Monday, April 30, 2012

More from the Smokies, an Update, and some Sad News

If you missed Friday's blog post,  click HERE  first to see Part I of our trip to the Smokies on April 23.   Today I'll share with you more pictures.  Above is a picture of us at our mountain cabin (I wish).... Click on all pictures to see them larger.




Here's another picture of the gorgeous Smoky Mountains.   I cannot tell you how fabulous it is to be here and see these mountains!!!  It is truly AWESOME...




As I mentioned in the previous blog post,   we enjoy seeing all of the fences in the Smokies...   It was quite cold on the day we were there,  so I had to take a few minutes to rest on that fallen tree--and warm my hands in my coat pockets... BEHIND me,  don't you love that rock fence/wall?????




Here's another rock fence/wall.  This picture shows the fence/wall from fairly close-up.    Isn't this just great?  (Sorry---don't mean to sound SO excited although I AM.... ha)




This is a typical picture of George ---trying to get the best photos he can!!!  Luckily,  he didn't get his feet wet!!!!




I love this picture...  Can you figure out what it is????  It's moss growing up the trees..  Neat, huh?




Here is one more picture showing SNOW on the tops of the mountains that day, in the distance... As I mentioned in the last blog post,  it was 37 degrees when we first got to Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.   But,  by the time we got here (Foothills Parkway) in the afternoon,  the sun had come out --and it was a 'little' warmer (in the 50's)...




Finally,  just when you thought you had seen ALL of 'our' pictures,  I'll show you one more.... We walked and walked up and down this creek ---and just had the best time...   It's no wonder we took so many pictures together!!!!!   We were both smiling from beginning to end of this fabulous place!!!!  It was truly a marvelous day.

I promise that I will share a bunch of George's photos from this day soon .  That new filter is fabulous ---and his pictures came out GREAT....  (George posted 3 on one of his blogs today---so click HERE to see some.  Be sure to enlarge them)

Have a tremendous Monday!!!!  I cannot believe that tomorrow is MAY 1st.... What happened to April??????

UPDATE:  Pertaining to my question about Legacy Accounts,  apparently Blogger did send out that email to any of us who might have had a  old account.  I do NOT remember having an account before 2007  (did not have a blog on Blogger then),  so I will not fill out the information.  IF there was an old account,  it will just 'die'..... Thanks for all of your help in getting this straightened out.

SAD NEWS:  This is something that made me cry ALOT yesterday... Poor George didn't know what to do for me.   Mama Bluebird and all of the babies are GONE... There is nothing in the nest --not even any feathers or signs of distress.  What alerted me was the action of Daddy Bluebird yesterday morning.  He was very upset about something --and kept on squawking and flying around like something was wrong.  He'd go to the nestbox and look inside --but wouldn't go inside.  I told George at the time that something must be wrong since we did not see Mama Bluebird all morning.  Finally,  late this afternoon we checked the nest... NOTHING there.    I'm not sure what happened.  But whatever it was,  Daddy Bluebird must not have known about it..  He stayed around the area flying around VERY agitated ALL DAY LONG...  I could tell that he was grieving... (And some people say that birds don't have feelings... HA---they do have feelings,  and my heart is broken for him.)

The nestbox is not big enough for large birds or critters to get inside.  We NEVER see snakes --although I'll bet there are snakes around here.  However,  we have a baffle on that nestbox pole --and I thought that would deter snakes....  Wouldn't you think there'd be some signs of distress in the nestbox?

George thinks that there was some distress --and that Mama and the babies (not old enough to fledge) did FLEDGE ---and something may have gotten them outside of the nextbox...   Anyone have any other ideas????

 I will always have my memories of both Mama and Daddy Blue --going in and out of the nestbox feeding those babies... They have been doing that all week ---until yesterday.  I had been so excited for them --and they were being such wonderful parents.

This is the 2nd year in a row we have had a problem with our nesting Bluebirds.  I am beginning to wonder if the new nestbox we bought two years ago is HAUNTED....  I am devastated --as you can imagine (those of you who love birds like I do).   I just want to take Daddy Blue in my arms and hug him...  Poor thing!

Hugs,
Betsy


83 comments:

Tracy said...

Good Morning!
Wow, I get to be first :) The pictures are so lovely...I think my favorite beside the one of you with your hubby is the rock wall. It's just wonderful. I was so sorry to hear of the bluebirds- I felt sorry for Mr. Bluebird; just tragic. Nature is so mysterious at times. hugs to you on this Monday!

Ms. A said...

Poor Daddy Bluebird.

About those Legacy accounts... you didn't have to be an actual blogger to have an account. You could have just set up an account where you commented on things.

Tabor said...

Sounds like a snake to me. snakes are really adept at getting into places and they rarely leave a sign of battle.

Small Kucing said...

Lovely. Love the photo of moss growing on the tree. Looks like mountain

kathy

http://www.smallkucing.com
http://mamakucingbooks.blogspot.com

Ms. A said...

PS: It can even be a YouTube account.

Sandra said...

so sorry about your mama and her babies, with nature the way it is, it could be anything that you mentioned. i don't watch the nature channel for this very reason.
i love that first shot of you and g in front of that beautiful cabin. the rock wall is really beautiful. and G on the rock is ggrrrreat

Sharon said...

Love the pics of you and George over here in my "home."

My MIL has had the same thing happen a couple of times with Bluebirds in her nest. Never has a clue what happened - just seems one moment they are gone without a trace.

I like to think they have protective methods and even though they seem far too young, mama can get them out quickly if she feels threatened. Although that still wouldn't explain why papa was still around.

Such is the circle of life.....

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Well, I'm heartbroken right along with you. I just hate hearing about the baby Blues and their Mama. My first thought when reading this was that it must have been a snake. They can get to places that you think they shouldn't be able to. I feel so sorry for the proud papa.

We are down to only one pair of bluebirds this year when I used to see several. I'm thinking that the cats (we now have 2) that come visiting regularly are keeping them away. But then, they don't seem to frighten the Goldfinches or other birds, so who knows.

Mr. Bill said...

Sorry to hear of your loss!

Peggy said...

Betsy I am so sorry about your bluebirds. I know how much fun it is to watch the babies being fed and then trying their little wings. I hope you find out what happened. I have not had one bluebird in our nesting boxes this year. They come to the feeders but none have stayed to have babies. I cleaned the birdhouses out late winter and left the tops open for a few days to air out as spiders had taken up residence. Do have a little wren family in one. Have a awesome week my friend!

Daisy said...

Betsy, I'm so sorry to hear about your bluebirds. I know how much you enjoy watching them. It's so sad that they are gone. Hugs to you, my friend.

From the Kitchen said...

i think you and George are in the wrong era! i can see you happily settled in the 19th century world of the mountains. so sad about the little bluebird family.

best,
bonnie

Linda G. said...

I am so sad to hear about your bluebird family. I wonder if a wildlife camera would provide any answers if something like this happens next year?

Harriet said...

So sorry about the bluebirds. Looks like you had a great trip to the Smokies.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

So sorry to hear about the bluebirds. They are such sweet families. I hope the father is able to find some comfort.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Oh no! I hate to see my beloved birds lose their life,and even more so the babies.I hope Daffy BLue finds another partner and can try again. The pictures on this post are beautiful. I love all that moses,it has such a vibrant colour.

The Incredible Woody said...

I am so sorry. For you and for Daddy Bluebird. I have had quite a few friends telling of bluebird nest's being invaded by something this year :(

linda m said...

Your picots are beautiful - you and George look so happy there. So sorry to hear about Mama Bluebird and her babies. Mother Nature can be so cruel at times. I always hate it when a "bird guest" of mine disappears.

TexWisGirl said...

i'm betting on snake. we had one get into the house here and all the young fledged at once - even if i tried to put them back in, they popped back out. sadly 3 of 4 were killed the next day. don't know if the 4th made it.

Janice K said...

I am so sorry to hear about your bluebird family. I was looking forward to seeing their pictures. It really is strange that the "crime scene" is bare with no clues. How disappointing.

I have seen robins very upset when something has happened with one of their babies. And I've seen tears on the face of my son's cat after my son died and his cat couldn't find him in the house. I feel sure animals feel grief.

Linda said...

Gorgeous photos, especially the one from Foothills Parkway of the snow on the mountains. So sorry to hear about the bluebirds. Wild things live a hard life, even with the help their human admirers try to give them.

Dorothy said...

Wonderful pictures of you, George and the mountains!!! I can't imagine what happened to the Bluebirds. Do you suppose they just fledged?

Send me an email and tell me about George's new filter. I might want to get one of those.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

What a wonderful trip you both enjoyed in the mountains, it's just such a magical place :)
I share your passion for old rock walls, having been raised in a village which was criss-crossed with hundreds of them containing livestock.
There are some gorgeous old rock walls around our county, oftentimes neglected and forgotten.

Sorry about the Bluebirds, they pesky squirrels have gotten into the nesting boxes and stolen the eggs before, I wouldn't put it past them !

Thanks for sharing your trip with us, it's left me smiling :)
~Jo

W. Latane Barton said...

Oh how sad, Betsy, about the bluebirds. I just hate it when things don't grow to maturity and bad things happen to them when they are young. Maybe Mama Blue died helping protect her babies.

Larry said...

Beautiful photos Betsy and I I'm sorry to learn of the Bluebird situation... Larry

Ginny said...

I love the picture of you and George sitting amidst all the emerald green moss, so beautiful!!! The bluebirds, oh gosh, not AGAIN!!! I remember last year, or was it the year before, we were so looking forward to the babies. Well, this is what I would do. Do you have a Wild Bird Store anywhere near you, even maybe in your travels. You go lots of places, there must be a bird store somewhere. We have a very nice one. Our bird store has experts that know everything about this stuff. I would take a picture of the house to a store, tell them where it is, and see if they have any suggestions. I hardly think the babies could have fledged since you have not seen even one, you would have seen them flitting about.

myletterstoemily said...

oh, so sorry about the blue birds!
they were so pretty. hope they
are safe.

Lynn said...

As usual cannot pick a "favorite" of all the lovely photos of your little outing. Appears that something dire did happen to the momma and babies from daddy's upsetting distress. Too sad.
Blessings.

Sylvia K said...

Your photos are gorgeous as always, Betsy! I love the mountains as well as the watery ones! And how heartbreaking about the Bluebird Mama and her babies!! I can imagine how you feel, I would feel the same! Take care and have a good week!

Sylvia

ladyfi said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about the bluebirds...

Your shots are wonderful. Love the old wood on that cabin.

Terry and Linda said...

Oh, how very sad. I, too, thought snake. Animals and birds and all living things have feelings. My heart breaks for you and for Daddy bird.


Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Brenda said...

I love your Smoky Mountain pictures. Sure makes me homesick.

I am so sad about your bluebirds. The story is so sad and I really feel for the daddy bluebird. It is hard to say what could have happened. Poor daddy bluebird. My heart is broken with yours.

I send hugs!
Brenda

Happyone said...

Sooooo sorry to hear about the blue birds. That is so sad. It seems odd that EVERYTHING is gone, nest and all. I can't imagine what could have happened.

I love the stone walls too. I think it is a work of art to make them.

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for sharing the great photos, Betsy. I love the Smoky Mountains! So sad about the bluebirds!

Mary said...

So sorry about the bluebirds and hope you find the answer to it won't happen again next year. So sad and frustrating. The trip photos are lovely and I do like those walls and the tree moss.

Nava said...

Betsy--as you can imagine--I am right there grieving too and now even more worried about mine. I am hoping that they are there in the tree tops. However--it sounds strange. I would clean the box out now--of the nest--and maybe if she is around--she will come back again. As you may know--we had ours fledge--we cleaned out the box--and she was building a second nest in about a week. Please keep us posted. I am really concerned about another nest we have--no baffle and no way to put one on it. Not a Bluebird nest--not positive yet what has set up housekeeping in it. I watch after them like their second momma==and worry when I don't see the parents.

Karin said...

Ohhhhhh, I'm so sorry Betsy! HUGS!! Sooooo sorry about the loss of sweet little bluebirds.

Your other photos are wonderful - as always! Enjoyed them very much! That would be a lovely cabin to own!!

nanny said...

More wonderful pictures.....so pretty. The mountains look like they just go on and on......

Poor birds...that is so sad! I always hesitate to peep in my houses for fear of something other than birds being in there. My brother saw a water moccasin in his bird house......scary!

Chatty Crone said...

I am going to send a friends blog to you who is an avid bird watcher - she knows a lot - maybe you can ask her.

I'm sorry for their leaving. I know it saddens you.

I do have to say you and George look really cute together in the Smokies.

love, sandie

Wanda plain~N~simple said...

So sorry to hear about Mama Blue Bird and the little ones! I haven't a clue as to what might have happened, hoping it wasn't a snake though. I am hoping my baby Robins survive falling out of the nest when they finally fledge which could be any day now!

RoeH said...

All animals have feelings and can reason and think and have emotions just like us. I'm not sure that applies to reptiles. Maybe only to mammals. But reptiles proably do what their nature intends for them to do. The wonderful creativity of nature just astounds me. Did you know that rabbits cry when they are hurt? Abd elephants. Just breaks my heart. So sorry about the birdies. That would make me cry also. Can't imagine what happened to them and somehow I don't think I want to know. :(

imac said...

Sorry to hear about your blue family.

Love all tour piccies though, thought George wsa going to have a paddle,lol/

Ann said...

oh so sorry to hear about the bluebirds. That's just awful. That poor daddy blue must be frantic.
Love all your shots from your trip. That rock wall is wonderful and I've always loved the look of moss

Heidrun Khokhar said...

Very sorry to learn about the birds. Life is so delicate.
But on a brighter note I really love that pic with the snow on those mountains!

Maple Lane said...

Hi Betsy, So sorry about your bluebirds.
I enjoyed these pretty photos. I love the moss on the trees, especially. The last photo of you and George is my favorite.
Have a good night.

Chip Allen said...

Even with two large dogs we have a constant battle with cats stalking our feeders and I'm sure that is why our nest boxes haven't seen any birds for the past couple of years.

Retired English Teacher said...

Love the photos. Those rock walls are so fascinating. You share so many wonderful places with us. Thanks.

I'm sad over the bluebirds. We had a nest on our porch for the last two years. I would see the father up there once in a while. I always thought that was cool. I think there is some sort of built in family emotion going on there. They are creatures of a loving God. They probably honor the purposes for which they were made better than many humans do.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Great photos of your trip to the Smokies! I did see George's photos and the flowing water is just beautiful!
Sorry to hear about the blue birds. Melanie at There's No Place Like Home has several blue bird boxes. This link gives lots of info on them: http://princessdivamel.blogspot.com/2011/03/bluebird-trail.html
Maybe there's something there that you'll notice to help yours.

Jeanne said...

So sorry about the bluebird family! Can't imagine what happened. We had baby Inca Doves once on our patio that I'm almost sure were taken by bluejays. So sad!

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Beautiful pictures. About the nest box - I have only seen one snake in the Glade and it was a Mississippi White Collared Snake a non poisonous type of snake. Who can say, maybe a snake did sneak in an take all of the birds? Sad. Have a joyous day tomorrow!

carolina nana said...

Sounds like a snake to me. They have gotten around the wire baffles I've put on poles before. They leave no trace and if any of the birds manage to escape the nest they get them on the ground. Nature is cruel sometimes.
Blessings
Marilyn

Lynda said...

It is truly sad about the birds - - - especially the Daddy bird. It is hard to see animals grieve.
But on the flip side - - -your pics - - - EXCELLENT as always. You definitely showcase our beautiful Smokies! We are blessed to live here.

Rose said...

Oh, Betsy, that just breaks my heart for you and the bluebirds...you kind of get to feeling that they are your own. And they felt safe there, or would not have returned. I too wondered about a snake...don't have any experience with the baffle. I suppose we will never know. I do feel for you though.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Beautiful photos- and I can tell you and George are having such a wonderful time! I am so sorry about your bluebirds- I wonder what happened to them?

Shug said...

I too, am very sad about the nesting family of birds. I would guess a snake. This same thing happened here last year...never knew what it was.
Gorgeous photos! They're all my favorite...
Hugs

Annmarie Pipa said...

your pictures are breath taking! wow!! the mountains are so amazing!
we have blue birds nesting here frequently...the sparrows always seem to win.

Farikica said...

Breathtaking view... very lovely!

Beth said...

I'm sorry for the birds. I wonder what happened to them. Must be snake. Poor Daddy Bluebird.

On the brighter side, you are right. The mountains, trees, and rock fences are awesome. I would love to see that someday (I wish!).

the cuby poet said...

Great photos of a lovely time. I am so sad for Daddy Bluebird I too want to hug him, but I guess we would both squash him and his problems would be magnified!

Catherine said...

How sad that the bluebird family has disappeared leaving the daddy bluejay in distress. It truly does break the heart and of course birds have feeling too. Poor little things!!!

Sending you hugs Betsy!
xo Catherine

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

The Smokies are always gorgeous!! I understand your sadness with the birds....we have had a geese couple here for awhile and I liked watching them play etc...Now there is only one lonely goose here lately...I feel for her or him being alone. Geese mate for life

Jean said...

Hi Betsy,
I had the same thing happen to my Bluebirds a few years ago(before I knew to baffle a box). I agree that it sounds like a Rat Snake got around your baffle. They don't disturb the nest or leave behind any evidence.
I would highly recommend that you change the current baffle to a stovepipe baffle. It's the best for deterring snakes.This is the link that I used to make my own: http://www.sialis.org/baffle.htm
Sadly we southern bird landlords have to deal with snakes.
So sorry for your lost. I know how you feel.:(

I am Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I am Leah said...

Oh my Lovely photos, now I can't wait to go visit Smoky Mountain :) Nwei poor daddy blue, i remember where we were still in Buffalo we have birds feeder in our yard we have so much fun watching them, we no worry about snakes I guess too cold for them huh! Thanks for sharing this wonderful photos Betsy. Hugs!
http://www.travelquest-ny.com/2011/03/amazing-grand-canyon.html”

Melanie said...

Thanks for peeking in on my blog! So sorry about your bluebirds.. I have certainly been enjoying the ones habitating our place right now!! We had a great birding weekend in our own backyard. .eager to share that soon! Love your photos!! Looks like a fun trip.

Small City Scenes said...

Lovely pictures of the Smokies and of course of you two---having fun. I am so glad for you all.
Such sad news about the Bluebirds. I wouldn't know at all what happened and no signs of distress. Poor poor Daddy blue. I'd want to hug him too.
I hope you find a solution---soon. MB

Glenda said...

Loosing a brood of newly-hatched birds is sooooo sad. Last year all our baby wrens disappeared - and no sign of distress. I hope you can find out what happened to them.

Your pics are so refreshing and beautiful! Glad you had a good time!

Janie said...

Beautiful pictures from the Smokies.
Aw, I'm so sorry about the bluebirds. I can't imagine what happened to them.

Wendy said...

Hi Betsy,
That happened to a nest of robins just outside my living room window, years ago. One day they were there and the next when I went to show my son our nest of baby robins they were gone. No feathers, no signs of distress and I did not think they were old enough to fly. Who knows? Perhaps Mother Robin moved her babies to a safer home.

Love, love, love your pics. You and George look so happy. I also love stone walls, I don't know why, but they fascinate me.
Hugs

Nezzy said...

Amazin' pictures once again sweetie.

I'm sorry 'bout the birdies!!!

God bless ya and have a beautiful day sweetie!!! :o)

eileeninmd said...

HI Betsy, I loved your Smoky Mountain photos. The one of you and George is so sweet. I am so sorry to hear about your nesting bluebirds, I think it was a snake too. Maybe Poppa blue will find another mate. I would hurry and clean the box so it can be used again. Take care, wonderful photos.

Arkansas Patti said...

That rock wall caught my fancy also.
Hopefully it wasn't but I am fearing a snake also. I found one half in and half out of my bird box last year. I now have a rather ugly but effective preventive on the post.

Grandma Bonnie said...

Your photos are so lovely. You can never have too many photos.
I feel so bad for daddy blue he must be suffering.

Cheqna said...

Hi Betsy,

Sad in reading about the Bluebirds..especially about the grieving daddy Bluebird..hope you'll manage to figure out the cause of them missing.

SquirrelQueen said...

Great photos Betsy, I love the one of the moss on the trees. It reminds me of the old growth forest on the other side of our state.

So sorry to hear about the little bluebirds. I'm thinking snake too, that's about the only think that would leave no signs. Poor papa.

Andrea said...

Oh your photos are always lovely, of course i love most the uniform, and there is a small waterfall there, lovely. But i am so sad for the daddy blue bird too. Maybe it is a snake, because it came in so silently without alerting the male bird. So sad really!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

How so very sad to have the wonderful creatures that entertain you both and keep you company to have them all disappear so mysteriously. And for the daddy bird to show his distress. Awwwwww, makes a heart bleed.

On a lighter note tho, loved all you mountain shares. That one with the moss is outstanding.

Sorry I'm so late in getting over to visit with you since you left your comment in my blog ...I've been feeling poorly with a bout of the flu. Hope your week has been treating you well, and I wanted to thank you for stopping by.

My newest post if you care to view: REDHEADS

Betty Manousos said...

dear betsy, so sorry to hear about the bluebirds. how very sad. it makes my heart bleed...

gorgeous shots and views! the one of you and george is so adorable!

have a great wednesday!

hugs!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your hike is just gorgeous....I do love those stone fences. I can't imagine the time it took to make them!

I would be upset about the birds too Betsy. You have such a big heart and a love for all things nature. I DO hope that perhaps they did fledge and survive??? I like to think positive that way my mind won't wander to bad places.
Take care,
Suz

Annie said...

Aww, Betsy. After enjoying the hike with you, the birdie story just broke my heart. Something similar happened last year with our doves. They built a nest inside the eave of our patio cover, a very protected area. Then suddenly they were gone, the eggs never hatching. There was evidence of intrusion though and we are guessing a cat or possum got to them.

Rohrerbot said...

It's possible they fledge BUT as they did, something on the ground may have gotten them. The location may be the issue. We have a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls that always have their clutch in view of students and faculty. This year we are going to close that space off to prevent them from nesting in that spot again....the survival rate wasn't very good. It may be as simple as moving the bird house closer to a tree for more protection. I think snake?? Or I think more likely....rodents or a neighbor kitty.

Pat Tillett said...

That is so darn sad about the birds! Whatever happened, it doesn't seem to be good.
The first group of photos are great!

Pearl@serenitycove said...

Oh Betsy, That makes me so sad:(
I just sent my husband out to grease my poles! I have babies right now. Hope that stops them.

Always love seeing your Smoky Mountain photos.