More baby birds!

We went from this:
Robin eggs

to this:
Baby birds!

Most of the time, Mama Robin’s still sitting on top of them, so I was lucky to get this shot this afternoon.

Today, grateful for the turning of the seasons. (Also very happy because of the fun concert at my daughter’s school this afternoon.)

What are you grateful for today?

Another long weekend

At least this weekend was planned — the school district always does a four-day weekend for Presidents’ Day (unless they’re trying to make up for missed snow days). Usually, I like to spend this long weekend in Boston at Boskone, but this year, the convention is scheduled for next weekend, so that’s a non-starter.

Currently, we have snow falling and it’s so cold outside that even the salt on the roads isn’t melting it. This is due to change within the next twelve hours, however, and the snow should be rain by morning — which means the kids will not have a delay. Yay!

Honestly, though, they’ve been pretty good about letting me work. My son was designing something in Minecraft that he wanted me to look at, and my daughter wants someone to play with her on the couch, but I got done what I needed to do for the day. Can’t complain about that. In fact, since I did get done what I was aiming for, I think I will go play with the girl for a bit.

Before the snow fell, however, most of the ground was bare, and the starling flock that migrates through (both fall and spring) was visiting our front yard. I got a few pictures, including one lovely shot of them on the wing. Enjoy!
starlings in flight

And another thing

I was trying to figure out what to talk about today, what moved my ungrateful little heart when I’m sick once again. But I have so much to be grateful for!

  • Medicine to ease my symptoms 
  • Insurance and flexible time so I can go to the doctor 
  • Hot tea to soothe my throat 
  • Other writers to hang out with online 
  • The Internet itself
  • Good books to read
  • Kids who love reading as much as I do 
  • Good books for them to read
  • A dog who loves to cuddle
  • Awesome wildlife (See pictures below, taken yesterday)

What are you grateful for today?


A few notes

If you get my newsletter (and read it — goodness knows those aren’t always the same thing!), you’ll know that I was taken recently with Austin Kleon‘s books. I wrote up a review of them for Vision: A Resource For Writers, and it went live earlier this week.
Book Review: Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon

SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is launching a New Release Newsletter! This newsletter will go out every two months, and will feature science fiction and fantasy new releases and backlist rereleases from SFWA members. Each newsletter will contain information on works of all lengths from the talented writers admitted to the premier professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. Anyone can sign up! This is a newsletter for readers, librarians and booksellers to help them find their next favorite story.

Sign up to receive the newsletter.
The first issue, which went out this week

Do you remember the robins that built their nest in the holly bush outside our door last year? This year, we discovered a robin who had more bravery than sense, although last I checked, it hadn’t been a problem yet. Her nest was built on the structure at our local playground, where kids play and any passing predatory bird could easily see the fledglings. Here she is, on the nest, as well as pics of the eggs before hatching and the new hatchlings last week.
robin on her nest

robin's eggs in the nest

baby robins in the nest

The next big adventure: the kids get out of school for the summer tomorrow! Fortunately, I learned last year that I can be possibly more productive in the summer because I don’t have as short a day to work (and I don’t have to get up so early in the morning, either).

So that’s what’s new here as we head into June. Do you have any new and exciting things going on?

Latest bird feeder visitors

Today, I’ve had a cluster of house finches visiting. The first pictures I tried to take weren’t clear enough to share — they landed on the ground, and their plumage kind of blended into the muddy spot below the feeder. I finally got a couple of pictures worth showing off. (Yes, that’s a female cardinal in the second picture, where I caught the one finch midflight.)

finches in the dogwood

finches in the air

More short short fiction

I posted about the one drabble that went live on January 31, but I forgot to mention that I actually sold 7 drabbles to SpeckLit to appear during the first quarter of this year. The second one, “Future Sight,” went up on Wednesday.

Future drabbles will go up on February 14, February 22, March 4, March 8, and March 14.

In other news, I think we’ve hit the part of the year where I don’t see the grass for more than a month. Fortunately, the roads are mostly clear, although there are places where the ice has built up and seems like it will never melt. (Also, some corners get to be a bit hazardous, as the snowplows pile up the white stuff and you can’t see whether a car’s coming.)

Thus, we’re trying to keep the bird feeders stocked for our feathered friends. They seem to appreciate it, even the ones who are camera shy. I’ve been trying to get a picture of this red-bellied woodpecker for a while now, but every time I moved toward the window, he would fly away. Today, I resorted to crawling below the window ledge until I got into a position where I could take his picture.
red-bellied woodpecker

Gallery of the birds

As promised, the gallery of photos from egg to young bird, able to fly. Enjoy.

(Not my) empty nest syndrome

It had to happen; the baby robins are adolescents, out playing their rock music or at least chirping every time something moves within fifty feet of them. I went out to take the daily picture on Monday, and they freaked out and flew out of the nest. I got a picture of one of the young ones on the sidewalk. Continue reading