Posted by: bree1972 | March 20, 2011

Birds and Boats and Blooms 3/21/2011

If the weekend had gotten any more perfect, I’d have thought I’d died and gone to Heaven.  The weather was beautiful, topping 80 on Saturday.  Our grass is getting greener by the minute, all the bushes are putting on leaves, and the crabapple tree in the backyard will soon be in full bloom.  Birds are everywhere, with robins and red-tipped blackbirds adding their appearances to the myriad of wrens, sparrows, finches, and cardinals that normally spend their day in our yard.

Before I show you some weekend pics, I’ve got to tell you about the excitement we had in the backyard one morning last week.  On Wednesday, when Ted got to the sunporch with his coffee, he noticed the big birdfeeder, which is usually hanging from a branch in the crabapple tree, was on the ground.  Now that’s happened a couple of times before, and usually the cause is a squirrel chewing through the cord that attaches the birdfeeder to the metal hook curving over the branch.  Upon investigation though, Ted found the cord intact – in fact the whole birdfeeder was fine – it was just on the ground.  It was a mystery to be sure.  Ted finally decided that a raccoon must have been in the yard (although we’ve never seen a raccoon in the yard, it’s always a possibility – raccoons are everywhere in the woods around us) and climbed the tree.  Being the smart little critters they are, he could just imagine one (or two) messing with the hook until they somehow wiggled it off the branch.

Ted rehung the feeder, came inside to drink his coffee, and when I got up, he told me the story of the “birdfeeder on the ground” and his raccoon theory.  We chatted about that for a few minutes, then moved on to other subjects.  About an hour later, Bear went to the door, asking to go out.  He likes to hang out on the deck in the morning, watching for squirrels or ducks or any other creatures that might appear.  He never goes after them unless Maddie does, but he likes seeing them first.

I got up off the couch, went to the door, and just as I opened it, I saw something big appear out of the corner of my eye, coming in fast from the trees above our neighbor’s house.  As I stood there in stunned silence, a huge hawk swooped down, coming in feet first like a runner sliding into homebase, and perfectly snatched a red-tipped blackbird off the birdfeeder.  He grabbed the bird in his claws, threw it into reverse for a couple of wingflaps, then slowly rose into the sky, gaining height until he landed in a big pine next door – where he sat and enjoyed blackbird pie for breakfast.  Even though I felt really bad for the poor blackbird, it was a really amazing sight, and Ted and I immediately changed our raccoon theory to the hawk theory, suspecting that the big raptor had been using the birdfeeder as his own personal McDonald’s on at least one other occasion.  Geez, I wish I could have captured it with my camera!

Birds have really kept us entertained for the last week. This morning we found a bird trapped in the birdfeeder. Greed was the culprit. When the feed gets down below the top openings, the birds sometimes hop through and end up trapped . . .


. . . until Ted goes out and lifts the lid, freeing them to fly away.


There are a few items I change out with the seasons - throws, pillows, silk flower arrangements. table linens - and I did that this weekend in anticipation of the first day of Spring. I opened all the windows Saturday morning, and soon a breeze was blowing through, and I could hear birds singing from every room.


I love all the different shades of green the trees show off in the Spring . . .


. . . but by far, my favorite tree is the old crabapple which stands in our backyard. For several years we've thought we were going to lose it, but it seems this year to be healthier than ever. As the sun was going down this afternoon, I spotted a cedar waxwing on a scouting mission. If he reported the status of the crabapple tree correctly to his buddies, by tomorrow the tree should be full of the birds, gorging themselves on the berries.


The lake was full of boats today. A lot of fishermen put their boats in at the park next door . . .


. . . and Spring means you never know when someone is going to show up at your dock for a visit. Stevie and Dawn stopped by today on the way down the river.

Yep – perfect weekend.  Hope yours was the same, and you spent it enjoying the great outdoors as much as you could.  See you on Friday!



  1. We didn’t have the perfect weekend like you but did have some hints of spring this past week. On Wednesday we had our first 60 of the spring and on Thursday our first 70. They were both beautiful days. So if you could send a little of your warm temps north we’d love it.

    The birdfeeder story was interesting. I thought it was a racoon causing the problem. Wonder if the hawk will hang around every day.

    Have a good week.

  2. You know, of all the things I miss in SoCal, I think I miss spring the most! Your pictures really bring it back to me. How lovely!!

  3. I too fell badly for the blackbird but seeing that hawk in action must have been quite a sight. Hope he doesn’t dine too often at the Horton’s Drive Thru and scare all the birds away. Love the photos-I’m waiting for buds to appear on my crabapple tree, it may take a little while but I’m checking every day! Hope the nice weather lasts a while for you. We had a couple great days last week but we’re back to freezing rain this week. Oh well, at least the calendar says it’s spring!

  4. We also had a couple of nice days, but rain started yesterday and it’s suppose to last for a few days here with temps going back into the 30’s later this week. Right now I take what I can get. Like Annie said, the calendar says Spring so it must be right around the corner now! I love the picture you took through the window!. I also love the hawk story and even though you may feel bad for the bird, that’s nature and that’s how things survive.

  5. I am SOOO ready for spring.

  6. I love your posts. I’m down in my basement office writing on a new manuscript and your pictures are making me want to go outside as soon as I can. I can’t wait till our plants start blooming. Especially the lilacs. Even though I sneeze and drip, I need that sunshine and fresh air. God bless whoever invented allergy pills.
    It’s 50 here now, but by Thursday and Friday we’re supposed to have snow and 27 at night. I guess it’s not time yet for the snowy southwestern corner of Michigan to have a real Spring.
    Poor Blackbird–I guess that’s life. Some days you’re the eater, and some days you’re the eat-ee. 🙂

    • LOL! Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug. Heard from a friend on the island this morning that they had lots of snow last night, and she had to go get her snowmobile back out. She wasn’t complaining though!

  7. What beautiful spring picture of the crab apple blossoms! It’s still too cold up here for ours to even sprout buds, but it is going to be warmer this week ( in the 40’s) and I have seen a few spots of green grass. What an amazing sight to have seen that Hawk so close – but not amazing for the blackbird I guess. Happy Tuesday!!

  8. Beautiful pictures Brenda! I am SO ready for warmer weather!!

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