Favorite Things, Soul Homework

Birds and Plants- AARP Edition

I’ve noticed some changes in myself. Most notably since the pandemic, but it could also be due to my age. Let’s blame it on spending over a year inside of my house.

I am fascinated by birds. Particularly in bird calls.

I felt like the popular girl in school last week when I told my mom, “I have a regular cardinal that visits me now!”

I attempted to upload the video of the cardinal singing to share with you here, but it was too long. Yes, I have videos of birds singing in my yard. Actually, I have several.

Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni on Pexels.com

I also have a birding app on my phone.

I lied.

I have three.

My friend Suz wrote a post about how as we get older, we become birders. It’s part of the welcome to aging package.

You didn’t get your membership package? Oh, that’s a shame. You should really tell the lady at the front desk.

There wasn’t anyone at the front desk?

Man, they are really letting the place go.

When the birds appear in my backyard, I feel a little like Snow White. Perhaps Joy told all of them about me? Maybe my indoor houseplants spread the word? Or maybe it’s just a figment of my imagination.

Speaking of indoor plants..

That’s another obsession, infatuation or preoccupation I’ve had since reaching a certain age. Again, being on the inside for over a year probably didn’t help.

I’ve got a fever. And the only prescription is more plants.

I also have a plant app that takes a picture of plants and tells me what species they are.

Some would say I have a problem.

But all I know is that my house always smells fresh and I rarely have to light a candle, so they must be doing their job.

If you want to come to the dark side, the bird and plant side, here are some articles for plant and bird apps.

Top apps to identify plants

5 Birding Apps to Give Your Skills a Boost

Do you love birds and plants too?

courtesy teehin

48 thoughts on “Birds and Plants- AARP Edition”

  1. I am not into birds. Sorry, but they kind of scare me with those beady eyes and sharp beaks. I do enjoy houseplants, though. I think of them as a hippy dippy holdover from my youth. Which means I’m old, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like birds are either loved or despised, so I get it. A red-winged blackbird attacked someone I know while walking on a trail a few weeks ago. They were probably guarding their nest. That is, at least, what I’m telling myself.

      OR, maybe it means we’re just turning into hippies? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haven’t turned into a birder (yet) but it could happen, I suppose. I have houseplant envy…actually it’s sunshine envy. My next place will hopefully be sunnier so I can aspire to your level of houseplants, Kari!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been an avid bird watcher since we moved into this house 19 years ago. With the plethora of feathered friends that drop by, it was inevitable. I love it… my wallet not so much. Seed, suet, nuts, nectar, dried fruits, mealworms… hungry birds aren’t cheap. As for plants, I have 35 in the house, 10 potted outside and am making inroads in the man cave with 3.
    P.S. I also have the plant identifying app.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really got into birding when we first began homeschooling; my middle son was OBSESSED with birds. He could identify many by sight and sounds and we had a million bird books around. We even found a cool toy thing where you plugged in cartridges and pushed a button so you could hear all the different bird calls. He had a bird clock with sounds and it sort of became a whole family thing to notice and point out birds everywhere we went.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love all of this. It’s really easy to become obsessed with birds, I’m finding out.

      I will sit on my patio with my bird call app and wait for my cardinal to come. It’s not a sickness, it’s a wellness. ❤️


  5. Hmm, I’m not much into birds, yet. My age definitely qualifies me. I just don’t notice them much. I feel like we mostly get the boring varieties. Maybe I need to be more tuned in to notice the unusual ones. A humming bird did flutter around our yard a week ago. Now that was a thrill- so unusual.

    I used to have African Violets that my grandma gave me. I wasn’t great at keeping them alive or flowering at least. I kept one on the kitchen table. I discovered that my kids would sometimes stick bites of food that they didn’t want to eat in the soil. I’m no detective but guessing that might’ve interfered with their ability to thrive. Yours are pretty and give your rooms a sunny disposition. Something I should look into.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A hummingbird is a rare sighting so you definitely don’t get the boring birds!

      You might want a plant that’s indestructible OR one that likes leftover table scraps. Not sure there’s a plant like that but I’ll keep my eyes out. 😉


  6. Haven’t jumped completely on the bird wagon yet – but I do delight in the cardinals that show up. The plants though…if only I didn’t live in a house without natural light! I used to have so MANY plants, now I’m down to three that are barely hanging on until they can be moved outside…not counting the six orchids that I cannot get to re-bloom for the life of me. Suz suggested that I take them outside this summer that might help – so I’m going to try that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I sort of think the crows are planning a hostile takeover of the planet; given how we’ve managed it, I don’t blame them. Like Ally, I find them a bit scary. They definitely feel that my yard belongs to them. It probably does. Like you, though, I am much more tuned into birds than I was a year ago, and I get all excited when I see a new/unfamiliar one that doesn’t feel sinister. I’m more into the squirrels, though. In general, I have a much greater sense of who is sharing my little corner of the earth with than I was when I was gone all day almost every day. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have so many crows in our neighborhood and they are a bit intimidating but as I was just telling Suz, I think they think I’m one of them with the app. They’re either frightened of me or don’t know what to make of me. The same could be said of my human neighbors.

      The bird app has squirrel and chipmunk sounds too! It’s funny because when I heard their sounds, I didn’t realize that they were making noises in my yard that I thought were bird noises. Boy, 30 year old me would be laughing at this entire conversation.


  8. You know I’m on board with the birds and the plants. I LOVE houseplants and right now, I might have some that are very thirsty at home. 😦
    What a great obsession to have, right? Your plants are so pretty and they are happy, I just know it.
    I need a bird app to go with my plant app. I mean, I have the pamphlet, but it is 2021.
    OMG. When you mentioned the Front Desk person I totally went to Roz from Monsters, Inc. Where is she? Is she out looking at birds or buying plants?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely need a plant app! I’ve been having so much fun with it when I go to plant stores and on nature walks.

      And the bird app has been embarrassingly fun while I sit on my patio and try to call all the native birds to my patio. Kind of like the milkshake bringing all the boys to my yard. Except for birds. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love both birds and plants! You have me beat with the bird call apps – I only have one. 😉 We have bird feeders outside the living room window and the back bedroom window but as soon as this food is gone, we’re taking the feeders down for the summer, as the only birds that are attracted to the food right now are starlings and crows. From what I’ve read online on birding sites, it’s not necessary to keep feeders up in the summer. Birds get plenty of food from their natural sources.

    If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard with plants, get black and blue salvia. I planted it in a big pot on my front porch last year and the hummingbirds loved it. It was so cool to see the hummingbirds right out my front door. A couple of times I was sitting in a chair on my porch and a hummingbird came to the plant just a foot away from me! The plant itself is gorgeous too, so it’s a win-win.

    I am out of room for plants in my house, otherwise I’d get more! And unfortunately, I have a bad cat (Monkey) who eats a lot of them. He chewed and destroyed all my spider plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have feeders, actually. I used to but stopped years ago. But you’re right about the summer months. I got my grandma a window feeder many years ago and thought about getting one here but my first thought was Buddy would scare the birds off! I know he would see them at the window and bark. Maybe he would get used to them?

      I will try that with the hummingbirds!

      I’m running out of room too! I did but some inexpensive metal trays at Walmart to put on my kitchen sills to hold extra plants. But after that, I’m out of room. 😉😂


  10. I used to be pretty handy at plant id. All those years of honing my skills, memorizing who had square stems, who had opposite leaves, who had diff juvenile foliage…. Wasted! *dramatic wail* *wink* Both apps sound marvelous.

    Have spent many hours peacefully watching the birds in our yard. I’m pretty hopeless at names tho. And I’d love to know what they eat, where they hang. Basically I’d like to be a good hostess – know what to plant, what to leave standing thru winter, etc. So your birding app intrigues. Also, Is this the onset of birding oldness? The desire to be a good hostess for birds?

    PS. Nthing the recommendation of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ or that particular species (also blooms blue) for hummers. Keep it watered and it will bloom forever too! Lovely plant.

    PPS. If you’re accepting applicants for your plant sales team – I’m on board for the semi rental. My husband is tall with excellent reflexes if we need someone to stand by and defend our cache while we sprint n grab plants. Srsly tho – if your local arboretum does plant giveaways for members….. sooooo much fun! Really neat, unusual stuff at those events.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How did I know you would also be a bird lover? And also be really good at plant identification? You’re going to laugh at what I am doing tomorrow. Actually, you won’t. But I’m making little tags for all of my plants so I know exactly the care each of them gets. Kind of like what a nursery does. If someone asks me, “how do you have the time?” I dont! That’s the funniest thing about it all. I don’t. I MAKE the time. 😉 There lies the difference.

      So as I am reading a comment I thought of a lovely idea. A commune of plant-loving, bird-loving, rainbow-loving, horse-loving humans. Who ideally also love reading my blog. I would love to create that. Like one long road of my favorite people on it. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

      Or Suz can just host a fun blog writer/reader retreat at her mountain home. That would be a lot easier to attain. 🙂


      1. Plant id tags are a wonderful idea! Definitely worth making time. Sounds very satisfying. Your own mini arboretum!
        And I would love to live in a plant/bird/horse/rainbow/gracefull-life community! I imagine we’d all be marvelously kind & eccentric – admiring each other’s light catchers, constantly sharing plants, going on trail rides, texting photos of birds with excited captions like “on my deck right now!” What a lovely place. An oasis of kindness. (And omg how fabulous would it be to visit Suz’s mountain house? *swoon* Maybe if we all agreed to bring plants for her butterflies and caterpillars? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes to the mini arboretum! And yes to satisfying! It is a practice in mindfulness every Thursday when I spend my time watering and feeding them. They give me so much happiness. 🙂

        What a utopia that would be!

        Let’s plan that gathering for real. 🙂


  11. The light in my house makes indoor plants nearly impossible to maintain.

    A few min ago I was sitting in the backyard, watching a hummingbird do dives to attract a female on a branch. Another keeps perching on the grapefruit tree in front of my desk window. It’s pretty round and is taking long rests… maybe a pregnant female?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The tree was here when I bought the house. People have stopped to say they took fruit when they walked to school 40 yrs ago! It’s looking really bad this year, I don’t know if it’s going to survive. The city doesn’t allow fruit trees on the parkway anymore so I’ll have to sneak in a replacement!

        I have a “dwarf” kumquat tree in a side yard but it hasn’t produced fruit in a couple years. Looks happy but no flowers or fruit. I trimmed in in the past but an letting it do it’s thing this year… it’s now more than 8′ tall. So much for “dwarf”!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same!!

        The grapefruit is either dying of old age (as climate change causes fruiting twice a year, that’s halving their lives) or the huangbao-whatever disease. It showed/shows all the signs of the disease. The city inspected it but didn’t tell me the outcome. Since it’s still standing I guess the illness is something else??(they cut them down if they have it)

        I love working and seeing people stop to pick fruit. Because all the fruit is high, I usually offer them use of a fruit picker and give bags to carry fruit home. One woman bought her own picker!!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m the only person I know who managed to kill outdoor plants in Southern California. I would not even attempt indoors. I have, however, used a plant ID app on neighborhood walks I used to take, planning the low-maintenance drought tolerant garden I would have in the front yard of my mom’s house as soon as it becomes my sole responsibility.

    When I loved in East TN, my hopefully and finally soon to be ex husband teased me when I wanted to go on a bird walk because we already had so many that came through our backyard which overlooked a lake. After that comment of course I never learned to identify them by sight or sound. In that same location we’d also acquired a hummingbird feeder or two. We both enjoyed watching them gather around those until he became just too lazy/drunk/weird to continue to maintain it.

    I do recall, though, that I enjoyed listening to the local birds as I enjoyed our backyard hot tub in Huntington Beach, CA, where we lived for a long time. Now I just listen to the peeps and tweets between sirens on the emergency vehicles on their way to the hospital near her home in Torrance, CA. One of those sets came for her a few weeks ago!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m much better with indoor plants than outdoor plants! I can kill an outdoor plant with the best of them. 😂

      Oh I am quite envious of all the places you’ve lived! They sound lovely. Birds and all. ❤️


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