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Out of the nest

Baby cardinals leave their nestI knew today would be their big day when I saw them all standing on the edge of their nest before bedtime last night.

Baby cardinals leave their nestI got up very early to make sure no kitties were napping on the porch. At first, I thought I was wrong about flight day, because all the babies were still half asleep in their nest.

Baby cardinals leave their nestBut, once breakfast began, they sprang right out.

Baby cardinals leave their nestExcept for one. One wanted to stay.

Baby cardinals leave their nestI watched this one take his (her?) first flight. She sat peeping on the branch for a long time,

Baby cardinals leave their nestthinking it over,

Baby cardinals leave their nestthinking it looked like a long way down,

Baby cardinals leave their nestand then going for it!

Baby cardinals leave their nestShe made it!

Baby cardinals leave their nestSo proud of herself. Or himself.

Their little crests on their heads weren’t visible until they were about to fly. I don’t know if it was fear, or excitement, or even bravado that made their crests arch up, but just before leaping, up they came, like the full-grown cardinals, a sign of growing up.

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Birds and blueberries are growing

Baby Cardinals in their nestThe baby cardinals are getting bigger…and louder. They are developing some feathers now, and their eyes are open. It’s getting harder for all four to fit in the nest.

Baby Cardinals in their nestThey’re all in there, but it’s hard to see them all at once. They have to sit or climb on each other. The only time I’ve seen all their heads at once is when their mom and dad arrive with food. Then all their beaks pop straight up in the air.

Blueberries formingMy blueberry bushes are forming blueberries! I never knew that the blueberries develop from the cup parts that held the flowers, and the little outermost points of the cup curl in to become the centers of the blueberries.

Mexican PrimrosesThe Mexican primroses are back too. We accidentally pulled them out one year, before they bloomed, thinking they were weeds. So, we planted new ones last year. They’re blooming in profusion now.

Mexican PrimrosesI’ve been working on our Ruffing’s blog. I wish all my work were more noticeable, because that would feel more rewarding, but I’m trying to take care of as much as possible before I put it up on our web site. I’m redoing lots of older doll photos, and I’m fixing up the old blog posts. I’ve got my working draft temporarily over on Blogger at a Blogspot address. I’ll import it to our site once it’s better organized, and then I’ll just redirect everything. It’s going to be a big job, but I’m working on it.

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Newly-hatched cardinals and a mini shop update

Cardinal fledglings in nestThere were a lot of cheep-cheep-cheep noises coming out of  the the bushes next to the porch last night. We kept seeing a male and female cardinal, hopping along the railing, and flying in and out of one of the bushes. I followed the noise and found four baby cardinals, with their eyes still closed, in a nest, waiting for their mom and dad to bring them some dinner.

Cardinal fledglings in nestIt doesn’t seem like the best place for a nest, but birds make some odd choices sometimes. We’ve watched birds building nests in the hanging plants before too. I tried to give these cardinals some extra privacy by attaching a board to the porch railing, to block the view, at least from the porch. I took these photos first.

Cardinal fledglings in nestAs you can see, when their mama arrives, all their mouths open at once. You can see her tail feathers through the branches. I tried to get a picture of her feeding them, but the light was fading and she wasn’t still for more than a second at a time. Their dad has been just as busy feeding them.

I hope they’ll be safe in there.

Bright light yellow-green Hug Me SlugsI just put some “Hug Me! Slugs” up in my Etsy shop and updated our Soft Dolls and Art Toys page, for a quick overview of what’s available. As I mentioned, I’m switching out the custom-order listings with ready-made dolls and creatures. I’ll continue doing that so I can get caught up on everything around here.