SQUARE, SPIKY, POINTY NO SPECIAL REASON ROSES – Marilyn Armstrong

Square, pointy, roses bought for no special reason
FOTD – March 24, 2019

My birthday bouquet was drying up and dying and Garry thought I needed something new. Something bright and cheerful. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what needs doing and how to get it done.

I even dream about it. And I’m also worrying about Garry and what would happen to him if I’m not here to take care of all the stuff in which he has never taken any interest. Like how the bank account works. Or where to find the title to the house.

Sticks, no stones

So there are the “no special reason” roses that Garry brought home yesterday.

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things, too.

SQUARE AND BEAKY BIRDS RETURNING TO THE FEEDER – Marilyn Armstrong

Square bright birds back for a big feed

The feeder was almost empty. The birds hadn’t been coming. I wasn’t sure whether it was because they didn’t like the food or they had personal business to take care of.

Maybe the food had gone off?

Perhaps they were nervous about the hawk?

Were the squirrels pushing them out of the feeders?

Or they off elsewhere and busy building nests?

Birds of many colors!
Hairy Woodpecker dines alone

There were a few. They would fly in, grab a seed, and fly off. And the big Mourning Doves had been gorging on the Red Milo which none of the other birds like but they love.

A yellow finch in flight and a waiting red finch
Red and yellow finches
More bright finches

But today, it rained and suddenly, everyone developed an appetite. Garry pointed out that we had to feed them because there was practically no food left. I had simply been waiting for the rain to stop. But I had to agree — somewhere along the line, they had gotten hungry and come back to the big buffet on the deck.

Maybe the squirrels and doves had eaten the food they didn’t like, but when we put out fresh food it was like the woodland telephone lines lit up and suddenly, out of nowhere … birds flew from everywhere.

Bright yellow and red birds, showing for the first time their breeding colors.

House Finch
Two finches and a chickadee and the tail of something else

The color changes are quite remarkable. The birds that disappeared were dull buff and greenish-yellow. The returning birds are bright red and brilliant yellow. Breeding colors because it may not feel like spring, but the birds know: it’s time to nest, time to make eggs and breed babies. And there is lots of food!

Love the tail pattern!

Which should, logically, mean that this year, at least, we’ll have a lot of birdsong in our woods as well as the loud clattering of woodpeckers. And very likely, lots of bushes and sunflowers and all kind of strange bushes growing along the deck.

I have a few pictures. I have a few more pictures, so this is the start, but far from the finish!

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things and this is one.

A SPIKY, SQUARE FULL MOON ON A MISTY MARCH EVENING – Marilyn Armstrong

A square, spiky full moon on a misty night

Last night, just as I was packing up and ready to go to bed Garry popped into the living room. He had already removed his hearing aids so he obviously didn’t expect an answer.

“I could be wrong, but it looks like a really full moon out there. You might want to take a few pictures.”

Of course, I wanted to take pictures. I’ve never been able to take successful pictures of the moon from this house. The trees have always been in the way. I do have a great lens now, but it’s not a fast lens. It’s perfect in daylight.

I thought it might work because the moon was so very bright, but when I realized I could feel the mist in my face, so I knew I wasn’t going to get the face of the moon. I hoped it would be clear tonight and maybe I make up for it … but it’s raining for real now.

Meanwhile, these are as interesting a set of pictures as I’ve ever taken.

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things and this is one.

SPIKY, POKY, POINTY, SQUARE PHOTOGRAPHS OF A CARDINAL IN THE WOODS – Marilyn Armstrong

Square, poky, pointy, spiky Cardinals in the woods

This time of year, the woods are definitely poky, pointy, and spiky. Before the leaves are out, everything has a sharp edge. It isn’t as lush as it will be later in the season, but it’s much easier to take pictures.

Later, the leaves will be soft and lovely… and it will be very hard to get a clear shot of anything except the leaves.

Summer. Good news and not so good news. Kind of like life.

Square, poky, pointy, spiky Cardinal in the woods

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things and this is one.

MORE SPIKY SQUARES FROM THE SUPERSTITIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

SPIKY MARCH SQUARES

Once I got to editing, cacti and other pointy things just went mad in my pointy brain! So here are some more square yet pointy, spiky, jagged pictures … and keep them away from your eyes! You could put your eye out with one of those pointy things!

I don’t even know what these are. Maybe the edges of young ironwood tree?
Cactus! Let’s not always see the same hands!

Those are some amazing barbs, too. You get close to these and they hop right on to your pants legs. These are jumpers!

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things and that’s certainly one of them.

THE SUPERSTITIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

The Superstitions: Most Jagged Mountains – 03/19/19

The Superstitions, known locally (I am told) as “The Supes” are a heap of jagged rocks. Nothing except cactus grows there. Maybe the odd bit of ironwood too. It’s pretty barren and very harsh.

Perfect for this challenge!

Not only spiky squares. Jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things and that’s certainly one of them.

SPIKY PINK CACTUS – Marilyn Armstrong

Spiky Pink Cactus – 03/16/19

It has been very springlike for the past couple of days, though it will be rather colder for the next few days. Probably because spring is actually coming and it always seems to get cold as the season technically arrives.

This is more or less normal in this part of the country. It’s usually in the low or mid-40s as we slide into spring. It’s not uncommon to get a few inches of snow in April, too.

More square pink cactus

Wet snow that feels slushy even as it falls, mind you. I need the snow to go away because I need to replace our mailbox. They will not deliver mail until we replace the box

Square cactus and it’s also rather pink

And I absolutely have to fix our chimney. It has been a seriously windy, stormy year. The chimney wasn’t in good shape before all the storms. It’s worse now and I don’t know how much worse. I have to get someone up there to see how bad it is and deal with it. A collapsed chimney is a big, expensive problem. Summer doesn’t last very long. We need to get to fixing things before we are into next winter.

I have to remember it’s not only spiky squares. I have to look for other things, like jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy things.

THE SPIKIEST MARCH WOODPECKERS YET – Marilyn Armstrong

More Spiky Birds in March – 03/15/19

They are redoing our bathroom today and we finally put the two Scotties in the crate and the flying Duke is on a lead. No dog is going anywhere we don’t want them to go.

I’m sure it will do them a world of good. Duke doesn’t mind all that much. He likes being glued to us anyhow. The crate is every dog’s favorite hangout, so that’s fine. Shortly, we’ll put them outside for a couple of hours. I just needed to let the workmen get their materials into the house before putting the pooches out.

So far, so good. Of course, the water is off so I sure hope no one has to do anything bathroom-related anytime soon!

I woke up and there was the Cardinal. I came into the dining room and he was gone — even before I got my hands on the camera. I just sighed. It’s a daily ritual.

I did take a lot of pictures the other day, mainly of our persistent woodpeckers. I keep changing my mind about which one this one is — Downy or Hairy. I think I see both and I was pretty sure this one was a Hairy, but I could be wrong.

Your guess is as good (maybe better!) than mine!

Hairy or Downy? I think he is big enough for a Hairy and that beak looks big enough, too. You think?

And remember it is not just spiky squares we are looking for, you can also be jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy.

A MORNING FOR BIRDS WITH POINTY BEAKS – Marilyn Armstrong

Spiky Squares and Pointy Beaks

Every morning I get up and peer out of my bathroom window. Every day, there is a Cardinal there, eating at the flat feeder. By the time I get to the kitchen, he is gone. Or he is there. I grab the camera. He is gone.

Junco and Nuthatch, sharing the feeder
Two birds who are NOT afraid of other birds … or each other

All the fun birds to photograph are the first to fly — except the woodpeckers. But they always eat from the back of the feeder. I know they are there from the movement of the feeder, but I can’t get pictures unless they come to the front. They do sometimes.

Downy or Hairy Woodpecker? I thought this was a Hairy, but I’m not sure. Seems bigger than the other one who I’m sure is a downy (smaller beak).
This little Downy Woodpecker is pretty funny and rather athletic! He also seems smaller than the other one …

I also think they are intentionally cute.

Earliest in the morning, it’s squirrels, emptying out the flat feeder. As soon as the squirrels left, I got the big mourning doves who are pretty good at emptying out the feeders too.

My morning squirrel
Time to go home!

They are really fat. Actually, all my birds are fat. The Juncos are particularly fat, though Garry thinks the Cardinal is the fattest bird he has seen to date.

He definitely can’t see his feet. His stomach is in the way.

SPIKY WATER LILIES IN THE BLACKSTONE RIVER – Marilyn Armstrong

Now, these are spikes!

I thought you might be tired of my cactus, so allow me to introduce the spikiest water lilies I’ve ever seen. We think of water lilies as flat, but they come in a lot of shapes and this one is very common along the shores of the Blackstone River.

Taken last November, but neglected until today.

Spiky water lilies

And remember it is not just spiky squares we are looking for, you can also be jagged, barbed, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and pointy.

Oh, and today is my birthday. I’m … gasp … 72. And still alive!

BIRDY, SQUIRRELLY, SNOWY, SQUARE, AND SPIKY — MARCH DAY 8 — Marilyn Armstrong

Birdy, Squirrelly, Snowy, Square, and Spiky – 8

The world? It is full of birds, squirrels, and snow.

The photographs? All square and spiky.

The month is March.

Remarkably, it will be officially Spring in a few weeks.

Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Probably a Hairy because that’s a real BEAK!
Hanging on with sharp little claws
Athletic, isn’t he? And he’s hanging on with his just two feet!
Pointed pickets in the snow – Photo Garry Armstrong

Happy spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and barbed’ squares!

ORIGINAL ANGRY BIRDS: SQUARE AND SPIKY MARCH DAY 7 – Marilyn Armstrong

Original Angry Birds -7- March Spiky Squares!

Whoever created angry birds must have had his eye on woodpeckers. I was watching them today. There were probably a dozen birds, many of them Goldfinches and the rest Juncos or Nuthatches and the odd Chickadee when one of the big Red-Bellied Woodpeckers cruised to halt in the flat feeder.

Every other bird jumped off the feeder and flew into the trees. They weren’t messing with a woodpecker. Those birds are wacko.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker at feeding time. That is some beak!
I think this one could peck MY eyes out!!

You can see it in their faces. Even on the little Down Woodpeckers, they all seem to be scowling. Definitely angry birds and even the little ones have longer than average sharp beaks and thicker than normal skulls. And they have an attitude: “Beat it or I’ll peck those eyes right out of your head.”

Look at the fierce face on this one. Angry bird ahoy!

“Yes sir,” say all the other birds. They aren’t messing with those crazy woodpeckers. Just look at their faces. They are, apparently, in a permanently bad mood.

And of course, this is why the birds are so miffed. I’m a little miffed myself!

Note that our mailbox has been squashed into the snow bank – and no, this picture is NOT square. Photo: Garry Armstrong
Our house in the snow from the street – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Happy spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and barbed’ squares!