SBS:~Western Kingbird~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~ Western Kingbird ~

Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird

On Saturday we took a ride to check on our motorhome, which is stored about seven miles from our home. While there I noticed several Western Kingbirds perched in Cottonwood trees that run along a fence line separating the storage facility from an open grassland.

I wanted to try to capture an image of these Flycatchers. I got my camera and slowly approached the fence so as not to scare them. I stopped not too far away and just stood there hoping they would get use to seeing me. 

After a few minutes, one of the Western Kingbirds flew high into the air and came gliding down toward me. This fearless, striking gray and yellow bird then continued to fly in circles around me as it gave me a scolding.  Loud, buzzing, vocals combined with graceful, acrobatics. How fun.

A few seconds of this behavior and it flew back to its perch. I stood there for a couple more minutes, thoroughly scolded, but not deterred. The Kingbird must have decided I was not a threat, because I was ignored after that.

I was able to observe, their gymnastic flying and hunting abilities as they snatched bugs out of the air. There was plenty of “fussing” between the Kingbirds, I guess reminding each other which Cottonwood tree was theirs.

These photos are my first images of Western Kingbirds. Wish I could have gotten closer.

Got Ya!
Got Ya!
Western Kingbird - after a bug.
Western Kingbird – after a bug.
Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird
Western Kingbird - its too hot!
Western Kingbird – its too hot!

FP: ~Sunflowers~

~

Dropped like a gift,

A seed from another.

~

Slowly you grow, 

Golden petals long and slim.

~

Golden Petals Long and Slim
Golden Petals Long and Slim

~

Your elegant, but strong leaves,

Swaying in the breeze.

~

Your Elegant, but Strong Leaves
Your Elegant, but Strong Leaves

~

You grace us with your presence,

As you lift to face the sun.

~

Lying in your center,

Is the heart of your being.

~

Heart of your Being
Heart of your Being

~

Growing new seeds,

To feed those in need.

~

To Feed Those in Need
To Feed Those in Need

~

A seed is taken, a seed is eaten,

A seed is dropped, which begins to grow.

 ~

To again,

Feed those who happen by.

~

 

My Corner of the World…..

     

~ Loveland Sunrise  ~ Viewed from My Corner of the World
~ Loveland Sunrise ~
Viewed from My Corner of the World

     My hands are warmed by a streaming cup of coffee, my husband brewed for me, as I sit in my corner of the world.

     My body is warmed by the first, brilliant rays of the sun as I snuggle down and relax in my favorite deck chair. 

     My mind fills with beautiful thoughts, the sun rises higher in the sky and I enjoy my first cup of coffee. 

     I gaze toward the eastern horizon, across the tree tops, into the heart of the city where life is waiting to be experienced. This glorious day begins and offers its challenges and endless opportunities.

     I choose to spend my time and this day with all my being.

     It is later in the day now, as I sit here in my corner of the world. In my hands I hold a long-stemmed, crystal glass filled with a burgundy colored liquid that my husband poured for me. The conversation is good.

     The brilliance of the sun has dimmed and the sky is filled with rich warming colors as its’ last rays disappear over the mountains.

      I am happy and filled with love for this person who has placed these symbols of comfort, in my hands.

     This day, as everyday, began with promise and a blank slate for me and only me to fill. My mind is at peace and has been enriched for I have achieved my goal.

     As I sit here in my corner of the world.

©2011 by Sheila de Laneuville

Sunset from a Different Perspective
Sunset – a Different Perspective

SBS:~Mockingbird~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~ Northern Mockingbird ~

~ I'am sure you can't see me ~
~ I’am sure you can’t see me ~

     Growing up in the South the Northern Mockingbird was a common sight. As a kid I enjoyed its repertoire of notes and mimicking vocals. It is a beautiful songbird with a huge personality.

     The Mockingbird will defend a large territory, up to two acres, and often will chase just about anything that happens to cluelessly meander into its home base.  An area this large it must keep darn busy. 

     I have been dive-bombed many times. Birds, dogs and cats watch out it will peck you on the head, on the butt, and everywhere in between if you get anywhere near its nest.

     Sitting from a high perch the Mockingbird likes to sing when other birds are peacefully roosting. If you have ever laid awake at night with the window open and are lucky enough to live in the Northern Mockingbird’s range, you probably have been lulled to sleep by its pleasing, repetitive song.

     As an adult, I enjoy seeing and hearing this enchanting songbird. Its presence always brings back delightful memories for me of playing in the yard and climbing trees. 

     Don’t you wish we could climb trees again with nothing more to worry about than getting harassed by a Northern Mockingbird?

Northern Mockingbird had enough of me (taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park)
Northern Mockingbird had enough of me (taken in Jonathan Dickinson State Park)

SBS:~ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher~

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

These graceful birds are fun to watch!

Some dear friends of ours are currently traveling toward home, in their motorhome. They spent several days at Lake Whitney, TX and while there, they were entertained by six, comical Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. How exciting to see six at once. 

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Their funny story reminded me of some photos I took of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, back in April of 2012 at Caprock Canyon State Park. (Hope ya’ll enjoy these.)

Caprock Canyon State Park is located in Briscoe County, Texas, south of Amarillo.

It is known for its deep, colorful ravines and the fact that it is home to the official Bison Herd in the state of Texas.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

A New, Shiny, Green Wheel Barrel…..

A Shiny, Green Wheel Barrel

Our last wheel barrel was well used and over twenty years old.

It was big and bright red. When Howard took it to the dump a couple of weeks ago it was time. Wooden handles were split, the flat tire cracked and frankly just looking sad, its bottom rusted with age. It had been turned upside down and placed in a spot hidden out of sight under a pine tree in the backyard. Forgotten.

One day last week Howard called me saying he was stopping at a hardware store, on his way home, to buy a new wheel barrel. That evening over dinner Howard told me “This will probably be my last wheel barrel. I am no longer a wheel barrel man.”

You see this post isn’t about the new, green wheel barrel.

The wheel barrel is symbolic of something I have been thinking about for a while now. Something deeper. I have been thinking lately about the passage of life, the time we have left, our lives together and how to put into words my feelings.

So when Howard was speaking about the wheel barrel, I realized I could use it as a symbol. I don’t know exactly what he meant, but I can guess his meaning and that being, I am getting to a stage in my life where I can’t use a wheel barrel like I once did when I was much younger and stronger. 

Don’t we all feel it some days and sense the urgency?

I have recently started thinking of my life in “thirds” of years, why I really don’t know.

Maybe it is just easy. This August we will be married thirty-eight years; happy and productive years. We were 29 and 22 on our wedding day in 1975. This year we will celebrate our 67th and 60th birthdays. Yet, no real reason for my sense of urgency.

We were both raised in Louisiana and spent, our first third, give or take a few years, there. Growing up, family, friends, school, working, marriage, building a home. All the normal life experiences. All wonderful!

In January of 1986, we moved from Louisiana to Colorado, because we wanted to, there wasn’t any other reason. A life in the West enjoying the outdoors. Joy! A Dream! I was 33 at the time of this move and entering the second “third” of my life.

It was a life changing and difficult decision, leaving our family and friends and a way of life we were comfortable with. The move was adventurous and exciting and probably a shock to most. Not like us they said. Maybe to some, but to us it was the right decision. During our time here in Colorado, came more school, building of careers, enjoyable time spent in nature, a few vacations mostly back south to visit family and friends. We developed treasured friendships. A lovely life!

In 2006 came another life changing event – retirement.

Retirement brought freedom, travel, more enjoyment of hobbies new and old, RV’ing, new friends and more time to spend with old, dear friends and it also brought a relaxed, peaceful state of mind. Except for my in the back of mind thought of getting older and an urgency. An urgency to do what?

So, now twenty-seven years later, I am quickly entering the final “third” of life. No guarantees here right. Who is lucky enough to live an enjoyable life into their nineties.

So this post now gets to the heart of what it is about. The burning knowledge and needed acceptance we are entering our final years, in my strange way of looking at the years. I have no doubt Howard and I will be together. We truly love and respect each other. How much time do we have left together? How much longer will we both have our good health? How long can we continue to travel in our motorhome? Where will we spend our days? What will we be doing.

There is a chance that someday we might move from our lovely try-level home on the hill. Won’t be able to or won’t want to, go up and down in the house and up and down in the multilevel yard. Won’t be able to push that wheel barrel up the hill when needed.

Do we leave our beloved west and go back south (our roots), do we head southwest, do we move to a single level home here in our hometown. Many important questions and currently no answers.

The answers to all these questions will one day resolve themselves. I guess getting to these answers is the ultimate joy of life. They don’t need to be make in a hurriedly fashion. Why the urgency, I now ask myself. They need to be made, after plenty discussion and with both our desires in mind.

The ultimate joy of life….

Living it, experiencing it, embracing and enjoying the unexpected, the anticipation of what’s to come. The next phase of our life together will be just as much an adventure as when we began all our other adventures. We will enter it just as much in love with each other and more then when we started of life together.

What matters is being together, enjoying life, being happy where we are, having things to be passionate about, living life to its fullest everyday. We can plan our future as any wise person would do, but hey we don’t need to dwell on it. There’s no hurry!

This is my lesson learned, my enlightened understanding, my resolve and my peace, knowing it will all work out just fine. No urgency. Thank you wheel barrel for your symbolism. It is okay if I am the only one that understands this.

I will, he will, we will – enjoy life, enjoy each other and live everyday to the fullest.

Let me close with a note about Howard and his new, shiny, green wheel barrel. Yesterday he spent the day working on his project. At the end of the day he was tired, had an expression of accomplishment on his face and he was happy. Many more hours until his project is finished and many more days for me to see his joy living life.

It is early morning…..

My beautiful Ponderosa Pine
My beautiful Ponderosa Pine

It is early morning. I am sitting on my deck, looking east out over the town of Loveland where I live.

Not a cloud in the sky, which is a lovely, calming shade of blue. You know this shade of blue, hard to describe, simply like no other. 

Peaceful is what I feel, as I sit here enjoying my first cup of coffee.

There is a cool breeze. Yes, cool. I can’t believe it myself since yesterdays temperatures reached the high nineties. Where did it come from, I need not ask, I am just delighted it came to pay a visit.

Once in a small shady spot, how my space is mixed with beams of sunlight as the sun rises higher in the sky. It is now topping the highest branch on my beautiful Ponderosa Pine. As the breeze continues to blow, lovingly caressing her branches, I see shadows dancing across my lap.

I hear the faint, mournful calls of the Ringed Turtle- Doves as they fly in and around my yard, whispering to each other and perhaps to me. Their call reassuring my peaceful feeling. 

I know the day will get warmer, maybe even hot, but right now, in this moment, I treasure these peaceful moments of my morning. 

The girls are laying at my feet. It seems they also are enjoying this cool, calming morning. I think I see doggie smiles on their faces. Are they experiencing my pleasure? More likely their own happy doggie thoughts.

Is it now time for a walk…..

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home