Beyond Words: At The Lake

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“Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names.”  ~ Thomas Merton

 

 

 

After participating in the photography challenge in August, I was inspired to move beyond my comfort zone and branch out with my camera.  Not so much with moving off the auto button….that will come in time and with practice….but to move to different spots, and explore them with camera in hand.

 

 

In my Seasonal Celebrations post, on my gardening blog, I talk about what I want to focus on each season.  For autumn, I want to take in more of the world around me.  With surgery side-lining me last year, and an injury this summer, I am anxious to break out and explore…take a few field trips.

 

 

So I am starting a new series, that I hope will be monthly, called Beyond Words.  I want to showcase different spots I find in pictures, with as few words as possible….not easy for me as I love to talk and write.

 

 

For the first field trip I didn’t have to venture far from home.  Just a 10 minute walk across the street to the lake…Oneida Lake.  It is an amazing spot, that I will talk more about later.  It was a perfect time to explore the lake.  When we visited, the beach had just closed a few weeks earlier in late August.  So let’s see what’s happening, at the lake…..

 

 

fishermen

As you can see in the top picture and here, I made a beeline for the beach.  As it is not getting a daily cleaning from all the bird poo, I chose to wear shoes. This lake is considered a top fishing spot.

 

 

 

man fishing collage

It is shallow enough near the shore, that you can even walk right out and fish.

 

 

 

feather

The beach was littered with gull feathers still glistening with mid-morning dew.

 

 

 

clothes on beach collage

I loved this end-of-the-summer beach statement someone left.  You never know what you will find at the beach.  As a matter of fact, I did have one very big surprise….

 

 

 

monarch on the beach collage

Monarchs!   They were all over the beach, which is starting to grow grass and other plant life, as it is not groomed now that the swimmers are gone.  I wasn’t sure if they were getting moisture from the wet sand or the goose poo.

I am joining Anna@ The Transmutational Garden for her Butterfly Bucket List meme the 4th Sunday of the month.

 

 

lakeshore

The water’s edge was a bit mucky, in areas, with grass, plant material and algae washing ashore.

 

 

 

park benches

The picnic area was very quiet with no one around.  A perfect spot to sit and relax even if there is a nip in the air.  I think perhaps we will bring a picnic lunch here in the future.

 

 

 

beach tree

One last look as we turned to go.  I hope you enjoyed our little excursion, to the lake, at the end of summer.

 

 

I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  Oneida Lake is the largest lake entirely within New York State.  It has a surface area of 79.8 square miles, and is located northeast of Syracuse and near the Great Lakes.  There are several parks, marinas and beaches along this lake that spans several counties.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional thoughts about lakes and life.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

lake

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Memories of Fall

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Memories of Fall

 

 

What are the sounds, the smells of fall?

Do you remember them one and all-

The scent of the leaves beginning to fall,

The howl of chill winds and mournful calls.

The crow’s lonesome caw adrift on the wing,

Has me dreaming already of flowers in spring.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

 

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As Fall begins, I am already dreaming of  my garden in spring.   It is easy to get lost in contemplation as I move about the fall garden.  And that is because, in autumn I am planting garlic, moving plants and getting the garden ready for its long sleep.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

memory of fall collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are again of Beaver Lake Nature Center in Autumn 2010.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Memories of Fall.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

memories of fall

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Fall Colors

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 Fall Colors

 

 

Flowers pale, but color remains

The sky’s on fire all through the gray.

Orange, yellow, red dominate the surrounds

High in the trees and low on the ground.

While fall rolls along, it soon will all fade

Back to brown and the rich shades of clay.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

 

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Autumn (or Fall as it is sometimes called) in the northeast United States is quite beautiful.  Something to be celebrated.  So as Fall begins to move through my garden and the surrounding area, I am showcasing it with some of my favorite poems I wrote a few years ago.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

fall colors collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here were taken at one of my favorite spots to observe Autumn, Beaver Lake Nature Center.  These were taken in 2010.  Soon these colors will be showing themselves again.

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Fall Colors.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

fall colors

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Turning To Fall

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Turning To Fall

 

 

As Summer turns her face to Fall

The birds, the bees, the butterflies call.

Eat, drink and fly for all too soon-

The cooler winds will blow past the Harvest Moon.

 

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2012

 

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A few year’s ago, as I watched summer turning to fall these words struck me.  Autumn comes early here, and this year the ash trees were beginning to turn yellow by the third week in August.  But recent temps in the low 90s, humidity and lack of rain kept us in summer for a couple of weeks longer.  Now we are getting just a taste of cooler fall weather.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

harvest moon

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The moon pictures of last year’s Harvest Moon.  As I have only a point and shoot without a tripod, these are not the clearest pictures, but I enjoyed the challenge of shooting them none-the-less.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about summer turning to fall.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

harvest moon poem

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

August Break Completed

smile

“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”

~ Denis Waitley

 

 

 

I promised I would finish up the photography challenge,  The August Break, the creation of Susannah Conway.  Today I have the last 4 prompts, and my interpretations.  These last few words seemed even more of a challenge, but I practiced patience and waited as the inspiration took hold.  Some came to me days later, and I changed the images that didn’t seem to work for me.  So here we go.

 

The first picture above is Day 30-Smile.  Yes that is me, or what I was willing to show of me as I wanted to emphasize my everyday smile.  Just a hint of a smile always on my lips as my mouth upturns and my cheeks puff out.  This photo was actually taken on my Mac computer using the application, Photo Booth.  The camera on my Mac is easier to use for taking self portraits.  And I love some of the effects that this application has.  The effect I used for this was picture is called, Color Pencil.

 

 

 

In The Bag collage

Day 28-In My Bag  This particular prompt had me stumped.  I had many ideas none of which I liked.  As I was going by the pond, I noticed the yellow waterlily finally blooming at the end of summer, which was late.  And I remembered it grows in a cloth bag at the bottom of our pond.  The cattails have all but crushed this waterlily, but I was happy to see it was not going to be pushed out.

 

 

 

in my bag collage2

Then the next day, I saw the new bag of my favorite coffee waiting to be opened and ground.  And it hit me!  I opened the bag on our kitchen table and let it spill out.  And here are 3 views of the coffee beans (that was in my bag of coffee) spilled on the table.  I love these images and can still smell the coffee.

 

 

 

listen2

Day 29-Listening  I knew I wanted to take a picture of our, almost antique, receiver.  My husband has had this receiver for a long time, even though we no longer have the turntable.  We have a CD changer still hooked up to it, and we love to use the radio.

 

 

 

tree frog

Day 31-August Was….  Full of Discovery.  Everywhere I looked in my garden, the smallest creatures seemed to bring delight.  And I continued to see more and more special scenes like this one.  This a Gray Tree Frog.  They are more gray when they are living closer to our trees, and green when in the garden.  As I walked by the stalk of a plant, this tiny green blob caught my eye.  Only an inch long, they are hard to see, but they make a mighty song in high summer when mating.  The pictures were processed a bit differently to highlight this little creature.

 

At the end of the post is another little creature hard to see when they rest in our big ash trees, on tiny branches.  Of course I am talking about the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  This is either a female of juvenile hummer.

 

 

 

So there you have the photos from days 28-31 of  The August Break challenge.  Here are the links for the my other posts from this challenge: Days 1-10, 11-20, and 21-27.

 

I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

 

I leave you with a bit more sentiment about creativity and joy.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

create joy

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Put Down Roots

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Put Down Roots

 

 

The cattails are silent now

The red-wings song eerily remaining on the wind.

While the bullfrogs rest, their hard work done-

New progeny growing,

bringing a vision turned toward the future.

 

 

The land is laid to waste as all about

seeds of a season past are strewn.

Given time to put down roots-

Strong and lasting, waiting, dreaming.

Soon it will be their time to smile

In flowers upon the earth.

 

 

Will I be there to witness this cycle repeating-

I live in the hope these seasons will be many,

Witnessed before my fresh eyes with unending gratitude.

 

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

 

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This poem is a continuation of my contemplation of the seasonal change from summer to fall, and how my life is entrenched deeply in my garden.  It also speaks to my spiritual rebirth and my mortality.

 

 

I enjoy celebrating the seasonal change and invite others who want to celebrate the changing of the season to join me in my quarterly meme, Seasonal Celebrations which I hold on my other blog, Gardens Eye View.  You can read how to join in here in my kick-off post.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

cattails collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The cattails here are from my garden.  These wonderful native plants grow in my pond.  In the Language of Flowers, cattails are said to mean Prosperity and Peacefulness.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Putting Down Roots.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

put down roots

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Wildlife Lesson-Who’s Your Momma?

baby cowbird5

“I have a mother,” said the baby bird.

“I know I do.

I will find her.

I will. I WILL!”

~P. D. Eastman, Are You My Mother?

 

 

One day this summer, I was looking out on the garden as I had heard a bit of chattering that told me baby birds were about….or I should say fledglings or newly fledged birds.  As I looked, I spied a new arrival on the patio….a common landing area where we see many new fledglings rest and explore until they get their courage up to take another flight.

 

 

As I watched this babe (you could tell he was newly fledged as he hardly had a tail and hebaby cowbird2 was sporting baby feathers still, here and there), I thought to myself that I had never seen this type of baby bird before.  Certainly too big for a sparrow, and not quite right for a red-winged blackbird.

 

 

The babe was definitely curious taking in his surroundings, wandering on the step of the patio and seeking out seeds.  He hopped about, but always kept one eye on the sky as he cried a bit to be fed.

 

 

baby cowbird4As I was still trying to figure out who this was, another bird swooped down.  It was a smaller song sparrow.  I thought nothing of it until, the sparrow approached the baby bird, and suddenly fed the big baby bird.  Immediately the lightbulb in my brain went on, and I knew immediately who our visitor was; a fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird.

 

 

Now if you don’t know, cowbirds are one of the few birds who do not build a nest.  Instead they lay their eggs in other birds’ nests.  I always found it fascinating that these birds laid eggs, and left the care and upbringing of the egg and baby to other birds much like a foster care program for birds.

 

 

I have read many birds are not amused with this behavior by the cowbirds, and baby cowbirdwill destroy the eggs if they notice them in the nest.  Song sparrow and cowbird eggs are very similar in appearance so it is no wonder they are duped into thinking the egg is theirs.  It must be quite tight in the nest though with the baby cowbird, as they are double the size of baby sparrows.

 

 

The sparrow fed the baby cowbird there on the patio for a while and then they were off to the trees and others areas in the garden more protected and remote.  As they flew off, I marveled at this scene that had played out before me, and how these stories give me pause to reflect about our own human race.  Perhaps we could take a page from nature and try to work more in harmony helping each other without question and prejudice.  It’s a dream!

 

 

 

baby cowbird3

Here are some interesting facts about Brown-headed Cowbirds:

  • The female cowbird usually chooses an open cup-nest to lay one egg.
  • The female will wait until the host bird has at least one egg in its nest, many times removing an egg from the nest before laying her own.
  • Female cowbirds will continue to lay one egg at a time for about a month, and can lay up to 40 eggs in host nests.  That’s a lot of cowbirds.
  • The incubation of cowbird eggs is short taking typically 10 to 12 days, thus allowing the young cowbird to get a head start in the nest.
  • Young cowbirds grow quickly, which gives them a competitive edge for food over the other young in the nest.
  • Young cowbirds will also leave the nest quickly usually after 8 to 13 days.
  • It takes the young cowbirds quite a long time to become fully independent from their host parents, about 25 to 39 days.
  • Once they become independent they will form small flocks with other juvenile cowbirds and juvenile birds in general.
  • The care for the cowbird from egg to independent juvenile is usually at the expense of the host bird’s other young, as the cowbird is bigger and grows faster thereby giving it food and attention more than the host bird’s young ones.

 

 

baby robin collage

This summer we have witnessed many fledglings in and around the garden especially baby robins.  No robins nested in the garden this year, preferring the undisturbed abandoned house next door.  And it appears our crazy robin momma had a couple of small broods as we saw her feeding babies weeks apart.

 

This babe flew to the arbor and stayed there for quite a while as it took in its surroundings.  It was quite content to stay put for more than an hour waiting for its parent to come and feed it.

 

 

 

young robin

I spied him, or a sibling, a few weeks later in the garden searching for food and not far from his parents still.

 

 

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.  I am also linking in withMichelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.

 

 

And I am sharing this lesson with Beth@PlantPostings for her wonderful Garden Lessons Learned meme.  I hope you will join her.  Please check out all these great blogs.

 

 

Also as the equinox approaches, please join me at my garden blog, Gardens Eye View,  for my quarterly meme, Seasonal Celebrations. There you can find all the details for linking up to this celebration of the coming of the new seasons around the world.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about the lessons I am learning from nature.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

baby bird

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Late Summer Rains

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Late Summer Rains

 

 

Late summer rains

renew the parched landscape.

Bringing late blooming flowers

Kissed all too often by approaching frosty stares.

 

 

Late, last minute visitors find an oasis there

Grateful for each drop of nectar.

While bees sleep on flowers waiting for the warmth of the sun.

Slowing in their quest for rich powdery snuff.

 

 

And each day I am there soaking up the riches of a late garden.

The sights, the smells and the silence.

Knowing now the days are shorter

The time for a deep sleep is upon us all too soon.

 

 

There is a grace still in these decaying blooms

Like old photos faded with memories.

Gladness mixed with melancholy lingers

As my brain etches these images upon my landscape.

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

 

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As I wandered my garden this August, I saw the telltale signs of the seasonal change nipping at the fringes of my garden and my senses.  I do love fall, and the beauty of the tattered and faded garden blooms.  There is a very special beauty during this change as we move closer to the next season.

 

 

I enjoy celebrating the seasonal change and invite others who want to celebrate the changing of the season to join me in my quarterly meme, Seasonal Celebrations which I hold on my other blog, Gardens Eye View.  I will have the kick-off post tomorrow.  If you would like to join me in celebrating the new season, check out the post tomorrow.

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

spent flower collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.  

 

I am joining in another wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The photos here of the late summer rains and tattered blooms from my garden last year.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Late Summer Rains.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

Late Summer Rain

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

August Break Continues

edge vase“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”
~Hugh MacLeod

 

 

 

I have been enjoying the photography challenge,  The August Break, the creation of Susannah Conway.  And today brings another 10 days of words, and my interpretations.  This creative challenge continues to tickle my creative muscles as I play with ideas, composition and perspective.  Again I am including a few collages of pictures as they make for interesting photos too.

 

 

The first picture above is actually Day 11-Edge.  I was looking at this vase that was sitting on the windowsill of our back windows that angle out.  And I saw how it was peeking out from the edge of the wall.  I thought it was an interesting shot.

 

 

 

edge collage

Part of the same vase contained Queen Anne’s Lace which I just love to photograph.  And it is especially stunning in up close pictures emphasizing the Edges!

 

 

 

yellow

Day 12-Yellow  There is so much yellow outside in the garden, so I was searching inside for something yellow I wanted to showcase.  I spied our yellow hummingbird teapot that we bought in Santa Fe, NM.  It was perfect next to the same vase of declining sunflowers (also yellow).

 

 

 

last year

Day 13-Last Year  When I searched through the photos from last year, one special event that I just loved was the twin fawns that visited nearly every day.  Surprisingly, we have not seen any fawns so far this year.

 

 

 

favorite smell

Day 14-Favorite Smell  At this time of year, my favorite smell is fresh picked tomatoes sitting here on the kitchen counter.  They are a favorite treat as well.

 

 

 

art collage

Day 15-Art  This word was a challenge until I looked out at the garden in the morning light, and saw this hardy hibiscus glowing.  The incredible details of the huge flower petals are truly a work of art.  I thought I would make the inset picture into an actual painting, and then compare them in this collage.  I can barely tell the difference between the two….both Nature’s art.

 

Speaking of Nature’s art, I have a picture of a monarch, at the end of the post, that has been visiting my garden for several days.  I consider monarch’s and their beautiful wings, with the stripes and spots, artwork!

 

 

 

fire3

Day 16-Fire  The early morning light coming into the garden creates so much magic.  And as it touched the red and orange sunflowers recently, it looked like the flames of a fire.

 

 

 

fire collage2

I absolutely love these sunflowers because of their color, and they have about 50 flowers on a 7 foot tall multiple branched sunflower.  And this sunflower is a volunteer from last year’s plant.  .

 

 

 

books collage

Day 17-Reading  I have so many bookshelves filled to overflowing with books.  But my absolute favorite is this Stickley glass-fronted bookcase.  I keep very special books in this bookcase with special artwork.  The tile and the pottery are both from NM.

 

 

 

look up

Day 18-Look Up  The days have been hot lately, and the sun around midday washing out all the color.  As I sat on the patio step and looked up, I shot a bunch of pictures.  And to my surprise, I caught some interesting spider webs being constructed in the Sanguisorba officinalis.  It is always good to look up!

 

 

 

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Day 19-Sweet Delight  What better sweet treat on a hot day than a popsicle.

 

 

 

sweet collage

I left it out in 85 degree heat and photographed it melting from many different views.

 

 

 

two final

Day 20-Two  I was not sure what I was going to do for this word as I already had a few pictures with 2 items in this post.  Then Tuesday, we had severe thunderstorms that snapped many of my beloved sunflowers in two.  Those same beloved sunflowers above set ablaze by the sun.

 

 

 

two collage

Now they are in a vase a bit bedraggled, and dropping petals….these two petals were my inspiration!  It seems sunflowers have been an ongoing inspiration for me during August.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed these photos from days 11-20 of  The August Break challenge.  I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and with Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) photo linkup party at image-in-ing.

 

 

 

I leave you with a bit more sentiment about creativity.   Feel free to download the photo and share.

aug break create2

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Wildlife Lessons: Being Foxy

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“You should never turn down the offer of another man’s story,’ the fox persisted, moving off a little further into the trees ahead. ‘Stories are the only thing that separates us from the animals after all.”  ~T.B. McKenzie

 

 

 

Isn’t he adorable…so sleek and beautiful!  That is our Hunter.  He came to our garden in July of last year, and he still comes around.  We know he comes in the garden, but I won’t give you the gory details as to how we know.

 

 

 

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In June, when we were deluged with almost daily inches of rain, the wildlife was affected too.  One morning we saw Hunter in our neighbors back meadow just over our fence.  He was laying on the tarp covered soil, and he was drenched.  He looked emaciated soaking wet.  We figure his den was in a spot that was flooding.

 

 

 

sleeping fox

And he came almost every day or so for weeks in June.  A regular fixture after a drowning rain overnight.  He would sun himself to dry off for a while and then he slept…he seemed exhausted as if he couldn’t sleep in his den because of the rain.

 

 

 

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After his snooze he would check out the meadow area for a meal…he knows from experience the rich bounty of food he has found previously in this area.

 

And after all the exertion of hunting he snoozed some more in the shade on the grass and on the slabs of cement near the tarp covered soil.

 

 

 

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Yes that is a bird…we think a catbird.  I said he was an amazing hunter.

 

 

 

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During June, we also had two momma woodchucks bring their young ones out of the den to find a home.  Now 5 woodchucks living under the sheds on either side of us was too much for everyone.  So the families were eventually moved to a wild area where they could have the run of the place.

 

But before they moved, the fox was around often.  Somehow he just missed these guys as they kept close to those sheds with momma.

 

 

 

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I swear he knows I am watching him from the window as he looks right at me with those amazing, piercing eyes.  Once the rain ended, Hunter melted back to the wild woods behind us, and we have not seen him.  But he left a lasting impression on us and others this summer….

 

 

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Soon after Hunter went back to his den, we spotted our resident female rabbit out and about.  But it was where I saw her that was so unusual.  She was also grooming and posing out and about on the slabs where Hunter had been.  And I still see her there grooming from time to time.

 

 

 

I have a short video of the rabbit, who could be our Beatrice, enjoying the slabs.

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.

 

 

 

I leave you with another thought about nature and all its wonders.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

fox wisdom

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-15.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Summersweet

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Summersweet

 

 

Sweet warm fragrance catches the wind,

Explodes with all your senses drawn in.

While the sun dances through the greening leaves,

Unto the flowers the colors do cleave.

 

 

Pollinators catch sight as they fly on by,

Stopping for a sip, letting out a sigh.

They know the secret of this summer sweet swoon,

And you’ll know it too when you nourish this bloom.

 

 

So keep her head in part sun, and her feet somewhat wet-

And oh the rewards in late summer you will get!

 

 

 © Donna Donabella 2015

 

 

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I am taking a break from my series of summer poems.  I originally wrote this poem in 2012 to accompany a post to profile the native plant, Summersweet as it was blooming in high summer.

 

The original poem is just 4 lines (the first 2 and last 2 in this poem).  I recently added several more lines to the poem to pour out my love for this flowering shrub as it begins to bloom now.  I look forward to it every year in late July or early August.

 

 

 

I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

summersweet collage

I am joining in a wonderful meme at  A Spirit of Simplicity.  It is called Tuesday Afternoon where Kara celebrates a nice slow day in a busy week.  Check out her blog and the meme on Tuesday.

 

 

If you enjoy reading this blog, I welcome you to share it with others. I enjoy spreading the blog love, and I appreciate all who come and read my blogs. 

 

 

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Special Note:  The pictures here are of my native Summersweet bush also known as Clethra alnifolia, ‘Ruby Spice’.

 

 

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I leave you with a few additional words about Summersweet.  I welcome you to download the photo and share it.

summersweet

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Wildlife Lesson-Orange Pride

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“Birds are flying over the garden. What are you doing inside the house? Join them! If you can’t join them, at least open the window and greet them!”
Mehmet Murat ildan 

 

 

On March 20th spring crawled in even though we had cold air and snow covering the garden.  But it was the signs that nature brings, that really heralded DSCN7229the new season was indeed upon us.  The red-winged blackbirds had arrived a few days before….and the deer, who were about and feeding on shrubs, were already losing their winter coats.

 

 

And I knew that eventually the warm winds would blow again and melt the foot of snow remaining (we are still waiting for the melt).  So it was time to get ready for other critters we knew would be returning.  I usually put out the hummingbird feeder in late-April as scouts can be out and about.  And right on the hummingbird’s tail feathers, is the arrival of other birds.

 

 

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One of my favorite birds, returning north anytime between later April and early May, is the Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula).  I adore their bright colors, a welcome sight, just as the trees are leafing out so I can still watch them easily.

 

 

 

Last year, they announced themselves with their wonderful song and by hanging on the two hummingbird feeders we had out (see photo at the top of the post).  I had not seen too many of these beauties before in my garden except when one or two would take a quick bath in the pond.

 

 

 

other birds on feeder

But last year, there were several hanging around the hummer feeder trying to get at the tasty liquid.  So I quickly purchased a ‘cadillac’ oriole feeder.  Orange in color with lots of spots for drinking sweetened liquid, eating orange pieces or partaking of grape jelly.  It was a big hit with the orioles and hummers, and other birds who learned how to get to the sweetened water like the catbirds, downy woodpeckers and house sparrows (top left to bottom right).

 

 

DSCN7155Last year at the crack of dawn, the orioles would wake me as they ate and sang at their feeder which was right under my bedroom window.   Such a wonderful array of bright warm colors against the early morning sun.  They are a perfect symbol of summer as the color orange represents warmth and heat.

 

 

 

I have never spotted an oriole nest in my garden, but they do build their nests in the “wild area” woods behind us.  It is an unusual sight to see this basket of grasses hanging from slim fibers on a tree branch.

 

 

And once the babies fledge, the orioles are gone as quickly as they came.  But their short time in my garden gives me much pride; which is another word for happiness.

 

 

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Top 2 are males; bottom left is  female and bottom right is fledgling

 

Here are some interesting facts about Baltimore Orioles:

  • They got their name because their orange and black colors are the same as the heraldic crest of the Baltimore family of England.
  • It is said, Baltimore Orioles prefer only ripe, dark-colored fruit, and will ignore ripe green and yellow fruits.  Ours loved the dark grape jelly, but did not like the oranges we put out.
  • Young male Baltimore Orioles do not get their bright-orange adult feathers until their second year. They are very similar in appearance to younger females.
  • Females become a brighter orange as they molt, and almost resemble bright orange males once they are older.
  • Baltimore Orioles can stab soft fruits, and drink the liquid with their tongues.

 

 

 

With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday.

 

 

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I leave you with another thought about birds.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

bird-oriole

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

Poetry Sunday-Autumn’s Kiss

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Autumn’s Kiss

 

A chillin’ kiss on frosty morn,

On every blade and flower adorns.

 

As summer fades and autumn is born

The icy dew does bid us warned.

 

 

 

For soon the nights will be long and cold

As winter slips in to take its hold.

 

So cherish for now each warm sunny day,

As they skip on the breeze and fade away.

 

© Donna Donabella 2013

 

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I wrote this poem last October 3rd, 2013 on my garden blog, Gardens Eye View, in anticipation of the coming frost.   Frost came suddenly in late October that year, and the pictures here show the killing frost in the garden readying the landscape for winter’s chill and frozen time.

 

 

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I am joining in with Poets United for their weekly poetry link up for poets who blog.  Visit them to read some more wonderful verse.

 

 

frost collage

I am also linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday, and with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

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Special Note:  This year we waited until the middle of November for our killing frost which came with snow.

 

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I leave you with a little bit of sentiment about keeping warm in frosty cold.  I welcome you to download the photo and share.

frost

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

Creating Something New

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“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

 

 

This week’s photo challenge had us looking for something new along with themes such as little, lines, morning, soft and nature.   Again the themes this past week overlapped and I decided to go with an overarching theme…that of something new.  Every day is new for me, and when I pick up my camera I never know what is going to appear unusual, beautiful, intriguing and a must capture.

 

All but one picture was taken in my garden depicting nature.  And while taking pictures of my garden is nothing new, all of these pictures were taken at the start of a new day in the  soft morning light.  The first picture is of Obedient plant glowing as the first soft golden rays of the morning sun shines down on the garden.

 

I am linking in with the I Heart Macro meme hosted by Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.  And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.

 

 

hibiscus This is one of my hardy hibiscus greeting the soft morning light.

 

 

 

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Joe Pye weed glowing….

 

 

 

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…along with perennial Helianthus a much smaller (little) native sunflower.

 

 

 

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And the lines of zebra grass make a great backdrop for Queen Anne’s lace.

 

 

 

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This fading Echinacea flower is almost transparent in the morning light.

 

 

 

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Last week I showed you this Great Burnet in black and white.  And while I loved its texture in monochrome, I do adore its wine color too.

 

 

 

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My native Tradescantia, still growing in late summer, becomes a golden purple casting a wonderful shadow in the morning light.

 

 

 

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This picture of the same Obedient plant, at one at the top of the post, was also taken in morning but the clouds rolled in.  That did not deter this little hummingbird.  Can you see her just approaching from the right….just peeking her head in.

 

 

 

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And finally my favorite little vase together with my special little Zuni bear fetish are also greeting the morning sun.

 

 

 

I leave you with another shot of creativity in nature…. a white admiral butterfly, which is a new critter in the garden this year.  Feel free to download the photo and share.

wh admiral

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.