Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Ageless and #Evergreen

In keeping with inspiration from July square trees, this week, Sunday Stills focuses on the color evergreen for the monthly color challenge.

You will remember I am now surrounded by evergreen trees, and I couldn’t be happier. Evergreen is considered a dark green and also the name we ascribe to most pine trees and other trees that stay green year-round. Also known as conifers (cone-bearing) their needles are small and waxy enabling pine trees to stay green all year long, unlike deciduous trees that lose their leaves seasonally.

Here is an example to get your creative ideas going. As we headed to Sandpoint, Idaho, we drove by this lovely spot. I love the shape of the towering sugar pines. Image enhanced with Painnt filter.

Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge

This week Marsha invites us to explore “exploration!” I can’t think of too many places to explore locally that doesn’t include seeing evergreens! I found this quote and it begged to become a meme created from a previous image of mine.

quote meme exploration
Hot air balloon above the evergreens!

An orange dragonfly explored my former garden resting on the evergreen stake.

Orange dragonfly

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.

John Muir

Come explore my backyard and neighborhood with me today…most of the evergreens you see are Ponderosa Pines.

Morning walk a block from our home

Even the Birds are Evergreen…sort of…

Some new-old pics from my archives of my sweet hummingbirds. Perhaps not truly evergreen in color, but the second one is surrounded by actual evergreens. These are my headshots for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Green hummingbird
Evergreen hummingbird

Update: Journey the Bald Eagle, An Ageless and Evergreen Story for Our Times

Journey the juvenile Bald Eagle was rescued three weeks ago when he fledged too soon due to the extreme heat here in Eastern Washington. See my post here.

Juvenile Bald Eagle, Journey Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey

Thanks to the efforts of staff at Birds of Prey Northwest, he was safely placed in a large aviary and treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration. He exercised his wings daily and once our weather “cooled,” he would be ready to fly back to the nest where his parents are waiting for him.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practicing for flight while still in his nest

Well…Friday, July 16th was the day! KREM 2 news in Spokane, WA, covered the story as Diana G of Bluebell Court Eagles (on Facebook) and Janie Veltkamp, MS, Biology, and director of BOPNW, was there to enable Journey’s first flight since he was rescued. He was launched off Diana G’s deck…

Journey’s (and Janie’s) headshot!

Eagle images are shared by Diana G with her permission.

Success!

…he flew strongly and purposely, never losing altitude, to a nearby pine tree (evergreen!) in the shade. Janie assures us that Journey will return to his nest close by, where his parents will continue to feed him and teach him to hunt!

Another dedicated volunteer of Birds of Prey Northwest, Tina Penny, shared the following images on the Facebook page, Bluebell Court Eagles. She graciously gave me permission to share them.

You can view Journey’s flight here.

https://www.krem.com/video/entertainment/places/inland-northbest/journey-the-eaglets-first-flight/293-1c1a5df4-9a73-4f41-b26d-e4630e2a1fdb

As of Saturday afternoon, we are still anxiously waiting if Journey was reunited with his nest and parents.

There are thousands of people following Journey’s story all over the world. The rescues of early fledgling birds of prey has ignited our concern for climate change and our ability to be the stewards of God’s creatures while we all inhabit Planet Earth. BOPNW reported that they have rescued over 20 raptors in the last 2-3 weeks due to the extreme heat. The organization averages 1-2 rescues a YEAR under normal weather circumstances in addition to the other work it does.

If you can, I urge you to donate to your local animal rescue organization or the Birds of Prey Northwest. Journey’s story has opened our eyes to the wonderful folks who give of their own time and resources, like Birds of Prey Northwest, to rescue and reintroduce our incredible (some endangered) raptors back into their own habitats.

And as Sheriff Andy Taylor told us last week, “But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

Also sharing for Lens-Artists Challenge: Getting Away

Last Week’s Links Under the Trees

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below is the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite photos under the trees. Please take a moment to visit a few, especially those new to Sunday Stills!

Thank you for reading this week! My dad just celebrated his 85th birthday and is visiting this week from Northern California for the first time! I look forward to your creative evergreen images!

Go exploring have a great week
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Sunday Stills: Under (And Over) the #Trees

suburban pine forest

Welcome back to Sunday Stills! I took a weekend break over the July 4th holiday, but I managed to publish two posts between July 2 and 7…whaaatt? I do like my once a week blogging schedule, but I enjoy mixing it up a little now and then, so thanks for reading.

Most of you know I love all types of pine trees, and finally moved to Eastern Washington last December where I am surrounded by Ponderosa pines. Having spent most of my childhood in San Diego surrounded by palm trees (which I love, by the way), my preference for pines was undoubtedly influenced by our two-year stay in Portland, Oregon. We lived on the corner of this Beaverton suburb and you can see the gorgeous view of the Sugar Pines (taken recently while there for a family memorial service).

suburban pine forest
Childhood home under the trees

While we were in the Beaverton area, we stayed in a lovely AirB&B and I discovered a wonderful suburban trail….

pathway under the trees
Suburban trail in Beaverton, OR

…That led to this pocket forest.

Suburban pocket forest

How wonderful to find a surprise forest in this neighborhood!

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

Tree images are shared for Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday and Becky B’s July Tree Squares.

I am still inviting links to Marsha’s Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writer’s Challenge while she is out and about exploring trees! Please link to THIS POST until next Tuesday–your choice of theme.

“But Don’t the Trees Seem Nice and Full?”

You may have read last Friday’s Bird weekly post where I shared our neighborhood eagle “Journey,” and my former home’s sweet hummingbirds. Journey, the young eagle is still being monitored at the Birds of Prey Northwest facility in nearby Couer d’Alene, Idaho, and is progressing nicely. He is housed with another adult eagle who can mentor him until he is ready to be released. The temps are still very hot, in fact record breaking for this area and time of year, so he will stay at the facility a while longer. The parents are still visiting and maintaining the nest which is a really good sign.

Partially inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly (common birds found in your neighborhood), I have three species of birds that can be found over and under the trees.

R-rr-rr–Raven

On my morning walks with my dogs, I take a tree-lined path off the main road. A huge family of ravens inhabit the area and seem rather tame. They are certainly not bothered by my presence even when I creep toward one to take a pic! Of course one will scold me for getting too close! Now that I know the heat caused many young birds to fledge early, perhaps they were keeping track of the fledglings (none that I saw).

High Above the Trees

Birds of prey abound here in Eastern Washington and especially in our rural area of Nine Mile Falls, 20 miles north of Spokane. On any given day one can look up…way up, and see a variety of birds circling. The best times to see them are early mornings and twilight as they search for food.

Hoping to see more eagles, I was surprised to see this particular bird, the Turkey Vulture, also seen in California, circling the skies here. They soar over 300 feet up but I got this shot with my Lumix!

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

Another busy bird around these parts is the Western Osprey, a member of the hawk family. Lately a family of three soars the morning and evening skies, often heading back and forth between the forest and the nearby Spokane River (Long Lake). The osprey has distinctive face marking, like a black mask across its eyes. A really stunning bird and fun to capture in flight with my Lumix.

Western Osprey
Western Osprey

I’m always a little worried that these huge birds might see my little dog Aero as a tasty treat, but luckily, the Osprey prefers fish while the Turkey Vulture feasts on carrion.

So what does my heading have to do with this section? Let me explain:

The quote in the heading was inspired by an old Andy Griffith TV show from the 60s starring Andy Griffith as the Mayberry, North Carolina sheriff and Ron Howard as his son Opie Taylor.

In the 1963 episode “Opie the Birdman,” Opie accidentally kills a mother bird, then he becomes a foster parent to its three orphaned nestlings and hand-raises them, naming them Winkin, Blinken and Nod. After successfully releasing the birds, Opie sadly remarks, “The cage sure looks awful empty, don’t it, Pa?

Andy Taylor replies, “Yes son, it sure does… but don’t the trees seem nice and full?”

Awwww….I love that reply and the whole episode! And isn’t that how it should be with our birds?

Join me for Sunday Stills the rest of the month:

  • July 18 Monthly Color Challenge: Evergreen (yes, more trees if you wish)
  • July 25 Geometric–think triangles, lines, squares, etc

Great Outdoors Bloggers links

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors! Previously shared on last Wednesday’s Writers Quotes Wednesday, in case you missed the list.

Have a wonderful week!

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge: Writer’s Choice or Culture

Create a WQWWC Post

I took a one day break from Sunday Stills to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. My good friend Marsha is busy with her new property as they prepare to get it ready for its new AirB&B status! So I offered to return the favor to host her weekly blog feature Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge (aka) #WQWWC for her this week!

WQWWC Requirement

More About Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge

I have been participating lately…I originally misunderstood the prompt thinking it was more of a writing prompt responding to a chosen quote. Just shows you how wrong I was. Like my Sunday Stills photo challenge that has a prepared weekly theme, WQWWC also has a weekly theme. This week is writer’s choice!

If you think this is still a writer’s challenge, you would be right, sort of. As bloggers, we are all writers to some degree. Many of us focus on different types of writing, whether the subject and focus is poetry, photography, DIY, lifestyle, food, travel, and others. Most bloggers share their craft in several creative ways, combining photography with some form of writing.

Many bloggers also combine their posts into several challenges or prompts—i.e. photo, poetry, flower-of-the-day, color challenge, and more. Hot this month is Becky B’s square trees challenge. Need more inspiration? Check out Cee’s page For the Love of Challenges and click on the challenge of your choice.

If you were planning to share your trees anyway, why not search for a quote about trees?

For Writers Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge, the sky is the limit. Especially this week as it is writer’s choice—that’s YOU, the writer.

WQWWC Suggestions

Now that you have the hang of it, let me take a moment to provide a few examples and illuminate the prompts.

Culture

As host this week, it is my sworn duty as a patriotic American to mention culture with a word or two about USA Independence Day, July 4th and what it has morphed into. While freedom and pride are the overarching themes, Americans love a party!

While many cities solemnly celebrate Independence Day with speeches, parades, and a little pomp, as it should be, most Americans are happy to have a summer holiday and blow off fireworks!

Erma Bombeck says it best…

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

Erma Bombeck

Do you have a favorite culture quote from your own country?

Writer’s Choice

From here we explore writer’s choice, so share your creativity… c’mon, you can do it! I’m back outside to enjoy water and trees.

Like Marsha, who loves to combine photo and writing challenges in her posts, I’m linking some images to other photo challenges today.

Last week, hubby spent the week traveling back to Sacramento to bring back the rest of the items in our storage unit—bicycles, BBQ, random outdoor furniture, his tools, etc. Once he was done, he celebrated by doing his favorite activity—windsurfing!

Hans Schrandt Executes Big Jump
Hubby with a Big Jump!

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

Jimmy Dean

Shared for John’s On the Water LAPC and John’s CellPic Sunday

While hubby was camping in his truck and hanging with friends in the windy and cool Sacramento delta, my dogs and I endured the record heat by rising early. At 4am I was greeted by this amazing sunrise over the ridge.

Colorful dawn in the mountains

John Muir says it best with this quote:

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

John Muir
Painnt Filter Forest
A serene walk in the forest. Image enhanced with Painnt

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

John Muir

These wonderful Ponderosa pines that surround me are shared for Becky B’s squaretrees.

Now It’s Your Turn

What inspires you more, your images or quotes? Now you will be doubly inspired. Your choice or culture…maybe both?

Create a WQWWC Post

Post it on your blog and link to this post. Leave me a comment to make sure I see it. I will respond to your posts while Marsha is busy! For more information on the writer’s quotes challenge, visit Marsha’s page. Themes for the next few weeks are posted for those who love to plan in advance.

Last Week’s Freedom WQWWC Links

Marsha and I thank you for linking your freedom posts last week. Please visit if you can!

Sunday Stills is Back on July 11 with the Theme: Under the Trees

In the meantime, there is no reason for me to wait to share all the amazing Great Outdoors Bloggers links until July 11th. With 32 link-ups, you ‘all seem to love the great outdoors!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for linking to all the wonderful blogging prompts and challenges available.

SUPSIG

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Bird Weekly: “H” is for Hummingbird and Haliaeetus Lucocephalus

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July

Catch your attention, did I?

Since I’m not posting for Sunday Stills this weekend as we are busy with a family gathering for the Independence Day holiday, I’m sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Amazingly, to satisfy the prompt for Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds starting with letter H), the scientific moniker of the American Bald Eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Terr’s actual image of Bald Eagle flying over Lake Couer D’Alene

I originally planned to only share my Anna’s Hummingbirds seen later in the post, but the story of a juvenile bald eagle is eager to be told.

Inspired By the “Journey” of an American Bald Eagle

When I moved to Nine Mile Falls, Washington (near Spokane), I expected to see a lot of Bald Eagles. I have seen a few in my own neighborhood and I’ve managed to capture some grainy photos of some. Jonesing for a way to find and photograph eagles with my own lens, I stumbled on a Facebook group, Spokane Birders, from which I am inspired daily by wonderful images of local birds and eagles.

A local woman, Diana G, who lives a short distance away, discovered a Bald Eagle’s nest visible from her backyard and has been taking incredible photographs of the adult pair and their newly hatched juvenile eagle, dubbed “Journey.” She shares her gorgeous photos of these eagles and other birds on Spokane Birders, but as her images of eagles grew in popularity due to a slew of newspaper articles and local newscasts, she created a Facebook group called Bluebell Court Eagles.

Diana has graciously given me permission to use some of her amazing photos to share more about the Bluebell Court Eagles and their “Journey!”

It starts with the Bluebell Court Eagles preparing their nest.

A Baby Eaglet is hatched in early April!

Journey Matures!

As Journey prepares to fledge, the heat is on right now in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are as much as 30 degrees higher than normal for late June. Many juvenile birds are fledging early and bird parents are extra vigilant (we hope)!

Videos and images of him flapping his wings and hopping to higher branches of the nest to beat the heat had us cheering him on as he strengthens his wings for his first flight. Until…

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on

…he disappeared from the nest! “He likely fledged,” reported Diana G. This poignant image shows mom in the nest looking in vain for Journey, and panting from the heat.

BlueBell Court Eagles Diana Gigler
Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler

On June 28, Journey indeed fledged too soon due to the extreme heat and safely fluttered to the ground. A nearby neighbor found Journey in her backyard and reported to someone who supplied her with the contact for Birds of Prey Northwest in St Maries, Idaho, near Coeur D’Alene.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
I’m safe in the loving hands of Birds of Prey NW

A volunteer reported they rescued Journey and successfully rehydrated him and intend to care for him until he can fly back to the nest next week.

Journey’s journey continues…please stay tuned.

More About Birds of Prey Northwest

This 28-year old non-profit is dedicated to rescuing and releasing birds of prey here in the Northwest. The organization received many donations as a result of following Journey’s story on Facebook. An even more incredible story is the how the talents of its staff rescued and rehabilitated Beauty, a bald eagle that was shot in Alaska and left for dead. The gunshot wound destroyed her upper beak. Not to be deterred, the talented staff used science and technology to create a 3-D printed beak used as a prosthesis to save Beauty from a senseless fate.

Here is Beauty’s story…better get a tissue handy! Read here HOW SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND A 3D-PRINTED BEAK RESCUED A BALD EAGLE.

I’m not kidding when I learned this organization is thee place for rescuing birds of prey!

Why the American Bald Eagle Symbolizes Freedom

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July
Colored by me via ColorPlanet

The U.S. Bald eagle, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is the only eagle solely native to North America, and the national bird of the United States.

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent. The eagle represents freedom.

source

“The power and autonomy of the eagle in the air makes it a symbol of unrestrained freedom.”

Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, a professor of veterinary medicine and anthropology at Tufts University
Freedom quote Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
original image ©Diana Gigler

Freedom quotes are shared for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays. I will be hosting WQW on July 7 while Marsha takes care of some business! Next week’s theme is Writers’ Choice or Culture.

Small But Also Mighty

Annas Hummingbirds are typically found in the Western US and migrate South in cold winter months. My hummer families lived in our former Sacramento home all year ’round.

These first two Annas Hummingbird pictures were taken at my Dad’s home in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

FLoating hummingbird
Floating to the feeder
Annas Hummingbird
All mine!
Male Allen Hummingbird
This perched hummingbird nested in our California Redwood Trees in Sacramento. Sharing for Becky B’s July Squares: Trees

“H” is also for HERO, recognizing citizens and volunteers who care for our creatures during extreme weather conditions, injury and beyond. And as we celebrate US Independence Day, please remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Thank you to those who are serving now.

Are you crazy about eagles? Visit Tofino Photography. His images of eagles are a sight to behold.

Remember, Sunday Stills takes a one week break on July 4th. Won’t you join me as I host Writers’ Quotes Wednesday on July 7th as I stand in for Marsha at Always Write? There I will share all the Sunday Stills links from The Great Outdoors! We’ll be back on July 11 with the Sunday Stills theme of “Under the Trees.”

Stay safe and cool!

Bitmoji Birding

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