Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ABC Wednesday: Enjoying Nature

It is ABC Wednesday once again, and I almost didn't make it. Besides having to work today,a painful, weird hand cramp last night made it difficult for me to type last evening. All is better now so I bring to you this week's letter N . . .

. . . Nest

It's that time of year: the robins, cardinals, and other birds here at the Prairie's garden are all busy making nests. However, I had to travel to Arizona to get an actual photograph of a bird's nest. And you'll notice it's not just "any" bird, but a hummingbird! Last summer I tried countless times to photograph a hummingbird in my garden, finally getting one rather far-away shot.

But the hummingbirds at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum were anything but shy. Housed in the hummingbird aviary at the Museum, these hummers were obviously used to human company, sitting placidly on a nest while cameras clicked all around them. Other exhibits at the museum included a raptor display and a reptile exhibit; native wildlife roamed the trails.

However, other than the reptiles, which we viewed behind glass enclosures--thankfully--the only wildlife we saw in Arizona were these metal art pieces for sale at the Botanical Gardens . . .

. . . and, of course, the gentle giant Bear.

While visiting my Daughter, most of my sightings of wildlife were much closer to home. A daily walk from her apartment took me to a nearby small lake.

Apparently, the ducks remembered me from my visit last December, as they eagerly came ashore and walked up to me without any fear. Or maybe it was that leftover sub roll I brought with me . . .

"Hey, lady, you brought only one roll for all of us?? "

I wish I had had a copy of Birds of Arizona, to identify some of the creatures seen here. This guy was seen accompanying a mourning dove, but I have no idea what kind of bird he is.

Nor can I identify this bird. He wasn't as trusting as the ducks or doves; even the enticement of some bread crumbs wasn't enough to let me get closer.

The swans were camera-shy as well and usually flew
to the farther bank to avoid human ogling. This little lake is just one sight on a long walkway/bike trail that winds through Phoenix and Scottsdale.

I walked for only a short part of the trail, but it is a wonderful place for residents and visitors alike to walk or bike and enjoy viewing some other denizens of the city.

Whether in Arizona or Illinois, there's nothing quite so uplifting and calming
as taking a walk and enjoying the simple joys of Nature.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

"Every day is Earth Day."

--Author Unknown

ABC Wednesday is sponsored by Mrs. Nesbitt: more posts can be seen here.


  1. Happy Earth Day to you too Rose. I am glad your hand is feeling better. This is a beautiful walk with all the nature in Arizona. Love the lake and baby bunny. So cute!

  2. Hello Rose.
    Oh, what lovely photos! This is the first of many visits to come to your blog. Your photos brought back memories of my years in Phoenix.

    I was going to post on Nest myself. So glad you did it with much more beauty than I would have. Ialso have a Nest in my Genology. Maybe I'll do that some other day.

    I really enjoyed my visit here.

  3. Happy Earth Day! I've never seen a Hummingbird anywhere but the Desert Museum in Tucson. I'm hoping they visit my garden this year so I can waste countless hours trying to get a photo of one.
    (BTW - the baby bunny is NOT cute.)

  4. What lovely photos. The birds and the little rabbit and the ducks too. You are so lucky to have humming birds.

  5. Hi Rose! What a fascinating set of bird birds have legs? But it is a cool bird! I always wish I had a handy set of audubon guides when ever I am in another part of the US...The hummingbird nest is marvelous...I have always wanted to see one. I've read they are constructed with spider webbing...Doesn't that sound like a fairy tale! Did you bring home any garden critters? I hope you have a marvelous Earth Day and that you have some time in the garden! gail

  6. Wow, that hummer nest must have been tiny. That black bird looks like its feet are made of Christmas cactus!!!!! That's freakin' me out a little. BTW, I ordered seeds of PPPP after reading about it in Gail's blog. I have extra seeds I'm happy to send you!

  7. Gosh Rose, I have only seen one hummingbird nest ever and I couldn't have taken a picture of it it was so high in a tree. Great pictures.

    The first duck is a hybrid of some sort, second are drake (male) Mallard ducks, then an American Coot, then Black-crowned Night Heron, and last Great Egret.

    I hope this helps you enjoy your birds more.

  8. Rose, I had to look really closely to see the nest. What a tiny one. Your photos of the ducks are great, wouldn't you love seeing critters like those all the time? I guess we do have our share of birds that other parts of the country don't though.

    At least Earth Day was a pretty one. Hope you enjoyed it.

  9. Nature. How wonderful these photos are - I have tons of hummingbird photos but have never seen a nest - they must be too small for my old eyes. :)

  10. Rose I enjoyed all these pictures much! That one dark bird had some might funny looking feet. I wonder what kind of bird he is? The next bird is really pretty. I don't think I have ever seen either.

    Thanks for sharing these fun photos with us.

  11. Tina, I think I may be getting arthritis; the hand pain was weird. I think the baby bunny may have been coloring eggs in the bushes:)

    Rosebud, So glad you enjoyed the visit! This was my third trip to Phoenix; it's a beautiful area.

    MMD, Aw, you don't think the baby bunny is cute?:) I did have lots of hummingbirds visit me last summer, but despite lying in wait for them, hiding behind a planter, they weren't very cooperative in letting me take their photos. I spent a LOT of time on photos of grass and sky:)

    Maggie May, I really enjoy watching the hummingbirds; they are definitely my favorite bird.

    Gail, When I put this post together I thought how foolish I was not to know the names of most of these birds, but I see Lisa has identified them all for me! No, I resisted the urge to bring any garden critters home; my suitcase was already full.

    Monica, The nest was tiny; wish I could have zoomed in even more to get a clearer photo. Yes, I would love some PPPP! I've been looking for it on websites everywhere. You ought to see the moonflower I planted from your seed exchange--it's growing like Jack's beanstalk!

    Lisa, I knew I could count on you to identify the birds for me! I knew that wasn't a swan as soon as I wrote that:) Wow, an egret and a Night Heron! That's exciting!

    Beckie, Now that I know what I saw--thanks to Lisa--I can appreciate these birds even more. I just wish I had place like this close by for walking; I would be a little more motivated to do it everyday.

    Tumblewords, I've never seen a hummingbird nest before either. And I am impressed that you have so many hummingbird photos! I haven't had much luck in getting good ones.

    Susie, Lisa has identified the last few birds for me--an American Coot, a Night Heron, and a Great Egret. Pretty cool, huh.

  12. I am so excited to have seen your humming bird picture, on a nest as well! Such a beautiful nest it looks too and it must be tiny :)

    Lovely post, as always. Hope your hand is better.

    S x

  13. Thanks for your great tour. The bird in the eighth photo is a coot! We have many of them around here. It has a white spot on its bill.
    Thanks for your visit. The Olav you referred to forced people to Christianity and was very hard, but then he was a Viking and used to this behaviour. William the Conqueror was a Norman Viking and just the same. The Vikings were everywhere in Europe, even in Russia, so they played an important role in the lives of our ancestors. The Vikings of today are the nicest people of Europe!!

  14. Such lovely photos! Nature is a most important N word.
    Many thanks for the visit.

  15. The humming bird on a nest is impressive! I had to look several times, because it looked to me like one large fat bird sitting on a branch!

  16. Wow, what a shot of the hummer on her nest. We sure don't have most of those birds up here;)

  17. I agree, Rose, "Every day is Earth Day." Certainly enjoyed catching up on your Arizona trip. Now off ... before I can head outside and enjoy nature, I must clean my nest!

  18. Happy belated Earth's Day Rose! Great shot of the Hummer in the tree. I've not had any success in capturing one these winged creatures on camera yet. Good job!

  19. Happy Earth day to you! I forgot to post on Earth day - oh well. Glad you did. I like your pic of the hummingbird nest. I also never get shots of them. They just flitter and fly away.
    That little bunny was so sweet sitting on the grass next to the trail. Glad he wasn't shy.
    Ducks are beautiful too.
    Great post!

  20. Thanks, everyone, for visiting. The weather here has turned so nice that I have been out in the garden instead of replying to comments. I hope you'll understand.

  21. Hi Rose, just checked in and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your photos...especially the hummingbird on the nest! My husband actually found a little nest he believes to be that of a hummingbird.
    I recognize one of the birds that you couldn't identify as a night crested heron...we see them in Maine in the summer. Happy Gardening!


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