local traffic


After more than three years of birdwatching here at Baldy Hill, we had the good fortune to provide dining services to just about every woodpecker known to these parts except for the Northern flicker. Yet we knew they were in the area because callers on the local weekly radio birding program reported sighting after sighting, causing me to lament (perhaps to the point of whining a bit) to James, “Oh, why don’t the flickers like us?”

Until yesterday — I was in town visiting my parents when I received a text from James, accompanied by a photo he’d just taken. The pic was dark, as the bird was sitting in the afternoon shadow, but it was a flicker, no doubt. And I was ten miles away. Oh well, I could hope he wasn’t just passing through and would be back….

And he was this morning, just a strikingly beautiful as I imagined — the polka-dotted breast and the streak of red across the side of his head, gorgeous! His stay was short, only about 10 minutes, before a grackle moved him along. We of course hope he’ll be back — all birds are welcome — but if not, we’re still really glad he stopped by. 🙂



new ground


Like in much of the Northeast, the winter’s snow is receding quickly and we find ourselves amidst a resplendent mud season. It’s our fourth thaw here at Baldy Hill and I’m no longer bothered by the muck or the dogs returning from our walks with filthy bellies from the wet dirt they’ve kicked up along the way. I’ve learned mud season is a bridge we need to cross before we can start spring’s much anticipated digging and planting.

But while the ground here is swampy, the skies have been mostly blue, discolored only by an occasional cloud and the thousands of snow geese that have been streaming overhead this past week. The light has shifted just enough indoors to show off the winter’s overlooked dust bunnies, so our spring cleaning has begun in earnest as well. And in my spare time, I have been exploring some programs that may allow me to go back to school and receive retraining, allowing me to break new ground as well in a different career path.

For now, though, there are still seeds to plant and a bit more waiting time, so we must be patient, no matter how greatly we look forward to the return of color, life, our spring.


gratitude sunday

gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • Signs from nature that spring is truly on its way



  • Early morning light


  • The adventurous and undaunted spirit of our Leni

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  • The peaceful, stunning beauty that follows a storm

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gratitude sunday


gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • The opportunity to meet some really great people at the craft show yesterday — always awesome to meet folks with similar loves and interests!
  • American Routes, one of my favorite programs on NPR these days; just heard Mike Cooley of the Drive-by Truckers, one of my all-time fave bands, followed by Marty Robbins, whom my mother saw live many times back in the day — great music for a Sunday evening
  • A yummy pasta bake for dinner tonight; it’s yet another snowy winter day so a belly-warming meal is in order once again 🙂
  • A lighter schedule this week, which will allow me to catch my breath after the super-busy days we’ve had lately
  • Time this afternoon to organize my studio and workspace; I need to do this regularly or else I find it too easy to become distracted, plus I always find things I’d forgotten about — today it was some vintage cotton feed bags 🙂
  • Two hundred years officially of my hometown, which kicked off its bicentennial celebration today!
  • A message from my uncle in Florida — my parents will be visiting him and my aunt later this month and he’s requested some of James’ homemade chutney and other goodies
  • The print I have the painting above. The original is a watercolor by Edmund Henry Garrett called Cottage Garden, Warwick, England and is property now of the Met. I find it difficult to be patient for one’s own garden at this time of year, especially with so much snow on the ground 🙂
  • Leni’s continued uneventful recovery from her spaying op last week — her stitches are scheduled to be removed on Tuesday and then we can finally let her jump and run and dive in snow banks to her heart’s delight
  • Finding a super present for niece’s birthday later this month
  • Health insurance again, starting today! We’re lucky to have overall very good health, but it’s still a relief
  • This fun little book arrived this week for me, thanks to a gift certificate from my brother (thanks again, Peter!)