I got up in the morning and knew I had to wash my hair. Since I was washing my hair, it seemed a perfect time for a major shower cleansing. Why? As there’s no such thing as “leaving the conditioner on too long,” I’ve discovered the amount of time it takes me to clean the shower is the perfect time to let the conditioner soak into my hair. I know Garry cleans the shower, but I really clean the shower. I found a tiny pinhead size hint of mold along the edge of the shower and went into bleach overdrive. When I left the shower, it was clean and my hair was better conditioned than usual.

Garry and I had agreed to go out and take pictures, so I woke him. I fed the birds. Noticed we are almost out of seeds again. We have hungry birds. They eat 80 pounds of birdseed every 3 and a half weeks plus 20 or so cakes of suet. They are expensive, but need all the help they can get.

The plants were wet. It must have rained during the night. I put fresh water in the trays for the birds and went back in. Made iced coffee, answered my comments, deleted a few hundred emails. By then, Garry was emerging from the bathroom.

Happy anniversary we called to each other.

I gave the Duke a treat and assured him we’d be back. He always seems sure if we go out, that’s it. We’re gone for good. He had a traumatic puppyhood.

Garry suggested we take the “farm road.” It was as good as any other route and is also the least amount of driving. It’s around the block or more precisely, it’s directly behind our house — about a mile directly through the woods.

I once tried to hike through the woods and got lost. My tepee was still standing and that’s how I found my way out. It was tall and white, so I could see it on the top of the hill. If it weren’t for the tepee, I might still be down in the woods. I’ve never tried woodland hiking again. It’s not for the for the elderly, wobbly, non-directional or unsteady. The ground is rough and pathless. Even in small areas, if you lose sight of where you began, it can be hard to figure out where to go next. Besides, there are wolf spiders in the woods. I’d rather face down real wolves than wolf spiders.

By the time we got to Ironstone Farm, it was around 2 in the afternoon. Garry charged around taking pictures of all the animals including dogs, goats, cows and calves plus a few people and the odd truck or three. I became entranced by the brush, flowers, fence and butterflies by the road. All those beautiful butterflies! That was also when I realized I couldn’t see anything. Sun blindness!

Nonetheless, I managed to take couple of hundred pictures before deciding I was thirsty and needed something to drink. The pollen was making it hard to breathe. My asthma has morphed into COPD and breathing is an issue. The fifteen years it took for Medicare to drop prices enough so I could buy an inhaler made a bad case of asthma into something far worse than it should be. Now, it never goes away. When I’m outside and there’s pollen, I’m wheezing before I take five steps. I’m glad they finally passed a “manageable medications” bill for Medicare. It’s a bit late for me.

By the time we got home, it was after four. Duke wanted his dinner while our dinner needed preparation. I was making Chinese chicken, so I had some chopping to do. As soon as I put the rice in the cooker and the chicken and vegetables were sliced and diced, I popped the cards out of Garry and my cameras and downloaded the day’s pictures.

What bird is this? Quail? Something else?

I started cropping photos and getting them ready to post, by which time I had to start cooking. My day was over. Just after dinner, I noticed I had pictures of a flock of birds on the farm which I didn’t recognize them. I looked up every bird that lives locally. I’m still not sure what they are, but I’m guessing quail. Anyone who thinks they know are sure what they are, please tell me!

Then, it was after 9. I hadn’t posted anything. At least had pictures ready.

If I seem to be neglectful of reading other blogs, it’s because I don’t have time to read anything. That’s also why I don’t get much sleep because I read at night and forget to sleep until I see dawn coming up.

I’m not kidding when I say I don’t know how I ever found time to work. Retirement days are so busy. How did I ever fit in a full day of work? Did I ever sleep?

Categories: #animals, #Birds, #BlackstoneRiver, #gallery, #GarryArmstrong, #Photography, Anecdote, Blackstone Valley, farm

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15 replies

  1. I think what you had there was a gang of juvenile starlings. It’s the dots on the body that make me think that and the beak shape but I’m no pro. But the beak is wrong for a wusil.


    • I thought so, but the white head are very un-starling and we rarely see flocks of starlings around here. I think because I was shooting from pretty far away, the colors may be distorted. The white markings could also indicate rose-breasted grosbeak EXCEPT for that light tan and buff head. I literally looked at every possible bird it could be and baby grouse (but I don’t think so, too small and again, that light colored head).


      They don’t look like the same birds, though the marking ARE similar. Owen has some of these same birds nesting near the shop where he works. He thought maybe they were starlings too except starlings are basically blackbirds.


  2. Love the photos, especially of the old barn! Glad you had such a good day for your anniversary! If those are quali, wouldn’t some have the little tuft on their heads and the stripe on their necks — or is that just westernquails?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some quails have tufts, some quails don’t — and the tuft doesn’t always show. It can be flattened down on their heads so you can’t see it.

      That’s why I couldn’t quite figure these guys out. They look like quails, but the feathers, coloring, and tufts don’t look like any of the pictures. I have learned that the bird you are looking at doesn’t always look like the bird in the picture. Maybe only mature males have the tuft, but immatures and females don’t? I couldn’t figure it out and I’m usually pretty good at it.

      Since nothing else seemed possible, I finally gave up and had to assume quails. Apparently the farmer leaves food for them in the shed. They come in flocks to eat. I imagine that would be a potent draw for them — all that fresh food. I’m told they taste good. Maybe he’s fattening them up?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, such wonderful farm photos! Sounds (and looks) like the perfect day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great way to celebrate your anniversary Marilyn. Great pics.

    Liked by 1 person

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