Posts Tagged With: birds

back to basics

today I have seen the spotted towhee and the scrub jays. I saw a bird I don’t know which might be a grosbeak type two acorn wood peckers and a wren and a titmouse (I think) and lots and lots of humming birds both Annas and Alans. I am clearly going to need a better camera to get pics of the ones I don’t know so someone can tell me what they are. At the very least I clearly need a better bird book.

so here I am in a beautiful house with a beautiful yard and I feel completely out of sorts. I am grumpy and snappy and just not doing well. Of course it is because we are moving and so much is changing. of course it is stress but there are different ways of dealing with stress. There is the freak out option. The constant fight or flight heart racing cranky person or (in my world anyway) there is the calm person who writes down lots of lists and systematically tackles them.

<oh my stars I just saw the hugest raven out my window maybe 15 feet from me and at eye level soar by. made me catch my breath.>

And so I am going back to my basics, which I think is a good idea whenever it feels like you have too much. I also am now in a house much bigger and much different then my last one.

So I need a routine for keeping it clean and running. I will be using Flylady

I have a kid who is out of sorts and who doesn’t feel as connected to her mama as I have been working so much and even when I’m home I am working instead of playing. And so I am going back to our Rhythm of play and fun.


I have a HUGE yard that I have no idea how to take care of and so I need a routine for that. including when and how to water. I also need a list of things that must be done in the garden like build a deer fence around the fruit trees and vegetable garden. I also want to start a dream list that will include chickens and bees and maybe goats. shorter term I need a few more vegetable beds.

so todays goal is simply to make all the lists and find my map so to speak. plan out the journey of accomplishing the duties that need to be accomplished.  Knowing where I stand and where I am going always make me feel better and take my  from crazy lady to calm and cheerful. Hope this day finds you bright and happy.

❤ Poppy

Categories: daily life, family, garden, Kids, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that and a lot of birds

I have suddenly become interested in birds. Well not really Little and I have always watched the birds outside our window to see what they were up to? The mocking birds fighting for territory and dive bombing the crow who came to close to the nest. The hawk that soars in the back yard every afternoon. And of course you know I created those field guid sheets for her so she can learn about observation.

So we always liked to see who was out our window and now we have a lot more birds out the window. We moved!

That right Moved

after a year and half of looking and me giving up many a time, being out bid on I don’t know how many places we found a miraculous home on a hill. With loads of gardens and birds and incredible views. I still have to pinch myself because I can hardly believe this is our house. It seems so grown up.

Right now I’m looking a a male quail perched on this flat feeder.  I have also seen this morning the spotted towhee and 2 acorn wood peckers.

Yesterday I started  keeping a yard list for this house but found I don’t really know enough about birds so there were lists of birds I did know and then long descriptions of birds I don’t know. I will have to ask mom when I see her next.

The view I posted yesterday was from the dinning room. I will take some more pictures today and post them for you.

I love the new house even though it doesn’t feel like mine yet. I need to finish unpacking and in truth I still need to finish packing the old house there are a few more tidbits there. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends that are helping with both.

I also need to find or figure out the weekly plan for watering the garden. The previous owner did an amazing job with lots of Native plants I think she said there were over 150. some of it is on irrigation and some is hand water and I am not sure which plant needs what when. So I guess I better go round and figure that out today before any suffer.

I am off to unpack more, well tea first and then unpack!

I hope everyone is doing well and I am sorry I took so long off in-between writing.

Categories: daily life | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

checking in



It’s a good time to journal, and so I am going to barrow from one of my favorite blogs Abide With Me. Every now and then she does a journaling post with lots of headings as prompts. I am changing them a little and borrowing a little from others.

Drink of the Day (From Thalassa)
Irish Breakfast Tea

Sowing/ Harvesting:  Sowing the seeds to making my dreams real. Harvesting some dream work and some hard work put in after wards to create my workbook.

In the Garden:  we are really hopping now. I have the baby sprouts of corn coming up and we have put in water melons, sunflowers, a ton of wildflowers, tomatoes, and basil. I have a volunteer cucumber (no idea how I got that!) a ton of butternut squash starts that need to be moved and shared. AND still 2 empty beds to plant. I’m trying the square foot garden method and I am really liking it. I have a slew of plants that I still want to put in too. Oh and I found the most beautiful rose blooming in my garden this morning! It is from my neighbor’s yard and it is stunning. I will get a picture.

Creating:.Various books and kits 🙂 more on that later.

Looking: The birds in my yard. I am engaged in this silly life and death battle going on. It is silly that I’m involved not that silly that it is going on. The house finches and mocking birds make their nest in our row of 14 cypress tress. The babies are hatched and featherless little things squeaking for food. The Crows come by for an easy meal. Last year around this time he carried one off and Little was so sad. So now I’m going out side 5 times a day to shoo the crow away and explain that after the babies are bigger and no longer food I will leave him some food. He just looks at me to see if I’m  seriously getting in the way of his meal.

Listening: The blasted TV which seems to be always on. The birds mocking birds and mourning doves and quail and blue jays and house finches. I don’t know them all.

Smiling: I sold my first workbook. I created something that someone else liked enough to buy. Its kind of a rush

Reading:  A book on square foot gardening and then anything else on my nightstand. trying to get back on track of my blogs. I’m WEEKS behind!

Outing: Does going to the office count?  Things are going better there though. I took Little to a swim class. The second one went better than the first. The first she didn’t want class to be over and jumped back into the pool and ran to a place that was too deep for her.

Thinking: I miss my blog and reading blogs. I wonder if I can sneak away and watch 2 episodes of Rachel Zoe and 20 of Dr Who?

Cooking: We made some yummy ribs the other day and a yummy frittata with goat cheese.  When I plan my week I cook better and eat better when I don’t plan I end up uninspired.  I really want soup

Feeling: hormonal. TMI? I have seriously cried a lot over the last week some happy some sad but quick to tears is ANNOYING!

Wishing:  for someone to cook me soup and bring me hot chocolate with whipped cream while I read and or watch the above shows. I need some “off” time.

Categories: daily life | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Walk your neighborhood

There is a lot of talk about the land and knowing your land and land spirits. I think I may “hear” more about this as I tend to follow a lot of Druids in the blog world. However, though I am not a Druid I could not agree more. I am a product of the place I was born and raised. There is no denying the power of this place. The crash of the waves as the Pacific beats against the shore and the coolness of the forest as one stands in awe of redwoods hundreds of feet tall. It is easy to feel the power of such places.

But what of less awe-inspiring places? Say your block or neighborhood. After all these are places you probably spend a good deal of time.
Its a nice place to get to know. Get to know the land and the neighbors (human and otherwise) and the spirit. These two are my constant companions. They bring me messages and keep us safe. They are almost always around. Little can recognize a crow by sight and call and always says “good morning Mr Crow” or good afternoon or what have you.

You can see stunning displays of beauty right around you. This magnificent tree is down the street from us and like all the trees in the neighborhood it is confused and about 3 months behind.

I know this because we walk our neighborhood. We say hello to folks and animals. We get to know which dog or cat lives where. We learn when things flower and fruit and when trees drop their leaves. We know when the mockingbirds are doing there “this is my territory dance” and when the hummingbirds are doing their death defying mating dance. We get a feel for the place.

I have previously advocated taking a nature energy walk in a wild place where nature is more pure shall we say. I still agree with this idea, but I strongly suggest adding a neighborhood walk in there too. I realize not everyone lives in a space like me but even city neighborhoods have life and spirit.

Categories: daily life, family, nature, photos | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Idenity crisis



ok not really and not the best picture but I am hopping Elfkat the brilliant can help me with why one of these pelicans has white head and neck  feathers and one has black.

Categories: daily life, nature, photos | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Why hello


Fyi this bird is larger then Little

Categories: nature, photos | Tags: , | Leave a comment

For the birds



Thursday is our garden day.There is only so long we can play in the muck and the cold. Well there is only so long I can play in it Little would play forever if she could. Of course I won’t let Little be out there to long because there is only so long you can be in the muck and the cold without catching a cold.

Little was not interested in pouring over seed catalogs and so we decided to make these little bird treats for our garden friends.



Little had wonderful time making the treats and it was a fun activity to do together. It was quite simple and didn’t take to long so it kept her attention span. Plus there is putting in all the ingredients and mixing and then smashing into cookie cutters or molds.




of course found the recipe on Pinterest and you can find it here. They turned out so well that we decided to give them as gifts to our neighbors.  If you follow the link above to the recipe you will see they made them as gifts as well and she has a cute little diy paper box to package them in!



Tomorrow we will hang some of them on our outside tree. I hope the birdies are happy!

Categories: arts and crafts, Children s Activities, daily life, Kids, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lessons from birds


You will forgive me if I don’t write a lot at the moment. The Fall tingle I get also tends to come with insomnia. I think I had 3 hours of sleep last night. 

Given that today was our first lesson with the birds, and I would like to share some of it with you.


We gathered our materials and set up our class room.


We picked a suitable spot to wait for our teachers to arrive.


Little work in progress


and completed.


Grammy’s  sheet.

If you would like to learn from the birds too here is our Bird Field guide sheet


Categories: daily life, family, Kids, nature, photos | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Bird Field Guide sheets

As we continue our search for our new family home I think of so many of the things I love here. One is that we are blessed with an abundance of birds in our yard. I don’t know if I would have noticed this, had my mother not discovered her love of birding. So now as we eat breakfast we look out our window and watch our feathered friends eat breakfast and sing us good morning.

So last night as I was working on some other work sheets and I got the Idea to make a field guide sheet for Little and my mom aka Grammy. Grammy just got Little a pair of binoculars for her birthday. We are also always on the look out for fun activities to do as a family and so this week we are adding bird watching to our weekly rhythm.

so I of course whipped up a quick Bird Field guide sheet and thought you might like it too.

Our Idea is to meet every Wednesday morning some where and ask Little “what bird do you see?” She will point out the first bird she sees and that will be our subject for study that day. The top left square is to draw a picture of the bird and as we do this we can talk about what the different features mean and why they help the bird. The name of the bird can be written in the banner in that square. Beneath that are some lines to write in observations. What is the bird doing? Does it sing? What does it eat? Grammy’s observations might be more advanced but I  think we will keep it simple for Little. Under that are 4 small squares to write in date, time, location and weather. The long strip to the side is where to jot down any other bird spices we see that day.

As the rain comes (oh please, oh please, oh please let the rain come this winter) it will be nice to have an activity we can do inside but still be focused on the outside. Hope you like it 🙂

Categories: Children s Activities, daily life, family, Kids, nature | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why birds

The last few posts have been about my new plan to study one bird a week. Besides the important fact that this can be a family activity, there are a few other reasons I like this lesson plan.

It started a long time ago with my new distaste for the news. I dislike watching t.v. news for two reasons. One is it is often a parade of tragedy and things to induce fear. Two they don;t tell you the news. The news is a sharing of facts. What we have now is a bunch of talking heads that give their opinion or tell us the to stupid to think for ourselves audience what to think.

Then a few days ago I was with one of my very good friends and she told me she didn’t know if she believed in evolution. I almost feel guilty sharing. It bothered me some and so I wanted to talk it over with Hubs.  When I told hubs that he said “well think of all the crazy things you believe, don’t judge” Then he asked how why does it matter in the day to day. .

I couldn’t answer him right away but it got me thinking. This is where we come back to the birds. Teaching little to observe something and make notes on it teaches her so many skills. For one simple observation. I think a lot of folks have lost this skill as it takes to long. We are so rushed we just want the headlines the bullet points no time to take a deep look. Learning to observe means she will be able to study something, find the facts and then form her own ideas about it. Which brings me to the most important thing I think I can possibly teach my child or anyone.

Critical thinking

The ability to observe the behavior of birds, different birds and ask, what is the bird doing? Why do you think the bird does that? Teaches her to look for her own answers and puzzle through things on her own. Come up with ideas on her. With the birds she can test her ideas to some extent. For instance Yesterday our bird of the week was a Chickadee. The first one to the feeder even with all of us out side. We thought it was brave maybe it was not scared of people? maybe it was used to people since it ate at a feeder. But when little got board and got down off her chair away it flew. Ah so maybe it is scared of people or maybe movement. Ideas we can test out.

She wont need a talking head on T.V. to tell her what to think because she will know how to think and can figure it out for herself.



Categories: Children s Activities, daily life, family, nature | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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