Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Thursday, July 12, 2018

And For Todays Entertainment

Song - Birds the Word by The Rivingtons

It's been so warm in Northern California lately that for the past few weeks Mr. B and I have been relaxing by the side of the pool in the early evenings. We have a glass of wine and he plays me a little air guitar!

 This patio is near the shade garden, under some oak & maple trees.  While the rest of the garden has fried from the hot weather, the shade garden is still refreshing to look at.

Some evenings we take a swim and other evenings we just watch the birds flit by getting their last meal of the day.

Hi there Mr. Chickadee!

 I have several platform feeders hanging off the deck over the creek. The Tufted Titmouse enjoys the freedom of feeding near large trees that he can escape to if needed.

 Other birds like the standard tube feeder. I have an assortment of seeds for them so no one is left out. As well as several (well maybe 8) bird baths placed all around the yard.  When it's really hot I try to put in a few ice cubes to cool the water for them.

A House Finch in the tree is patiently waiting her turn at the feeder below.

 When the House Finch finally gets a turn, the Titmouse returns and is surprised to find someone in his dinner dish!

 Mr. B and I love watching the birds.  I don't know if it's that we finally have the time to do so or if it is that "at our age" we appreciate them so much more.  Basically our kids think we are nuts when we tell them what our garden birds were doing that day.

 And just look who is in the lavender!  

Mr. and Mrs. American Goldfinch
I love that brilliant yellow against the purple lavender.

Thanks for entertaining us for one more night! 
See you tomorrow.

“Slow down and enjoy life.  
 It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast-
you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”
 – Eddie Cantor

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Pecking Order

Song - Blue Jay Imitating Red Shoulder Hawk Call

The crows have been taking over our little neighborhood for the last few months.....and I don't like it!

On Sunday there must of been about 25 of them flying overhead and landing in our trees. Just at the point of peak noise, a hawk flew low across our patio and deck and headed straight toward them! He did it about four times and we figured that he was just trying to retake his favorite lookout tree near the creek.

He/She has a nest in the Oak trees above our driveway.  When we went to get in the car later that evening, Mr. B noticed an adolescent hawk dead on the driveway beneath the nest.  That must of been what the attack was all about.

I don't really like the hawks because they kill my songbirds and doves but they are majestic birds and have amazing life energy.

The other day I heard a hawk in the bushes while I was out watering the garden and as he hopped onto the deck railing I noticed that he wasn't a hawk at all but a Steller Jay!  I had heard that they sometimes mimic other birds but I don't remember hearing one before.  It was spot on! If you listened to the "song" above you will see what I mean.

On Saturday we had a little Green Heron on the dead trees near the creek. Those dead trees sure do attract a lot of birds! Luckily Mr. B & I were reading on the back deck and spotted him.

 He paused long enough for me to run inside to get my camera and tripod. He was looking up and down the length of the creek.

He observed the moon for awhile........

Then flew off for other adventures.......

We have had a couple of Spotted Towhee's in our side lawn area and although I have not had the opportunity to photograph them yet, they look a lot like this grosbeak above.

When I do get a good photo I will share it with you. 

 Meanwhile, right over our front door I have been noticing a lot of debris and assumed it was our gardener who blows the front porch weekly. But several days ago when we come in or out of the house, we have noticed a bird flying away from the area and looking up......there is a little nest on a two-inch piece of molding above the door. 

Hi little Mama Bird - just what made you pick that spot? 

She is welcome to it for a few weeks.  I have now posted notes inside and out to use other doors if possible.

 Just this morning as I was filling my bird feeders I spotted a Snowy Egret down in the creek looking for something to eat.....

He wasn't too sure about me hanging out and snapping photos of him so he slowly.....

....gracefully....walked further down the creek where he could eat in private!

"Something opens our wings.  
Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.  
Someone fills the cup in front of us. 
We taste only sacredness."  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Helping Hands

Song - HELP! by the Beatles

Mama Finch feeding her fledgling

While I have been posting about our April trip to France, a lot of love has been going least around our family.  We have celebrated six birthdays, Mother's Day was spent with family in Booneville, and we just celebrated Father's Day with a family BBQ in our backyard. But more importantly......

 My brother and I have found a great little rescue dog for my mom!  She has named him Buddy and that's just what he is.  He is sweet, cuddly, loves children, is properly house trained, doesn't dig in her garden or chew her shoes and insists on sleeping in bed with her! And when she gets out the brush to comb his soft coat, he lays there like he is having a Spa Day and wonders why she has stopped.  Buddy is learning to ride in a car and walk with a leash. 

Buddy is a mix of Bichon Frise and Halvanese.  He is bonding with his new family (all of us) and learning to trust again.  It's beautiful to watch this frightened little guy go from shaking in the corner to jumping into mom's lap and give her a kiss for taking such great care of him!

 A few weeks ago Mr. B and I drove down to my parents cabin in Santa Cruz.  After the long winter it needed a little loving care. 

 While Mr. B worked behind the scenes on fun stuff like the plumbing and clearing the leaves off of the roof, I got to do a little cleaning up and planting in the garden.

 Now it is ready for summer fun!

"We might think we are nurturing our garden, 
but of course it's our garden that is really nurturing us."
--Jenny Uglow

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Au Revoir - Day 24 & 25

Song - Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman

May 1, 2018

This post is taken from my French travel journal and my trip through Southern France in April 2018.  For some reason my iPad and Blog were not communicating at the time so I was unable to write any posts. At home I am able to blog "post" travel! Thanks for joining me on the journey!


Happy Labor Day - May Day
Le Fete de Muguet
The day to present a bouquet of Lily of the Valley to loved ones

Mr. B had never been to Parc de Bagatelle before so I thought today would be a good day to introduce them to each other!

 The peacocks were happy to greet us!

 But from 3 weeks ago when I last visited, a lot had changed.  The Yellow Lady Banks climber was in full bloom.

As were the white and lavender Wisteria!

Pink Peonies - hello darlin

 An arbor full of scented Clematis - breath deep

 We were still too early to see the rose garden in bloom but it was looking good.

 Fragrant Lilac's were everywhere....

 And upon returning to our hotel we were greeted with Muguets.......

After a quick rest we took a walk over to the Louvre and Tuileries. 

 Everyone was enjoying the rays of sun on this cloudy day.......

 The Roue de Paris is a giant Ferris Wheel at the Place de la Concorde.....

 Enjoying the gray sky and views from the Pont de la Concorde bridge over the Seine......

We didn't plan too well as it was a bank holiday and everywhere we wanted to dine on our last night was closed! Back to dinner at Cafe Louise as it was good and the waitress was so kind & fun. 

 May 2, 2018

Woke at 6 to finish packing, check out of the hotel and order an Uber to Charles de Gaulle Airport. We made it but without much time to spare as we forgot about the hour drive to the airport!  We were sitting near our gate at a small cafe when I spot two people we know from our home town. Our kids were on swim team together and it was so much fun getting caught up!

They were on our same Aer Lingus flight to Dublin then onto SFO.  We all just barely made the connecting flight!

Good to be home.  The garden is in full bloom and the roses are spectacular!

"One mustn't ask apple trees for oranges, 
France for sun, women for love, life for happiness." 
-- Gustave Flaubert

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