Happy Mother’s Day!

14 May, 2017 Happy Mother’s Day!  

I did a post with the same title a year ago. None of us had any reason to believe it would be her final Mother’s Day. Last year on Mother’s Day mom went swimming near her home, and I went swimming in Lake Anna the same morning. This is how the first paragraph of that blog post ended: “We were together in spirit! My lifelong enjoyment of swimming comes directly from my mother.” 

My friend Marion and her husband John are accomplished gardeners, and they enter their roses in contests. Marion told me years ago that roses were planted and trimmed so they’d be blooming before and around Mother’s Day. Evelyn is spending this weekend in NJ with her mother, but she keeps our roses in spectacular shape. I should have washed this grimy garage wall before I took this picture!: 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom took us to church when we were young; Dad didn’t join us. But if Mom believed Heaven was somewhere other than right here on this planet, she sure didn’t act like it. If there’s a heaven and it has roses, they won’t look or smell better than that one. And I know it won’t smell better than this gardenia. Unless it smells like chocolate chip cookies, but that’s a different category. This is blooming on our back porch: 

You’d have to sneak out the back door of Heaven and come to our back porch to smell this:

It rained a lot here in Richmond this week and I didn’t get outdoors as much as I’d like. I was passing the Fulton Bank Wednesday and I stopped to see if the ospreys were there. I have one picture of the nest with the female’s yellow eyes peering through the sticks, but nothing blog worthy. It’s weedy there though, and the flowers had lots of ladybugs on them. I’m not certain about the personalities of insects – who can really say? A wasp or even a tick might be garrulous and outgoing. And this ladybug may be irritable and crabby. But I, at least, am automatically conditioned to think ladybugs are cheerful. It’s hard to believe otherwise: 

This might be my favorite picture this week. I got lucky.

My feeders are overrun with birds. There are three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. I decided to challenge myself and see if I can get a feeder shot with all three primary colors at once. I took these three on the same day. Now I need to catch all three on the feeder at the same time: 

Red (Male Northern Cardinal)

Yellow (American goldfinch, with female Cardinal tail hanging down)

Blue (Eastern Bluebird)

Now to just get all three of them on the feeder at the same time. Stay tuned. 

Speaking of red, there was a pair of red-tails on the cell phone tower in the parking lot of the Westbury Pharmacy on Monday. The female is on the left; she’s visibly much larger. The male is on the right; he’s rearranging his feathers:

Redtail pair on tower. Always look in high places if you want to see Red-tails.

Female Red-tail, a little closer:

This unusual fledgling landed on my feeder this week. I can’t quite identify it. Anyone?: 

I like the quality of that gaze. It’s opaque, but it sure looks like there’s a lot of hidden meaning.

I “got” a Brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) on the ground outside my office window this week. It’s not a brilliant shot but they’re hard (for me) to get and I always enjoy them:

Brown Thrasher holding a prize

I apologize – content is thin this week. Maybe we’ll see more next week! I’ll close with a couple more feeder birds – both male woodpeckers. Presumably their partners were at the nest. First a male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens ): 

Chowing-downy [I wonder if anyone will notice that caption] 

Last but by no means least a Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) on the feeder the same day as the Downy: 

One of the reasons I don’t own a television – I can watch these guys all I want

Happy Mother’s Day! Have an outstanding week! 

All best, 




About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, cardinals, Downy woodpecker, Flowers, Fun, Gardenias, Insects, James River, raptors, Red-bellied woodpeckers, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, roses, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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