Stirring up the Snow Geese

While driving the back roads along the Mississippi levee, we came upon a flock of snow geese scavenging waste corn out in a farm field.  What a lovely sight they were when they became agitated and a frenzy of white bodies took to the sky. The whir of their wings as they shot off the ground, followed by a multitude of loud shrill cries, are sounds that will long be remembered.

“Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight.”  ~Daniel Boone

American robins

A small flock of robins showed up last week to harvest the berries from the holly bushes in my yard.  As the sun began to set, they gathered on the high branches of a nearby tree to soak in the last rays of the day.

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”  ~Tecumseh

Northern Cardinals

When I go out to feed the birds in the morning, I am often stopped in my tracks by the sound of chirps and fluttering wings as cardinals seem to appear out of nowhere and descend on the bushes surrounding our yard.  They know when feeding time is, and ready themselves to claim their share of the bounty.  I’ve come to look forward to their beautiful flashes of red and all the activity that surrounds feeding time!

“Stop.  Look.  Listen.  You are surrounded by countless little blessings but you’ll miss them is you don’t pay attention.”  ~Ruth McPherson 

Sandhill Cranes

A good way to begin the New Year is a drive to Hop-In Refuge to see the Sandhill Cranes which winter there.   Harvested farmland provides a good source of food and water for the cranes and other types of waterfowl which gather there.

“Today is the first blank page of a 365-page book.  Write a good one!”  ~Brad Paisley

Red-bellied Woodpecker

This red-bellied woodpecker unexpectedly came racing across the back yard and landed with a plop upon our bird feeder.   I watched as it casually enjoyed a snack of sunflower seeds and then retreated to the top of a pine tree for a little exploration.

“The cream of enjoyment in this life is always impromptu.  The chance walk; the unexpected visit; the unpremeditated journey; the unsought conversation of acquaintance.”  ~Fanny Fern

Tending the babies

There are three baby cardinals in a nest in our crepe myrtle bush.  Both the male and female cardinal are in and out constantly, meeting the demands of their little ones.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work.  They are the most important work.”  ~C. S. Lewis

A drive along the levee

A leisurely drive along the Mississippi levee at this time of the year never disappoints.  One of my favorite sightings this month was several Ruby-throated hummingbirds darting in and out among the red clover.  We sat and watched their playful activity for some time.  No photos, but clear, beautiful images in my mind.

“Memory … is the diary that we all carry around with us.”  ~Oscar Wilde