car when we are towing it to help out the motorhome). The black thing next to it is the cigarette lighter plug-in for it. That’s how tiny that bebe was.

We had to chase it out before we started up the motorhome . . . it would have been terrified when the engine roared above it. It ran and hid under another motorhome. I hope it’s momma showed up soon and took it to a safer place.

Better late than never, right? Right?

30 Jul

I have not had time to organize my thoughts and prepare the BEST possible posts following our great 5 week camping trip (see my other blog for all the details on that . . . The Journey is the Thing).  But, no more excuses.  Anything is better than nothing.  Late is better than never.  So, here is my favorite bird shot from our trip . . .

Bald Eagle, Sequim, WA

It looks like the eagles that have always puzzled me on medallions . . .

(Taken from here.)

So, mystery solved.  Yes, eagles do really sit in a funny position like that.

I am here to serve.  🙂

Oh yea, my sweet daughter, Ruth, spotted this beauty as we drove along the Puget Sound near Sequim (pronounced Squim) on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  We had, the day before, seen a Bald Eagle fly across a busy I-5 at 3pm (-ish) in Tukwila, Washington.  I was heard to say that we were not in Kansas anymore.


6 Jun

The things you see

Sometimes you find yourself feeling kind of small.

I’ve been neglectful lately.  Neglecting my blog, my birds, birding in general, writing, creativity.  I’m not making excuses but life — especially the life of a teacher near the end of the school year — interferes with what I’d really like to be doing.  Sometimes escaping into fake farms and sparkling jewels is important to let my brain rest up.

This has been an interesting year for me.  There’s some growth.  There’s some challenges.  There’s just stuff.

Still, when I went to my long neglected blog today, dusted off the cobbies, and looked carefully, I felt a little small.  There were comments.  People have been visiting.  People cared about my posts . . . even when I clearly didn’t care all that much.  So, I felt a little small.

But summer is nearly here.  I am feeling a renewal in my spirit.  An urge to charge up my camera batteries, dig out my binoculars, stitch something pretty, and to write.

Hopefully, things won’t be as dusty here for the next little while.

Sweet Birdy Art

10 May

I love exploring Etsy! I especially love it when I find sweet little birds to brighten my day.

Posted via web from Liza Lee Miller

Wake Up Call, a haiku

22 Apr

Before dawn, a song is heard
a soft trill repeats
the owl is saying good night.

Cleansing blue skies

13 Apr

Had a rough day yesterday with another rough one expected today . . . seeing the ravens soar overhead will help.

Posted via web from Liza Lee Miller