Sunday, February 27, 2011

They are still is the snow.

The Canada Geese are still here.   But the snow that we had Thursday night
and Friday is leaving as of today.

Taking a nap.


Seen on a drive yesterday.  The posts are interesting against the snow.  Almost looks 3D.

Scene along I-70 taken Friday.  It was a foggy day.

St Louis in late December taken from a hotel room.  
I just had to throw in a non-snowy photo! 

We are now getting rain and are under a severe weather alert.  I guess we can look forward to those next.  Even though I'll be glad to see the end of the snowy weather, I'm not looking forward to these kinds of weather alerts which seem to be all too frequent here in MO in spring and summer.  

This coming week looks to be a busy one, so I don't know how often I'll be posting.  Hope you are having a nice weekend and that your week ahead is a good one.  Until next time...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Look what flew in...

I've been watching a pair of Canadian geese at the pond this morning.  We've had a pair in the past that stayed several months and raised a family.  It was fun to watch the little ones grow and get as big as mama and papa, sadly one of the young died and we don't know what caused it's demise.  Maybe a fox or coyote?  We've seen them around the pond, too.  We've been having a pair stop by since that time and always wonder if it is the same pair?  But they haven't stayed long.  I'll be watching this pair to see if they hang around awhile.

This pair of ducks was visiting yesterday but as I was watching later in the day, they took off into the wild blue yonder and I haven't seen them since.  I think they are a duck called Gadwall.

Bottom's up!

This is the position they were in most of the time I happened to glance out the window.  They are diving for food and goodness knows we have plenty of vegetation around our pond!  As in moss and some kind of green viney thing that the name of escapes me at the moment!  I know it is pesky and hard to get rid of.  Any country folks out there know what I'm talking about and how to get rid of it besides using chemicals?  

 Eurasian Collared-Dove

This is the same bird as the pale looking dove I had in a mosaic a few posts ago.  I've been trying to get a closer shot of him as I didn't think he was a Mourning Dove because of being a much lighter gray and then I noticed the band on the nape of his neck and found him to be a Eurasian Collared-Dove. They have recently been moving into Missouri. 

It's supposed to rain and/or snow.  Maybe 1 or 2 inches of snow tonight.  They, whoever they are, are saying another big snow is coming in March.  But the grass is getting greener and I counted 32 Robins the other day so I know spring will be here eventually.  That means I better get started on some of the projects that I was too lazy to tackle this winter.  Which means there will more than likely be a bigger lull between blog posts.  So if I don't show up for several days at a stretch, you know I'm working!  I'll still try to keep up with visiting, that's my way of relaxing.  Thanks to all of you who visit and comment.  I appreciate you more than you know!  

Until next time...

Monday, February 21, 2011


We had a nice weekend, how about you?  They go by too fast as always.  Our son was home for the weekend.  We took our daughter and him out to eat Saturday night and had a good visit.  One thing hubby and I discussed was the upcoming projects in the house and outside.  I'm glad our children are always interested and have good ideas.  Two four heads are better than one two, I always say.  

One of our spring projects will be buying fruit trees to plant in the yard.  We're thinking about dwarf trees because they don't get so tall we can't get to the fruit.  And they bear fruit a bit quicker, too.  Now the varieties and the number of trees we have yet to decide upon.  Anyone out in blogland have these type trees?  And if you do, would you tell me how you like them?  We've had some fruit trees when we lived at our previous location, but I'm not sure what type of tree they were since they were mature when we moved there.   I'm thinking only about 3 apple and 3 peach.  Hubby says maybe a cherry for the birds!

Speaking of the birds, I hope to get my Bird Count done tomorrow.  I've not seen many birds since the weather has warmed up.  Of course, while I was busy today cooking, I saw a few birds out my kitchen window.  Isn't that the way it goes?  Just when I didn't have time to jot down the information.  Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for bird counting.

What have you planned for your lawn and garden this spring? 

Until next time...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Of moons, moles and getaways

This moon shot was taken last night.  I glanced out the kitchen window and saw the moon glow on the still frozen pond and realized the moon must be about full.  So I grabbed the camera for my first moon shot with it.  Once you've seen one moon shot, you've seen them all...:D  But I had fun for a few minutes.  

What a difference a few days of warmer temperatures make.  We can see the ground and the grass is getting green already!  But look what's been popping up all over.   Not flowers.  Moles.  The pesky critters.  Do you know a sure-fire way to get rid of them?  Please let me know if you do!  

Another thing I noticed this morning besides the moles was the absence of birds!  Maybe because the feeders are about empty or the warmer weather has caused them to be elsewhere.  But I haven't seen many birds the last couple of days.  That will be sure to put a damper on my bird count. 

Hubby and I have been talking about taking a little getaway or mini vacation.  Probably leaving on a Friday and coming home on Monday.  Since we live in Missouri, the usual places that spring to mind are the Lake of the Ozarks and Branson.  Ditto Kansas City and St Louis.  But, it's a case of been there, done that many times and we want to go somewhere different.  I wouldn't mind a run down to Memphis to tour Graceland again and stop in Cape Girardeau on the way.  I've been there before, too, but it's been close to 30 years since we've seen Graceland.  He's not that excited about going there, tho.  Any suggestions?  It's really not a great time of year yet for a scenic type of trip which I love, so I'm having a hard time coming up with something.  We'll be driving.  Here's hoping for some good ideas!  

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GBBC coming up

Calling all bird watchers!  The Great Backyard Bird Count will be from February 18 to February 21.  The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology ask people to watch birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count.  You will record the sightings on their website and this data helps researchers understand the ways that birds respond to changing temperatures and so forth.  You will count the greatest number of species and you will count the largest number of birds seen in that species.

I thought the statistics from last year were amazing.  There were 97,331 checklists submitted.  603 different species observed.  And 11,233,609 individual birds counted!   

You can find all the information about the GBBC at  It is a simple project requiring only 15 minutes, so I plan to participate.  I hope you will, too!

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Caught him!  I've been waiting for him and wondering when he would make his appearance this snowy winter at the feeder.  Mr. Squirrel must have had quite a stash hoarded away this winter because he looks very healthy after this long, cold snowy spell we've had.  Maybe his cupboards are empty or just maybe the idea of corn appealed to him or maybe the snow was just too deep to scamper across, but he finally made it over from his nest high in the trees.

From the looks of the feeder, it didn't take him long to empty it up and start on the leftover crumbs on the snow below.  I look at these photos and think "cute".   My hubby looks at them and thinks "dinner".  Ever had chicken-fried squirrel?  It's pretty good, actually.  But I don't think this particular one has to worry about frying pans.  Not if I have anything to say about it!  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 
1 Corinthians 13

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!  And a big Thank You to each of you who take the time to read and comment here at my blog.  May you each have a wonderful day!  

Hugs, Cheryl

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feathered Friends

My little feathered friends are so entertaining.  I'm having so much fun with my camera trying to get a photo of each variety.  I didn't realize how hard it was to capture a really good photo of birds.  The little stinkers don't stay still for long and about the time I get set up for a they go!   For instance, I saw a red-headed woodpecker stop by for a snack and by the time I grabbed the camera, he was gone.  But, he'll be back sometime and I'll eventually get him.

The birds are keeping us busy filling feeders and I need to get more sunflower seeds...that seems to be their favorite.  The suet feeder and a few other feeders out of sight in the photo above are almost empty.  I have suet and plenty of cracked corn.  We buy the cracked corn in 50# bags.  I think I'd better get a larger bag of sunflower seeds next time.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of woodpecker is in the lower right corner of the collage.  Anyone know?  And the Blue Jay next to him took on an ethereal quality due to the lighting.  He almost looks fake, doesn't he?   But he's very real.  See, there he is in the lower left corner!  The ghostly looking dove in the second down on the left is much lighter than my Mourning Doves and I've looked him up...I think I know what he is and he's a little out of his territory, but I need a closer look at his tail feathers to get an accurate ID.

The weather remains very cold and the snow is still with us.  No wonder the birds are so hungry.  We are all quite ready for spring.  And, of course, I can't wait for the Bluebirds to return.  I haven't seen them around for awhile now.  I thought they were going to stick around, but I guess they decided to hightail it to a warmer climate.  Don't blame them, I've often wanted to go somewhere warmer myself!!

Many thanks to Amy @ Verde Farm for hosting Farm Friends Friday.  Hop over to see Amy and see her pretty blog and visit the others participating in FFF. 

Until next time...

Down Memory Lane...

 Sing it, Kenny!

I love music of all kinds and today I wanted to share a photo I took a long time ago of one of my favorite singers who sings mostly country and western songs.  He's also been an actor, a songwriter and I read that he is into photography.   Most everyone has heard of Kenny Rogers who has recorded many, many memorable songs and has won numerous awards.  He performed at the Hearnes Auditorium in Columbia 30 or so years ago and we purchased tickets and went to see him.  I remember that he had a terrific show, I've always loved his warm, raspy voice.

One of my favorite songs of his is Lady, which was written by Lionel Richie, another favorite singer of mine.  Another favorite song is The Gambler which was also the title of a movie he made.  Kenny is still performing today in concert around the country.

Kenny and Dottie West teamed up in the late 70's...they had 3 hit albums together.  She was with Kenny at the concert we attended.  One of their songs they performed was Every Time Two Fools Collide, another favorite.  They both looked and sounded terrific together.  Look at that gorgeous red "big hair"! 

These photos were taken with my old slr film camera and the photos are getting a little faded with the years.  I  didn't take many photos as I just wanted to sit and enjoy the great music without worrying about whether I had a great shot.   I noticed later after developing these that Kenny has his eyes closed in most of the shots.

There's a lot to be said about Kenny Rogers, from his 5 marriages to his plastic surgery if one wants to go down that road.  I'll just focus on the beautiful music he's given us for so many years.  Thank you, Kenny!

Do you like country western music?  I have to confess that I don't like all of it, but that is true about most music, isn't it?  Who is among your favorite country western singers?

Until next time...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Remembering Laura...

Laura Ingalls Wilder
February 7, 1867 - February 10, 1957

"Home is the nicest word there is."

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of the 8 volume Little House on the Prairie series.  Mrs. Wilder's books are filled with heart-warming stories of family life but also tell of the hardships of pioneering...from blizzards to plagues of insects while homesteading or traveling in a covered wagon.  Her books are considered to be valuable tools in teaching children about American history.  

The family traveled, mostly due to Charles Ingall's wanderlust, from Wisconsin to the Kansas Territory, back to Wisconsin, then to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and on to Burr Oak, Iowa, returning to Walnut Grove and the final move was to DeSmet, Dakota Territory.  I wonder what Mr. Ingall's wife, Carolyn, thought of all these moves! 

Laura Ingalls married Almanzo Wilder in DeSmet and eventually moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they bought a 40 acres farm with a down payment of $100 that Laura had saved from sewing for others.  They named their home Rocky Ridge Farm.  Their daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, was known as an author in her own right.  She is credited with helping Laura edit her Little House books.  

One little tidbit I discovered when reading about Laura and Almanzo was that they were both short people.  Laura was 4' 11" and Almanzo was 5' 4".  Their home was built by Almanzo, who was a talented carpenter, and he built the kitchen cabinetry to suit Laura's height.  The house was left as is when Laura died at the age of 90, three days after her birthday.  

In the 1970's, the Little House on the Prairie book series was adapted into a highly successful TV series starring Michael Landon as Charles and Melissa Gilbert as Laura.  

I have to confess that I've read most, if not all, of the Little House books and lived here in Missouri all my life but have not visited Mansfield, MO where the house is open to the public.  I really hope to get there this year, it is on my list of places I want to visit some day.  And I want to reread some of the books.  The books may have been written with children in mind but adults enjoy them, too.

I'll end this post remembering Laura Ingalls Wilder on this day which would have been her birthday with another of her quotes:

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."

Until next time...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Having fun...

It's now 10:30 pm, but this morning while standing at the window gazing out over the snow covered pond, and watching for the sun to come up, I saw the birds begin to fly straight toward me from the cedar trees across the pond.   They were heading straight to the feeders.  And, yes!, the sun did shine today.  Yay!!  I did a few little chores and made a few phone calls, then got out my new toy and practiced a few shots on the birds.  All from my window as it was much too cold to go outside today!

Here is a photo of my new toy:

I bought this camera just about a week ago.  It is a Canon SX30IS that I researched and read every review I could find.   It is a very techie camera, at least to this non-techie person, and I have much to learn, but I think I'll like it very much.  Years ago I had, and still have, an Olympus SLR film camera and had an extra telephoto lens to go with it.  I thought long and hard, but decided that I didn't want an SLR this time because, frankly, I just didn't want to have to fool with extra lenses and flash attachments and all the stuff to pack around.  This one has a 35x zoom and video and does all kinds of stuff that will take me a long time to learn, I'm sure.  Anyway, I have it and I've been trying it out today.  I've spent a lot of time reading the manual online, and familiarizing myself with it.  So, of course, like a proud mama or grandmama I have to show off my new baby.   Here we go:

The beautiful red Cardinal looks so cheerful anytime of year,
but particularly in winter, don't you think?

 A closer look.  Isn't he a beauty?

A Mourning Dove.  We've just had a blizzard, but don't
those buds show a promise of spring?

A female Cardinal with her little friend, the Junco...or some call them Snowbirds.

I'm not positive, but I think this fella is a Starling.

A Downy Woodpecker.

A White-breasted Nuthatch.  (I think)

Oh, I've had such fun today shooting and I've got dozens more, but I don't want to bore you with too many.  There are many bloggers who have such beautiful photos of the birds, but I just had to show off my first efforts with my new camera.  Some of my shots, as you can see, are not as sharp as others.  I have a lot to learn, not the least of which is to hold the camera still!  It's not heavy, but heavier than I'm used to.  The only complaint I have besides the fact that they don't give you a printed manual, you have to look online and print out the close to 200 pages if you want one, is that the time between shots is a little slow.  But I'm slow myself, so we will probably get along fine!  

One of these days I'll find and scan some photos I took with my old SLR.  I took several photos of a country and western singer who was at Hearnes in Columbia years ago.  One of my favorite songs of his was "Lady".  Name that singer.  ;D

Edited to add: Check out Verde Farm for a fun farm party!

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Missouri Blizzard

The talk of the town, and probably the whole state, is the blizzard of February 1.   The following photos were taken around my house.

 This is looking out the front door.  You can't see the step down and the flower pot is almost covered.

The snow looks lower in some places than others because of the wind.

Yes, almost 16 inches!  And it's still snowing.

I know this is nothing new to those of you who live in the northern states or in the northeast, but this has been quite a storm for the midwest.  We have had a lot of winds that has drifted the snow causing some highways to be shut down.  Interstate 70, which is a very heavily traveled interstate stretching across mid-Missouri was shut down.  That rarely ever happens.

My husband who is a rural electric lineman was called to work twice last night.  He got home around 11:30 pm and was telling how one of his co-workers got stuck in a high snow drift on his way home and had to have some of the crew try to get his pickup out.  One of the men got stuck walking in the snow, it was up to his chest.  My husband had to go pull him out.   The pickup is still stuck.  And will be until some of the road is cleared. 

Thankfully, we haven't had loss of power at our house.  The snow is supposed to end sometime this morning and then the road crews will have the daunting task of trying to clear highways and streets.   All area schools have been closed and a lot of businesses.

To those who have to be out in this awful weather restoring power to homes or driving road plows or feeding livestock or trying to get to work, etc, I pray that they will be safe!

Until next time...