Thursday, August 23, 2018

Red-tailed Hawk
Buteo jamaicensis

Revised 12/12/18

I'll never forget the first time I saw a Red-tailed Hawk. We were driving down a country road. Sitting on a pole, was a Red-tailed Hawk. It was magnificent. So large and domineering. It was sitting there watching for prey. 

Each time we go out, we keep our eyes open for the raptor. The Red-tailed Hawk is a raptor (bird of prey). The female is larger than the male. How beautiful they are when they fly overhead, circling an area, looking for food. I was at a local park awhile back when I watched one land on a pole in the park and watched for its next meal. They are very good at finding food. They eat a variety of food including, but not limited to, rodents, birds, small animals, and insects.

This Red-tailed Hawk was sitting on a tree at the local arboretum. It was very close to the road. Notice how this hawk is looking right at me. It was quite an experience!

Did you know that they live for 21 years and mate for life? Yes, it's quite amazing. They return to their nests each year, adding to the nest. They can fly as fast as 121 mph. Amazing!

I recently went to Stricker Pond where I watched this beautiful red-tailed hawk move its head 160 degrees! I had never seen it in this position before. It was an incredible sight! Love seeing it from the back with the head towards me. Wow.

There is a lot to learn about this beautiful hawk. This is just a window to their world. 

Have you enjoyed watching them? What do you like about them?

The above photos are available for purchase.

Thank you for visiting and have a nice day!



Baughman, M (ed). Reference Atlas to the Birds of North America. National Geographic.

Dunn, JL & Alderferer, J. Field Guide to the Birds of North America (6th ed). National Geographic

Kaufman, K. (1996). Lives of North American Birds. Houghton Mifflin Co.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Gray Catbirds
(Dumetella Carolinensis)

Birds have always been a favorite of mine. As I said before, I love going outside and listening to them sing. The Gray Catbird's song is one such song I enjoy. It's unique, that's for sure! It sounds like a cat and that is why it's called a Gray Catbird. It mews. Yes, I am serious. Have you heard a mewing sound when you are outside and don't see a cat? Look in the trees and bushes. You just might find yourself looking at one. 

I'll never forget the first time I heard and then saw a Gray Catbird. My husband and I were at the local zoo. The Catbird was sitting on the fence which we were passing. How nice it was to see the bird that was mewing! It was a fun moment.

As you can see above, Gray Catbirds are gray with a black cap. Underneath their tail, they have a brown patch. They are 8.5" long and have a short straight beak. Their legs are somewhat long and they have broad, rounded wings. 

Some say Gray Catbirds are related to the thrush as both birds are ground feeders and build their nests in the shape of a cup. This is the most common nest style. Their nests could be anywhere. They could be on the ground or be up high up on a tree. 

What do they eat? They enjoy ants, beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars and moths. They also enjoy fruit when it is available. These include, but are not limited to, holly berries, cherries, elderberries, poison ivy, and blackberries. They also damage gardens which have strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and grapes.

They usually have 4 eggs. The eggs are incubated for 12-13 days. Both mom and dad feed their babies. At about day 10 or 11, the young fly away. They have hatchlings twice a year.

Okay, I could go on and on about the Gray Catbird. This opens your window to something different. Go outside and listen. 

The above photo is available for purchase.

Have a great day!

Thanks for visiting,



Baughman, M. "Reference Atlas to the Birds of North America." National Geographic.

Kaufman, K. "Lives of North American Birds." Houghton Mifflin.

Kaufman, K. Notebook.

Monday, August 20, 2018


When I see clouds in the sky, a smile appears on my face. They are fascinating to me. Made up of tiny droplets of water or ice crystals, they form at different levels of the atmosphere. I love clouds because of the beauty of them and the shade they provide. 

Why are clouds formed? The amount of moisture in the air is how they why they are formed. So, if there is a high level of water vapor, clouds are formed. Clouds are also formed when the dew point is unable to hold more water. As we cannot see the air or dew point, we can feel when the humidity rises.

Clouds are also formed when the ground is warmer than the air. When these clouds are formed, they are cumulus clouds.

Clouds, the beauty in the sky where white goes up against a blue background. So, why are these the colors we see? If you have ever taken a photo of the sun, you will see that it gives off a white light. So, when the sun's light goes through the cloud, it makes it white. Remember that clouds are made up of water droplets or ice crystals. Have you seen the reaction to prisms when the sun its them? They change colors and scatter beauty. 

When I visited my favorite pond, I captured this photo. I love capturing the clouds reflected in the water. It shows beauty and peacefulness. It shows tranquility.

There's lots more to learn about clouds. This is a small portion of what a clouds is.

Do you like clouds? Why? What are you able to do because of clouds?

The above photo is available for purchase.

Thank you for visiting. 


References:, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018


Going outside means that you have the possibility of seeing and hearing songbirds. Once outside, their song calms you. It centers you. You find yourself relaxing and smiling. You find yourself looking at the beautiful bird and thanking it. They add beauty both in sight and in our ears. Their song is called a call note (Dunn and Alderfer).  

Song birds have entertained us for a very long time. Each time I go out with my camera, I listen for the birds and take their photo, when possible. This blue bird was at a local pond. It was the best opportunity I ever had to see, listen and capture (with my lens) a blue bird. It was a wow moment. They are so very beautiful! Just seeing them makes me smile. Seeing them is like a gift. 

Taking the time to relax and enjoy the sound of song birds is important to our emotional health. Think how quiet the world would be without song birds. Now think how amazing the world is with them. Just those thoughts will help you understand their importance. 

What do you enjoy listening to when you go outside? Why? 

Add dimension to your life by going outside and listening to the calls of the birds.

The above photo is available for purchase.

Have a wonderful day!

Thanks for visiting my blog. All comments welcome. If you don't want your comment published so everyone can see it, just say so. 



Dunn, JL, Alderfer, J. National Geographic. Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Sixth Edition. Washington, DC.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


When I open the drapes and see the sun is out, I smile. Why? Because it's going to be a beautiful day! How I love the sun. When I go outside and feel the sun on my back, it gives me strength and feels good. There's nothing like getting Vitamin D from something so wonderful.

We are made to be in the sun. It is recommended that we get 10-15 minutes of sunshine every day, weather permitting of course. It doesn't take long to feel the benefits of the sun. A smile will form where you were otherwise too busy to notice. It will relax you and help you think clearer. 

Even adults are made to play outdoors. Ever noticed how much fun you have when you're outdoors? It feels good to be get outside and get fresh air along with some rays from the sun. It'll help your brain. It'll help your entire body.

Sunshine helps boost our mood because of the added Vitamin D. This is also because one is more happy when the sun is out. Ever noticed how your mood is when it's been gray for days on end? Then, when the sun comes out, you smile. It's that powerful.

I love the sun. It's the most beautiful star we have. It warms us and protects us. It helps our food, grasses, flowers and more grow. Without it, we wouldn't be alive. Our planet wouldn't be alive. We need the sun for sustenance. 

Go out and enjoy the sun. Every day there is a reason to smile. Get outside and start.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Aren't they beautiful? I have loved them since I was a child. When on vacation by the ocean, I'd pick out my favorite ones. There, on the sand right next to the water's edge, were the best seashells. Do you have memories of collecting seashells?

Seashells are fascinating. So many different shapes and colors and textures. How do they come to be? Who uses them? Why are they on the beach? 

We wouldn't have seashells if it weren't for mollusks, sea urchins, crustaceans, turtles, tortoises and armadillos. Did you know that there are over 50,000 varieties of mollusk shells? I didn't. Wow!

Seashells are the exoskeletons of mollusks. Meaning that they are on the outside of the mullosks and protect them from the dangers of the sea. The mullosk develops mantle tissue which secretes protein and minerals to form the shell. The salt and chemicals of the sea help the mantle in growing. Calcium carbonate  is released and that forms the shell around their body. Due to the fact that it continues to absorb sea and chemicals, it continues to grow. 

When the mollusk dies, you will find the shell on the beach. The tide brings the empty shells up onto the sand. This is why we find them on the beach. 

In researching seashells, I came to understand the many uses of seashells after they are washed up onto the beach. Did you know that birds use shells to build their nests? Did you know that they provide protection for algae?

So, seashells will forever fascinate me. They are beautiful!

The above photo is available for purchase.

Thanks for reading,



Gillespie, C. (2018). "How are seashells formed?" Sciencing, 

Horne, F.  (2006). "How are seashells created? Or any other shell, such as a snail's or turtle's?"  Scientific American.

McCarthy, E. (2015). "8 fascinating facts about seashells".  Mental Floss.

"Shells Facts: - KidsKonnect. (2008).

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Water - Mindfulness

Peace and tranquility fill my mind as I watch the water move in our local pond. Sometimes air bubbles surface. A turtle has just breathed.

Why does our mind relax when we see water? Water is the element of centering, otherwise known as mindfulness. While you watch the water, your senses take in the sounds around you. You hear the water move, especially after a fish jumps out or a turtle slips from a rock into the water. The breeze will move the water and the cloud will fly over, leaving a reflection of themselves on top of the water. Beauty and peace. Enjoying the moment. Taking the time to relax and unwind. 

We relax when we see water because the brain turns to a calmer mode. Visit water near you and you may find yourself daydreaming or finally realizing the answer to a question you've had on your mind but couldn't come up with the answer. 

Water intrigues us because we are made up most of water and the world is made up mostly of water. It's beauty beyond words. We love the colors of the water. Blue is a favorite color among many because of water. 

The photo above was taken on Sanibel Island, Florida. I stood and watched the gulf. Standing there, I found myself centered. Peace and tranquility, the sounds of the water washing up on the shore, the sound of seagulls singing, life as we know it where the world becomes calm.

Visit a pond, lake, gulf or ocean near you and see what happens. I bet you will smile and relax.

My blog postings will not be daily. Do check back often though.

The above photo is available for purchase.

Thanks for visiting,



Gregoire, C. (2014). The Huffington Post.

Mitchell, C. (2016). Surf. Science Explains Why Humans Love the Ocean so Much. 

Nichols, W.J. (2014). "Blue Mind: The Surprising Since That Shows How Beaing Near, In,On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do."

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Honey bees

Hi. Thanks for coming back.

Strolling through a local botanical garden, I saw this beautiful flower. Best of all, I saw this honey bee on its way to pollinate the flower. I watched in wonder as it landed on the flower and made its way around the middle. 

Honey bees are approximately 1/2" long. They have yellow and brown rings around them, as you can see above. Honey bees are very important to the honey crop as well as all the flowers and plants it pollinates. They make honey from the pollen and bring it to their honeycomb. We are grateful to have honey bees. 

Enjoy the flowers and farmlands around you. Think of this bee as you do. Smile at the beauty. This is just one cycle of life.

If you see a honey bee, keep in mind that they sting once and, if you don't remove the stinger right away, it could hurt a lot.

Now go outside and enjoy the beauty around you. 

The above photo is available for purchase.

Thank you for visiting!


Friday, August 10, 2018

Welcome to my nature blog. I started it because I keep getting compliments on how beautiful my photos are. I am said to have "an eye".

I think it's true that nature does say it all. It shows us how beautiful the world can be. This monarch recently came out of its chrysalis as you can see how shiny the wings are. As soon as it comes out of its chrysalis, it flutters it's wings to help them dry. I believe the monarch started its life from this plant or something very close to it.

What do you see when you go outside? Are you aware of your surroundings? Do you hear, see, smell and feel nature around you?

As I see something special, I will share it with you.

I welcome comments and hope to hear from you. Check back often.

Now go outside and let nature show you its beauty.

Thanks for visiting!