Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Sip and A Thought

Mexican Jay

I took a much needed break from birding. On the road.  Off the road.  It felt good to just do laundry, clean the dishes, get a haircut, and do.......absolutely......nothing.  The rule for the weekend?  Stay within a two block radius of the house and see what there was to see.  It turned out to be a fun game.

Bald Eagle-working with some of my photography from when I was in Wisconsin

I have been in a reflective mood lately.  Sometimes I just prefer to write while other times it's all about the pics.  So I write when I feel like it and put the post off until I'm in the photography mood.

Michael Summers' painting in the middle.  The photographs were taken from a photo shoot last year on a post titled Splash!

It has been a time of art and reflection for me.  I am burned out by it all and I realize it's important to take breaks.  So instead I began to watch my garden and my plants.  Work on and enjoy my discoveries this past year. A young artist by the name of Michael Summers contacted me and asked to use my photography for a painting on a Lorikeet photo shoot I did last year.  The theme for that photo shoot was capturing color and water droplets while the bird was taking a bath.  I was excited to see what he'd do with the photos and BAM!  He created a beautiful masterpiece!  Thank you Michael Summers for inspiring me.  Art is very healing and I needed a little magic to perk me up.

Still not complete but almost finished

There is a garden outside that needs tending.  All summer long it was enjoyed from my window.  Early morning, I would feed the birds and just watch as some plants burned to death while others thrived.  I have several cacti and fun plants to finish up my little area but it requires clean up.  Our fountain is finally finished after a lot of work and thought went into plant choices.  The rule?  Only native low growing plants.  Why?  Well obviously less watering, but also to attract more of our local birds and butterflies.  The rocks around the fountain base will allow for lizards to make that area home.  The rocks on top of the fountain will allow small birds to perch and sip from the flowing water.

American Kestrel

We have officially created a bird friendly atmosphere attracting some of the most incredible birds to our space.....Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Tanager, my nesting Cardinals,  a Nashville and Yellow Warbler, nesting Anna's hummingbirds and so many other birds.

MacGillivray's Warbler on our Argentine Mesquite

Before there was nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I planted the trees and the shrubs and the cacti....and it took a couple years for it to all establish itself.....but it happened.  And now the homeowners are taking part in this community effort.  One of the homeowners, John, brought the rocks and plants to El Presidio(a big thank you!!).  I am now President so I can oversee it all come together.  And it is.  I am appreciative to the homeowners who have taken an active interest in creating one of the most beautiful living spaces in central Tucson. Next project is the parking lot and then painting....:)

Horse Lubber Grasshopper
My first posts on Las Aventuras are all about gardening and plants.  Officially, I have passed over the reigns of El Presidio landscaping to other homeowners and it feels good.  With all the travel I do now, it was time consuming....and it was time to step down after 5 years of work. I hope they find joy in the work as much as I did.

Wood Duck

Now it's over.  I can sip my coffee on Saturday morning and Soon I will make another trek elsewhere, but not today.  Today it's all about watching the birds from my window, drinking the coffee, watching movies in my pajamas and of course....doing laundry.

Snow Geese fly with Canadian Geese over my parent's house in Wisconsin


  1. loved your jay shot and the wood duck. michael's painting is AWESOME!

    congrats on handing over the landscaping duties.

  2. LOVE the painting! And some of your tweaked photos look like paintings too. How nice to give up the duties after all these years and let others continue. Some, should just be down days. But laundry?

  3. Hi Chris, I know that I'm ALOT older than you, but I wondered how you could keep the pace you were on. Glad to hear that you have taken a break. Life is all about balance--and sometimes, we need to stop and put it back in balance. Hope that works for you.

    Love Michael's painting. Awesome. And your photos are terrific.. Love that jay.


  4. Wow, I love the painting, very cool! And your bird shots are beautiful. Your garden design is neat, I like the use of the rocks and the fountain. Great post, Chris!

  5. HI Chris I am glad you have the sense to know when you need a break. Rest and you will be revived. Love the painting and the Wood duck.

  6. that painting is fascinating, adds an extra thoughtful layer. I remember following along as you developed 'your' wildlife garden. How wonderful to be able to pass your birds on into caring and concerned hands.

  7. Your posts have gotten more reflective lately. It is good to step back and summarize our lives every now and then.

    The shot of the duck is beautiful!

  8. Your posts have gotten more reflective lately. It is good to step back and summarize our lives every now and then.

    The shot of the duck is beautiful!

  9. Teraz nie musisz chodzić i jeździć za ptakami. Teraz one przylatują do Twojego ogrodu.Zajmuj się nim i odpoczywaj. Pozdrawiam.
    Now you do not have to walk and ride for birds. Now they are coming to your garden. Deal with it and rest. Yours.

  10. I'm not surprised you're burned out, you went absolutely crazy with the birding! lol Michael's painting (and the collage) is AMAZING.

  11. Michael Summers' art piece is pretty neat!
    Is the fountain on the spot of the past pool?

  12. A very reflective post Chris - sometimes it is good just to stand back and take a break and try and relax and then return with batteries fully charged :)

    Great to see how well the fountain is progressing - you have done such a marvellous job establishing and creating the gardens. Am glad now you can relax more and stand back a bit and enjoy it :)

    Love the painting too :)

  13. Bonitas imágenes.. El pqueño búho de cabecera (header) es una monada.. Vey cool. Un saludo..

  14. An interesting result from the young artist - I'll remember it next time I see them around here.

  15. Hi Chris
    Lovely captures, some look like paintings, and are really beautiful. It's good to know you are taking a break Chris, and enjoying the garden.Creating a space is so rewarding, and yours has really come on since the last time I sew it.

    I'm sure that I have seen Micheal Summers paintings before! These are truely beautiful paintings.

  16. Wonderful painting and the jay shot is beautiful Chris..You have for photo..

  17. Glad you took a break. The garden looks good. And, do you have wood ducks coming to your fountain? ;-)

  18. I am going to make an attempt to get somewhat caught up with you, after several really long breaks! Yes, I am excited about the new camera, and can't wait to take some nature and bird photos with it! Having the manual only was a challenge and I wasted several rolls of film, but I did manage to overcome some of my problems with it as well. In the meantime, there were other things that cropped up--the computer crashing, for one! So, I have quite a bit of catching up to do. Wanted to tell you how much I LOVE the lorikeet painting...M. Summers had a wonderful inspiration from your photos, and created something really sensational! I am glad you were taking a small break from birding and traveling as you wrote this post. We all need that sometimes. Christmas is almost upon us, and we will all be distracted a lot with everything that the season brings. But, I will endeavor to continue visiting you as often as I can. Have a very blessed Christmas! And maybe the new year will finally bring us a chance to meet at last. :-)

  19. I was wondering where you had gone Marie!!! You'll get it all figured out:) Hope you are having a restful and fun holiday time right now. I am finishing up school this week with the kiddos and then it's freedom!!!!


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