Before the rain….

Mandevilla vine

Mandevilla vine

Mandevilla vine

Hanging baskets

Contain garden


Cypress Vine

Cypress VinePictures taken just prior to “more rain”; two days anticipated. It has been unseasonably wet and there has been tremendous damage in areas near by. My garden has suffered from “too much rain”; far fewer blooms. Today I was compelled to document the Mandevilla Vine climbing the closet organizer. The vine is growing from the white five-gallon pail. I couldn’t stop with three pictures!! #7 & 8 are Cypress Vine–successfully grown this season but a failure last year. Hummingbird with Canon.My plants were specifically chosen to attract Hummingbirds. I’m rewarded with many!!  (6:30 PM: Finally made progress transferring from Canon to blog. ~~ Challenges!!)

Lorraine in her backyard garden.

Cynthia visits Lorraine's backyard garden.12 noon: Goody, goody, I had a visitor!! I’m delighted when someone is interested in my garden!! When Cynthia wanted pictures with her smart phone, it provided the opportunity for pictures with my camera. (When was the last time you saw a picture of me??)

Challenges !!

Test picture with Samsung camera.It’s 12:30 noon as I start building this blog. I want comparisons between the old Samsung and new Canon. Also comparison images, between cameras, of Bluebird babies photographed from the new television set. True story: I spent the entire morning working with my two new electronics!! Had I studied the manual last night, I would have charged the battery. When I attempted to install information between Canon and my laptop computer, the battery needed to be installed and Canon turned on. It was a curious “wait” and “start” morning.  Between applications, I read the manuals for the camera and new TV.  Furthermore, I switched the antenna lead-in from older TV to new TV hoping to improve image quality of the Bluebird nest. It took over an hour while it automatically set up the channels. The picture looks good with my “going into retirement” Samsung camera. Next I’ll learn how to get images off the Canon and on the blog. Preliminary assessment: Poor picture quality from Hawk Eye Camera to new TV set.  ~~  Stay tuned?!  ~~


Test picture from Canon camera

Good grief; this is as complicated as a Rubik’s Cube!! It’s 1:30 and I finally figured out how to get images off the Canon and available for this blog. 1:45 and I can’t find the downloaded images!! 2:00 PM: Lost is found (but I’m not sure how to retrace my steps). When I decided to name this blog “challenges,” I didn’t envision the depth of that statement. ~~ OK, Canon image is sharper!

We’ve had a brief rain storm the last hour. Current outdoor temperature is a pleasant 80 degrees. I’m not “sweating” my projects (big grin).


3:00 PM and a decision has been made. Sansui TV is going back to BJ’s. I just switched the Bluebird camera connection back to the Vizio TV and the image literally jumped off the screen at me. It’s that good!!  ~~  Really hard rain at this moment!!


6:00 PM: I stumbled on a PBS program (at 5:30) that I thoroughly enjoyed!! The Wild Photo Adventures host was talking camera language I didn’t comprehend. I’m going to make a note (physically made a note) to follow that program.  My new Canon has features I’ve never used–but would like to learn.

Free entertainment !!

Squirrel on bird feeder

Squirrel on bird feeder

Squirrel on bird feeder

Squirrel Buster Bird Feeder9:20 AM: A casual glance out the window alerted me to another “happening” in my backyard. A squirrel was on top of the “squirrel buster” bird feeder. “How did he get the top off?”

Hummingbirds on the feeder

Female Hummingbird

Female Hummingbird

Hummingbirds on the feeder10:45 AM: For the first time, I saw four or five Hummingbirds circling the feeder. A male Ruby-throated Hummer was fiercely defending the area and others were forced away. (But the two on the feeder appear to be females?!)

Hummingbird & Mama Bluebird11:00 AM: The entertainment continues–and the squirrel is attempting to get the roof off the bird feeder!!

My own three-ring-circus?!


Mealworms for the babies

Mealworms for the babies11:35 AM: “Mama Blue” delivers mealworms to the hungry baby Bluebirds.


Question: Do you recognize some of the bird feeders? They were “for sale” at my yard “yard sale”–but didn’t sell.  They joined the other items in my cluttered backyard.


Repetition with black & white arrows

A little birdie told me”  they are getting weary of my same-subject blog messages. I looked up synonyms for “repetitious” and found it a delightful way to spend half-an-hour. Check the definition of some of these words?  Use One Look  Dictionary.
aeonian, alliterative, boring, dull, echoic, iterant, iterative, long-winded, plangent, pleonastic, prolix, recapitulatory, redundant, reiterative, repeating, repetitive, resonant, tautological, verbose, windy
I love the Internet!!  I find so much information about topics I’m interested in: Bluebirds, Hummingbirds, Turk’s Cap, Fuchsia, Jerusalem Artichoke, etc.  (And I find lots of clip art!!) One site takes me to another site, and it’s a fascinating journey.  Only a couple of days ago, I was researching a way to document the nest-cycle of the baby Bluebirds.  This is stimulating the grey matter in the old lady’s brain.  I don’t want my brain to get lethargic!!  I’m using Turmeric… as I mentioned in an earlier blog.
Here’s an off-the-wall change the subject.  (Note: new topic!!)  At work I was asked to type some information from hard-copy pages to the computer.  I appreciated an opportunity to do something during an otherwise non-productive afternoon.  I was delighted to realize that my typing skills are still excellent.  I’m a “touch typist” and my fingers fly over the keyboard when typing into a computer (and I’m accurate).  To brag a little bit: I was timed at over 1000 keystrokes per minute in years past when typing skills played a role qualifying for a job.  I’m so out-of-touch (play on words) and wonder “Do ‘they’ teach typing anymore?”  I don’t “twitter” or “tweet” or text but know that spelling has been reduced to abbreviated letters.  What a sad commentary: The younger generation won’t even be able to spell words.  I’m not laughing out loud.

Monday morning (not “Tuesday Morning”)

Hummingbirds on the feeder

Squirrel ran away with scoop for bird seed.

Squirrel ran away with scoop for bird seed.

“I heard such a clatter; I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter!!”  Oh, it was a squirrel running away with the plastic container I use to scoop bird seed from bag to feeder.  My backyard creatures are so entertaining!! Following their activities–and tending the gardens–occupies all my free time!! Waiting for #5 ~~  I hate to change the TV channel because I’m hoping to catch the birth of Bluebird baby number five. The world is watching for the birth of William and Kate’s baby!! ~~  Tuesday Morning is one of my favorite stores!!

One baby Bluebird !!

Next time perhaps, I should use a tripod so the pictures have perfect symmetry?! Hey, I’m just excited that I was able to see and photograph the event!!  ~~  At one o’clock the nest looked exactly the same as it has for two weeks.  1:45-1:47 and I’m curious because one egg looks slightly different.  1:50 and a crack appears.  ~~ I published the first batch of pictures at 3:20 while monitoring the TV and taking more pictures.  It’s 4:00 as I publish additional pictures.  Stay tuned; more to come.  (You think these are repetitious?  These are the best of one-hundred-plus shots!!)  I’m curious about Mama’s absence from the nest.  For days, and weeks, she has been on the nest every time I monitored it.  This is extremely interesting to me!!  Note the time stamps: All this in less than three hours.

The Bluebird nest before first egg hatched

First sign something was about to happen.

A small crack in the egg.

Watching the crack in the egg.

Continuing to watch the crack in the egg.

Watching the struggle to get out of the egg shell.

Watching the struggle to get out of the egg shell.

Watching the struggle to get out of the egg shell.

Mama just returned to the nest.

Mama returns to the nest.

Four more yet.

Mama Bluebird just ate the egg shell.

Ugly baby !!

Close up of ugly baby.

Mama has returned.

It can't hold its head up.

Will siblings soon follow?

Mama was jostling the baby.

Mama fluttering around taking care of details.

Close up of baby Bluebird.

Mama Bluebird, baby & eggs.

What's clinging to the baby?

What's clinging to the baby?

Will this be #2 ?

Feed me; I'm hungry!

and then there were three !!

Three hungry baby Bluebirds.7:40 PM ~~ Looked what I missed: Two more births!!  I turned to the evening news, and America’s Funniest Videos. I was only away from this scene for two hours.  In my humble opinion (and I’m a total novice), the two new babies made much faster recovery from hatching to heads-up and open mouth. Three babies resting.They are so interesting!!  The babies can’t hold their heads up very long but they can hold their mouths open.  ~~  God did a remarkable job in creation!!  (FYI: Infrared night vision from the Hawk Eye Nature Cam.)