Sunday, April 23, 2017

Celebrating Dad's Birthday

Dad's birthday was this past week and it also was Aurora's due date so while we had things planned to do for his special day, we also needed to keep an eye on her so came home a couple of times to check on her. We began the day by heading out to one of our favorite conservation areas to do some bird watching and walking. It was a lovely day . . . somewhat cool with a warm sun and a gentle breeze.

It was really enjoyable to be out in it soaking in the sunshine and the beauty in God's creation all around! And of course, spending time together which we always love. :) The conservation area was alive with activity and bird calls . . . ducks, warblers, geese, sparrows, shorebirds, rails, and a definite highlight: Bald Eagles, including young fledglings in the nests and being fed by their parents.

A Red-Winged Blackbird male displaying his colorful wing patches and singing away 

Mom looking at some ducks from the truck 

One of the Bald Eagle nests . . . it had three young eagles in it! We set up our spotting scope and had some neat looks at them. 

Leah took this photo of an adult Bald Eagle using her phone through the spotting scope

She did the same to take one of the young eagles in the nest

After watching the eagles for awhile, we took the scope down and were looking at some other birds when in swooped another adult eagle carrying a fish in its talons . . . .

It was quite the sight to see it fly into the nest and begin feeding its young!

A taste of the beautiful views 

Dad found some shorebirds and was looking at them through the scope and Ivan found . . . me! :) 

Special and fun times together for Ivan and Leah . . . at times talking and at others breaking into smiles and laughter, as they were here in this photo.

Me (phone photo by Leah)

Walking along the road 

We had the treat of seeing an elusive American Bittern! We startled it out of the marshy area, and it flew across landing in a more secluded spot. Here, Ivan, Mom and Leah were attempting to find where it went while Dad talked with another birder who was driving by. 

So peaceful! There is just something relaxing, refreshing and renewing being out in the quiet beauty of God's creation. 

Looking at a Sora Rail . . . these birds are always fun to see when they are migrating through in the spring, and we heard and saw a lot of them! 

Happy sigh . . . one of my favorite things: out for a walk in the peaceful outdoors, breeze blowing, birds singing, sun shining down, and with my favorite people.

Clouds began rolling in making the hills and trees light up whenever the sun peeked through. 

After thoroughly enjoying the conservation area together, we headed home to check on Aurora. There were some possible signs of early labor, but no new changes from what she had had several hours earlier. With that, we headed out to Dad's restaurant of choice: China Garden. We had lunch there (and I discovered I liked at least some Chinese food :), and then we went to the disc golf course to show Dad and Mom how beautiful the area was. 

I didn't take any pictures there, so you'll have to imagine us leisurely walking along the grassy path strewn with wildflowers along the way, climbing down the rocks to the creek, Mom, Leah and I sitting on the rocks and me dangling my feet in the cold flowing water, the guys skipping rocks across the water and then having a competition to see who could hit a branch way up stream with a rock, the laughter that filled the air . . . it was a relaxing and refreshing time!

Eventually Dad reminded us that we just might have a goat in labor so we should probably head home to check on her. Upon arrival, we discovered that we did! And there will be more on that in the next post!


  1. What interesting birds you see. I have never seen a Bald Eagle, though saw Golden eagles in France. It sounds as though you all had a happy birthday day.

    1. There are a lot of interesting ones, Elizabeth! I wonder if your Golden Eagle would be different than ours? It's always an incredible sight to see one of these huge soaring birds!

      Yes, we all did indeed. :)

  2. Hello,
    Happy Birthday to your Dad from France.

  3. Your dad's birthday looked like a lovely time! What a blessing to see spring return and God's beautiful creation! The pictures you shared of the Bald Eagle and her nest were fantastic!!

    1. It was, Sarah! It is indeed a blessing . . . I so love this time of year with all the beauty and color awakening after winter. Everything is so fresh and beautiful! It always seems to be a reminder and reflection to me, too, of God's promises and how He often works in our lives - spring follows winter, beauty follows the barrenness and deadness, and there is new life, growth, and much more.

      Glad you enjoyed the Bald Eagle photos!

  4. Y'all seem to be very fond of this conservation area.:-) Your Dad, especially, seems very knowledgeable of avian wildlife. Has he ever considered publishing a book?


    1. We do like it, Betsy. :) It is also close by which makes it convenient to go to. Yes, my Dad is very knowledgeable when it comes to avian wildlife! He's loved watching birds ever since he was a boy and years ago, he worked for a university research project collecting and studying specimens in a number of different states which he still has great memories from. He has produced waterfowl and perching bird reference videos for wildlife artists, but no book. Maybe someday!


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