Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Colors

We had our rush of yellow daffodils last month, and the yard lit up like the quintessential dream of spring. The flowers are already gone, and nothing is ready to burst forth in bloom to remind us of the season. So we've been out finding other splashes of colors in our world.

This California Tortoiseshell showed up last week and hung around long enough for a quick photo. It's already a bit bedraggled by time, but still, that orange color is a welcomed sight.
The Western Bluebirds have been coming to the yard at dusk and hunting for food. And luckily for them there's plenty here for them to munch on. They typically catch ground-dwelling insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, ants, wasps, and pill bugs, as well as eating spiders and snails. We hear them chattering away to each other as they fly from roof to pole for a better view of the yummy yard buffet!
One morning we noticed a duck in the pond. From a distance it was hard to identify. We knew it was a male of some species because we could see some hint of color, and just assumed it was a mallard. It wasn't until later in the day that we remembered to look again and more closely. What a grand surprise it was to see this wonderful, astonishingly beautiful wood duck. It was around for two days. We're hoping it will find a mate and use the nest box Roger built for wood ducks a few years ago. (You really need to click on the photo to get a sense of this guy's colors.)
Roger had his minor surgery last Wednesday (April 9th) to remove that squamous cell carcinoma bump by his eye. It was the surgery he was quite squeamish about because of its location. It all went well, and here's a photo of his black and blue eye a few hours after surgery.
But now the eye has taken a back seat to the rhinovirus that is currently knocking him out. Somewhere in his travels to doctor and dentist offices, and the travails of surgery and anxiety, he picked up a virus. I've never heard Roger cough so much in all these 25 years we've been together. He's definitely on the the mend, but damn I think he's had enough health issues on his plate to last the rest of his days. So, universe if you're listening to a small voice on a small planet whirling in this galaxy, I'm shouting "Knock it off." LOL!

25 comments:

  1. The nature photos are lovely, but not the one of Roger's eye. Hope all is well by now. If he is still coughing, slather Vick's Salve on the soles of his feet tonight and sleep in socks. It works for most people.

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  2. So glad Roger is healing. Med offices and pharmacies are loaded with germs and I hate being in them. Yellow pollen is everywhere here and has everyone coughing and blowing noses. Hope you'll have more pics of Mr. Duck later in the season. (I have never seen a western bluebird except online or in books! Hope that will change.)

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  3. I'm holding good thoughts for Roger's recovery SOON!! I love your photos, as always, Robin! Hope you both have a good week ahead!

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  4. I've especially enjoyed spring colors this year. Hope he feels better and you both have had your health issues for awhile. I have heard a lot of folks with a coughing thing. I hate it every time i have to go to town.

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  5. Good to know you are back home, getting more glimpses of spring and that roger is healing both from the surgery and the rhinovirus. I've had that cough, too. It's finally going away.

    It's Wood Duck mating time. Soon we'll be seeing ducklings!

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  6. You found some nice color there. We're getting some flowering here, and the pollen is ridiculous. If you want yellow, just look on the hood of my truck.

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  7. The surgeon did a good job from the looks of it. All the best! European viruses usually take nine days, three days to arrive, three days to mess around and three days to leave. Let'shope the US cousins are not too different.

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  8. kenju-- Interesting folk remedy! Thank you for that. We don't have Vick's Salve on hand, but next time, we'll have to give that a try.

    Sky-- We have both been very vigilant during the long flu season here, managing to get through it without a problem. Not sure where he picked up this virus, but the world is full of those germs. I'm a little obsessive about hand-washing. Glad you liked the pics. Hope you get to see a Western Bluebird. They are quite beautiful.

    Sylvia-- So glad you like these pics. And thanks for the good wishes.

    Rain-- I think about germs every time we go into town. I keep antiseptic gel in the glove compartment and use it whenever we leave a store. Ugh.

    am-- Yes, Roger is definitely on the mend. Still coughing a bit, especially when he is laughing. We're hoping that the Wood Ducks take up residence here for the spring and summer. It's been two years since we've had them use the nest box. (Coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions seem to keep some of our favorite critters away.)

    Mark-- Interesting that we're not seeing as much pollen here as we usually do. Now I am wondering why. Mmmm.

    Sabine-- Thank you for your good wishes. I like your nine-day analysis. I think that's what we have going on here right now. Roger is on Day 6 and feeling significantly better and less congested, but still coughing. Ah… looking forward to Day 10!

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  9. Loved the photographs. Glad Roger's surgery went well and hope he is soon over the virus.

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  10. Sure love that photo of the bluebird; we see them down near Ashland, Oregon every year, when we're out hiking.
    I have even been up around dawn, near Smith Rock, OR, and heard their morning songs.
    May Roger beat that bug!

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  11. Wood ducks are just the prettiest of the species. Hope he sticks around and finds a mate.
    Drat, Roger has really had a plate full lately. I know he was anxious about the surgery and am so glad it is behind him and healing.
    Now to kick that viruses butt.

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  12. Beautiful photos, especially that duck! Poor Roger, this is insult to injury !

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  13. NCMountainwoman-- Roger is definitely recovering. He does have a serious cough, but he's feeling much better. Glad you liked the pics! Thankyou.

    isabelita-- It is always a treat to see the bluebirds here. The males are so spectacularly deep blue. Roger is beating the bug, more each day. Thank you.

    Arkansas Patti-- One of the things we discovered the day we moved into this house was wood ducks in the pond. It was a moment I will never forget. I had always wanted to see one. We had them nest here one year, but not since. We're hoping. Roger is definitely kicking some serious viral butt!

    Tara-- Sure wish you were here to see this guy. What a beauty! Rogie is getting better, but what a drag it was. Oy.

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  14. The surgery results look pretty good.
    I meant to tell you this a while back and forgot. You have a good eye for taking photos. Have you given any thought to adjusting your layout, or using a different template that would display your photos in a larger size? I usually enlarge the ones you post and they look good that way.

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  15. The butterfly is bedraggled, but the bluebird and the wood duck are beautiful! Wood ducks here in the northern Piedmont only nest if they can find really secluded nesting locations; they're pretty skittish ducks, so don't feel rejected if they move on--it's not you.

    I'll take this opportunity to comment on your running history, Robin Andrea. Like Mark (CanisConfidimus) and you, I got side stitches (and shin splints) when I first started running, but eventually they both disappeared; I wonder why they occur in the first place? When I was running seriously (i.e., training for marathons), I ran a lot and Kali felt like a "running widow" so she decided to try running. Poor woman--she really gave it the old college try and hung in there for several years, but she just could never improve her speed or endurance. I think the straw that broke the camel's back was when she came in last (last!) in a 5K road race; I'm not sure she ever ran again after that.

    Since you're considering bicycling when you move to a college town, it sounds like you and Roger are narrowing your choices. Are you keeping a secret from us all?

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  16. Pat-- Funny you should mention the size format of the photos. I purposefully keep them small because of our very slow internet connection. I have a hard time opening websites that have a lot of large images. That's why I check in on your blog sporadically. It takes forever to open. When we move to a place with faster internet speed, I'll post bigger pictures and visit more often.

    Scott-- We had the Wood ducks nest here one year, but that was it. I love when they are here.

    Interesting to know other people got those side stitches. I never knew what they were, I was only 8 years old, but they made me not want to run. Roger and I are planning on looking at Sebastopol, CA (not exactly a college town, but close to Sonoma State and bike friendly) and Arcata, CA (a college town and very bike friendly).

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    1. Hi Robin. I totally understand that. I JUST found a program that reduces the data of my posted photos by about 90%. Maybe it will load quicker now.

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    2. That's very cool, Pat! Thanks for letting me know.

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  17. Glad Roger's on the mend! Wonderful photos, as always.

    Sebastopol! Oh, you'd be closer! (But Arcata has the ocean and so on.)

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    1. Sebastopol almost has Bodega Bay which is a magical ocean area. I moved up here from Marin a few years ago and there is nothing anywhere like western Sonoma county. Let me know if you have any questions! Birding is awesome, and the sky, and all of it.

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    2. Mary-- Thank you for your Sebastopol info. We appreciate it immensely. Planning a journey soon to take a good long look around.

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    3. Robin, happy to give you any information or help any way I can. I thought I had your email from a few years ago but no. Here's an address where you can get in touch with me. I don't check it often but will try to remember to. mb2233@aol.com

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  18. kathy a-- Roger is up and down at the moment. Not feeling so well and trying a liquid diet. Glad you liked the pics and the two place we have in mind for moving.

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  19. Dave-- Glad you liked the pics, Dave. Roger is finally feeling a bit better. It was a rough few days there.

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