Gathering to Watch the Birds Gather

6 Mar

bird unknown

It’s Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung and today the word is gather.

Since we have had snow for over two weeks now and sleet and ice, we have been keeping the bird feeders full for our little friends.  That first little friend up there not sure what he is so if you know let me know.

Here are a few pictures I’ve shared and some I haven’t yet on my blog these past two weeks.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

bird snow psalm 637

My husband and I gathered in the kitchen this morning after breakfast just enjoying all the birds, especially the cardinals and doves, but there were so many others.

dove

Last week after the snow our grandson was here (he is 18 months old) and I would hold him up on the kitchen counter and when the cardinals would fly in, he would squeal and shake his little arms.

snow moments

Cardinals – Spots of Red in the White Snow

6 Mar


cardinal 1We have had so many cardinals at our house recently that I decided to try to find some facts about them.  I’m in Texas and we have had two solid weeks of sleet, ice, and snow so we have been filling up three bird feeders and enjoying the birds – lots of doves and cardinals.

I wondered why all the cardinals (also called “red birds”) are still here and not down in South Texas.  I found they don’t migrate.  My husband had been telling me only the males are that bright-beautiful red color.

cardinal 3

cardinal 2

As I compared pictures, I noticed each one of these males had a little different black around their faces. He brought a bird book into the kitchen today as we were watching and

My husband went to the bookcase and brought a bird book into the kitchen today as we were watching, and yep he was right.

We also realized the ones we thought were new, younger males are really the females – they are a much tan/gray color.

cardinal6  cardinal4cardinal8cardinal7

The younger ones don’t have the colored beaks.  They are the only one with a crest in the United States.

Cardinals are the only one with a crest in the United States so, for me, it’s a give away when I see that crest.

As we watched out the kitchen window we saw at least four bright red ones and two of the tan/gray colored ones so looks like we’ll have many more in the years to come to enjoy.  Last week when it snowed, I would stand my grandson on the kitchen countertop and he would squeal and wave his little hands each time one of the bright red males flew in.

Last week when it snowed, I would stand my grandson on the kitchen countertop and he would squeal and wave his little hands each time one of the bright red males flew in.  We had to be careful because they are spooky and fly off.

It appears the male birds like many others, feed and help take care of their mate during mating season.  They usually have about three to six eggs.  I love this because next year we’ll have babies.  Wish I could spot a nest and watch them hatch.

In National Geographic I found that “their average life span is 15 years, they are 8-9 inches, they weigh 1.5 to 1.8 oz., and unlike many songbirds both male and female sing, and the female often vocalizes from her nest.”

In Birdhouses101 I found something very interesting I loved.  They “eat 51 kinds of beetles, four types of grasshoppers, termites, ants, flies, dragonflies and 12 kinds of homoptera which includes leaf hoppers, cicadas and aphids.”  Oh yea, red birds come eat those grasshoppers, termites, flies and ants, but PLEASE leave my dragonflies alone.

I also read today they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.  Who would want to kill one?

And here is a picture of two that were on the other side of the driveway so hard to shoot under some trees, but they appear to be male and female mates.  Sooooo stinkin’ cute.

cardinal5

SLOW DOWN and catch a glimpse of a beautiful cardinal!  Thanking God for these moments these past two weeks and so many, many more.

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY – VISIT

28 Feb

It’s the end of February and this week has been one day after another with beautiful snow and moments.  I wrote about many of them here yesterday, but today is the first day our 18-month old grandson was here to enjoy the moments with me and enjoy them together we have.

It’s also Kate Matoung’s Five-Minute Friday and the word today is VISIT.

I took him in to look out my kitchen window expecting a flock of birds and guess who was visiting?

squirrel

You got it.  Not who I expected destroying the bird feeder but there he was and Colt and I had just filled it up as the snow started.  So I grabbed the camera and Colt and I watched until we scared him, and then the birds started coming and the first ones flew down and that baby just squealed watching them.

Colt, like me, loves watching the red birds come visit the bird feeder.  One of them would fly in and he would squeal and laugh.

bird sing

bird snow psalm 637

Later PaPa came home from work early and they took a sled ride.   So how do you take an 18-month old on a sled ride? Well, you get an old laundry basket, tie a very long piece of rope on it, add some big beach towels to keep ‘em dry, and GO!  He loved it.  We kept him out about 5 minutes, and when we were bringing him in, he began to cry.

grandchildren

It has been a great visit this week by the thunder sleet, the accumulating snow, the ice, and the rain, but especially our grandson and the birds – not sure about the squirrel.

SNOW MOMENTS, GIFTS FROM HEAVEN, SHOW-N’-TELL MOMENTS

26 Feb

snow moments

Snow is coming down again today.  I’ve been sitting in the den with my big cup of coffee and gingerbread creamer looking out at the trees, birds, waterfalls flowing into the pool, and beautiful falling snow.  I am welcoming every single savoring moment of this beautiful, cold, glory day.  So white, so beautiful, so clean, so gentle, so hushed, a reverent hush.

snow pool

It has been an unusual week in Texas.  We plummeted from the 70s last Saturday to the 20s today, thunder sleet and ice on Monday and Tuesday.   And this little guy came to visit one of our feeders as it began to sleet.thunder sleet

A beautiful “accumulating snow” yesterday and more snow and ice predicted through this Saturday.  Only in Texas.  That snow yesterday only lasted until afternoon when the sun poured out light and 45 degrees melting every single bit – but today it’s here again for just a while and I am loving it.  God is showing off this week as the Heavens continue to declare His awesome glory and showering us with gifts from Heaven we just might miss if we don’t pause and give thanks for the moment.

snow day

bird

Take a moment, even a few moments today and find some beauty.  It’s really easy to take a moment to reflect on how God has blessed us.  Are you savoring His beauty?  Are you delighting in His beauty?  Are you seeing the wonders of His love today in all those blessings He puts right in front of you?  Are you missing them?  Find some things and be awe-stricken by what He has given you.    Think about the “stuff” – the “little stuff” of life – the things you look back on now that happened long ago.

birds2

Here are some things this week I have taken the time to praise God for:

  • This hot cup of coffee with gingerbread creamer.  I bought several of those creamers and stuck them in the freezer so I could enjoy them for many months to come. YUM!
  • My hubby coming in after a hard’s day work this week and making it home safe on a couple of days on icy roads.
  • My hubby leaving in the morning and savoring a hug, really hugging before he walks out that door.  This week I have spent some extra special moments making that hug last a little longer – that kiss a little sweeter.
  • Getting out on a snow day to run errands with my daughter and grandson yesterday and lunch together and she treating me.
  • Hearing that new grandson really cry when he got hungry.  He’s only 3 weeks old and holding him – answered prayers for a child we thought would never be born.
  • Unexpected messages from friends checking up on me because well because of things with my health.
  • Texts from my kids with pictures of the grandkids this week.
  • The reminder to slow down and see those microscopic moments that provide only a taste of who He is
  • That hot pot of soup I made last night enjoying every here in the moment –  cutting up squash, onions and spinach and cooking for the man I love and the new pasta dish I am preparing tonight.
  • Snow dripping from my rooftop after the sun popped out and the sun shining knowing I could get out on the streets and go pick up my daughter.

cows

Snow moments cause us to  pause and reflect on His majesty.

In One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp I read this. “I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.  Why would the world need more anger, more outrage?  How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy when it is joy that saves us?”

bird a

“The very face of snow is such an amazement.”  Roger Ebert

frozen waters

When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I’ll know I’m growing old.

-Lady Bird Johnson 

snow eccles 3.1

Snowflakes are kisses from heaven.
-Author Unknown

 And my friends if you are visiting here from one of those sun-shiny states that never see snow, I pray you can find some glory right here seeing God’s magnificent beauty in my show n’ tell moments.  May He cause you to slow down and reflect on His majesty.

 

Five Minute Friday – Open

20 Feb

bibleopen

Today’s word is OPEN!  I’m blogging over at Kate Matoung’s Five Minute Challenge and I have a challenge for you today.

My first thought is open wide because my daughter-in-law just dropped my grandson off and she is going to the dentist.

Kate shared some beautiful words today.  Check them out.  I laughed because my 17-month old grandson is learning Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.  Her lesson on open is all about opening our minds, hearts, hands, ears and mouths today.  Are you doing that?  I am and although I never knew what Lent was all about I do this year and am trying it.  I blogged about that here yesterday.  Blessed my heart and I’m using my mind, heart, hands, ears and mouths to bless others this Lent season.

lent

I also thought about a Facebook post about challenging us to opening our Bibles this morning.  It said something like high-light queens, note takers here is a challenge to open your Bible and take a picture of something you had highlighted or underlined or noted.  I took the challenge and what beautiful words I was reminded of today, and did I need them?  Oh YES I did!  Just in time.

 OPEN those Bibles this morning and share something you highlighted or noted.  If you don’t highlight, try it.  It will bless your socks off.  I PROMISE.  It feels so good at church  or in my morning Bible studies to open up something that is highlighted.
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