I’m a grandmother!

The Canadian Geese I befriended have blessed me with five goslings.

Cool.

Oh, and I had a tick on me!!

Ewwwwwwwww

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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Jurassic Alternate Reality

Remember the scene from one of the Jurassic movies when the T-Rex was crashing through the trees? I don’t know which of the million Jurassic Park movies the scene comes from and, legally, I cannot post a video of the scene that I’m thinking about even if I could find it, but picture this–a huge dinosaur is moving through the woods and trees are crumbling at its feet. Wood is splintering, tree limbs are shattering, bird nests are getting crushed, along with baby birds and tiny eggs…okay, I added that last part about the birds and eggs, anyway, you’re probably asking by now, where the heck am I going with this story?

Well, Sunday night, while it was dark, there were guys across the river in the woods, along with bright lights and two large machines, taking down the trees in the woods. I lay in bed and listened to trees getting crushed, splintering wood, shattering limbs…I could even hear the sorrow associated with the carnage.

The men decimated the woods until 11:00PM! On a Sunday night!

Being the nosy old woman I am, when the men returned the next day, with chain saws, I called the Conservation Department for Billerica to find out what the heck was going on. I won’t go into the foolish details. Basically, I was told there were no men working in the woods.

Really? I made sure the man on the phone knew I didn’t believe him. There WERE men in the woods and they WERE taking down trees.

Nope, came the disbeliever’s reply. There were NO men in the woods and NO trees were coming down. I must be hearing my neighbor doing yardwork, he stated with absolute certainty. Perhaps a landscaper edging my neighbor’s property, he added with a tone of contempt.

Or, perhaps a T Rex I almost replied.

All things are possible in Billerica.

WTF!

Image by Bianca Van Dijk from Pixabay 

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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Did I miss an important memo?

Seriously, there must have been a memo, an email, a call, some skywriting–something to announce that spring was canceled and we would be moving into the dog days of summer.

Illustration courtesy of Pixabay.com/IsabelaSaldareliDeSouza

What happened to the springtime of my youth when the scent of lilacs would swim on cool breezes? I’m not referring to the gale force winds of the past 30 days. Man oh man, I had to bind my wind chimes they were making such a cacophony of noise.

Am I partly to blame for this global warming mess we’re in? Was it all the hairspray I used in the 70’s?

Anyway, there’s no use in my complaining about the weather. It’s not as if I can do anything to fix it.

Moving on…

I’ve been treated to some spectacular sunrises lately, so that’s a good thing. And the hummingbirds are here. Another good thing.

New and Improved Photo — Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Cool shot, right? I didn’t even use the tripod. Pretty steady hands for an old lady.

Okay, this old lady is going to bed. I’m hot and tired.

Illustration by Tinthia; courtesy of Crabgrass Cards.

And crabby.

By the way, click on the crabby woman’s boobs, or the crabby cat’s collar. You’ll be whisked to my store at Zazzle.com where you can buy lots of crabby stuff.

Come on, help a crabby old lady buy corn for her one-legged ducks.

mallard - duck - hen - wildlife
Hobby2, the second, one-legged duck.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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Right on Schedule

This time each year the Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks come back from their winter vacation down south. I can set my calendar by them.

Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak; May 2, 2022.

The male usually arrives during the second week of May. This year he arrived a tad early. I’m not complaining, mind you; I look forward to that first flash of black, white, and red in my peripheral vision and his sweet call as he sings for his mate.

The male typically arrives ahead of the female but she came in right on his tail feathers.

Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. The blurriness is due to her moving around, not the person holding the camera.

Ahhhh, spring is here. The only members of the usual gang that are missing are the Baltimore Orioles. I can be patient, though, because I have a new bird who wants to join the crew.

Male Pileated Woodpecker.

Yup, the Pileated Woodpecker has taken a liking to my yard. It must be all the cool insects I have living around my property. And the snags (the bodies of the dead trees I kept after the tops were removed.)

Summer, 2021.

Okay, back to my Pileated Woodpecker. Gorgeous bird.

And huge. Pileated Woodpeckers have a wing span of 30 freaking inches. They’re the biggest forest birds of the North American continent.

Male Pileated Woodpecker.

You might ask how I know this guy is a male. It’s the red stripe along the side of his face. Females have a black stripe.

Male Pileated Woodpecker.

Sooooooooo cool.

Okay, now for a game. Find the Great-Blue Heron in this photograph.

Great-Blue Heron.

Can you spot him, or her, hiding behind the branch? At least it’s trying to hide; it needed a bigger branch.

Great-Blue Heron.

There he, or she, is. Herons aren’t known for their hide-and-seek skills.

Wow, this has been one heck of a great start to May; I can’t wait to see what other blessings the month has in store for me.

Oh, and happy birthday to my son. Twenty-eight. Wow!

Chris, back in 2013, when I bought my little corner of the Concord River.

But wait, how did he get older while I remained young and vibrant? Something to ponder.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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The Wonderful Month of May

For those of us who follow the Craft, May 1st is the sabbat of Beltane, the halfway point between the first day of spring and the first day of summer. It’s a time to celebrate the blossoming of the fertile earth around us and dance yourself into a frenzy around a May Pole, bonfire, or with your dog while Justin Timberlake sings in the background.

Official Video for ”CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! (from DreamWorks Animation’s “TROLLS”)” by Justin Timberlake.

I choose #3 — Nobody can get an old lady dancing like JT.

At its roots, Beltane honors the return of the light and fire is an integral part of its celebration. Light a candle, either as part of a magical ritual or simply for the beauty it creates.

https://concordriverlady.com/2022/05/01/the-wonderful-month-of-may/(opens in a new tab)

Photo: Pexels.com/Tucă Bianca

Beltane is also a time to give thanks for the abundance the Universe bestows upon us, and what better way to say thank you than with a feast. Your feast doesn’t have to be lavish, a simple cup of tea will do. Just remember to say a blessing before sipping.

After you’ve finished your tea, head outside and spend some time with Mother Nature. If you go out at night, listen for spring peepers and toads.

Another great way to celebrate May is to count the different species of birds you see.

Female Downy Woodpecker.
American Robin
Male Eastern Bluebird.

And guess what? I saw one. Oh, happy day.

I saw a male Ruby-throated hummingbird; I saw a male Ruby-throated hummingbird.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo, so I’ll use one from 2021.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, circa 2021.

However you choose to celebrate Beltane, I hope it brings you joy.

May you be safe and protected.
May you be peaceful.
May you live with ease and kindness.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mio ​​immortale.

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Ruby-Throat Migration Update

THEY ARE HERE!!!

At least in my area, haha.

https://www.hummingbirdcentral.com/hummingbird-migration-spring-2022-map.htm

The Ruby-throats have made it to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and are on their way to Canada. These little jewels of Mother Nature will be hungry after their long trip North so get those nectar feeders filled and charge your camera batteries.

Yipee, they’re here!!!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, waving hello!

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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A Bedtime Story

Or a morning story. It could also be an afternoon story.

Basically, it’s a story for anytime of the day.

The Old Woman and The Hose

The was once an old woman who lived in a quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north. The direction of the river has no bearing on our story, nor does the fact that the old woman lived alongside the river.

In truth, living in a quaint cottage is a minor detail as well.

All that matters is the woman was old.

And had a hose.

One day the old woman decided to water her garden. First, she took her feeble body to the store and purchased a watering wand to attach to her hose. The old woman chose the least expensive watering wand she could find because, not only was the old woman old, she was also frugal.

‘Now I can water my plants,’ she said cheerfully as she attached the watering wand to the quick-disconnect thingy already installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north.

The old woman hummed to herself as she turned on the water faucet and tried to skip, for you see the old woman was old and old women don’t skip all that great, to the watering wand attached to the quick-disconnect thingy already installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north.

The old woman flipped the thumb control on the watering wand into the ON position and pointed the watering wand attached to the quick-disconnect thingy already installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north, at her garden.

No water flowed.

‘Perhaps I don’t have the water turned high enough,’ the old woman mused as she shook the watering wand attached to the quick-disconnect thingy already installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north.

The old woman hobbled back to the water faucet. Screw skipping, she thought,
and turned the dial all the way.

For a second time the old woman flipped the thumb control of the watering wand into the ON position and pointed the watering wand attached to the quick-disconnect thingy installed on the end of the hose… whatever…

Drip, drip, drip.

‘WTF!’ the old woman scowled. ‘This watering wand is a piece of @#%&.’

The old woman removed the watering wand attached to the quick-disconnect thingy installed on the end of the hose, yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah.

‘How dare they sell me a piece of junk,’ the old woman grumbled.

Determined to return the watering wand to the store for a full refund, the old woman placed the watering wand in the trunk of her car while she consoled herself with thoughts of giving the store manager a piece of her mind.

Not one to be daunted by a broken watering wand, the old woman decided she would squirt water through the quick-disconnect thingy by releasing the tension in the quick-disconnect thingy installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north.

Proud of herself for being such a quick thinker, the old woman began humming again and tried to skip to the water faucet, although the skipping wasn’t as jubilant as the first time. After all, the old woman was still old, and tired of walking back and forth.

Returning to the hose, the old woman pointed the end with the quick-disconnect thingy installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north, at her garden and released the tension.

Drip, drip, drip.

Words that would have made a street urchin blush filled the peaceful setting on the shore of the winding river that flowed north.

The old woman was not a happy camper as she stomped back to the faucet to turn off the water. The old woman was a very good stomper for such an old woman.

‘Stupid quick-disconnect thingy must be faulty,’ the old woman grunted, as she tried to twist the quick-disconnect thingy from the end of the hose that was located…ah, who cares?

The quick-disconnect thingy did not budge.

Not even when the old woman used pliers.

Not even when the old woman sprayed WD-40 on the quick-disconnect thingy.

Not even when the old woman bashed the quick-disconnect thingy with her
hammer.

Growling like a feral dog, the old woman grabbed her wire snipers and cut the hose, thus removing the quick-disconnect thingy that had been installed on the end of the hose that was located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north.

‘Stupid piece of %#@&.’

For a third time the old woman returned to the faucet and turned on the water. She stomped back to the end of the hose that no longer had a quick-connect thingy installed but was still located at the quaint cottage on the shore of a winding river that flowed north.

Drip, drip, drip.

The old woman shook the hose.

Drip.

The old woman peered into the hose, wondering if a mouse had crawled inside.

Drip.

‘My damn water pressure must be off,’ the old woman cried, as thoughts of her money filling the dependable, but costly, plumber’s hands.

The old woman whimpered and dragged her defeated old body to the faucet to turn off the water.

And that was when she saw the problem.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.com

Stupid old woman.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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Coming Around Again

I know nothing stays the same. Things change, life moves on, days become weeks which become months and so on. However, I also know that if I wait long enough what was will come around again, because, well that’s just how life is.

But one must be patient.

It’s a different year, and possibly different birds, but the American Goldfinches are molting, because that’s what Goldfinches do in the spring season.

Molting Male American Goldfinch, April 2022

Twelve months later my daffodils are blooming–again.

Daffodils, April 2022.

True to their nature, the Grackles returned to my corner of the Concord River to eat my seed and mealworms, and be general pains in the butt.

Common Grackle, April 2022

Mother Nature threw me a curve ball though. Two starlings, who I call Mutt and Jeff, although I’m sure one is a female, have made themselves welcome at my mealworm feeder and they are on a mission to eat every dang mealworm.

Sure it’s a pretty bird but it’s also a glutton. I have a hunch from the two starlings that I have now I will end up with several more next year, and more the next, until…

1963, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’

Did you know the movie The Birds was loosely, I stress the word loosely, based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1952 story by the same title? Again, I stress the word loosely. And, yes, I know the picture is showing crows and I was discussing starlings but hey, they’s all black, glossy, and at times, annoying as heck.

Coming around again are my pair of Canadian Geese. At least I think it’s the same pair. Since they all look alike I can’t be sure. No biggie, I’ll just pretend it’s the same two geese who have visited me for the past couple of years.

Mama and Papa Canadian Geese, April 2022.
Canada - geese - waterfowl - animals - birds - nature - wildlife
They look the same. Canadian Geese, April 2021.

At least this year one of my Mallard duck mating pairs have a distinguishing adornment.

Mallard duck breeding pair, April 2022.

Can you spot it?

Keep trying.

My Great Blue Heron is back. See, what did I tell you–nothing stays the same, but, if you wait long enough, things will come around again.

Great Blue Heron, April 2022.

See, what did I tell you–nothing stays the same, but, if you wait long enough, things will come around again.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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Happy Belated Birthday

It was Harlee’s birthday on March 21. Hmmm, it might be the 22nd. Definitely not the 23rd.

It’s the 21st because I remember it was the first day of Spring.

Harlee and me, March 2017.

Oops, the first day of spring in 2017 was March 20th.

Okay, let’s try this again.

It was Harlee’s birthday a few day ago; either the 20th, 21st, or the 22nd of March.

He turned seven.

At least I think he’s seven. The rescue association, Labs4Rescue, told me he was two years old but the folks who work at rescue places don’t always know the exact ages of the animals they save.

So, Harlee might have had a 7th birthday.

At least he got a donut.

Harlee on his ‘maybe’ birthday.

And even though I don’t remember the exact date, and yes, I could get up and dig out the paperwork from when I adopted him but it doesn’t matter, I’ve had him in my life for five incredible years, that’s what matters.

Harlee, 2017.

He’s been with me through losing my sister, hip surgery (my hip, not his), COVID (me), falling multiple times (again, me, not him), serious visits down the rabbit hole of depression (yup, that’s mine too), and a gazillion gallons of ice cream (mostly me but he helps out from time to time), and multiple donuts (both of us).

He’s been by my side through the loss of Shadow, and then Cleo.

Cleopatra.
Harlee and Shadow.

He’s entertained me…

‘I’m keeping my toys.’

…and keeps the ducks in line.

Harlee and my flock, 2021.

He’s loves to go for rides in the car and in the canoe.

‘Let’s get going.’

He’s a serious pillow, or whatever, pounder.

Supervises all outside chores…

…and can sniff out a chipmunk no matter how deep the hole.

He’s a pro at guilting me into giving him a cookie.

‘Cookie, please.’

He’s my confidant, sounding board, witness, and companion.

Harlee, 2022.

Happy birthday, pal.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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A Joyous Ostara to One and All

Mole was busy cleaning his home when he caught a whiff of something in the air. Something pure. Something wonderful. Something that beckoned him to the out of doors.

It was spring.

Something above was calling him in the most demanding way, and he headed for
the steep little tunnel which was his house’s exit. He scraped and scratched, working
busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, “Up we go! Up we go!” until at last,
pop! his snout came out into the sunlight, and he found himself rolling in the warm grass of
a great meadow.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Ah, I know little Mole’s desire to leave the confines of four walls and heed the call of spring.

The joy of living and the delight of spring made him jump into the
air…

I did my share of jumping today.

Well, maybe not jumping but I did take Harlee for what I’ll call a Farewell to Winter walk. We listened to the birds singing, checked out the little green shoots peeking out of the softening earth, peed on some of them (Harlee did the peeing, I stood and watched), and inhaled the scent of the approaching season.

Now I know that spring in New England isn’t all mild temperatures and sunshine.

March, 2020

But no matter, it’s still spring which means flowers are coming my way…

along with humidity, gnats, yellow jackets, and black flies… (I’m hyperventilating — give me a sec.)

Male Eastern Bluebird.

Ahhhhhh, bluebirds always calm my raging pulse.

Where was I? Oh, yes, spring, or for those of us who follow the craft, Ostara, the Vernal Equinox, a time for new beginnings.

Ways to celebrate Ostara include:

  • Starting seeds for a vegetable or flower garden
  • Feeding the birds
  • Buying a bouquet of flowers and giving them to an elderly neighbor
  • Taking a walk and looking for signs of spring
  • Baking an egg-based delight like Ostara cakes (see recipe below)
  • Meditating
  • Setting intentions for the season
  • Coloring eggs and sharing them with friends
  • Cleaning your living space
  • Stretching your arms and singing at the top of your lungs

There are loads of ways to celebrate. Let your imagination break free like pussy willows breaking out of their casings.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Truly, this is a time of year to celebrate. I know things are hard for so very many of us; we struggle with money issues, depression, illness, death…it can be too much to take sometimes. That’s why we need to stop and breath.

Stop and listen.

Stop and smell.

Stop and taste.

Stop and feel.

Stop and be here in the present moment, not tomorrow, not next week, but ‘now’.

Because ‘now’ is all we have.

I’ll share a ‘now’ moment with you. While walking with Harlee I kept my ears open for the call of the Pileated Woodpecker. You see, it’s been 10 years since I’ve seen a Pileated and last week, when Harlee and I were walking on Old Middlesex Turnpike, we saw a Pileated banging at a dead pine tree in the woods. I hadn’t had my camera with me so I missed out on getting a picture. but I had it with me today and I was determined to get a picture.

Sadly, no luck.

No Pileated Woodpecker.

No biggie.

The day moved forward and I worked at cleaning the leaves and sticks from my gardens and sighing with delight at the sight of the new growth I uncovered.

peony bush
Look! The pink growth of peonies!

While I had my focus on the ground guess what happened?

Yup, the Pileated Woodpecker came to me!!

I ran into the house and…

Male Pileated Woodpecker.

I finally got my picture.

I know it’s not the best picture, give me a break; he was up in a very tall tree (30 feet or so) and my hands were shaking (not from excitement but because I had been raking for a couple of hours). Who cares, right? I got a picture and he stayed around for a bit, showing off his dope red feather cap.

So cool.

Here’s a link to Cornell’s info on Pileated Woodpeckers.

Sooooo very cool.

Aside from some computer issues this was a pretty dope first day of Spring.

Here’s the Ostara recipe I promised you. Enjoy!

Oh, and one more thing.

Shhhhh.

Listen.

Do you hear them?

https://www.hummingbirdcentral.com/hummingbird-migration-spring-2022-map.htm

Here they come!

Ahhhhhh.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.

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