Tag Archive: birds

Cheryl Baranski of Virginia is the winner of the Jam.

Today, the skies are gray and gloomy. It’s 50 degrees and looks like it might rain. The weather forecasters are saying we might have some snowflakes in the next few days.

Black-capped chickadees have been hanging around. My mother-in-law always called them ‘snow birds’ and believed that if they came in numbers there would be snow.

Most of my Christmas crafting is finished, the last stocking was done this morning, one scarf to go and a couple of hats. Then unless something strikes my fancy, the yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks can rest awhile. But as always, this time of year, I picked up some pretty yarn to add to the big basket by my chair.

And I printed some patterns I want to ‘try’, so I doubt they will be out of business for a while yet. Surely someone will ‘need’ a scarf, hat, mittens or such in the future.

Earlier this week, I did some bartering, I traded some of my jellies for some of different flavors with a neighbor, then a couple of jars for a series of books from an author friend, and some books for some handmade gifts with yet another friend.

Each of us came away happy, feeling we had gained something we wanted on the trade.

Things like that are sort of like a big hug, don’t you think?

It’s a chilly damp day here in my slow land of country living.

It’s fall and orange abounds!  Out in the gardens, Pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash.

In the woods, bright-colored leaves on sassafras, maple and many berries ripen for birds and wildlife. Lots of little orange rose hips this year. They make good jelly, but it has been a rough year, I will leave them for God and the animals to take care of.

In my kitchen a box of sweet potatoes, gift from Hubby, some squash from a friend, some nice tart cooking apples and a pumpkin have raised a  clamor for attention. They await inspiration and energy to become lasting products in the pantry and freezer. Some, like caterpillars into a cocoon are already on the way to becoming ‘something else’.

Last night a friend asked about ways to use yams. Did you know that a yam is NOT a sweet potato? But here we consider them such and use them in the same ways.

I suggested fried,  mashed, and the way Hubby likes them, cut in small pieces, baked with butter and maple syrup.

I have to be honest, if a recipe calls for pumpkin and I don’t have any, I substitute winter squash, or sweet potatoes. Sometimes I have to adjust the spices or liquid, but it seems to work.

THis is a handy recipe for Pumpkin bread: This recipe makes 2 9X5 loaves. 3 cups sugar, 1 cup oil, 4 eggs, 2 cups pumpkin (or your choice of substitute) 2/3 cups water, 3 1/2 cups flour, pinch salt, 1/2 rsp each baking powder, cloves, nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 2 tsp baking soda. Mix all together until smooth and pour int greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, test as for cake.

Of course, you can use cooked squash or sweet potato instead of pumpkin and add in nuts or raisins if you want, In fact, another friend mentioned adding bananas.  I can see that I have some experimenting to do here in the Sunrise Ridge kitchen this winter.

I wonder if you could substitute sweet potatoes for carrots in a carrot cake? I may have to try that too.

If you don’t hear from me, I’ll be in the kitchen. Cooking, tasting and testing ideas.



I know I have mentioned that it has been hot and dry here on Sunrise Ridge.

So hot and dry the chickens have been standing around the run off from the air conditioner. They line up to stand in the water and dsrink even though we are keeping fresh water out for them.

The poor plant in the picture is one of my hibiscus, it should at this time of year have lovely deep red blooms, but you can see it is just barely getting by right now.

It’s almost August, summer is about half way through and we are still hoping for the drought to end and looking forward to cooler weather – one of these days!


                      We have reached day 10 of 100+ days, a couple showers dashed through, but did not do much for the parched earth.

Food is getting scaarce in the woods. The deer found our ready to harvest corn.

Hubby has watered, in the evenings. It has not helped much. A lot of the garden has just burned up


Squash and melons may not make it. We are going to0 have to decide if watering is ‘worth’ it.

Potatoes are near harvesting.

I’ve said before, gardens are an act of faith.

I am recycling an old post to go with this picture, you might see empty space, home now only to birds, rodents and occasionally used as shelter from a storm if we are too far away to get back to the house.

This empty space is not really empty at all. Memories and imagination still linger in the old wood.https://oldentimes.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/hallucinations-of-the-past/


Yes I felt like something was missing, I left the camera at the house, blissfully unaware that a walk to the garden would produce such a wondrous surprise! Something new, in more ways than one and quite unusual to watch!

A couple of days ago, I had told Hubby I thought I was hearing a hen turkey calling up her poults. This afternoon proved me correct.

As we approached the garden, one hen flew up and baby turkeys scattered back toward the barn and food plot. Another hen came into view as we tried to stay still as statues, barely breathing.

We watched as the hens clucked and called the poults together, criss-crossing the garden and down toward the old pond. Soon the small birds were rejoined with the adults and made their way toward the barn and beyond.

It was a fascinating few minutes! I told Hubby I am never leaving the house again without the camera. Since I was silly enough to this time I will have to just put up a picture from the archives of a wild turkey. Taken out near the wildlife feeder on a snowy day in 2011. It’s hard to get a good picture of a wild turkey, or even see one! Without a doubt, I have to think this was a special blessing for the end of this day.

        Snack, the dictionary says it is a hurried or light meal

Recently, with all the things blooming here on Sunrise Ridge, there have been plenty of guests coming by to enjoy just that!

I’m really not sure about their eating habits.

I know that if it was not for these visitors to the flowers, there would be not blackberries and blueberries for me to enjoy snacking on later.   The blessings that remind me of Springtime and Summer when winter shows up.I certainly do not begrudge them a taste of pollen or nectar, knowing that I too will reap some tasty benefits.

And the lovely hummingbirds that stop so often at the feeder to sip and brighten up the day.Or the rabbit who has been stopping by for a snack of clover and to entertain with antics running around the yard.

I like birds. They abound here on Sunrise Ridge, in the fields and forests and along the rivers and streams we frequent.  Bright, colorful, ever amazing with their antics and music, a joy to behold! Some shy and timid, some bold and arrogant, but always a wonder to enjoy and marvel at.

Over the past several years, since I got interested in taking photos, I’ve accumulated quite a few. I can’t pick a favorite, or a ‘best’ one.

Recently, I got a new and better camera and a wonderful book by Tony Northrup. “How to Create Stunning Digital Photography” which is available here http://www.amazon.com/Tony-Northrups-DSLR-Book-Photography/dp/1451565410/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336236989&sr=1-1

Here is a slide show of some I like better that others.

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I hope you find one or two you like as well.  From the mighty bald eagle to the delicate hummingbird, all are special.

Happy birdwatching!

Today’s photo prompt is really difficult for me. How to pick out something I am grateful for is not, but how to narrow it down from the massive number of things I am grateful for is nearly impossible!

I am grateful for this world God has provided for me to live in and all the creation I share.

For my family, friends and home, which mean so much to me.

For the love which is given and I can give back!

For the ‘enough’ and more that is in my life. There is food on the table, clothing on my body, and much to love.

For our garden, the vegetables, fruits and flowers, that contribute to beauty and healthy living

The animals, both wild and domestic that share my world and serve a purpose in it (yes, even the spiders and snakes)

For the books I read and the computer and phone that keep me in touch with the world and provide pleasure.

For my ‘toys’, camera, sewing and  craft supplies and the ability to use them and share with others.

It’s really hard to pick out anything! I am so blessed!

So I choose a picture of a road, I am grateful for the ‘road’ I have traveled to get to where I am, I look forward to the miles I have left in the journey.

Even though we are having some weather a bit chillier than it has been recently, it is far from cold here on Sunrise Ridge right now.

I considered taking a picture of the inside of the freezer, but it is pretty low and needs defrosted; so I felt like that was self-defeating. I did not want to have to do that task this morning and knew if I took the photo, I would end up with a four-letter word like WORK!

So I looked back through old pictures to try to find something ‘cold’ and came up with this to remind me of how fortunate I and the birds are this morning.

This cardinal made a bright spot in the glittering ice encrusted tree following a storm that left us without power for several days.

cardinal in an icy tree