I take my field trips seriously so I have my weekend exhale all lined up!

I feel like Monday through Thursday rolls through like a blur. My work schedule requires an early morning departure and proscribed regularity to my daily rhythms. One or two afternoons and early evenings a week are spent with my two darling granddaughters. They live about an hour away, so travel time makes for additionally long days.

But Friday is MY day.

I usually have a whole host of chores and duties I’ve told myself all week I’ll attend to on Friday.

Thank you for not holding me accountable.

I needed to take photos of my neighbor’s Iris. I love the colors!

I also needed to take advantage of my blogging team of experts. Once in a while, not often, we have a visit from some birds I can’t identify. But I’m thinking you probably can.

Unidentified BirdI watched them play on my lawn for about an hour. I hope you can tell me what to call them?

Well, the day went on from there, but you’ll have to hear more about that later. We had an errand to run, and just a wee bit of distance from that destination was another photo opportunity to punctuate a story I’m eager to share.

Oh the things I avoid do in service of my very serious blogging responsibilities. Better yet, I dragged Jay into my adventure and took up his time, too! I hope you’ll think it was worth it. I do!

Tomorrow is also full of fun–at least my kind of fun. The schedule calls for appreciating the hard work of others!

The Theodore Payne Foundation offers its annual garden tour. What makes this particular garden tour special  and of interest to me is that each of the gardens on the tour contains at least 50% native plants. Many of the gardens have also been certified as National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitats.

I can hardly wait. Photography is encouraged, so I’ll have more to share.

I’m looking for both ideas and personal inspiration.

I think in time I can manage to shift to 50% native flowers and grasses, and maybe even a higher percentage in our backyard. Not quickly, but in time!

I wonder if these wonderfully well-planned gardens will have any iris or roses? I don’t know that they fit into the category of native plants, but I sure have some beautiful ones right now.

They help me breathe lighter. They’re staying.

Take a look….I even found a cymbidium orchid that had been hiding under the camellias all winter long and with no added help from me, it’s now ready for its closeup!

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Don’t forget to use your weekend for some quality exhaling–it’s all about cultivating your well-being! If you need any suggestions, just ask. I am quite good at suggesting ways to breathe lighter, don’t you think?

53 thoughts on “I take my field trips seriously so I have my weekend exhale all lined up!

  1. Love this post.. but sorry I cannot help with the bird.. it certainly is not a visitor to our shores… but it does look interesting and I will be popping back to see what it is when someone ID’s it…

    • I think we have a good bird identification, BD! The Red Whiskered Bulbul! Have you heard of it? I had never had any information on this bird before, but three people have suggested it, and after looking on-line, I’m sure that’s it. The Wikipedia entry even mentioned Los Angeles as a place they now call “home,” but they are originally from Asia. They come and visit me every now and then, but not regularly. I’m going to figure out more their needs and see what I can do to attract them. I am so grateful I can put out a question and find that others can fill in some blanks. I have a lot of those! LOL!

  2. Debra, I wish we could be there with you. MTM needs to breathe lighter right now.

    I hope you and Jay have a lovely visit. The irises were such a treat for me. The perfect cap to my day.

    • I hope you and MTM did get a chance to breathe a bit lighter with your friend visiting, Andra. I picked up from a comment you made to someone else on your site that MTM has had some frustrating results from a proposed project. It sounds like the stresses have been high for you both!! I hope you are beginning to imagine some things you can do to either get away a bit, or take advantage of places closer to home to just change the scenery a little. My “breathing lighter” moments have so much to do with changing focus. When it’s stressful I just can’t stay home because I brood! :-) Getting out always helps. Hugs for a good week, my friend. ox

  3. debra, we have a bird like that over here, a kind of bulbul … anyway that is sure to be wrong, but your flowers are gorgeous … iris blooms are so soft and fragile, i don’t know how they do it!

    • I do believe that it is a Red Whiskered Bulbul. I can’t get the link to paste but Wikipedia has a picture (not as good as yours!),

      Totally agree with you about weekends.

      • Thank you so much! How did you know that! LOL! I’m impressed. I am sure you’re right. I am now curious to know more about how it made its way from Thailand and Asia to Southern California. I was particularly interested in the Wikipedia mention that it had made its way to Los Angeles. Since I live in L.A. County, this more or less confirmed the identification. I thank you! :-)

    • Christine, you are the third person to mention the bulbul…the red whiskered bulbul to be exact! I think it is new to our area! I’ve seen them about three times now over the last year. Never before. And I had never heard of them. My mother lives across the street, is a bird lover, and she even told me she hadn’t yet noticed them at all! But when I looked them up I did learn that they have migrated to Southern California, specifically naming Los Angeles. I’m so delighted to have a name for them. I’m quite excited about this. :-)

      • amazing, i guess the changing climate patterns encourage migration … we see unusual birds here too … glad to help you solve your bird mystery and learn about the migrating red whiskered bulbuls :)

    • I did have a good exhale, Kate. I put everything down that didn’t need “to be touched” and that’s exactly what I needed to do. I felt like I really had a weekend. I need more of those! LOL! Don’t we all!

    • Thank you for stopping by, Kevin! I am only at this time in my life learning–finally!–the importance of prioritizing time to just BE! I wish I’d been more onboard with that long ago, but I’m able to enjoy this season in my life, and in my garden, because I’ve let go of a lot of my perfectionism. And by Friday I can literally feel the stress fall away, so that’s where my “exhale” came into play. I think I can really feel it! :-)

  4. Enjoy your weekend Debra. Our weekly plans sound very similar. I spend M-Th working, working, working and adhering to schedules. Then Friday is my day. I love it. I had a bunch of things to get done yesterday, some of them happened, others didn’t, but I had a fun day. That’s what it’s about. :) Off to do some more exhaling! Enjoy your adventures.

    • I’m glad you have the chance to take Fridays more for yourself, Kristy! When I let go of working full-time it was such a big sigh of relief. I feel very fortunate that I am able to have my Fridays. I keep reminding anyone who will listen–”We are not machines!” We need our exhales in order to not harm our own health, and to set good examples for our little people, too! :-)

    • Up and down our street everyone has iris blooming. Mine are the white and purple that I’ve had for decades, but some of the newer colors are so beautiful. The nice thing about iris is that they are so common, the bulbs are very inexpensive. I need to expand my color palette! :-)

    • The garden tour was very inspirational to me, Frank. I’ll be sharing photos soon…and wonder how they will translate to others. Even many people in Southern California haven’t quite come to the point where they are ready to accept more drought tolerant landscapes. It is a very different appearance. I’m finding it fun to expand a bit. :-)

  5. Thanks so much for those glimpses of the glory of spring flowers, Debra (though for us roses are very much summer ones, not flowering before June) I really needed to be reminded that elsewhere there are flowers other than the first daffodils in bud. :-) Looking forward now to your post about the garden tour.

    • I look forward to sharing some photos from the garden tour, Perpetua. It does occur to me that gardens devoted to California natives may not translate as “beautifully” in other environs. They can look a little “weedy” perhaps. My appreciation for the “look” has evolved through the years and I now really have different eyes! But I will share, and you’ll have to let me know what you think! :-)

  6. No wonder the first few days of the week go by for you in a blur – you are so busy. What a shame your granddaughters don’t live closer! That’s quite a drive after a busy day. So sorry I can’t help you identify that bird – I’m hopeless with birds – birds and flowers – love them but not so good with knowing what’s what xx

    • I wish my granddaughters were closer, too, Charlie, but at the same time I’m so grateful I can get to them within an hour! I have so many friends who would love to change places with me! :-) The bird, thanks to very smart blogging friends, is a Red Whiskered Bulbu…I had never even heard of it before. But I’m now convinced, and so glad to have answers. Isn’t it fun to put our questions out there and let others share their wealth of information! oxo

    • The spring gardens are incredible right now, Nancy. I’m really enjoying the “first blooms” before the heat starts to increase and everything will be a little more stressed! The bird, I now believe, is a Red Whiskered Bulbul. I’ve never heard of it before, but after two astute readers sent me links, I’m now convinced. Isn’t sharing questions with the blogging commmunity a wonderful thing! :-)

  7. These are some wonderful captures of beautiful flowers, Debra. It’s incredible to see you’ve roses in bloom when mine have only the smallest of buds appearing on a few of the canes. You’re not alone with you love of Fridays. Zia calls it her “day off” and she gets her hair done, goes out to lunch, does a little shopping, and sometimes joins her neighbors for dinner. Gotta love it!
    I think the bird is the Red Whiskered Bulbu. Check out this link and the caption. http://www.pbase.com/jazzmaster221/image/138174825

    • I think Zia and I use our Fridays very, very similiarly, John. I can cram more into that one day than I should, but it’s always a big release! You and one other person suggestion the Red Whiskered Bulbu and from what I see, I must agree! I am so glad to finally have an identification. I have looked through books and on-line and couldn’t come up with it. Now I can learn a little more about it. Thank you!:-)

    • The iris in our area are just incredibly plentiful right now, Eleenie. Some of the colors are just wonderful. I’ve had purple and white for years, and think I may need to start a few new color for next year. :-)

  8. Oh, so wonderfully vibrant and full of life these are, Debra. Your photos are breathtakingly beautiful – and that bird, which seems to have been identified. I would be having trouble containing myself if it wandered by me. Oh, to see roses and irises in bloom; how that would make my day. Ah, well, we will wait a bit longer. Just a bit.

    Have you looked into having your garden certified as a Wildlife Habitat? You should. We did a few years after we moved here. You need to have things like water, nesting areas and nesting material, places for wildlife to have shelter. You already have all that, which is why such beautiful birds stop by. They send you a nice little plaque which you can display outside, which, in turn brings about others looking to certify their gardens, which makes for all sorts of places for nature to grow. Do it. When you get your plaque, you and I can do a joint post of certifying in CA and IL, the two bookends of the “mother road”.

    Oh dear, I’ve had a terrible head cold, plastered to the couch for three days, and I’m feeling better with too much pend up writing energy. Forgive me.

    • Hi Penny! I hope you’re continuing to get better. I’m so sorry you were “felled” by a head cold, but sometimes we really get slapped with a reality check, don’t we? One cold and all my robust energy is just gone! I hope you just gave into it and rested. I haven’t done any research into what it takes to be a certified Wildlife Habitat, but I know some of the homes on the tour were. I have wondered about it! I will do some looking into it, as it might provide me a little more direction for where I can bolster some of my effort. I think we must be close, although I’m not as sure about the nesting. I’ll be interested…and the process of changes could provide some interesting posts. Thank you for the encouragement in that direction. It would be interesting to see what wildlife I think I can attract! There’s that crazy guard-Tortoise, you know! LOL!

  9. I read the comments to find out about the bird. I have never seen one like it and how interesting to learn that it has come from so far away. I love all your photos. Today, we have had rain, hail, snow, and wind gusts up to 70 mph here in the canyon. My daffodils are blowing in the wind.

    • I have never heard of the red whiskered bulbul, either. I wonder how the changing climate is affecting migration patterns. I’m going to do a little more research on the little guy. Do let me know if you learn anything about his appearance in your area. And these first roses are just gorgeous. I already have grasshoppers in them, can you believe it? It’s never-ending. LOL!

  10. Pingback: Why was I almost late for Tae Kwon Do? Blame it on the Saber–Tooth Tiger | breathelighter

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