Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month is a picture of one of my favorite birds, the Eastern Bluebird. He looks cold, doesn't he????? Welcome to January!!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Visitors at the Feeders


Look at that gorgeous bird above. He's a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK---and he's back to visit me again this spring. These birds stop off here for about a week or so in Spring while on their way north for summer. Then they come back in Fall, on their way back south. The males come first --followed in a week or two by the females. I get so excited just seeing this gorgeous bird. Below are a few more recent visitors to the feeders.




We are blessed to have alot of AMERICAN CARDINALS at our feeders year-round. I'm hoping that this Daddy will bring some wee-ones to the feeders soon (like he did last year).




The BROWN THRASHERS are back --after being gone all winter. They love to dive into the suet feeders.




Oh how I love our EASTERN BLUEBIRDS... BUT---due to the fighting with the Chickadees over the nestbox, both the Bluebirds and Chickadees are now GONE. The nest is empty. We finally emptied it totally ---hoping that someone would see it and claim it. So far though, it's empty... (Sob Sob)





And---here's another of my favorites, our PILEATED WOODPECKER. This guy has been coming to the suet feeder about 2-3 times a day lately. He's like the Red-bellied Woodpecker in that he sends us his call before swooping down to the feeders. I love that red hat on his head. Do you???

Other birds I've seen the past month at our feeders: Goldfinches, lots of Bluejays, Tufted Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Mourning Doves, Chipping Sparrows, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, and Northern Flickers. We are fortunate to live in the woods and get to see LOTS of beautiful little backyard birds.

Have a wonderful Friday! I will do one more post on Saturday morning ---and after that, we will be gone for a week on our annual beach trip to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina. Yeah Rah!!!! We have someone who will check on our home while we are gone --and will make sure the flowers are watered and the birds are fed!!!!!

Hugs,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tulips in our Yard 2010 (Part II)


If you missed Part I of our 2010 Tulips, click
HERE. As I said yesterday, we have had 15 different varieties of TULIPS in our yard this year. They lasted about 2 weeks, give or take. They may have lasted longer if it weren't for Mother Nature and all of those high winds she gave us last weekend. Oh Well!!! Above is a very pretty Tulip, appropriately called APRICOT BEAUTY. Below are more!




This pretty white tulip is named PURISSIMA.




Here's a new tulip for us this year, called TOWERING PRISM.





This one is named SUN GOLD. I love the hint of red around the edges.




ORANGE EMPEROR





GUINEVERE




HALLEY'S COMET





And finally, here is ALL THAT JAZZ. It looks a little like Peppermint Stick from yesterday--but is a much larger tulip.

Hope you enjoyed seeing all of our different 2010 Tulips in our yard. We now have Azaleas, Irises and Rhododendrons blooming... SO--there will be more flower pictures upcoming.

Have a fabulous Thursday.
Hugs,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tulips in our Yard 2010 (Part I)


The Tulips are all gone in our yard now (sigh!)---but I wanted to share some macros of our 15 different varieties of TULIPS. I'll post the pictures in two parts and will keep the pictures small. IF you want to see any of them up close and personal, just click on the pictures to enlarge them. George took most of these with his macro lens. Above is one that we have had in our yard for several years and is always a favorite, RED DYNASTY. Below are more!



BRIGHT PINK LADY




BIG SMILE




PEPPERMINT STICK (Look at the next one now--while remembering the name of this Tulip!)



PEPPERMINT STICK again----See how it got its name?????




LIFE'S A CABERNET




LIGHT AND DREAMY




MARDI GRAS

I'll post Part II tomorrow. I think we had the best group of Tulips this year that we have ever had. I hope the Irises (which are beginning to bloom now) and the Lilies and Daylilies will all be as pretty as the Tulips have been.

Thanks for wishing me well --with my 'tummy bug'... Luckily, it moved away (hopefully NOT to George)...

Hugs,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Almost Heaven ---West Virginia--Part II


If you missed Part I of this post, click
HERE. Yesterday I showed you 5 of the nine waterfalls we saw on our recent trip to West Virginia. Today, I'll share with you the other four. Above is LOWER PIPESTEM FALLS, located near the community of Pipestem. Below are more.




This is called BROOKS FALLS, located in the New River Gorge National River area.... Yes, it looks more like a cascade than a waterfall, but it's just one of those 'different' waterfalls which you need to see to appreciate. Huge rocks protrude all the way across the wide river --making large whitecaps as the water rushes through... This reminded me a little of the wild and crazy river near Niagara Falls. The sound of that water was awesome. Can you imagine the white-water rafting which happens here???? Wow!




I have to show you SANDSTONE FALLS in two photos --since the river is VERY wide (1500 feet) and we cannot get it all in the same picture. This waterfall is just down the river from Brooks Falls ---but is much larger and looks more like a waterfall. This is one side of Sandstone Falls.





After we walked on a long boardwalk about 1/4th of a mile, we finally came to the 'other' side of SANDSTONE FALLS. Can you imagine finding this beauty here in West Virginia??? Like Brooks Falls, Sandstone is one you just HAVE to see!! I read somewhere that when there is maximum water, there can be 246,000 cubic feet per SECOND of water volume recorded... We have LOTS more pictures of this waterfall to share --including one taken from the other side at the overlook above. That will be another post!!!




This beauty is named the FALLS of DISMAL---and this one can be found near Bland, Virginia. We saw this waterfall on our way home on Saturday.

I am trying to catch up on some of your blogs. However, a wicked stomach virus has decided to park itself inside of me... Yuk!!!!! I'll keep on plugging along --little by little.

Hugs,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Almost Heaven ---West Virginia--Part I


George and I had a fabulous and SHORT (Thurs-Sat) trip to West Virginia to find some NEW waterfalls.... We found NINE. I think we have seen about 425 different waterfalls now --since 2001. This was our first trip to West Virginia---and definitely will not be our last.

We only went into the southern part of the mountains of West Virginia --staying at a town called Princeton (north of Bluefield). The first day (after driving there), we saw two waterfalls in the Camp Creek State Park area. The second day, we saw four waterfalls in and near the Pipestem Resort State Park. AND--on that second day, we visited the New River Gorge National River area --seeing a couple of fabulous waterfalls there. Then, on our drive home Saturday, we saw one more waterfall near Bland, Virginia.

Today and tomorrow, I will share pictures of all nine waterfalls. It's so much fun searching out waterfalls because they are all different, one from another. I will go into more details about the areas and the waterfalls in future blog posts. BUT--today I share with you FIVE of the nine. Above is MASH FORK FALLS (located in the Camp Creek State Park). Below are more.




CAMPBELL FALLS (in the Camp Creek State Park)




INDIAN BRANCH FALLS (located in the Pipestem Resort State Park)




BRUSH CREEK FALLS (in the Pipestem Resort State Park)



UPPER PIPESTEM FALLS (found near the community of Pipestem)

Besides seeing all of the beautiful waterfalls, I also got to enjoy working on my Bruce Family History on this trip. Since we went through Bland, VA on our way home, I got to see some of the old stomping grounds of some of my relatives from the 1800's. You can only imagine how joyful that experience was for me.

Because I have working on Family History, I have not commented on anyone's blog since Wednesday.... I don't know when I'll catch up (since our beach trip begins this coming Saturday--for a week)---but I'll try my best!!! IF you have a specific post that you don't want me to miss, please let me know so that I won't accidentally miss it. Thanks!!!!

Tomorrow I'll post more of the Waterfalls of West Virginia... I truly did feel like I was almost in Heaven!!!!

Hugs,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fall Creek Falls State Park --4/21/10--Part II


This is Part II of our day at Fall Creek Falls on Wednesday this week. Above is a great picture of the mountains and canyons around the state park. Like I said yesterday, we had a gorgeous spring day which we thoroughly enjoyed. Below are more pictures.





George is taking pictures above the Cane Creek Cascades brink.




See that green grass in the background???. Well---in 2001, we (along with many other people, since it was a Saturday) sat on a blanket looking at each other's photo albums. That's where the first kiss happened!!!!!! Wooooooooooooo!



I got a great picture of one of the MANY Buzzards --who fly in circles around the canyon... This picture was taken near what is called Buzzard's Roost. Isn't he pretty?



George captured this picture of me trying to take some pictures of the Cane Creek Cascades.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
WARNING: A PDA coming up!!!!! You may want to close your eyes!!!!

I got my KISS!!!!!! Yeah Rah!!!!!

As I said yesterday, we are out-of-town for a few days. I have no idea whether we will have internet service where we will be... SO--if you don't hear from me for a few days, just remember that I'll be back SOON.

Have a great week!!!!
Hugs,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fall Creek Falls State Park --4/21/10--Part I


George and I had a beautiful day yesterday at Fall Creek Falls. You will have to read yesterday's post (click
HERE) in order to know WHY we were there!!!!!! Today and tomorrow, I will show you a few pictures from our beautiful day! Above is a picture of the Cane Creek Cascades.. Below are more.




We always enjoy seeing the deer when we go to the park. This one stopped and looked at us --but didn't run away!!! I think they are used to people --especially ones like me who are taking their picture.




I was fascinated at the reflections in the water here. This is near the area where I got my first kiss in 2001..... We had to relive that moment you know!!!




'
Spring is a beautiful time to visit the park since there were lots of dogwoods blooming ---along with many beautiful wildflowers. These little blue flowers reminded me of the Bluebonnets I used to see in Texas. Aren't they pretty?




One of our favorite large waterfalls at Fall Creek Falls is one that is in a different area of the park from most of the others. This one is named PINEY FALLS--and we are viewing it from an overlook.





Here's the "Happy Couple" talking about all of our wonderful memories we have had together since that special date on April 21, 2001.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow . But --you need to know that we will be out-of-pocket for about 3 days while we head to West Virginia to do some waterfalling!!!! I will have the laptop--IF we have Verizon service. BUT--if I don't get to your blogs, don't give up on me. I will try to catch up sometime!!!!

Hugs to all,