Friday, February 25, 2011

A Quarter of a Century

Yesterday marked the day when I turned another year older . . . 25! A quarter of a century. :) It was such a wonderful and special day, though the end of the day turned out a tad different than what we had originally planned due to some unexpected weather . . . snow!

The morning began much like a normal day with animal chores, household tasks, etc., and then we had planned to take a special outing to Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area where we like to go bird-watching. It is a drive-through so it is a place where we can go when it is cold and rainy outside. And a lot of rain was in the forecast for the day so it seemed like a perfect thing to do!

We weren't far into the conservation area when it began to sleet instead of the expected rain, but it was pretty light so we continued on our way. It
generally takes us a couple of hours to drive through, and we had such an enjoyable time together looking at all of the different birds through the binoculars, and for me, taking a lot of photos as well. :) Daddy knows how much I enjoy photographing, so he would stop often to give me opportunity to utilize my camera, or to point out different things to photograph or different camera settings to try. He is so thoughtful!

We didn't see many different species this time around and no new ones for us (which wasn't very surprising), but it was such a treat to see all of the species that we did see. We also had about ten sightings of Bald Eagles which was really neat! Most of them were juveniles, and some even did 'acrobatics' in the air which were so fun to watch. I hope you enjoy some of the photos that were captured during our outing!

But be forewarned, the pictures are not very good, but at least they will give you an idea of what we saw and enjoyed . . . and there are a lot of photos so if you are not a bird enthusiast, well, this post may not be terribly interesting for you! :)

This is a very poor photo (so out of focus!), but it is a taste of what we saw a lot of . . . ducks taking off from the water. :) I enjoy watching them take off and land! In this photo, the Mallards took flight, but the Canada Geese stuck around.

A Belted Kingfisher . . . it was a treat to see one of these!

As mentioned, we saw a lot of juvenile Bald Eagles and one was especially neat to watch . . . he was sitting up in a tall tree and as we drove up and stopped, he then slowly took flight and thus, the following sequence of photos were taken . . .

Just about ready to take off

There he goes!

It is amazing watching those incredible wings flap! They are huge!

And he's off to a more secluded place to sit

Looking out towards the bluffs across one of the many bodies of water

A little Pied Billed Grebe that put on quite the show with diving and resurfacing. I always enjoy watching them!

A Coot (which is not a waterfowl species by the way :)

Leah looking at waterfowl through her binoculars

We were a little over halfway through our drive when the sleet turned to snow . . . which we hadn't been expecting!

The Great Blue Herons never let us get very close, but this one stayed long enough for me to take a photo of it flying away.

There are some beautiful views out at the conservation area! And it is very beautiful when everything is green and the sun is shining. :)

Another Bald Eagle only this one was in full adult plumage . . . it was so fun to watch this Eagle as he was doing 'acrobatics' in the air! It was amazing!

The snow is falling faster!

A group of mallards . . . these were by far the most common duck we saw, but we also saw Gadwall, Pintail (those are beautiful!), Green-Winged Teal, and Shovelers

Mom enjoying the drive

Can you see where a beaver has been doing a bit of work? :)

One lone Canada Goose amidst the falling snow

The last birds we saw before heading for home . . . three Canada Geese

As time went on, it kept snowing harder and harder . . . and before long, visibility was way down and the temperature was dropping below freezing so we decided to head for home. It took longer than normal to get home due to the snow, but it was an enjoyable drive.

The view (or lack of view :) from the window during part of the drive home

Because of the unexpected snow (and freezing rain which came later), we had to postpone the plans for the evening which was to have Ryan and Ashley over. It was disappointing that that didn't work out! But they should be able to make it out this evening instead, and I am looking forward to the enjoyable time that we will all have together tonight!

Anyway :), after returning from Eagle Bluffs, I was happily surprised to find a package in the mail from a sweet blogging friend . . .

Thank you so very much, Amy! (For the record, Amy makes beautiful cards :), and I am looking forward to using these ones!)

Once we had gotten something to eat, it was time to open presents after which Mom made a delicious peach pie (my 'birthday cake' by request :) . . .

And then we simply enjoyed spending time together as a family! Leah and I also utilized a few of the gifts as they were music books! What fun it was to play and sing together (both with fiddle and guitar, and then just the piano and our voices.) It was such a special and memorable day . . . how very much I love each member of my family, and I am so very thankful that the Lord has blessed me with them!


  1. Sarah---many happy, belated Birthday wishes! It looks like you had a wonderful day.What great pictures you were able to get and the eagles! OH! I have only seen one up close once, at a conservation program we stopped at a few years ago. They are so majestic.

  2. Happy birthday!!! :) sounds like a fun day! :) God bless!

  3. Dearest Sarah,

    Happy belated birthday! It looks as though you had a very joyful and blessed time with your family. The photographs you took were so sweet... God's creation is so beautiful, is it not?!
    May the Lord continue to bless you and your dear family!

    Your Sister In Christ,

  4. What a beautiful way to spend your special day. I send you wishes and thoughts for a wonderful 25th year. Happy birthday.

  5. Bonne anniversaire (of yesterday)Sarah.
    Your photos give a real picture of the day...but oh, what weather!

  6. Happy Birthday Sarah! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and leaving such a sweet comment.

    It looks like you had a wonderful birthday... enjoying God's creation is always at the top of my list too... except when it is cold:-) The Bald Eagle must have been fascinating to watch! And a beaver too! Wow!

  7. Happy belated birthday!
    Sounds like you had a wonderful day! I love bird watching. :-)
    Blessings for the weekend!

  8. Happy birthday my dear! I remember my 25th as I was flying home from spending time with my grandmother. :o) I loved your pictures! Esp. the one of the bald eagle in full adult plumage with the snow surrounding! Also the lone Canada Goose in the snow! Beautiful! Sorry your plans didn't go as planned but thankfully you had a good time and are safe and sound! ;o) May this new year bring numerous blessings!

  9. Happy 25th Birthday Sarah! I'm glad you had a nice day with your family! Wished I could have tasted your mom's peach pie. I bet it's delicious. I love pies. Apple crisp is my favourite so far. It's cute to see the hearts on the pie.

    I will also be celebrating my birthday pretty soon. I will be turning 30 in 9 days! We have not discussed yet what I want to do to celebrate my birthday yet but I bet it'll involve playing games, watch movie(s) and opening the gifts. But one thing I do know is that my mom is going to bake me a "Blueberry Cheesecake" as my birthday cake request. Yum! I cannot wait to eat it!

    Anyways, happy birthday Sarah and I hope your 25th year will be memorable. I know mine was. That was the year that I moved out of my parents' home and lived on my own. Still love it and don't worry, I went back to visit my parents at least once a week!

    P.S. Ok, it's driving me a little crazy and wondering what's the difference. I noticed you called the instrument "fiddle" instead of "violin" lots of time. I looked at your pictures and it looked like violin to me. What's the difference between fiddle and violin? Or are they the same but switched the old-fashioned name "fiddle" to new-fashioned name "violin"? Thanks.

  10. Wow, Sarah...25 already? Why, it seems as though it was just yesterday you were 22 and we had just "discovered" your blog! How time does fly...and what a lot you have accomplished in those few years!

    Your outing to the bluffs sounds wonderful. And I love the photos! I think my favorites are the Great Blue Heron (it looks like a piece of art!) and the Bald Eagle in adult plummage. I just love the winter-y shots when the snow began to could almost make an art series with them, ending with the 3 canada geese running toward home! Thanks so much for sharing those.

    Your birthday sounds like it was delightful...I love your "birthday cake," by the way!

    ~ Betsy

  11. Happy birthday, Sarah! May the Lord bless you richly in the year to come. It looks like you had a lovely day – thank you for sharing some of it with us.


  12. Happy birthday, Sarah! It looks like you had a wonderful day - your photos turned out just lovely, despite the rain and snow! :-D I especially liked the lone goose in the snow and the adult eagle - beautiful!

    Happy belated birthday! I hope you have a wonderful year ahead!

    Love in Christ,

  13. A very, very happy and blessed birthday to you Sarah.

  14. Dear Sarah,

    I'm so glad to see that you had such a happy birthday! You saw so many lovely birds!

    I love the photo of your peach pie, too. :)

    Our weather was similar to yours...rainy and then it turned to snow (we didn't get the sleet, though). I'm working on my post about my birthday right now! :)

    I hope you have a wonderful time with Ryan and Ashley this evening!

  15. So glad you had a wonderful birthday! I remember 25. It goes so fast. Happy Belated Birthday!
    God Bless You!

  16. Happy Birthday Sarah! I am glad you had such a wonderful day! A quarter of a century, wow, I had not even thought of that! Now I feel old. (not really:)

  17. Happy Birthday, Sarah! I am glad to see you had such a wonderful day (besides the weather!).

  18. Happy Birthday Sarah! It looks like you had a blessed day. Time spent with family and enjoying God's awesome creation is my favorite thing to do.

  19. The Canadian Geese in the snow shower is my favorite. We live near a wildlife refuge also........but we don't see snow OR bald eagles !!

  20. I hope you had a wonderful birthday with your family and hope the weather will improve enough that Ryan and Ashley can come join you all for more family fellowship! Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us! I pray that this next year in your life will be full of God's greatest blessings, many joys and muh laughter!

  21. Happy Happy Birthday! :D Sounds like you had a very pleasant day. Well you did say it would snow some more.

    I have a cousin in NY whose birthday is today! What a surprise to find out about you today! She is in her 60's but has very fond memories of her 20's. We are SO happy you had a wonderful day. Have a great weekend! :D

  22. Happy Birthday, So happy you had a
    great day, You are a very special
    person,God Bless you.


  23. Hello Sarah!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope that you had a very nice and enjoyable day! Thanks for sharing the pitures with us! I like the picture of the Belted Kingfisher. I don't think I have ever seen one of those before. Also I like the pictures of the duckes.

    I hope that you had a very enjoyable time with Ryan and Ashley.

    Mmmm...your birthday "cake" (or maybe I should say pie) looks very good and I am sure it was. I like the little hearts on the top.

    Happy Birthday Sarah! I am glad that you had an enjoyable day! Thanks for sharing with us!


  24. Thank you so much, Ellen! Yes, it was a very wonderful day. :) I am glad that you enjoyed the photos of the eagles! We used to not see these birds very often, but the population at Eagle Bluffs has slowly been growing, and there are more and more of them around now. They are such majestic birds and so amazing to watch! How neat that you were able to see one up close at a conservation program. I am sure that was fascinating!

  25. Thank you, Taylor! :) And yes, it was a very fun day!

  26. Thank you so much, Jenna, for your sweet note!! Yes, it was such a joyful and blessed time with my family . . . I love spending time together like this!

    Indeed, God’s creation is so very beautiful. I love going out in it, enjoying it and photographing it as well. How thankful I am that the Lord has blessed us with such beauty in His creation for us to enjoy!

    May the Lord bless you and your family as well, Jenna, and thank you again!

  27. It was, Suze! And thank you for your sweet comment! :)

  28. Thank you, Elizabeth! :) The weather does look kind of miserable, doesn’t it? It proceeded to snow, sleet and have freezing rain throughout the rest of the day . . . but now tomorrow it is forecasted to be in the 60’s so it should all melt then. Which I am thankful for as I'm ready for more spring type of weather!

  29. Thank you, Danielle, for your sweet comment and for stopping by my blog! It was so nice to hear from you here. :) And you’re welcome in regards to the comment left on your blog.

    Yes, my birthday was wonderful . . . and like you, enjoying God’s creation is one of my very favorite things to do! And times like what was shared here in this post are always very much enjoyed. Yes, the eagles were so fascinating to watch!

    Thank you again!

  30. Thank you so much, Anne! How nice that you enjoy bird watching as well. :) It is so fun to do!

    May you have a blessed weekend as well!

  31. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Nabila! It sounds like your 25th was a memorable birthday for you. :) I am glad that you enjoyed seeing the photos! The two that you mentioned were two of my favorites as well . . . especially the lone Canada Goose. That one was fun to photograph, too!

    Even though our evening plans didn’t work out on my actual birthday, we were blessed by having Ryan and Ashley be able to come over last evening instead so that was very nice!

    Thank you again! :)

  32. Thank you, Leah! And happy early birthday to you. :) I hope that your day is a very special one! Mmm . . . the blueberry cheesecake sounds good. Enjoy! The peach pie that my Mom made sure was enjoyed . . . and you are right, it was delicious!

    How nice that you go and visit your parents once a week! I am sure they love those times spent with you.

    Sorry to confuse you with the ‘fiddle’ and ‘violin’! I can well understand your confusion, though, as they do look exactly alike as they are the same instrument! A fiddle might be ‘tweaked’ a bit to make it easier to play as a fiddle, but they are pretty much the same thing. The difference, though, is in how they are played. And since my sister and I play more with a ‘fiddle’ style, we call them fiddles instead of violins. :) I hope that helps to answer your question!

    Thank you again!

  33. Has it really been three years since you first discovered my blog, Betsy?! It certainly doesn’t seem that long ago . . . you are so right, time is flying! I had kind of the same question as you did . . . 25? already? :)

    Our outing was indeed wonderful . . . how I enjoy times such as these! I am glad that you enjoyed all of the photos. :) And I had to smile at the ‘art series’ idea . . . it was fun taking the wintry shots of the different birds and then seeing the landscape changing from photo to photo as more snow would fall.

    Glad you liked my ‘birthday cake’! :) I’m not a big fan of cakes, so thus the reason for a pie this year. And it was delicious!

    Thank you so much for your comment!

  34. Thank you so much, Anna, for your sweet comment! It was a blessing to read!

    And yes, it was a lovely day . . . I am glad that you enjoyed seeing a glimpse into it. :)

  35. Thank you so much, Vicki! Yes, it was a wonderful day. And memorable too! I am glad that you enjoyed seeing the photos . . . and you are the second commenter to mention those two photos as your favorites! :)

    Thank you again for your kind comment!

  36. Thank you for your sweet comment, Joy! :)

    So not only do we share the same day for our birthday, but this time we also shared the same weather! :) We ended up with some freezing rain as well and now the trees are really heavy-laden with that and the snow. But it has started melting today and with a high forecasted to be in the 60’s tomorrow, it should all be gone soon!

    We did have a very wonderful time with Ryan and Ashley last evening! Thank you! :)

  37. Thank you so much, Amy, for your sweet comment! Time does go by fast, doesn’t it?!

    Thank you again! :)

  38. Thank you so much, Becky! :) A quarter of a century does sound kind of old, doesn’t it?! :) It has been a wonderful 25 years, and I am looking forward to the next 25!

  39. Thank you, Anna! It was a wonderful day . . . even despite the weather! :)

  40. Thank you, Lisa! It was a blessed day, and I am so thankful for that time we were able to spend together. It sounds like we are quite similar in some of our favorite things to do! :) It doesn’t get much better than spending time with one’s family while enjoying time out in God’s creation together.

    Thank you again!

  41. Welcome to my blog, Mrs. Mobunny, and thank you for your comment! How neat that you live near a wildlife refuge as well. And while you may not have the snow or eagles, I am sure you have a lot of other beautiful sights and wildlife to see! :)

  42. I did have a wonderful birthday, Miss Linda, and we had a wonderful time with Ryan and Ashley last evening as well! We were so glad that the weather cooperated for us to get together then.

    I am glad that you enjoyed the glimpse into this special time, and thank you so much for your sweet comment and for your prayers! That means a lot to me!

  43. Thank you, Angie! It was indeed a pleasant day. When the snow first started to fall, I thought of you and your comment as well as my reply. :) More snow! :)

    Happy birthday to your cousin! I hope that her day was a special one for her.

    Thank you again for your kind comment, and I hope you have a great weekend as well!

  44. Thank you so very much, Terry, for your sweet comment!!

  45. Thank you so much, Bethany! It was a very enjoyable day . . . and special as well! The pie was good, and it was beautiful, too, with how my Mom decorated it with the hearts. Almost too pretty to eat! :)

    I am glad that you enjoyed all of the photos. We don’t see Belted Kingfisher’s very often so it was exciting to see this one!

    We did have a very enjoyable time with Ryan and Ashley last evening! And thank you again for your sweet comment!

  46. Happy Belated Birthday Sarah ...

    Feb. 24th is also my son's, JP, birthday!

    I pray your 25th year is filled with abundant blessings from our Lord. I also pray you continue to grow in His wisdom and statutes.


  47. Thank you so much, Mrs. B. for your sweet comment! What a blessing it was to read. Thank you!!

    And that's interesting that your son's birthday is on the 24th as well. :) Now I know of two other people besides me who have birthdays on that day!

    Thank you again!

  48. I didn't say when I commented earlier but you always take such wonderful photographs.

    I'd love to see eagles in the wild but they're rather hard to come by over here (unless you're up in Scotland). We do have a lot of Red Kites though which is pretty cool because they were on the verge of dying out in the UK (I think they released 90 pairs in the early nineties which was very successful).
    Always love seeing your wildlife photos.

  49. Dear Sarah!!

    Happy birthday!! although I know that it's too late..:( I hope you spent a beautiful day in company with your family and my desire for you in this year is that the Lord blesses you and your family a lot, and you can continue serving and glorifying Him in all!

    When I have time I really like reading your blog and hearing from you! :) It was a long time without writing you and I'm feeling so sorry because of it....but I don't forget you in my prayers! I will write you an e-mail to tell how my life is going! Receive a big hug from Spain!!

    P.D Sorry for my poor English..I think it isn't better..

  50. Thank you for sharing, Amanda! How neat that you have seen Red Kites before, and that there are a lot of them around where you live. We have some species of Kites here in America, but none where we live, and I have never seen one before. I would love to sometime!

    I am glad that you enjoy the wildlife photos! :)

  51. How very, very nice it was to hear from you again, Elisabet! Thank you so much for your sweet comment . . . how that blessed my day! You have been on my heart lately, and I have been wondering how you were doing. I was actually thinking of sending you a little note, and then I saw this comment from you! Thank you so much!! And please do not feel badly about taking awhile to get back to me . . . I understand! And I look forward to hearing from you whenever you have the opportunity to write. :)

    And I would say that your English is better. :) You have been doing such a good job learning it! Thank you again, Elisabet, and may you have a very blessed week!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)