Feeding time

My backyard bird feeder is a success!!

It’s official: My bird feeder is a success!

On Sunday, I put up a bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder and I was afraid that it would go unused. I shouldn’t have worried — there were doves eating when I arrived home for lunch on Monday. This morning, I even noticed smaller (probably sparrows) eating.

I’m pretty excited. Now, if I can just get some hummingbirds I will be even more happier.

Introducing … Aqua (MAN!!)

Mr. Aqua

Meet Aqua (MAN!!) Morris. This blue male Veiltail Betta is the newest creature to join my household. My mom bought the little guy for me and I couldn’t be happier. I think Izzie likes him too, although not the attention I have given the fish!

Blue Veiltail Bettas are native to southeast Asia — Cambodia, Thailand — and are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, Combattant (in Canada), Trey Kroem phloek (in Cambodia) and Ca lia thia (in Vietnam), according to Petco, which is where I bought my little guy from.

The fish can get to be 3″ in their adult size and are easy to care for. One neat fact: Veiltail Bettas can breath through their gills like other fish as well as from the surface through modified gills (labyrinth organ).

I’m not a big fish person — I love the interaction that fish usually doesn’t provide. However, Aqua is definitely settling in (with me screaming Aqua Man!! each time I enter the door.) Plus, I’ve bought the bulbs that are supposed to grow into plants — hopefully — and I keep checking for signs of life from it.

Oh well, welcome to the house Aqua (MAN!!). 😀

Play ball!

Growing up, I thought the ball players who could hit baseballs out of the ballpark were the coolest people ever. I’m still fascinated today.

On Sunday, I came across this old, falling apart baseball while hiking near my house. The city ball park is near my house but I am more inclined to believe a dog brought this ball to its final resting place.

It helped remind me that baseball (and softball) season is finally approaching. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend my first-ever St. Louis Cardinals game this year.

Ever-changing weather

La Nina’s presence is definitely being felt. Lately, the weather has been unpredictable with 60-degree weather one day, followed by snow the next. I’ve loved the warmer winter — I hate being cold — but I’m ready for a more steady climate.

The local high school fountain.
Cedar Waxwing
Dark-eyed Junco
Eastern Meadlowlark
Cedar Waxwing

Eurasian Collared-Dove
white-crowned sparrow

High winds, sunsets and destruction.

Sun pierces through morning fog.

It’s been gorgeous weather for the most part this week. The temperatures are in the 60s, the sun is shining and the first flowers are blooming. What’s not to love — well, excluding the mosquitoes now biting me?

Here’s 5 reasons this week was so interesting:

1. There’s storm chasers, then there’s us — damage chasers.

A rainbow appears after the storm.

A severe thunderstorm passed through Arkansas County on Wednesday causing power outages to more than 1,000 people. There was not a lot of damage but there were a few accidents including a tractor trailer blown off the road. My co-worker and I teamed up (she drove since I hate to and I took pictures) to get damage pictures.

We first headed to take pictures of the tractor trailer and fallen power lines on a nearby busy highway. However, we got stuck in traffic.
We eventually snapped a picture with our long lens and tried to take a short cut. However, we barely made it through one flooded section of the gravel road before we saw the above. We turned around.


This skunk apparently didn't like the flooded gravel road either. We saw him scurrying away as well.
We snapped a picture of this busy Entergy worker.
Finally, we had this amazing view to our right as we headed back to the office with the rainbow on our left. Not a bad way to end our storm damage trip.

2. Salvaging airplanes

A former Southwest commercial airplane is dismantled.

For work, I visited a local business on Tuesday to snap pictures of the last stage in their work. The company is a parts distribution company that dismantles commercial aircrafts at the end of their life cycle before repairing and reselling the parts. The stripped plane is then sold for recycling. On Tuesday, the recycling company was in town to tear the stripped plane into smaller pieces. Why is destruction so fascinating?

In this photo, Southwest pilots land a commercial plane in 2011. The plane was one of the three taken apart on Tuesday.
One plane nearly complete with two left to go.

3. Watching the sun set.

Ducks rest near Stuttgart as the sun sets in late January.
A red-tailed hawk flies high in the sky.

 4. Blooming flowers.

One of my favorite times in the year is when the flowers begin blooming.

5. Photographing new birds.

Belted Kingfisher
Common Grackle
OK, I've already crossed Snow Geese off my bird list but these coupling birds were too cute.

A better me

“All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney

On Sunday, my congregation was tasked with one simple assignment — to start the new year being a better person. It’s never to late to live up to our dreams and expectations — we just might get a later start then we meant too.

It really struck a nerve with me, especially since the visiting priest was able to phrase the message in a witty, down-to-earth sermon. It reminded me of who I always dreamed of being and had me thinking of how I had drifted from this ideal persona.

I would like to be thought of as kind, approachable and truthful. I want to be known for my morals and to be able to give whenever I can.  It’s easy to be a ditzy blonde, which is a generalization that can sometimes be said about me. So, this year I am going to work on being more knowledgeable, less gossipy and more helpful to others in need. Continue reading “A better me”