the quiet morning

I woke up before dawn yesterday to feel the quiet of the morning before the rain came.  I put on some rain clothes, slung my camera around my neck, and  pressed a steaming to go cup of coffee before heading out the door.  My little dog fellow, whom since moving out here has become such a good and tired dog was dissapointed that she would’nt be joining me, but I promised her another day.  She would be of no help this time; Today was a day for birding.

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The sky was loud with robins and other thrushes, the tufted titmouse, jays and crows and chickadees too.  I spotted a swallow or two and of course heard the knock knock drilling of woodpeckers catching a mornings meal.  But it wasn’t 15 minutes into my woodland walk, even before the suns first rays came up over the hill, that the rain started to fall down and the forest settled back in.  I continued on, why not I thought, the snow has melted enough to where you can pretty much navigate anywhere you please at this point.  I followed a deer trail down to a little vernal pool and spent some time watching the spreading circles of an April shower grow.

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There is a peace in the morning that I had forgotten about.  Before my nights were filled with constant wake up calls I use to consistently enjoy this time of day. Whether it was for a run or to bake something sweet, the sun called me to get up each day.  Some years later, with my little wakeful one tucked in safe on my husbands side and a bigger boy conked out like nothing else on mine, I get plenty of rest and have been taking advantage of my mornings from time to time once more, knowing full well that this feeling of being well rested is surely limited as we approach July and a new little baby will soon be in my arms.

It seems seizing the day is something I am coming to understand more and more of the late.  When it is nice, go out.  When it rains, feel the wetness.  When it snows, marvel in its beauty.  I can’t help but really notice how seasonably you live in the country.  It is not an intentional lifestyle here, choosing stories to tell about the passing of the seasons, and crafting up projects to match, it is just what it is.  There is no choice.  When the sheep are to be sheared its spring, when its time for haying- you do, when the syrup is running- you gather, and when the snow is deep- you feed your wood stove and hibernate.

And today our ever changing land is presenting us with a beauty of a 70 degree day…  oh my, oh my, how good it will feel…


stuck like glue

It is interesting the way our house is set up.  The second story is the entrance, leading you straight into the main area.  I get to cook amongst the highest bows of maple and pine.  It feels like living in a tree fort, like you are all cocooned in a bird’s nest.  Which of course, I love.  The forested yard is home to many song birds.  Many I am not familiar with as my birding days began down south, and many of the more common birds up here are not seen quite as often in those parts.  Plus, they seem faster.  Isn’t that ironic?  Even the birds in New England are fast paced.  I can’t even catch a good glimpse of them before they disappear into the dark woods.  It gulps them up before I have a chance to pull out the old Sibley.  Their songs are a-plenty though and I spend most nap times on the porch trying to put human words to their chirps, or if it is raining, just opening the sliding door and sitting right on the couch doing the same, tea-cup in hand.


The boys are equally interested to find out what is flitting about our windows.  We have gone out a couple of times with this particular mission in mind.  Of course crunchy feet, chattering mouths, and warning mama’s don’t make for good birders, but we try.  Oh, we try.

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Though our success rate in identifying is fairly slim at this juncture, we have spotted quite a few; raptors and song birds alike.  Nests are plentiful, even so always thrilling to find.  It turns out, we have two unique ones tucked right up against our house.  One surrounded in sticks, with a layer of perfectly symmetrical mud inside, a fluffy layer of nesting, and finally on the very middle a few downy feathers.  I have yet to see the maker, so it could be this was last years abode, but I am not really all together that sure.  The other I am quite certain is in full use.  The lady of the house has been hard at work, from dawn till dusk.  And though this picture hardly even illustrates its beauty please believe me; It is stunning.  It is alive!  The moss surrounding this seemingly floating nest is green with life and of all the nests I have seen, this is the one I would choose to spend my days if I too got to soar in and out of the forests limbs.


The boys enjoy peeking up at her, mostly for the treacherous ladder climb I am sure.  This activity goes on for hours if I let don’t find a good enough activity to give them a reason to move on.  We havent reached a height to actually do any good detective work, nor would I want to.  Both for my nerves and for the sake of our feathered friend.

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But, it is nice to peer over my steaming coffee cup in the morning, and see her waiting out the rain to head out and continue her days work.  Any ideas on what type of bird we have living glued to our walls?  She has a white underside, and I believe is gray on top, though as I said before she is fast.  Sometimes I am convinced she is brown.  So truly I am in the dark.  Regardless it seems as though her mossy nest-building skills could help reveal her identity, so if anyone out there in internet land has some serious birding skills, feel free to chime in!


this moment


{this moment}

. . . . . . . . . .

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


SIDE NOTE: I wish I could have captured a sound. The sound of a barred owl in the middle of the night, and the feeling of excitement and joy inside me while I listened and smiled.

eggs in a basket (or bag)

Easter is not my thing.  It really isn’t.  I love tradition though and therefore I love a good old-fashioned egg hunt.  I knew one would come in time for the big fancy Sunday in our future anyways, but I had  intentions of “doing something” on the first day of spring.  Sigh… of course I let it slip my mind and was unprepared for little more than some bird house painting.

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But it worked out!  I could see this becoming a fantastic ritual as well.  It seems these little boys of mine are becoming birders just like their old lady and well it fills my cup I believe.  To the brim.  Our favorite game has been guess the bird in the tree, the bird being Miles or Rowan scaling high up in the magnolia or fig tree cooing or crowing or hooing or tweeting, and me identifying them.  They flit- flit- flitter over to where I am lying in the grass basking in the sweet smelling wisteria while of course swatting gnats, right under our makeshift tent.  This happens to be my favorite game yet.

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We won these play silks on from the wonderful Mosey Handmade!  They are absolutely not overrated, dyed to perfection, soft and silky and beautiful and flowing (even enough for mama to sling around her neck for a bit of decoration) and have quickly become a favorite toy in this home.

Besides my heathen mind getting in the way of more traditional pastimes, I managed to loosen up a bit and attend the second annual egg hunt at my favorite house in Savannah.  This home feels like you are living in tree fort, the living area being high up among the branches.  Its cozy and eccentric and interesting and the food is always so good and the company always superb.  Last year they filled the eggs with pictures of birds, I saved them all, it is true.  This year they opted for the horse sticker which was a winner as well.

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One year ago this little guy crawled around the yard.  Now he teetered around on his chubby little limbs collecting a few eggs when he thought of it. There is nothing like a yearly tradition to remind you of how fast these days go by.  It is hard to believe we have been here long enough to attend the second annual anything.  It usually takes me a full year to soak in a new location, to stop pining for the past, to feel at ease among your friends, to not get lost trying to go… anywhere.  It has happened.  I do love this big southern state and all the people who fit inside it.

ask the expert (the librarian of course)

The varieties of birds around here are endless.  Bright whites, long wispy feathers, bold colors, flocks of thousands all diving and migrating and all together grabbing quite a bit of my attention lately.  I am an aspiring birder and proud to say so.  Not that any of my hobbies could be mistaken for much else but “granny-esque”, but I must say, this one takes the cake.  Oh well… Something about hanging those binoculars around my neck, putting on some high knee rubber boots (I still have to get those) and hunting down those chirping fellows makes me smile.  Thrill of the chase I suppose.  Either way, I have recruited my little Miles and Rowan to join me in my birding education.  We often feed them or go on hikes to scout out their homes and hang-outs.  With little knowledge on the subject though, I thought we might just have to gather some materials.

We headed to the library today and checked out a variety of children’s books discussing those feathered friends.  With the upcoming baby chicks joining our crew this will be the perfect introduction.  While my bird identification book is quite helpful, there is nothing like a good children’s book to really help you learn.  If you have a question, any question at all, I highly recommend heading to your local librarian and borrowing a book from the children’s section.  They are so comprehensive and with minimal technical vocabulary that may be confusing.

For now I am quite the beginner, but I do live in the vicinity of one of the best “birding” spots around (so I have heard).  There are many people with an abundance of knowledge to pass on.  I know, I talk to them.  Hmm…now I am beginning to see where that little boy might get his chatty gene from…

Happy birding!