Bird Watching

Saturday morning I was up and gone to meet my friend Paul at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.  His bird watching group was meeting there for a walk.  They planned to meet there because the Audubon group was also doing a walk that morning.  We all tagged along with the experts and saw a ton of birds.

Birds I have no pictures of, I did take my camera and try and take photos but they were just so far away.¬† They of course looked like they were right there through my binoculars but my zoom didn’t have that kind of power.

I did see White Pelicans, Terns, Cormorants, Osprey, Avocents, Tree Swallows, Coots, Ducks (Mallards and Cinnamon Teal), Killdeer, lots of songbirds and a bunny.

This place is 300 acres, right in Irvine.  It is actually only a mile or so away from our Irvine office.  Easy to get to and such a lovely place to walk.  I will be going back there!

 

Ducky

I was going to blog about this over the weekend.  But I was on call and it not one of those weekends that nothing happened.  Sunday I was on just after noon and almost eleven hours later I was done!

Friday I went for a walk at El Dorado. There were so many ducks.  Dozens of them.  Some coming in for landing, motor boating to a stop.  In one shot I had 20 ducks, in the water, around the shore.

There were also Snowy Egrets, and Hooded Merganser.¬† I was so thrilled with seeing the Hooded Mergansers.¬† I took lots of pictures but had to go look them up when I got home to double-check.¬† I think it’s the first time I have seen them in person.

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Neighbors

Several weeks ago after the poinsettia sale  Lori and I went to her school and picked up eight beautiful poinsettias and dropped them off at seven of our neighbors and the mail lady.

We got home from the weekend/Christmas/Big bear weekend and there was a box on our doorstep.  It was from Cissy and Alan who live behind us

Cissy has several hummingbird feeders in her back yard.  Her back yard backs up to our backyard, we share a wall, this is why I have counted up to 50 hummingbirds at one time in our back yards.  There are definitely fewer since they had to take out a big tree a couple of years ago, but there are still a lot.

I have dropped off a 25 pound bag of sugar at their house before since we benefit so much from her feeders.  Now I will be making some simple syrup this weekend and hanging this in our backyard.

 

Botany Boot Camp

Lori and I went to a Botany Boot Camp Saturday morning at the LA Arboretum.

It was a six hour class studying the terminology, concepts and structures needed to identify the 7 most common plant families at the Arboretum.

Five and a half hours in class going over the plant structures.  Leaves, stems, flowers, roots and other identifying parts.  We also went over lots of plant families.  My brain could not absorb everything, but it was lots of fun.

We ended up walking for the last two hours and looking at plants and trying to identify them from what we had gone over.  There was just too much information but then again it was called boot camp.

A cool side note was the woman who is in charge of the LA County Master Gardeners was also in the class.  Lori and I both signed up last year and were not chosen to take the training, but she remembered our applications and said they had so many and encouraged us to re-apply.

 

 

Beach and Movies

My dear friend Katherine flew in on Thursday night.  I took Friday off and after a good sleep in and breakfast in the backyard we went to Seal Beach for an afternoon in the sand.

It ended up being quite a bit sandier then we thought due to the very windy conditions.¬† We started out with the bigger umbrella, but after we lost it once and a young man named Clayton caught it for us we¬†switched to the smaller, earlier to tie down to our bags umbrella. Katherine ventured down to put her feet in the¬†ocean, I didn’t get that close.

Saturday we went walking at Eldorado nature park, my usual walk.  Besides a lot of turtles we watched a couple hawks swoop through.  One landed right above it and I got this picture although it is hard to see amongst the branches.  Katherine captured our 2 mile and then 1 mile loop on her watch app.  It made for a pretty cool map of our walk.

Saturday we also went to see the movie Dunkirk.¬† It was a very interesting movie, on the rescue of hundreds of thousands of soldiers from the city of Dunkirk after the German invasion.¬† It isn’t actually a move I had heard about but I found it very captivating.

Katherine also introduced me to Netflix and the show Call the Midwives. I realize “introduce me to Netflix” sounds like I am living under a rock, but the last time I had Netflix was when you got a couple DVD’s in the mail and returned them when you were done and they mailed out the next one on your list.¬† Needless to say, I’m almost through the first season.

 

 

Humming Bird Nest

This morning I was doing some weeding  and needed a break from the heat and so sat in the oasis for just a bit as it is nice and shady now that the vines have nearly covered the top.

A hummingbird buzzed in, looked at me and took off.  It came back, then landed on its nest!!!!  then left again.

There is a nest, oh so small, on the wind chime in the middle of the oasis.  I took this picture, zoomed it so everything looks bigger, but those little bells and beads are quite small.

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After the third flight in and out, I decided to leave,¬† I have no idea if there are eggs up there and didn’t want to keep the little momma away.

52 and exhausted

I turned 52 today.  It was rung in with cards, emails, texts, phone calls and a visit.  I felt very celebrated!

Right now I’m working late, hoping third shift is in before midnight so I can get out.¬† I technically got enough sleep this weekend but feel like I am needing a good nights sleep.

Katherine flew in on Friday night and I picked her up after work.  Saturday we slept in a little having gotten in around 1am and then headed out to see the girls in Calimesa and Katherine got to meet Coral!  It was a very quick visit and when we got back home no one wanted to go out or wait for me to cook so Lori went out and picked us up Thai food.

Sunday we all went out to breakfast and then Katherine and I went for a walk on the beach and having not enough walking and chatting in we headed over to Bolsa Chica and walked there as well.  We all managed to make it out to dinner and had a lovely time.

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Today I dropped her off on my way to work and when leaving I left Lori instructions to cook the chicken I had gotten for the weekend but didn’t cook.¬† Granted all I did was wash the potatoes and put them in the dish and left her directions for temp and time.¬† She looked up a recipe, added the herbs, onions and lemon and sent me this picture¬†of a happy birthday dinner.¬† She is going to have to give up the “I¬†don’t cook” if she keeps this up.

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I am a very luck (albeit tired) girl!