"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens."

Carl Jung


On The Nightstand
  • salt.
  • A Wolf Called Romeo
    A Wolf Called Romeo
  • Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
    Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
  • The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future
    The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future

Special Occasions

Today my hubby and I celebrated 28 years of marriage and Phoebe's fourth birthday.  It doesn't seem feasible that so much time has passed since we spoke our wedding vows nor does it seem possible that our little monkey has grown up so fast. She's matured into such a wonderfully bright companion, so very affectionate and brimming with her zest for life with more energy than one dog should ever possess.   Unfortunately I'm still very wracked up with several ongoing medical issues and unable to get out and about as much as I'd like, but we managed to spend quite a bit of time outdoors enjoying the fresh air and new sights/sounds.

Expectantly, we hung our first hummingbird feeder today, placed nesting fibers and lengths of twine and rope out for the orioles, and oranges are now decorating a few tree notches--hopefully they won't draw in the local black bears that have an uncanny ability to smell fresh oranges and grape jelly from long distances away. (A bit like Phoebe has a keen nose for sniffing out 'birthday treats' placed within our pockets)

Bright sunny daffodils have finally blossomed and our trillium are just starting to bud. A few flowering shrubs and trees are beginning to leaf out and my favorite color green is becoming a bit more visible each day. Over the past week  our first Pine and Yellow-rumped Warblers have been making their way through the still-bare hardwoods, gleaning midges in their constant search for food; a lone Blue-gray Gnatcatcher showed itself briefly and a few male Baltimore Orioles announced their arrival with their harsh raspy calls, wasting no time engaging each other with their loud territorial battles.  A single male Rose-breasted Grosbeak showed up at the feeders today- it's a bit odd to me that our flora is at least 2 weeks behind yet the migrants are showing up about 5-6 days early, despite the cold northerly winds and chilly evenings that seem to be hanging on forever. Quite a few species, especially cavity nesters,  have already built or are busy fashioning their nests.   It always seems a bit intrusive to me to approach birds that have many agendas to complete this time of year and their behaviors are so wonderful to watch that I try to not interfere if at all possible.  I've always sat quietly in the woods on a log or stump or hunker down along waterways that migrants follow in the spring and let the birds come to me, rather than chase them about.  Birds simply don't care to be chased or disturbed in many situations-and when they're nesting, it's my own personal mindset that they deserve their tiny bit of space without disruptions so that they too can experience those special occasions and bonds within their circles of life.




Bumps in the Night

windows thrown open

vibrating brown wings humming

moths kiss screens gently


A Whiney Wonderful Woodpecker

One perk of living in wooded habitat is I've had the good fortune to study and observe all of Michigans' woodpecker species, with the exception of two that are found in the Upper Peninsula. I enjoy them all, but have a special fondness for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, a migrant species that I find so very entertaining and more than a bit special.

Yellow-bellieds have a certain endearing demeanor about them.  While I've read many accounts that always describe this member of the woodpecker tribe as 'shy', I've always found them to be quite approachable.  Unlike the Red-headed, Pileated and Hairy Woodpecker, they're not what I'd label as a bold or brash bird; nor or they as skittish as the Downy or Red-belly. If we move quietly and slowly, they seem to be very curious and have often followed me around our woods for long periods of time, peeking around the tree trucks while watching my movements closely.  I call them the 'quiet' woodpecker, as their calls are quite plaintive and very different from the rest of the woodpecker tribe.  Sounding a bit like a lost child, their cries are a thin whining/descending cat-like mee-ah that always tugs at my heartstrings.