September 11th

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

I was so excited to see this guy sitting out on my bird feeder today.

While you may be thinking “It’s just a backyard bird,” this guy isn’t.

He is a male juvenile Eastern Bluebird. The significance of that? At one point in the 50’s and 60’s, the Eastern Bluebird was in massive decline. It was only through a DNR reintroduction program in 1984 that their numbers began increasing and eventually stabilized.

While it was been years since this reintroduction, it’s still fun to see them around our house. Especially seeing this juvenile – that means there is a nesting pair near our house. Once his feathers fully molt out, his wings and head will be a bright blue, while his chest becomes dark orange; you can see small amounts of those adult feathers peeking through.

August 28th

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

I’ve never captured an image of a hummingbird. It’s on my photography bucket list.

Today, I was able to cross them off when this sweet little male Ruby Throated Hummingbird came to visit.

The bonus to this image? I never thought I’d catch one perched – especially in a natural scene, with nothing man made.

Paul actually spotted him first, and this guy hung around long enough for me to get myself together and get my camera ready.

Honestly, it was kind of exhilarating!

You all know just how fast hummingbirds are; usually I can spot them, but seconds later they’ve up and disappeared. So the fact that I wasn’t the one to spot it, that I had to first find him with my eyes and then my camera, and I still caught him – exhilarating.

I also didn’t bait him in with a feeder- this is him in his true natural habitat.

I’m really proud of this image!

August 26th

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

Have you all been noticing that the birds are beginning to flock up?

This last week I’ve seen ponds full of ducks.

Geese are beginning to fly in formation.

Small birds (such as these Barn Swallows) arranged, hundreds at a time, on power lines.

For those of you who have bird feeders, you’ve probably noticed the birds are frequenting your feeders less and less. At least I have; a full bird feeder would last maybe a day, tops, a couple weeks ago. Now I’m looking at a feeder I filled a week ago and is still half full.

It is a sign of the soon to be changing seasons.

June 10th

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

You know it’s summer time when the hay equipment comes out.

It’s between that and when the hundreds of barn swallows hatch their babies. But really, over thirty nests under this overhang alone. We’ve had a crazy amount of them around this year.

Anyway, it’s hay season! Even with the questionable weather tomorrow, the haybine went out today. Hopefully we don’t get as much rain as they’re saying we may get. After tomorrow, the weather looks great – sunshine with low dew points, so if we can get through tomorrow we’ll be golden.

Dad cut most of the field yesterday, but Paul finished the inside rounds. Here, Paul and Dad are switching places.

On an unrelated note, my phone died on Friday, so I finally upgraded (iPhone 5s to 8), and the camera clarity is awesome! Both this image and the image from Joyful Noise were taken on my phone.

Sometimes it’s the little things 🙂

May 12th

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

I’ve always loved the little guys.

Bees, small birds, butterflies. They just do their thing, completely unaware of the large world around them. Solely focused on their purpose, they just move through life unaware of time, weather forecasts, or relational responsibilities other than to their mate and young. What they do is follow instinct, doing what their bodies tell them to do. They don’t live life based on other’s opinions or suggestions – they just do them.

Today, this little Chipping Sparrow was bringing his mate pieces, so they could build a nest together. I sat on our front porch for awhile, watching him make trips back and forth. Each time, his mate would happily welcome him back with happy chatter, encouraged by his ability to bring use-able, build-able pieces to her. He would drop off each piece and head back out to find another, confident in her ability to build the nest.

God’s awesome example of partnership and purpose.

May 10th

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

I’ve got a thing for the weird looking birds.

Sandhill Cranes, Great Blue Herons. Tall, lanky, large wingspans, long beaks. Maybe it’s because they’re the most human-like of birds? I’m really not sure, but I could watch them all day.

I was heading up to the barn this morning to meet the vet for spring shots, and there were three Herons in the shallow water. Usually, they are very shy birds; I can’t get very close to them without them fleeing by air. However, this guy must be either young or new to the farm, because I brought my vehicle to a full stop, opened my car door, leaned out with my camera, and got ten images before he decided to split.

While ten may not sound like a lot, normally if I’m lucky to even get two I’m excited.

Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to have the wildlife back? I’m always so appreciative that you guys stick it out over slow months when most of my images are personal ones of my animals. I obviously love my animals, but I know it’s different when they aren’t yours, or you have never met them to understand the meaning of me taking them. So, if that’s you , THANK YOU!

Hopefully, this will be the turning point of more outdoor imagery, more centered around nature and wildlife. This is me thinking ahead here, but if nothing else, be sure to stop back the first week of June – I’ll have images you won’t want to miss (HAWAII!).

If you’ve been to Oahu, leave a comment below and let me know a place/experience I have to visit/do while there. We’ll have a car, so we can travel. I’m looking for insider tips!

April 24th

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

The bird’s chatter filled the cool morning air as I stepped out onto our front porch this morning.

It seemed like hundreds of them, and it was such a welcome sound.

Yesterday I filled all of our bird feeders, and it didn’t take long for them to find them. I had forgotten how much I enjoy their presence! A Mourning Dove pair was one that came to the feeders, and they also settled into our fresh mulch for a nap at one point. I almost lost them when they walked out into our yard – their color is so similar to our still-dead grass.

Hopefully that won’t be the case for long!

April 19th

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

I woke up to a beautiful sunrise this morning.

No, there weren’t vibrant shades of pinks and reds, or warm sun rays coming through the fog. No, just simply the fact that the sun was shining was what made it beautiful.

The kind of sunrise you get after a rain storm. Clean, warm, faithful. A sort of blank slate, ready for you to rejoice in it. To seek the day that God has made.

As I watched the song birds happily flitting from tree to tree, singing at the presence of the sun, I realized I needed this sunrise today. I needed those joyful little birds, too. The reminder of God’s goodness and His beauty; the reminder of His ultimate plan.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus
Jeremy Camp // Give Me Jesus

April 14th

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

While my first inclination today is to complain about the weather, my daily devotional kicked my backside regarding that a couple of days ago: “This is the day that I have made. Rejoice and be glad in it. […] Be careful not to complain about anything, even the weather, since I am the author of your circumstance.”

I read that and thought to myself “oops!”, so we’re reversing our way of thinking today and will be talking about the beauty of the sheet of white that is currently outside my window instead of condemning it.

One true blessing on the timing of this storm for the Whiskey Hotel is that Paul came home around lunchtime yesterday (right before the ice pellets started), and doesn’t have to go back to work until Monday morning. So with the weather comes a built in date weekend. Our plan? To pull out the couch, make yummy food, cuddle, love on our critters, and have a Harry Potter marathon.

An introvert’s dream.

April 9th

Monday, April 9th, 2018

I’m not one to wish days away, but I’m ready for this one to be done.

Burke is at the vet getting some dental work done, and after how our last vet visit went, I’m nervous and am just ready to have it behind us.

And evidently we were giving off death vibes because this Turkey Vulture wouldn’t leave us alone on our way out to the woods this afternoon. Can anyone say creepy? Creepy.

Cool, I guess, but still creepy.