This blog is about my garden and the outdoors. I am new to photography but I am trying to show some of the pretty things that grow here in Michigan. I love the wild things who visit me and I dont mind if they eat a bit here and there. I like it more if they let me take their picture. As time goes on I think I will try to show you around the beautiful area that I live in as well as my garden. I try to use my own pictures as much as possible but will also use pictures from the web. If I inadvertently use your photo or work without permission please email me and I will remove it or give credit if you prefer. I will give credit when I know who the owner is. I would ask that anyone using my pictures do the same.
... I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.......Psalm23:6

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cardinals............

We have two pairs of  Cardinals who live around here. They have been here two years. I think that the first couple probably are the parents of at least one of the other pair. They tollerate each other pretty well.
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Above is one happy couple taken last winter. I actually think the female is prettier than the male.
She has a variety of colours in her plumage.
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They certainly make a handsome couple. They wake me up on summer mornings. They seem to be the first to get up and sit on the bush under my bedroom window. They have a somewhat annoying call. They are seed eating birds. They also like berries.
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The Cardinal, especially the male looks his best in Winter when the snow flys
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Its pretty easy to get good pictures.
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I wanted to get some of the pictures on here while I had a few nice ones.
Sharing with A southern Daydreamer Outdoor Wednesday
Also with WIldbird Wednesday

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Crows..................

Success at last. I have been trying to get the local Crow population to visit my feeders. This year I have had success. There is one brave one who hangs around and gradually got closer. Last year he would sit up in the trees but never come close. This year, he came down in the garden nearer the feeders. On a couple of occassions he would sneak off with a piece of bread. He got so that he would stay on a branch when I went out to fill the feeders.
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A very handsome bird. Crows are very intelligent. They can recognize people and their voices. They can communicate with other crows and pass along information. So that if the boss crow says a person is OK then the others will also trust the human.
He was looking rather cold in this picture, it was snowing
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I decided to help him out. There he was sitting on his branch, back to the wind.........I went out and shoveled a spot on the driveway. Then I put out some bread. I talked to him as I did all that. He went off and came back with company. I have not counted (I should) but believe there are at least 6 or maybe 8 individuals. I will make the effort to count them.
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I got all my windows clean to get pictures and waited. They came together and sat in the trees. One by one they came for the bread........pretty soon it became comical.
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They would cram so much into their mouths that they could barely get lift off, then the ones who were too shy to come down would all chase them to try to get the goods.
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This guy (above) crammed all of that bread in his beak. Really, he did........I don't know how they do it. They always try for just one more piece. Then trying to fly without dropping it. Ah well thats the rub......I love the next picture, it makes me think of an aircraft, you just don't think it will quite make it.
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He did though and was chased from tree to tree. I suppose the flock (Murder) consists of juvenials from the last couple of years. I see these crows blocks away but mainly they stay where they know they will get food. They send out scouts and then send messages. As soon as I put out food the shout goes out. It doesn't take long and they rest of the gang shows up.
Today I put out some hot dogs and that went really quickly, I didn't even get pictures. They will eat meat and so I have been taking old stuff out of my freezer. They have dined well this week.
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Handsome isn't he. Not sure how to tell male from female. I must be more observant. My only thing is that they will eat birds eggs and babies and I have seen them take off with Robins eggs. Somehow I will have to find a way to feed them all year. I am pretty sure I wont stop the bad behaviour though. Meanwhile they are getting used to my voice and wait around for their meals. About time.
Sharing with Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer
Also with Wildbird Wednesday

Friday, November 14, 2014

Look who came today................

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This is a Pileated Woodpecker. A big guy compared to the little Downies that come to the feeder and I even had a couple of those today. Anyway, I saw the Woody Woodpecker fly through the yard, he was a big'n. He flew to the electric pole opposite so I could not get sharp close ups. Still I don't see them often so was very happy to get what I did. He found a hole in the side and investigated that for bugs
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Meanwhile at my feeder......we have a little Downey Woodpecker
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They like the suet. They also like the sunflower seeds. I think I have to replenish this weekend and I think I will get some peanuts in shells too.Mrs C came for a visit. Actually there were two females today so I still have two couples.
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She is looking very pretty in her winter feathers. They all look so scruffy during the molting season.
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Mrs C was partial to the berries today, did not come for seeds
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Among others today was the male Nuthatch. I still have not got a shot of him. He came same time as the Pileated Woodpecker and I have seen Mr Nuthatch the last few days so I went for the Pileated Woodpecker.
The Bluejays were back in force.........I put out bread for them and old popcorn for the squirrels. Everyone had fun.
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The Chickadees were busy as always, about 5 little squabbling bundles of cuteness
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The Jays were happy to share
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I was very happy to see a nice variety of birds today. They had all sorts of treats out there. Apple slices, cheese, suet and all kinds of seeds. They should be happy and seemed to be. Had about 4 squirrels too and I didn't chase them off because there was enough for everyone today.

I am sharing this with Outdoor Wednesday

I am linking with Inspire Me Monday



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blue Jays.............

We get a lot of Blue Jays all year around. They do the rounds, and when my feeder is replenished the scout will yell it out to the neighbours and they all come flocking in.
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Blue jays are natural forest dwellers, and you can hear them whenever you walk in the woods. They are also highly adaptable and intelligent birds. They are a familiar and noisy presence round local bird feeders.
Their call is well known. You can't miss it Jay Jay Jay...and various and sundry other squwarks that give the message "over here there is food"
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Blue jays are sometimes known to eat eggs or nestlings but they are largely vegetarian birds. Most of their diet is composed of acorns, nuts, and seeds—though they also eat small creatures such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles. Blue jays sometimes store acorns in the ground and may fail to retrieve them, thus aiding the spread of forests. (National Geographic) I think that they may have been responcible for my Robins loosing their eggs.
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They are fairly social and are typically found in pairs or in family groups or small flocks. Some individual birds may migrate one year and not the next. It is unclear what factors determine whether each blue jay or family decides to migrate. I think ours seem to stick around.
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We had a Blue Jay nest last year but the babies were killed. I don't know if it was a cat, our cat, raccoon or whatever. Anyway, it was not a good spot but I tried to protect it. The babies were just about ready to go, maybe they did and were caught when they jumped the nest. Anyway, it was very sad.
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I put out some bread and some cheese, they loved that today. One guy tried to fly with a hunk of cheese LOL
They love bread. I get squirrels all the time and they will take all the bread they can carry away. So its an ongoing thing. I seem to have to put out more every day. They appreciate the seeds, especially sunflowers.
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They will eat the berries if they have to, or if the Robins leave any. We do have a few left.
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The Blue Jays make for pretty pictures at any rate and I love the noisy birds. The small birds are my favourites but I love the beauty of those beautiful blue creatures. Incredibly beautiful.
I am sharing this with Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House

Friday, November 7, 2014

Todays Birds.............

The back yard was somewhat busy today, I saw the male Nuthatch but was not able to get his picture.I got one of the female eating. She liked the sunflower seeds.
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A few of the Bluejays came in to inspect the feeders
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Then this guy spotted the bread. He was determined to have the crust and worked on it awhile. I could almost see him rubbing his hands together before he works on it.
I got me some bread.....its all mine.
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Then he tackled the task and had himself a feast
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I did see Mrs Cardinal today, she was just sitting in the Mountain Ash eating a few berries. I wonder if we will still have the two couples we had last year. I hope they had a good year. We don't get that much variety it seems so it is nice when we get at least a few different birds come in. I get used to who hangs around. They don't bother so much in summer when they can get fresh food. I have a couple of suet feeders out there. This weekend I need to try to put latches on so the squirrels can not get in and take off with the whole cake of suet.
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She sat for awhile, it was a cold day
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Well she is looking healthy enough.
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I first began taking pictures with drawing in mind. I wanted to be able to draw pictures from my own work. It never came to that. I began to enjoy photography for it's own sake. Digital has just made it so much easier. I would like to draw that last picture.
Anyway, enough of my garden today. Tomorrow is more clean up and puttin away the last of the garden stuff. Snow next week they say. I did manage to save a few plants by bringing them in the house, but lost a lot because I was sick and didn't get them in time. Ah well, next year maybe next year.
I cut into one of my pictures for some close ups that I am adding here at the end.I liked how they came out.
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I will share this post with Adorned from above with thanks
Also with A Dedicated House, Make it pretty Monday
I will also link with Outdoor Wednesday

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hello November..............

Hello November, nice to see you without any snow yet. Please be nice and refuse it for us until December maybe, or January even better. Let the deer get fatter and have less time to go hungry. Lots of berries and food out there this year. Good luck Bambi.
So my garden is a mess. My pond is covered with some chicken wire to try to prevent some of the leaves from clogging it up. Can't see the fish and will not see them now until Spring, have a good winter little fishies.
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Well while the fish go into their winter dormant mode, the dark slows them down and they sleep, the birds are busy.
I heard all the twittering today and grabbed my camera
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All the little ones were happy today and gathering for chats and food. I filled up the feeders so they could all get a turn.
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The Chickadees are always happy, and I love it when the Titmouse and the Nuthatch and Woodpeckers are all together. I bet they snuggle up at night to stay warm.
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Gerry has raked the back yard twice but with the winds so rough, there is plenty more down on the ground already. Not much more up there, but it will fill the yard again no doubt.
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Still a little colour out there in our back yard, the Cardinal needs to come pose before its all gone. I have not seen them for a few days, nor the Blue Jays. They seem to canvas the neighbourhood over several days and show up and stick around until the feeders need replenishing. I hope someone finishes off the berries.
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I wish the squirrels would hibernate for the entire winter. They have a big nest close by. Little buggers will be right close to the food source.
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I mean to say, talk about moving in. One of the other trees has a good size nest as well. I think I overfed them this summer and Bud's (next door) attempt on moving them on was a fail.
So that's it for today not a lot happening here and we can't get out in the woods. Tis hunting season. A shame when its nice outside still, it would be great for walking in the woods with the cooler weather but with Tristen I dare not chance it. Also the bears are looking for dens and need some peace. I am hoping that todays votes go against those who want to open the wolf hunt up again. Can't eat wolves and already legal to put down the bad guys so why????? Leave our wolves alone. I know I would not be happy to loose pets to them or Coyote's but please, take care of your pets then. Get dogs who watch the livestock. Be a sensible farmer and work with this. It's their country too.