Friday, January 30, 2009

The Heavens Declare...

For the last couple of days, my heart has been in deep places - none of which I regret, but deep, just the same. Last evening, I needed to go to the garage, and as is my habit (and joy) I looked up at the sky.
It was dusk - a band of muted gold on the horizon that bled into the royal blues of the robe of Lady Night. There were only two heavenly bodies visible, only two - a star and the moon. It was so powerful. In the stillness, when all of creation is folding itself inward to quiet and rest, it seemed as tho' these two jewels were singing at the top of their created existance,
"ALL IS WELL..." and my heart knows that it is.
God holds it all in His tender, loving, all powerful hands. What do I have to be concerned about? The answer is 'nothing' - other than being alert so as not to miss seeing Him at work and to praise Him with all my heart for it?
Silence that sings. Dramatic simplicity. Yes, all is well...
(This photo taken by Rebekah Sfair. Thank you Rebekah! )

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blessed Birdie

I've just come home from church. It was a very beautiful service - unique, as always.
One thing that was different today, was that my husband, the pastor, asked me to bring the message! I had written an article for my website last week, and he wanted me to expand on it for church this morning.
I wouldn't normally announce this sort of thing, but something special happened that I cannot keep to myself!
After the service was over, a dear lady friend, who follows my Bird Blog, came up to me and said, "Did you know that there was a little bird fluttering at the window behind you, the whole time you were speaking? It would land on the window trim and let go - flutter down a ways and then try again!" (we meet in an historic building - the windows have wood frames) She said it was hard not to interrupt me to bring it to my attention. My husband said that it 'tweeted' all during my message. :)
Call it a vivid imagination, or a Bird Dream - but, I can't help thinking it was no accident that that little bird was there today at 11:30am.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Check It Out!

This is a new blog I became aware of today. I am quite sure you will enjoy it.
He does all his own photography and writings.
And, he's from Washington too! Maybe we'll get to even out the teams here? I've been out numbered by a lot of Minnesotans! lol


Can anyone tell me why my Captivating Woman Blog 'disappeared' from viewing on Internet Explorer? It can be viewed through Mozilla. If you know anything about this kind of issue - I'd really appreciate your input. Thank you!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation."
verses from Psalm 91

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I grew up on a farm where I learned that animals were purposeful. I liked them a lot, but never grew attached to them because I knew they were not 'forever' pets. When animals died, for whatever reason, I felt bad; but to me, it was a fact of life and a cow is a cow and there will always be another one.
I know well the rules of nature - the survival of the fittest and the ubiguitous food chain.
So why is it I am so moved when one of the little birds dies at my feeders?
This morning, I was in the kitchen - watching the feeders every few minutes. There were a few more birds than there have been. I was encouraged. But, at one point, I was checking out the ground feeders and noticed a little pine siskin sitting in an unsual position on the ground. It wasn't moving very much, so I went outside and picked it up. It was struggling to breathe, I think. Its beak looked sticky, so I dipped it in a little cap of water, which seemed to perk it up - for a moment. But, as I expected, it soon stopped breathing. I had held this little life for just a few short moments before it wasn't there anymore.
I didn't feel what I should have felt, based on my upbringing. The more I live, the more I realize how fragile life is. Each life is unique and whether 'great or small', it is LIFE - an element we cannot create, restore, or hang on to. It is a precious comodity - something to be treasured, respected, protected and held in an open hand allowing it freedom 'to be'. Freedom to be with me or not.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Frosty Morning

It was FREEZING here this morning - the sky was clear all night. I know that because at 5 something this morning the moon was so bright it woke me up - shining on my face!
Anyway, there was a good layer of white everywhere. I was looking for a lot of busy-ness at the feeders - the numbers are still 'way down.
There are a few more sparrows - I think they are 'Gold Crowned Sparrows'? There was only one for a long time, but now there are four of them. Faith still comes everyday - we all look for her. I missed something a little later in the morning, tho'. My son was looking out the window and exclaimed, "Whoa! - that was a BIG bird!" He was pretty sure it was a bird of prey. I looked in time to see the whole feeder station swaying - I didn't see the bird.
Well, not much else to report. Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quote for Today for Birder Friends

"Two may talk together
under the same roof for many years,

yet never really meet;
and two others
at first speech
are old friends."

Mary Catherwood

Thursday, January 15, 2009

So, I have discovered the culprit! ! ! It is "Tinker Bell" - the kitty.
I looked out the window, yesterday, and there she was - as comfortable as you please crouched right under the feeders gazing intently heavenwards! A most frightening sight for this bird enthusiast!
I think I scared her pretty good, but that's only temporary and will only serve to sharpen her reasoning skills to figure out how to get back and not get caught. We don't have an easy solution here - the back yard is not kitty-escape-proof and 2 of us have allergies to cat dander so that keeping her inside is not an option.
Maybe fencing in some way?
Aside from that and yet along with it, I am beginning to think of Spring Planting. The next phase in the development of My Bird Sanctuary Dream is the addition of bird-friendly vegetation. I would like to plant small trees and shrubs that produce food for the birds. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd gladly welcome them. I've done some researching on my own, but there's nothing like the advice from experienced friends!
Hope you all are having a wonderful day - regardless of the cold! Keep safe and Take Joy!

This is not Tinker Bell. This is Skittles, a cat we had a couple of years ago. I didn't put too much effort in to attracting birds at that time, so he was not a major threat - except to those that were passing through. We would find him in the oddest places! I don't think he was too smart - what bird in their right mind is going to fly home with this obvious predator at the door! He made us laugh more than once!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just Reporting In

Life happens in bunches - and so to try and tell you all the reasons I've been off the radar would take a long time and get rather complicated.
Probably the biggest reason, tho', is that there hasn't been any great discoveries in my Bird Sanctuary in the last number of days - funny, how, just as I'm going through this dramatic drop in bird visitors, my blog gets announced in WBU advertisement! If I didn't have photos, I'd think I had been dreaming of the huge flock of 60 or more that were visiting regularly.
Anyway, it makes my heart a little teary to look out and see only a half dozen birds a couple of times a day - not to mention the shock.
The kitty may have something to do with it? We saw her with a little bird the other day, but we're not sure where she got it. She spends most of her time in the backyard (opposite side of the house) and in H.'s bedroom. If she was stalking the feeding station, I could see why they have scattered, but that's not the case. So, I don't know. . .
My little bird friend, Faith, still comes - yes, I still have 'faith' :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009


OH DEAR! If you click on this link, you will find a page from our local WildBirds Unlimited.
If you scroll all the way down, you will find - Local Nature News - Check it out!
I wonder what will happen next?

Where Have All the Birdies Gone?

Did someone put up an invisible shield all around my property so that my birds can't get to the feeders? There have been only a handful of birds here in the last 24 hours! What happened, I wonder.

Quote for the Day:
"Friendship without self interest
is one of the rare and beautiful
things of life."
James F. Brynes

Friday, January 9, 2009


I wish to announce that Richard from 'At the Water' blog, now has a NEW blog! ! !
Richard's artistic abilities are showcased in a his posts of photos which are graced with script.
I know you will be blessed to visit - and be sure to pass the word!
Here is the address:

All the best to you, Richard!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dungeness Railroad Bridge Park

I decided to take a walk. The Dungeness River is about 1/4 mile from us and about 1 1/2 miles up the river is a park called the Dungeness Railroad Bridge Park. Its a beautiful walking area, but today I was curious to see how the river was doing with all the rain and snow melt from the mountains. The reports east of here are tragic - homes are lost, landslides, avalanches, and many of the passes over the mountains are closed.
Well, as you can see, the river is swollen...lots of water in places it isn't usually. The roaring sound was so powerful - I felt very small.
This is the bridge built from railroad ties. There are a few organizations that oversee this park and a few that use it. I discovered today that Sequim has a group of Birders that will be meeting here every Thursday for the next month!
This is an artistic shot? lol! I intentionally shot the sun -
I know, duh! My little camera probably shreeked in pain!
Anyway, I only saw a couple of Chestnut backed Chickadees the whole time - which is a delight to me because they are my favorite! Even tho' the sun was glorious, the wind was blowing fiercely - so I think most little birds were in the brush, where pedestrians are forbidden. What was neat, was that I was able to hear their song very clearly, since there were no other birds to confuse me ;) They flew around and around - I tried to get photos, but they are VERY blurry - oh well, there's always next time!
ps. When you come to visit, I will happily take you to the Dungeness Railroad Bridge Park - maybe we'll see more birds and you'll get better photos than I.

Lots of Activity Today

Once I put out the homemade suet (on the tray)
they decided to eat the prepackaged stuff that has been
hanging there for a month! - Go figure!
Notice the duel in the dome?
It was challenging to get the photo with the
the largest number of birds - they were very active!
There are 7 on the sock!
There's one hiding - only tail feathers visible on the right
behind the head of the little bird :)
This is as many as I could get in my view finder.
There are lots more on outside the edges.
They are so well camouflaged!
This little guy is surveying the situation and wondering
where he can find a spot to eat in peace!

Quote for Today
"A friend is someone who knows the song of your heart,
and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quote for Today

"A friend may well be reckoned
the masterpiece of nature."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

No Title

I woke this morning at 5:45. It is pouring rain - a constant, heavy, soaking, bone-chilling rain.
The rain brings out the melancholy in me - big time; so, this post will be factual to keep it from turning into mud.
I watched the birds at my feeders this morning. The flock is growing so quickly. Not a good day for photos, sorry. The record for attendance still goes to the pine siskins. At one point, I counted 20 birds on the feeders, with that many or more on the ground. I looked out a little further and saw more in puddles and even more in the tree tops where they perch. There are a few dark eyed juncos, a few finches, still only 2 chickadees and only 1 spotted towhee which is very timid.
My little friend was here - perching as if to try and see me in the window. I've decided to call him/her Faith, based on the quote I had found "Faith is the bird that feels the light..." - My daughter, Halleleyah, can now spot Faith as quickly as I can and she is equally affectioned by it.
Faith isn't startled by my movements at the window like so many are. Faith remains at the feeders for very long periods, even when there are no other birds feeding.
I've noticed there are definite feeding periods - I can almost set my clock by them!
The cover over my tray feeder is not big enough - need to improve that somehow.
Chickadees favor the suet I made - they will come and take about 5 bites before they fly off.
I haven't seen the stellar jay after that one visit.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Walkin' in a Robin Wonderland!

I got to go for a walk today - first time since before Thanksgiving! YIKES! I took a familiar route, just up the street from our house. As I approached the intersection, it was like I entered a whole other world! There must be a flock of 30 -40 robins hanging out in that area! They were everywhere and singing constantly!
Its interesting how much we miss when we're not concentrating or focused on detail, but after spying on my little fragile pine siskins, finches, juncos and chickadees for the past month - the robins looked and felt like B52 bombers by comparison! WOW! They have a presence that I have not appreciated before!
I noticed that their wings 'hang down' - is that common?
Well, it was delightful - I felt like I was in a Robin Wonderland -- I'm sure passersby wondered about me!
When I came home, my little friend was there to greet me. Everybody is becoming familiar and attached to him. I need to think of a name to fit this delicate, sweet, fluffy, precious being that wants to be near me. What an incredible gift!

I took this photo at that moment. Again, I am so close that my camera didn't focus on him, it focused past - and that could be my fault, because I get soooo excited inside when I'm that near, I can hardly focus my eyes and I'm not paying full attention to the camera. I am 'maybe' 2 1/2 feet from him - not even an arm's length away.

Suet Mystery Solved!

NOW I know what I did! ! !
For some 'strange' reason - I used 2 cups of lard and 2 cups of peanut butter -
I wasn't trying to alter the recipe - it was obviously a brain-fade!
THANK YOU RICHARD for being so persistent in your kindness to help me
figure this out!
Bless you, birder buddy

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

My husband came in all excited to show me the activities going on outside. I brought my camera - lo, and behold, the birds had a public swimming pool in my front yard! The photos I got are from quite a distance, so they're not the best, but you can get the idea. At times there were about twice as many in the puddle than what I was able to catch on camera.

AND the SOUND! ! ! The air was filled with slashing with joyous chatter and song! They were having the time of their lives! and then...

...they hung themselves up to dry! What a fun time!

I was coming back to the house, and passed by the feeders. Of course, all the birds flew off...
EXCEPT my little friend! He stayed on the ground and I got this close to him again.
This photo is untouched, and not zoomed! From here, I could have reached out and touched him again! I'm way down, close to the ground and he just watched me, as if to say, "What's their problem? I'm so happy sitting here! I'm not afraid at all!"

Quote for the Day

In honor of the little bird that I mentioned in my post,
"Do Birds Fly in the Dark?",
(which, by the way, was the 1st bird I saw in 2009!)
I found this quote and it gave me a whole new appreciation for him.
"Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark."
Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My World - Jan.4, 2009

This view brought me running into the house to get my camera at 8:15am before I headed to church. I wish I could put the photos side-by-side, but from top to bottom, it moves from east to west. (I am missing the last section of mountains, ,because the photo was so out of focus) The photos are untouched except for cropping. The clouds in the 3rd photo were really pink! I'm happy my camera got the color as well as it did!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

WOW! What a Day!

I wonder if anyone has ever seen one of these before?
Its a Double Banana!
A novelty that went along with the rest of my wondermous day!
I'm not sure about my 'suet' project. I don't know how long its supposed to 'sit' to harden, but after 3 hours, in cookie sheets, its as soft as smooth peanut butter. I don't doubt the birds will love it - its full of yummy things, but I may have to serve it up like soft-serve ice cream instead of crumbles or chunks.
Here's the most wonderful experience of the day!
I was refilling my feeders this afternoon - it was a quiet time of day for the birds. I hung the 2nd tube when a sound caught my attention. I 'felt' like something was around me - somewhere, but as yet, hadn't discerned what it was.
When I looked down, there was a little pine siskin AT MY FEET! ! ! It was just nibbling along, but it was SO close - I could have stepped on it! The little pine siskins are pretty well camouflaged on the ground with all the peanuts, grass and black oil shells. Often from my window, it takes a moment to focus on them because it looks like the ground is moving! Its really pretty cool.
That little bird wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, either! I got down - even on my knees (in the frosted grass!) and reached out to see if I could touch it - AND I DID! ! ! Twice, the little body was under my hand - I didn't want to crush or squeeze it, so I didn't grasp it.
It was not wounded - seemed plenty healthy - even flew around me a couple of times before it finally said, "Up! Up! and Away!"
I looked up at my kitchen window to see if ANYONE was there watching because usually someone is keeping an eye on my antics at the feeders - but, alas, there was not! So no photo!
Photo or not, it was the most delightful experience - so very very delightful!
(Now, I think I'll go get that Double Banana and have it with some Chocolate Ice Cream!)

Suet Question

I've just mixed up a batch of suet.
Is is supposed to look 'soupy' at first?
How long does it take to 'set up'?
Thank you, everyone!

Chickadee Lovers Rejoice!

Here's a peek into the activity at the new tray feeder this morning
- and YES! -
the chickadees were there! Don't miss the little guy behind the branch!

These little guys are SO FAST!
I'm excited I got the shots that I did!

Now I'm off to get some lard to make suet!
Have a spendidly joyous day!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bird Food Court

Now that my wreath has disappeared - and all my friends are cheering me on in good fashion to other great ideas of how to make the money stretch a little farther - I went shopping today!Michael and Halleleyah gave me a gift certificate to WBU for Christmas - so I took Halleleyah on a 'Bird Shopping Excursion' :)
It was great and Halleleyah was very curious, patient and opinionated! (which made for extra fun for me to have her so interested in the project!) When I had narrowed my choices down to a couple of things, she was very adamant about my final purchase, which, again, was wonderful because this is probably what she would have bought for me if she had known it was an option.
I bought a tray feeder - because I've been reading quite a few posts about the joys of such a thing :) and I mounted it under the squirrel baffle - hoping to keep the seed a little drier than not. I attached my suet cage inside the baffle too - I don't think they like this one tho', so, I'm going to mix some up tomorrow from the recipes that were sent to me from some of you!
I was also pricing seed. I shopped at a few different places and the going rate for just about anything you would choose - from mixes to single seed - is from .80 cents to 1.50lb. ! Some of you are getting some seed at about .50cents a pound - not here :(
Well, anyway, I searched for the most economical purchases and hope that it works for the birds! (In the tray feeder -- safflower, black oil sunflowers, peanuts and I added some treats to get them interested in it -- chopped raisins, dried apples and a few pecans :)
What is it about feeding the birds that just brings out all the nurturing instincts possible???
While I was out by the feeders, I noticed just how cold it was today! The little water wells were frozen in the water-er! I wonder if birds like to skate?

Cranberry Fare Seed Wreath

For all my Fine Feathered Friends (and those who don't have feathers!)
and for Kallen in particular :) --
here is an advertisement listing the ingredients for the
Seed Wreath that Disappeared!
I've just talked with a gal at WildBirds Unlimited and she said that the
Christmas items are 25% off right now and they have lots of these types
of items available.
It only took those little beaks ONE WEEK to clean this up!

"It doesn't get much cooler than food in a tube. Our
Cranberry Fare Seed Wreaths are a convenient way to
attract more birds to your feeders. They're packed with
pecans, peanuts, black oil and sunflower chips, safflower
and cranberries to attract a large variety of birds. They
love the taste; you'll love the simplicity.
Cranberry Fare Seed Wreath $17.99"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I believe this is the same little guy that was here before dawn this morning - tho' I'm not sure.
I remember noticing him the last couple of days. He will sit on the tube feeder and eat and eat -long after the other birds have flown off.
This morning my feeders were FULL and the ground was COVERED with birds this morning. The majority are pinesiskins - very small and delicate. But there are a couple of these little ones - they look like pine siskins (even yellow stripes on wings) but THEY ARE CHUBBY and SCRUFFY LOOKING!
Anyway, I am delighted that the snow is gone, because I'm not fighting the bright background which made my photos more like silouettes - AND the sky is giving a brighter light too! The photos are untouched, except for cropping. I was still about 6 feet from the bird and I don't think my camera likes working that hard - after all, its just a little guy too! The color changes are due to trying different settings on my camera. The 'less yellow' ones are more the natural color.
OH! AND I had a Stellar Jay in my yard this morning! He's VERY fast - so no photo yet.

Do Birds Fly in Their Sleep?

So, how many of you have seen one of these little birds flying and feeding in the dark?
I was up and left the house at 6:15am this morning - took a friend to the shuttle bus in town. I came back at 6:35am, and there was my husband - standing outside by the feeders!
I thought, "What in the world is he doing out there - in the dark?" !
He said he'd been sitting at his computer and he saw a little bird and was kind of flying/falling and fluttering at the window. It had bumped the window a few times on the way down to the ground and he thought, "That birdie needs help!" So he was out there, trying to figure out what to do when I pulled in.
By that time the bird was on the Thistle Sock. It stayed there even while we were about 3 or 4 feet away from it, but when I moved a little closer, it flew up to the eaves and landed on the Christmas lights. It stayed there until I got in the house, got my camera and got its photo!
I've never heard or seen anything like this before - its' as if the little one was flying in its sleep! Maybe the fireworks last night disoriented it? Maybe he got really hungry and had to have a snack before dawn?
I don't know. Whatever the reason, it sure made for an interesting way for 2009 to begin! I am just glad that he found food and that his bumps on the window didn't injure him to the point where he couldn't fly.