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Big Day: Sights Along the Way

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Liam carries Harry Potter along, just in case it gets dull while we're birding.

We aren't just looking for birds when we go on a Big Day. We look at everything. These handsome horses looked back.

Behind them stood the cutest donkey, whom we didn't even notice until I was done taking horse photos.

About time you took my picture. Notice my eyelashes, and fetching withers markings.

I thought she looked like she needed to pull up her stockings. You know, the kind with the rolled top that only come up to your knees, like my grandma used to wear.

We had a lucky encounter with some shorebirds that, until I got the photo on my screen, I thought were lesser and greater yellowlegs. Only problem: the smaller bird has greenish-gray legs and a prominent eyering, which points to solitary sandpiper. Both lesser yellowlegs and solitary sandpipers were feeding with the greaters that day. I really wanted the two yellowlegs to line up side by side and thought I had the shot, but it's a cool picture, anyway.

In Newport, we stopped to get ice cream at the Jug, home of Jugfest, whatever that is. Happy Mother's Day! Show us your jugs!

Back to the woods--the phoebe nest on a cliff, right across from the Church in the Wildwood.

A closer look showed that it was about to explode, so we backed off. You don't want to get too close to a phoebe nest where you can see faces. They're spooky little things when they get near fledging age, and might fledge prematurely.

My father, now gone since 1994, used to sing "The Little Brown Church in the Vale" when we'd go on car rides. He could sing, but he had no rhythm, and you never knew how many times he was going to sing the word "come" when he sang "Oh, come, come, come, come, come to the church in the wildwood, oh, come to the church in the vale." We'd get so tickled trying to sing along with him, especially my mom, who is a good singer and does have rhythm.

Down along County Road 12 not far from our home, we found The Church in the Wildwood. It has been cleaned up over the past year, and it was nice to see it looking cared for. We like to stop there because there are always yellow warblers and phoebes on the stream bend in front of it.

Dad would have been 97 on June 18. I was the last of five children, and the nurse thought Dad was my grandfather when she came out into the waiting room to tell him I'd been born. He was only 46, but that was considered pretty old at the time to be hanging out in a delivery room waiting area for your child to be born. He'd been out pheasant hunting and was still in his boots and mackinaw. We lived in South Dakota.

I like to stop there because when I look at the church, I can still hear my father singing. Happy birthday, DOD. Wish you could talk to these kids.


Dates that stick with us,
and melodies that remain as clear as the day we sang them, years ago--chances to go back and remember.
For those who gave us many things in life, continue to give to us, even upon their passing--things that never will fade away.

Jugfest?--let's go! :-)

Your tributes to your dad always choke me up. He sounds like an amazing man. I met him once, at your wedding. What a fun and wonderful day THAT was!

This one brought tears to my eyes.
Nina's comment sums up my feelings so perfectly-

It must have been an exhausting, happy, and bittersweet visit. The wonderful. Sniffle.

My grandmother wore those stockings to the knee, too. I never understood that.

I do remember Granny's garter hose and you're right about the donkey! On really hot days my grandmother would roll them down to her ankles. :)

I always love the pictures of Chet Balker. The ham!

I am sure he is smiling down so very proudly on his little girl.

Wiggling into panty hose is probably not an option with arthritic hips; nothing my grandmas wore was ever above the knee anyway; and moreover, panty hose are a newfangled creation of the devil. I wear them maybe--maybe--once a year.

Your kids are going to have such great memories of their parents too!
The Potter picture is sweet to me since all my kids are Potter fans and I remember having to stop and buy the a newly released Potter book on the way out for a big day of scalloping on the Gulf.
The 3 of theme fussed and then worked out some kind of rotation of snorkeling, reading, eating ... rinse and repeat so each could start the book THAT day.

Ah, Happy Birthday Julie's Dad. I have a feeling he'd approve heartily of your chosen celebration for the day - family, birds, horses, donkeys, humor and music. Thanks so much for sharing. It's so comforting to know we all stop to have a tear and a smile on those special days.

Well, here's my two-fer comment. Yes, singing together that wonderful little song. Wasn't it great when such songs were popular. My family sang together in the car--and all had good voices. Something I miss with my hubby & kids--non-singers (sigh).
And the other comment--my dad's birthday was June 14 (close to your dad's) and we just celebrate his 90th, complete with a party and cake--we skipped the candles, however. No sense setting the retirement village on fire.

Great pictures and story Julie.

The droopy brown donkey brought to mind another reminiscence for me--remember Ruth Buzzi's little old lady character on the Rowan & Martin Laugh-In show years ago? Same lookin' legs..... (you're right, I'm weird!)

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