Kids say funny things: Part 7. Birds are chirping

With warmer weather and more sunshine trees are shaking off its winter slumber and birds are getting more vocal too.

On a stroll last weekend, kids and I walked near a tall tree with chirping sounds coming from above; but no sight of birds. This tree however kept its leaves and its sprawling branches made a ring of dark shadow on the ground. We peeked underneath carefully and quickly: wanted to avoid any bird dropping surprises.

A Eucalyptus tree from Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. (Not a picture of the actual tree I’m referring to)

Me: “Can you guys see any of the birds?”

Kids: Looking up at the tree and its intertwined bare branches…They could hear varied chirping sounds from different tree spots but none were visible.

Me: “I guess they’re busy building nests.” I’m not sure of that statement’s accuracy, but in passing I learned that birds build nests and lay eggs in the spring when leaves start to grow on trees. Good time for baby birds to hatch and get stronger so they’re mature by summer.

Ellis: “They are singing loud.”

Silence. Everyone doing their own thing. Me: sipping coffee from my tumbler and checking out new flower buds. Elliot: hopping on lines of the sidewalk.

Ellis: “I think they’re practicing a song.”

Me: “What song?”

Ellis: In a low voice, she mumbles to herself. “Maybe they’re practicing the happy birthday song to sing for my birthday.”

Elliot: “What song?!” He asks loudly like he couldn’t believe what he heard.

Ellis: “To sing happy birthday for me for my birthday.” She shyly responds putting her hands in her jacket pocket.

Elliot: “Oh Ellis. I don’t think they know that song.”

I wish I could see the world where birds sing only for me and the same squirrel, named Fretz, pops up to say “hello” whenever we see a random one around town. If the squirrel looks different, it’s assumed to be Fretz’s girlfriend or uncle.

Flower of the Day: February 10, 2020

Pre-spring buds


“Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.”
― Elizabeth Bowen

Trees are wearing nothing but branches. But spring is coming soon; little green sprouts are appearing and brown bulls are showing up at the end of branches. Those will soon become green, giving us shade.

This is a great time to observe the texture of flowers and see the blooming process. It seems new each time although it happens every year.

Thanks Cee for hosting this FOTD challenge!

Flower of the Day: April 26, 2019/ A cozy nook

I love anything cozy. If I could, I’d pull up a chair and nestle into that little nook on the right below. So much shade, breeze, and bounty of spring fragrance all around.

Photo taken on a Lily Pond trail walk at Golden Gate Park, SF.

“Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”

– Gustave Mahler

Nature can be so sneaky

Every spring, I’m amazed at the speed of how little buds burst into leaves. Some trees produce delicate flowers and then blow away.

So many mysteries and questions with nature’s cycles. One morning the branches are bare; next morning little buds miraculously appear.

I’m an eager botany student, but the learning is slow going. But it’s fun to learn through observation and admiration of nature doing its thing faithfully every season.


Do these pink flower clusters come before the leaves?


“Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.”

-Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Thanks Cee for hosting this FOTD challenge! Happy to share…https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/59080076/posts/35529

A little flower blooms despite hostile conditions

Words from my six-year-old son gazing at our abandoned plants: “Mommy, we are terrible planters. Everything dies.”

My gardening skills are disastrous. I could take a perfectly thriving plant and kill it in days. But my hopeless optimism convinces me to plant seeds each spring. Occasional crops that sprout drive this desire: a mini watermelon; a tiny zucchini; couple of jalapeno peppers; and a handful of green beans and basil.

  • Our many gardening attempts through the years. The photos above show the flowers and plants at their best. Photos were not taken at their worst state.

In spring 2017 we opted to plant flowers instead of vegetables. We implemented good gardening habits: watering daily, supplementing with vitamins, and trimming. Then, life got busy and flowers neglected.

Maybe it was denial or laziness (probably the latter), but I left the plants to just dry up. I think I silently hoped they would disappear or disintegrate on its own. Other times I convinced myself that it had a cool vintage look. However, the recent rain and warmer weather bloomed new flowers; little spurts of life in dried soil and stiff stems.

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We screamed with surprise! The resilience of these little blooms remind me of beautiful wildflowers blooming along the highway and in unlikely places. So wild, charming, and untamed.

Life is resilient too. When we think there’s nothing left, something begins to sprout and gives hope that all is not lost.

“Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” – E.V. Lucas