Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Northern Mockingbird Photos

Northern Mockingbird Peering: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! I was excited to get these northern mockingbird photos to share with you. I see them every now and then but they are usually in tree tops too far away to capture.
Northern Mockingbird: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This northern mockingbird looked like it might fly away when it saw me with my camera.
Northern Mockingbird Feathers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
But I'm glad it hung around for a while, even through some gusts of wind that ruffled its feathers.
Northern Mockingbird Grooming: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 I think you can see the ruffled feathers of this pretty wild bird better in this photo.
Northern Mockingbird Peering: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I wonder if the northern mockingbird was waiting on its mate? I hope they find each other!

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you and our feathered friends!

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Wet & Wild Birds:
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Friday, March 25, 2016

White Lilies for Good Friday

Easter Lily Rising: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 NIV

A blessed Good Friday to you! I wanted to do something special this floral Friday and was thrilled to find these white Easter lilies to photograph for you in place of my normal garden photos (which, God willing, will resume next week). 
Easter Lily Macro: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I like how the background lily is facing in a similar diagonal direction as the front one here.
Pretty Lily Macro: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 The white background makes the green centers really stand out.
Releasing Lily Macro: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This lily is just starting to show its age but is still beautiful.
Cluster of Easter Lilies: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
And this group of lilies has both buds and open flowers. I think the buds are pretty too.

God loves you! May He bless and keep you this Easter season and always!

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Multicolored lilies:
Good Friday haiku poem:
Resurrection Chapel:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Macaw Parrot Photos by Ben Wheeler

Macaw parrot posing: Copyright © Ben Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! My talented husband kindly agreed to share his macaw parrot photos with us. He took them on a recent trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo in their delightful bird house.
Macaw parrot cuteness: Copyright © Ben Wheeler, 2016
I love the macaws, their bright feathers and friendly expressions.
Arty macaw parrot: Copyright © Ben Wheeler, 2016
There are usually two macaws in the bird house but we only saw one on our last trip. I hope the other one was just hiding or getting routine care.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you, the zookeepers and the beautiful macaws!

Related posts with photos by Ben Wheeler:
Assorted zoo photos:
Baby monkey photos:
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Friday, March 18, 2016

Primroses, Daffodils, and Flowering Quince

White and yellow primrose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday and welcome to "this week in my Maryland garden!" We might get snow this weekend but it feels like spring right now. My kind husband even bought me six new primroses so we'll have more colors to bring you if they survive the upcoming frost and potential snow. I will probably cover them on nights with frost to boost their chances of survival.
First daffodils of 2016: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
This week brings our first daffodils of the year. I love their bright yellow flowers. 
Fuschia, white and yellow primrose: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
The bright fushia primrose, featured last week, is still going strong. 
Flowering quince: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
We don't have a flowering quince bush but Mary does and she's generous enough to share. Thank you, Mary! You can see a tour of her backyard garden retreat here.
Daffodils: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Here are a few more of our daffodils. Happiest spring wishes to you and yours. May God bless you!

Related posts:
Daffodil photos and poem:
Missy's garden:
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Peacocks in Trees and Pretty Feathers

Peering peacock: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! I took these photos in the bird house at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC. This handsome peacock watched me take his photo.
Peacocks in a tree: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
It was the first time I'd seen both peacocks up in the tree together. I didn't see the peahen (female peacock) on this trip but there are always some amazing birds in the bird house.
Cascading feathers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I love the beautiful peacock feathers. 
Peacock in tree: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Other visitors entered from another direction and the peacock looked towards them (there are three ways to enter this part of the exhibit).
Peacock feathers: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Here's a close up of the cascading peacock feathers. They are so pretty. God has amazing creativity!

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Hellebores, Primroses, Periwinkle and a Cherry Blossom Wreath

Burgundy hellebore with lilac buds: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy floral Friday and welcome to the first "this week in my Maryland garden" post for 2016! This is the first week I've had enough flowers in the yard for posting. The hellebores have been blooming for a while but until this week they've been the only flowers in our yard. Most hellebore flowers droop downwards. I propped this one up with a lilac branch so you can see the pretty hellebore face.
Pretty primroses: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 The first primroses of 2016 are blooming. Just two so far but more have buds.
Bluish purple periwinkle: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 Pretty purple-blue periwinkle (also called vinca) is also popping up here and there.
Hellebore close up photo: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
 Here's an artsy take on the burgundy hellebore flower.
Cherry blossom wreath: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
These are artificial flowers but they remind me of spring and I love cherry blossoms. It's my favorite front door wreath so far. Sorry it's through the screen door but you get the general idea.

Happy almost spring! Thank you for visiting! May God bless you this season and always!

Related posts:
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pretty Insects on Giant Red Zinnias and Joe Pye Weed

Pretty insect on giant red zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! It's an amazingly warm and beautiful day here in Maryland. Although spring won't officially be here for a few more weeks, it feels like it's here and I'm enjoying the warm days.
Skipper on Joe Pye Weed: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I haven't seen a butterfly or moth in the wild yet this year but hope these photos from last August make you smile. Spring and summer with their wild delights will be here before long.
Cute insect on giant red zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Last year I experimented with starting a batch of early zinnia seeds indoors and direct sowing the rest. The direct sowed plants quickly caught up with those sown indoors and then turned out to be far sturdier. They were from different sources so it could be that the direct sown seeds would have grown stronger plants anyway but this year I'm planning to just direct sow the zinnias and pray for the best.
Feeding insect on giant red zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Last year I waited until after Mother's day for direct sowing and I'll probably do the same this year.
Double insect love on giant zinnia: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
If you have room in your garden, zinnias are a great delight for both humans and animals. We had finches, hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and moths enjoying ours.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you today and always!

Related posts:
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Beautiful Swans at Thomas Point Park

So many beautiful swans: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
Happy wild Wednesday! This week I was treated to the amazing sight of a huge group of wild swans at Thomas Point Park in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 
Graceful wild swans: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I think this was my third visit to this hidden gem of a park and it was the first time I saw the swans.
Flapping swan wings: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
It seemed like they were aware of me watching them and the closer swans spent most of their time with their heads in the water so I felt really blessed to get this photo of a swan with its wings partially extended and body mostly out of the water.
Feeding swans: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
I love their graceful necks.
Gorgeous group of swans: Copyright © Phyllis Wheeler, 2016
It's amazing how much wildlife we can find even near large cities. I'm not sure if the swans are still there, and if they are, how long they'll remain but if you're a local, it might be worth a trip to see them. My understanding is that permits are required starting April 1st, they will cost $5 each and are limited to a certain number per day so March is a great time to visit. That's all for this wild Wednesday. May God bless you and yours!

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Cute critters on flowers: