Not since our sons were small children have we spent so much time in our backyard as we have this last “year of COVID”.  Photographing the “backyard blessings” that have come our way has shined light and joy into some dark days.  There is a certain amount of peace and tranquility that can be found sitting in the quiet watching the birds and the squirrels and our Shepherds. 

The squirrels are big fans of the smorgasbord of delights the Iceman offers the birds.  Even so, the Sheps and the squirrels have not quite yet come to an accord. The squirrels sneak through the fence to feast on the seeds and the peanuts that fall from the bird feeders.  When the Sheps go outside, the race is on!  The squirrels run for their lives!  They scamper across the yard, through the fence and into the trees on the other side!  For all intents and purposes, they appear to be laughing down at the “slow” Sheps from the safety of their high perches.  The perches on the other side of the fence.  😊 This plan is working for them.  At last count it was something like Squirrels 3487, Sheps 0.

Hollywood surveying his kingdom

This is Hollywood.  He’s cute and he knows it!  He’s relatively new to our establishment.  He takes his time, he owns his tree, if you will.  He doesn’t scamper around in a frenzy.  He was partaking of the peanuts on the ground when the Sheps and I went outside.  He effortlessly beat the Sheps at their own foot race and, once on the other side of the fence, he ambled to “his” tree.  He even allowed me to come far closer than any of his kin will so I could capture His Highness.

Resting after Hollywood beat her to the fence…

While the Sheps think they own the place, Hollywood clearly sees himself as king.  Here he is calmly lounging on the limb, looking for all the world like he’s overlooking his kingdom.  He made me laugh and he brought joy to my day!

Maybe it really is the “little things” in life.  Even while I am looking forward to getting back to a little more “normal”  (whatever that now looks like) in the coming weeks, I am grateful for the backyard blessings I’ve found during these long months.  It’s amazing what treasures can be found when we slow down to take the time to look.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The Prophet Jeremiah, Lamentations 3:22-23

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