The Birds of Spring

Thursday, March 29, 2018

By the end of March, I think it's safe to say all of us are ready to bid farewell to winter, the cold, the snow, the barren trees and bulky coats.  We're ready to warmly embrace a new season.  I don't know anyone who doesn't love everything that spring has to offer, even if it's simply its ability to transport us out of the damp and muddy world that we seem stalled in.  Like the rest of you, spring excites me for it's warmth, it's promise, it's emerging green and it's relief from the cold, but I also enjoy the 'birds of spring' who offer their own version of a spring happy dance.  It doesn't take much detective work to spot these feathered beauties who look and behave in a way that shouts 'Spring'.

We watched this little chickadee work tirelessly for days hollowing out this old, decayed stump.  Eventually she determined it not to be an appropriate nesting site for her brood and moved on to another location.  

Robins are always a welcome a breath of hope and a reassurance that winter is coming to an end, even though it's not unusual to have see a random robin, or even a few, during the cold winter.  These were captured one cold February day in my crab apple tree enjoying a snack.

Woodpeckers and hawks feeling a little love!

Rose-Breasted Grossbeaks seem to make an appearance in mid-spring.

Catbirds are not only unusual for their meow-like call; they tend to be comedians in their actions as well.  These beauties hang around all summer and are ravenous diners.
Feed Me!

When I brought home this beautiful felted birdhouse, I imagined some family of birds nesting inside of it's cozy walls, warm and comfy.  It seemed though that the birds had a different vision and bit by bit, this tufted titmouse picked and pecked until there wasn't anything left but the front wall.  Somewhere I imagine must have been one bright and cozy nest filled with the happiest babies in the fluffiest nest ever!

Goldfinches showing evidence of their color transition in spring.

Cedar Waxwings are one of the most exotic looking birds, I think.  Not a regular visitor to my yard, but always welcome, these beauties arrived as a large flock one spring day and feasted on flower petals from my crab apple tree.  What a lucky catch for me!

Red-winged blackbirds are perhaps the sweetest sound of spring, heralding a definitive announcement that spring is indeed here.  We captured this female in Washington Park but it's pretty easy to spot and hear them near any water source.

Spring also marks the arrival of these tiny jewels.  

I've always had a soft spot for swallows.  Growing up at the lake, my mom always fed and catered to the birds.  We had several bird houses and each spring the swallows would return and take up residence.  Once they did, they made sure no one got too close to their nest and would dive bomb anyone who did. These swallows were at Landis Arboretum.

 In every pond, or water hole, or stream, this is a familiar sight!

Nature is a wonderful thing.  Spring is a promise,  hope-fulfilled, and a reminder that if we're patient, all things will become new again.  It is an affirmation that even in the coldest, darkest times, there is hope for new life, bright days and abounding joy.  I hope that as the days warm and the earth becomes green, as the spring birds sing their joyous songs, you will be filled with promise and peace.
Thanks for visiting Life As I See It.

Spring is Bursting From Every Nook and Cranny at the Speckled Hen

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It might be Palm Sunday, but I feel like it should be Thanksgiving!  Have you ever noticed that sometimes in our lives all the planets seem to align and you seem to be showered with blessings from every direction?   That's the kind of week I've had.  This post isn't about blessings, although the subject of today's post is definitely a blessing in my life....I'm talking about the Speckled Hen and it's owner Maureen Culver.  All of you reading who frequent the Hen know what I'm talking about...a visit to the Speckled Hen is not only fun but a visit with Maureen always warms the soul and makes every customer feel like a special guest.  She's definitely a blessing to me and so many others and it's an honor to be able to share her store here on the blog and to be able to call her friend.
Before I get to that though,  (because I know that once you finish looking at the photos, I'll lose your attention) I want to take a moment to acknowledge a couple of the other blessings I've experienced this week.  I was at my chiropractor's office on Friday for my normal 'tune-up' when the patient before me, upon finishing his check-out, looked at me and said, "I think I know you."  Well, you know the feeling....I looked at him and thought to myself, "hmmm, I don't know you".  He proceeded to ask if my name was Gail and went on to say he follows my blog!  Well, talk about feeling like a celebrity.  We had a lovely conversation. Frank told me he enjoys 'getting out' with us on our travels.  I was so thrilled to meet him and know that my blog brightens his day.  Speaking of may have noticed my new appearance.  The other blessing this week was a referral I got from Laura Tarlo of the popular blog, The Unique Nest for some blog housekeeping I needed to have done.  I can't tell you how excited I am and how thrilled I was to work with the talented Megan Favre of A Bird In Hand Designs.  She was a dream to work with and I'm so excited to finally have a great new interactive mobile site and a fun new web design.  I couldn't be more grateful this week for our road trips, our visits to some of my favorite shops and for the people God places in my path.  Amen!  So, without further ado....and with thanks for your patience, let's take a look at the beautiful and fresh Speckled Hen......

 Maureen's line of greeting cards from her own photographs!

Gorgeous Wreath -made by Maureen

Charlie...the sweetest store mascot ever!

If you were looking closely, you'll probably recognize a few items....ok, a lot of items from my last post. I tend to find many of my home decor items at the Hen because Maureen has a way of curating the most beautiful vignettes and carries such an array of quality merchandise. When I visited on Friday I intended on shooting a few photos to add to my previous post: 
but it only took me a minute to realize I wouldn't be able to limit myself to a few photos.  The Speckled Hen always needs its own post!  For any of you who aren't familiar already....the Speckled Hen is located at 38 Saratoga Road (Rte 50) in Scotia.  Please check their Facebook page for hours and updates:
It's not too late to decorate for spring so hop on over to The Speckled Hen this week.  Tell Maureen I sent you.  
Thanks for reading and for sharing Life As I See It!  If you follow me on Facebook, you're probably rethinking social media after listening to the news this week. Aside from the fact that Facebook doesn't deliver public content to every follower...more and more of you are becoming disenchanted with privacy concerns.  The best way to insure you don't miss a post is to subscribe.  The only email you'll ever receive from me is each newly published post.  No offers, no contests, no gimmicks, just a guaranteed delivery of every new posts.  Easy as that!  The sun is shining brightly out there....another reason to be thankful!  Go out and make it a great week!
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