The return of familiar songs and soaring

Adult male Red-winged Blackbird

There was snow on the ground yesterday morning but today started out warmer than it had been for the last week and it just got better from there! The forecast calls for 50’s and 60’s all week with plenty of sunshine and the occasional rain. Rain is fine because we need it for things to start growing and to wash off the roads that are still white with salt.

When Jaycie and I headed out for the bus this morning there was a hawk soaring in the sky and he glided from west to east upon the breeze as we watched. I told her that I gauge the arrival of spring by when I see the first turkey vulture because they don’t stick around our area all winter. When turkey vultures return and start gliding through the skies on their huge wings searching for roadkill and carcasses, then I believe that spring is truly on its way.

Turkey vulture

A few hours after Jaycie got on the bus, a turkey vulture soared over the trees across the road and I smiled feeling as if the universe had heard my words this morning. Now that I’ve seen those familiar scavengers soaring in the sky I’m certain that spring is coming and that this nice weather isn’t just some cruel trick. I spent the morning working on my writing projects inside but by noon, I couldn’t resist the call of the beautiful outdoors any longer. I got Jazzmin strapped in her backpack, tied up my sneakers and grabbed a light sweatshirt because while it was 53, the wind gusts were making it a bit cool to go without a coat.

As Jazzmin and I walked, I heard the familiar songs of birds that had returned from their winter vacation to the south. I heard the songs of robins, red-winged blackbirds and killdeers. Although the “Winter Wonderland” song states “gone away is the bluebird” a few of my bluebirds never left and I heard their song all winter long. Now that it’s warmer, there will be more bugs around for the bluebirds to eat and they will be more plentiful,  which always makes me happy.

Eastern Bluebird

I feel a special connection to all the birds that frequent my feeders through the winter and into the spring and who make their homes on my property. Just through watching and listening to the birds in my yard an on our walks, I’ve learned to identify various species by their song, size and plumage. Quite often I hear birds but don’t see them and I feel a small surge of satisfaction that I can recognize them just by their song. I’m still not good at identifying the different types of hawks I see around because they’re not really fond of close observation, but eventually I’ll sort them out too.

Northern Goshawk

Cooper’s Hawk

Sharp-shinned hawk

Red-shouldered hawk

Red-tailed hawk

Right now I’m just enjoying the return of the familiar songs and soaring of spring!

Advertisements

A beautiful Mother’s Day

My daughters and our pup Jazzmin

My daughters and our pup Jazzmin

It was an absolutely beautiful day today! The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was in the mid 70’s and there weren’t tornadic winds messing things about. Truly one of the nicest Mother’s Day that I can remember!

I started my day sleeping in a bit and then hanging with my daughters inside and outside just enjoying the lovely day. Mama Nature sent three male rose-breasted grosbeaks to my feeders this morning which was quite surprising! I’ve only ever seen one before but today three came off and on and they all hung together eating without any sort of squabbling. I imagine their mates were home seating on eggs and I do hope the males were kind enough to pack a doggy bag of seeds for the special ladies in their lives.

My three male rose-breasted grosbeaks

My three male rose-breasted grosbeaks

My daughters made me wonderful gifts for Mother’s Day! Jordan drew me a picture of sparrows and gave me a box of chocolates and Jaycie had made me a bouquet of paper flowers and an adorable card. I always love their tokens of affection but truly my daughters themselves are the greatest gifts I’ve ever received and just having them in my life makes me complete.

After breakfast, I donned the fringed seed bead earrings I completed yesterday and started on a smaller version as a gift for my mother. I had the window open as I worked and the birds serenaded me with their happy songs and chirps as they frolicked in the bird oasis garden nearby. I had my mom’s earring finished by the time the girls and I headed to her house this afternoon.

Fringe earrings I made for myself

Fringe earrings I made for myself

Fringe earrings I made for my mom

Fringe earrings I made for my mom

I indulged in one of my favorite past times, a bath, at my mom’s and we went out and brought back chicken for dinner so none of us had to cook. It was nice just being together and relaxing and I was blissfully happy all day long. My mom, myself and my daughters all posed for a picture out on her sun porch and out of at least 10 pictures, we got a few good ones. We even did a picture with my oldest brother in it so we have visual evidence that we were all together on this special day.

Three generations!

Three generations!

Posing with Uncle Tim

Posing with Uncle Tim

Once the girls and I returned home, I asked them to pose by one of my lilac bushes in the back yard. The lilacs are just starting to bloom and smell fragrantly sweet and I felt my biggest bush would be the perfect background. I also thought it would be good to get Jazzmin in the picture since I’m her mama too. The best picture is at the top of this post and the one at the end of this post shows how hard it is to get a dog to look at the camera when you’re not holding a treat of some kind. Overall it was a blessed day and I loved every moment!

Jazzmin was much more interested in the field than the camera...

Jazzmin was much more interested in the field than the camera…