Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Purple is the new Red

So...I put up two new bird feeders outside my office window, one yesterday and one today. Yesterday's feeder was filled with finch food because I had seen two goldfinch on the other side of the building last week. Mind you, I've never seen goldfinch on our property before this. So, I thought I'd see if I could entice them to the other side. Within minutes of putting out the finch food, I had my first purple finch, but no golds came.

Today, I put up another feeder, and almost before I could get out of the way, dozens of purple finches were swarming both feeders. By afternoon, there was also a pair of gold finch! Also, about 1/2 a dozen red winged blackbirds came to feed. Again, I've never seen them on this side of the building. We have a swamp on the other side of the building and across the parking lot, and I see them there all the time. But never on this side until today.

All this bird activity has been so much fun! And the baby cardinal visited again and came right to my window and was peering in at my office, very curious about what was happening on the other side of the window =)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby, Baby!

One of the baby cardinals got really brave today and visited my feeder several times, even getting so bold as to get up close and personal with the window, looking into my office rather fearlessly. A couple of times, he (or she) came with his father, too, and I was able to capture a few fuzzy-through-the rain-streaked-glass picture of them.

I'm almost embarassed to post them, considering I have many blogging friends who are outstanding bird photographers, but I consider these shots major triumphs given how shy the father cardinal was for months prior to this week. If I even slightly moved, he would take off. If he could see me in the office, he wouldn't come near. Only in the past week has he been comfortable eating while I was moving around in the room. The baby...is just precious. I've never seen one up close like this...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bed in Summer

Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should so much like to play
To have to go to bed by day?

I was looking up poetry about summer today and I saw the title of this poem. Immediately I was jettisoned back to my childhood and hearing my mother quote this poem to my sisters and me as she tried to convince us that we needed to come inside and go to bed on summer days. We loved playing outside, so it was hard to get us to come inside. I have to say the poem didn't make it any easier, but it did let us know we weren't the only ones having to "go to bed by day."

Summer here in MA has been rainy, cloudy, and kind of dreary. The major outdoor bright spot has been the amazing bird activity at my office window bird feeder. I have several families who are regulars--nuthatches, cardinals, song sparrows, grosbeaks and others. The feeder reminds me of a very busy airport with planes/birds landing and taking off constantly =)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Supersize your Faith

I had the privilege of hearing Senate Chaplain Barry Black speak not once, but twice yesterday. Hundreds of people crowded into an old-fashioned campmeeting pavillion to hear what he had to say...and were not disappointed.

The chaplain is interesting, funny, dynamic and inspiring. His first talk was entitled "Supersize Your Faith" and he detailed 4 steps by which this could be done. His second talk was about dealing with adversity and not worrying. When he finished this talk, he spent about 30 minutes taking questions. I was impressed with his diplomacy in handling some of the things he was asked.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer "Snow"

Every year at about this time, some kind of plant sends its fluff flying through the air for days. It is so thick, sometimes, that it looks like we are in the middle of a Nor'easter. It piles up in corners and under trees. It gets caught in the grass and bushes. I'm not sure what it is. It's not milkweed, and I don't see enough dandelions around to pile up this much (although this picture will somewhat belie that statement). Maybe it's from cattails, but I don't see them either. In fact, I have not seen anything it could come from. Yet there is the evidence that somewhere nearby, there's a plant that likes to "snow." Any ideas anyone?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Long time no see...

The past couple of months have been crazy for me. Not bad, just overly full and draining. What a difference between January when I wrote every single day and the subsequent months when I wrote less and less! Actually, I've been writing nearly as much as usual, just not here on the blog. I'm going to try to get back to it this summer.

We had our last day of school this past Friday. It is a strange kind of relief to walk out
the door that last day. Even though I know I'll be back the following Monday, it's a whole different kind of rhythm, a whole different kind of mood. Between May 31 and June 7 we had 6 different graduation services. Each of them was beautiful...so sweet and spiritual. The students worked hard to make everything go smoothly. I was so proud of them! Everything went off without a major hitch, and the minor ones were known only to a few. That, too, was a relief.

This week, we have staff meetings each day, but they are loose and focused and productive. We enjoy being and working together. Good thing! We see a lot of each other!

On a side note, my bird feeder went through a two week lull where I did not see one single bird there. Then, all of a sudden last week, they came back and have emptied the feeder about every other day! I don't know where they went, but it's nice to see them back...

Photos are of the flowers in my sister's gardens