Hummingbird Profiles #4 – Amazing 素晴らしい

Hummingbird Profiles #4
Hummingbird Profiles #4, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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endlessly enduring
achieving the amazing
single parent
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I’m finally able to catch a few moments to post and visit a few blogs today.  Although I haven’t been able to respond to each of your comments, I continue to appreciate all your kind words, encouragement, visits and likes.  Thank you.

We hit more bumps in the road recently with my mother’s health, and her cancer chemotherapy treatments had to be postponed two times in a row now.  In addition, there is more cancer growth, another metastasized spot detected from an MRI scan taken a little over a week ago, more procedures, and radiation.  We continue to hope that we will receive some bit of good news in the near future, instead of worsening news.  These still remain scary, hectic, and gut wrenching times.

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Here is the fourth image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a female broad-tailed hummingbird.  An image of the male broad-tailed hummingbird was posted here.  Hummingbirds in general are quite amazing, and their dense, cuplike nests have been described as “amazing architectural creations that protect and nurture some of the most delicate birds.”  Hummingbird nests are built by the female, entirely by the female bird, spending several hours a day for up to a week collecting materials to build the nest.  Also, the females raise the chicks – single parenting.  The male hummingbirds are not involved in raising the young after the act of copulation is complete.

I continue to dedicate this hummingbird series to my mother.  My mother, who became divorced and a single parent when I was too young to remember, raised, supported and nurtured me, AND worked full time and multiple jobs to provide for me.  She has overcome many hardships over the years, and is one of the most compassionate, sincere and generous people I know.  She is also one of the most AMAZING and beautiful people I know!

I’m including two Japanese words to represent “amazing”

素晴らしい  (すばらしい), which is read subarashi
(superb; fantastic; marvelous; wonderful; terrific; amazing; great)

and

凄い  (すごい), which is read sugoi
(amazing – of strength; great – of skills; wonderful; terrific;)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning

Sharing Breakfast
Sharing Breakfast, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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bathing in pollen
before autumn awakens
summer breakfast
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Whenever I can, I like to get in a dose of nature as part of my morning routine – regardless of the season or weather.

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Hummingbird Profiles #3 – Powerful, Strength 強力

Hummingbird Profiles #3
Hummingbird Profiles #3, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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a new chill on my skin
colors change before my eyes
autumn migration
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Yesterday was the start of my Mom’s second chemotherapy treatment.  She will have 12 total treatments over the next six months, minimum.  There are certainly side effects, but not to the extent we expected so far.  She is not brutally ill like we anticipated.  She is doing ok overall even though it is still a struggle for her, especially for the first week after the treatment.  We are all well aware of the physical and mental power and strength needed to make our way through this journey, including all the other hurdles we have going on at the same time.

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Here is the third image in my hummingbird photomanipulation series I did last year.  This is a male Rufous hummingbird.  The Rufous is a later arriver at our feeders, first appearing in the middle of July, and is also the first of the hummingbird species to leave.  Although a few hummingbirds are still here at our feeders, the Rufous in particular have already departed.  I did not have the opportunity to enjoy seeing and photographing the hummingbirds as much this summer as in previous years, but I at least got a couple of photo sessions in this past spring.

Since autumn officially arrives here in the northern hemisphere in a few days, on September 22, I thought the beautiful coloring of the Rufous hummingbird was appropriate to welcome the new season.

A common symbolism of hummingbirds is powerful energy and the ability to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  They are built for power, with about 30% of their weight consisting of flight muscles.  Some migrate impressive distances – up to 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico.  Two behaviors separate the Rufous from other hummingbird:  1) It ventures farther north during the migration than any other, reaching the southeastern coast of Alaska, and 2) It has the longest known migration of any bird species, traveling over 3,000 miles between Mexico and Alaska.

Hummingbirds symbolize Powerful and Strength
(in Japanese, it is 強力 (きょうりょく), which is read kyouryoku

I also saw another translation of 強力 as “herculean strength.”  I believe it, given the strength and stamina these little hummingbirds need for their long journey!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Male Flicker
Male Flicker, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)
Female Flicker
Female Flicker, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

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indelible patterns
embellish autumn colors
woodpecker clothing
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These are photos of a male (top) and female (lower) Red-shafted Northern Flicker.  They are a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family and are known as one of the few woodpecker species that migrate.  They reside in western North America.  (There is also a Yellow-shafted variety that resides in eastern North America.)

Their outer coloring is mostly neutral with handsome black-scalloped plumage along their back, a bold black chest crescent, and white/buff with black spotting along their front feathers.  The males have a red moustache.  Both sexes are red under their tail and wings, and are stunning when they take off with their vibrant flashes and flickers of red!  They eat mainly ants and beetles, and spend lots of time on the ground.

Their colors are indicative of autumn for me.  Here, they frequent our suet feeders in the winter, and are gone by spring.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture which means pattern to you.

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THE BIRD D’POT
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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petite cotton balls
blanketing as downy quilts
their journey accomplished
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It’s still the middle of autumn, but the last three days have made me feel like we’re in the middle of winter.  We received our second large snowstorm this season, and the biggest snowstorm in over a year, per our local evening news.  My eyes confirm that statement based on how deep the snow is in our yard.

It’s amazing how quickly the weather can change.  Thursday was a very nice, sunny, warm day with temperatures in the mid 60’sF (about 19 Celsius) and no snow on the ground.  On Friday morning, we woke up to about a foot of snow (30cm) and freezing temperatures, and it has been snowing almost nonstop since.  Saturday morning we woke up to a few more inches of snow, about 16 inches total (41cm).  Right now, Sunday afternoon, there is about 22 inches (55cm) of heavy, wet snow accumulated on our deck since Friday.  You can see the difference in those snow depths among the above images.  (I live at an elevation of about 5,500 ft/1,676 meters.  The elevation of nearby Salt Lake City is 4,226 ft/1,288 meters.)

I enjoy the beauty of living where we experience all four distinct seasons.  Freshly fallen snow blanketing the mountains and valleys is certainly beautiful in the winter, even if I don’t like driving in it.  However, last year was a dismal snowfall year here.  We live in a dry, desert climate, and my state’s (Utah, USA) water supply is dependent on the buildup of winter snowpack in the mountains and the resulting spring water runoffs into our reservoirs.  Also, the ski tourism industry here, with 14 world-class ski resorts and “The Greatest Snow on Earth®” is an important part of the regional economy and obviously dependent on snow levels.

Hopefully, this large snowstorm indicates a good start to a respite and renewing some of the snowfall totals we didn’t get last year.   However, the Utah State University Climate Center found that over the past 40 years, Utah has warmed twice as fast as the global average, and our annual snowpack is shrinking.  Time will tell, but it is a situation that cannot be ignored.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to share a picture
that means renewal to you.

Linking up with:
YOUR SUNDAY BEST 

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“S” Challenge: Survival

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avian banquet
abruptly evacuated
predator shadow
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Lately our birdseed feeders have been swarming with more feathered friends, moreso than this past summer.  There could be 30+ finches, chickadees, pine siskins and scrub jays monopolizing the four feeders at any one time, quickly depleting the food.  Then suddenly, it seems like one of the birds sounds an alarm and they disappear in a flash!  Yesterday, we saw why.  As the small birds evacuated, another larger bird flew across all the feeders and perched in a tree just outside our deck near those feeders…it was a stunning sight!

I believe this bird is a prairie falcon.  (Can anyone confirm its identification for me?)  With a length of up to 50 centimeters, their diet consists mainly of smaller birds caught in flight, and small mammals.  Recently, I found one of the feeders covered in fresh blood.  I thought some of the little birds got in a fight, but now I’m wondering if this hunter had anything to do with it.  Anyway, I would flee too, if I were in danger of being eaten!

(Although it has been snowing heavily these past two days, I was glad to be able to get some shots of this activity.)

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This is for the letter “S” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

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