Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Solstice!

Our Solstice was spent with about 50 friends and family members up at our Tipi.  We had a wonderful warm evening full of love and laughter.  I started the festival of lights on the 20th and will run to New Years Eve, letting the candles all burn out.  I love the tradition. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

My LR & DR

Simplified!  I Love it!  Loving living in a organized simplified home....we are on a good road!  Tomorrow is our annual Solstice Party at the Tipi.  We have an amazing number of friends and family coming.  I cooked a HUGE pot of chile, made a batch of Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes.  This is the first year in 9 that I'm loving every moment of this holiday.  Life is for the living, and we all must live each and every blessed day we are given. 

Biggestt thought of the week, I want to be fit again.  I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  I can't eat anything outside my strict diet without suffering terribly.   I'm tired of feeling so achy, and having so much pain.  I think that this years resolution will be simple...GET FIT.  My weight is good now, so I just need to do what I know how to do already! Lift some weights!  I stared with the weights way before any women ever did, I was all of 16, I know it is what works.....JUST DO IT!  My work out space is all cleaned up, no excuses, you will feel GREAT! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy Birthday to me

I begin my 55th year eternally grateful for my wonderful family, friends and life.  My goals for the next year are to continue to simplify,  live the paleo lifestyle and get my Master Naturalist designation. I make a promise to myself to eat healthy, exercise, and do something with my mind every day.  Life is truly good and I am beyond blessed.

I had a wonderful birthday weekend.  A amazing special dinner out with my mom on Friday night.  We went to the Glenmere Mansion and had a blast.  Last night we went out with friends, and today I'm with my family.  Two of my sons are not here, one still up at college and the other is in NZ.  Friends are coming over after dinner to watch the Survivor Finale.  We had a snow storm yesterday so my world is beautiful.  My heart's been a very nice birthday! 

 My amazing hubby made these stone bowls for me!  They are truly gorgeous! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

54 years of life and still amazed at Nature!

Today on our hike....we suddenly notced SNOWFLAKES on Monty's back!  Real Snowflakes!  I've never seen anything like it!  Nature never fails to amaze me.  We are totally enjoying every second of the holidays.  Tree and decorating were done a week ago, our home clean, cookies and treats made, just add company and all is wonderful.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I've been super busy!  FINALLY simplifying my home and life.  I've started a major clean up effort that seems to be having a snowball effect!  Its super awesome to see how much progress I'm making and its driving me to do more.  I want the clutter GONE.  There is nothing to stop me now, if I don't do it, no one else will, so it's my choice.  Our home is decorated simply for the holidays and it looks awesome.  Hubby started his cookie baking tonight.  We are actually playing Xmas Carols as we work.  It's been a nice two days. 

We had a little snow today and a ice storm yesterday, it's finally winter.  Hundreds of Brown-headed Cowbirds with a few Red-winged Blackbirds mixed in mobbing my feeders today.  We managed a walk with Monty at sunset, so crisp out, refreshing after a day working inside. The snowy owl irruption continues in a huge way, they are all over the place.  Some have already ended up at rehabbers.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Snowy Owl

I heard through my listserve that this bird was in our area, I asked my birding buddy if he was heading out to relocate it, and he was.  He didn't get the bird, but another birder did.  He alerted me that they had the bird right in front of them, I literally jumped in the car and headed out to see it! Life bird for me!!! Top two pics are my friend Matt Zeitler's. The four pics under this paragraph are from another birder named Curt.   There are Snowy's being seen on the beaches of LI and even one in Brooklyn.  I am very grateful to finally have seen one.  While we were out there I also saw Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings and thousands of Horned Larks.  I was told that there are also Rough-legged Hawks and Short-earred owls being seen.  Who dislikes Winter?  Not me!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Really interesting

For my entire life my parents have told me I'm too sensitive, that I shouldn't over react when things go badly for others, that being like this is going to put me in an early grave....I now have a reason for WHY I am this way.  I am an Empath, one who feels empathy for others too deeply.  These 30 traits are me.  

30 Empath traits at a glance:
 1.     Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes.
2.     Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others.
 3.     Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance.
 4.     Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.
 5.     You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.
 6.     Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.
 7.     Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.
 8.     Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.
 9.     Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.
 10.    Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.
 11.    Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something.
12.    Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.
 13.   Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.
 14.    Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.
 15.    Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.
 16.    Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.
 17.   Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.
 18.   Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.
 19.   Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.
 20.  Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.
 21.  Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.
 22.  Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.
 23.  Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.
 24.  Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.
 25.  Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care.
 26.  Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.
 27.   The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling.
 28.   Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy.
 29.   Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.
 30.   Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone.
If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath.
Empaths are presently having a particularly difficult time, picking up on all the negative emotions that are being emantated into the world from the populace undergoing huge transformations. Please check out other pages and posts on this blog for tips on dealing with the ever-changing energies.
Here is a great article written by Christel Broederlow about being an Empath. Enjoy:
TRAITS OF AN EMPATH by Christel Broederlow
Empaths are often quiet achievers. They can take a while to handle a compliment for they’re more inclined to point out another’s positive attributes. They are highly expressive in all areas of emotional connection, and talk openly, and, at times quite frankly. They may have few problems talking about their feelings if another cares to listen (regardless of how much they listen to others).
However, they can be the exact opposite: reclusive and apparently unresponsive at the best of times. They may even appear ignorant. Some are very good at “blocking out” others and that’s not always a bad thing, at least for the learning empath struggling with a barrage of emotions from others, as well as their own feelings.
Empaths have a tendency to openly feel what is outside of them more so than what is inside of them. This can cause empaths to ignore their own needs. In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates an uncomfortable feeling in an empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a confrontation, they will endeavor to settle the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. If any harsh words are expressed in defending themselves, they will likely resent their lack of self-control, and have a preference to peacefully resolve the problem quickly.
Empaths are more inclined to pick up another’s feelings and project it back without realizing its origin in the first place. Talking things out is a major factor in releasing emotions in the learning empath. Empaths can develop an even stronger degree of understanding so that they can find peace in most situations. The downside is that empaths may bottle up emotions and build barriers sky-high so as to not let others know of their innermost thoughts and/or feelings. This withholding of emotional expression can be a direct result of a traumatic experience, an expressionless upbringing, or simply being told as a child, “Children are meant to be seen and not heard!”
Without a doubt, this emotional withholding can be detrimental to one’s health, for the longer one’s thoughts and/or emotions aren’t released, the more power they build. The thoughts and/or emotions can eventually becoming explosive, if not crippling. The need to express oneself honestly is a form of healing and a choice open to all. To not do so can result in a breakdown of the person and result in mental/emotional instability or the creation of a physical ailment, illness or disease.
Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. Violence or emotional dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, they may feel physically ill or choke back the tears. Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and may have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another’s ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the suffering they feel and see.
You will find empaths working with people, animals or nature with a true passion and dedication to help them. They are often tireless teachers and/or caretakers for our environment and all within it. Many volunteers are empathic and give up personal time to help others without pay and/or recognition.
Empaths may be excellent storytellers due to an endless imagination, inquisitive minds and ever-expanding knowledge. They can be old romantics at heart and very gentle. They may also be the “keepers” of ancestral knowledge and family history. If not the obvious family historians, they may be the ones who listen to the stories passed down and possess the majority of the family history. Not surprisingly, they may have started or possess a family tree.
They have a broad interest in music to suit their many expressive temperaments, and others can query how empaths can listen to one style of music, and within minutes, change to something entirely different. Lyrics within a song can have adverse, powerful effects on empaths, especially if it is relevant to a recent experience. In these moments, it is advisable for empaths to listen to music without lyrics, to avoid playing havoc with their emotions!
They are just as expressive with body language as with words, thoughts, and feelings. Their creativity is often expressed through dance, acting, and bodily movements. Empaths can project an incredible amount of energy portraying and/or releasing emotion. Empaths can become lost in the music, to the point of being in a trance-like state; they become one with the music through the expression of their physical bodies. They describe this feeling as a time when all else around them is almost non-existent.
People of all walks of life and animals are attracted to the warmth and genuine compassion of empaths. Regardless of whether others are aware of one being empathic, people are drawn to them as a metal object is to a magnet!
Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a sub-conscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding. Then again, for empaths, it is always nice to actually be heard themselves!
Here are the listeners of life. They can be outgoing, bubbly, enthusiastic and a joy to be in the presence of, as well as highly humorous at the most unusual moments! On the flip side, empaths can be weighted with mood swings that will have others around them want to jump overboard and abandon ship! The thoughts and feelings empaths receive from any and all in their life can be so overwhelming (if not understood) that their moods can fluctuate with lightning speed. One moment they may be delightfully happy and with a flick of the switch, miserable.
Abandoning an empath in the throes of alternating moods can create detrimental effects. A simple return of empathic love–listening and caring compassionately without bias, judgment and/or condemnation–can go an incredibly long way to an empath’s instant recovery. Many empaths don’t understand what is occurring within them. They literally have no idea that another person’s emotions are now felt, as one’s own and reflected outwardly. They are confused as to how one moment all was well, and then the next, they feel so depressed, alone, etc. The need to understand the possibilities of empath connection is a vital part of the empaths journey for themselves and for those around them.
Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one – if only for peace of mind. This can certainly prove beneficial for others in their relationships, in the workplace, or on the home front. Where there is a will, there is a way and the empath will find it. The empath can literally (likely without the knowledge of what’s actually occurring) tap into Universal Knowledge and be receptive to guidance in solving anything they put their head and hearts into.
Empaths often are vivid and/or lucid dreamers. They can dream in detail and are inquisitive of dream content. Often they feel as though the dreams are linked to their physical life somehow, and not just a mumble of nonsensical, irrelevant, meaningless images. This curiosity will lead many empathic dreamers to unravel some of the “mysterious” dream contents from an early age and connect the interpretation to its relevance in their physical life. If not, they may be led to dream interpretations through other means.
Empaths are daydreamers with difficulty keeping focused on the mundane. If life isn’t stimulating, off an empath will go into a detached state of mind. They will go somewhere, anywhere, in a thought that appears detached from the physical reality, yet is alive and active for they really are off and away. If a tutor is lecturing with little to no emotional input, empaths will not be receptive to such teaching and can (unintentionally) drift into a state of daydreaming.
Give the empath student the tutor who speaks with stimuli and emotion (through actual experience of any given subject) and the empath is receptively alert. Empaths are a captivated audience. This same principle applies in acting. An actor will either captivate the audience through expressing (in all aspects) emotions (as though they really did experience the role they are portraying) or will loose them entirely. Empaths make outstanding actors.
Empaths frequently experience déjà vu and synchronicities. What may initially start as, “Oh, what a coincidence”, will lead to the understanding of synchronicities as an aspect of who they are. These synchronicities will become a welcomed and continually expanding occurrence. As an understanding of self grows, the synchronicities become more fluent and free flowing. The synchronicities can promote a feeling of euphoria as empaths identify with them and appreciate the connection to their empathic nature.
Empaths are most likely to have had varying paranormal experiences throughout their lives. NDE’s (Near death experiences) and or OBE’s (Out of body experiences) can catapult an unaware empath into the awakening period and provide the momentum for a journey of discovery. Those who get caught up in life, in society’s often dictating ways, in work etc., can become lost in a mechanical way of living that provides very little meaning. All “signs of guidance” are ignored to shift out of this state of “doing”. A path to being whole again becomes evident and a search for more meaning in one’s life begins.
These types of experiences appear dramatic, can be life-altering indeed, and are most assuredly just as intensely memorable in years to come. They are the voice of guidance encouraging us to pursue our journey in awareness. Sometimes, some of us require that extra assistance!
For some empaths, the lack of outside understanding towards paranormal events they experience, may lead to suppressing such abilities. (Most of these abilities are very natural and not a coincidence.) Empaths may unknowingly adopt the positive or negative attitude of others as their own. (This, however, can be overcome.) Empaths may need to follow interests in the paranormal and the unexplained with curiosity so as to explain and accept their life circumstances.
Words © Christel Broederlow

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I did it!

My entire life I've felt like I've needed to do something more meaningful with my life. I've searched high and low to find something that would make my heart sing.  I found out last night that I've already done a lot of meaningful things.  While at my son's good friends wake and funeral, my sons best friends repeatedly told me that they loved me.  I had a conversation with a group of the boys moms and it turns out that they had nicknames for most of them, and they weren't nice names.  I asked one of the boys what my nickname was and he said, you didn't have one.  You were the only sane mom who we could come to and talk about our problems.  I have made a difference in the world.  I raised 4 good men and I knew all their friends well.  I am deeply blessed.  My quest to find something more is over.  :-)  Although my heart aches for the loss of one so young and tragically, my heart is also singing as I finally know why I am here.  It feels good to know I made a difference in so many of those boys lives.   I will always be there for all of them. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My kind of flowers!

My final day at the Hawk Watch

Yesterday morning as I walked up to the Hawk Watch Platform, my heart swelled with deep gratitude that I've had the privilege of being a official counter for ten years now.  I owe a huge thank you to my awesome hubby for providing for me so well, that I have been able to spend so much time doing what I so deeply and passionately love. I thank my group leader Judy for trusting my abilities. This past week I spent a lot of time up at the watch, savoring each and every precious moment.  I am truly sad that the season is over. Yesterday the birds were few and far between, I had good company, so it was a wonderful last day.  Only 21 migrating birds were counted, and our final bird was a Sharp-shinned hawk, nice and close.  He reminded us all, why we do what we do.  As I walked down the platform for the last time, I turned and took it all in, and a few tears rolled down my face, I will miss the birds and my Hawk Watch friends.  Until next year...... :-)

As is my tradition, on my last day up at the watch,  I always gather nature items from around the platform for my Solstice decorations. Early morning during my sift,  I walked down one of the paths next to the watch to see if there were pine cones under the trees,  and I found something that startled me.  A brand new grave marker with artificial flowers.  At first I thought it was a dogs grave, and then I read the Name and the dates of birth and death.  The person's name was Evelyn, she was born August 2, 1940 and died on November 4, 2013.  Only 12 short days ago.  It struck me really hard, as my mind has not stopped thinking about my sons friend who died.  Thoughts of that friend are at the forefront of my mind 24/7 right now. I can barely keep from crying, the tears are ready to flow.  His life cut short. His friends and family left devastated and wondering why they couldn't help him overcome his demons.  I hope Evelyn had a happy life, she certainly has a beautiful forever resting place. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sad day

This morning moments after hearing the sad news that one of my sons has lost a very close friend to a drug overdose, a Sharp-shinned Hawk suddenly flew into my kitchen window above the sink.  I was standing right there, looking out into my backyard, crying.  If there wasn't a window there, he would have crashed into my head.  The hawk was fine and managed to snap me right back into the now. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Just a small sprinkling...but so refreshing and beautiful!

I'm following a person on FB who is deeply connected to Nature, she writes books on Happiness.  Her beautiful positive words and photos brighten my day.  She had a past post about what your  Native American Animal Zodiac would be. I'm an Owl.  I'm always on the lookout for a nature connection.
Owl~Changeable and mutable as the wind, the Owl is a tough one to pin down. Warm, natural, with an easy-going nature, the Owl is friend to the world. The bearer of this Native American animal symbol is notorious for engaging in life at full speed, and whole-hearted loves adventure. This can be to his/her detriment as the Owl can be reckless, careless, and thoughtless. Owls make great artists, teachers, and conservationists. However, due to his/her adaptability and versatility – the Owl would likely excel in any occupation. In a supportive, nurturing environment the Owl is sensitive, enthusiastic, and an attentive listener. Left to his/her own devices, the Owl can be excessive, overindulgent, bitter, and belligerent.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Northern Shrike

This is a photo taken by another birder.  This Northern Shrike is just down the street from home!  Friday afternoon after another stellar day at the Hawk watch,  I went on the road where the bird was seen and I saw this bird.  It was originally found by one of my birding friends. Beautiful bird. 

I have no complaints about my Hawk Watch season! It's been so magical.  I just returned from spending 3 hours up there helping my group leader with her day.  Several of my Hawk Watch friends were up there as well.  I watched another 3 Bald Eagles.  I never tire seeing them.  I am going to miss being up there.  So an honor and a pleasure to be able to be a part of that watch.  Here's my report for Friday.

Daily Raptor Counts: Nov 08, 2013
Species    Day's Count    Month Total    Season Total
Black Vulture    2    5    53
Turkey Vulture    14    27    106
Osprey    1    1    124
Bald Eagle    5    13    107
Northern Harrier    1    10    49
Sharp-shinned Hawk    2    34    1021
Cooper's Hawk    2    7    58
Northern Goshawk    0    0    0
Red-shouldered Hawk    1    18    104
Broad-winged Hawk    0    0    7611
Red-tailed Hawk    87    343    422
Rough-legged Hawk    0    0    0
Golden Eagle    1    3    4
American Kestrel    0    0    112
Merlin    0    0    14
Peregrine Falcon    0    1    14
Unknown Accipiter    0    0    3
Unknown Buteo    0    0    6
Unknown Eagle    0    0    0
Unknown Falcon    0    0    1
Unknown Raptor    1    4    25
Total:    117    466    9834

Observation start time:    09:00:00
Observation end time:    16:00:00
Total observation time:    7 hours

Very cold and windy, with high wind gusts for the entire day. The wind was out of the West. There was little cloud cover first thing in the morning, changing rapidly to mostly cloudy. After noon, dark storm clouds rolled in all around the watch. Later in the afternoon there were multiple snow flurries on and off until I left the watch at 4pm.

Raptor Observations:
9:30am Immature Golden Eagle flew directly over the platform at a eye level 2. I had an amazing view of the bird for about 5 minutes before it proceeded South. 7 Bald Eagles, 4 Adults, 1 Immature all flew south and were counted, 2 adults were seen North of the platform they did not migrate and were not counted. 1 Male Harrier.

Non-raptor Observations:
25 Canada Geese, 23 Robins, 35 Cedar Waxwings, 1 Cormorant, 3 Raven, 37 American Crow, 1 Carolina Wren, 14 Gulls, 1 American Bluebird

We are very hopeful to hit 10,000 birds in the next 4 days if not today. 

Birds at home continue in a big way.  Lot's of Kinglet's, today I had a female Purple Finch.  Cedar Waxwings, Robins, all the usual Winter birds.  I now have 4 more Hornets nests....Bobby and I went out and cut them down! I know where there are several more, but will need to knock of the peoples door and get permission.  I may just do that!  :-) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Savor the moment

Sitting outside under my canopy enjoying my tea at 7am.  I know in my heart these are the last moments of the Fall of 2013.  The leaves are almost all down, and the temperatures have already been  below freezing.  This is my last opportunity to enjoy the moments of Fall bliss.  Birds fill the yard.  Savor it all...we only pass though this life once. 

A huge flock of American Robins are calling and love love.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flock of Grackels

You never know when you set forth for a hike what special moment you might encounter that day. That anticipation of seeing something awesome while out in nature is what keeps me going out there every day of the year. Today's little sweet sighting was a flock of about 2000 or so Grackles.  We came out of the trail next to the river and the noisy flock all landed on both sides of the river and on the rocks in the river and proceeded to bath and drink thirstily.  I stopped for a moment and just took them all in.  Other notables out on the hike were two Pilated Woodpeckers.  I keep finding more Bald-faced Hornets nests all over the place, most are too high.  I don't know if this was a banner year for them or if I'm just seeing more because I'm so tuned into them. 

My backyard habitat continues to be a huge source of joy to me.  Today's blessing were the Robins and Cedar Waxwings who spent most of their day here, eating and also bathing in my pond.  What fun to look out the window and watch their antics. 

 Have you ever seen anything cuter? 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Just do it...often!

Fall is here

Winds out of the North today, so the temps dropped a bit.  This morning there are Robins singing in the backyard!  How I miss that sweet melody.  There were two Grackles picking at the suet feeder.  A large flock of Cedar Waxwings continues to come to both crab apple trees.  It's so nice to feed the birds again. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The Juncos have come in overnight, dozens around the yard.  Also RC & GC Kinglets continue to grace my apple and crab-apple trees.   There was a Brown Creeper the last two days, and the 4 species of woodpeckers continue.  Need to get back out to the store and pick up another case of suet for them.  I watched a WB Nuthatch hiding seeds. this morning.  He's saving for a snowy day.  Lucky for him I will be sure he has plenty all winter. Robins and a few Cedar Waxwing checked out the bounty on the crab-apple by the pond.  They will be back later on this winter after the apples freeze. There are several dozen Goldfinch now spending most of their days feeding here. The young GB Hereon has been here every day, hunting in the pond and under the bird feeders.  He is keeping our mice and vole population in check.   Last night D & D saw a large Black Bear walking up the road.  Baby squirrels are looking good.  Always happy to see them surviving on their own after being raised by a human.  There is at least one black squirrel around as well.  Lots of chipmunks busily stocking their larder for the long impending winter. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


We are having more normal temperatures for this time of year.  Still no rain.  Last evening it was around 50 degrees at sunset, while out at the Co. Park I saw 2 bats out.  Today there are 4 species of woodpecker in my yard.  Downy, Hairy, RB and YB Sapsucker.  The trees are still all looking stunning, as we have not had any rain in a long time. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

First Junco!

Yesterday I sighted my first Junco at my feeding station.....sign that Winter is almost here!

Another amazing day at the Hawk Watch!  121 birds!  I'm having a great year! 

Daily Raptor Counts: Oct 25, 2013
Species    Day's Count    Month Total    Season Total
Black Vulture    2    22    47
Turkey Vulture    1    6    9
Osprey    1    18    121
Bald Eagle    2    17    88
Northern Harrier    1    8    35
Sharp-shinned Hawk    64    516    916
Cooper's Hawk    2    26    50
Northern Goshawk    0    0    0
Red-shouldered Hawk    17    34    55
Broad-winged Hawk    0    0    7611
Red-tailed Hawk    27    33    39
Rough-legged Hawk    0    0    0
Golden Eagle    0    1    1
American Kestrel    0    20    110
Merlin    1    8    13
Peregrine Falcon    0    7    13
Unknown Accipiter    1    3    3
Unknown Buteo    2    3    6
Unknown Eagle    0    0    0
Unknown Falcon    0    0    1
Unknown Raptor    0    2    20
Total:    121    724    9138

Observation start time:    08:00:00
Observation end time:    16:00:00
Total observation time:    8 hours

Strong winds out of the WNW, complete cloud cover for most of the day. Temperatures ranged from 4c to 8c.

Raptor Observations:
1 Unknown Northern Harrier. 17 Red-shouldered Hawks, 3 adults,14 unknown. 2 Adult Bald Eagles flew directly over the platform and proceeded South. An additional Adult Bald Eagle was watched North of the platform and did not migrate South,it was not counted. 1 female Kestrel flew West of the platform and down into the valley, it was not counted.

Non-raptor Observations:
2174 Canada Geese,1 Yellow-rumped Warbler, 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 22 Cedar Wax-wings, 3 Red-wing Blackbirds, 25 Double-crested Cormorants, 2 Ravens, 3 local Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Flicker, 2 Red-bellied Woodpeckers,3 Gulls. Multiple Chickadee, Nuthatch, Tufted-titmouse & Blue-jays around the platform most of the day.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Great Blue Heron

We have been host to a Great Blue Heron for over a month now.  First it polished off all of my goldfish and now it's been working on my frogs.  It's a young bird, so I've been a bit concerned that it is spending too much time in my now empty pond.  Yesterday I went out and purchased 3 dozen feeder goldfish and put them in the pond for the heron, thinking like a Wildlife Rehabilitator that getting this bird stronger, it would migrate a little further south soon.  They need to stay for the winter in an area where there is no ice coverage on the water ways...or so I thought!  I just watched the GBH impale and swallow whole an adult Chipmunk! It was amazing although a bit upsetting to witness nature in action.  I think that the bird is going to be fine!

Here's the animal's message:Seems way too spot on! 

Important Great Blue Heron Teaching: Self Confidence
“The Great Blue Heron is a lone hunter. He is the largest of the Heron and is magnificent in flight. He may often appear to have no structure or organization to his habit, but this is far from the truth. It is a matter of perception. Heron teaches us to stand on our own so that we are not dependent upon others.” Copyright: Unknown.
Great Blue Heron’s Teachings Include:
“Heron medicine is the power of knowing the self by discovering its gifts and forcing its challenges. It is the ability to accept all feeling and opinions without denying any emotion or thought.” Copyright: “Medicine Cards”, Jamie Sams and David Carson.
Great Blue Heron’s Wisdom Includes:
Aggressive Self-determination
Thorough Involvement
Being Methodical
Living in Solitude

If Heron has come wading across your path;

It is time to look deeper into aspects of your life that will bring out innate wisdom and show you how to become self-reliant. Are you grounding yourself regularly? Heron teaches that grounding yourself in the earth and your spiritual beliefs will help you discover emotional insights more clearly and more quickly.
Alternatively he could be teaching you how how to become comfortable in uncertain situations and to be watchful of opportunities to arise so that you can quickly grasp them and move on.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


We finally had a bear last night!  He was the biggest one I've seen in a long time.  He managed to get in our trash, because our garbage collector failed to pick ours up the day before.  So happy we still have them around.

Last Friday I had a great day at the Hawk Watch 122 birds. 99 were Sharpies.  First bird of the day was a close Osprey right at 9am. I knew it was a sign.  Lots of Eagle activity, multiple times a pair came from the N but didn't migrate. They chased other Eagles that did migrate.  Loads of fun.  Fall folage was at it's peak, so it made it even more delightful up on the mountain.  Winds were out of the West, about 12 mph.  60 degrees.  Say goodbye to those temps.  This week it's only going to be 50 with strong NNW winds.  I better dress warm!  Layers...lots of layers! 

I took in 3 squirrels and a Chipmunk to ready them for release for another rehabber. They all are wild and free and seem to be doing really well.  They finally found the feeder yesterday.

Another stunning full moon this month.  A hunters moon. It was so crisp and clear out, a perfect Fall night.  I watched it for a while with my scope  and saw many birds migrating in front of it. Just amazing that they fly at night.