Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday, Monday

This is what Maggie thinks of Mondays......

The holiday weekend is over and the Mr. has gone back to work, 
so now I can take a break and relax before the serious business
of putting away all the Christmas decorations begin. 

I am ready to have my house uncluttered...

It's a funny thing - I am so excited to get the house decorated, 
but once Christmas is over - I am so done with it all! :) 

I can see through the glass door behind Maggie,
 that it is a beautiful winter day, 
so let's take a little walk, shall we?

As we step out from the front door, we look to the left
and see the garden gate. 
Let's go this way....

Looking straight ahead we can see the big Holly tree. 
This tree was growing here in 1981 when we first walked 
onto this bit of wild land in hopes of buying. 

It was only a tiny shrub back then. 

Now it dwarfs the tool shed (to the right). 

It is over 30 ft. tall and covered in beautiful red berries. 

Looking to the left of her, we follow the rutted tracks towards
the gate. Champ waits patiently. I have his tennis ball.....

It is a lovely day, but very cold - just above freezing. 
There is a 'high wind' that blows steady along the tree tops. 
Occasionally, a gust will slip down and freeze my finger tips.

The wind makes a lovely, 'Hush - hush' sound as it reminds
us to be quiet and listen..... 

I can hear the little birds twittering around the feeder
 as I approach to refill it. 
All at once a whole flock of Mourning Doves rise in a loud rush, 
their wing's signature whistling announcing their presence. 

I always thought this was a terribly unfair affliction, as they are 
so coveted by birds of prey. 
We have had a Cooper's Hawk hanging around and I have 
seen evidence of a successful hunt of these sweet, innocent birds. 

I like to remind myself that all creatures are Nature's gift, 
and the Dove is a noble sacrifice. 
Perhaps they are aware of this in the grand scheme of things, 
and immediately become companions to the Angels
upon release from this life. 

It is certainly depicted in the great works of art....

The tiny Chick-a-dees, Sparrows, Juncos, and Nuthatches, 
are friendlier and bolder and scarcely wait for me to finish
before landing to steal a treat. 

The Stellar Jays do a very good job of warning the forest
when a predator is around. 

These beautiful, brave birds will mob any interloper and 
try to drive them away. 

Sometimes the hawk is too sneaky and will slip in unawares. 

Champ holds his stalking position as he waits for me
to toss the ball. He has that mesmerizing Border Collie stare.

It was those beautiful, intelligent eyes that attracted me to him
on the Border Collie Rescue website.

He was so damaged by his previous owners that his
foster caregiver never thought he could be adopted,
and after over a year of trying, she was ready to give up.

He was so wary of people and other dogs
 that he had to be kept isolated in a kennel.

Since coming to live with us in 2012, he has lost that wary look
in his beautiful eyes and now he even smiles!

The beautiful sunshine. 

My neighbor's horse barn. 
The horses are all inside eating breakfast. 

Looking out over the driveway gate..... 
Can you see the Raven? 

He is very large. At first, I thought he might be an Eagle. 

But as I zoomed in, I could see his beautiful darkness. 

He's checking me out....

He croaked twice and then flew away. 

Ravens follow predators and they are signs that 
something might be lurking today. 

Then, Whitey gave Champ this look....

And they were off, chasing something way down into the forest. 
They do seem to have silent communication with each other. 

They left me behind....
I quickly made my way back to the house. 

Beautiful day or not, I am alone and I don't take chances. 

I am grateful for my fearless companions, 
but I take them inside with me on their return
and shut the lower gate. 

We have Mountain Lions, Coyotes, and Bears 
(although the Bears are probably in hibernation - 
but this has been a very mild winter). 

My new neighbors (transplanted city folk) have poultry
that they let run free.
They are always attracting hungry visitors :(
If you provide a free feast, they will come.....

So, I will stay cozy inside, content to look out the windows. 
A little warily. 

Once, I didn't pay attention to my dog's warnings
and came face to face with a very large bear. 

Luckily, my dogs were very brave and chased it away. 

Nature is beautiful, but deserves respect. 

When you disrespect Mother Nature, 
she puts you in your place:) 

Like any good Mother would :)

It's a beautiful world. 



  1. Wonderful series of photos.. Some of my favorites are your dogs and the birds. The Chickadee is another favorite... Sounds like you see a lot of wildlife there.. I wish you and your family a happy & healthy New Year!

  2. Gorgeous piece of land you have. The kitty picked such a pretty french love seat. We didn't have bears where we use to live, but oddly a bear on the outskirts of the big city made it to the news last week. We had mountain lions, bob cats, and coyotes. There were almost no outdoor cats where I use to live; those chickens might go fast. xoox

  3. Loved this post, especially the last picture! Thanks for sharing another one of your adventures!!

  4. a wonderful start into the new year I wish them !!! love all of angie from Germany

  5. Nice to see that you have some sunshine. Like you, I am ready to take down the decor once Christmas is over!

  6. your pups are wonderful. sweet champ went through a lot to get to you.

    we had 'city' folks that bought 5 acres of land behind us. they packed it full of geese, chickens, goats, pigs, cattle, horses, mules, etc. they lost a TON to the coyotes right away and have slowly been whittling down the remaining animals (some by choice and some not). *sigh*

  7. Lovely post. I am so glad that you found Champ. And that Whitey and he are friends. Beautiful views from your home, although it looks nothing like winter as I know it. :-) I'll keep our tree up at least through the 6th, maybe longer. Until yesterday, we had had 19 consecutive gray days. The sunshine is so welcome, and if it stays, I'll take down the tree sooner. I need something bright and cheery during these short days.

  8. Since it's rainy and cold here today, I have really enjoyed tagging along on your walk with it's beauty and sunshine. Your furry companions are beautiful and I am so glad that you have them to alert you to danger when you are outside. I am always amazed at the perception animals have and how gladly they will share it with us humans. Happy New Year. I hope your new year is filled with blessings....

  9. Hi dear friend,,,espero que este otro año llegue lleno de bendiciones para ti y tus seres queridos
    Cariños ,

  10. Dear Karen,

    I know what you are saying about putting the decoration up and then happy to put them all away again. I will do the same here soon too.
    Loved all your wonderful photos especially the first one of sweet Maggie relaxing in the chair.
    Thanks for taking us along on your walk.
    Enjoy the last few days of 2014.

  11. It is indeed a beautiful world, my friend. I think Maggie has the right idea about Mondays - I wish I could have joined her for a nap in the sunshine :)

    Your photos are always a joy to behold. Have a wonderful Tuesday! Hugs to you!

  12. YEP! A beautiful world it is!!! That last photo you captured up there of that sky is amazing! You always get me with those shots! I loved coming along with you in your garden today Karen! That garden gate is just perfect! And the amount of birds in your space is just so awesome! It sure does feel rather mild this winter in Chicago as well. Some days almost felt like spring which always troubles me a bit as we need the cold weather to keep our trees healthy here. You always wow me with your photos buddy! Such a treat! Wishing you a lovely New Years! Nicole xoxo

  13. Dearest Karen,
    That was a quiet and peaceful walk with you! Champ is lucky for having found you and yes, our pets do smile! Their eyes tell a story too.
    Maggie got it made too, funny how our pets love to lounge indoors when it rains or when its chilly. They're very smart.
    Sending you hugs,

  14. Dearest Karen,
    what a wonderful post, thank you for all the wonderful pictures from the beautiful nature arround your place! Yes, we live in a wonderful world and we must take care of it!
    Lovely Bidr pictures too, here it is the same, when the feeder become empty, they sit in the trees and make so much noise ;O)
    alsoe lovely pictures form Champ and Whitey...they can be so lucky, to make big walkes round your house by their own :O)
    Thank you for another wonderl post, dear friend!
    Wishing you a lovely time and a good, happy and healthy New Year!
    So glad we met us herre this year and I am looking forward to see you in the next year too!
    Sending Love and hugs for a wonderufl New Year!
    Claudia so

  15. You deserve respect to live in nature.Bless You.Happy New Year !
    Hugs from Serbia,

  16. Happy New Year from Spain Karen

    Peace and Love


  17. We use to have Christmas decorations till 6th Jan...
    Anyway I'll take down mine in the first days of Jan...a good way to spend the New Year's Day!!!

  18. My Christmas decorations come down New Year's Day ... I like a set day for that chore. I take as much time carefully boxing things up as I like, and there's lots of hot tea consumed and the Christmas CDs are played one last time. I always enjoy your walks around your beautiful home! I don't blame you for making a quick exit when the dogs and raven are alert to something unseen in the woods. I hope they always come safely back to you. Enjoy your quiet day! Wendy x

  19. Oh Karen, it is a beautiful world and you certainly live in a wonderful part of it! I'd be wary too, if I lived in the mountains surrounded by woods. At least you know the warning signs of the creatures around you. Champ is so fortunate to have you for his family. One of our son's dogs is a black lab/border collie cross and I can see a lot of the collie personality in him. He's such a gentle dog now at age 7. I wish you all the best in the coming year. Blessings. Pam

  20. I just love the grounds around which you live. Such a beautiful place!

    I love the walks in the woods and I too love that hush that falls on everything this time of year. Senses are heightened to hear every whisper in the wind when the world is so quiet. I love that...and especially on a starry night.

    I too am always wary in my area and respecting nature. I have had many a bear through our back hill as well as many other critters. I often can't wait to see who will come visit next. We did have a troublesome coyote for the past several months that kept coming to visit our doggie Ruby in attempts to lure her away. But a neighbor has thankfully trapped it so my Ruby can be more free to run around again.

    I just love coming to visit you and all you share of your world dear Karen! Blessings to you in the New Year. xoxo

  21. What wonderful photos! You live in a very beautiful part of the country. There you are in freezing temps and I was outside working in my gardens earlier, sweating. It is 81 and feels like it is 89. It does not feel like winter at all down here in s.e. FL.

    I'm a new follower of yours and am looking forward to reading your posts and seeing the beauty that surrounds you inside and out.


  22. It is so beautiful and peaceful where you live. I love that mountain so pretty. I wish you and your family a Happy new year! Hugs, Julie

  23. I loved my walk with you, Karen. You have so many different kinds of birds to enjoy. The photo at the end is just stunning! What a view you have to enjoy and appreciate.

  24. As always a stunning post. Your photos always make me smile. I'm so happy that Champ found a good home and that he is less wary. Whitey makes me miss my Rebel.
    That last sunset shot is divine. - Here's to another great year of blogging in 2015.

  25. Fantastic photos! Wow...that last one! :-) I enjoyed the walk very much. Your holly tree is wonderful. I love that there are wild animals nearby, but that you stay safe with the dogs. I just love border collies, and am so glad Champ found a good home with you two and that he is content now and knows he's safe. As you remember I am sure, we always wanted to retire to the country and be at the base of some mountain in rolling hills, preferably in western Va. Of course, you also know that did not happen. Your neighbors need to free-range their chickens within a huge pen, or they won't have any left! I hope you had an amazing Christmas! And that your new year will be very blessed. We were blessed with some snow last night! :-) Literally--in-town snow! I remember when I was a child, in Maryland, when Mom & Dad would tell us to look outside and we would see the first snowfall and be so thrilled. Lots of great memories. I will be 63 tomorrow. My how time passes by! :-)


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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