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lizziebelle: (crow)
Not a lot has been happening around here lately. The weather has been pretty dismal, with lots of rain and grey, broody skies. This does not help my feeling of being overwhelmed by the world. I do try to get out of the house every day, but some days I fail at even that.

I did make it to the wildlife sanctuary last week, where I found lots of lovely pink lady's slipper orchids (though not nearly as many as I should have; I suspect people are picking them, as I found a lot of flower-less plants).

pink ladyslipper orchid

It was cool and green in the woods, with lots of birdsong and ferns.


There's a red tailed hawk that's been hanging out atop the spire at the UU church downtown.


I've seen it there several times. Must be a good lookout place for it.

These lovely little flowers have been popping up in our yard. I'm told they're called Star of Bethlehem.


Speaking of hawks and backyards, my neighbors had to put a chicken run back in the trees because one hawk decided our backyard was an all-you-can-eat chicken buffet, and had killed several of the girls. No more chickens wandering around the yard, but I'm glad they're safe. And the guys bought a bunch of chicks, which are growing fast. They're so cute, and their little peeps make me smile. One of the hens is playing mother to them.

I went to see "Wonder Woman" the other day, and I liked it a lot. It's not perfect, but then what movie is? It was refreshing to see a strong female lead who was not just eye candy or assisting the men. I wouldn't bother to see it in 3D, though. It really didn't add anything to the experience. Save the four bucks for popcorn.
lizziebelle: (fox)
Yesterday was the first really springlike day we've had in a while. After a cold, wet, snowy/sleety/rainy weekend, it was most welcome. After supper, I went for a walk along the river, where the water was as high as I'd ever seen it. The moon peeked through the bare branches, where buds are starting to swell.

spring moon

The woods were full of starlings and red-winged blackbirds, all singing as the sun sank into the west. It was a glorious symphony.

I saw what I thought at first was a beaver swimming in the river, but when it climbed out of the water, I saw its long narrow tail and recognized it as a muskrat.


I know there are beavers around too, because I see the evidence of their teeth on the trees.

While I was busy trying to capture the muskrat, I totally missed the great blue heron until it took off and flew away. What a gorgeous creature! One of my favorites. I'm glad to see he's back this year.

Today we're back to rain, so no forays in search of the peepers my friends have been telling me they've been hearing. Perhaps tomorrow. I crossed over the river on my way home, and it's even higher than yesterday. I'm very glad I don't live closer to it!

So I see that more people are abandoning LJ because of the new TOS. I have no immediate plans to go anywhere, and I'm sad to be losing even more folks here. I do have a mirrored Dreamwidth journal, but this is still my primary residence, for now. I'm loathe to give it up, after all the wonderful folks I've met here. I hope you don't all leave, but if you do, please let me know where I can find you elsewhere on the interwebs (if we haven't already connected).
lizziebelle: (fox)
I have been in dire need of some spring, so on my way back from mom's today, I stopped at the Arnold Arboretum, hoping to find some signs.


The sun had disappeared, but it was still fairly mild. I found snowdrops popping up beneath the bare trees, and most of the snow was gone. One adorable little girl in a princess dress found the trees irresistible.


signs )

By then, it had started raining lightly so I headed back to the car and home. My spirit has been lifted by the little signs of spring I found in one of my favorite places. Hopefully spring will come for real, and soon!
lizziebelle: (crow)
Another festival has come and gone. It seems to take forever to get here, and then is gone in a flash. It was so good to be there, in a place that feels like home. Our little village springs up each year like Brigadoon, always changing but ever the same.

Walking along the drive one day, I happened to look up at the sky (I do that often) and saw a rainbow splashed across the clouds.


If that's not an omen, I don't know what is. It was glorious. A perfect reflection of the colorful village below.

I got to play my ukulele with my friend Snoo. I learned a new song: "Leaving on a Jet Plane." Shades of my childhood.


The weather was hot for most of the week. The only time it rained while I was there was early one morning, before I got up. My tent stayed nice and dry.


I saw lots of birds around camp, including a new one for me: an American redstart. I thought at first it was an oriole, but the patterns weren't quite right, and it was smaller. The pic above is a fledgling robin, waiting for his mama to feed him. He hopped around our kitchen area, and onto the grill. I didn't tell him we had cooked chicken on that grill the night before. ;)

I proposed having a write-in at camp for anyone who wanted to come and write. Two of my peeps took me up on it, and we wrote (and talked about writing) for three of the days we were there. I like writing with other people; it was one of the things I enjoyed most about Nanowrimo.

The last morning, when I went up to the lot to get the car, the sun was coming up and a mist was rising from the pond. It was so beautiful.

misty sunrise

A perfect ending to a great week.
lizziebelle: (fox)
Yesterday was just stellar. Warm, sunny, and breezy. The trees have finally leafed out, making the world green again. I walked downtown, leaving early for my class at the library so I could enjoy being outside after a long week in the trenches. I stopped at the little park by the pond, where I found what turned out to be bluebells!


Just a tiny patch, but after envy of my British friends posting lovely photos of them, I was glad to find some here. I found out this past week that someone in my hometown planted a patch of bluebells near the river; I don't know if they were there when I lived in Geneseo, but if they were I wasn't aware of it. As I am now about 400 miles away, I can't just pop over to see them.

mystery bird and other adventures )

This morning is deliciously cool and green and sunny. Just delightful.
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
Last weekend, it was so bitterly cold that I didn't leave the house at all. This weekend, it was so nice outside I couldn't wait to get out. Friends were feeling similarly, and a bunch of us got together last night to celebrate the fact that the weather hadn't trapped us in our homes for a change. It felt great to be out, and seeing people in the flesh instead of in pixels.

I went for a walk along the river yesterday, where most of the ice has melted.


more pix )

I wasn't able to capture the cardinals or the chickadees this time. But it was nice to see them; last weekend, which was the Great Bird Count, I hardly saw any birds at all because it was so cold. I'm sure they're as anxious for spring as I am.


Nov. 1st, 2015 09:46 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)
I did make it to Walden Pond today, and I'm really glad I finally went. It's a lovely place.


I was surprised by how many people were there; I expected it to be fairly quiet today. I guess it's a popular place, even on a cloudy November day. I walked all the way around the pond, and took one of the side paths through the woods and up a rather steep hill topped with large boulders covered in lichens.


Walden )

Still, even with all the tourists, it was a nice place to go to contemplate the end of the season, and bid the land good-night for the winter.
lizziebelle: (tardis)
This morning, I went to Rice Reservation & Lyman Pond in Westwood with [livejournal.com profile] urbpan and a couple others on another Urban Nature Walk. We met behind the high school, and after rambling about in the woods and stumbling upon a pair of snapping turtles laying their eggs, we finally found our way to the pond where there was a great blue heron rookery. That was wicked cool! One dead tree in the pond had five nests, all with a parent guarding babies.

Great blue heron nests




Great blue heron nest


May. 1st, 2015 06:29 pm
lizziebelle: (Giles hat)

Like the song says, I was up long before the day-o to sing & dance in the May at dawn, along with a bunch of other sleepy revelers. It was grey, but not raining (hurray). The Morris dancers, especially the kids, were great, as usual.

After our customary breakfast at S&S, a couple of us went over to Mount Auburn Cemetery to wander around and see what's in bloom. I never get tired of that place, especially in the spring.

Mount Auburn )

It was a lovely way to celebrate. Happy Beltane!


Apr. 13th, 2015 08:01 pm
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
It is finally spring here in New England! I found crocuses coming up along the bike trail the other day:

Yesterday, I went to the wildlife refuge, where the ice is finally gone.

critters and more )

Yay, spring!
lizziebelle: (crow)
A few minutes ago, I was sitting here watching CBS Sunday Morning when I heard a loud noise in the driveway. I thought at first it was my downstairs neighbors, who can be, let us say, exuberant. Then I heard it again, and my brain registered that it was a bird. A big bird. It was a turkey. I grabbed my camera and ran out in my slippers to catch her with my camera.

The other day, I saw a squirrel rummaging around in my window box planter.

I live on a pretty busy street, but I'm at the edge of town and near the river, so I see quite a variety of wildlife here. I saw a great blue heron fly by the other day. I can't wait until more snow melts so I can get back out into the woods to find more.
lizziebelle: (crow)

Temps have been above freezing for the past few days, and melting has occurred. Things have started to emerge from the snowbanks, and the sidewalks are mostly clear of ice. I had a nice walk today, all the way down to the park.

Soaring around above were several vultures, which are another sign of spring. They're back!

It's supposed to be in the 40's & 50's this week. Finally, finally, finally. Winter might just end, after all.
lizziebelle: (crow)

The male cardinal finally deigned to show himself and allow me to take his portrait. I wonder if it's the same one that woke me with his warbling at 4:30 in the morning last summer...

I'm becoming cautiously optimistic that this arctic winter will eventually end. It actually got above freezing a couple of times this past week, melting some of the ice & snow buildup. I finally got it all off the deck. I even went for a walk a couple of times, although I didn't go too far because we also had some sub-zero temps and there is a lot of ice. I don't fancy slipping and falling on it. No broken bones for me, thank you very much. And I don't want to jinx it, but it's been over a week since we've had more than a couple inches of snow. My back, arms, and shoulders are thankful.

I can't wait to get back out in the woods.
lizziebelle: (crow)
Snow, blah blah, cold, blah blah, cabin fever... here, look at this lovely cardinal hanging out in my hedge!

lizziebelle: (crow)
I've been watching the birds flit about in the shrubbery out back this morning, and I managed to catch a couple with my camera. Here is a dark-eyed junco, ID'd with the Merlin app on my iphone.

I highly recommend the app; it was developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and is really easy to use. You choose the size of the bird, major colors, and where you are, and it presents you with several birds it could be. It's worked perfectly for me every time I've tried it. It's probably US only, though.

It's so nice to see the sunshine today. Too bad it's not warm enough to melt some of the tons of snow we have. We've gotten more than 70" in the past 30 days. I'm 68" tall. For you Europeans, that's 173cm. Yeah. It's getting downright dangerous to make a left-hand turn these days, with snowbanks more than ten feet high on the corners.

At least it's pretty.

lizziebelle: (fox)

crisp, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Yesterday was another spectacular Saturday here in the frozen north, and as I was debating where I wanted to go to enjoy the day, the Arnold Arboretum popped into my head. I love that place, but it's an hour drive and I really didn't want to drive that far. But I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to go more, so I hopped in the car and made the trek into Boston.

I'm oh so glad I did! flowers! wildlife! )

Just before I left, I posted on Facebook where I was heading and invited folks to meet me there if they so desired. [livejournal.com profile] bettyw answered the call, but I didn't get her message until I had walked all the way through the park and back, so we met up at the visitor center and went to JP Licks for ice cream. I can't even remember the last time I was there, so that was a fun treat.

By then it had started clouding up and getting windy anyway, so I was glad I got there when I did so I could enjoy the sunshine along with hundreds of other people out enjoying the bounty that is the Arboretum.

In a month and a half there will be lilacs there, and I intend to go back and enjoy them thoroughly. Any and all are welcome to join me, so locals let me know if you want to join the expedition!

This taste of spring was just what I needed. It's been such a long winter.


Sep. 7th, 2013 08:19 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)

goldenrod, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

It was a lovely day today, too nice to stay indoors, so I went over to Framingham to check out Callahan State Park, which our handyman, Steve, had told me about. I wandered about in the woods for about an hour and a half, getting a good workout because it's quite hilly. I heard a loud knocking at one point, and found its source: a pilieated woodpecker! They're huge, the size of crows. I got one bad shot before he flew away. They sound like demented clowns laughing; it's no surprise that Woody Woodpecker was based on them.

I found unmistakable signs that I have mice in my house. A small bowl which used to contain nuts now has mouse droppings in it. I stopped at Lowes and bought traps, and told my landlord when he was here earlier. He said he has some peppermint oil that's supposed to repel them, and he'll bring me some next time he's here. I also bought some Lysol wipes because, ew, mousie feet on my table. And I cannot figure out how they got up there, and back down. Do they have little mousie climbing gear, rappelling down when they're through?

lizziebelle: (Default)

nesting, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Amazingly, it wasn't raining when I went to lunch this afternoon. In fact, the sun poked through the clouds a couple of times for a minute or two, and is now happily shining away. So much for the forecast. Not that I'm complaining!

So I decided to risk walking down to the park, despite dire predictions of thunderstorms. I peeked over the fencing at the nest, as Mr Prissy was on the other side of the pond, harassing the geese.

Guess what I saw? )

I wandered around the pond, and as I came around the corner, I spied another wonder: )

Oh, and on the way to work this morning, I saw a bald eagle flying over the bridge! So it was an awesome bird-spotting day. :)

lizziebelle: (Default)

nesting, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Amazingly, it wasn't raining when I went to lunch this afternoon. In fact, the sun poked through the clouds a couple of times for a minute or two, and is now happily shining away. So much for the forecast. Not that I'm complaining!

So I decided to risk walking down to the park, despite dire predictions of thunderstorms. I peeked over the fencing at the nest, as Mr Prissy was on the other side of the pond, harassing the geese.

Guess what I saw? )

I wandered around the pond, and as I came around the corner, I spied another wonder: )

Oh, and on the way to work this morning, I saw a bald eagle flying over the bridge! So it was an awesome bird-spotting day. :)

lizziebelle: (camera)
Not only was the egret back at the park this morning, but the great blue heron was there as well! They were both positioned in the perfect spot for me to sneak up on them, as there was a large tree between us.

great blue heron egret

Unfortunately, I was only able to get one useful shot of each before the DPW guy showed up in his truck to empty the trash, and they both flew off. But still, pretty birds! Yay!

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