Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Nature

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One autumn, several years ago, we found a wee baby snapping turtle.  He had hatched from his leathery egg not long before.  What a fascinating little creature!

 

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We liked to turn him over and see his shell in the shape of a vest underneath.  He was a friendly little guy, and seemed to enjoy all the attention he was getting.

 

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How do you do, handsome Little Snapper?

 

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Some day you will grow big, but for the moment, you are just my size.

 

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Come sit on my lap and lets be friends.

 

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We called this visit “All creatures great and small” because – look who we found next.

 

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A giant of a toad!

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Grumph.  No, I most certainly will NOT sit on your lap.

Thank you very much.

 

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And you shan’t sit on mine.

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Farewell.

*******


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Dear Lord, when things get hectic and living seems so hard;

I just go out and sit awhile within my own backyard.

For there it’s quiet and peaceful; beneath the shady trees,

And sunlight through the branches accompanies every breeze.

 

 

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There are a dozen shades of green designed to please the eye.

Chubby squirrels and hummingbirds, a golden butterfly.

The honeysuckle’s perfume permeates the air,

And though I do not see Him, I know God is there.

 

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The sky so high above my head is an electric blue,

And there are lazy cotton clouds with nothing else to do

But sail across the heavens.  And yet I know that I

Was given hope whose sturdy wings were also meant to fly.

 

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This old world that we inhabit is much the worse for wear.

Beauty fades so quickly and hearts forget to care.

But somehow I’ve discovered within my own backyard

A peaceful sanctuary… in which I find the Lord.

~  by Grace E. Easley

 

 

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*****

 

 

 


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Penny is perched here on our front porch with her binoculars, glassing that big tree across the road.

 

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Because it was in this very tree that we saw an eagle perching recently.

Yes, a real live eagle that lives nearby.

Here, in the pictures I took then, you see him high in that same tree, flanked by crows that were there to pester him.

 

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By zooming in as far as I could with my camera I was able to capture him like this…

 

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Wow, MAJESTIC!!

“of lofty dignity; stately; grand.”

 

 

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Here is a video I took as he sat there on that windy day, with those crows pestering him.  It is so amazing to see him alive and responsive.  Just look at that beak!

———-

By reading the Sibley Guide to Birds, we learn that a bald eagle can be 31″ in length, have a wing span of 80″ (nearly 7 feet), and weigh 9.5 lbs.  It can take 4-5 years to acquire adult coloring – that is the white head and yellow beak.

 

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Not far from our house at the Wildlife Refuge there is a nesting eagle.

My parents love to take part in watching and monitoring this nest.

They took these following pictures over there.

 

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Though in that previous picture, the nest looks almost like another weed head, it really is a huge structure far up in that tree.

 

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This nest originally was an osprey nest, a rather loose and bulky affair, but as the eagles arrive in our area first from their winter migration, this pair claimed the nest and added their own touches to fill it out.

 

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Adult male and female eagles look alike and take turns sitting on the eggs.

Usually two eggs are laid.

 

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Did you see that little head poking up?

Keeping the little ones fed is a full time job as they grow.

 

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Here is what the Refuge looks like this time of year as we watch the buds swell on the trees.  Soon the green will come.

 

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If you look over at this row of pine trees, you will see that I boxed in the location of the eagles’ own original nest.

 

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Since the eagles have moved to larger quarters,

someone else took up residence in this vacated nest…

 

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Now, what do you think of that?  A Canada Goose!

I looked that up in The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior and found that though Canada Geese often nest on the ground, they do at times choose unusual nest sites such as old eagle or osprey nests.

My, my!  Dad says that the little goslings better watch out for that first step, its bound to be a BIG one.

 

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Almost Majestic.

_______________________________________________

*****

“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians,

and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”

Exodus 19:4

*****


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Spring has officially begun, but here in Western New York, the landscape in March still looks a little bleak.  What really lets us know that spring is on its way are the smells and sounds that are awakening after a snowy winter.

I took Penny exploring one morning recently and together we enjoyed gazing across the hills and poking about in the hedgerows.  Penny found this little hooked branch that looked as if it was meant for her to sit in.  Not quite a swing, but rather fun just the same.

 

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We found many fun places to explore, piles of rocks, aging wood, and the morning sunshine streaming through secret paths.

 

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It is thrilling to see that the tree buds are swelling, they hold delightful promise of greenery soon to come.

 

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Then under this evergreen, Penny spotted a fallen robin’s nest from last year.  We love robins; they are returning now as a welcome sign of spring.

 

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We also love to watch for the coming of the pussy willows!

Pardon my gloves in the picture.

 

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The snowdrops are the first flowers to show themselves, then crocuses too.

 

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Hello pretty robin in the maple tree, won’t you sing us your sweet song?

 

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Later, I planted the first box in the garden with the early seeds of beets, carrots, swiss chard and such.  The silkie chickens are my inspectors, keeping a close eye on what I’m up to.  It was warm enough to leave my coat off, and no freezing fingers, yay!  Its time to get the rest of the garden weeded, don’t you think?

 

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As I worked the geese were flying overhead.

 

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The hillside looks grey but color is coming soon.

 

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I like this shot of the geese in air as they “honk, honk, honk” overhead!!

 

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Rustic beauty.

 

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But winter reminds us that it isn’t far gone.  Just a few days after our hike, we had freezing rain.

It really was pretty coating everything, even the old weeds.

 

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And ice covered crabapples are pretty too.

 

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But never you fear, spring is really here…

 

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Bless the Lord, O my soul.  O Lord my God, Thou art very great;

The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works.

The trees of the Lord are full of sap,  … the birds make their nests:

He appointed the moon for seasons; the sun knoweth his going down.

O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! … the earth is full of Thy riches.

Thou renewest the face of the earth.

The Lord shall rejoice in His works.

I will sing unto the Lord…my meditation of Him shall be sweet.

Praise ye the Lord.

(Little snippets of the beautiful Psalm 104)

 


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We have had such a mild winter this year, the temperatures have often been above freezing, so we are sorry that we haven’t seen much snow.  This past week we had such a mighty snowfall, all in one day, that Penny begged to go out and play.  I donned my big boots and lots of layers and out I went to play with her.  I had to carry her through the deep snow, glad for my snow boots and wool socks.

 

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Pardon the snowflake that looks like Penny’s mustache here, but it was snowing pretty heavily.  Too bad the camera doesn’t catch its movement.  Or the sound.  I love the quiet sound of snow falling.

 

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Penny was pretending she was a rabbit and digging a deep underground burrow.

 

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And now she is a bird in a tree.  She was fascinated by this cup of snow, formed by the remains of a tulip tree blossom.

 

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Wow, Penny, aren’t you getting cold out here in the snow?  Yes, she says, and might she just sit a spell inside my warm alpaca hat?  This is one I spun and knit from the fleece shorn off my own alpaca, Snufflesworth.  It makes a very warm hat for me, and a warm place to rest if you are a little bit of a person and a little bit chilled.

 

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But please, she begs, don’t lets go inside yet, I’d like to ride my donkey over the snow banks for a while.

 

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We have a real live donkey named Dinklepuss on our farm, and this is Penny’s own miniature Dinklepuss.  He has the same big ears and gentle eyes.  Only he is made of resin.  Isn’t he cute?

 

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The next morning, after our outside jaunt, I captured a picture of these ice flakes on our window.  What splendid miniature artwork!

 

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And two days later, such a glorious morning of sunshine, but alas, the snow is all melting today.

 

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The suet bird feeder on the porch has been a busy place. Here I only have shown sparrows, but we have also had juncos and woodpeckers regularly that are fun to watch as they peck away at the seed while swinging in the breeze.

 

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Oh, look!  Here are little birdie tracks, hop, hop, hopping along in the melting snow.    I’m glad we had our play day out when the snow was cold and deep and fluffy.

 

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It is windy today, don’t you love how that horse tail is swooshing back in the breeze?  I like to see the little paths that the horses make through the snow in their pasture.  How do they decide which way to go?

 

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This last picture is rather pretty, though I think it is sad to watch the snow melt so soon.  The early sun was shining across the dimpled surface as more and more grass appeared.

 

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The End.  I’m glad that we could share these snow adventures with you, we are thankful to live in a place with such varied beauties outdoors.

What a wonder-filled world God has made.