moments in focus…

Posts tagged “texas

Our new backyard…

Moving to Maryland has….. well. brought Deer to our backyard!  Yes, Texas has deer. lots of deer, but they never came to my backyard.  It is incredible to look out and see deer, chipmunks (they are so cute), birds, squirrels… all foraging in the backyard (ok, at the bird feeders too).  Still waiting to see the bear, not just signs of the bear (he broke one of our bird feeders- tore the metal band right off).

Sunset deer


Flat Creek









When in Austin: listen to music, eat great food, check out local art… and much much more, like going to Flat Creek.  We love the wine, the people, the cheese trays… very inviting and relaxing, even in the heat.


Baby Cardinal Update

You may recall a post in early May with pictures of the baby Cardinal that was born in our backyard.  Once he flew away I would only hear his chirping, I never saw him until the other day!  I was so happy to know he was ok.  He had come home with dad, three weeks later.  Dad would fly down to the bird feeder and crack a sunflower seed open and then fly up and feed baby.  I see them often in the yard now.


Baby Cardinal with Dad.

new cardinal comes for a visit

This male Cardinal has been coming around lately.  He is so much more vibrant than any of the other male Cardinals that visit.

He stays on the right half of the backyard, which doesn’t bother the male on the left side of the yard.

This is his ‘wife’.  They have (what looks like)  a six-week old baby and dad has been feeding him at the feeder on the side yard (outside the kitchen window).

what a mess

With the recent drought, then rain, in Texas.  Dead trees were washed down the Brazos River out into the gulf…then on to the beach.


To be a bird

If you could be an animal, what would you be? Well, you guessed it… I would be a bird. The idea of soaring through the sky, feeling the breeze on your… what… face? feathers?, having the freedom to travel great distances… who wouldn’t want to do that? I know, I know, it’s not always such a glamorous life for birds. And let’s not talk about what they eat! I would of course be a vegetarian bird, finding a nice old lady (not unlike myself) that fills the bird feeders and supplies plenty of fresh water in the bird bath for me and my friends. One more things, this sweet old lady would not have cats (very much unlike myself).

Lately I have been a bit under the weather and I find myself outside, sitting on my lounger. It has been cool (81 degrees for the high) and not very humid, great bird watching weather- even if it is just in my backyard. In fact, as I type this I am sitting on my lounger and I am not alone. My two cats are on the lounger too, sleeping soundly. I can also hear baby birds in my neighbor’s yard chirping for their dinner and a Woodpecker pecking a tree.

Several happenings go on in the backyard.

  • One, the Mockingbird eats the blossoms off our olive tree. He does this every year.
  • Two, the Cardinals sing to each other. This usually takes place in the morning. One male will perch high in a tree and there are two others (that I can hear) he sings to and they sing back. I have seen as many as five Cardinals flitting about in the yard at one time.
  • Three, Chickadees and Titmouse visit the feeder everyday. They hang out in an acorn tree (not sure what the real name of the tree is) in the side yard. Four to six can be found flying back and forth between feeder and tree daily.
  • Four, recently there have been a few Purple Martins flying overhead. Sometimes two, sometimes five… they fly in large circles over the house. Pretty amazing site.
  • Five, the house Wrens. These little birds have been very busy this Spring. They have already made one nest on our back porch and abandoned it and are now finishing up a new nest in our shed. They work quickly and very much as a team. It’s been fun to witness. This morning I watched as one snagged a butterfly! I had kept our cats in during the first building process, but then let them out after I realized the Wrens abandoned their nest, now that they are back.. in they go again.

Although I am stopping at five, there are more birds that visit, but not each day as the others do.

The cardinals must know I am writing about them! The male and female are both in the tree directly overhead, chirping. And they are off, first the female, then the male to follow.


Our Wrens

The Thistle Flower

Having made several trips to Austin in the past two months, I can tell you wildflowers in central Texas are in full bloom.  With each passing trip we would see more and more, and then rain!  Well, needless to say- there are some happy flowers in Texas… and happy bees, butterflies, birds…

Last weekend as we were making our way home, we counted 27 different wildflower varieties.  I was drawn to the thistle flower, as were butterflies.  Besides being a beautiful flower, thistles remind me of my Mom.  I have memories of taking walks with her in Hemmoor, Germany (where she grew up) and her pointing out the thistle flowers to me.  She would point out other flowers as well, but the thistle seemed to make an impression on her (and me too).








Thistle info.:

  • National emblem of Scotland
  • Symbol of nobility of character as well as of birth
  • The name chardonnay, the french grape, is believed to have its origin from the word Thistle (in a round about way)


signs of spring

Rain.  A word that had almost disappeared from many of our vocabularies in Texas and other parts of the US.  I am happy to report, we are using that word again!  Yes, it has been raining…often.  In fact, with our warmer temperatures and new-found rain, plant are beginning to show signs of spring.

The pictures below are of plants in my back yard.  Photoshop & PhotoFrames definitely played a part in their processing.

Quince blossoms

Knock Out Roses





Ahhhhh…the county fair.

You gotta love the county fair.  What a great place to take pictures of, well I guess I have to use the word – stuff!  Stuff is all around you at a fair.


Hey, where are you going?

The title was meant to be humorous.  The bee is flying away in the picture, I guess he didn’t feel like being photographed. Silly little bee.

In actuality, it’s a very serious title.  Did you know bees are disappearing? Since 2006 bee colonies have been on the decline, and  not just by a small amount.  Yes, we want honey to sweeten our hot tea, but there is so much more.  We NEED bees.  The way bees pollinate is very complex, so complex in fact that it has not been duplicated by scientist- not for lack of trying.  Follow the link for a bit more info.

As for the picture, I actually like it.  At first I was not sure about posting it, but I like how the bee is disappearing, moving on to the next blossom.