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First off, I want to make it clear that this post is NOT about Summer Girl, even though the pictures look like her.

We got the sad news Wednesday that Manners and Susan’s furbaby, Indigo, had to go over the Rainbow Bridge. Indigo was named after the color “indigo“, which is a dark purplish blue, almost black. Indigo, also known as “Indy“, was a Black Cat Ninja, just like Summer Girl is, and like Oz (Emily’s furbaby) and Cosmo (Wendy’s furbaby) were. So all of us in the family had a Black Cat Ninja at one time, but now Summer Girl is the only one left. Indigo looked so much like Summer Girl he could have been her twin, but he had much larger eyes than Summer Girl. He was such a sweet baby, always so affectionate. I am so glad that we got to meet him when we visited in 2019. Since we were there, my sister and her partner have lost so many of their furbabies. They lost their precious chihuahua, Mimi, just a little over a year ago, and now Indy is gone. Indy was Susan’s baby and slept on her bed every night. I know their hearts are broken. It is extremely hard to lose a furbaby, and if you have ever had any pets that were like family to you, then you will understand.


I read something just a couple of days ago that said cats and dogs do not die…once they go over the Rainbow Bridge, they live on in our hearts forever. I think this is a good way to look at it. While our furbabies are with us, they provide us with unconditional love…and I mean totally unconditional. They impose no limits on their love, no conditions or requirements. They do not hold grudges or dwell on our many shortcomings, they just give us love. So it makes sense that when they go over the Bridge, they become pure love, which is pretty close to what they were when they were here with us. You see, there is nothing but pure love over the Rainbow Bridge. There is no dislike or hate or disagreement, just love. That is why cats and dogs and all sorts of other critters get along once they cross over.

So we had to say goodbye to sweet little Indigo. In time, Manners and Susan will feel the heartbreak lessen and feel the love of Indigo grow in their hearts. We know that he is now playing with Mimi and all the other pets that they have lost over the years. Rest in love, little Indy.


After all that bad news, I thought making a hummingbird video would be a good thing to maybe cheer me up. Linda alerted me to one sitting outside our living room window the other day. Since he was sitting still, I decided to video the little guy. At first he was busy preening his feathers, but then he settled down and just rested and looked around. I was able to see him breathing, he was so still. Near the end of the video he was looking right at me, then he stretched his wings and took off. So sweet! (Turn your sound on for music).



My cousin, Lynn, sent me this picture a while back which shows some of my immediate family members. Back row (L to R) is my Grandmother Ivey and my Aunt Mimie. Next row is (L to R) my sister and me. Sitting on the couch are (L to R) my cousin Rob, his brother Lee and his Grandmother (my Aunt Ina Ruth), who is holding the newest addition to the family, Lynn. I was glad to get this picture as I don’t believe I had ever seen it before.

What I found interesting about it, many days later when I was looking at it, is the picture on the wall behind everyone. That was a paint-by-numbers painting that my mother did. Paint-by-numbers was apparently a big thing around that time, and my mother did this painting and at least one other, which I now have. I wish I had the one of the geishas as well, but I remember that she took it to a guy who did picture framing in Lumberton back in the 70’s or 80’s to have it re-framed. When she went to pick it up, it was nowhere to be found. Such a shame because I always loved that picture. The one I have that she did is of…hummingbirds (see below).



Summer Girl has graciously agreed to let little Indigo have her spot today. She was so sad to hear that her look-alike cousin had gone over the Rainbow Bridge.


Join me here every week (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.


I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. We had another fantastic Christmas here in Yakima, and yes, it was a white one. Our family, Wendy and Emily, had quite a struggle to get over here because of that white stuff, but they eventually made it on Thursday before Christmas, arriving a little after 11:00pm. We all had a good time visiting, eating, enjoying cocktails, and opening presents.


Since my last post on December 15th I have taken quite a lot of video to share with you. I never know how many people are interested in my videos, but I keep putting them on the blog in hopes that people will like them. I know that some of them tend to be a bit longer than most people’s attention span, but I do cut them back significantly from what I actually shoot. I figure people will watch what they want, and that’s okay.

We had some very cold overnight temperatures during the run-up to Christmas Day. One night (Wednesday 12/21) it actually got down to 2 degrees. Some weather apps put it at below zero, but when it gets that cold, who can tell the difference? Our birdies seem to eat a lot more the colder it gets. I suppose they are trying to keep their body temperatures up. This made for a lot of activity under the seed feeder, and I managed to get some of it on video.

The first video below shows our beloved California Quail foraging around under the feeder. We have seen a lot of Quail lately, sometimes we have had eleven at one time. This video begins with a group of Quail and one lone Magpie. The Magpie is pecking at a peanut butter bird-cake that we threw out under the feeder. It was probably mostly frozen so the birds have to really work at it to get some off. Once the Magpie leaves, the Quail immediately descend upon the same area…they are intimidated by Mr. Magpie because he is so much bigger than they are, and he has that huge beak.

A couple of Quail decide to excavate a hole. Other Quail soon join in. A few curious Sparrows approach, but decide they don’t want to get in on all that work. Pretty soon Quail are coming and going from the hole and there are quite a few of them crammed into it. I can only guess as to why they were digging the hole…apparently there were a lot of seeds underneath the snow at that spot. You can see the Quail pecking at the seed and coming up with snow-covered beaks, which is so cute! Word gets around that there is a pile of seed to be had at the excavation site, and soon we have most of the covey scrambling to get into this hole. Tempers flare and there is a lot of pecking and shoving back and forth. At one point I counted 10 Quail inside the hole! At the 2:05 mark, I have frozen the video so you can see a female Quail at the upper left-hand side who apparently has lost her tail. At least that’s all she lost.


My sweet little Anna’s Hummingbirds continued to come to the heated feeder throughout the bitter cold weather. One little fellow was perched on the wire one morning as soon as it started to get light outside. The video below starts off with the hummer, diligently guarding “his” feeder…then we see the probable cause of the Quail’s missing tail feathers! We’ve had several visits from Mr. Cooper’s Hawk recently. I love how he wags his tail in this video. He most likely has visited more times than we have seen him.


On December 18th we visited Randall Park again, and this time we took the ducks and geese some cracked corn, like we had promised them the last time we were there. They were hungry little buggers and were very appreciative of the corn. The pond was frozen over except for a small area. It was rather cold that day, with a high temperature of 22 degrees.


My last video for this week is one of our resident Spotted Towhees. We are still seeing three of them around the yard, scratching around in the snow for whatever they can find. They seemed to enjoy the bird cake, with the dominant male (he looks a bit bigger than the other male, to me) chasing off everyone whenever he gets the chance. If you watch the video, you can see the female Towhee allowing two Sparrows to share the cake with her. Not so the male, because he arrives and everyone scatters, including the female Towhee. The other birds do manage to sneak a peck at the cake from time to time when he is distracted. At the 1:00 minute mark I have frozen the frame and you can see both the male and female Towhee standing on one foot. I wonder if they do this to keep the other foot warm.


Here are some pictures I took over the past couple of weeks, showing the snow and the four of us having a good time together during the holidays.








She will always be the sweetest little present underneath the Christmas tree!


Join me every Wednesday or Thursday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.


It’s that time of year when we all need to be on our good behavior, because you know, Santa is keeping an eye on us. This is not hard to do when you are inside the house most of the time. Of course, you have to leave the house to do shopping this time of year (unless you do it all online), so there’s that. But either way, we should try not to be naughty now because the stakes are high.

We really started to get into the spirit last weekend by putting up our Christmas tree. Every year we try to cram all of our ornaments onto our little tree. It seems that over the years we have acquired more ornaments every year. This year we got three new ornaments way back in May when our friends Mike and Scott visited. They gave us three Star Trek ornaments, and if you know me at all you know that I am a Star Trek freak, so I was delighted! One is the Starship Voyager (seen below) from my favorite Star Trek series, Voyager . The other two are the Starship Defiant (from the Deep Space Nine series and a much smaller ship), and the third ornament is a Klingon Bird of Prey (seen in probably all of the Star Trek series). I haven’t hung up the last two ornaments yet because we are waiting for Wendy to arrive to put up the lights around the room.

We have a bag full of ornaments that we used to hang outside on our Spruce tree. The tree is so big now that they would look funny hanging on just the lower branches that we can reach, plus there is all that snow out there on the ground. So I hung them up on the porch beside the heated hummingbird feeder, which looks like an ornament itself. I got this video the other day of one of my little fellows perched on the feeder beside one of the ornaments. You can tell this little guy has been hitting up the feeder on the regular because he looks rather chubby!

After the last snow fell (I think it was a couple inches), I shot this picture of the sidewalk leading up to our front door. If you look closely, you can see little kitty footprints in the snow.

We’ve had a ton of birds out under the seed feeder. We went to Walmart the other day, bit the bullet and got a bag of cracked corn, which used to be around $8 and is now $17. We are going to ration some of it out for our birds here at the house. Then we’ll take some to the ducks and geese at Randall Park because we promised them last time we were there that we would bring them some next time we went. Yesterday when Linda threw the corn out under the feeder we had hoards of sparrows show up, but also a group of about 14 Quail showed up. This video below is from last Friday when probably the same group visited us. One female Quail, seen in the upper right hand corner of the screen, was even eating the leaves off our Spirea bush.

That’s about all that is happening around here right now. We have more snow predicted, but you never know, that seems to change daily. We will just sit and wait to see what develops. Remember, try not to be naughty and remember…spread the love around!


Summer Girl loves to sit out in the sun, but with the ground covered in snow she doesn’t have anywhere to go. So she made do the other day by sitting on top of a stool on the back porch. Smart girl (she got that from me)!

Join me every Wednesday or Thursday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.


Last week we got 2 1/2″ of snow the day after I had my snow tires put on…whew! That was a close one. I don’t like to be without my snow tires when there is snow on the road. Since then we have a little bit more fall, but tomorrow they are predicting several inches more, so we are well into it now. It looks like we may have a White Christmas, which is a good thing only if it doesn’t prevent Wendy and Emily from getting over the mountains to come visit for Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed for us!  

When the weather turns colder and snow begins to cover the ground, it’s every bird for himself or herself. With so many birds vying for the seeds that are on the ground, things can get a little contentious at times. The birds know that they need to eat as much as they can to keep their metabolisms up to can stay warm overnight.

Here’s what is happening in the video above:

A large group of quail, around 16 members, are foraging underneath the feeder. Eventually tempers flare and a confrontation happens, but after a brief tussle and a short chase, the alpha male re-establishes his rights to “his spot”. 

The little hummingbird sits on the electrical cord leading to the heated feeder, guarding what he considers to be “his” feeder. His head is always in motion, searching for a potential threat so he can chase it away. What is strange, though, is that he is facing the window and not the yard, which is where any threat would emerge. I wonder if he sees himself and is keeping an eye on that hummer in the window?

We briefly see a male Spotted Towhee in our plum tree. Those guys are hard to get on camera because they are always in motion and man, are they fast! We have three Towhees coming to our yard this winter, just like last year. I believe it is a family consisting of two males and one female, probably Mom, Dad, and the Kid. 

Next we have a lone sparrow on top of the suet feeder, which is empty. He is waiting for us to put out a suet cake, but he has a long time to wait. The birds descend upon a suet cake as soon as we put it in the feeder, and they demolish a whole one in less than a day. As bird seed and suet has increased greatly in price this year, we are having to ration out the suet cakes. The seed feeder, however, is always kept full, so the sparrow moves over to it. The birds take turns having a go at the seed, until a fight breaks out and that group trades places with other birds so they can have their turn.

That’s what Nature is all about…survival of the fittest.

I came across a video the other day that I took several years ago when we were visiting Emily in Seattle. She had an awesome area set up with several bird feeders, surrounded by a lot of trees, bushes, and a fence. I got this video of a Northern Flicker eating something off of the fence, maybe peanut butter, I’m not sure. If you watch the video closely, around the :18 second mark and again at the :48 second mark, you can see his very long tongue flick out. Until I took this video and watched it, I had no idea his tongue was THAT long.

Linda took a walk today down to Kissel Park and made a couple of new friends. She met Tom and his doggo Izzy. We aren’t sure what kind of dog Izzy is, but he looks like some kind of chihuahua mix. He’s a cute little fellow.

Linda and I have taken a few pictures of the snow and ice around our yard. This one below was taken by Linda, and it is absolutely beautiful, showing our Thundercloud Plum and Spruce trees covered in snow and also freezing fog.

Linda snapped this one below of the icicles hanging off of our roof. The snow hasn’t melted much because it hasn’t been above freezing the last few days. The high today was supposed to be 30 degrees.

I checked the front porch for packages the other morning (have to stay one step ahead of those porch pirates) and found the sweetest little bird tracks in the snow.

I looked out the window yesterday morning before it was even light and there, sitting on the heated feeder, was my faithful little hummingbird. I don’t think he spent the night there, but he sure was up early for such a little guy. Sorry I didn’t get a picture but it was too dark.


Summer Girl came into the office this morning while I was working on the blog, and I think she just wanted to let me know that she was bored. With several inches of snow covering the ground, she doesn’t have anything to do all day but sleep…and plague us.

Join me every Wednesday or Thursday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.


I trust that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours turned out pretty good…so good that we had it on Thursday AND Friday. Our friend Linda H. came over on Friday and joined us for dinner, bringing a home-baked pumpkin pie with her. The turkey was not as good as it had been in previous years. It was a tough old bird, or as my Aunt Grace used to say, “like a yard bird”. But it was good enough, and so were all the sides. I ate way more than I should have, and then did it again the next day!

Linda and I took a walk at Randall Park again the Friday before Thanksgiving, just to check up on our ducks and geese. As soon as we got out of the truck, they were immediately all around us. We told them that we didn’t have any corn for them that day, but the next time we go there we promised we would bring some. 

Our Randall Park Duck Friends

The pond was partially frozen over. The poor little ducks were just sitting on top of the ice or swimming around in that freezing water. It makes me feel so bad for them, but I know they are used to it and are well insulated. Still, I can’t imagine being in that cold water!

A group of American Widgets arrived to the pond right before we left it to walk around the park. They are so cute, and they tend to all stay together in a group.

Randall Park Pond Happenings

There were several ducks at the park with different, unusual colors. A few of them appeared to be completely black. One had a black head, motley brown body, and blueish-green back. So pretty! I suspect they are just more of the Mallard duck hybrids.

A Black Duck

A Brown Duck

A Mallard Duck

This guy was quacking so fast his lower beak is just a blur

This fellow had some beautiful blue-green feathers

When we got back from our walk at Randall Park, we had a covey of Quail show up in the front yard to forage underneath the feeder. We have seen this group a few times this fall, so we are hoping that they continue to come throughout the winter. (I had to shoot this video through the blinds, so that is what the blurry lines are).

The hummingbirds have been steadily coming to their heated feeder. I know they appreciate the semi-warm nectar when it is so cold outside. It is actually only about room temperature, but that’s better than being freezing cold! I have had at least two coming to the feeder still, and I know because I have seen them both appear at the feeder before taking off on a wild chase.

A Hummer Thanksgiving

A couple of years ago, my cousin Lorrie sent me some framed pictures of birds as a “just because” gift. I have them hanging up around the puzzle room where the computer is located. When I sit at the computer I can look over to the left a little bit and look at this one in the picture below. I love the little saying it has on it. We should all remember this: it doesn’t cost anything to dream, so why not go big?


We had a little snow predicted for yesterday and today, so we got our snow tires put on the truck Monday morning. I am sure glad that we did because we have about 2 1/2 inches of snow right now, and more predicted for the upcoming few days. While all the snow was falling, Summer Girl was quite unconcerned because she was inside asleep on top of the big bed.

Snoozing Kitty

Look at that cute little smile!

Join me every Wednesday or Thursday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.