Fern Fronds Unfurling

Is there anything that heralds spring in the Pacific Northwest more than fern fronds unfurling?

After a week of cold and snowy weather I’m ready.

Halfway there! ūüôā

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Spring Scenes.

~ Susanne

The Changing Color of the Anna’s Hummingbird

I replenished the feeders yesterday so the nectar was fresh and plentiful during this week of snowy weather.

I watched the first hummingbird hover nearby – apparently for a good look at me –¬† before swooping in dressed in camouflage of green and black.¬† (Not the best picture but I wanted to show you how he looks incognito.)

And then a flash of color,

and a drink.

Heads up, another glance,  and a color change to brilliant pink Рor is it fuchsia?

Time for another drink and he’s mostly green and black again.

Heads down, heads up,

The beautiful Anna’s Hummingbird – I never get tired of watching him.

~ Susanne

The Unexpected Joy of Getting Outside

It’s true isn’t?¬† There’s nothing like getting outside to give you a fresh perspective and yes, even fill you with joy!¬† We chose to do just that before the next snow was expected to arrive, walking the lakeshore trail at Coulon Park, where there was still much color to be seen.

There were birds and ducks of all persuasions out and about

including bald eagles high overhead.

 

 

 

That’s the thing about getting outside – you never know what special thing awaits you.

For Cee’s New Photo Challenge, On the hunt for Joy, Get Outside.

~ Susanne

Benji’s Portfolio

“Hey Benji.¬† Now that you’ve made it into your first calendar, I need to put a portfolio together for you. We need to be ready.”

“What’s a portfolio Sue? And ready for what?”

“Ready for the next calendar. Or contest.¬† All models keep a portfolio of their best headshots. You’re quite the handsome cat you know.”

“You’re just saying that Sue. Who wants a picture of a cat with a cropped ear.”

“Are you kidding me Benji?¬† You’re the most handsome cat I’ve ever had!¬† Don’t tell Tiger I said so.”

“Really Sue?¬† Okay then, I’ll put my best ear forward. Something like this perhaps?”

“That’s it Benji! You’re a natural!”

~ Susanne and Benji

Winter Scenes in the Pacific Northwest

Just last week I was walking along the Cedar River Trail, enjoying temperatures close to 60 degrees.

Today we have our first snow of the year.  I like both.

Wet, sloppy snowflakes have already stopped falling and the thin layer that covered the ground is melting.

Snowdrops cling to aptly named snowberries

while I wait for them to drop.

Such is winter in the Great Northwest.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Winter Scenes.

~ Susanne

The Snag and the Owl

Among the evergreen trees surrounding our home is a Western Hemlock that appeared to be dying.¬† We asked an arborist to come and remove it and he was willing to take it down, but encouraged us to leave a ‘snag’ for wildlife. If we didn’t like the look of it he’d come back and remove it later.

According to¬† Conservation Northwest¬†¬†“Standing dead trees, called snags, provide birds and mammals with shelter to raise young and raptors with unobstructed vantage points. Large downed trees also provide important habitat for wildlife. Hundreds of species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish benefit from snags for food, nesting or shelter! ”

We have plenty of other trees in our yard and weren’t sure a snag was necessary but decided to take his advice and leave it standing. It would be nice to have a woodpecker take up residence there.

It looked kind of funny and we wondered if we’d made the right decision.

And then last week after dark I saw the form of an owl perched on one of the limbs. Though I’ve heard their calls in the night,¬† I’d never seen one in the wild – outside of a zoo or other wildlife sanctuary.

I stood (with my umbrella in the rain) and watched him as he stared at the ground below. He took no notice of me while I stood beneath taking pictures of him.  Why should he? He owned the night.

Honestly I was thrilled – and a bit unsettled too.

It’s a bird of prey.

And while I’m happy if he takes the rodents making mole hills in our yard, I’m also concerned about creatures larger than that.

I will need to remain vigilant.

~ Susanne

Somebody’s Ready for Monday

“C’mon Sue! Let’s play!”

“Oh Benji, it’s Monday. And it’s too early besides. Why don’t you go outside to play.”

“Please, Sue. It’s too cold out there.”

“Okay Benji. But just a few minutes.”

“Okay, I’m ready! Go!”

“Faster Sue. Faster!”

‘You’re a wildcat Benji!¬† Now if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to my coffee.”

Happy Monday from Susanne and Benji

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