First Sony Bird Pics

Yellow-Dumped Warbler, a winter visitor

Yellow-Rumped Warbler, a winter visitor

White-crowned Sparrow a winter visitor

White-crowned Sparrow a winter visitor

Western Bluebird on shed roof

Western Bluebird on shed roof

Western Bluebird flew just as I snapped

Western Bluebird flew just as I snapped

Western Bluebird checking me out

Western Bluebird checking me out

Spotted Towhee - spotted at last minute

Spotted Towhee – spotted at last minute

Scrub Jay - hopping around

Scrub Jay – hopping around

Red Tail Hawk at dusk

Red Tail Hawk at dusk

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco

Western Bluebirds on Old Fence

Western Bluebirds on Old Fence

I wanted to share the first bird pictures with my new Sony a 6000, a mirrorless camera which is very light weight. I was using the 55 – 210 mm lens to shot the pictures at my daughter Em’s house on Christmas Day. There is a learning curve. After using my Canon for a billion years, I found the Sony zoom lens works just a tad differently. I am in love with the depth-of-field and look at the fabulously sharp bits of wood fence, roof, etc. Yep, I need to use it more so that the zooming becomes second nature as it is with my Canon. Those of you from the colder climes, we are taking good care of your summer birds the White-crowned Sparrow, the Oregon Junco, and the Yellow-rumped Warbler. They are common visitors to our yard where I have bird seed out for “visitors”.

QThanks for visiting us. Now go have a crafty day.


Carlsbad State Beach Here We Come!

curls2 – One of the greatest things about living in San Diego is the camping with the grandchildren at the beach, so off to Carlsbad State Beach we go.

atthe beach

The first thing to do is hit the beach. Running in the water and jumping the waves. Digging for sand crabs is  sooo much fun. Also, don’t forget to bring your boogie boards and shovels.

beach riding

While Grandma and Papa get the camp set up, son takes grandchildren on a bide ride. What could be more fun?

We stayed for two nights. On the second night, Q and her hubby came to visit and we had a BBQ. Nothing tastes better than a BBQ while camping. The best part is we get to do the whole thing over again next weekend. 🙂

q8~To put in my two cents! So glad we were invited for a bbq. It was delicious and the company was awesome. I was so totally taken with the pouches of Brown Pelicans which would fly up the coastline and down the coastline. I guess they are not endangered any more since there were an awfully lot of different pouches flying up and down.

pelicans (1 of 1)

Pouch of pelicans flying up the coastline

Single Pelican Flying Low

Single Pelican Flying Low

It Was Worth The Wait!!

curls  – Guess who finally showed up?

allgrownWas I surprised to see two, new, baby Killdeer. This year it seemed to take longer than normal for the eggs to hatch, so I thought maybe the eggs were bad. How excited I was to be proven wrong. Mama was covering her babies, while dad was drawing away potential predators by playing the wounded bird. Now to wait for number three to hatch. Look at the adorable babies. They really match the ground. Notice there really isn’t a “nest” the way we imagine one. Killdeer lay their eggs directly on the ground.

Day 2: I got up around 6 am to get a picture of the whole family. What a unpleasant surprise I had when all the birds were gone. I knew from past hatchings that they leave within 24 hours. There wasn’t any sign left that they had been nesting there. 😦

Here Birdy Birdy


– I have been watching the birds get ready for Spring, so I decided to help them.

birdsandfood copy

I took a few oranges, stuck a large skewer through them, and wired them to the tree. I, also, cored an apple, hung a wire through it and used the skewer to attach the wire to.

I have been keeping track of a few of the birds that have started to show up. Here are a few that I have seen.


Lark Sparrow, House Finch, White Crowned Sparrow, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, White Breasted Nuthatch, and Oregon Junco to name a few. I haven’t seen any hummingbirds yet. I put up a hummingbird feeder for them and a swing that I made. Will share later. 🙂

What A Surprise!

– What a surprise it was to actually see birds in my bird bath. It has been months since I made my bird bath. When it was first installed, the bees took over.  Just before leaving for our Big Sur adventure, my husband noticed that the bees had swarmed into our attic. When we got back home, we noticed that yellow jackets had taken over the bees’ nest. The bird bath had been abandoned.

The ground cover, as you know, was eaten by varmints when we were away on on July adventure. The plants around the bird bath were left untouched and are flourishing. Walking outdoors the other morning, I was excited to see that birds were actually using the bird bath. By the time I got my camera, most of the birds had flown away. The hummingbirds were the first to take a drink. The other birds showed up little by little. The scrub jay came and went. You can just see him flying out of the picture in the top right corner. I have bought another bowl to make a bath in the front yard. 🙂

Biking San Diego Bay Part 2

– After biking on the ocean side of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, my husband and I went over the the bay side. Mission Bay used to be a saltwater marsh, the city started dredging it in the 1940’s to make a huge, beautiful water park with peninsulas and islands.

It would take an entire day or two to bike around the entire Mission Bay. We only biked about half of the bay. We started out on the southern most point. There is a path to ride, bike, skate, walk, etc…, as far as the eye can see. Further on, the path parallels the San Diego River jetty which is a wonderful place for bird watching. In the lower, right corner is a picture of me holding up the city of San Diego in the background.

There are so many beautiful flower to see in the gardens of the the homes and hotels you pass.

Our lunch was spent watching the fishing boats and the sail boats coming in from the ocean.  When we first sat down on the bench, the water was thick with birds. It wasn’t until a fishing boat came in that we figured out why. Off flew the raucously loud birds. It was crazy seeing how many birds were following the returning fishing boats. The area abounds in Brown Pelicans which were once on the endangered species list.

If you ever visit our beautiful city, you need to do a bike ride around the bay. From Mission Beach you can ride to Ocean Beach, La Jolla, Old Town, etc… 🙂

The Dog Ate My Garden – Really!

q8Who me?  Yes, you!  This is Hans – who shows his appreciation for my garden in a very unique way.  He eats my plants!!! We’ve never had a large dog before, I didn’t have a clue as to how different they are from the small ones we’ve had.  Hans is still a pup – he was born in September.  He’s a wonderful Golden Doodle – very sweet temperament.  Definitely NOT a guard dog.  My husband fell in love with this breed when we saw one working as a therapy dog a few years ago.  I was just too dumb to tell him no. lol!  When I told Alan that I was going to write about our “bad” dog, Alan said I’d better not make the dog sound evil. 😎

So this is the damage.  He ate:  All of the pea plants, an orchid plant, a butterfly plant, the marigolds, the chives, all the various herbs, the Job’s Tears seedlings, salad lettuce mixture, just to name a few.  He also dug up the cabbage as well as huge holes around the yard. See some of the damage.


I have to admit I was really getting upset. Solution so that I can keep my sanity?  I moved a large part of the potted plants to one side of the yard and put up that orange barrier tape so Pup can’t get to them.  Look how attractive. This is the new dog’s-eye-view.

It’s been a few days and the dog hasn’t beat the barrier yet!!  Hurrah!  So, today I planted tomatoes, banana peppers, basil, chives and onions.   The tape cuts off half the yard which includes my seedling area.  He ate all of the coconut seedling pots.  May not be an attractive addition to the yard, but at least I feel calmer knowing my plants will be ok!  Old friends visited me in the garden today:  a Monarch butterfly, a Gulf Fritillary (our home’s totem butterfly), and a Cabbage Butterfly.  Take that Hans! 😎

Just got this text from Barb aka Curls:

“Me bird watching.”

Of course I’m a bird watcher too and was glad she called to share the birds she’s seen so far: Northern Oriole, Western Kingbird, House Finch, and another flycatcher that wouldn’t land.  See how she still is resting that swollen ankle and bruised knees from Sunday’s biking incident.

Since both of us write in the blog, it can be confusing for readers to know who writes what.  Maybe you noticed that we tried “Q” and “Curls”- didn’t look really great.  While surfing blogs, I saw that another shared blog used tags so readers could tell the author.  So our new tags:

curls =  This means that Barbara aka Curls wrote the post.  She has her nickname because she has wonderful curly hair.

= This means that Susan aka Susie Q aka Q wrote the post.  In the 4th grade there were seven Susans and seven Stevens.  We had to come up with nicknames.  Since my family called me Susie Q I went with that.  Barb has always called me “Q” or “Q-bers”.