"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

What Cheer!

We now have 2 pairs of adult Northern Cardinals here and it's a rare treat for me to view them for any length of time.   They're so very shy and timid, spooking at the slightest noise or movement.  Despite the appearance of a very persistant Northern Shrike, the feeders were hopping with activity all day. I grabbed a few images through the windows, since I'm still quite weak and our temps were a balmy 15 degrees at most.  My housekeeper/helper pitched in and dug many of my holiday decorations out of packing this afternoon, which I greatly appreciated. I now have greenery, lights and the usual fare placed both outdoors and in- but I had a difficult time pulling myself away from the views out my windows, and turned  'The Nutcracker Suite' down in hopes of hearing the sweet calls of our own seedcrackers.  We're already hearing the mating calls of our resident Great Horned Owls, but I can count on one hand the times I've viewed them during the daylight hours here.  (Another good reason to stay close to the windows- I'm way overdue for an owl sighting)

I also received a very welcomed update on the wayward Whooping Crane yesterday evening: ' Whooping Crane 44-07 transmitter was detected Nov. 18 near Antwerp, Paulding Co., OH and again on the 19th. Since then there has been no reading so the transmitter may have malfunctioned.'  I truly hope that is the case and hope to hear more on that most special bird in the future.

This has been one of the most restful days I've had in a great while. I have a very comfortable hospital bed at home now, and can finally lay down without re-cracking my broken ribs.  Phoebe's new dog bed arrived today and she seems to like it- she's actually sleeping on it , whereas in the past she treated her bedding like a big chew toy and destroyed at least 3 of them.  Progress! 

My hubby has a warm fire crackling in the fireplace and the smell of fresh pine throughout the house is just heavenly.  In a season where so many tie themselves in virtual knots because of the commercial aspect of the holidays,  I find great comfort in the simple pleasures that all bring so much good cheer.  I prefer red feathers over red bows.



 " Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle.  The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are the stars.  The Wind, in it's greatest power, whirls.  Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours."

(Black Elk)


Whooping it Up!


Last Thursday, thousands of Sandhill Cranes descended on our county, so we paid a visit to nearby agricultural lands where they stage/rest each spring and fall season. While viewing several large flocks of Sandhills, we spotted a very large and white Crane from a distance. Could it be what it appeared to be?  A Whooping Crane in the wild not far from our home? YES! (insert a happy dance here)

The Whooper was very skittish and always hung out in the back of the group, which was easily 300 yards out from the dirt road.  Although many of the smaller sandhills tolerated the bird, it was continually attacked- it never made any defensive moves, except to fly to another area of the cornfield.  It was obviously quite healthy, despite being somewhat of an outcast. We viewed captives in Baraboo Wisconsin 2 years ago, which was an awesome experience- but viewing one in the wild gave me huge goosebumps.  I've long had a fondness for cranes and have been a supporter of Operation Migration and the ICF for quite a few years.

 From the images of leg bands I was able to capture, various officials from the International Crane Foundation and USFS have identified this crane is 'Whooping crane #744'- a yearling female and one of the direct autumn release birds that had a less than successful migration last fall- she was also unable to find her way back to central Wisconsin this past spring.

I'm hoping to receive updated sightings on #744 and that she fairs well in her journey.  Long may the 'Birds of Heaven' fly.

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