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
If you do not have a blog and wish to comment (I love comments) you can join google and comment via that, It's free

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Winter birds..........

Well today I found out that there are actually 3 female Cardinals around. I saw them all together. Only one male today. He was handsome though. I have no idea what girl he belonged to.
 photo 3450befa-df4b-4c87-a5a0-bc2af0561d6c_zpsb004a9e7.jpg
Today I had a whole flock of little finches. They are strange because the other day they were all yellow finches. Today I had a mixture of yellow, the red crowned ones and the speckled finches. I need to look up and see if they are all the same.
 photo 26b99431-2df9-4074-9b39-26eab5df1d8c_zps0154a989.jpg
 photo c73f0bbb-15b2-4c32-9ada-74aba0b46c1d_zps92ee4d71.jpg
 photo 37440e2d-f707-4450-b605-66150b2d04ae_zps926f4b0f.jpg
 photo bd8465c5-66a9-4e9d-9848-70f6b4f55702_zpsed52a63a.jpg
So those are the Finches. I will be looking them up because even though they all come around together, they can not be the same. Its like the little ones, the Chickadees, Nuthatches, Junco's and Downey's
I did have some luck today with the Nuthatches.
 photo f756e89c-bd01-4edc-bcb4-7b57435a3b93_zps49d96292.jpg
 photo eb3435b5-938b-46cb-8445-548657834197_zps7886f32a.jpg
I must say that the BlueJays look very handsome in the snow.
 photo 7e457319-2303-4475-99a3-15103a3d371c_zps8e6a2be9.jpg
I am greedy though I really want to see some different birds come in. There is such a wide variety of bird life in Northern Michigan but they seem to stay away from town. When we go to the Dunes we see the Indigo Bunting and the Oriols, now I don't expect to see field warblers or skylarks but come on. I have not seen Cedar Waxwings around for quite some time. They used to come years ago. I saw some out at the beach this summer. So, how do I coax them in????? Do they fly over looking for the food they like? I know the Crows do. So do the BlueJays. I see them scouting out the area. Today I called to the Crows and they came to the trees nearby. I was very happy about that but they don't like me parking the van in the drive. So thats today.............will things liven up or will I be posting these same guys all winter?

Saturday, November 22, 2014


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.
 photo 68b4b8c8-5e2c-4124-a7ae-8abf917f7ad6_zps44b3e4ad.jpg
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.
 photo 3df985b2-c57c-4d37-93ee-489e8e3b5f25_zps0cef9140.jpg
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.
 photo 4282c520-8e33-48d2-9039-181fa9f9f8fc_zps71ba9f47.jpg
The Cardinal, especially the male looks his best in Winter when the snow flys
 photo ddb3263e-29e0-43ad-8488-907da28fba3e_zps89c34e43.jpg
Its pretty easy to get good pictures.
 photo 4095e50f-594f-4216-a49e-5b19169ceee5_zpsd0740236.jpg
 photo bed1b7e9-e4b5-4a3d-ab1a-e6d0f3f2e5d7_zps09e4525b.jpg
 photo 32d9eb40-84bb-4f6e-9ee5-e48ddca94dc8_zpsd6362f60.jpg
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.
 photo 8c2096fe-6b16-4c7f-b8d3-88b225d37f88_zps0febc2ce.jpg
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
 photo fa99243f-74ca-45a2-ab72-c0abfedd1e17_zps145a2022.jpg
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.
 photo 28f29e9b-f3fe-48a0-85e8-b908587e40b2_zps31f669dd.jpg
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.
 photo ddecca38-e739-46b3-a906-60cb0f851002_zps0d696011.jpg
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.
 photo 45c0e0f3-a03d-4312-a28e-2b388f5f4dc0_zps82442693.jpg
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.
 photo 68da07cc-52a6-4a32-9a0a-dfafb96ca211_zpsd47480e0.jpg
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.
 photo 98cb7940-e356-425d-8997-3382456d3f1d_zpsef6d88d0.jpg
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................

 photo 8c882156-a838-42ca-b94b-ee1d9319359c_zps589523aa.jpg
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
 photo c506aa97-bc83-487d-a314-08d03152695e_zps0ab0d2ae.jpg
 photo 80367af3-7322-4c47-a3ef-28748b96c691_zpsbc403014.jpg
 photo 4f47e417-71e6-4b03-9f6c-592e1776fa2a_zpsb1e3e1d7.jpg
Meanwhile at my feeder......we have a little Downey Woodpecker
 photo d9e3d32e-fc2e-4d5b-a8f5-28233b435f72_zps6a9272d3.jpg
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.
 photo 05730883-5deb-44bf-b003-ed02b0c351a0_zps20de5a12.jpg
She is looking very pretty in her winter feathers. They all look so scruffy during the molting season.
 photo e5515344-ff8d-4460-8ed0-025e987c5b82_zps6973f763.jpg
Mrs C was partial to the berries today, did not come for seeds
 photo 5b3b7f84-50c5-4e36-854f-67289abf760b_zpsd683ab88.jpg
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.
 photo cf46814d-6bb5-49ae-b707-2e9c148bf00e_zps857a169a.jpg
 photo 4ca7b0bd-7665-4840-91a8-4404b5cef647_zps6a55480e.jpg
The Chickadees were busy as always, about 5 little squabbling bundles of cuteness
 photo a90861d4-ec2f-41f5-9b55-1334f8e8530e_zps63cc2de9.jpg
The Jays were happy to share
 photo 896ad85c-0fc6-4360-871a-142053e73c37_zps7d9688e6.jpg
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.
 photo 29a5bb33-1fa3-48ce-ba32-8dfe64080e6b_zpsefb4267d.jpg
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"
 photo 79c77976-4365-48aa-8086-f060a716bd62_zps91801c22.jpg
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.
 photo 677965d2-d7e9-4234-8df0-43a4bbd63d1a_zps6a8926a9.jpg
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.
 photo 44e13378-39ad-42f3-9c8e-22f2b1075561_zps33f5ef38.jpg
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.
 photo b573e303-4484-434b-93b2-0bf6a7e5faea_zps97810af9.jpg
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.
 photo d220ed7f-b85f-481b-b82a-20d72af62940_zpsd21170df.jpg
They will eat the berries if they have to, or if the Robins leave any. We do have a few left.
 photo c82f6420-38d8-47bc-9c22-f521235b88d7_zpsb875fd41.jpg
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.
 photo 8bb99fb1-3633-4961-af6e-43550513cd14_zpsd7303032.jpg
A few of the Bluejays came in to inspect the feeders
 photo 0e73f8ec-0df2-4c02-b14b-66eeefa17396_zpse4ae7102.jpg
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.
 photo b383575e-857c-4486-81ed-494f7cab490c_zpseb372a1e.jpg
Then he tackled the task and had himself a feast
 photo f781f8c0-c3a1-4d18-bf4e-3592800ec76c_zps191e21e1.jpg
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.
 photo ecf13400-7f51-40a8-bc77-23f25992fd76_zps9b4a5085.jpg
She sat for awhile, it was a cold day
 photo 0c097dc9-6837-4ac6-8d6d-374a1cb1766b_zps1f63950d.jpg
Well she is looking healthy enough.
 photo 6c9158af-4d09-400d-850f-9a1ae7ea98da_zps8e78dff5.jpg
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.
 photo d26e9dc3-1fbc-46d2-a706-ec1c8c0f703e_zpsae39f94e.jpg
 photo ce67fa3d-bd14-4e6e-bf3e-cb7d4a0773f5_zps0345fdb9.jpg
 photo 864e398f-0554-41a5-8ce7-87c689b1c864_zps70b70f28.jpg

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