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Monday, January 31, 2011

Harzel has a ......!

Making Days Count 31!

Here it is the last day of January and for the first time, I have posted every day of the month, taken and posted my 12 photos for the photo scavenger hunt (posted yesterday), followed Harzel around (well, not literally), and feel like I made each day count (although I could have done more projects inside).

There's big news about Harzel, but first...

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and then this ...

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but now for the big news:

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I will close the month with a sonnet I wrote to go with some of my photos today.

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Welcome to February :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January Photo Scavenger Hunt

Making Days Count 30

A choice I made at the beginning of the year was to join in on the monthly photo Scavenger Hunt challenge, thanks to Louise for pointing me to Postcards from PP.

I have made a collage of my twelve photos as follows (click to enlarge):

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To click on the Photo Scavenger link up site click here.

A Harzel update photoshoot from today, and again for those who don't know, Harzel is the tree I've chosen to watch for The Tree Year ... Harzel is the combination of Harry (from Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree) and Hazel Corkscrew (another name it is known by):

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It was lovely to have a blue sky background, even when the clouds blew over ... I just missed an eagle that flew off the top of the tree in the bottom right photo!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birds to Buds to Blooms

Making Days Count 29

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

For the birds...

Making Days Count 27

It was another digging through paper day, as I sorted and recycled so much that I don't need anymore. I did stop and watch the birds for awhile as they frequented the suet feeders. All of the photos were taken out of the front window. Luckily, Mr. Sneaky, the cat that used to live next door and liked to hide in or behind the birdbath... has moved!

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My youngest son must have smelled the cookies, because he phoned last night to say he'd be coming tonight to stay over!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beware!

Make Days Count 26

Today was sunny and 12C! I was invited to tea, so made cookies and took some with me ...but when I returned home...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birds, Bling, and Bread...

Making Days Count 24

It started out as another grey day, but soon I noticed a few sweet birds coming around the feeders.

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I think this could be a female Ruby-crowned Kinglet, as there is no red patch visible, although it may be just hidden. The one on the top-right is the Golden-crowned Kinglet, yellow stripe visible today.

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Sorry I didn't have my camera on a tripod for this little video through the window.



I decided to go outside and crouch down beside the birdbath and fortunately the Towsend's Warbler didn't seem to notice me at all. She was up, down, and all around!

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After taking photos of the birds, it was time to go for a walk, check the mail, and see just which shades of grey were down by Harzel's path.

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Bread was baking so that when I got home a lovely aroma greeted me, and a warm slice of it with butter and marmalade was just the ticket to revive me :)

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

How small can they get?

Making Days Count 23

The first thing I thought of today when I looked out at the bird feeder was, "Are the birds getting smaller each day?" There was one lone tiny bird on a branch perched for a long time as if waiting for the rest to appear. I was able to take a couple of shots through the front window. In the photo on the right, I have shown its size in relation to the bird feeder. Each one of those wire square measures one inch. There was not too much activity around the feeders today when I looked out...just as there wasn't much activity going on inside either!

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I found the information about the Golden-crowned Kinglet here. These birds are similar to my favorite little Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but apparently are more hardy.

I spent a good portion of the day sorting through paperwork and shredding lots of it in readiness for recycling day tomorrow. It was another grey day, so perfect for such a project.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reaching out...

Making Days Count 22

Today, on my walk, I was looking for heart shapes for Louise to send her some loving care as she has been suffering from laryngitis and feeling under the weather. So for you, Louise, here's a collection of hearts to let you know I'm thinking of you :) I hope that the love they stand for can reach right across the world to you and bring you back to health and happiness... (I coloured the first one pink)

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It was a grey day, but pleasant enough. Because I was walking with my head down (looking for heart shaped rocks), I nearly walked into a dog! He let out a loud bark and scared the living daylights out of me. I continued along being more aware of my surroundings heading towards Harzel*, who was not sporting anything heart shaped that I could see. I have illuminated him with glowing edges in the photo below.

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The tide was not fully in so there was a touch of sand on the other side of the 'rock band'. It was good to see a bright horizon sandwiched in the distance. Perhaps it was the silver lining :)

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Staring at rocks as I walked along was eye-boggling...and when I saw this, I had to take its photo (and put it in my pocket). "What the heck?" I gasped.

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Earlier in the day, the feeder was visited once again by a cluster of small birds. After I had taken a photo, and had a good look, I still didn't know what they were. I emailed the photo to a birding friend, and he sent back this message:
Your latest critters are Bushtits. These tiny little guys usually travel in flocks. They build a beautiful sock-like nest out of moss and lichen.

Once I knew that they were Bushtits, I was able to look up more information. I saw one of their remarkable 'sock nests' a couple of years ago and even took a photo. I wonder if I'll be able to find it.

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*ShySongBird is wondering who Harzel is...and for those not in the know, here's the story.


Flighty mentioned a link to Tree Year on his blog.  The idea is to follow a tree during the year and take note of particular aspects of its growth, etc.  More info is here.  I decided to use this opportunity to pick a tree about a 15-20 min. walk away, to encourage me to get out for a walk as often as possible.  Originally I called the tree Harry, because I think he is a "Harry Lauder Walking Stick" tree, however he seems to be fond of aliases, because Flighty found out he is a "Corkscrew Hazel".  The combination of Harry and Hazel became Harzel.  And that's the story.  He is also known as a Convoluted Filbert, but, hey...

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Puzzling Day

Making Days Count 21

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

An inside job

Making Days Count 20

Last night, I caught a glimpse of the full moon peering through evergreen branches, before it slid behind cloud cover. Since my moon photo was not clearly defined, I used some Photoshop filters to see what would transpire. January’s full moon is also known as the Wolf Moon. Can you see the wolf?



The site on this link has a wonderfully written blog posting about her Wolf Moon and also lists other names for the January moon.

Today was an “inside day” for me. It was a very wet day, so I was able to catch up on some indoor projects. Meanwhile, some little birds continued to frequent the bird feeders and brighten the day. I have been scouring my bird books because there are some I just don’t recognize, for instance, the one on the feeder with the Townsend’s Warbler. It had a shock of orange on its head, but it seemed too large for a kinglet, and different coloring than the woodpecker...but whatever it is, I was glad to see it. These shots were taken through the front window on a dark and dreary day, so they are not the greatest.
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I have seen Harzel when he’s dripping wet, so I gave him a miss today. Hopefully, it will be a bit brighter tomorrow which will encourage me to go for a walk to the beach.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What can I say?

Making Days Count 19

Sometimes the day and night skies are so amazing, they are difficult to describe. The local snowcapped mountain was resplendent in the sunshine ~

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Tufts of clouds were waving ~

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and the evening transformed blue into pink, and then into vivid crimson ~ views from the front door:


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I hope Harzel is enjoying the full moon tonight!







To finish, here's a little poem for Uphilldowndale that I have written tonight. When her chicken, cat and dog walk atop a drystone wall, it's storybook land time!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Way with Words

Making Days Count 18

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Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Procrastinate

Making Days Count 17

Today was mild, and somewhat windy and rainy. This was not wonderful photo taking weather, however I enjoyed getting out for a walk and then for a drive.

When looking out the front window this morning, I noticed that Mrs. Downy Woodpecker was enjoying poking her beak into the suet feeder. No sign of Mr.
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I headed down to see Harzel, and he was being buffeted by the wind while peering at a panorama of mostly grey, with nothing on the horizon! I hope his outlook improves ;)

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A few Bald Eagles drifted overhead. Here’s one of them:

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On the walk home, I saw a heart shaped rock on some moss beside some cones and twigs. There were some touches of plant life to brighten up the day.

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I decided to check out the swans, but upon arrival noticed there were none in the area. A Bald Eagle atop a tree was swivelling its head around as numerous birds flew in its vicinity.

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A flock of gulls appeared close to the water. I’m not sure what kind...at first I thought Bonaparte or Franklin, but their heads are supposed to be white in winter, and turn black in the spring, so I’m stymied. Also, all I could see were their undersides, which didn’t help me identify their markings. I liked the look of them anyway!

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On my drive home, I realized that there were sea lions on the pontoons, but I didn’t stop as it was late afternoon. I did however take a few photos of the snow capped Coast Mountain Range in the distance.
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All in all an enjoyable day, and going out helped me procrastinate doing some inside jobs... so that counts for something ;)