Orchid Show 2017 – From Beautiful to Bizarre

 

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The Beautiful….

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The Bizarre…

Feb. 27, 2017

There is still time to see these orchids  yourself  at the Missouri Botanical Gardens until March 26, 2017 !!

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There are the traditional orchids…

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and the not-so-traditional   (which remind me of  the term ” organized chaos”) .

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Individually  dainty….

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or a  dramatic family in all its glory.

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Some with stunning color…

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Some in a drunken slumber…..

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Some that resemble a gathering of aliens…..

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Some peaceful, orderly and tranquil…….

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Some jolly and eager to tempt u into  a closer look….

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Some like a graceful dance in the breeze…

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Some bold and daringly different   (is this really an orchid?)

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Some flighty…

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Some close-knit, all  with intricate detail….

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Some with eye lashes……

But all to be enjoyed ……

and let me not forget to  mention the magnificent  fragrance  that fills the room as you meander among these incredible  flowers!!!

Lastly – a quick trip thru the Climatron and a sighting of  a permanent  resident…

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Thanks for reading !

Hope you enjoyed!!

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Well, ” Owl ” Be Darned!!!

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Thursday,  Feb. 16,  2017

With such  beautiful weather today,  I  decided to take advantage and clean out my shed.   From time to time, I heard a strange call,  kind of throaty and gurglely .    It  was a new sound to me and I had no idea what it was.      About the third time I heard it, I also heard a squirrel scurry on the tree  about five feet from me.  I glanced toward the tree to make sure the  creepy squirrel was scurrying away from me and not toward me,  and  to my utter surprise I was  looking  right into the face of a  Barred Owl  sitting  on the 2nd branch from the bottom!!!!

Now I have seen owls before  – at the zoo, at the bird sanctuary and on bird walks where someone else has seen them first and pointed them out to me.  But never have I seen one in my own back yard – so close and starring right back at me!    I quietly  backed up and went inside to get  my camera and binoculars.  Once back outside I saw that the owl had moved to the overhead wires.   Dusk was quickly approaching so only  one photo  was a keeper.

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But this image,  borrowed from the internet,  gives  a clearer  picture of my surprise visitor. Barred Owls  reside in Missouri year round , are about 21 inches in size (top to bottom) and have a wing span of 3 and 1/2  to 4 feet wide.   Courtship and breeding  begin in February/March.  They  mate for life and  their territories/nest sites are maintained for many years.  Barred Owls have been known to live  32 years in captivity and 10 years or more in the wild.    Great Horned Owls are their only natural enemy.

Also most interestingly, I  have discovered, they are known to sometimes nest in the empty nest of the red-tailed hawk.   This is happy news to me, as I just happen to have a used red-tailed hawk’s nest  at the top of the very tree I saw this owl in!!!   So “owl” be listening and watching to see if  he/she  is my new backyard  tenant…………..

 

Hope you also  enjoyed my surprise visitor!

Thanks for reading!

BIRD SURPRISES on VALENTINES DAY 2017

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Feb. 14,  2017

To kick off my Valentine’s Day,  this beautiful female Cardinal  came to partake in  the free bird  buffet in my backyard.

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Surprisingly, this dainty  Black Capped Chickadee was in search of a new treat and  came to my peanut feeder  – the first time ever I have seen a Chickadee at the peanut feeder.

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Another first – this  female Mockingbird must have been  very hungry because for the first time in my many years of feeding the birds, it is the first time I have had a Mockingbird at the suet…

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or at the peanut feeder…..

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or eating the black-oiled sunflower seeds.  Since she  is not a frequent visitor, she was puzzled and unaware of my love for bungee cords.

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Not sure why the grumpy attitude…..

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Lastly,  this  finch stopped by for a quick dip in the heated bird bath – he  must have been getting spruced up for  his Valentines Day plans!

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The finale  dance of the bath……

 

Hope you enjoyed  my feathered visitors and  also your  own Valentines Day!

Thanks for reading!

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