Christmas Acorns?

I was growing a little tired of the two sidebar photos I had up of the fall leaves.
So I decided to switch it to a mini version of this:

I took this picture in mid-November for my Nature Blog.  Last year we had hardly any mast, and the squirrels and other animals that depend on things like acorns had a rough winter. But this year we had a very abundant mast. And there have been more acorns than the squirrels, chipmunks, deer, etc. can handle.  Acorns of all types are everywhere! It’s nice to see.

I think the ones with the metallic silver sheen are the prettiest of all.  I photographed these 3 because they remind me of Christmas bulbs, and leave me with the feeling of a happy and festive mood.


The Beechnut

According to the Department of Natural Resources:
As the beechnut or American beech tree gets ready for winter, its leaves turn a brownish russet color and the three-sided nuts it produces are borne in prickly burs.
Because the nut is small and covered with a thin, leathery shell, sometimes people don’t take the effort to harvest it. However, they do have a delicate, rich flavor.

Most days I handle being disabled pretty well.  I am good at keeping a positive outlook and realizing just how blessed I am to be alive.  I have the ability to see the blessings in my life and not simply the struggles.

My faith gives me strength.

But there are some days, when it is harder to be the optimist.  Some days I feel like this beechnut I photographed.

Full of potential,
yet held back so much by the prickly confines of my disability.

I watch the world go by,
just like the water whirling past this beechnut.

I see all of the things I want to be doing,
and I watch them float by.

It brings a moment of sadness,
then guilt for the sadness.
I have much to be thankful for.

Perhaps someday I will be released,
and be able to meld my life experiences in a way where I can enjoy the things of my past – yet hold on to the appreciation that I have for those things now.

The beechnut either rots in its prickly shell,
or it makes it out and can go on to live so much more.
Some even become a tree.
Some grow tall and strong.
Some make more beechnuts.

Then it hit me,
perhaps I’m already a tree and I just don’t realize it.

~ ~ ~

Look out world!

There is now a fiery red-headed version of me.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


The F You Bird.

I keep a little hobby nature blog.  Nothing fancy, just stuff I see around the property, etc.  It would be a much better blog if I had the funds for a better camera and the physical ability to go and take more photos.  But I don’t, so I do the best I can with what I’ve got.  😉

This winter I got terribly bored with nothing much to photograph and found myself photographing the same 4 or 5 kinds of birds over and over again.  Mostly through the window, therefore not great quality.  But it was more fun than nothing at all.

We can’t afford to buy seed often, but hubby got me a great deal at the feed store around Christmas.  And thanks to his lazy sporadic refilling of the feeder (LOL), we still have some seed left.  😉

Over the winter I asked him to start putting a couple of handfuls of seed on the old little wooden table on the deck so that I could watch and photograph the birds there.  It worked pretty good.  Well… as good as photographing birds through double paned glass can be.  🙂   I was able to get some decent photos of quite a few varieties of local birds.

But we have this one bird, a male Northern Cardinal, and I really can’t decide if he is funny or annoying.  He started out very annoying, and now I think he’s mostly funny.  Most of the time the Cardinals around here are not terribly people-friendly.  But this little fella is the opposite.  He WANTS you to look at him.

He comes to the table and chirps, LOUDLY, and repeatedly until you come and watch him.  He’ll chirp, then look for you.  Chirp, then look for you.  And when you come to the window, he looks quite pleased with himself.  He turns left, showing you his side.  He turns right, showing you his other side.  Hopping and prancing about.  He really puts on quite a show.

THEN…  he does what has earned him the nickname “The F You Bird“.
Why such a name?  Simple.  He insists that you look at him.  He hops around and insists that you bask in his beauty.  But the moment that you get your camera, he flies away!  Every. single. time.  The first 100 times I thought it was a fluke. My bad luck, etc.  But then it became obvious he is doing it on purpose.  I have no idea what is running through his little bird brain.  But he will stand there for what seems like FOREVER.  As long as you don’t have the camera. And he’ll prance and pose.  And then the second the camera is there – he looks at you as if he’s thinking “F You!” and flies away.

Of course I’m sure he’s not actually doing this for the reasons that it seems.  But it is so uncanny and has happened literally hundreds of times.  Once he did it nearly two dozen times in the course of a single day (yes I counted).  He aggravated me so much that I became determined to get a picture of what I had dubbed “The F You Bird“.   He’s been doing this for months.  And if I get so annoyed with him that I decide that I am not going to look at him, he will literally sit on that table and chirp and chirp and chirp loudly and frantically for up to 20 minutes at a time.   Until you look at him, then he poses and prances for as long as you stand there without the camera.  I have even tried walking away and walking back, and he never flies, unless I have my camera.

Of course I could simply photograph another Cardinal, as I have done many times before.  But now it’s become a thing.  I must get a decent photo of The F You Bird.

But I have to admit I have come to enjoy The F You Bird‘s antics.  My husband didn’t put any seed out on the table for probably two weeks or more and yesterday evening he finally put some seed back out there.  And tonight right before dark, I was sitting here at my desk and I hear, “Chirp!  Chirp!  Chirp!”  and I instantly recognized the odd sound of the F You Bird.  I swear he sounds like no other bird.  And I looked out the window and there he was, chirping and looking for me.  My husband was in the kitchen and I yelled, “He’s back!  He’s back!”  As I darted for my camera.

My husband said, “Who?”

I said, “The F You Bird.”

(He laughed at me, of course.)

But tonight The F You Bird let me take his photo.  Perhaps The F You Bird knew it was nearly dark and my photos would be crummy anyway.  😉  But he let me snap a picture before taking off.

I still have a goal of getting a decent photo of The F You Bird.  I’ll let you know if it happens.  But for now, the elusive F You Bird has been captured on film.  I finally have proof of his existence.  😉

Mimosa Tree

I took this photograph this week of my grandmother’s Mimosa Tree.
Each year since her passing, it has produced more lovely blooms than ever before.

It’s much nicer in full size.  But I thought I’d share it with my readers here.