musings about food, travel, creativity and life

In Our Own Backyard


It’s May already.  Oh, my.  

Here I sit coffee cup in one hand, pen in the other, binoculars at the ready, watching and listening to nature’s display outside our porch window…

….sparkling raindrops on the bay trees’ leaves

 …spirited birds all aflutter at their feeders and in their baths, their songs providing a varied sound track

….tiny green fruits asserting themselves on our resident plum tree

….Yarrow turning yellow, Island Alum turning pink, a hummingbird visiting the lavender

I breathe in, breathe out, smile and give thanks.  I hope your view scape is giving you pleasure as well. 

It is probably no coincidence that many of the books and art I am currently enjoying are focused on nature, and in particular, birds.  There are bird paintings, bird postcards, bird bookmarks and “how to draw birds” books.  One book that is jumping out and saying “read me” is David Sibley’s What It’s Like To Be A Bird?

But perhaps my favorite rediscovery is “Birds,” a report I researched, wrote and illustrated in the 6th grade. Seeing my youthful handwriting on ruled paper and reading the text takes me back.  I remember hearing and seeing the first robins of spring in our San Francisco backyard and caring for my little parakeet, Junior.  Again, I smile.

Here are a few drawings from that elementary me… I wonder what I might produce now…we shall see…


“Everyone likes birds.  What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?”

                         David Attenborough





10 thoughts on “In Our Own Backyard”

  • Ahhhhh…Little Lynn already had artistic flair and an eye for beauty in nature. Those are so cute!!
    We too love our many many birds including your namesakes Lynn & John Bufflehead. My cute little friends have gone for the season to have their ducky adventures but we look forward to their return in the fall. Birds are a little (sometimes big as we have bald eagles, ravens and assorted other raptors) gift of joy from mother nature. Glad we choose to live in places where this gift is plentiful. It was so wonderful to see you and John. Sorry to miss you in July but hope we can catch you at the holidays when we return with the whole furry family. Love and hugs.

    • Yes, how lucky we are to live in such beautiful surroundings. Sending you two, all your birds, the Bufflehead duo 💕 and your furry friends big hugs❣️❣️ It was grand to see you.🤗

  • Have you heard about Amy Tan’s latest book. She’s drawing birds, too! I love the birds you drew in 6th grade. You were as talented then as now. I continue to love your blog.

    We’re here all summer, so hope you make a trip east. Off to Montreal in August sometime for ASA meetings and Doug’s last paper presentation. Hard to believe the career years are nearly over.

    Hi to John. Miss you!
    Love, Joan

    • Amy Tan’s book looks interesting—-just beginning it🐦‍⬛ And “yes” on coming to Wisconsin—- sorting out when…will let you know so we can plan a time together. Best of luck to Doug in his presentation and looking forward to seeing you both❣️

  • Wow, Lynn, how wonderful to see the through line from 6th grade of your artistic self. Enjoy all the wonders of nature, here, there and everywhere. I just download the Merlin app to identify bird song as I walk. Have a lovely summer!

    • And I just downloaded Merlin, as well🐦‍⬛❣️ Birds are such a sweet gift. As I write this, I am watching our local crew enjoying breakfast🤗. Wishing you a wonderful summer, too 🌸🐦‍⬛🌼

  • How quickly April passed, giving us a resplendent May filled with birdsong, hummingbirds and monarch butterflies. Yes, dear Lynn you were an artist from the get go! Love snd cheers!!

    • I can imagine that you, too, are experiencing incredible sunny days as the backdrop for all the May activity and beauty. Enjoy🌼💓🌸

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