Monday, May 27, 2019

05.27.19 Memorial Day - Decoration Day

This weekend is commonly known as the unofficial first day of summer. But in the USA, it is much more than that. It is celebrated as Memorial Day, previously called Decoration Day, a day to celebrate and honor the lives of those men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Services. Many will take fresh flowers and flags to the gravesites, there are ceremonies and tributes and parades to honor those who had fallen so that we may enjoy our many, many freedoms. And with all of these freedoms come responsibilities - a fact not to be ignored.

It was really good to have the weekend off. Not often do I have so many days back to back where I can wake up without an alarm. Even my boys slept late, too. While doing a bit of yard work, I found 16 pink lady slippers in my woods. They are gorgeous. In the past I had noticed one or two, but never so many in  my yard. Being very careful not to step on one, I did get a few pictures.

Also in my yard, fairly close to the house, was a huge bone dropped by some animal (coyote? or hawk?). It looks like a femur and has a circumference greater than what I can circle with my fingers. The marrow was gone, probably by rodents. But I am very curious why it was on my walkway! We heard the coyotes at midnight - the entire pack ranging from pups to adults howling! It was all I could do to keep the dogs quiet. Maybe they dropped off a snack!

The weather was perfect, so I took advantage of this treat and did a lot of yard work, gardening and cleaning the decks and porches. The house does look nice with new flowers planted in the flower boxes and everything clean.

Also went to Plum Island, one of my favorite places in Massachusetts. I eased the guilty feeling of leaving the boys at home by taking them for a walks in two of their favorite parks. They are good for about two hours of walking then they are beat. Yes, they do sleep well at night!

Plum Island was beautiful. I love the sea and the feeling of just walking along the beach. Much of Parker Wildlife Refuge is closed to people because the plovers are nesting, but the state park is open as well as all of the refuge not accessible to the ocean and beach. So bird watching it was and I saw my eagle. It passed quickly and I was driving, so no pictures. But the chance to see an eagle was one of the reasons for going there. Saw some common birds and watched a few males performing their enticing mating rituals. Observing bird behavior, as well as any animal and human behaviour, has always fascinated me.

Here are a few pictures from this gorgeous day.

Perfect beach day, not too many people on this small beach.

A single mute swan. I wonder if she was lonely.

Two photographs of a tern diving into the water fishing and surfacing. He was fishing, but no fish caught in this present dive.


A male red winged blackbird was trying to impress the female. She was not too impressed so he persisted in his displays.

Look in the far right lower corner to see the female. She wasn't even watching him but we did and he was fascinating putting on a mating display show!

Pretty little song sparrow, singing in the bush.

Mallard duck quacking as he flies! Vibrant colored feathers, they are always a delight to watch. I also have a few in Heron Pond, close to my house.

Eastern kingbird seen while walking. He also followed the car for quite some distance, perching on roadside branches, so we frequently stooped to watch him.

Not too many seagulls today, but he was quite willing for a photograph or two. Watching us watching him!

My favorite bird to observe was the semipalmated plover. He was feeding and moving right along without too much concern about us walking nearby.


There were a few more birds we observed including scaups, grebes, killdeer, robins, herons and egrets, and we also heard and quickly saw many warblers - names unknown as they quickly flew past us!

After a nice late lunch of ice cream and a shared lobster roll (in that order) at Bob Lobster along the road to Newburyport, it was time to head home. A wonderful holiday weekend, one for the memories.

Once home it seemed the boys didn't mind that I left them. They are always happy to see me, even when it is bath time! So baths for the boys, a cup of tea for Momma Bear, and a nice end to the day.

Gunnarr watching me through the fence while I photographed the lady slippers. He follows me everywhere.

Fionnegan being a adorable as always, before the bath. He is a little more independent minded, but always within site.

Shorty, grooming his paws. He keeps them trimmed for me. Good boy!

Until next time...……..
May your days be many and your troubles be few. And may all God's blessings descend upon you.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

05/12/19 Happy Mother's Day

This is a special day for all Moms. Hopefully most Moms are able to relax a little and enjoy their families.

We had a nice and quiet day today. Watched the Boston Bruins hockey game (6-2 victory) in the Eastern Conference Final. With luck we will be in the Stanley Cup Final. Yes, Boston is a sports town and we love our teams. We also have been very lucky with good teams and championships, but I digress. "Hope Mom likes hockey" was one advertisement for the game today on Mother's Day, I thought that was kind of cute! Hence the tie in with a blog today.

We had a quiet day as it rained a lot and no one likes getting their paws wet. I was planning on doing a little bird watching, but I don't like to get wet either! So we just enjoyed the day inside with reading and hockey and the boys napping.

This is a flower from my garden to honor all of the Moms who may read my blog. The azaleas have been incredibly beautiful and apparently not a favorite food of the deer. Good thing!

And as I was going through some old files, I found a picture of me and Fionnegan and Gunnarr when they were six months old, complete with floppy hair! And of course here is one with me and Shorty when he probably was also about a year and a half old. My boys, what would I do without them!

May all of you enjoy a special day today, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you special Moms.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

05.05.19 April showers bring May flowers

We have heard that saying many, many time. But apparently May showers are also good for flowers! We have had a record number of days with rain, and it continues. Yes, the gardens are growing rapidly, it is mostly dreary outdoors and a bit "raw".  Am looking forward to some sunshine for me and the boys.

The gardens are in bloom, with the azaleas looking spectacular. For the bee lovers amongst us, or those concerned about the diminishing populations of bees, no worries. There are many around these blooms!
 Tried to get a picture of a bee on a flower but they were too fast for the camera. Will try again when there is a little more sunlight. This is a huge plany - maybe 6 feet tall, full of blooms. Gorgeous.

Had one tulip this year. I will enjoy this one as very special. Also need to remember to plant more in the Fall!

Beautiful fragrant blooms against a very gray sky.

There is one rhododendron plant that clearly listens to the beat of her own drummer. She bloomed in the fall and now she has one flower in bloom this week. Well ahead of the rest of my rhododendrons.

There a few pretty little yellow flowers springing up in corners here and there.

Violets everywhere! I let them populate where ever they take hold as they are gorgeous little flowers. Most of them are white, but there are a few clusters of purple johnny jump ups.

Smells so sweet, close to front door.

 A few more daffodils. Am happy with the plantings from last Fall. Scattered around the gardens and rocks and old tree stumps, they bring much color to the gardens.

And there would be no garden work without the boys keeping me company. Fionnegan and Gunnarr eat grass, like little lambs!


Gunnarr, a bit camera shy. Always at my side.

Shorty guards the gate while I work. Lots of work keeping an eye on things!

Afterwards Shorty relaxes on the deck, recovering from chasing those bird seed snitching squirrels and keeping guard.

Never far away! When I go out of the gates, they sit and wait for me.

We are enjoying Spring, rain or shine! And hope you are able to do the same.

Until next time...……..
May your days be many and your troubles be few. And may all God's blessings descend upon you.