The Reawakening of Life

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!

From last night, the sunset, which I happened to catch a glimpse of as I moved from one room to another. That glimpse made me dash for Rebel and out the door. More spring happiness!

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.


About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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10 Responses to The Reawakening of Life

  1. YOWZA — that sunset’s fantastic!


  2. Jennay says:

    These are all beautiful captures! Love the hummingbird…those are my favorite! =)


  3. Heather says:

    Your plum is gorgeous right now! And I love all the little birdies in it. We are in the process of choosing a new tree for our front yard, and I am hoping it will be a bird draw since I cannot risk building wasp homes (you refer to these as bird houses).
    I’m glad you got the bulk of clean up done, and said forget the rest. You are right – no need to cultivate stress!


  4. Hi Carol,
    It sounds like you are taking things one day at a time and trying to make the most of each moment of enjoyment. The simple pleasures of a beautiful sunset, the fragrance of the plum blossoms and the company of the birds seem like great stress busters. You are right to not pressure yourself. Things will eventually get done. Enjoy the spring weather!


  5. Colleen says:

    Your Goldfinch is lovely in his spring yellow, they always make me smile. I wonder if your hummingbird stopped over here for a while. We’ve had quite a few “travelers” stopping by our feeders for a rest and a drink, much to the chagrin of the ones who stay year round and claim the feeders as their own! I always so enjoy your photos Carol.

    I’m glad spring has arrived and the birds were back to keep you company in the yard. That first clean-up can be so daunting, especially when pine needles are involved 🙂


  6. lisa says:

    Such a wonderful post today. I love Goldfinches and have been keeping an eye out for my returning hummers. Mom Nature is threatening with low temps in the 30s for the next few nights, but hopefully all the flowers I planted will be okay. I also found a distant cousin through blogging and social media, and agree it can be both a blessing and a curse! Here’s to living one day at a time and looking for the enjoyable moments. xoxo


  7. Robin says:

    Such lovely pictures of birds. Both of my grandparents were bird watchers, and I used to spend a lot of time watching birds with them. My grandfather used to paint birds. But it seems like I don’t see as many birds these days – mostly robins, Canadian geese and Mallard ducks at the lake, and sea gulls at the river – and an occasional hawk. Today I saw a male cardinal. I was thrilled.

    Here on the East side of the country, it has been a cold spring, but it has finally arrived. I put a few pictures up on my blog. But the flowering trees are losing there blooms before I get out there with the camera. It takes only one windy or rainy day.

    I have similar feelings about Facebook – it has its drawbacks and the occasional benefits – which is why we don’t try to delete our accounts (although my husband has).


  8. Angelia Sims says:

    I adore your precious feathered friends. I am so GLAD they are returning. And the sunset is just divine. WOW. Beautiful photograph. It was 80 yesterday and 40 today. I have no idea what Mother Nature is doing, but she seems to be having hormonal issues. LOL.

    I think I would nickname you The Wanderer.


  9. Joanne says:

    Your ornamental plum tree is spectacular, a spring show all on its own! The birds, of course, are equally as beautiful and I’m pleased to hear that I’m not the only one whose heart does flip-flops of happiness at the sight of birds.

    “I am happy.” Those last three words are the very best part of everything here today, Carol. I am happy that you are happy, my friend. 🙂


  10. Karma says:

    This post is a burst of happiness! Wonderful springtime – it does a heart good. I’ve been feeling the same way, yet I’ve been unable to capture some of the lovely photographs you have. I’ve hung a thistle-sock, but I’m still waiting to see finches alight on it. I’ve not yet seen any hummingbirds, but I’m thinking it will be time to get those feeders out very soon!


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