Birds Of A Feather

This pair of Finches periodically appear at the bird feeder. Isn’t this a great sequence?

These images were made in just a minute or so one morning and I got a kick out of their body language and expressions.

Bird watching is one of the best hobbies because it costs no money and provides hours of entertainment. Personally, I just watch the birds at my feeders and look for them on hikes but you can devote as much time as you like.

There are plenty of field guides, websites and apps to help you get started. I have a book but also use a free phone app where I upload my own pictures for identification.

You also may be happy just watching them for their beauty and antics!

The Sounds Of A Hike

It is not uncommon to meet hikers who are listening to music. Sometimes with earbuds but often playing it out loud for a group to hear.

To each his own but I will never understand the point. The act of walking through the woods is nice but there’s so much more to a hike than that physical act or what you see when you go.

The sounds of the forest are amazing, especially when you’re close to water.

The birds were vocal on Saturday as were the frogs. The wind in the trees had a life of its own too. Walking near the lake shore, I could hear turtles plopping into the water.

But if you’re quiet, you can sneak up on turtles as they sun themselves on fallen trees near the water’s edge.

Stomp through the woods with your music blaring and you’ll miss all this.

Tune into all your senses – the sights, smells and sounds of the woods – and you’ll start to notice the small details like delicate wildflowers and butterflies, nesting geese and the occasional woodpecker overheard.

Do this and it’s no longer just a walk, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Quilt Barn At Uncle Buck’s

One of my bucket list items this year is take a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stables. Saturday was gorgeous so I took a drive after my hike and wandered past Uncle Buck’s.

The owner is a friend and he was outside so we socially distanced and chatted for a few minutes before I snapped some phone photos and headed down the road.

Their barn hosts one of the quilt blocks that I told you about last week. This happens to be one of my favorites because it’s just so different. The colors are striking and the local artist who painted the horse did a great job. I also like the setting. It’s peaceful and pretty out there.

David and I talked some about why Ohio won’t allow his business to operate right now. Ohioans can golf but they can’t take a trail ride through the wilderness. That makes no sense to me, especially since David says the average horse is eight feet long and you can social distance on a horse just as easily as you can on a golf course.

So he waits while his seasonal business loses money. His horses are still lovingly cared for and he’s counting the days until they can again welcome visitors.

News stories are always about the stock market or about industries. We talk in broad strokes about issues but we often don’t hear the compelling stories of the small business owners who are struggling.

If you can afford it, order lunch, contact your favorite shop for a gift certificate, and make plans to support those small businesses when it’s safe to do so. If you can’t afford it, share their posts on Facebook or tell others about your favorite small businesses.

Every little bit helps.

Earth Day and the Health of Nature

Columbus day 2019 vacation old barn

This barn has been nearly lost to time and swallowed up by nature.

Give Mother Nature the chance and she will reclaim what is hers. We are seeing it time and again, the world over right now as people are sent home, pollution is slowed and progress stalled.

I read a story last week about sea turtles – 70,000 of them – seen nesting along the beach in eastern India. It’s one of the largest nesting places for this particular species of sea turtle but they didn’t nest here last year. COVID 19 is credited with emptying the beaches and allowing these creatures to nest peacefully and without human interference.

The Canals in Venice are so crystal clear you can actually see fish in them and deer are wandering through city streets in Japan. Bears are thriving in our national parks because we are not there to interfere with their well being.

While we all excitedly click on these stories and share them on social media, I’m sure most people are not prepared to adjust and accommodate the natural world. The canals will again be polluted and wildlife will recede when people resume normal life.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream of what the world might look like if we were more inclined to acknowledge that these creatures have as much right to be here as we have and that clean water and air are in everyone’s best interest.

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. Enjoy this day, friends.

Mt Zion Church In Black And White

Saturday’s adventure was hampered by the clouds which moved in and settled over the area for much of the day.

I used the gloom to my advantage for some black and white photos at this old church.

It is no longer used and there’s a window broken out. White curtains flutter in the breeze.

This is how they protected the glass on most windows. I like it.

It has a well maintained cemetery and I recognized many names as I wandered through. Here’s another view.

You can see here that the sky was a bit moody – not great for happy adventures but nice for some dark photography!

A Walk In The Neighborhood

My neighbor very kindly has invited my family to walk her property all we like.

There’s forest and field filled with birds, squirrels, deer and other critters as well as remnants of a simpler time. It’s peaceful and pretty and a real treat to enjoy.

Thanks Dot! We appreciate you!