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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Positively Fresh

 by Mauverneen

We've had variety in the weather the past couple of weeks. It rained. It poured. The wind blew mightily. Cool nights. Hot days. Humid days. Very humid days.


Today, I took my first cup of coffee and stepped outside. It's glorious! I believe it must have rained a bit overnight but I slept soundly - if it did, I didn't hear a thing. But the grass is wet and the air is clear. Gloriously clear and fresh. The haze of humidity is not hanging in the air, the sky is a clear blue, not a hazy white. The birds are flying around the feeders and the garden like they are happy to be alive. 

Standing here, on my deck, coffee in hand, I too am happy to be alive. I don't know what the day will bring, but right now, this minute, it's a glorious morning. Breathe it in.



As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Positively Trying

 by Mauverneen

Trying - there are two meanings for that word. Trying, as in I am trying to do something and trying, as in this has been a very trying time.

Sunflowers make everybody smile!

I didn't think I was going to get a blog out today - after all, it's supposed to be upbeat and uplifting. And I haven't been feeling that way lately. I don't post my personal failures, my trials and tribulations, my challenges. But they are there. I choose not to dwell on them, and try to be positive. But sometimes, you just can't get away from it. 

Currently, I am caregiver for my aunt, who is dying of cancer. I've been down this caregiving road before, with my mom who had dementia. This is different. It just is. I'm not going to get into it but it is truly and utterly depressing. So why do I want to write about that? I do actually sometimes write about that, but the things I write about that are for another place and another time. And mostly for my own benefit - it's cathartic. Not here on this blog. I'm putting it out there now as a sort of explanation for why I've been slacking off with my blogs. And because I've had people asking where the blog is! Thank you!

So, people, try to find something in each and every day to be positive about. I still can watch the birds in the morning. The Blue Jays still make me smile when they 'steal' the peanuts from the dish I put out for them. My dog still likes to cuddle in the morning. I have a lunch date with my two besties this week and TA DA! vacation plans in the works. So overdue. So needed! Those are all positives for me!

I'm trying to focus on the positive. I'm trying!

Have a POSITIVELY lovely day!

Doesn't this picture positively say SUMMER?!

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com





Tuesday, July 12, 2022

I Positively Know That Bird!

by Mauverneen

My morning routine generally consists of  walking the dog, making coffee, filling the bird feeders and then spending some time drinking that coffee and watching the birds come to the feeders. How long I spend bird watching usually depends on how much else I have to do that day. Some days I barely get the seed out there and the coffee gulped and I am on my way. On other days, the best ones, I pull up a chair and my dog Bailey and I soak up the sun or revel in the cool morning air. Occasionally, I set up my camera and tripod.

I made a list of all the different birds I have seen in my backyard. It surprised me that I have seen almost 30 different types of birds pass through. I am not counting the occasional duck, errant seagull, geese heading south or high flying Sandhill Cranes that cross my airspace but birds that I have seen and that have stayed at least long enough for me to take a photo.

I have even seen a couple of new species of bird here this year.  And like any birder, spotting a new one to add to my list is exciting. 

Over the past couple of years I have toyed with the idea of doing a book. What you see above is the cover, which I designed myself. I am putting the finishing touches on it, trying to get everything perfect and hope to have it to the printer in the next week or two. It's a children's book - pictures and poetry are my own - introducing them to several birds (there are 15) that are common to the backyard. I'm holding my breath as I write this - I'm having a hard time hitting that final 'send' button. I'll let you know when the book is available. 

Thank you all for your encouragement! Now that I've announced it, I'm committed. Stay tuned!

A sample page from the inside of my upcoming book

Here is my list of birds seen in my own yard. Grab a cup of coffee some morning and join me.


Sparrow                                                     Blue Jay
Cardinal                                                     Junco
Chickadee                                                  Wren
Gold Finch                                                 House Finch
Red Wing Blackbird                                  Cowbird
Nuthatch                                                     Red Bellied Woodpecker
Downey Woodpecker                                 Red Headed Woodpecker
Indigo Bunting                                           Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Bluebird                                        Towhee
Oriole                                                         Cedar Waxwing
Crow                                                          Hawk
Mourning Dove                                         Robin
Ruby Throated Hummingbird                   Turkey Vulture
Rose Breasted Grosbeak                            Flycatcher
Grey Catbird                                             
 As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Just Another Positively Tuesday

 by Mauverneen

Well, here it is Tuesday again. Sometimes the week goes by so fast, it's hard to catch up. Other times, it drags. This one went by fast for me. Actually, the last couple have. Last week, I didn't even realize it was Tuesday - so, no blog. My apologies.

I have been busy. I met a cousin of mine at Starved Rock, in Utica, IL for a short hike and lunch one day. It was a sweltering hot day, so mostly it was lunch. It was fun catching up. We had lots to talk about.   

Then there were car shows - three last week! Fathers Day there was the annual show at Oakbrook Center, Wednesday there was the Great Race, which came through Plainfield, IL and Saturday was another club show in Geneva, IL. 

And then on Sunday, well on Sunday, Gallery Seven in Lockport, IL had their artist reception for the Annual Open Lens Competition. I had two photos accepted, and one of them took second place! I'm thrilled. It's such an honor to be recognized. Afterwards, two of my daughters and sons-in-law came over to the house for a cookout. Whew! The week flew by!

Now, here I sit, reflecting on the past couple of weeks, and feeling positively grateful for it all. I had fun. Now I am planning a vacation! Life can be good. We have to savor it. 


As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com

 




Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Positively Up In The Air

 by Mauverneen

First off, let me say, I don't like to fly. Makes me a little nervous, especially when there is any turbulence. Any turbulence at all. (shudder)

That said, let me tell you about my most recent flying experience. I enjoyed it. Not only was it very smooth, but the views out the window were incredible. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I always have my camera. So it's no surprise that I like to take pictures out the window of the plane. But for the most part, they haven't been very good. You're traveling at a high rate of speed, even though it doesn't feel like it, so unless you can finagle those camera settings like a pro, you might not get the clearest shots. Plus, the zoom... 

So, what was the difference this time? Well, I actually had the window seat, which helped, and I used my cell phone! Incredible. The pics I got with my phone are surprisingly good - much better than with my camera. Now, I don't know about enlarging them, that remains to be seen. But I think I have some great images - if I do say so myself. 

Coming over the mountains, still snow covered in May, was a beautiful sight. And bunches of fluffy white clouds, like little sheep, were spread out over them. At times, it was hard to tell the clouds from the mountain peaks! 

The clouds this trip were different too. They were moving so fast! Usually, we just sail through them, but this time, they were apparently not going in the same direction. I could see them coming towards us. It was amazing. 

And then, touching down in Salt Lake City, it was near sunset. Oh how beautiful that was! Coming back to Chicago, I was a little nervous as the plane flew out over the lake quite a distance before turning to aim for the airport. I thought he was lost. The city is stunning from the air! 

Ok, I'll stop talking. I'll just show you... 

 





As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint.
However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!
Interested in photo prints? Contact me! maureenblevins@yahoo.com