Wintertime Miracles

Good afternoon everyone and welcome. It is great to see you today. Thank you for stopping by last week for my review of Victoria Avilan‘s ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange.’ Stay tuned for more book reviews in the future. Today I’m sharing some recent happenings.

For what seemed like weeks was actually only six days of rain. On days like these, I like to sit in my backyard under my lanai, sipping a warm mug of coffee watching the rainfall. It is very peaceful and the rhythm of the rain has a soothing and cozy effect on me. We can sit out here for hours enjoying each moment.

Now the clouds have parted and we are enjoying sunny days. A few days ago, we were watching the backyard and noticed a few things. We have various birds visiting us each day except when it is raining. They are such a magnificent sight. One day I caught sight of two local bird scoping out our backyard. One of the was a Goldfinch and the other was a Black Phoebe. I was able to snap a picture of both birds. I did a little research on them as well.

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Our Goldfinch is in the center of the right photo standing in the grass. These small birds love to feast on our wildflowers in our backyard and will come in numbers. They also like seeds and will eat sunflower seeds out of feeders. Only on occasion or when they are feeding will they eat insects.

They like open areas and will nest in saplings. Their small nests are tightly woven so that they can hold water. They mate in late July but can be found all year around.

If you want Goldfinches to come to visit your yard, plant thistle, dandelions, and other wildflowers. They are a friendly species.

www.allaboutbirds.org

file jan 13, 07 22 15img_1428Our Black Phoebe is sitting on my black quartz rock in the picture below. Did you know they are excellent flycatchers? Unfortunately, they don’t eat mosquitoes. They love to hang out in our garden during the day waiting for their next meal. They are seen year-round in Southern California. Although they prefer to be around coastal cliffs and riverbanks, they do well in urban developments provided they are near water and mud. They will nest under building eaves or hollowed out trees.

During mating season they court and when they find a mate, they are monogamous up to five years.  They tend to have two brooding seasons a year and both birds feed their young. They don’t like to socialize outside of breeding season. They have a piercing chirpy voice.

What makes the Black Phoebe stand out from other birds is that they do this action with their tails that you can see from a distance. They are assertive avians and will distract their predators. They prefer to stay close to the ground so they can scope out branches and other places for prey. They will catch insects mid-air.

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-phoebe

http://www.allaboutbirds.org

In addition to the Goldfinch and the Black Phoebe, we get hummingbirds in our yard.  It is fun to watch them buzz around our plants.

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This video was taken a few years ago, but the birds still like our aloe plants when they are blooming. As you can see, the hummingbirds’ movements are quick and short like a helicopter. They often hover in the air and they make a humming sound with their wings. They are the smallest bird species known and are native to all three of the Americas. They make small, but deep nests in foliage. They love ivy on buildings. They lay eggs the size of jellybeans and their offspring is incredibly small. They are very territorial and will push predators out.

Smart birds, they can remember every flower they ever visited and this count is often over 1,000 a day. They also need the nectar for their incredibly fast metabolism.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Annas_Hummingbird

I had the opportunity to witness a Hummingbird’s nest and was amazed. The birds were the size of a sewing thimble and were so delicate looking.
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What types of birds or a miracle of nature have you seen?

Thank you for stopping by today. I would love to hear from you. If you want to say hello or share about your bird experience feel free to do so in the comments. Be sure to visit next week when I’ll be presenting my review for Rachel Maldonado‘s ‘Shelvis.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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#Flashback Friday – My review of Suzie Carr’s ‘The Dance.’

Good morning everyone and welcome.  With the arrival of author Suzie Carr’s new book, ‘Beneath Everything’, people are talking about it in a big way.  However I wanted to share with you my review of her book, ‘The Dance,’ originally published on 29-July-16.  This book comes from the author’s heart and is one that you don’t want to miss.  Come see why Suzie’s work is so popular.  Read on.  #FF.

Hello Everyone and a warm welcome to you all.  Earlier this summer I finished Suzie Carr’s The Dance.  This book is the talk of the town so stop on by to see why.

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“You can tell a lot about a person by the way she dances,”  

Brooke from ‘The Dance’

Jacky is a dog whisperer who is very successful and loves her job.  Her family relations are strong and family comes first.  Jacky is sexually deprived which frustrates her.  Although she tries, she has little success.  She is quick to react and the tiger in her really emerges.  She is stubborn and does not back down very easily.   Despite this, she is a natural when it comes to the dogs and is able to get them to change their negative behavior.

A twist comes which totally changed the course of the story.   The author clearly describes Jacky’s frustration and her thoughts about her desire to turn back time to the place where she felt complete.  At the same time, she is forced to accept that some actions cannot be undone.

Brooke is a beekeeper who lives with her grandparents.  Her entire life is bees and it shows in her calm manner.  She hires Jacky because she cannot control her dog, a beautiful beagle who has been an asset to her life.  The tone of her voice is gentle, which reached out to me.  This character was an example of what a wise woman would be like, soft spoken, positive, and lives the life she wants the world to see.

Sophie is Jacky’s step daughter who lives with her.  She is very intelligent and grounded and mature for her age.  Her demeanor is very soft and peaceful.  A decision changes the course of her life, making her a strong young woman.  I was impressed by her determination for her long term vision.  Her fearlessness shows the reader that nothing is impossible.  It was beautiful watching this character develop.

However, Sophie is haunted by her past and ritualizes a strange memory that reminds her of why she is hurt.  Will she ever escape her pain?

 The Dance Book Cover

“Even her skin tickled as the light breeze blew in through the window, covering her in the romantic scent of a heartfelt high.”

Suzie Carr The Dance.

All of the characters are dynamic and complex.  The players are so well described that you get a sense that they are actual living people.  You will get into their heads and become aware of their desires and experiences.

The ‘mother-daughter’ relationship really takes hold right away.  The emotion that both characters share set the tone in these greatly written scenes.  It is easy to understand both sides to the story.  Both of them lead the reader along, wondering about the when.

Many times I was educated on certain facts as I was reading.  I picked up this book knowing nothing about bees and was actually a bit fearful of them.   Here the author goes into great detail about the experiences the characters had when around bees.  She visited a bee apiary for research, which is clearly seen in the story.  I applaud her for being brave and going for it.  Because of this, the characters are living the story instead of just playing along.  By the time I finished the book I had a much better understanding about bees. They add greatly to the story and the reader can see the affect they have on the characters.

The author offers many words of wisdom throughout the story that will enhance your reading experience.  You will feel your soul expand.

The author offers a sense of humor several times.    It will have you laughing.  The laughs are all in the right places and well thought out.

By the end of the story I felt like I had been on this incredible spiritual journey.  Suzie is a very passionate and positive storyteller who will grab your heart.  Plan your next free day for the ride and allow yourself to be swept away into the depths of your imagination.

Five Stars.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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