Feeding the Birds

“I don’t feed the birds because they need me;  I feed the birds because I need them.”

~ Kathi Hutton

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

AS4A5552-276-1(Purple finch and pine siskin at my feeder.)

I ran across today’s quote while perusing the site goodreads.com.  According to the site, Ms. Hutton has not written any books and there was little else listed about her.  I wanted to use her quote, however, because it was encouraging for me to know that someone else in the world feels like I do about feeding the birds.

The natural world has so much to offer.

Naughty Ducklings

“Children are not a distraction from more important work.  They are the most important work.”

~ C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Wood-Duck-Ducklings-Lily-Pads-1

 

I had a fine time at the local pond watching these little ducklings run across and then dodge behind the numerous lily pads.  Mama Wood Duck had quite a time trying to gather them together again!

Surrender to the Moment

“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.”

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, (1906-2001) American author, aviator, and the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh

AS4A7328-1

A lovely pair of Trumpeter Swans that I photographed in May as they basked in the spring sunshine.

Speed and Grace

Go out, go out I beg of you

And taste the beauty of the wild.

Behold the miracle of the earth

With all the wonder of a child.

~Edna Jaques, (1891-1978) Canadian lecturer, author and poet

AS4A4294-44-1

In reviewing this photo I noticed just how long and narrow are the legs of the white-tailed deer.  And, I considered that these very same legs are their best defense against the dangers of their environment.  For as I approached the deer, they turned to run from me with tremendous grace and speed.  Amazing.

The Official National Mammal of the U.S.A.

“Man needs spiritual expression and nourishing…even in the prehistoric era, people would scrawl pictures of bison on the walls of caves.”

~ Fernando Botero, (1932- ) Columbian Artist

AS4A0704-1

The National Bison Legacy Act was signed into law on May 9, 2016 by President Barack Obama, making the bison the official national mammal of the United States. This handsome and powerful animal has been recognized for its important role in our national history. Cool!

Wild Turkey Visit

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

~William Shakespeare

AS4A1674-1

My neighborhood recently enjoyed the antics of a pair of wild turkeys. The pairs’ visit was unusual enough that I grabbed my camera to record the event. Other neighbors observed the birds through their windows and folks driving by slowed to a stop. For a moment, we were all focused on the same thing. Fun!

Happy Frogs

Always be happy.

When people are in a bad mood,

the last thing they want

is to hang around with

happy people.

~Kermit the Frog, Muppet

AS4A1904-78-31-1

Springtime in the marsh includes the many voices of frogs calling out to potential mates.  The variety of songs is fascinating!  Here is just a sampling of calls in a northern Minnesota wetland:

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Instead of a quote, today I share with you a brief clip from a 1950’s television show, The Honeymooners.  Characters Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and Ed Norton (Art Carney) are meeting for lunch in the park when Ed spots a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

(Television clip found on YouTube.com)

I grew up believing that a bird with this curious name was merely fictional. To me, the name was invented by a television writer to add humor to this particular sketch on The Honeymooners.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015 when I caught a shot of this bird.  I had not seen it before.  Imagine my surprise to learn that it was in fact a real Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Wow!

So, I guess this is what Ed Norton was looking at in the park that day with his binoculars.

AS4A5294-1

White-Throated Sparrow

“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”

~ Camille Pissarro, (1830-1903) Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter

AS4A4622-1-2
A White-Throated Sparrow peering at me from the safety of a lilac bush.  I became aware of this little bird only because of its movement among the branches.  The ability of birds and animals to blend into their surroundings is amazing.

Listen

“The universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, no objects to be exploited.  Everything has its own voice.  Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees — all these have voices and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related.”

~ Thomas Berry (1914-2009), Catholic priest of the Passionist order

(Quote via ourhabitatgarden.org)

AS4A5503-1-3

The Northern Flicker is a woodpecker that often excavates nest holes in dead or diseased trees.  As I strolled my property I heard, and then discovered, one hammering on a dead tree.  I hoped that a nest was being built!  It turned out that this handsome bird was not in the market for a home, but I did get a chance to take a few photographs.

Great Horned Owl Napping

“When you’re making a film, you have an obligation to fill the frame with life.”

~Joss Whedon (1964- )American screenwriter, film and television director, film and television producer, comic book author, and composer (Wikipedia)

AS4A8932-128-1

Taking a picture of an owl can be a tricky endeavor!  It took me quite awhile to find a spot in which I could actually see most of this sleeping beauty.

Rough-legged Hawk

“Behold my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!”

~ Sitting Bull (1831-1890) Chief of the Lakota Sioux Nation

AS4A1283-1
Rough-legged Hawk taking a look at me and my camera.

AS4A1256-1AS4A1243-1

The Rough-legged Hawk breeds in the arctic during the summer months, but winters in the U.S. and southern Canada.  I feel fortunate whenever I see one in the spring as it migrates north back through Minnesota.

This handsome bird had a partner off in the distance.  I’m hoping their nesting season is a successful one!

Contented Eagle

“We’re so busy watching out what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

~ Bill Watterson, (1958- ) American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes

AS4A1316-1-2

This bald eagle was sitting on a bundle of hay when I arrived and he was still there when I departed.

Fox in the Garden

“It’s not just in the air.  Spring is in the light.  There’s a different light in March and April. It’s in the grass, leaves and flowers.   It’s in the birdsong and the baaa of baby lambs.  Mostly though, spring blooms in my heart.”

~ Toni Sorenson, Author

IMG_4338-248-1

A young fox made an unexpected visit to my garden one lovely spring morning.

Predatory Songbird

“I never dreamed about success.  I worked for it.”

~Estee Lauder (1908-2004) American businesswoman and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

(Quote via Goodreads.com)

AS4A9677-1-2

The Northern Shrike summers in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska.  It only appears in Minnesota when it returns to the lower 48 during winter.  The size of a medium songbird, this carnivorous creature feeds on rodents, small birds, and large insects. (Source: allaboutbirds.org)

Hooded Merganser Moves

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.”

~ Lily Tomlin (1939- ) American comedic actress

AS4A4731-1

The Hooded Merganser is the smallest of the three merganser species common to North America.  In my opinion, this species moves quickly!  They are quite adept at avoiding me and my camera.  I was pleased to catch a shot of this male near the shoreline.