Sunday Sights

Life has been busy this past week. Consequently, pending posts are piling up. Which translates to, they may or may not ever be completed/shared. I am glad I gave myself A LOT of flexibility with my attempt at regular Monday posts. They wouldn't happen otherwise.

This weeks sights did not happen on Sunday...they are from
 Tuesday. I packed my camera and took advantage of already being on the road for an oil change appointment.

After finding swans, I decided to change my focus to looking for different ducks. No clue why. I never paid attention to the various duck species. I wished to photograph a Wood Duck. I have never seen one in person. They are so colorful!

I had just arrived at my destination and out of the corner of my eye I saw ~ EEKS ~ Wood Ducks!! I pulled over and tried to contain my excitement. I had to shoot through brush as t
he pair quickly swam away.  


I have the patience of a gnat, but Wood Ducks are worth waiting for. 15 minutes later, they returned.




There were other ducks floating around within reach of my camera.

Lesser Scaup


Blue-Winged Teal pair

I will have to try to get a better photo of a Blue-Winged Teal male.

Northern Shoveler

I was happy with what I found and headed back to my truck to leave. Suddenly, a large something came flying out of nowhere. It dramatically dove into the water in the distance. Multiple times. My exact words were "what the hell was THAT?!!" All I knew when I took these photos, was that it was big.

Update: What I saw was an immature Bald Eagle, not a Golden Eagle. Whoops! I thought it was awesome that ebird contacted me to let me know. Apparently Golden Eagles are rare, and this bird was not one. 

Immature Bald Eagle

I thought he was fishing

the amazing show lasted a couple minutes

eagle bathing

The eagles head was completely under water during o
ne of the dives.

the eagle flew away

then circled back for another dunk :)))

it was SO COOL to watch!!

Even with all the excitement of watching the eagle bathe, the highlight for me was seeing these two:

Wood Duck ~ female 

Wood Duck ~ male 


Sunday (In) Sights

Our Spring continues to be like a mixed bag of nuts. You never know what you are getting. 

unusual back lit trees

This view stopped both Brad & I in our tracks. Of course my phone doesn't do it justice. The light made the trees look silver. It was ever changing and only lasted for a few minutes.

Nature sights can be fleeting. Blink and they are gone.

a familiar sight, heading down to the pines

(tank, remi, jameson and leo)

Leo gets a lift

(see my funny 'stash, lol! I couldn't do that again if I tried)

Leo is SO dramatic

Poor kitty. He just can't walk any further.

He only likes to be carried for a short time off/on.

Leo has a big dog personality and makes the blog frequently. He has been waiting by the house to join up. It's cute, but I wish Leo would stay home. His little legs can't keep up and I worry about something snatching him up when he lags behind.

Our animals have it pretty ruff.

Tank pretending he is in jail

During our many cloudy gloomy days, my indoor blooms brighten things up.


re-blooming orchid

This orchid was a gift from my mom. It has bloomed twice a year, for close to a decade. I have another one from her (with purple blooms) but it isn't as prolific as this orchid.

Easter Amaryllis

Better late then never!  After years of only growing leaves. I think it overheard I was giving up on them ever giving me another bloom. Apparently my other amaryllis bulb wasn't listening.

Brad is really good at (re) creating work for himself

He started moving the lower pasture south side fencing further away from the trees. To create a path between them. When the horses switch pastures, he will do the same with the upper pasture.

The upper south fencing is the original fence that was here when we moved in (not hot). This new path will create an outer loop along the south side of our property. Once it is all done, it will give us more options for riding and walking!

I continue seeing many Cardinals & saw another Mourning Cloak butterfly.


Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life.

It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace.

~ Janice Anderson


making it a habit

We have (finally!) started working with our horses regularly. During a recent stretch of gorgeous Spring weather, we rode in the outdoor arena ~ three days in a row!!

Brad riding Cierra

It has been very windy, adding to our dryness. Dried oak leaves whip all over the place. The windiness brought out a couple minor spooks from both Koda and Cierra. There always seems to be one spot in any arena where monsters lurk.

I have been a-walking around trying to loosen Koda up. I miss my walk > trot > lope progression. When I am arena riding, I like to move out. I think Koda does too. I can feel and see him thinking, so is this when we pick it up? Regardless, he is listening really well at our slower pace. It is probably good for both of us. Altho boredom sets in quickly. Our rides are very short. I do a little in hand ground work with him. He hasn't done much in the past, and neither have I. 

We are a slow work in progress. 

I don't have my seat back yet. It has been so long since I actually worked with a horse, getting them back into supple shape. I forgot much of what I learned in my many years of lessons. Some is coming back. I think. On the other hand, Brad has continued weekly lessons for many many years. When we ride, he is a man of few(er) words. He is dialed into his horse, busy doing his own thing.

Lucky for me, my horse is forgiving.

Even when I saddle Koda. Which has been a struggle for me lately. I can barely lift/swing my heavy saddle into the right place. Adjusting it is out of the question. It either has to be placed correctly with minor adjustments, or restart with the saddle pad. When it takes three times, I am cussing like a sailor. Hopefully I will regain saddling mobility soon. For Koda's sake. He just stands there and looks at me. Wondering.

Brad rides much longer

The above photo made me think of Shirley. Thanks for the over the back shot reminder! I saw it and therefore took it, while hand grazing.

As for Koda's recommended weight loss and arthritis, this is where we are at:

Brad tried feeding a large bale a little at a time. Guess what? A split large bale lasted our horses the same amount of time as when it was put out all at once with a slow feed net. Needless to say, we are back to feeding one large bale vs wheeling it out daily in sections. It makes no difference. It is a lot easier feeding IX with a machine vs 10X by hand. 

We both feel what Koda (actually all our horses) need is to move. It is up to us to make that happen.

Harmony, Nemo and Cierra L-R

Koda was at the feeder
He is usually part of the nap club and Cierra is at the feeder.

I decided glucosamine would be good thing for Koda to try. There is a ridiculous amount of contradictory information on glucosamine supplements, and just as many products and comparisons and supposed studies. Dose? Also debatable. I should have asked the vet, but my guess is the suggestion will be to refer to the product label. Probably Cosequin. There are variables with that product too.

I just want reliable facts so I can make an educated decision. SO much with any health care is opinion based!! It is mind boggling.

The good news is, Koda does seem to be moving a little better just from regular activity. We have a long way to go, but things are looking up!

Is it supper time yet?

We rode outside again on Sunday, Monday and in the indoor on Wednesday afternoon. We need to work Harmony into our horse plans, or try to get her girl to join us once in a while. She seems to want something to do. 

Don't let Harmony's sweet innocent look fool you.

She easily gets BIG with her redhead personality.

(Leo photo bombed)

We plan to ride with gusty winds again today. Will see when the time comes. It might be another indoor ride.


Sunday Sights

Sunday was another beautiful day in the neighborhood! In WI we get outside while the getting is good, especially when there is nasty weather forecasted. 

Before enjoying outdoor time, we started our day with breakfast out and a few errands. Horses needed dewormer and we picked up some soil to refresh our raised veggie beds. Before you can't find any. 

We took a scenic way home. I was surprised how quiet our popular State Park was. The way I remember it in my younger days. In Summer, it will be mobbed and people will be turned away.

The lake was choppy, no boats or birds. Windy weather is not good for spotting wildlife. I had my doubts we would see anything along our drive home. Which is okay. I just enjoy scenic drives with my favorite human.

Birds get hungry, even if the weather is less than ideal. I spotted a hawk. I struggle with their ID. If I get them (or any other ID) wrong, feel free to suggest a correction. It would be awesome if you would share the differences you noticed.

Red tail Hawk

We crossed Lake WI on the Ferry and swung by a couple regular water viewing spots. It was super windy! There were only a few pelicans in the distance bobbing in the white caps. There is usually a large flock that stays through Summer. We almost didn't stop.

I decided to get out and take a closer look. Some pelicans flew in/out, or tried to. It was too funny! I was laughing. Then realized, one really shouldn't have their mouth open with birds flying overhead lol!

Enlarge to notice the interesting beak and eye details.

up, up and away

this flying chicken look-a-like was struggling and headed right at me!

a windy flight out of the bay

American Pelican flying in with the breeze

After that comical experience, Brad took a short boat launch road that I have not been on. I got super excited when I spotted a Kingfisher! I have never seen one in person before. Our conversation went something like:

Me: "Stop! STOP! There is a Kingfisher!!"  I almost jumped out of the truck.

Brad: "Hang on, I can't stop here." 

Me: "Just let me out. Let me out!"

Brad slowly pulls over and turns music down. He knows :)) I get out and quietly semi-close my door. The bird is in the distance and fly's away before I get close enough to take a decent shot. Ugh!! Always. He landed in the trees above the water. 

backside of a Belted Kingfisher

Who knew seeing a bird would make a person so excited. I could still see the Kingfisher. Altho now, he was even further away. I walked to the opposite side of the road, to maintain distance yet attempt to get an unobstructed shot. Almost, but there were branches in the way.

Belted Kingfisher

My wonderful hubby looped the road again. This time he waited for me at the boat launch. I stayed out of the way of a few fishermen heading out. I watched the Kingfisher waaay across the water before I lost his location. If only I brought the darn binoculars! Time to buy a pair and keep it in my camera bag. Any recommendations?

I found it interesting we hardly saw any ducks yesterday.

We headed home and enjoyed our Sunday afternoon outside. I'll share about that in a different post. Hope you enjoyed your weekend!


spring firsts

I was SO excited and surprised to see my first Spring flower today!! Amazing what a little sunshine can do. Yesterday flurries, today this:

little group of cheery crocus

purple is my favorite color

Ruby Giant Crocus

One of my favorite early bloomers!

On my way back inside, I couldn't believe my eyeballs when I saw something fluttering around our garage entrance. It flew off when I got a closer.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Isn't it a little early for butterflies? It was snowing yesterday. I couldn't help myself and googled to ID it. Below search results, this caught my eye:

What does a mourning cloak butterfly symbolize?

"It is believed the name of this type of butterfly "mourning cloak" represents the cloak worn by people who mourn the loss of a loved one. This type of butterfly is a symbol of "mourning" the death of a loved one."

After editing this post to include the butterfly sighting, I am heading back outside.


morning visitor

I had an early morning visitor join me as I was sipping my morning coffee: 


Helloooo, anybody in there?

4/8/22 ~ 7:34am

He perched on the patio door handle for a few minutes. Looking at me.

I sat under my blankee by the fire, looking back at him.

You know the saying "When Cardinals appear, loved ones are near".

Of course, it made me wonder...

I don't know how much I believe in the meaning of Cardinal sightings. Do you?

Cardinals for sure make me think of my mom. She let it be well-known it was her favorite backyard bird and spent endless hours watching them.

This cardinal only pecked the glass once, before flying off. Smart birdee.

It was a feeding frenzy this morning. Birds of all colors swooping down to the feeders and back to the safety of an oak tree. Fluttering around in scattered flurries.

We have had a lot of gray, rainy and/or snow pellet type weather so far this Spring. I've run outside to test if the snowflakes were photographable, multiple days. Including today. It appears fluffy stuff is a thing of the past. The white that falls from the sky has been wet and melts quickly. Not good photography material.  

icy snowflake

I heard a good reminder on the news this morning:

If you don't find joy in snow, you will still have the same amount of snow but less joy.


Sunday (In) Sights

Last Sunday didn't include any sight seeing for me. Not every Sunday can include breakfast out and a leisure drive throughout the country side! It put a crimp in my plans for a "venturing out" weekly blog post.

I still want to share some type of regular post on Sunday, 'er Monday about Sunday. You know, a Sunday Monday Funday post!! It could either NOT be weekly or be MORE flexible. Hmmm. I chose to try the latter, with a twist.

I am calling my twisted posts, Sunday (In) Sights. My venturing out posts, Sunday Sights. Not just from Sunday or Monday, but from the past week. So basically, I am just posting sights. LOL!!


The day after our lengthy vet appointment 
Brad wheeled hay slabs down to the feeder. Our pastures took on a different look. By 11:30am the horses were out of hay. It was as if our horses didn't know what to do without their big bale pacifier.

the feeding changaroo

Harmony, Nemo (in pasture behind feeder) Cierra and Koda.

Do you see any horses?
1 pm. 

I sent Brad photos & messages throughout the first day. Are you sure you put enough hay out...Should I put more hay out...They don't have enough hay...They are grazing on brown dead grass...Our horses are STARVING!

I watched the horses off/on all day. I thought they would be hangry when we brought them in for the night. Instead, they were happy to come inside and munch from their hay bags.

More hay was put out the following days, to make Aurora the horses happy. 

A funny thing happened with the feeding change. I've noticed our horses are not standing around the feeder as much. I can see it still has hay in it. Our pasture grass has not come up yet. They seem to be eating less and moving a bit more, and I mean a little bit. Our horses are still doing plenty of this:

all four horses zonked out
cherishing a rare sunny powder puff cloud kinda day


I continue enjoying daily woodland walks with 2-4 dogs. Rain or shine. M
ost walks include the small gray one that meows. I wish Spring would really spring here, but I do not want to wish time away. At least the paths are not icy anymore. Soon enough, my bulbs will grow and bloom cheery flowers.

Jameson & Leo

walking between the raindrops


My actual Sunday Sights included:

Aurora Lee (the 5th Aurora)

What a horrible selfie of me (the 3rd Aurora). Can't believe I am sharing it! There are very few photos of me with my grandkids, so I treasure the photos I have. Guess I am not used to seeing photos of an older me. 

a few of the eggs my three grands colored

See the blue egg? They have a fun egg coloring spinner that works great for little hands.

I was going to look for birds to photograph on my way home, but there were more important things I wanted to do.

Spend time with our horses. 

We brushed & clipped bridle paths. I was in the barn taking my time grooming Koda (he loves it and so do I) while Brad lunged Nemo outside.

I asked Brad to also lunge Koda. He has been a kite the past few first times outside. My torn shoulder doesn't need yanking. He listened really well and was anything but a horse kite. As I watched him twirl, I could see more clearly what the vet saw with Koda's right front.

I really need to do that research! 

first time in the outdoor arena

I also worked with Koda lightly, before tucking him into his stall.

Right before the rain started. Again.