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Cardinal Brings a Smile (The Weekly Smile 70)

Cardinal

I happened upon a challenge called The Weekly Smile which runs Wednesday to Wednesday! So, I decided to join in. We can all use a reason to smile! The sight of this vibrant male Cardinal makes me smile. The sound of its song makes me smile too. The weather here has been perfect for sitting on my back porch and watching my backyard birds which, of course, makes me smile! Clearly, I am a fan of simple pleasures!

I hope you are having a great day!

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Scarlet Beauty (CYW-Scarlet)

Scarlet

This puffed-up, rain-soaked, male house finch shows off its scarlet coloring. Beautiful!

*posted for JNW’s Color Your World photo challenge: scarlet
*to see more of my bird photos, click on the birds header at the top of the page

Great Blue Surprise

Great Blue Heron Surprise

I had never walked this path before. I was almost back at the starting point when I unexpectedly spotted this magnificent bird wading in the water. I was shocked by its size since I had been watching for little songbirds. It was certainly a surprise to see this great blue heron take flight! It was also a surprise to realize I had actually managed to capture the moment!

Here it is standing tall, with its long neck extended, before it was surprised by me.

Standing Tall

These last two pictures were taken later at a different nearby location, but it could be the same bird! I have now seen a single great blue heron standing near water at four different spots in my town!

Coiled Neck

Here is a view of its face and beak.

Profile

Isn’t this a cool bird? To see more about birds, you can click on the bird header at the top of my page.

*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge: surprise

Advantage Grackle (CYW Royal Purple)

Grackle

The iridescent purple head and golden eye are distinctive features of a grackle. This smart bird was supposed to be too big for this feeder, but it figured out a way to get some food! It used its size to its advantage by reaching its head around to grab a tasty treat!

Here is another view:

Grackle 2

*posted for JNW’s color your world challenge: royal purple
I love those mystery (is it purple or is it blue?) colors!

Suburb-The Changing Seasons V2 (Jan 2017)

Tightrope

Tightrope

Suburb Haiku (Tightrope)

Walking the tightrope
Between city and country
Conveniences

***
This is my first 2017 post for year three of Cardinal Guzman’s photo challenge, The Changing Seasons. You can post a photo gallery (V1) or a single photo (V2) that showcases your view of the month. You can check out his page for the general challenge rules and join right in! His photos are fantastic! Like last year, I am planning to add a haiku along with my V2 photo each month. Even though it has been said that a picture paints a thousand words, I like pairing pictures and words; both can still mean different things to different people.

I enjoy seeing everyone else’s posts. I love seeing your big city scenes. I love seeing your wide open country views. Like me, some of you live in between – the suburbs. That’s cool; I enjoy your perspective, too. I really think it’s the best of both worlds for me.

Looking through my pictures for the month got me thinking. At first, I thought that the picture I selected for this month would have been better if the bird was in the tree instead of on a wire. But then, I realized that this is a suburb bird. The utility wires are as much a part of his life as the tree branches – this is his natural environment!

I am going to start looking for harmony in the pairing of natural and manufactured elements common to my suburban life!

All my previous Changing Seasons posts are in one place under the Changing Seasons header at the top of the page. And, I also have a bird header where all my bird pictures are gathered.
Take a look around my blog if you are interested! Comments are welcome!

Eastern Bluebird (CYW Burnt Orange)

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Today, I saw this pretty bluebird when I took a walk in the park. Like me, it must have been glad the recent snow had melted. I am still amazed at the coloring of these birds. Although this seems to be a drab female, it still sports distinctive blue and orange colors.

I like this picture because there is a back view, and you can see the another vibrant bluebird in the distance.

Bluebirds in Winter

Bluebirds in Winter

Here’s one more picture with a sweet front view!

Sweet

Sweet

I hope it’s a bluebird of happiness!

*check out JNW’s Color Your World photo challenge for more visions of burnt orange
*to see more of my favorite birds you can click on the birds header at the top of the page

Eastern Towhee (CYW Brown and Burnt Sienna)

Adult Female Red-Eyed Eastern Towhee

Adult Female Red-Eyed Eastern Towhee

I spotted this cool little bird on my back porch back in April. It was the first and only time I saw it during my backyard bird watching. I just happened to look out my back door at the right time. In fact, I took this picture through the door window because I didn’t want to scare it away! I felt I was lucky to capture pictures for identification.

I learned that this brown bird with roufus sides was an adult female red-eyed eastern towhee. That’s a big name for such a little bird!

Eastern Towhee on my Porch

Eastern Towhee on my Porch

*posted for two of JNW’s Color Your World Photo Challenges : Brown and Burnt Sienna

Along the Peaceful Path

Path

Path

Here is a literal view of a park path that I often take. I like to walk in the park on weekends. It’s an easy walk. I just stroll and take in all the sights and sounds of nature. The birds chirp and the creek babbles. The foliage along the creek changes according to the seasons. On the day of this photo, I was surprised to see pretty woodland sunflowers along the path. They seemed to have bloomed without notice and seemed like a gift!

Wild Woodland Sunflowers

Wild Woodland Sunflowers

I stay on the lookout for peaceful paths all year, paths removed from the tiring pace and common stresses of the world. I keep coming back to this same path. While it’s familiarity gives me comfort, I can also be pleasantly surprised to spot new birds and flowers along the way. Obviously, I like to take my camera along and take pictures of the sights.

Robin above the Creek

Robin above the Creek

This year, I discovered the real joy of birdwatching. I never understood the appeal until I took the time to notice all the special details (which continue to amaze me) of the different birds that I saw! I took lots of bird pictures, in the park and in my backyard, and shared some on my blog. You can click on the birds header at the top of the page to see pictures. I still have more to post when I get a chance. And, I plan to stay a birder in 2017. Birdwatching has been added to my list of interests, along with nature strolls, photography and blogging!

I hope to develop new interests in 2017 that bring me peace and joy! Positive suggestions welcome! Happy 2017!

***
Posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:
Path

Bluebird of Happiness

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Yesterday, while on a springtime walk in the park, I finally captured this photo of an Eastern Bluebird, just in time for JNW’s One Word Photo Challenge with the theme of Bird. Perfect timing! I have been trying to take a clear photo of a bluebird for weeks. I like to think this is the Bluebird of Happiness that I have always heard about.

I had never even seen a bluebird until this year! I am glad I started looking out for them so I could experience their beauty firsthand. The park I was walking in has nest boxes to encourage the population. The pretty little birds are fast fliers and I was lucky that this bird rested long enough for me to focus my camera!

Birdwatching is a relatively new interest of mine, so I will likely be posting more photos of other birds from time to time. It is refreshing to be outside and I really am in wonder of each little bird as I admire it! I love the challenge of locating certain birds and the challenge of taking an interesting picture too. Adding to my sighting list has been fun!

Do you have bluebirds where you live?

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