The aka for this post is “Birds and Blooms”, with this particular post being the Birds (amongst some blooms) portion.
The American Goldfinch is such a welcome spot of brightness in the landscape. I never grow tired of seeing them, which results in your being inundated by photos of them. The rest of the photos in this post will be birds that visited the ornamental plum outside my window this morning, with apologies for the blurry image of another goldfinch – the camera chose to focus on the closer branch rather than the bird, and I could not get into a position that corrected that, without so much movement the bird would have “flown the coop”. The pictures will be interspersed with the wanderings of this elusive mind. Because it’s my blog, and I can do what I want. Right?
Yesterday was a pleasure/duty day. The Gracious One and I drove over the mountains to Costco, where we shopped and shopped and enjoyed lunch at The Olive Garden. We have neither of those places on this side of the mountains in our smaller town. For those of you who have not been with me for a long time, we have a wonderful neighborhood of wonderful people, and the ladies of the couples and I form what I refer to as “the neighborhood girls”. We have girls’ days out as we are able and have been known to hop the train and spend a long weekend in Portland. The Gracious One is one of the 4 of us. There is also the Information Gatherer and the Artistic One. The Information Gatherer is busy with other duties and was unable to join our trek. The Artistic One has not been able to return from a winter visit to Arizona (those snowbird people, you know) because her husband has developed some rather serious health issues that will require they stay there for some time longer. We miss her. Since I am the designator of nicknames, I have given myself none. I am just me. The author of this blog.
I have been once again appreciating some of the benefits of Facebook, that social media app that sometimes makes me crazy and that often makes me wonder why I bother with it. A year or so ago I happened upon a blog whose author lives in a little town in North Dakota where my father’s family lived. In response to my email querying her about that family, she advised me that my cousin (one I’ve never met) played in her father’s band. That knowledge and the search abilities of Facebook, located my cousin and his email address. So much fun to connect with a relative I knew of and had seen pictures of when he was much much younger (as was I) but who I did not know. I did know his older brother and sister – way back when.
This week, my niece found my kids and then me on Facebook. The niece whose family I had not seen since around 1973, with whom I had somehow lost touch before that first husband and I had moved from their home state of New York. I cannot recall why now, and since first husband and I subsequently divorced, it is not surprising that we have not had contact since that time. As I grow older, I find myself more interested in resurrecting old friendships, being more a part of family. The past couple days have been a delightful experience, learning about the lives of this niece, of her husband and children, and of her sister and mother. I am filled with gratitude for my almost enemy, Facebook, has brought us together again. I am filled with gratitude that my niece cared enough to search us out, and is interested in maintaining that contact.
Today is the last day of our burn season. Here in south-central Oregon, in the rural areas, we are allowed to burn debris in barrels and, for a lesser length of time, yard debris in piles. Our season for burning yard debris in piles expires this day – our burn barrel permit continues for another two weeks. I have been feeling huge amounts of pressure to get the pine tree droppings, the needles (or straw as it is called in some areas of our country) and cones in at least the front part of our yard off my deck sanctuary gathered up, hauled to the burn pile and burned before the season ended. For a part of that time I was feeling overwhelmed with the need for me to do the outside cleanup that husband has always handled until the last couple of years as well as the inside work that has been my responsibility. It was a huge relief when I finished the front yard cleanup, got the fountain set up, sprinkler system turned on and tested and all the debris burned before today. There is still much to do, on the other side of the house – areas around the garage, shop and pond and it will get done. But slowly. At a leisurely pace. It will get raked and hauled to my renovated burn area – by the graciousness of friends, that area has been plowed up and enlarged and has had a burn pit dug. It will languish in the pit until fall, when we are able to burn again. I will not allow the pressure to finish build up on me again. I do not need to manufacture reasons for stress.
Such a thrill when this little hummingbird landed in my tree outside my window. They are returning! Spring is here! Summer will follow! I am rejuvenated. Of course, his arrival meant quickly preparing some sugar water syrup and retrieving the hummingbird feeders so they could be filled and hung outside. Shortly after I had done that and uploaded my pictures, I looked out the window and spied a Bullock’s Oriole at the feeder! Oh my, my heart did a flip-flop of happiness! I love me the spring weather and the spring birds, the re-ermerging and reawakening of life!
Isn’t life grand? As annoying as Mother Nature can be, she does produce so much beauty. She gives enough beauty for life to be enough.
I am happy.