Birds!

DSC_7089 ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ -Henry David Thoreau DSC_7243 Although I love birds and love watching them, I do not know one warbler from the next. I have no clue what species this nimble nest builder is, but we enjoyed watching him/her weaving its pretty nest in the reeds.

We met this stately peacock in the zoo the other day, walking freely over the patio with an attitude of ” Why yes, I will pose for you for I am beautiful!” DSC_7167 And some more beautiful birds that were willing to pose for our camera… DSC_7296 DSC_7332 Love and Liefs, Johanna

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Spring Valley Wildlife Area Revistited

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Mr. Walker and I took advantage of glorious Spring weather and went back to our favorite birding spot Spring Valley Wildlife Area. It was midwinter when we last went there.

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We were not disappointed. Look at this Osprey…as if he surfing the air on a fish.

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The beautiful but ever so shy Sora. You have to look closely, so well camouflaged!

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Ahw, sweet little frog, basking in the sunshine

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This is a mystery…what animal did this?

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Mr. Walker’s favorite bird, the swallow.

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And look at these geese landing…after this we scurried along, they were pretty clear and loud in what they thought about us…

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This week…

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A week full of Spring surprises..have a cup of tea and I will tell you all about it. First of course, this pair of ears peeped from underneath the deck at the end of a nice Spring day…I wondered who they belonged to.

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Ah yes, a little raccoon…hungry awoken from hibernation.

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OK..it started raining, I let the little fellow have a good meal.

The garden was full of daffodils..but alas a few violent rain storms made daffodil season very short this year. Blue grape hyacinths proved to be of sturdier material. This little jug is just perfect for a little bunch, it makes me very happy.

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The vultures are back and every day there is a group of five ‘floating’ over our neighborhood,in the morning and in the evening. I wish to make a photo that shows all five gliding in circles majestically. They are an acquired taste but I think they are beautiful!

Of a totally different beauty are these tree swallows…Spring has not really begun without them.

Mr & Mrs Squirrel have properly settled down and are very territorial. So they actually prevent more squirrels from coming into the garden which is a good thing for the bird feeders. And I just love the idea that the adorable couple snuggled up cozily in their new home, lined comfortably with dry leaves and lots a hair from a shedding Charley.

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Talking about Charley…I was very surprised to find my darling girl nicely snuggled up too. She was very surprised that I did not approve.

Now she is waiting for the company of dear friends who will come and stay for the weekend.

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Ha, de lente brengt zoveel nieuw leven en verrassingen: kleine wasbeertjes, grote  gieren en snelle zwaluwen en veel regen ook. (vind ik niet zo erg) De eekhoorns hebben zich helemaal gesetteld en houden andere eekhoorns uit de tuin. In Amerika hebben we erg veel eekhoorn! Charley had zich ook comfortabel gesetteld..maar dat mocht natuurlijk niet ;0) Nu wacht ze op lieve vrienden die hier gezellig een weekend komen door brengen!

Love and Liefs, Johanna

This Week… and a Little Give-a-Way

Oh man…Facebook is still making me mutter, grumble and scream. I have decided to let it rest until I have had another meeting with my IT fellow…aka Youngest Mr. Walker, very soon. But I still know how to make a nice collage ;0) And no better subject than my sweet friend, Princess Charley.

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Tralalala…Spring Equinox brought glorious weather and yes…Spring has sprung and what better way to start it with cleaning up the garden and having a nice bonfire to get rid of the ‘winter debris’.

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A Spring Hike made us smile at these very hungry ducks and wonder about Mr. and Mrs. Goose: they lay very still in the water when they spotted us. Maybe afraid, we would be interested in their nesting site? But normally they will honk and yell and hiss, to tell to buzz off right away. We have never seen this behavior before.

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Started knitting some easter eggs and I liked the pattern so much that I went overboard and knitted a basket full ;0)

Then my favorite magazine arrived..indeed the Dutch version of Country Living. So often I am asked : ” Are you ever homesick for The Netherlands?” and the answer is simply “No.” We were very happy in The Netherlands, very happy in Canada and now we are very happy in America. But I do miss my friends and family of course and certain foods and this magazine is a monthly joy and little dose of “Dutchness”.

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This month even featured a jolly knitting pattern of these egg warmers…what fun.But when I finished four, I thought, what am I going to do with it because I have so many egg warmers already ;0) So I am going to give them away to my lovely blog friends and you all inside and outside the USA can join in. Just leave me a comment why you need them and Charley and I will raffle them of as fair as possible. It is close to Easter so we better hurry up and we will do this on Thursday.

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Ik word helemaal dol van Facebook en laat t dan ook even rusten totdat de Jongste Meneer Walker me weer wijzer heeft gemaakt. Ik kan nog wel steeds een collage maken ;0)
Het is wel heerlijk lente geworden, dus lekker gewandeld en lollige eendjes en vreemde ganzen ontmoet. En gezellig aan t breien voor Pasen al en zelfs in t Landleven (jaja, hoewel ik nooit heimwee heb toch  een beetje Nederland in Den Vreemde;0) stond een gezellig breipatroontje. En toen dacht ik, ach…wat moet ik nu met nog meer eierwarmers?? Dus ik verloot ze onder mijn aardige blogvrienden..laat maar gewoon een berichtje achter en Charley en ik verloten ze donderdag…Pasen staat al voor de deur dus een beetje opschieten geblazen.

Love en Liefs, Johanna


Winter Garden and Long Exposure

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We had snow yesterday. By far not as much as the poor people who huddle together now to stay warm in the Big Blizzard. But enough to make a Winter Wonderland and bring the return of this fellow. We are pretty sure by now that it is a red-tailed hawk.

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Just a few days ago,I made these photos. I love the ornamental grasses in the garden. They bring color and texture almost all year round. And they are good place for all kind of insects to hibernate.

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I was just thinking that it was about time to cut them. The previous snow had left the bushes rather wild. In the back of the garden is a little wilderness. When I cut the grasses, I leave the ‘hay’ in a big pile there. This is to save the insects and it is fun to see how much other wild life that haystack brings, seeing the little holes there and birds on top, searching for goodies.

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There is more beauty in a winter garden.

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And than I looked thoughtful for a while at this bird box. It is made especially for owls and it hangs there empty for a year now. Sometimes I see birds fly in at night when the weather is cold, seeking shelter. That’s at least something. There are at least two owls in our garden, because I often hear them at night having loud conversations and keeping me awake. You see my irritation?

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Than Mr. Walker and I played again with the new lens (11mm to 16mm) This is a very good lens to use for long exposure photos. When you do that at night, you can photograph the movement of the stars. There is too much ‘light pollution’ around Cincinnati of course. But still good practice and a nice result. By the end of the summer, we have planned a camping trip to Yellow Stone Park. It will be dark enough there!

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Nou even wat sneeuw hier maar dat is niks vergeleken bij de arme mensen die nu schuilen voor de ‘Big Blizzard’. En de mooie roofvogel liet zich gelijk weer zien. Een paar dagen terug, had ik foto’s genomen van t siergras dat ik binnenkort moet snoeien omdat t zo fraai in de zon en vorst leek. Die uilenkast wordt maar niet bewoond terwijl de uilen me snachts wel regelmatig wakker houden…
Er is hier teveel lichtvervuiling om echt long exposure foto’s te nemen s’nachts. Maar t is vast goede oefening voor de kampeertrip die we aan t einde van de zomer gepland hebben naar Yellow Stone Park.

Love and Liefs, Johanna

Happy Times…

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Happy Times at the  Walker Residence indeed with the oldest Walker Boy home for serious mollycoddling after working for than 9 months at an average of 12 hours a day (yesyes, proud mom speaking;0))

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That calls for the favorite apple pie, Cream Schnitz!

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With Eggnog of course…

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The oldest Walker Boy loves reading and book stores just as much….I am going with vintage murder mystery for my Christmas reading this year. Found these two bookish websites, very inspiring! http://kaggsysbookishramblings.wordpress.com and http://reading19001950.wordpress.com

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And we found some excellent Isaac Asimov books for the Youngest Walker Boy

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Young Mr. Walker got very excited when he found this copy of ‘Fantasy Wargaming’ by Bruce Galloway. ‘Provides an entertaining source book for aficionados of the fantasy role-playing war game of “Dungeons and Dragons” ‘ according to Google Books.  Should I worry about that other title…???

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The weather is mostly grey but the birds make the view outside lively and lovely.

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I am still working on my fiddly crochet project and reward myself with easypeasy yoga knitting…

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Finished my beanie hat. I am awful with selfies but Charley said ‘Me, me, me..I will model, pleasepleaseplease…” I said, : ‘OK but you have to convince your friend Kerry that you are really such a vain dog.’

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‘Ha, no Problem’, Charley said. So first ‘En profile’ and here with an ultra feminine Peggy Lee imitation.

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And then she got so sleepy and the sun ( shining for a whole hour!) was nice and warm…

Ha, een gezellige boel in t Walker Huis met de hardwerkende oudste Walker Boy thuis voor vakantie en verwennerijen! Grijs weer maar lollige vogeltjes, appeltaart en eggnog en ook nog een nieuw gebreide muts met een ijdele hond die wel model wilde zijn…

Love and Liefs,

Johanna

Ready for Winter!

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In the past weeks, I worked quite a lot in the garden getting it ready for winter. Not too soon because this is how it looked like this morning! Can you spot the bird of prey? He has a different notion of my idea of the bird feeding area in our garden he is eyeing…

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It is a kind of hawk, but I find it hard to determine what kind.

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So I trimmed back shrubbery and perennials, pruned trees, closed of the fountain. These hens and chickens plants should be OK in this sheltered corner. How I love that star shape pot.. another excellent and satisfying find at the local thrift for 3 dollars.

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Planted lots of snowdrops, my favorite bulb and told the squirrels to stay away from them! It is going to look so pretty come Spring!

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Like this illustration by Helen Jacobs in one of my favorite children books from my youth: the Dutch version of ‘Pow Pow Stories’ by Freda Collins…as you can see I read it over and over again.

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The Garden shed looks kinda cozy with the pots of Geraniums and the like overwintering.

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Ha, and my gloves with extra long cuffs for my extra long arms…just finished yesterday! My apologies for the blurry photo…apparently I was too excited to stand still;0)

Nou zeg, tuin en warme handschoenen net op tijd klaar want zo zag onze tuin er uit vanmorgen…

Love and Liefs, Johanna