Sunday, January 19, 2020

Major Fail

This has been a week of rain and even tornadoes.   The high school where my son graduated was practically destroyed by an EF 2 tornado that touched down...that is too close for comfort.  We have had some very strong and powerful storms with thunder, lightening, and torrential rains...and it's been like 7 days since I've seen the sun until today!  Winter is on the way back so they say. 

Got Spring?  This is about the earliest I've seen this! These are some of Mom's flowers, the great thing about life is we do leave a mark of some kind as we pass thru on our own trips around the Sun.  Her bulbs continue on.

SO I decided I could tune up my van..why not.  Well I need longer, skinnier, and more flexible arms to actually get all the plugs changed...I got 6 done and the last 2 whipped me, and those 2  are still in there! There is no way to get a tool in that small space...  I broke one also, but it came out...the thing was: there was a lot of rust that had accumulated around the plugs and it made it hard to get the socket to seat well in order to break the plug loose. 

I numbered the wires on the new distributor cap so I wouldn't get mixed up but still I did----> my attempt at this tune up was today the van is in the garage to see where I went wrong! One thing was a vacuum tube I broke, I fixed that simple enough..the other was I cross matched 2 plug wires  and possibly more and the motor was jumping and sputtering...SO I took it down and they are going to try and right my wrongs...I didn't think about down loading a firing diagram before hand.  I am not ashamed to admit that I make mistakes! Here's 4 of the 6 plugs I got out...that one that is so rusty can you believe that?  My numbering system by the way is NOT according to the firing specs, I simply started at 1 and went clockwise in order.  I have since then downloaded the correct number firing sequence..and NOW I know where they should be. 

The mechanic drove the van with it hooked to a code reader and he says it's number 1 and number 3 that are not firing correctly...that's the two I couldn't get out....SO Monday he plans to try and replace those...hopefully he has just the right tool to accomplish this!

With the rain steady coming down it's hard to get anything done...but the sun came out today (Wednesday) for the afternoon. 

I haven't seen one single American Goldfinch this winter!  Its so warm they are not coming South.  I hung my finch feeder, it sits empty.  Just because you fill it doesn't mean they will come. Earlier in the fall a few stopped by but I haven't seen any since October.  Our world is changing in leaps and bounds due to climate change.  Our weather patterns are no where near normal for this time of year.  There is more of a Tropical feel in the air.  

Did have more Hermit Thrush show up in the yard...3 so far


this was taken thru the window glass you can see the cinnamon color of the tail...and another via the window is this very well hidden White Throated Sparrow I'm happy to say have finally arrived to the yard. 

Another little brown beauty the Carolina Wren, stopped for a moment 

So with the impeachment articles now in the Senate we will see if the Republican Party will do what they have sworn to do...or not.  The wretched Lindsey Graham is leading the puppy pack that has been licking Trump's boots since he was elected...WHY I don't know because in the beginning he actually told the truth about how he really felt about Trump.  I feel they will railroad a vote through while Trump screams about how it's all FAKE and his mindless supporters agree...I may not be on top of my game at this moment...but I have enough sense to know he is
GUILTY! --->Major Presidential Fail ....and you thought I was talking about my tune up!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Each One an Individual

There is no going back and sometimes looking forward feels like giving up...I am trying.

Yesterday I traveled to a nearby town to do some errands that I couldn't accomplish here in my town.  So once the chore was done I stopped at a local garden and checked out the collected swans that live there...some had cygnets.

And others are sitting on eggs.  




Not all the birds there are part of the collection like this Great Egret....he comes and goes as he pleases...

And this Hermit Thrush also...

And this Wood Stork, ebird says rare, If I'd known I'd have taken a better photo of it!  

After leaving there on the drive back I spotted a HUGE mixed flock of Black Birds, like Common Grackles, and Red Winged Blackbirds I think I saw some Brown Headed Cowbirds, along with European Starlings too...I think there was easily 1,000,000 birds in this flock!  They were in a field where p-nuts have been recently harvested...

...seeing all these birds reminded me of how each being on this planet is going thru their own personal experience...some good some not so, but each one counts, and each one matters. 

So I'm trying to reach beyond the fog of grief, it's been 60 days now....but bear with me, it won't happen soon, and thank you so much for all your kind words of encouragement.  I took everything said to heart...and It helps me to know people do care and understand.


Taking One Day At a Time 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Starting Over

I had big plans for a post but since my last post I've been knocked down by what I am guessing is the FLU.  I have been barely able to sit up for days...and although  am trying to focus it's impossible.  I hope at some point the fog will lift and my life will resume.  Until then I hope all of you are well...and starting your year off with a bang.  I am alone now as everyone is gone.  It's pretty devastating.   I have some chores to keep me busy as long as my stamina holds up and it will be a while before it does that.  I had Mom's phone turned off this week, that was like the final straw that broke the camel's back..and I spent an entire day crying.  Now I just have to encourage myself to get up and face each of these days the ones where I have no one around me and nothing seems real...pretty depressing.  I tried to go into the yard and look up at birds and that made me feel faint.  

There is no food in the house so today I must go into a store and be around cheerful normal people that is going to be very hard, because I want to scream...I don't know if I can even do that but I will try..I guess Im starting over from the ground up...reality is only just now sinking in.

Every day is a new Adventure.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Cold for Christmas

I caught a Christmas Cold.  So that gave me time to get a blog off early and this will give me time for one more post to finish out the year! Happy Winter Season to you All!

Back to the's the first one I recall having in many a year, just hope I can overcome it quickly.  I thought something was wrong when I went to bed at 9:15 night before last...I felt so tired and exhausted.  Yesterday another deluge 4 inches of rain it came down all day long.  Today is sunny but I  feel cloudy. :o(

I went out one day this week toured around my 5 mile.  I have not been participating much lately.  I have no hopes of adding a new species to the list.  However I was happy to add River Otters to my hotspot, Goodale Park, 


One with his tail up and the other just barely has his head out of the water...they are full grown adults by the look of them.  I was thrilled to find this!  I can't wait to tell the park staff next time I see them.  There was trimming of trees on one section of the lakeshore, it has thrown some birds off their normal hangouts so it may take a while for them to find new perches.


Yellow Rumped Warbler

the cut reveals another patch of pitcher plants 

I had a couple of surprises, not new but the Fox Sparrow was there 

He was pretty bashful and not showing his face...this guy showed his face  had some pine needles in the way, the Blue Headed Vireo.  

And if not for Ruby Crowned Kinglets this time of year would be quite boring...

Did not show his Ruby Crown!  I drove over to my favorite AG fields and checked those out...had 100's of Brown Headed Cowbird joined by some Red-Winged Blackbird.  

There were other trees full also...

Lots of sparrow present, the Field, the Chipping, the Dark Eyed Junco, the Eastern Towhee, White Throated, and Song were all accounted for.  

The coloration of Song Sparrow here locally vary, some are dark and more chocolate brown while these red ones with warm grey tones can fool you into thinking they are something else.

An alert Eastern Phoebe holds on and looks over his shoulder at me...

Midweek we were shooting a cemetery in Fairfield County and it was about another 10 miles to the Lake Wateree State Park not in my radius...but it was fun to see lots of Ring Billed and Bonaparte's Gull around.  

There's a pedestrian bridge that is fun to walk over...Allowed me to get close to this colorful female Northern Cardinal 

Hope your Holiday  is festive, can you imagine trying to remember it's 2020?


My Mom Memory for this Christmas day: Mom we cherish our memories of all those delicious Magik Cookies!

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Look Back and Look Up

Today is Tuesday and the sky is dark and the rain is coming down in buckets...good thing I had nothing planned, actually I planned nothing cause I knew it was coming.  I know there's others out there who are affected by weather I am in their ranks.  If I don't see the sun, I am immediately let down.  I recall when I was a kid running around on Bramblewood plantation where we lived for a time, I would spend the entire rainy Saturday in the stall with a horse.   I'd lay down beside the horse and that warmth helped get me through the disappointment of the rainy day with no riding!  That is a shot of me and my mare Silky.  She was a great horse to ride and spend time with.  This shot was taken most probably in 1969.  I was about 16 yrs old.  That big tree in the background was another favorite place I spent time I would hide up there. 

Later on at about age 18 I started working at the Hunter Barn where horses were boarded and we taught riding, I'm goofing off here with Blinky one of our jumpers...We had a summer day camp and I was one of the instructors, after a heavy storm this tree hit the barn, my boss had me saddle up and jump the tree for publicity!

Me riding Chinazo. He was my favorite horse at the barn, and I was the only one who would ride him...we got along...most people he  did not like and he was a hand full. 

This is me on and my first crush Tommy on the right with the Hunter Barn in the background it's still in use today! 

In our town race horses come to be trained in winter.  My first real job after the riding school was here riding race horses.  No photos of me tho...Mom was supposed to come and watch me one day and get a photo.  I saw here drive up and we rode past her and then she backed up and left...Later I asked did you get a photo of me, she said "I never saw you." Huh, "I rode right in front of you with 2 other horses"...
"OH it looked like 3 boys to me." she was right



Only my long hair let people know I was not a boy.   My boss told me I dressed like a truck  I was just happy to be out and about on my horse.  This was taken at the first Hunter Barn, it was sold and then the new one (pictured earlier) was built.  

This is me jumping Thunder, he was a great school horse...these are all old photos of poor quality.  Anyway that's a look back at my early teen years.  Now you see why I hate rainy days, all this adventure was shut down by rain! 

Those were the days!

Looking UP  to present time....did do some birding on Monday saw some cool birds, like the Pileated Woodpecker...


More Awesome Cedar Waxwings, 


and  this odd mushroom 


A Yellow Bellied Sapsucker 



It was pretty day this was on Sunday...

It was Jimmy Approved!  On Wednesday we went back to the county river park and saw hundreds of Common Grackle mixed with Red Winged Blackbird...they landed near us what a sight to see that was.  I didn't have my camera that day...The river was flooded due to all the rains. It was amazing. 


My Mom Memory for this post is


 I should have put this one up on my last post this was taken at  Huntington Beach probably 2009?  Even tho she had to carry an oxygen tank Mom still took a cold walk on the beach with me. I hope I have half her spunk if I live as long.

Every day is a new Adventure.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Fine Stuff

So little sis flew back over and the three of us are together! We were a family again for an entire week...That was a boost for me.   On Sunday we went to the free Community Concert Band performance...this is something I have a history with, I hadn't been to one since I returned to SC, and this was their 40th anniversary.  It was fun! 
 Monday little sis and I drove down to the coast to do some birding.  This is the shot to the soul I spark interest in the things I love...we had some soupy fog to deal with but we had a great day anyways. 

By the time we hiked the 1.2 miles down the beach to the Jetty we were soaked by mist...

We saw a Great Black Backed Gull here it is with a Ring Billed for scale...a state bird for me...and a lifer for sis, she racked up quite a few this day!

Lots of foggy Ruddy Turnstone  

We had 2 beautiful Eared Grebe pop up...

Some really cute Sanderlings' on the rocks too...

Dunlin barely visible in this fog enjoyed poking thru the mud...

And then along came a Clapper Rail, he seemed to be strutting. 

Missing a few legs but still spunky 

Gr Blue Heron..

More  Shell trees!

How much cuter could a Semipalmated Plover be?

We made an entire day of it...what a great day it was!

Wednesday  we headed over to the McBee WMA, and found many Field Sparrow,  

Photographed at a Cemetery in the afternoon, it was so cold that day...and Thursday we went to the Archives to do some family history research, and later we birded the County Riverside Park...lots of Cedar Waxwings were about.

Today its Friday and raining cats n dogs...the Sisters are hosting a brunch and little Sis leaves in the wee morning was a Fine Week! spent with Family!

My Mom memory for this post...

Here she is enjoying some tasty Ice Cream on one of our "Townies" day trips here in a small rural place called Lone Star, SC...this was taken in 2016.  

 Such good times!

Every day is a new Adventure.