Tag Archives: birds

Forest Lawn in the Winter…

So I have posted photos from Forest Lawn Cemetery a few times prior (click here to see them) but never in the winter. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve been there in the winter. And I’ve also commented on how beautiful and tranquil the cemetery is, but in the winter it is even more so. Aside from an occasional car, the only other (living) person I saw was a woman feeding the ducks and a gravedigger. But then there were times where I would ride–with the sound of snow crunching under my tires–with the company of just the wildlife and the cemetery’s permanent residents. I really felt as if I were in a wild bird sanctuary in the middle of the city. When I would stop and listen there were cars in the distance, but above that I could here the water fowl, tons of crows, and some birds of prey (which unfortunately I did not get a good shot at). I took a bunch of photos, and here’s a few of my favorites. Click any for a larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Bird(s) on a wire…

I was in my backyard this evening and heard some birds (crows) squawking and I looked up and they were on a wire just above me. They seemed to be having some sort of domestic dispute. It was evening, and it was beautiful to watch. So I took their photo.

“Oh like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.”
~Leonard Cohen

Urban Simplicity.

A waterfall and Lucille’s cousin…

I was on my way to my sister’s house in Alden, NY today and thought I’d stop and snap a few photos of Blossom Falls in Elma, NY. And yes I actually drove a car (car share). Anyhow, I found a few things interesting. One is that I had my son with me, who is 19. These falls were a big party spot for my friends and I when we were in high school 35 years ago (yikes I am getting old). Who would have thought that I’d survive those days let alone stop back with my son. Anyhow, as far as Lucille, she is great blue heron I was following down the pier in Buffalo a couple weeks ago (read about her and see her photos here). So you can imagine my surprise when I arrived and saw another great blue heron feeding in the creek. Click any photo for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.

Stalking Lucille…

Okay. So first a couple of things. Lucille is not a person, it is this bird…a great blue heron. I posted about her somewhat recently here. And to be honest I am not sure if Lucille is even a female bird, I just named her that because she (it) looks so incredibly graceful. She nests somewhere on Bird Island Pier (click here to see a map). I first got a glimpse of her last year when I was out taking these photos of the Peace Bridge at night. I was riding my bike back up the breakwall and as I passed her she flew in front of me and I almost fell of my bike (its a bit creepy being out there by yourself at night). Anyhow, I went out there again today in search of her…and yes she was there. And she toyed with me (I really believe this). She would let me get about (I’m guessing) 50 feet from her, close enough to snap her photo, then fly off and land down the wall. And then the same scenario would take place. To get a clearer picture of this breakwall (if you haven’t been here), there is about a two mile “public” section that is somewhat maintained that runs parallel with the Niagara River and the Black Rock Channel and it juts out into Lake Erie. But where the public area ends it keeps going for another mile or so. And this is where it gets really interesting…sort of feral. I ride my bike to the end of the public area, lock it to a railing, and walk the rest of the way out. It’s un-maintained, crumbling, and full of birds (hence it’s name). It is narrow for most of the way (as seen in some of the photos), and you have to descend and ascend broken areas, but it widens out at the end (as pictured in the first image below). The photo below is taken at the very end of the pier looking back. Even though it is only about 1/4 mile off shore it is quite literally another world; it is quite breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed at its beauty all I could do was sit down and pray, mediate, and give thanks. When I opened my eyes after meditation I half-expected Lucille to be sitting next to me, but she remained elusive. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Urban Simplicity.

Stalking Lucille…

Okay. So first a couple of things. Lucille is not a person, it is this bird…a great blue heron. I posted about her somewhat recently here. And to be honest I am not sure if Lucille is even a female bird, I just named her that because she (it) looks so incredibly graceful. She nests somewhere on Bird Island Pier (click here to see a map). I first got a glimpse of her last year when I was out taking these photos of the Peace Bridge at night. I was riding my bike back up the breakwall and as I passed her she flew in front of me and I almost fell of my bike (its a bit creepy being out there by yourself at night). Anyhow, I went out there again today in search of her…and yes she was there. And she toyed with me (I really believe this). She would let me get about (I’m guessing) 50 feet from her, close enough to snap her photo, then fly off and land down the wall. And then the same scenario would take place. To get a clearer picture of this breakwall (if you haven’t been here), there is about a two mile “public” section that is somewhat maintained that runs parallel with the Niagara River and the Black Rock Channel and it juts out into Lake Erie. But where the public area ends it keeps going for another mile or so. And this is where it gets really interesting…sort of feral. I ride my bike to the end of the public area, lock it to a railing, and walk the rest of the way out. It’s un-maintained, crumbling, and full of birds (hence it’s name). It is narrow for most of the way (as seen in some of the photos), and you have to descend and ascend broken areas, but it widens out at the end (as pictured in the first image below). The photo below is taken at the very end of the pier looking back. Even though it is only about 1/4 mile off shore it is quite literally another world; it is quite breathtaking. I was so overwhelmed at its beauty all I could do was sit down and pray, mediate, and give thanks. When I opened my eyes after meditation I half-expected Lucille to be sitting next to me, but she remained elusive. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Urban Simplicity.

A Great Blue Heron and a Brace of Ducks…

This morning was so beautiful (as was/is the rest of the day. I had to work for just a few hours in the afternoon and evening and really didn’t feel like going in. To wash away the “work blues” I rode my bike over to Bird Island Pier to take a few photos. If you are reading this post from another area of the world, I have to describe this “pier” to you. It’s a break-wall more than a pier really, and it just out into Lake Erie. And if you hop the railing and continue walking out to where you are not supposed to (as I did this morning) it goes out even further (a total of two miles I am told) to the intersection of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Buffalo Harbor, and the Black Rock Channel (click here to see the map). It really is quite breathtaking when your out there. Anyhow, along the way I saw so many ducks, but also the great blue heron that is pictured. It would only let me get a hundred feet from it before it would fly away. But I did manage to get a few shots of it. It was quite magnificent to watch. Any how, I thought I’d share a few photos.

Urban Simplicity.

A Great Blue Heron and a Brace of Ducks…

This morning was so beautiful (as was/is the rest of the day. I had to work for just a few hours in the afternoon and evening and really didn’t feel like going in. To wash away the “work blues” I rode my bike over to Bird Island Pier to take a few photos. If you are reading this post from another area of the world, I have to describe this “pier” to you. It’s a break-wall more than a pier really, and it just out into Lake Erie. And if you hop the railing and continue walking out to where you are not supposed to (as I did this morning) it goes out even further (a total of two miles I am told) to the intersection of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Buffalo Harbor, and the Black Rock Channel (click here to see the map). It really is quite breathtaking when your out there. Anyhow, along the way I saw so many ducks, but also the great blue heron that is pictured. It would only let me get a hundred feet from it before it would fly away. But I did manage to get a few shots of it. It was quite magnificent to watch. Any how, I thought I’d share a few photos.

Urban Simplicity.

The cardinal is back, and also a quick note…

Well, the cardinal is back…or at least he’s showing himself to me again. And he’s letting me get closer to him…I really think he knows or remembers me and knows that I mean no harm. I’m not sure where his mate has been though. Maybe she’s sitting on a nest of eggs. I also didn’t realize there was a spiritual significance to cardinals until someone mentioned this to me (but isn’t there a spiritual significance to everything). Anyhow, if you’re interested in seeing some of the info about them, click here or here.

I also wanted to mention that I will be away from my computer for the next four or five days so it will be a few days before I post again. Until then, Peace.

Urban Simplicity.

The cardinal is back, and also a quick note…

Well, the cardinal is back…or at least he’s showing himself to me again. And he’s letting me get closer to him…I really think he knows or remembers me and knows that I mean no harm. I’m not sure where his mate has been though. Maybe she’s sitting on a nest of eggs. I also didn’t realize there was a spiritual significance to cardinals until someone mentioned this to me (but isn’t there a spiritual significance to everything). Anyhow, if you’re interested in seeing some of the info about them, click here or here.

I also wanted to mention that I will be away from my computer for the next four or five days so it will be a few days before I post again. Until then, Peace.

Urban Simplicity.

Another red bird on another single digit day…

You may have gathered by now that I enjoy taking photos of nature in the city of all kinds, including birds. Anyhow, this is one I’ve posted before (but these photos are from today). Its one of a few cardinals that live in the garden of my place of employment. It was–again–another frigid day, and I’m not sure if this is the reason or not but he let me get pretty close. Anyhow, I shot a bunch of photos and thought I’d share a few.

Urban Simplicity.

Another red bird on another single digit day…

You may have gathered by now that I enjoy taking photos of nature in the city of all kinds, including birds. Anyhow, this is one I’ve posted before (but these photos are from today). Its one of a few cardinals that live in the garden of my place of employment. It was–again–another frigid day, and I’m not sure if this is the reason or not but he let me get pretty close. Anyhow, I shot a bunch of photos and thought I’d share a few.

Urban Simplicity.

A cardinal enjoying the weather….

This is one of the cardinals that lives in the garden where I am employed. There’s a male and female (maybe we’ll see more come spring). Anyhow, as the weather broke the freezing point today for the first time in a long time, the garden was alive with birds and squirrels. So on my lunch break I went out and snapped a few photos. I believe this is the female and I’m not sure where her mate is. This is also as close as she would allow, anytime I would try to get closer she would flutter away. I can respect that. Anyhow, I thought I would share.


Urban Simplicity.

A cardinal enjoying the weather….

This is one of the cardinals that lives in the garden where I am employed. There’s a male and female (maybe we’ll see more come spring). Anyhow, as the weather broke the freezing point today for the first time in a long time, the garden was alive with birds and squirrels. So on my lunch break I went out and snapped a few photos. I believe this is the female and I’m not sure where her mate is. This is also as close as she would allow, anytime I would try to get closer she would flutter away. I can respect that. Anyhow, I thought I would share.


Urban Simplicity.

Dans le jardin…

So I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how fortunate I am to work in a place that is not only such an incredibly beautiful building, but also has such a lovely garden. And on some days–as a form of stress relief–I’ll go out in the garden on my lunch break. It’s interesting in that exactly one week ago today we were in the midst of the “blizzard of 2014” and today it was 40f and lovely out. There was so much activity in the garden today–animals and plants–that I found it really inspiring. It also reminded me of this quote about Brother Lawrence

“During that winter, upon seeing a tree stripped of its leaves and considering that, within a little time, the leaves would be renewed and, after that, the flowers and fruit appear; Brother Lawrence received a high view of the providence and power of God which has never since been effaced from his soul.” 

Beautiful, right? Inspiring.  Anyhow, click any image for a larger view.



Urban Simplicity.

Something I saw while riding my bike today…

 So I was on my way home today when I stopped at a traffic light and was waiting. It was a really nice day out (unlike what is heading our way). Anyhow, as I was waiting I was sort of zoned out when in the back of my head I noticed all these chirping sounds. I looked to my right and there was a bush covered with sparrows a mere 10 feet from me. Beautiful, I thought. It also reminded me of the Bible passage, Matthew 6:25. Anyhow, I snapped a few photos and thought I’d share. Click any for a slightly larger view.

Urban Simplicity.