Thankful for the Birdsong

Mrs Hop's Scarecrow

My friend Betty made this scarecrow for me many years ago.

I’m going to be honest; I haven’t worked in my garden in weeks, other than deadheading some of my roses. But every single day I am thankful to be able to look out into my garden and enjoy what is there. The garden will always attract me, but I also love watching the birds in and around the garden. It seems to be the perfect time of year for starlings to put on their shows – or murmurations. It is so neat to watch! Our garden is filled with birds, as there is still a lot for them to eat.

June 2013 Monsignor McCloskey in the garden

Monsignor McCloskey in the church garden in 2013, in Fayetteville, NY

Three very dear friends of mine, all of whom sadly have now passed away, also had a love of birds. Monsignor McCloskey used to have several bird feeders outside his living room window so that he could watch them during the day in his retirement. He also had a wrist watch that had several different bird whistles that it could play on command. He loved showing this to the children before or after mass on a Sunday!

Betty & Harold at the 4th of July parade in 2006 in Manlius, NY

Betty (far left in blue top) & Harold with my very young children at the 4th of July parade in 2006 in Manlius, NY

My other friends, and former neighbors, Betty and Harold, had their bird feeders right outside their kitchen window. I loved my visits with Monsignor and my visits with Betty and Harold, and it was such a bonus to get to enjoy the bird shows, too!

Aug 2015 bird at Betty's feeder

At a visit to ‘Betty’s kitchen’ in 2015

Aug 2015 hummingbird drinking at Betty's window

This was a a treat for me while visiting Betty and Harold in 2015 as I rarely see hummingbirds!

Aug 2015 chipmunk at Betty's feeder

O.K., so not always birds at Betty’s bird feeders!

I think of Monsignor, Betty, and Harold now as I marvel at the starling’s formations, or as I enjoy the birdsong that is constant in my yard, despite not having a ‘bird feeder’. I miss them, and am so thankful for the many years we enjoyed each other’s friendship. I still can’t believe how blessed I am to have had such special people in my life.

Tree full of birds Nov 16

This tree, as seen from my yard, is always filled with either starlings or crows, depending on the day!

They have had such a huge impact on me, simply by being themselves. I can still hear their voices, and their words of wisdom and comfort, and their laughs. They might not be here in person, but they are always with me in my heart.

Dead sunflowers with Goldfinch Oct 2019

These sunflowers will be left for most of the winter. In the middle of this picture (although not in focus) is a lovely male Goldfinch, noted by his red face and black and white head.

I’m thankful for the pure beauty of the birdsong, and the chance to not only hear it but to see the birds in all of their singing glory. I’m also thankful for those who share in this love of birdsong, especially Monsignor, Betty and Harold. May we each find our own ‘birdsong’.

I wish all of my American family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

In Peace,

Dried fall flowers Thanksgiving 2019

Dried fall flower arrangement.

In a Vase on Monday: Pink, Purple, Red & Coral … in November!

Pink Hesperanthus (schizostylis)

Pink Hesperanthus (schizostylis)

Hello there!  I am so looking forward to this week’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme!  My weekend included one whole entire day that had no scheduled activities.  woohoo!  That meant garden time for me.  To top off that great schedule, the weather was incredible on Saturday; very mild and beautifully sunny!



I worked until I was physically exhausted and could do no more.  There is always so much to do in a garden!  I would not call it work though because I enjoy all of it.  But it certainly does take time and effort.  Lots of effort.

Knautia macedonica "Red Knight"

Knautia macedonica “Red Knight”

After my hard working day, I was so happy to take some time and gather flowers.  At that stage though, I had to move quickly to catch the setting sun in my pictures.  My collection includes Hesperantha, Erysimum Bowles’ Mauve, Geranium, and  Knautia Macedonica ‘Red Knight’.

Erysimum Bowles' mauve

Erysimum Bowles’ mauve

I grouped the erysimum bowles’ Mauve all together.  The individual flowers were rather   wimpy looking on their own.  The group of them look almost substantial!



The geranium are two lovely shades.  We were scheduled to have a very hard frost on Saturday night (which we did have), so there days are seriously numbered.  They are from last year, though, so they have had a great long life.

Evening sunlight

Evening sunlight

I just love the evening sunlight…

In a Vase on Monday...

In a Vase on Monday…

This cute little arrangement fits nicely on our kitchen table.  I don’t have any pictures of that to show you, ’cause my kitchen is a bit of a disaster at the moment 😉

November in the garden...

November in the garden…

The vase I bought at a charity shop in Switzerland 18 years ago.  It is a very simple piece of pottery.  I last used it to hold an arrangement of barley, with the raffia tied in front.  It was for a special friend who really appreciated it.  But when she was done with it, she gave me back the little vase. So now I have it with memories of my friend too.

A different view

A different view

Remember, you can see other “In a Vase on Monday” posts at: Cathy’s blog .

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a good week!