Here’s a Tufted Titmouse waiting for its turn at the blackoil sunflower seeds. In the winter they form a feeding group with the nuthatch, and chickadees. They will hunt for nuts and fruit together, which is pretty cool to watch.The Belted Kingfishers are everywhere lately. Every time we visit the lake we see at least one. A lot of the time I hear them first, although they have a very distinct shape. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of our winter guests. Some people call them butter butts because of the yellow feathers on its rump. In this photo, you can see the yellow on its rump as well as on its side. They flit around the trees looking for insects and any remaining fruit. At Lake Thunderbird, here in Norman OK, there are wild persimmon trees. Not only do the Warblers like them the Cedar Waxwings and Robins find them easy eats in the winter. My sister-in-law is going to try to grow a persimmons tree. I’ll keep you updated on this adventure.
So I have a new term for where I’ve been going birding for years. A local photographer called it the “Cross Timbers”, hell, I was calling it Lake Thunderbird. Cross Timbers sounds so mysterious…So I did a little research. The Cross Timbers stretch from Southeast Kansas through Oklahoma and into North Texas. Washington Irving and other early travelers through this area are credited with giving this area its name. Alrighty then….Here is a Red-headed Woodpecker, it is an immature one. It’s just starting to get its red head. I think it has a piece of wood in its mouth.We’ve been seeing a lot of Northern Flickers (Red-shafted) lately. Here in Oklahoma we get both the red and yellow shafted flickers.This is where we see most of the flickers, on the ground, hunting for treats. They are very photogenic. These are the Yellow-shafted Northern Flickers.
Today I saw a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker for the first time this season. A few years ago we were seeing tons of them on our bird walks. It was actually pretty thrilling.
More from the Cross Timbers soon….
We had our first snow of the new year. It won’t last long… a few days. It was a fluffy dry snow. A kid in the neighborhood was able to build a snowman on day two, after the snowed warmed up enough to pack it.The photos here are of snowflakes on my car. After I was brushing the snow off of it I noticed them. I love the snow ang snowy days. It will be nearly 70• later this week, and then the bottom drops out again. But I will enjoy the snow while it’s here.
We get to enjoy the Dark-eyed Junco during the winter months. In fact, they’re usually the first bird of winter that we see. Out of all the Sparrows I like the Junco the best… with a close second being the Lark Sparrow.
The photo above was taken yesterday at our local lake. There were a dozen, or so, Juncos in a tree. The birds were gathering to roost for the night. They all took off ( like they do) with their high-pitched call and this is the image I caught. We have such great birds here and are on the pathway of fall and spring migration.
More photos to come….
My plans, like ever Christmas, is to cook, cook, cook. To create a variety of cookies, candies, and other treats of the season is my goal. I made these gingerbread men one evening. They were gone before the icing hit their cute little bodies. Yes, I know they are a bit unusual, but they are soooo cool. A dia de los Muertos cookie cutter was used. I also made apple empanadas and enchiladas for our Christmas Day dinner. For our dinner we do SW Mexican food, we’ve done it for years.
While cooking I also made two small blueberry pies and an apple tart. My goal was to make a lot of treats… It just didn’t happen this year. Not even my traditional english toffee was made. There’s always next year.
My sister-in-law and I were talking, as we do often, about farms and B&Bs. The dream of owning one (of each) and running of them. The animals we’d have, the products from, the gift shop, the organic and GMO free veggie stand, and the food we would cook. I went on-line and scoured cook books to come up with a list of foods to offer in the B&B. I have to admit, this is so much fun! I even found gluten free and vegan recipes that I want to try out. I looked for dishes that would also work with what I would be growing on the farm. Oh what a dream. I printed out the recipes that I’m going to try out in the months to come. When my garden is active again and I start getting the produce, I will try other recipes. Nothing is as good as fresh!
Like I said, this is just a dream… but it’s fun to try new things.
Her memory is starting to fade. Names, events, and people, are a few of the things that are harder for her to remember. She is aware of what is happening and at times is very frustrated. There is nothing I can do to restore those memories.We did a lot of traveling this year. We were on the road more than we were at home. I took many photos on our trips. We look at them to help her remember the places we’ve been and the people we’ve met. Some she remembers, some she doesn’t and some she says she does but I know she doesn’t.It’s one of the toughest things to watch, the decline of one of the strongest female role models in my life. We have switched roles now. I cook, clean, drive, and do all the things she use to do for me. I enjoy all that we do together and that I can now do things for her. Her memory may be fading but I am there for her as she was for me.
I’ve been traveling for a year now. My passion is what I’m in search of. Finding ones passion can be quite an adventure. I’m only home for a few days and off again. It’s been a wonderful and amazing year. I miss being at home (sometimes, not really often), I do miss my bed. As this year draws to an end I have so much to reflect on. I’ll be sharing these reflections in the next 5 weeks…and updating you on my journey back to my passion.