Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows a gorgeous IRIS in our yard. Her name is Goodnight Kiss.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Favorites: ROSES


This is the third post of my 2009 Favorites... I've enjoyed doing this simply because I have been able to go back in all of my photos and think about what a wonderful year we have had. Today --on this New Year's Eve, I am showing you my 12 favorite photos of ROSES which bloomed in our yard during 2009. I have to give ALL of the credit to George since this is his 'thing'--and since he takes such good care of all 50-or-so of them... He works hard ---and I get to ENJOY...

The picture above is always one of my favorites (George's also) and its name is DOUBLE DELIGHT. Below are 11 more, in no particular order.





APRICOT NECTAR





BRIGADOON





DREAM COME TRUE





CHICAGO PEACE





MR. LINCOLN (Since I love red roses, this one has always been a favorite of mine.)





FIRST PRIZE





GLOWING PEACE




SWEET FREEDOM





FREDERIC MISTRAL





WILDFIRE






VETERAN'S HONOR (another of my fav's)

I'm going to take a few more days off from blogging (busy with family/friends, etc.), so I just wanted ALL of you to know how much I appreciate you and your comments. I started blogging in June of 2006 (on another site) ---and had almost NO people reading or commenting.. After getting discouraged, I finally changed to BLOGGER (January 1, 2009) ---and WOW--what a fabulous year I have had!!!!

In this one year, I have had over 44,000 visitors to my blog. I have posted 315 times, AND I have 191 followers. I average about 35-45 comments on my blog every time I post. AND--I try to visit your blog every chance I get. When I started last January, I had no idea how totally AWESOME blogging would be. Thank all of you SO much. I feel as if I have friends from all over the world now.

YOU, my friends, have totally enriched my life in ways you could never imagine. I wish for you nothing but blessings, good health and happiness in 2010..

HAPPY NEW YEAR
!! (I will be blogging again on Monday, January 4!)

Hugs to All,

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Favorites: WATERFALLS


Here are 12 of my favorite waterfalls which we saw for the first time in 2009... This was a hard decision also since we have seen so many... I tried to pick out smaller ones in addition to the large ones. The highlight of our year when it comes to hiking and 'waterfalling' had to have been in October when we visited Tallulah Gorge (GA) for the second time. I have included THREE of those fabulous waterfalls in this list. Above is L'EAU D'OR FALLS (which means "Water of Gold" in French). Below are eleven more of my favorites, in no particular order.




BRASSTOWN VEIL FALLS (Oconee County, SC)





MIDDLE DESOTO FALLS (Desoto Falls Recreation Area, north of Turner's Corner, GA)




HURRICANE FALLS (Tullulah Gorge, GA)





SLICK ROCK FALLS (near Brevard, NC)





CHEOAH FALLS (Fontana Village, NC)





GARVAN GARDENS CASCADES (near Hot Spring, AR)





MACHINE FALLS (near Manchester, TN)





PANTHER FALLS (Rabun Beach Recreation Area, GA)





TEMPESTA FALLS (Tallulah Gorge, GA)





SERENITY FALLS (Cosby, TN)





UPPER BIG BRANCH FALLS (near Erwin, TN)


We saw several other gorgeous waterfalls (such as Ozone Falls near us here on the Cumberland Plateau, and also Dry Falls and Looking Glass Falls in North Carolina) this year--but we had seen them in previous years, so I did not include them in this list.

Hope you enjoyed our 2009 Waterfalls, as much as we have enjoyed sharing them.

Hugs,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Favorites: BIRDS


As we complete another year and start a new one, I love to look back and pick out some of my 'favorites' during the year. Today I will show you my favorite BACKYARD BIRD photos which I took during 2009 in my yard. However, after getting into this project, I found it quite hard to do since I have probably 500 bird photos this past year to go through... SO--picking my fav's proved to be more difficult than I thought it would...

BUT--here it is (knowing that I left-out many of the birds which visit my feeders constantly--such as the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Nuthatch, Chickadee, etc.).. Hope you enjoy my favorite bird pictures taken in my yard during 2009. Above is a bird which I love, who only visits us twice a year, in Spring and Fall, when they are on the way either north or south. They are only with us for a week or two while in-flight to their destinations. This bird is a male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. The female is brown with a HUGE white eyebrow --and is pretty, but very different from the gorgeous males. Below are more.





These are my BABY BLUEBIRDS in their Bluebird Nestbox (in my backyard). Having the Bluebirds nest in our yard is the one thing which started my HUGE interest in birding!!!





The speckled BABY BLUEBIRDS --coming to the feeders, not long after they were born.





AND---this gorgeous male BLUEBIRD is proud of himself. The couple had EIGHT babies this year (2 broods). AND --the good news is that the family returns next Spring!!!!! Yeah!





In the spring and summer, most of our birds mate... AND--when they bring the babies to the feeders, I am there, camera in hand, to snap some pictures. Daddy CARDINAL is in charge of teaching his babies to feed themselves. I wish you could hear the baby... He shakes all over and makes a tingly sound. SO CUTE!!!!





ROBINS are ground feeders and NEVER come to the feeders. However, this Baby Robin made it to the deck railing ---so Daddy came looking for him... Isn't that baby just precious???





This BROWN THRASHER is waiting for ME to leave ---so that he can feed his little ones, which are still in the nest in the Jasmine Bush in our front yard. We have Brown Thrashers most of the year (except in winter)---and they DO come to the feeders since they LOVE Suet.





I get SO excited when I see this bird at my feeders... He doesn't come much---but when he does, I try to get his picture. This is a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER . Isn't he pretty?





I LOVE LOVE LOVE this Woodpecker. He's the largest one we have around here and he can make alot of noise with his loud 'call'.... He is a PILEATED WOODPECKER--and he doesn't come to the feeders very often. So--when he does come, I am lucky to get a picture of him.





I love NORTHERN FLICKERS --but they never come to the feeders. However, when I was in the yard one day in early spring (before the leaves popped out), I saw these two guys 'talking' to each other up in the tree.. I thought at first it was a male flirting with a female--since it was mating season. Later --while looking at the pictures, I realized that they both are MALES... SO--I guess they were 'fighting' over a lady!!!!! ha





DOWNY WOODPECKERS visit our suet feeder regularly.. Isn't this one pretty???





This is one of the funniest photos I have taken of a bird. This MOURNING DOVE was sitting on the side of the birdbath.... Looks like he is afraid to put his tootsies in the water!!!!! Isn't he a cutie????? Mourning Doves frequent our feeders --and the ground below ALOT.

Since I am limiting myself to 12 pictures, I'll stop here. BUT--as you can imagine, there are many more great bird pictures... I just hope I get this many in 2010...

Happy Birding!!!!

Hugs,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa Came!!!!!


See our shirts????? We do BELIEVE!!! (Thanks to our friends, Judy and Charlie, for giving us these shirts from their visit to Santa Claus, Indiana.) We must have been really good little boys and girls this year --since Santa did come to our house this year!!!! He even ate ALL of the cookies, and drank all of his milk!!!!! (Must have been hungry!!) Here are a few pictures from our Christmas here in Fairfield Glade.





Here is a gorgeous close-up picture of part of our Christmas tree which George took on Christmas Eve. I love the colors in this photo.





Our tree, early on Christmas morning; Our weather here was rainy and windy! NO White Christmas for us--but Santa still managed to get here!!!





First, we had to check out all of the goodies in our stockings!!! Thanks, Santa!





Blogger friend, Shelley, (click HERE for her blog) sent us these two gorgeous Cardinal ornaments. Shelley KNOWS how much we love our backyard birds, including the Cardinals. Thanks Friend!!!!





My Sweetie gave me two new Willow Tree figurines for my collection. I love love love this one since it is ME. Her name is the ANGEL of HAPPINESS, free to sing, laugh, dance...create! Don't you love the birds on her arms???





I couldn't resist getting George this hat. It says: "Don't Forget My SENIOR DISCOUNT! (I know, I look too young for it!)"... Since we go to Kroger's every Wednesday JUST for our Senior discount, I felt this hat was perfect for him.... (Got myself one also--since I cannot let him be out-done!!! ha)





My second Willow Tree angel is the ANGEL of the HOME. Isn't she pretty??? A friend asked me about these angels, so I had to look at the Willow Tree Angel web page to get the link for her. Uh Oh----there are probably 20 more of these angels that I'd love to have. (I gave the link to George just for the fun of it!!!!! ha ha)





Here is our 'big' present from Santa (to both of us). We got a bread-maker.... Neither of us have ever had one---and we even tried it out on Christmas afternoon... We made some delicious sourdough bread. YUMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!




From beautiful Fairfield Glade, TN, these two lovebirds hope that you had as nice a Christmas as we did... NOW---we all have to change gears and switch to the New Year.... The time just keeps flying by... Pretty soon, it will be spring and we'll be waiting for a new crop of roses. My My!!!!

Hugs,