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Birthday Goodness

January 26, 2015

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This weekend we celebrated my nephew’s eighteenth birthday at our home with a surprise dinner, games, and lots of laughter.  His mom was responsible for supplying the cake.  She’s a great cook, but this time around her efforts suffered from some technical difficulties.  Not to worry… it tasted great!

Fashionable Family Friday: Wanna Play?

January 23, 2015

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This is Sister S’s ninth birthday party and it looks like she had a game of Frisbee planned.  Sister L, directly behind her, doesn’t appear to be too excited about the choice of entertainment.  (I, in the white shirt, obviously dressed my best for the festivities.)

All Trapped Out

January 21, 2015







These hooded pitcher plants have a primitive and forbidding look about them, especially this time of the year.  The plants have become  dormant for the winter, leaving their vessels to dry into cracked and papery shells (but with spikes and veins intact).  Their successors will replace them in the spring, ready to snag the next generation of unwitting insects.

Birds of a Feather

January 19, 2015











Last January I challenged myself to identify and list all the different birds I would encounter over the next twelve months.  Now, a year later, I am pleased to report that I spotted fifty-one different varieties:  forty-three in my backyard and surrounding neighborhoods, eight in Holland, and one in Arizona.  Here are a few of the highlights.

(From top to bottom: Egyptian Goose, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Coot, Pine Siskin, Eastern Bluebird)

Fashionable Family Friday: Say What?

January 16, 2015

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This picture just cracks me up.  That’s my cousin V between Sister S and me.  She often has a look of stunned disbelief in our family shots, and I’m usually looking on in amusement.  As always, S views the situation as another photo op.

A Promise of Sunnier Days

January 14, 2015



This stack of sombreros was sitting on a shelf in the children’s area at the nature center.  I love the glow of soft light on their colorful brims.  They were a bright spot on an otherwise dark and dreary January day.

King of the Feeder

January 12, 2015







These little birds are pine siskins, kin to the finch family.  We have quite a few of them in our yard these days.  They’re known to be a bit feisty with each other when vying for a food source.  Although these two look well-mannered here, they had been battling it out at the feeder below moments before.


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