Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cedar Waxwings

Identified by their head crest, yellow tipped tail, and olive colored wings, cedar waxwings, Bombycilla cedrorum,  are easy to identify when they return from their southerly migration out of our state. I see them in flocks of twenty to fifty birds feeding on the viburnum berries in my yard that entice them to return "home". They are harbingers of spring and their arrival in mid February is a sure sign that, while spring isn't really here yet, it is on the way. Are there rough winter days still in our future. Of course. But soon the balance will shift and a real spring will arrive. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Today I heard other birds in downtown Sandusky, Michigan starting their breeding territorial calls. Probably just the too common English sparrows or house sparrows, Passer domesticus. Their winter silence has also been broken by the coming change of seasons.

Meanwhile the suet feeding birds are still appreciative of my gifts to them. I love the nuthatches, probably in part because they are not as common as their near relatives the chickadees.

I am hopeful that little Gunnar the Icelandic Sheepdog puppy from Buland farm in Iceland will arrive sometime soon. I'm not sure yet if he will. Crossed fingers.

Monday, February 11, 2019


Here are the Icelandic Sheepdogs on a recent overcast day in Michigan's Thumb. They are always there for me. Karma - that's what I get back from my dogs. And my returnee, Kit. All of them now have their Lyme vaccines and boosters, their Seresto flea and tick collars, and have finished their "cure". Ignore the gray skies out the windows.

Almost every day starts out gorgeous but later on the days here are mostly Michigan Grey - so of course I rise early to get the right start to the day. The sun, when available, sometimes is reflected on the float ice that washes up along the snow drifts. Diamonds in the snow.

After a recent ice storm, the frozen roof ice was sliding off the roof in rather interesting sheets and crashing on the porch - which surprised dogs had to deal with as they exited for potty breaks and yard explorations.

I had dozens of orchids years ago and they did extremely well for me. Even though I don't have as many orchids as I used to have, the ones I do have are special. Because of limited space I have much smaller ones, they must flower in the winter, they must have a splendid fragrance, and they must be "easy". This one surprised me with a great February bloom.

The various species of woodpeckers and their allies the nuthatches, brown creepers, chickadees, and titmice love the suet feeders. They entertain us with their antics.

Two recent mornings that belied the coming gray (grey) days. Is it any wonder at all that I love mornings here.

I'm rising above another SNAFU. A breeder, this one in Iceland, has apparently reneged on a puppy promise because I haven't heard from her in about a week. I'm hoping it's because there's a crisis on her farm. It is, after, Iceland in the winter. The sun, if it rises at all, must be low on the horizon and not be there for more than an hour or so. And I have the temerity to complain about the dark days a Michigan winter. Shame on me. I cannot imagine the determination and the strong will and spirit it must take to survive in the very, very long dark days of an Icelandic Winter.

Don't get me started on my chair again.

I wrenched my lower back from which took me a while to recover. Thank goodness I had David's cane and plenty of food.

I have had some rough winters in my long life. I cannot imagine how my Danish/Swedish/Norwegian ancestors managed to survive the long hard times of arctic-ness.  This current winter has been harder on me than even the winter more than a decade ago immediately following my cancer diagnosis and surgery. Nonetheless, I will persevere and look forward to spring and working in my west forest aka the "door woods". One of the reasons I moved north is that I finally realized that my friends were not there for me so I might just as well be up here alone as down there alone. I haven't talked about that before and I won't talk about it again; I'm OK with being alone even though I'm occasionally but rarely lonely. Thank goodness for Carolyn, David, and Kathy who spend hours on the phone with me as needed therapy.