Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"There Will Be Days Like That..."

The Word For Today is --- Rain And still more rain - our first visitor of the day has found his fur coat inadequate in this rain... Do you see the disappointed look on his face - he found no feeders within reach. He has wandered up from the river finding it also a bit inhospitable today...
View of Highway 97 along the New York side of the Upper Delaware River
The bottom of the hill --- we turn to the right and drive just a mile to our house. All along the river people are being evacuated. Stores, banks, library you name it - they are closed. Here on the hillside above the river we are warm (too warm) and dry - well I guess as dry as one can be when the humidity is nearly 100%. The Upper Delaware River in all its glory.
The hiking trail. I hope these photos tell the tale for the day :)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

10 Most Beautiful Birdsongs Meme

Once again John at A DC Birding Blog has put together a meme that has drawn me into participation. To quote him: “Back in April I made a list of the birds I thought were most beautiful and asked other bird bloggers to name their own. The result was a great response, with some bloggers challenging the idea of judging a bird's beauty, and others challenging the meme's North American bias.

Now I would like to do the corollary exercise, naming favorite bird songs. Birds enchant us not just for their visual beauty, but also for their many vocalizations - some harsh, some soothing, some delightful, some comical.”

When it came time to put together my own list, I found the same difficulty I had in selecting birds for the Most Beautiful Bird Meme My list is long - how to find a way to choose… I decided to choose only from the birds that come onto this property during the year – that did help a bit but I still had more than ten birds on my list. With a great deal of difficulty I finally came up with the following list:
Black-capped Chickadee – One of my favorite visitors – not because his song is so very melodic but because he has such a wide variety of sounds and is cheery and friendly.
Wood Thrush - the flute like tones are part of the evening – essential to the quiet ending of the day just as the fireflies begin to appear.
Veery Another flute like song. Mid-afternoon when the light hits the far side of the house, the Veery will come to the bird bath, after splashing a bit and drying his wings he will perch on a small shrub and sing.
Purple Finch A herald of spring. For the first time since we have lived here we have two pair of Purple Finches nesting on the property… Their warbling song is lively and complex.
Carolina Wren the Winter Wren actually should be the winner of a place in the list but he is not a regular visitor so the Carolina Wren made my list.
Baltimore Oriole The Oriole visits for bits of fruit and sugar water- although none seem to be nesting nearby, they are regular visitors who “whistle” for their keep.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak – a welcome melodic warble adding a wonderful harmony with the bird choirs whose songs float through my window off and on during the day.
White-throated Sparrow Another early spring visitor, this year they seem to be spending the summer with us. Their whistled call of “old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” drifts up from the ground where they glean seeds and sunflower bits dropped by the other birds.
Yellow Warbler Sometimes I miss seeing the Yellow Warbler until I hear his song - There are so many American Goldfinches in the yard and at the feeders, that I don’t notice until I hear the I’m so sweet of his call.
Song Sparrow When I work in the yard, I find myself listening for the “sweet, sweet, sweet of the song sparrow – I frequently find him perched on a stump or in some of the grasses not too far away from the deck garden - he seems to me to be sending out a bit of joy to fill the surrounding woodland.

While searching for bird songs I found an interesting site where Tony has shared the songs of the Veery, the Swainson’s Thrush and the Hermit Thrush along with a piano interpretation of their songs at Bird Songs in Musical Notation
Following this site to “Home” I discovered even more about Songs and calls of some New York State birds

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Words I Love

Looking east from Mt Agassi in the California Sierra Nevadas

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you
as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you,
and the storms their energy,
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
~John Muir
I found myself caught in the Poetry Thursday prompt and decided to think about things and words I love... one of my favorite wordsmiths is John Muir --- his words inspired the following:
High on the mountains
cares drop off like autumn leaves
I find renewal.

For more poetry or to participate go to Poetry Thursday

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Haiku - Pathways

Image used with the kind permission of Character Canvass © 2005 all rights reserved
Arms stretching outward
searching for hidden pathways
that lead to my dream.

For more wonderful Haiku and information on how to participate go to One Deep Breath

Sunday, June 18, 2006


"Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever."- Herman Melville, Moby Dick
We search for inspiration
and found it at:
that finally looked just right
to all of us
and - the digging began...

After a few hours
of hard and sweaty work
there was a big hole in the ground.
dirt and rocks exposed
it looked as if someone was either
making a horrid mess or that progress was beginning

By day's end
it is possible
to see the shape
of things still to come.

"How often it is that a garden, beautiful though it be, will seem sad and dreary and lacking in one of its most gracious features, if it has no water." - Pierre Husson

Many thanks to Harmony In Line for her encouragement

Saturday, June 17, 2006

June Day

There is a lot of truth in the words of the poets who write on and on about “June Days.”

Our world is fresh and green, filled with blossoms and the intoxicating scent of roses and lilies. Soft breezes stir the grasses and leaves and I am inclined to sit and contemplate the scene --- My camera rests forgotten at my side while I simply revel in the beauty surrounding me.
Chipmunks seem delighted with the day, taking time from stuffing their cheek pouches to run in circles through the grasses. Gray squirrels, Red Squirrels, Mourning Doves, Robins, Chipping Sparrows, Crows and Cardinals all search through the grasses for seeds.
Overhead there is a nearly constant sound of the wing beats of hummingbirds as they circle between the feeders and tall spikes of columbine or foxgloves. I hear small sounds from fluff-ball chickadees growing in a nest their parents built in one of the houses we hung this spring.
In the meadow, the hen turkey has brought her chicks – I am having difficulty counting them since their heads barely show above the grass – I think there are about 12 or 14 chicks. They scurry here and there, waddling after a beetle, checking the flavor of a wild strawberry, tipping head over heels over a hidden bramble.

Ah – June --- I find contentment in this June Day

Friday, June 16, 2006

Food for Thought

"The more clearly we can focus our attention
on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,
the less taste we shall have for destruction."
--- Rachel Carson
The flower is a Wood Anemone

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Haiku - The Moon

Summer moonlight
touching my bed
brings gentle dreams.

The photograph is of the Catskill Mountains

You can find more haiku at One Deep Breath

Saturday, June 10, 2006


It amazes me how many creatures are able to adapt to “city life.” We were visiting a nursery setting beside a busy road. Wandering through the rows of plants we discovered humming birds, sparrows and warblers. As we strolled through some of the larger plants and trees something seemed to explode from the ground just a short distance from us. We had startled a Killdeer.
Elegantly garbed in rich brown with black and white accents and a golden-tawny rump these members of the Plover family spend a lot of their time on the ground. Not only do they run more than fly, they even nest on the ground. Their eggs and chicks are so well camouflaged that it's not hard to step on them. That's part of the reason the parents act as if they have a broken wing when you come near their nest; they want to draw you away from their vulnerable clutch. When intruders approach their nest, they react as a natural alarm system - alerting all other wildlife to its presence. They will try to lure the intruders or predators away from their nest by pretending to be injured while emitting their loud cries and moving slowly away until they have drawn their subject off to a safe distance from the nest.
My husband shares a childhood memory of the book Little Killdeer by Ruth Wheeler. Published in the late 1940’s, it was an early venture into photojournalism for children. Even in the black and white close-up photos in the book it was easy to overlook the nest, speckled eggs and camouflage covered chicks.
Peterson’s Field Guide to Eastern Birds refers to them as “The common noisy breeding plover of the farm country” and range maps show them to be resident all across the southern US as well as breeding throughout the northern half of the states. In our mixed forest woodland, however, the Killdeer is non-existent; a bird of fields, airports, lawns, riverbanks and shores, it is just not at home is our hilly woodlands. So it was a special treat for us when we observed this old friend watching us carefully from the edge of a field while we browsed among plants in the Hudson Valley nursery. When we brought out the camera and moved in for a few shots it was obviously the signal to bring out the old broken wing act. It was nice to spend a few minutes observing an old friend even though our appreciation was obviously not reciprocated.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Listening

Oliver Wendell Holmes says
"It is the province of knowledge to speak And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen."

listening for voices
yet nothing can be heard.

listening to the silence
I am listening
but I don’t hear a word.

sounds surround me
listening means
learning how to hear.

listening to the silence
there are voices everywhere.

© June 2006 all rights reserved

More poetry at Poetry Thursday

Monday, June 05, 2006

Haiku Group

Troubled thoughts
stilled beneath
quiet waters

Participate in Haiku at One Deep Breath

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Warm Days

Early morning visitor Woodchuck Marmota monax aka "Groundhog" "Eastern Marmot"
I have some more photos to edit so will tell you more about him later.

That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It has been here for awhile but in my internet ramblings today I found a lovely poetry site at Trailing Light

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Poetry Thursday - These Little Songs

Quiet times on a hot summer day
a time for watching the buds open on the flowers
for watching the dragonfly and the bee
a time for thinking
and perhaps
a time for poetry

These little Songs,
Found here and there,
Floating in air
By forest and lea,
Or hill-side heather,
In houses and throngs,
Or down by the sea -
Have come together,
How, I can't tell:
But I know full well
No witty goose-wing
On an inkstand begot 'em;
Remember each place
And moment of grace,
In summer or spring,
Winter or autumn
By sun, moon, stars,
Or a coal in the bars,
In market or church,
Graveyard or dance,
When they came without search,
Were found as by chance.
A word, a line,
You may say are mine;
But the best in the songs,
Whatever it be,
To you, and to me,
And to no one belongs.
William Allingham

Poetry Thursday