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In The Backyard

I've been home almost two weeks now.  We were away on a Mission Trip in Kayenta, Arizona, Navajo Nation. The re-entry has been a bit was a long way, it was very hot, and the work was non-stop.  That's how mission trips work.  It is defiantly not a vacation.  Along with the work and re-connecting with our friends from 10 years ago...I did have many opportunities for taking some wonderful photo's.  So when I returned, I put the camera's aside and wanted a break.  I had enough uploading and editing to do to last me the rest of the summer.  Sometimes, though, life hands us opportunities and we can either ignore them or jump on them..I chose the later.

I didn't travel very far.  Actually I didn't travel at all.  It has been hot here at home and my jet lag was keeping me laying pretty low for a few days.  I chose that time to sit on my sun porch and read.  I was distracted though this one day with lots of squawking, screeching and movement in the yard.  When I looked behind me, I saw so much going on that just delighted me, so once again, I ran for my camera.  After attaching the 150-500 lens, I took a screen out of the window and just cranked that baby open...clean shots to everything...It became a waiting game.  My neighborhood is very quiet out back so it wasn't long before Mother Nature made her appearance again...Life in the hood...and this is what I enjoyed for almost two hours...funny how I wasn't tired anymore...


Living in their car...

Eating crickets.

It seems while we were away, this family moved into the birdhouse that we had hanging on our dogwood tree.  Both the Mom and the Dad fed the babies, which I haven't seen yet.  One would gather up some crickets or bugs and enter.  A few minutes later out she would come...and fly away.  Waiting in the wings was the other one, probably the Dad...that would be him in the first photo.  It was a joy to watch them and to hope that they would be safe in their little shelter...

Then there was this cutie...sitting on the fence between the main yard and the pool area.  From where I was sitting in the sun room I thought he had gotten himself a corn cob...later when Liam came over and was looking through the photo's in camera, he rightly told me that the squirrel was eating a pine cone.  Pretty bad to be corrected by a 6 year old.  I swear he was eating it like an ear of corn.  At any rate, he was quite happy to sit there and have his lunch while I snapped was nice to lean that lens on the back of my little wicker couch as it can get heavy..

Then the bunny came along.  I'm actually mad at the bunny because when we got back from Kayenta they had eaten all of my Impatiens that I had planted in the two big buckets out front.  I didn't stay mad for long because I was worried about the little bunny being out there in the middle of the day, happily chomping away on whatever it is they love in the grass...There does seem to be more of them this year than ever before but I think they will start dwindling down soon...really cute to watch though...

This is the reason why I I don't have enough to worry about with my own family, I now have to worry about the woodland critters..These hawks freak me out.  They have been hanging around here for over two years now and not only are they hunting on my property but they are loud and frightening when they swooped and fly low..when I took this photo there were three of them sitting in that dead tree..a great vantage point to keep their eyes on the movement in the yard.  The squirrels are not to bright either because they are always squawking and the hawks know right where they are.  So far I have been fortunate not to see any of these sweet little ones get picked up...but we did find a squirrel dead in the meditation garden.  I suppose if it's your time to go, the meditation garden could be comforting.  I'm not sure how he happened to die there and why he wasn't picked up...just glad I wasn't here for it.  Undertaker Jim was on the job to do the removal ceremony...I know for sure I couldn't have done it...

The point of all of this is sometimes we search high and low...walk for miles, carry heavy equipment to get the perfect get excited about what we do...when really, it can be as easy as a walk out back if you have a garden...or a yard.  I happen to live in an area where we have lots of wild life, both big and small, but even if you don't, I bet there are views, and pretty flowers with lots of texture and chipped paint just waiting for you to find it...a little light, a bit of bokeh and a new perspective is just waiting outside your door...put on a lens that you haven't used in awhile and just step over the threshold into a new Alice going down the rabbit hole.

If you do not see what is around you every day, what will you see when you go to Tangiers?”

I love to write Haiku's and read about them...sometimes they just to come and I'm always delighted when they fit a photo, like the one above.

Have a wonderful weekend...more about the Kayenta trip much to take in and process...


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Reader Comments (6)

awww look at all that beautiful wildlife . I love the hare. I used to see them up north all the time, now in the south I never see them :(

July 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E

I'm always at a loss for the right words to express my feelings about the sensitivity and JOY that surround every story and image you post. The way you depict everyday, ordinary experiences with such love, humor and emotion is such a natural gift which you wrap with your talent. Today, when I first saw your post, I fell in love with the birdhouse! We had a little trailer which lost its roof, so it is now a planter! When one thinks about the cycle of things: how the bird eats the bugs, the squirrel eats the pine cones, the bunny eats the flowers and the hawk eats the squirrel who chased the bunny who might be next! And because of what the animals ate, the hawk gets so much nutrition! Why am I getting silly and carried away? Your ease of story telling and the way you involve the reader are such natural stimulants . . . I'm so proud of you for continuing this wonderful blog . . . I still remember when you first began! And oh, BTW, I'm also very happy because we got some good "beachy" news today! Now don't go crazy cleaning for us! ox A xo

July 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

I am SURE your bunny and my bunny are related! I'm so glad you took our your long lens to capture the wildlife magic in your yard. I do envy that lens that goes up to 500 mm. Mine is only 200 mm so I can get bunnies but birds, not so much! And we do have tons of birds. But no hawks. I would be afraid for the critters too with them around. Wonderful post Cheryl and I love that last quote about Tangiers!

July 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSherry G.

There's no place like home. A great little world you share with your little friends. :)

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Well this is a nice backyard and good for you on the long lens in order to capture. I see you are back from AZ and you asked if it was close to me. I had to look up the place you were going as I have never heard of it. It is a long way from where I am North of Phoenix. Looking forward to your images of your time there.

July 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Hurst

Well that looks like my backyard, except I don't have a fancy car birdhouse :) But I do have wrens and babies and plenty of squirrels and bunnys and yes, hawks too. Funny, I feel like you, I want to protect everyone and it causes me to worry too much.

It's amazing what we can find in our own backyards. One Saturday we took an hour drive to walk some trails. It was beautiful and I took lots of shots but I just really wasn't "feeling it". Then as we came home and were driving down our driveway, I spotted some beautiful light and shadow through the trees making some pretty cool patterns on the side of our house...turned out to be the best image of the day. Crazy!
Anyway, what beautiful images of all your backyard friends!

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

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