Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


I'm delighted that spring is almost here. But you know what? I wouldn't have traded this winter even if I could have. Why? Because of my camera--and the birds. Below are just a few of my favorite shots--all snapped through my windows--of birds taken within "shooting" range. Enjoy. And remember to click on the pictures to enlarge.

The Great Blue Heron above waited patiently for a meal to swim or scurry by. I took this picture through a dining room window. I took the screen out first. If you walked in my house, you'd notice screens have been removed from some of the windows. Now you know why. I often see Great Blues flying over the area, standing on docks, resting in trees, and fishing. This one lives in this cove. One of the things I like about these birds is that they are monogamous.

This Downy Woodpecker visits my suet feeder frequently. I bring the feeder inside every night so the visiting raccoons and 'possums don't destroy it. I've seen him eating sunflower seeds on my seed feeder, too. These birds also like peanut butter and bread. The Downy is the smallest woodpecker in North America. The female looks just like the male except she doesn't have the red occipital patch on her head. I took this picture through a sliding glass door.

Cardinals are frequent visitors to the feeders. The pictures of the solitary male above and the Doves and female Cardinal below were shot through a sliding glass door.

In the past years an occasional Bluebird would visit the feeders. This year we have two, a pair I hope will build a nest in one of the two Bluebird houses Ron recently made and set out. Their biggest enemy is the House Sparrow, who will attack and kill mature and baby Bluebirds, destroy their eggs, too. Knowledgeable birders I've talked with detest House Sparrows. If you want to attract Bluebirds, you must be ready to deal with House Sparrows. House Sparrows also kill Purple Martins.

Every morning I fill a dish with water and set it on the deck table for the birds. I spent almost an hour one day watching our Bluebirds drink, splash and bathe.

Look at that face below! What's not to love? He's perched on the water dish.

Next week I'll get out my Hummingbird feeders, clean them, make their sugar-water food, and set out the feeders. Maybe I'll have more pictures to share with you in the Spring.

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