Count it all joy

From the time I was a little girl, I’ve loved dandelions. But do let me say this: I’ve never been in charge of lawn management. Nor have I had much to do with weed control, unless you count the teenage years when my mother paid me $2.50 an hour to “manage” her flower beds.

Just this week I looked at our greening lawn and saw this beauty.

Do you look at this and think What a miracle?

Oh, nature. Thank you for beauty, everywhere.



The Promise

Did I happen to mention it’s cray-cray season around here in bird land?

It’s something we confirmed this weekend when Tim and I spent a couple of hours in the backyard doing the difficult Spring work of SITTING AROUND WATCHING while the entire animal kingdom struts, preens and prods in an effort to find romantic, even if temporary, love. I haven’t seen so much chasing, and running from, and then just happening to show back up activity since college! The finches were so aggressive they came within a foot of my head on multiple occasions, not one bit concerned that I was a human minding my own business there under the shelter of the walkout porch. Next thing I know the two males are fretting like crazy, flying from the gutter to the screen, and screen to gutter, their little wings flapping furiously.



I go to investigate and discover the two females have somehow squeezed themselves through the tiny opening where the screen porch door is off-kilter, and with them on the inside, and the males on the outside, you’ve never heard such carrying on!





It took some time and some engineering that involved a bit of birdseed, but I did eventually manage to get all four of them on the same side–the outside–of the screen porch. A couple of hours later I walked down to my studio, looked out the window and caught sight of this.


It was my favorite moment of Spring, this sweet scene during which reunited, the male fed the female beak-to-beak, his sign of love, a demonstration of his commitment to their family, his promise to her.

Thank you, Spring. You bring so many gorgeous reminders that in spite of it all, the world is still a very beautiful place.



Ta Da!

After five years and 642 posts, I am thrilled to debut a new layout for The Daily Grace! I wasn’t unhappy with the old one, truth be told–it had just become a technological dinosaur. I hope you’ll find this one easier to read, particularly on mobile devices like your phone or tablet.

Thanks to my dear friends for their help and support: Greg Hardin for the backend work; Maria Fabrizio for illustration; Vickie Quigg for being my Wordpress guru; and Tom Barr for answering the phone (and my questions) when I called and called and called.

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Love is all around.


I am thrilled to report the mallards are back!

You remember them, no doubt, the courageous couple who–just last summer–nested beneath the daylilies on the edge of our koi(-less) pond. It was the drama of the season, if you don’t include the saga of Harry and the bluebird babies, since the mallard story involved nine gigantic eggs, two large gorging snakes, and one human’s year-long fear of retribution from all of reptiledom. (I may or may not have lost my head and insisted that my brave husband bludgeon the first IT’S DEFINITELY POISONOUS snake, which he did just for me.) You’ll find that entire story here.


i love them.
i love them.


The Canada geese are back, as well.




We’ve been raising babies together since that first big gaggle in 2009 and I love these devoted parents and each and every little ball of yellow fur like it was our very first. I also worry about each like it is the primary target of all the big ol’ turtles out there, which sadly happens to be true.


our little family, circa 2010
our little family, circa 2010


She-Blu and He-Blu are everywhere, flying in tandem, fishing like there’s no tomorrow. (For a long time we didn’t realize there were two blue herons, so rare is it to see them together.) This morning I spotted one of them on the Eagle’s perch in the Cope’s side yard. What is up with that?





As if that’s not enough, guess who else showed  up?




The Eagles! They’ve been about, and Sunday afternoon, one or the other showed up to hang with us all during a happy hour cocktail down on the deck at the edge of our yard. I can’t remember the last time one of them came to sit in those trees—outposts they used to frequent.





And I must say, that’s nothing compared to the goings-on of the songbirds. Yes, love is all around and I will tell you that story next time. (There just might be a bluebird sighting.)

The promise of Spring. So happy it has come to Bickley’s Pond!



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It’s Official!

turtlesYou no doubt remember how much I love the sight of the Bickley’s Pond turtles sunning on the bank that edges our back yard. Today was clearly Day One of Spring–for there they were shell-to-shell, necks craned skyward. I took a moment to enjoy the view, thinking about two things:

1. How nice it was to feel the sunshine on my face
2. What it must be like for those turtles to feel it, too, after months and months beneath the muck and mud of the pond.

Oh, yes. It is time to celebrate Spring!



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the miracle

Unlike many people in this galaxy, I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about Star Trek. And other than a small book of poetry from high school, I have ever known much about Leonard Nimoy. But I have to say my heart jumped a bit when this Nimoy quote rolled by in my Facebook feed.

The miracle is this:
the more we share, the more we have.

I wholeheartedly believe our riches come from giving, spiritually, emotionally, and in daily life/practical terms. But until now, I’ve never thought of this concept as the Great Miracle. Of course it is!

Thank you, Leonard Nimoy, for a profound lesson in grace.


photo courtesy @juliesturner

(And thank you, Julie Turner, for yet another beautiful stair quote. What rich lessons your boys are learning.)



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Wishing and Hoping

The snow had come, the snow had gone, and in its wake we were left with a bitter cold rain that turned to ice. I mourned the missed opportunity, the very real truth that I’d have to wait another year for the mere chance at snow, another 12 months (or so) before there would even be the thrill of remote possibility. Then I looked out the window to see this guy.


In a flash he reminded me the critters are out there all up in it, doing their very best to find food and stay warm. No doubt the critters are out there wishing and hoping–hoping and wishing–for the blessing of an early Spring.


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