My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ABC Wednesday: Birds, Barns, Bling!

For this week's ABC Wednesday, I bring you a swarm of Bs!

From Beautiful Birds...

I looked out the window one morning last weekend and beheld a huge flock of birds in our two backyard juniper trees, breakfasting on juniper berries. They were so busy inside the dense evergreens, bouncing from branch to branch, that it took me a bit to identify them. They were Cedar Waxwings and Bohemian Waxwings - the first I ever recall seeing!

They were very bashful, taking flight (and refusing to return) whenever I stepped outside to photograph them. So I took these through the kitchen windows, and was pleasantly surprised by the results...

Cedar Waxwing on a juniper branch

Bohemian Waxwing

An unintended action shot as a Cedar Waxwing barged in
on the bigger Bohemian Waxwing I was photographing!

A beautiful Bohemian Waxwing

A large flock of robins had also appeared, and were gobbling up the berries that were falling at the base of the trees. (We never saw robins back in Big Horn until March!)

This robin reminds me of Michael Smith's brilliant photo,

One robin in particular amused me with his unique, bustling style of berry-hunting among the dead leaves...

To Bodacious Barns...

A beautiful barn on Beaver Creek Road
benefits from its Big Horn Mountains backdrop

An historic barn, no doubt bewildered by its new surroundings:
a golf course, businesses, and new housing developments.

And lastly, some Birthday Bling!...

A closeup of a bit of my very blingy birthday gift,
bestowed by my blogging bud Barbara in Old Blighty,
back on the "big day" earlier this month.
Know what it is? Leave your best guess in a comment,
the answer will be revealed in this very spot tomorrow!
(Barbara and AdventureJo, already knowing the answer,
must recuse themselves from the guessing game!) ;-)

And here's the answer...

How do you like my "special effects?" :-)

Bravo, Rose, you guessed correctly! Barbara's blingy birthday bestowal is indeed a pen, beautifully bedecked with blossoms, beads and jingle bells, no less! :-) She's not sure if it's from India, but she said the shop where she bought it carries a lot of fair trade items, so it very well could be.

Now be a good do-bee and go behold more Bs at...


  1. Befuddled by your pressie, bemused by your pressie....and you are going to make us wait until tomorrow????
    Happy Birthday anyway!
    Jane x

  2. I love waxwings and you got some great shots of them as well as the other birds. The barns are also great and fun bling too.

    Carver, ABC Wednesday Team

  3. Jane ~ Why, yes. I am going to make you wait until tomorrow. For I am brutishly barbaric and bad. :-)
    Thank you for the wishes! The actual day was three weeks ago, but I believe in celebrating birth months, not just days, so I'll use any excuse to stretch out a party. :-)

    Carter ~ Thank you! They are such beautiful birds, and were a favorite of my bird-loving grandmother, but if I ever saw them before it was back when I took no interest in bird identification. So I was very excited to see them - and so many of them!

    I thought the barns were very photogenic, and took a ton of photos of the red one back in August.

    mrsnesbitt ~ Hmmm... clever guess! Tune in tomorrow to see if you were right! ;-) (And thanks for this fun meme!)

  4. Please Miss, Miss, MIss! I know what it is Miss!!! (furiously waving hand in air) :O)) What gorgeous birds you had in your garden, never seen anything like them here. And I think your Robin is different to the ones I'm used to - obviously the UK Robin is the authentic one ;O)

    I would love to have the old barn converted into a house - what a wonderful building.

  5. They are beautiful birds.
    And happy BIRTHDAY!

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. By the way, you were beaten by two cats in my top of the class literary quiz - they got act, scene and line numbers too! :O))

  7. Dainty and beautiful!

    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

  8. TW! Wonderful pics of the waxwings, you lucky dog ;-). Right behind you-know-what, waxwings are one of our favorite birds, and we never see them anymore. You just take a look out your kitchen window and there they are!!.....unfair!! They are such beautiful, majestic birds and their coloration is almost second to none. Everytime we go by a berry bush of sorts, we always hope to see some waxwings, but haven't seen any in probably ten years :-(. Sending big hugs your way....xoxo

  9. I can't believe you got photos of cedar waxwings!

  10. You have some great pictures here especially the wax wings and I love your header and the reason for your blog name.

  11. The bird shots are gorgeous; they look like something from a bird guide book! Really lovely. I love the little guy pecking through the leaves too; he certainly has his technique down!!

    I think the bling b-day gift is a pen...a pretty one from India.

  12. A Barrage of Beauteous Birds. I would Beg for an early answer to your quiz but know that Capricorn Belles are stuBBorn Beyond Belief. (Beat that many B's)

  13. Graceful barns. Unfortunately the white barn has lost its bearings with all that development you mention. -- barbara

  14. Barbara ~ LOL, wave your hand all you want, child, I'm NOT calling on you. (I will, however, give you extra credit for calling me "Miss!") :-)

    I know, aren't Waxwings pretty? I'm aware there is a European robin, but am not sure how its looks differ from our American variety. I'll have to look that up later.

    Not sure if you're referring to the red barn or the white one for conversion to a home (I'm guessing the white one), but the red one would have the prettiest, most peaceful setting while the white one would be more convenient, alongside the walking trail system, near the hospital and across from a golf course (if that's your thing!) I love homes that were converted from old barns!

    As for my being upstaged by a pair of smart-alecky cats, yeah - I know. I saw them showing off! Had I known, I'd have provided all that extra info too, and saved the life of a tuna! ;-)

    chubskulit ~ Not sure if you're referring to the birds or the bling, but I'm pretty confident you don't mean the barns. :-)

    Spud ~ That's so odd that you haven't seen any Waxwings in so long! I wonder where they went, and why? I haven't seen our bunch since I took these photos, but if they show up again I'll tell them to make a side trip to Ohio and pay you a visit! I agree with you that they are beautiful to behold - those neon flashes of color against their tawny feathers are just amazing. At least you still have your Cardinals! Thanks bunches for the hugs, Spudly, I hope to get a chance to email you this weekend.

    Andrea ~ I know, I can't believe I saw them at all (since I've never seen any before!), then that I was able to photograph them with all their busy branch-flitting inside a dense juniper and their constantly flying off, and that I got such good photos through our window glass! Pretty amazing all the way around!

  15. Roger ~ Sorry, I meant to come back to you after answering part 2 of Barbara's comment! They are indeed, and thank you! :-)

    Island Rambles ~ Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed them! I've only had a chance to take a quick peek at your blog but see you're also a bird loving photographer who lives in a beautiful spot, so I'm looking forward to having time to visit and enjoy your photos! Thanks for your compliment on my header ~ that was a sunrise shot from our deck one Christmas morning. We sold that place last year, but I'm glad to have so many great photos from that spot to continue to enjoy (and share!) :-)

    Rose ~ Aww, thanks!! :-) I truly think I got lucky, and I spent a lot of time snapping away to get those. If only I had as much patience in every other area of my life as I do behind my camera! LOL

    That robin was so funny! He reminded me of myself when I'm desperately trying to find something, like a certain pair of socks in my sock drawer. :-)

    Thanks for taking a guess at the mystery bling! I can't believe only two commenters have even tried to guess its identity, so I'm going to wait a little longer before revealing it. Mwwwahahaha.

    Ellie C ~ Bravo! Well done, as always - having Burned myself out with the Bevy of Bs on my post, I'd Better not even try to Best your Barrage here. (Despite the fact you cheated with those two Bs in stubborn. LOL) And Blimey, the Bloody Brazeness, Begging for an answer to the quiz Before even Beginning to venture a guess! Tsk, tsk. Now you shall have to wait a Bit longer! :-)~

    veganelder ~ :-)

    Barbara (KY) ~ It does look a bit bereft and lonely among all that "progress."

  16. Haha, it's true the little robin tossing through the leaves reminds me of trying to find some item of clothing lost in the rubble on our bedroom floor!! The bird is way cuter than me though!!

    Yaay, I guessed right. I was 95% certain that's what it was, because I've seen pens like that in shops and I don't remember where they are from exactly, but I kept thinking either India or Indonesia.

  17. Such beautiful and clear photos of the birds!

  18. Rose ~ Oh, I doubt that! I'm sure you and the leaf-tossing robin are equally adorable. :-)

    Ah! See, you live where they have cool stuff like that. I, on the other hand, had never seen the like! I really love the jingle bells, which sound especially appropriate when I'm writing a check. lol

    CoffeeQueen ~ Thank you! Guess it pays to keep one's windows clean! (Though honestly, I didn't think they were that clean - I seem to have gotten very lucky with those photos!)

  19. Love what you've done to that photo of the pen, how did you get the fairy dust effect?!?

  20. Barbara ~ Completely by accident, so the faeries must have been involved! :-) I was having trouble with exposure with the dark backgrounds I'd been using and couldn't get the glitter to sparkle like I wanted. So I put the pen on a white piece of paper on top of a trunk beneath the office window (which you can see reflected on the paper above the silver pen tip), and kind of curled the paper up around the far side of the pen so the wood of the trunk lid wouldn't show, and ta da! I was delighted with the results when I downloaded the photo on my computer, it looked even more magical than in "real life!" :-) I'm glad you like it, and thank you once again for the very pretty pen!

  21. Great effect! And you're welcome :O)

  22. If there were points for memes I'm thinking you'd get extra for getting in three topics and for getting in topics that aren't related and that you might not otherwise find a good spot for! Especially the bling pen!

    The birds were my favorites and in particular, my favorite was the second one down - the Bohemian Waxwing. I love the pose in that one.

    Yoour "mad bird" photo is pretty good too which makes me wonder if birds often look mad or if it's just when you're taking their photo!!

  23. Jo ~ Thanks for putting such a complimentary spin on it, because using photos from a variety of unrelated topics in this meme because I otherwise might not find a good spot for them is exactly my strategy. :-) It really is a fun way to publish photos I've taken and wanted to share, but either didn't have time or thought a post just for them was kind of lame. And I enjoy the variety in some of these alphabet posts!

    I always like to hear which photo (or photos) was your favorite, so thanks for doing that. BW's fav was the first one and mine the last, but we both really liked the one you like best as well - it's nice when the critter you're photographing looks straight into the camera. Plus it showed off his facial markings so well - I love their black masks!

    That robin and that Mad Bluebird certainly look peeved in their photos, but most of the birds I've photographed look totally indifferent. Though I must say, the mourning doves always look patient and kind, the chickadees and goldfinches always look cheerful enough! :-)

  24. Thanks for the feedback. I particularly liked knowing that chickadees and goldfinches always look cheerful!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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