Wednesday, April 28, 2010

distressed / confused

solo post - L, Nikon
(more accurate color here )

I'm distressed and confused that's why I've been sitting on this post for a couple of days. First I don't have good photos of this beautiful nest and second I don't have good information about why it was abandoned. But I wanted to go ahead and post about it because, thirdly, I have nothing else. (Taylor has been too busy with finals to contribute - school is out on May 7th - I can't believe another school year is behind her).
Anyway, I have been searching for some facts for this post of mine and think I have them and then find something else that makes me think I'm wrong. So if you have any ideas feel free to help me out with the puzzle.
I wish that I could say this photo was of a nest found in my backyard and that I am anxiously awaiting the hatching of tiny little birds. But my parents brought it home to me after being on vacation. It seems this nest had been abandoned so they brought it home to me knowing I would be in love with the beautiful eggs and fascinated by the nest. I was so excited about the beauty of the eggs and seeing the amazing nest, rich and plush with feathers of all kinds, grasses, fur, cigarette filters, etc but then holding the tiny eggs in my hand it wasn't long before I felt very sad. Sad that these little eggs were abandoned for some unknown reason or sad to think maybe the nest was disturbed prematurely. I went to work trying to find a reason why a nest would be abandoned. It's obvious one bird layed eggs in another's nest. Would that make the original owner of the nest leave? The cowbird is known for laying eggs in another bird's nest, never building a nest of their own. But i think usually the other mother bird will take care of them. I found photos of cowbird eggs and they are similar to the speckled ones here but I think larger than these... the blue eggs look like bluebird eggs but these are larger, almost the size of a Robin's egg... but the Robin egg photos I saw seem more pointed that the ones I have here... they are close to a Starling's egg... the little ones look very close to a photo I saw of a house sparrow... but does that make sense? I'm so confused! Do house sparrows lay eggs in another's nest? They are known to be very aggressive birds, especially for the bluebird population, and will evict bluebirds from their nest, many times aggressively killing adult birds. But I'm not sure they will actually lay eggs in another's nest. By the way, House Sparrows and Starlings are not native birds and are not protected by federal law and should be controlled.
I just can't take in any more information again tonight. It's an odd feeling I have that I don't know how to express. Please know that no one in my family would ever intentionally do harm to a bird, it's nest, the eggs, or babies.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Live Greener

T - digital montage

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. " - Native American proverb

Taylor and I are trying to live greener one simple green step at a time. It's not easy and we are having to change our ways and be reminded of steps we can take - remembering that every little action helps. It's a mind-set, a lifestyle and I have to admit that I am not always conscious of it.
I got a great little book for Christmas last year from my nephew to help me. It's called "The Little Green Handbook - 145 Simple Steps to Save the Planet". It's full of gentle reminders and new tips for living green, in and away from home. Putting into practice all these little things can add up and if we will all just do what we can we will leave the earth a better place for our children, and their children and so on - Small changes can make a big difference.
A few things I try to remember to do are:
- carry by reusable grocery bag with me
- use a reusable coffee mug instead of getting a paper cup each visit
- reuse the water from the dehumidifier for plants needing water outside
- turn off the water while I brush my teeth
- turn the lights off when I leave the room, always
- unplug appliances (easy enough to do but I don't do it often)
- wash clothes in cold water
- use the dishwasher, instead of washing by hand, letting them dry naturally
- use cloth towels instead of paper napkins, always
- burn soy candles
- use cast iron skillet instead of teflon coated
these are just a few I can think of at the moment.
What's one thing you are currently doing in an attempt to live greener?

Indeed it's not always easy being green. Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

passion / patience

L - scannography / guest image from my brother

I've been trying my hardest to get some good photos of the birds in my yard, but without success. I have the passion for it, maybe I just don't have the staying power. My brother, on the other hand, does. He sends me an incredible photo of a bird almost every day. This one of the robin tending her nest happens to be one of my favorites that he has sent but there are so many more. He has bluebirds and chickadees nesting, beautiful bright yellow finches and expressive little titmice,mockingbirds and woodpeckers, and many of this robin tending her nest at the next door neighbors. He's gotten them feeding, flying into and out of their nest, with beaks full of nesting material, even fighting. I have been amazed at his eye. Patience and persistence certainly pays off.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

relaxing / peaceful

solo post - L, Nikon

It was such a peaceful and relaxing weekend . I woke up Saturday morning and stepped outside and immediately thought, "I'm not sure there could be a more delightful day"... that thought stayed with me the entire weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

spring up

solo post - L, Nikon

"And Spring arose on the garden fair, Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere; And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

April is colorful and sweet smelling - yards and work places are filled with pinks, purples, and reds of azaleas, oranges and purples of pansies, sunny yellow tulips, lavender red buds, brilliant green grass, and the pure whites of dogwoods - all in full bloom against a bright blue sky... and a sweet scent fills the air. It sure makes one feel alive to be surrounded by such beauty. I have to say I've been enjoying it to the fullest all week - lunches outdoors, relatively non-stressful days and home in time to enjoy the golden hour every single day so far. I hope your week has been sweet as well.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

outside looking out

solo post - T, Nikon, collage

"Inside yourself or outside, you don't have to change what you see, only the way you see it." - unknown

Thursday, April 8, 2010


solo post - L, Nikon / Canon

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” - e.e. cummings

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

yellow / green

L - Nikon / T - Nikon

The color of the week is yellow green. How appropriate. There is new growth all around us. I love this time of the year when the colors of green in the horizon are so varied. But I don't love the haze of yellow green that's in the air - it hangs in the air like a thick cloud and covers everything like a yellow blanket! The pollen count in Atlanta yesterday was 5733 - 120+ is considered extremely high. What? Well, thank goodness we've had a nice rain today to wash it all away. As I look out my office window now, the clouds have lifted and the world is clean and fresh looking, the pavement is grey again instead of pale yellow and once again you can tell that I drive a white car not a yellow one. / i came home yesterday to go to a concert. i had lunch with mom and i also got a haircut, finally. i needed one badly but now it seems so short to me. p.s. there is pollen everywhere, on everything. my green yellow car is now yellow green.

Monday, April 5, 2010

distinctive / distinct

solo post - L, Nikon

Taylor has been missing in action lately so I'm having to go it alone. Truthfully she said her computer has been acting up - making it difficult for her to send me photos, so I'll give her a break. Thank goodness I have a lot of photos to pull from. The bad thing is I'm not sure what to share. I told you a little bit about my Easter weekend. I went to Callaway Gardens and on the way there stopped at the Wild Animal Safari. If I had been a couple of days earlier I might have fooled you into thinking that I had indeed set out to travel the world. There were animals from all over the world and I was face to face with them - literally. If you're not prepared with a slobber towel you'll be sorry. You can see some of my 'up close and personal' shots on my flickr.
The zebras were one of my favorites. Did you know that a zebras stripes are as distinctive as fingerprints are in man? To me they are a bold and striking. / For a few hours on Sunday I tried desperately to get a decent photograph of the bluebirds moving in. I set up my tripod and waited patiently behind a tree. They came and went many times but I never did get a good photograph of them. I've also been trying to learn the different bird calls by using my iBird app. I think I can recognize the bluebird's song now. Each bird call has a distinct sound but when you hear close to a dozen different species singing in the backyard it's difficult to distinguish them. Towards the end of the day I decided to just lie in the hammock and listen. I heard one call that I had never noticed before and after searching my iBird app it seems it was a Eastern Meadowlark's song - yet I have never seen a Meadowlark. I would be thrilled to see one here.
By the way, the book on my hammock is a different sort of book than I expected. I have to say I was immediately drawn to the beauty of the cover and the illustrations inside. I read the brief description: "blessed with moments of beauty and the insight to recognize them as such, Sam Keen translates the marvels of the natural world to the language of heart and soul. He asks us to turn our eyes skyward and see what we discover." and this verse on the first page: "Arise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." - Song of Solomon 2:10-12. It seemed a good purchase for my bookshelf. It's an interesting read but as it turns out Keen seems to discount God in his nature sightings - a surprise to me and frankly a disappointment. Oh well there's parts of it that I enjoy and it is pretty on my shelf.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

vibrant / full of life

solo post - L, Nikon

"Hail in the Spring, a start of new beginnings.
Creativity awe-inspiring gives a reason to be living.
Plant life showing life anew, a wonder to be found.
New born lambs playing in the fields, birds nesting all around
People enjoying the sun and the warmth, feeling good to be alive.
Spring gives a purpose to our lives, a touch of Paradise."
- Kay M. Sutton, Bring in the Spring

I hope everyone had a marvelous Easter. This time of year it just really feels great to be alive doesn't it? There's hope and new beginnings all about us. Flowers that bloom, children with bright smiles on their faces, birds singing and preparing their nests, warm sun that embraces us, trees sprouting a vibrant green soon to give us shade - all these things bring us happiness.
I have to say I had a wonderful weekend - there were these things and more that brought a smile to my face... a road trip, a baby pig, a slobbery giraffe tongue, a butterfly flittering on my arm, a field of sweet scented daffodils, pecan spoon bread, a thrift store find, a new and beautiful book, a bike ride on gently curving pathway, a trickling stream, turtles sunbathing, finding the perfect Easter egg for my mom, harp music at church this morning, and last of all bird watching from my hammock. I felt exhilarated this weekend. I'll tell you later where I went. What about you - did you spend the weekend doing something special?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

dreaming / free-spirit

L- Nikon / T - Nikon

I've decided. I'm selling, packing up and taking Taylor with me to travel the world.

I'm sure it didn't take you long to figure this to be a fool joke. But wouldn't that be a dream - an exciting, free-spirited thing to do? But merely a dream for me because I don't have the kind of free-spirit needed for such a drastic step as to sell everything and quit my job, and head off into the great unknown.
I'm reading the book One Year Off about a family that did just that - sold everything, quit the jobs and took 3 kids around the world for one year. I would, however, like to travel to far away places some day. Hopefully some day soon. And with Taylor.
What far away place do you dream of traveling? For me, the dream is a little cottage with the windows open to the fresh air and lavender scented fields, walking the cobble streets to the market in the warm morning sun where Taylor will speak to the locals in French and ask for our coffee au lait and warm pains au chocolat - that's where we'll start anyway. / meet susie... she's a free-spirit... a bike to take me places. i've been wanting one and i think mom was going to put one in my Easter basket. but i found my love here... in athens at my favorite consignment store instead.


The photos on the left are taken by me, Leslye, the mother. The photos on the right are taken by my daughter, Taylor – unless otherwise noted. Comments are always welcome. thanks
If you care to visit, I, Leslye, have another blog - AutumnSun where I ramble around different paths and pleasures of my own.