Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. My Header this month shows our pretty Montenegro LILIES blooming on our deck this Summer.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I am THANKFUL for... (Continued from Nov. 20)

BABY EASTERN BLUEBIRDS  (begging for food)
On Wednesday (Nov. 20),  I listed many of the things I am thankful for --during this year of 2013 SO FAR....  If you missed that post,  be sure and check it out.  Just click HERE.

BUT--as I mentioned on Wednesday,  I left out one very important category,  my FAVORITE BIRDS...  Thanks to friend, Cheryl, for guessing what the theme of this blog post would be.  She knows me TOO well... ha ha ... Check out Cheryl's blog by clicking HERE.   I couldn't just choose one photo to feature on Wednesday---so I decided to feature my favorite 2013 Bird Photos in their own blog post.  I got to see some new birds in 2013---which always make me very very happy and THANKFUL!

Hope you enjoy seeing photos of my favorite 2013 BIRDS.   Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.


DADDY EASTERN BLUEBIRD feeding one of the babies



BABY NORTHERN CARDINAL (Isn't he adorable?)



BEAUTIFUL DADDY NORTHERN CARDINAL



BROWN THRASHER



ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK  (migrates through here Spring and Fall)



AMERICAN ROBIN  (only comes to the feeders  during a snowy winter day)



DARK-EYED JUNCO  (only comes to the feeders when it snows)



PURPLE FINCH
I was excited to see these birds at the feeders.  We have had House Finches (which are similar) --but this is the first time I have seen Purple Finches here.  (I had seen them in Arkansas --but not here.)




INDIGO BUNTINGS
I was excited to see these beautiful birds in the yard --but I only saw them once,  and they never came to the feeders... However,  this was a 'life' bird for me --first time to see them and get photos!!!!




ROADRUNNER  (at Mt. Nebo, Arkansas)
This was another 'life' bird for me --but it wasn't found in my backyard.  We saw this beauty when we visited Mt. Nebo, Arkansas in February.   I was SO excited to see this gorgeous bird...




CROSSBILL
Here's another 'life' bird for me this year.  This beauty visited our feeders.  The Crossbill gets his name because his upper and lower bills 'cross' over each other.... Neat, huh?





PILEATED WOODPECKER
I feature this woodpecker alot during the year.  They are so much fun to watch --as they try to find various ways to get to the suet!!!!!!  Amazing Birds!!!




BLUE JAY  (they LOVE peanuts)



JUVENILE RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Many of our birds have nests in the area during Spring/Summer.  One of the prettiest 'baby' birds is the Juvie Red-Headed Woodpecker.... He looks very different from his Daddy (listed below),  doesn't he??????




RED-HEADED WOODPECKER  (an all-time favorite bird of mine)
Finally,  this may be my favorite Bird Photo from 2013.  I love Red-Headed Woodpeckers and this photo (with a peanut in  his mouth)  has been a favorite this year.

WELL---that's my favorite BIRD PHOTOS for 2013... Hope you enjoyed seeing the photos.  I love my Backyard Birds --and am so THANKFUL for all of these little cuties!!!

I am taking   TWO WEEKS off to enjoy Thanksgiving with family.   I have several other projects I need to work on also..... I hope that each of you will have a wonderful THANKSGIVING and upcoming two weeks.  I will see you again on Dec. 9.

Hugs,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I am THANKFUL for...

MY RELATIONSHIP with GOD
I had so much fun going through all of my 2013 blog posts this week.  Since it is the month of Thanksgiving,  I decided to pick out some of the things which happened during 2013 so far for which I am thankful ....  Of course,  there were WAY too many to put in one post --so I just picked out some to share with you today.

Hope you enjoy my post. The list is not in any specific order.   Be sure to click on the photos for enlargements.  AND--I encourage you,  as you read this post,  to think of all of the ways you are thankful. 


GEORGE  (Taken on his birthday at DeSoto Falls State Park, Alabama)



My SONS and Families (Flowers were a gift from son, Mark, on my birthday)



SNOW  (Hope we get more this winter than we did last winter!!!!)



GOOD HEALTH  (So glad I can still hike and enjoy nature;  This was at Tallulah Gorge, GA)



FRIENDSHIP  (With two of our good friends,  Neal and Patti Treadway);  I am truly thankful for all of YOU --and the friendships we have together through blogging.  Thanks!



OUR HOME and FLOWERS 
There is so much to be thankful for in this photo.   Our home got new paint in 2012 and a new roof in 2013.  We have flowers blooming in most all seasons (Crocus, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Phlox, CandyTuft,  Tulips, Lilies, Daylilies, ROSES, Irises, Pansies,  etc. etc. etc.)...  Can't choose a favorite --except for the ROSES,  which are AMAZING.


WATERFALLS   (Crabtree Falls,  North Carolina--during heavy rain)



OCEAN ISLE BEACH,  North Carolina
We get to the beach a couple of times a year --and love it there.  Besides just enjoying the beach,  we LOVE the SEAFOOD in that area!  For this,  we are truly thankful!!!!


SUNRISES and SUNSETS  (This sunset was taken at Mt. Nebo, Arkansas)



BILTMORE  (So thankful that we have season's passes.  We love their sunflowers --and all of their flowers!!)



MOONBOW (at Cumberland Falls State Park, KY)
Seeing the MOONBOW (a rainbow at night) was an absolute highlight of the year for me.   We had never seen the moonbow before ---so this was a wonderful experience for us on our Anniversary this year.  It was pitch-black DARK outside when George took this 2-minute exposure.  Amazing,  isn't it?


the SCHOONER ALLIANCE  (Yorktown,  VA)
Besides seeing the Moonbow in June,  another very special highlight of 2013 was taking a Sunset Cruise on the Schooner Alliance,  when we were on our September Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland trip.  Cruising on the Alliance will definitely be a 2013 highlight for me for which I am extremely thankful.


MOUNTAINS  (along Blue Ridge Parkway)
We are definitely blessed to live in such a beautiful area of our country.  We enjoy the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains off and on during the entire year.


SEASONS of the YEAR  (Fall on the Cumberland Plateau)
I love all SEASONS --especially Spring and Fall.  MANY of my blog posts throughout the year are showing the season changes in our area... SO SPECIAL!!!!!  I am SO thankful for our four seasons.


US  (taken at our little cabin at Mt. Nebo, Arkansas)
This is listed last,  but to me --other than God in our lives,  George, and our lives together are what I am MOST thankful for.  We have had another amazing year together.

Well---that's our year (SO FAR) in a nutshell ---and we truly do have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I have left out one category (can you guess what it is?????) ---and will feature it on Friday.

Hope you have enjoyed seeing my special Thanksgivings.   Now---jump over to my Photo Blog for one more gorgeous photo from Biltmore in 2013.  Click  HERE.

Hugs,

Monday, November 18, 2013

DEER: Love 'em-Hate 'em!!!

Beautiful Mama Deer in the lot across the street
Living here in Fairfield Glade (where all critters are protected),  needless to say,  we have MANY critters around --including squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, skunks, raccoons, opossums,  turkeys,  DEER,  etc.... We were even told that a black bear had been spotted in the Glade last spring... We are also on the boundary of the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area ---so I'm sure there are MORE critters which we haven't seen, or don't want to KNOW that they are in the area!!!

Because we share the land with these critters,  life can get interesting sometimes for those of us who have gardens.  Many people don't realize that squirrels and chipmunks do more damage than other critters who 'nibble' on our plants/flowers.  Chipmunks dig tunnels in the flowerbeds and dig up/eat the bulbs...  Squirrels also dig holes while they bury or search for nuts... They also dig up bulbs...  I don't have a love/hate relationship with these two little critters..  To me,  it's ALL hate (no matter how 'cute' they are).  I have never taken a photo (and never will ) of either squirrels nor chipmunks...

BUT--another critter I do have a Love/Hate Relationship with for sure is the  DEER.   I love DEER.  They are SO gorgeous.  I always get excited when we see one (or more).  There are many deer in Fairfield Glade.   I LOVE seeing them as long as they 'Stay Out of our Yard'.....

Because of the large deer population here,  George and I use a spray called "Liquid Fence" (spraying it on our roses and plants).  We had tried many other options --and have found that the Liquid Fence works the best (even though we use it ALOT during the summer --and it is expensive).  It's worth all of the extra work and money to us to protect/save our roses/flowers/plants!  The Liquid Fence works about 90+% of the time --so right now,  it works for us!!!  The spray stinks for awhile --but does not hurt any critter.   The deer just don't like the smell/taste---so they won't eat the flowers/plants.

I went back in my archives searching for some of my favorite deer photos... I didn't realize that I had so many... SO--I picked out some of these fav's and am sharing them with you today.  The photos were taken during all seasons and over several years. Hope you enjoy seeing the "Deer of Fairfield Glade".    Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them.





A very young doe ---resting near the golf course fairway in back





As Little Bambi grows---her little legs get very long!!!





Most Mama Deer have 2 little ones at a time;  This Mama has THREE little ones!!!  They are near the golf course fairway in the back.





We caught this little one (along with 3-4 others) in our yard one afternoon.  They took off once they saw us!!!  I captured a couple of good photos of this one.  Here he/she is taking off from one of our flowerbeds near the mailbox..





After leaving the flowerbed,  this pretty little doe took off prancing quickly up the street toward Mama and her brothers and sisters.  Isn't she gorgeous (or it is a he)?





We see the deer in the daytime more during the winter when they are searching for ANYTHING to eat!!!!  I do worry about them (and all critters including our birds) when it's bitter cold and snowy!





This was taken one snowy day in our front yard.  I always loved that photo.
Speaking of snow,  I am hoping that we will get a little snow this year.  We didn't get much at all last year.  BUT--I'm sure the deer and other critters would prefer the weather to stay warmer JUST for them!!!!

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my Deer Photos.   I do love these beautiful creatures!!!!

Hope you had a good weekend.  We had storms with tons of wind yesterday --but luckily,  nothing severe here.  Today it's cold again!!!!  Have a great day.

Hugs,