Spring: Just around the corner


A friend and nature enthusiast has graciously agreed to allow me to use her photographs on my blog. Kathy Marche lives on the West coast of the island of Newfoundland. An avid bird watcher, she has captured wonderful images of our feathered friends. With spring just around the corner it is nice to anticipate the return of migratory birds. Here are a few of Kathy’s photographs taken in various locales near her home.

Black-throated Green Warbler Photo by Kathy Marche
Mourning Warbler; Kathy Marche photograph
Wilson’s Warber; Photo by Kathy Marche
Yellow Warbler was making a nest; Photo: Kathy Marche
Black and White Warbler – photo by Kathy Marche
Another shot of a Black and White Warbler – Kathy Marche photographer
Yellow-rumped Warbler; photo by Kathy Marche
“Whatcha looking at?” Yellow-rumped Warbler – photo by Kathy Marche
Feeding time – a Yellow-rumped Warbler – Kathy Marche photographer

My sincere thanks to Kathy for allowing me to use her photographs. There are many more to come. Kathy treks the nature trails as well as the highways and byways and takes beautiful photos of nature and winged creatures of every kind. I hope you have enjoyed this brief interlude and break from winter. It is a cold day in February, but looking at these photos helps me remember spring will soon be here… thank goodness!

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Alberta Birds


Here I go again with photos of birds – this time all photographs were taken in Alberta, Canada. Some breeds are very common, others were a complete surprise and a lovely treat. Taken over a couple of years in various places in the province, and in all seasons. I love birds!!!!

The magpie is a common sight to see and can be mischievous. I’ve heard tales too of it’s thievery. One person told me of a magpie stealing burgers off the grill…this one was visiting the back deck last winter.
I do not know what breed this is. While I thoroughly enjoy watching and photographing birds, I am far from being an expert. This little guys was eating the berries from the tree in the yard. Thankfully there were some to keep our feathered friends alive through the cold winter months.
March brought quite a few different birds to the yard. this Cedar Waxwing pair were a delight to see – they provided many hours of entertainment.
This woodland Grouse spent more than a week in the yard – perhaps it was hiding from predators?
The little juncos were so fund to watch – there was a flock of them taking advantage of the birdseed that others had dropped on the ground….
I think this one is called an Ovenbird – please correct me if I’m wrong. At any rate it sure brought smiles of delight to my face….
I never knew how pretty the song was of the Red-winged Blackbird. I spent many joyous hours listening to their songs….
The Redpoll is a common sight in these parts of Alberta – such pretty little birds and a blessing to have them visit the yard and grace the branches of the tree in the front yard…
A Fox Sparrow? Not sure if I am correct or not, but these common, but very cheerful little birds are a joy to observe….

This woodpecker carved quite a decent-sized hole in the tree and made sure we knew who the carpenter was
this guy made a stopover in the yard…he didn’t stay long but his plumage was beautiful…I’d hoped to see him again and capture better images….sadly it was not to be
The purple sheen and shiny black of this common Grackle is so pretty – but their cry is not!
I was so excited to see the Gray Jays…my first sight of them….notoriously difficult to capture a decent image though…they are so swift of wing!!!

In the spring there were quite a few water fowl visiting a nearby green space…the plumage was so vibrant and the eyes really are red – quite a sight to see
It’s always sheer delight to me to watch hawks soaring overhead, but, again, very difficult to photograph – most of the time they are so far above me and my zoom lens is not strong enough to catch them….still, pure pleasure to watch and to listen to their cries…

If you enjoy nature and are a bird watcher, I’ve learned that Lac La Biche, Alberta, is one of the best spots in the country for bird watching. I am hoping to take a trip there this summer to see what I can see – and hopefully capture new (to me) breeds with my camera…. hope you have enjoyed these. Cheers!

A Blog A Day ~ A Month Of Random (And Totally Awesome) Blogs To Check Out For February 2019


thanks, China, for doing the legwork

Plucking Of My Heartstrings

blog-327072_1280I know a blog a day won’t keep the doctor away, like an apple might. However, blogs help us in a multitude of other ways. A blog can teach us how to do an algebra problem, find information on a medical condition, learn about a new culture, or find a great recipe. With over 150 million blogs and a new one being created every half second, you can bet there is a blog for everything and everyone.

A Blog A Day offers readers a month of random (and totally awesome blogs) that they can check out each day. If a blog is of interest please consider following it.

Here is the list for the month of February 2019:

February 1 – Salt & Pepper ~ Adventure – Photography – Travel

February 2 – Renew or redo ~ Home refurbish projects. Decorating, Design And General Life Activities

February 3 – Landscape…

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The blessings of being broken


She sat on the sofa not moving while the litany of destructive self recriminations began. She was too weak to stop it. It played on and on with one accusation following another in a never-ending loop. The mental pain was excruciating. She wanted to die just to end the pain. Yet, thoughts of her children stayed her hand. Who would find her dead body? No, she could not do that to them.

Despite the fact she knew she was not the mother she wanted to be; despite all the times she was distracted and preoccupied by the nonstop judge that ruled her mind and kept her hostage; despite the strong inner critic who chained her to the whipping post day after day after day and lashed her repeatedly with words both cruel and untrue.

Then one day the pain became too great. She decided to end it. She could not go on this way, and really, her children would be better off without her. She was merely existing, not living. She did not deserve their love; did not deserve to be their mother. And the children deserved so much more than she could give. In fact, she had nothing to give. She was empty, totally drained of joy or happiness.

She was broken, utterly and entirely spent. She cried and cried – screamed out her pain, but no one heard – no one. At least, that was what she thought and believed at the time.

When you reach rock bottom; when you can sink no lower, it is then you begin to rise. The ascent was slow at first, very slow. She thought she’d never see the light at the end of that dark tunnel. But she had strength – more strength than she knew.  She crawled in increments so tiny as to be microscopic. She did not see much change, at first. The inner voice tortured her still, but now there were small moments of quiet – moments of peace she’d never known before.

Those moments stretched into hours. Then eventually into days, and then weeks, until finally she emerged from the darkness.

She stretched her arms up toward the sky and turned in circles laughing up at the sun. And the blessings – oh the blessings – she felt the breeze tease the hair on her arms. She felt the sun warm against her skin. Breathed deeply the aroma of the sweet grass and briny air. And gazed about her like one newly born. She filled her senses with life.

 Like someone blind suddenly given the gift of sight her eyes were opened. She had much to give and gave it unstintingly. Compassion for others flooded her heart. She was healed. Yet the gift of memory allowed her to be a blessing to others. She never forgot her journey through that dark and bitter tunnel.

And so, it was and is and will be until the clock winds down and her days on earth are done, that brokenness leads to blessings untold and reaches out to heal others trapped inside the tunnel.

Sins of the Father


Brutally honest and infinitely wise – check it out

Fractured Faith Blog

Sins of the Father

https://thewisewordsproject.com/2019/01/28/sins-of-the-father/
— Read on thewisewordsproject.com/2019/01/28/sins-of-the-father/

I was approached some weeks ago by http://thewisewordsproject.com and asked to write a piece for their website. Here it is, a tale of two great men, and the third who connects them. Thank you to the website for giving me the opportunity to write for them. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

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Funky Frost


My words are frozen, buried beneath the ice and snow like last summer’s flowers
Frosted icicles that once were verdant branches
Fruitful ideas are few and far between

As winter plunges me into the dark and cold I turn to other creative outlets, my trusty camera in hand
Hoping to branch out into other artsy endeavors

Photographs I’ve taken of the aftermath as I wait for spring

Battling with myself


My mind overwhelmed with pain at the merest idea,

Tortures me with thoughts of you murdered

Or perhaps laying hurt and immobile in some dark, cold place

News stories read long ago haunt my memory

Taunting and sneering at my attempts to destress;

To let go of maudlin, gruesome images

and punishing thought that keep me reeling

With naught but the possibility

Of you forever gone

My cell phone held tight

Willing you to call, to touch base

Minutes tick by so slowly

It seems like time has stopped

An eternity spent in awful-izing

And what-if-ing

My sensible side stands and shakes her head

“Do not go there” she tells me sternly

“Wait, just wait,” she says “How silly you’ll feel …”

“Stay here beside me and hold my hand,” I tell her

“Tell me again about this senseless worry”

“And if the worst happens to pass…

Lend me your strength”

And so, the two sides go back and forth

The worrier who fears the worse

Battling with she who is strong and sensible and wise

And slowly the strength seeps in

And steadies the warped and worried mind

And my cell phone rings….