Chillin’ with the Birds…

or kinda.

I am getting way ahead of myself.  Let me explain.  Yesterday was the last day to take the antibiotics that the dentist prescribed the day we arrived home from our camping excursion. (Tuesday)  The dentist told me that if the gums and pain weren’t better, or stayed the same, to call for an appointment. Well, since there was no pain unless I poked directly on the gums just above the tooth, that was a non-issue.  However, the red and slightly puffy gums are still with me.  So I called yesterday morning as soon as the office opened. 

I was able to see the dentist at nine-thirty.  After sitting in the chair just a brief time and having an x-ray taken,  it was discovered I have a pocket.  The dentist and hygenist both looked a bit puzzled, as my teeth are maintained on a regular basis and I brush them to the point that a teeth-cleaning is generally uneventful.  Ah well, the bottom line is that since I already have a teeth-cleaning appointment next Monday,  the hygenist will deep clean the pocket.  That happens to be the tooth I had the root canal and cap placed on just a few months ago. 

As soon as I got home, around ten-thirty,  I found I had an order for the business to pack.  I also had an Amish girl call the day before yesterday and we wanted to see if her check came so we could ship her order right out as well.  So I waited until eleven to check the mail.  The check was indeed there, so I had to pack two semi-large orders and be ready to leave by twelve.   We had to take Mark’s mom to a doctor’s appointment in the early afternoon.

I rushed to pack orders, but was failing miserably.  Thankfully, Michelle came to my rescue and the two of us finished up at nearly twelve-thirty.  Yes, we were late! My mother-in-law lives about 45 miles away, so we rushed to get to her house.  While she often is nervous if we aren’t early,  she seemed fine that we were a bit late.  Her appointment turned out to be extremely short,  so we took her back home.  Mark and Ben examined her car as the last time we were there, they had filled her brake fluid which was low.  As she pumped the brakes, Ben saw brake fluid spurting from the lines, so we followed her to a garage that does work for her so she could leave it for repairs.

After taking my mother-in-law back to her house, Ben and Mark looked at her ceiling in one of the rooms where the plumber had torn a hole in the ceiling to repair pipes in her bathroom above.  They assessed what was required for repairs. My mother-in-law had heard Mark mention in passing that I wanted a bird bath, so she offered one my father-in-law had bought several years ago.  And she also had me dig up some grape hyacinths to take home.

While placing the things from my mother-in-law in the back of the truck, I saw some great opportunities to photograph her gorgeous azaelea bush, which was gloriously in full bloom!

Michelle thought the fuzzy little bee looked so sweet and cute, she wantedto pet it! Yikes!!!! NO MICHELLE!

She did resist petting the insect, thinking it might just hurt if perchance it did sting her!

We left my mother-in-law’s house around four-thirty and took the Scotties to a park not too far from her home.  As we approached the park,  we could see many, many geese in te area.  Mark dropped me off with my camera and my famous little bucket of cracked corn.  I had some fun just chillin’….after I established my dominence!

 

Yes, this isn’t exactly the way one wants a goose to approach. Head down and hissing can mean an attack!

Of course, like men, geese are often appeased by a mere offering of food! As soon as one goose discovered I came with food,  the troops began moving in.  They marched right up and gobbled the cracked corn I offered and there was little fighting.  Then, one very large goose made an appearance and….

I made it clear to the aggressor that I would lob the lid of my bucket at it if it didn’t stop!  (not really!)  There  was little aggressive behavior except for the one seemingly huge goose!  There were a few times when I was totally surrounded by these “wild animals” and I thought of the damage they *could* do to a human, but I felt safe, as they were just so happy to get the corn!

I love the next photo….this goose was quite shy!

I had seen a pair of mute swans when we entered the park,  but they were off in the distance.  I waited and waited until they finally decided to come closer.

You can see in the above photo the water was a bit choppy.  The swans were amazing…as they poised their wings, the wind sent them sailing across the water like a kite in flight!  They moved so rapidly, it was troublesome to focus!

One day when I was looking up information on swans,  I read that mute swans are terribly aggressive.  The trumpeters with a black bill, as opposed to the orange-billed mutes,  are not aggressive at all.   So….was I surprised when one of these swans took off after a goose?

The result was nearly hysterical! The goose scrambled, honking for all it was worth. The swan, on the other hand, flapped its huge winds and actually ran across the water, its big feet making slapping, splashing noises as it went!  It craned its long neck, making it appear supersized!  This occurred a few times and it still remained comical each time!

As good fortune would have it,  I looked around a bit and found one of the swans sitting on the grass just out of the water.  I happen to know that like the geese, the swan might be grateful for a meal of cracked corn.  I walked up to it, and that bird that stood so tall bent its head down and began hissing at me!  Feeling just a tad intimidated,  I threw a handful of corn toward it and, MY! What a difference.  Suddenly, the swan and I were good friends!

I was able to stand within a few feet of the swan while it ate.  What a treat this was.

We got home at about seven-thirty and I was already tired from a full day.  I sat and looked through my 350+ photos I took and decided I was overwhelmed by them!  I needed to get to bed early, as all the fresh air was just overwhelming! After several days of cold and miserable weather,  yesterday’s chilly temps and blue skies were so refreshing!

And speaking of weather….yesterday’s temperatures were what the weatheman called “Marchlike”.  This weekend, we will be having “Julylike” weather.  And here I thought those birds I was feeding were fickle!

Amazing April Weather

 If you saw this photo on my Facebook page this morning, I apologize, but I really like the way this turned out. (and, with the u-g-l-y!!! weather we experienced today, well, it was a *bright* spot in a very dismal day!)

Yeah, that is real snow on the tulip!  We drove Michelle to school today and as we left,  there were snowflakes kind of sporadically coming down.  As we neared Canandaigua,  I figured the flakes would stop, as we are at a higher elevation in our neck of the woods.  Nope. The flakes kept coming!  As we left Canandigua,  we were greeted by a veritable snow squall as we drove home!  By the time we got home, everything was coated in white! Very picturesque, but wait! It is almost MAY!

Snow continued on and off throughout the day, melting off only to replanish itself a little later.  By afternoon, the temperature rose enough so that any snow coming down would surely melt.  One of the funny things is that I looked through my blog archives and noted on this date last year, I found myself totally uncomfortable with the warm weather we were having! 

Ah, life in New York State…hehehe….I often call it the “State of Confusion”.  Hmmm….perhaps it is, in more ways than one!

News I’d Rather Not Hear

A  couple of weeks ago, I saw one of my old friends on Facebook, so I began a live chat with her.  She wrote and told me she was heading out for dinner and would get back to me later.  The next day,  I received an email from her saying she has been diagnosed with cancer.

My first reaction to the email was to feel like sitting down and crying my eyes out.  When I first came to the Rochester area back in 1988,  this friend and another invited me to come and live in their spacious three bedroom apartment.  I was thrilled and we certainly had some fun times! And so, I wondered, what can I do?

Well, I bought a book over a year ago that has patterns for “prayer shawls”.  The book includes both crochet and knit patterns to make shawls and throws for people going through a change in their lives…mostly medically.  There are prayers included in the book.  Well, since I am rarely at a loss for words,  I have been working on the prayer shawl and as I work, I pray for my friend. 

I haven’t knit in so long, but as my neighbor used to tell me, there are *only* two stitches…knit and purl! How right she was.  I am working rather slowly on this piece,  but that’s okay.  I figure when my dear friend receives the shawl, she will certainly be covered in prayer!

A Rather Uneventful Day

Today’s weather was pathetic.  When the skies weren’t pouring out rain by the bucketsful, the blackened sky looked for all the world like a lifesize sketch done in charcoal!  I did see tiny streaks of sunlight, but they were so fleeting,  I might have been seeing things, after all!

This afternoon, the kids were working on their studies, so Mark and I slipped out to make a quick run to the store to buy a few things we needed.  Did I ever mention keeping salad supplies in the house is not possible? 

Speaking of salads, while we were running around, Mark got hungry, so he decided to stop by Burger King for a side salad.  Besides being cheap, the little salads are pretty good.  And so Mark pulled up to the drive thru. As I looked out the window,  I saw a Cardinal sitting on a branch not too far away.

I held my tongue, waiting until Mark had given his order.  As soon as he finished,  I asked him to back the Explorer up.  He looked at me so weird, but then he also spotted the Cardinal.  I lowered my window and was shocked when the little red bird just sat there without flitting off.  I listened and heard him replying to another Cardinal off in the distance.

With trusty Panasonic camera in hand,  I took a couple of photos.  As I snapped them, I whistled to the bird.  Mark asked, What are you doing?  I informed him I was “speaking Cardinal” and I gotta tell you, that little bird turned his head and if birds can look a tad bit confused,  this little fellow did!

In the second photo, the bird was turning his head as though asking what type of bird *I* am! I didn’t edit these photos, just to give you an idea of just how ugly it was outside today! (and this was about 3:30 this afternoon!)

Life Amongst the May Apples

Did the title of this entry totally pique your curiosity?  Let me explain.

Today was one of those days that we seemed to scramble about, but got little done.  Well, Mark and I, anyway.  Ben kept asking us if we would hurry so he could get out in the woods to cut some trees that had fallen over the winter.  We did get out,  but it was well after lunch.  Ben was just happy to cut.  Before he left the house, I told him he ought to try out Mark’s old lumbering boots.  Mark had ordered them from a fancy lumberjack catalogue many years ago.  They were well used by Mark  and when he suffered the spinal cord injury,  the boots were placed in a corner of the basement where they have sat for almost eleven years.

Although the lumberjack boots fit Ben, he found them to be uncomfortable, as the heel kept catching on twigs and such, causing him to nearly stumble. 

Mark watched Ben cut this pretty large tree.  It actually had “twin” stumps, so it was as though Ben was cutting two trees at once.  I think this tree will yield over a face cord of firewood.  It came down this past winter, along with two other large trees in the same area.  They had been standing dead on the stump for a number of years and they will make for some very well seasoned firewood.

I sat and watched Ben cut for a while, but then spotted a small area of May Apples.  There is something about the little leathery umbrella-like green leaves of this plant that fascinate me.  (to say nothing of the fact that next month they will sport a sweet little white flower on each plant) Well, I wandered on over with my trusty Panasonic camera to do a photo shoot!

Yes, the greenery of these plants is attractive,  but, well….even against the trunk of a tree,  and the spent leaves, they do get a little boring.  Hmmmmmmmm……….

Lying down on the ground,  I tried to look upward under the wee umbrellas.  Well, it didn’t take long to figure out there was no way I could crawl under them.  So, I did the next best thing. I set the camera down on the ground and got it to focus on the leaves, and snapped it!                               

Of course, one of the main attractions that caught my eye was the sun playing on the leaves of the plants. And the next photo did a great job of capturing the sun filtering through the leaves.

The next photo is one of my favorites of the day with the (huge) trees above putting the May Apples in perspective.

Ben cut for about an hour, then he had to quit so he could get ready to go down to Naples for a concert tonight.

We dropped the kids off and then took a leasurely drive to Geneva.  We got a bite to eat, then went to the Tractor Supply store there and looked around.  We picked the kids up down in Naples at about ten o’clock.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Woodland Springtime

Yesterday afternoon, Ben spent some time cutting firewood.  We had several very large oak trees fall during this past winter.  These trees have no bark on them and they are terrific for firewood, as they had been dead standing on the stump.  Once split and stacked, this wood will be great for next winter’s supply!

This wood is all red oak,  which heats quite nicely.  Mark was nearby, of course, watching over Ben , giving advice, and reminding Ben of safety!  I only stopped by for a few minutes,  but was impressed at the ease with which Ben runs the saw.

As Ben was working on the tree,  a crew was working still on running cables for the fiber-optic service.  These people, along with several other trucks,  have been working like gangbusters, not only running new cable, but installing new utility poles. You can just see the orange of their clothing and helmets as they worked near the road.

While I was sitting upon the ground,  I thought I would show off my new sneakers.  I love these shoes as they are NOT white!

Riding the ATVs in the woods in the spring is a great thing as the paths are pretty much clear and so pretty!

I even found a pretty little plant with a purple flower that hadn’t opened up yet.

What a treat it was to leave my housework for a brief visit to the woods.  As I roamed about some,  I came to the conclusion that I could spend a great deal of time outside…just like when I was a child!

The Colors of Spring

This year, it seems like the flowers are bigger, brighter, and just downright more splendid than ever before!  When we were at Allegany State Park, we spoke to a park employee who told us she doesn’t ever remember cutting her grass so early as she has  done this year. 

The following pictures were on my camera’s card, so I thought I would share a few.  They need no explanation….they were not all taken at our house,  but at various locations.