Thursday, 17 October 2013

Happy Birthday Lenny on Sunday: October 20th ...


A Burlington Arcade cake awaits you in London ... but you’ll need your expando pants ...?!
 
Happy Macaron
Birthday - Lenny!

Please pop on over in the next few days and wish ‘our young lad’ a birthday wish at his Lenny’s World website ... he deserves much joy and happiness on this ‘his fourteenth birthday’ ...


Critters be the love of Lenny’s life ... all critters big and small ... Linda in the Nursing Centre is delighted with her World Wild Life Calendar from the magnificent goodie pile of prezzies Lenny sent over recently ...


... while I was very happy with the Audubon Society calendar ... and thought I’d write about a few ... while learning about some American birds at the same time ...
 
Audubon's Snowy Owl

I also forayed forth in London the other day to the Natural History Museum specifically to see the Blaschka’s radiolarian, which has been cleaned and is on show in the Treasures Gallery ... it is so special ...


... as are the two copies of Audubon’s “Birds of America” held by the Museum ... another copy of which recently sold for £3.7 million - a world record for a book! 


To all you self-publishing authors out there – this story (c/o the NHM) tells a tale of perseverance (what will you do?!)... John James Audubon was rejected by American publishers (he couldn’t draw or so they thought), so in 1826 he set sail for Liverpool ...

 
John James Audubon
... he looked like a classic exotic American frontier woodsman ... untamed, romantic looking, rough, etc ... once again he was rejected this time by the British ...


... decision time: he self-published between 1827 and 1838 ... selling in 5 page batches for two guineas a time (about £100 today) ... subscribers could collect full or partial sets, or buy all four volumes for £182 (about £9,000 today).


Audubon's Cedar Waxwing
It is thought that fewer than 200 complete sets were produced, of which only 120 are known to survive, with the Natural History Museum looking after two ... one of which is on show at the Treasures Gallery ... and can be interactively seen.


Here’s the link to the Birds of America section in the Treasures part of the NHM, where the rest of the treasures are shown and described ...



Rufuous Hummingbird
Back to Lenny’s Audubon calendar ...  we have the Rufous Hummingbird for the 2013 Autumn months ... Sept, Oct, Nov and winter’s December ...  this rufous ... is really rufous.  A major decline means half the populations have been lost in just four decades ... they need encouraging back into gardens.


January – has the Northern Cardinal ... she’s rather handsome with her red beak and smart combed crest ... They thrive by being fed, while the planting of native trees is greatly encouraged.

Northern cardinal

February – has the Northern Flicker ... seems to have escaped from the internet?! ...  Oh I see it has an extra bit in its name ... the Northern (Yellow-Shafted) Flicker ... they are a type of woodpecker, which forages on the ground ...


March – has the Peregrine Falcon ... looking very focussed on his landing perch – they are the fastest creatures on Earth, clocked in hunting dives at well over 200 mph.
 
Magenta Calliope Hummingbird

April – has the Calliope Hummingbird with its magnificent magenta plumage ... gorgeous starburst display.  Their populations are monitored, which then helps landowners manage their land to accommodate these population shifts.


May – has the Black Skimmer with a teeny fluffy tot, with enormous feet!, hanging on to mum’s bill for dear life ... Audubon’s work protecting coastal beaches and barrier islands is crucial to their species’ nesting success.  They are a priority species in the Atlantic, Mississippi and Central Flyway.

Black Skimmer with chicks

June – the Yellow Warbler looks like it’d rather lie low and not be part of the Calendar ... the song of the buttery yellow warbler emanates from willows, wet thickets and roadsides around North America.


Yellow Warbler

July – the Black-necked Stilt ... beautifully photographed with its mirror image in the sky-blue water ... A priority species for Audubon in the Pacific Flyway, Audubon’s work protecting the freshwater marshes where this species breeds helps ensure its nesting success.


Scarlet Tanager
August – gives us the Scarlet Tanager ... amazing name I’d never heard before ...  and apparently they are difficult to spot, being high high up in the canopy.  They migrate in winter, change their coat to yellow-green before returning!  Tanagers benefit from Audubon’s work protecting critical migratory stopover habits.


Cactus Wren


September – prickles our delight with the Cactus Wren ... incredible they can dart in and out of cacti.  Able to survive without access to free-standing water they are truly adapted to desert environments.  Audubon’s work is once again helping to protect the critical Cactus Wren habitat – the urban sprawl in the SouthWest has led to wren population declines.


Snowy Owl


OctoberLenny’s birthday month ... the 20th is on Sunday ... and we have a favourite of his: an owl ... the Snowy Owl ... just brilliant to see.   The spectacular Snowy Owl nests only in the Arctic, hunting in 24 hours daylight during the summer, and 24 hour darkness during the winter.  

Audubon plays a crucial role in trying to ensure conservation for the species in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Alaska’s vast National Petroleum Reserves (this could, to me, be an oxymoron?!)

Cedar Waxwing

November – we have the Osprey ... known to me as the Fish Eagle, from my South African days ... with their haunting cry ... they have rebounded since the banning of DDT.  So far so good for this species ... but they are monitored by Audubon.


December – we’re into the Waxwings ... need to seal those parcels!  On the hoar-frost branch with his red berry ... perhaps the Cedar Waxwing is waiting for it to thaw before scrunching it down ...

 
Wood Thrush
... and such a wonderful idea ... we have January 2015 – so helpful ... the delightfully coloured wood thrush ... while its unique melodic song signifies the start of Spring ... unfortunately habitat fragmentation on both breeding grounds and Central American wintering grounds has caused a 50% decline in Wood Thrush numbers over the past 50 years.


The Audubon society provided much of this information ... and obviously does a fabulous amount of work throughout the States ... I imagine it works closely with the conservation societies in Canada too ...

NB Photos are not from the calendar .... 

I leave you with two quotes from the WorldWildLife organisation bookmarks that Lenny sent me ...

Macaron wrapping paper

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard” ... Standing Bear

To the Eyes of the Man of Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself “... William Blake


Happy Happy Birthday Lenny ... I sure hope you have loads of fun with the family ... with big hugs and love from Linda and I ... and all your friends around the internet ...

Lenny's World - his blog

Natural History Museum - the cleaning of the radiolarian


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

57 comments:

Elise Fallson said...

Happy Birthday Lenny! (: That Macaron cake looks amazing. :D

I live out in the country and we get a lot of birds around here, but the one I miss the most from the States, is the cardinal. I used to live in Virginia where the state bird was designated as the northern cardinal in 1950. I remember seeing the bright red male birds perched in snow covered trees--they were so pretty.

Diana Wilder said...

I woke up rather hungry this morning, fired up my laptop, and went to the blog site to catch up with the blogs I enjoy and which I have had to avoid for the past week. What do I see? A Macaron cake! Oh, my! Not for breakfast, mind you, but still... Oh, my!
...so what else has Hilary put in her wonderful Macedoine of images, information and enjoyable writing?
Audubon! He was an amazing man. The calendar looks lovely, too, though I wonder why they didn't have a red male Cardinal? The flicker (referred to in the calendar) is one of my favorites, with a niftly little red spot. I would find feathers with little yellow demi-dots down the side and know them for flicker feathers. Now to reread the stained glass section. ...glass books? Hm. Not in a household with cats...
Andante, Hilary!

Diana at About Myself By Myself

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have always wanted to see a Scarlet Tanager in the wild but haven't as of yet. I love birds and I really would love an Audubon Society calendar. I used to have an Audubon Society field guide when I was an adolescent and I would always take it bird watching with me :)

Manzanita said...

Clever man, that Audubon. Again I learned something here. Yay for the first self-publishing.

mail4rosey said...

The calender is nice, and I love the Hummingbird and the Snowy Owl.

And now I'm off to send Lenny Happy Birthday wishes. :)

Have a great rest of the week!

Julie Flanders said...

Aww, Happy Birthday to Lenny!! What a gorgeous calendar. Anyone who is a friend to critters is a friend of mine. :)

D.G. Hudson said...

Happy Birthday to Lenny! Macarons! perfect to celebrate with. 14 is a good number, may you use the next year wisely.

Re Audubon:
I visited the Audubon House in Key West, Hilary, and it's small but gorgeous with many of his prints on the wall. For much of his career, Audubon had to rely on the kindness of friends as he accumulated his work.

There is a self-guided tour and the funds raised help maintain the Audubon House. In the gift shop we visited, we couldn't purchase a print - too expensive, mostly galleries and groups buy. Too sad that even now, the public is kept from appreciating such art by the cost. (You indicated the high cost of owning anything like that now.) Audubon was also derided for having to kill the birds, etc in order to draw them.

rosaria williams said...

I had no idea Audubon was shunned by the publishing world in his days!
After I moved here and began searching for names of the local fauna I found a calendar, self published by a local photographer that gave accurate pictures and descriptions of the local birds. What a find!

Lynn said...

Happy birthday to Lenny! I would like some of that cake. :)

And gorgeous bird photos. That was lovely of Lenny to send that calendar.

I have a framed Audubon print hanging in my bedroom - it was from a special exhibit in Washington many years ago. So terrible that he had such a hard time getting published.

JoJo said...

Northern Flickers did tremendous damage to the exterior of my cedar sided home in Washington State. They pecked holes in the side that had no windows and built their nests in the wall. It sounded like an aviary in my house all spring long. :(

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

They're all very impressive, but I love the Black Skimmer. The babes look nothing like the mum. This summer our hummingbirds were vicious. I was probably attacked 4x. LOL. Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a nest nearby.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He couldn't draw? Yeah, right.
And 3.7 million pounds is a lot.

Suzanne Furness said...

Happy Birthday Lenny. That cake is a work of art! What a lovely calander, something to cheer every month.

A Lady's Life said...

Wished Lenny a Happy Birthday and love your birds. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elise - when I saw the window setting - I immediately thought of Lenny and how much he'd love a cake that size ... very moorish.

The female cardinal was the bird featured in the calendar, and as the Scarlet Tanager appears for August .. I thought I'd use a female cardinal ... beautiful songsters I gather ..

They are very eye-catching birds ... especially perched up snow-covered trees - Christmas is coming?!

@ Diana - the macaron cake was quite amazing to see .. but not for breakfast!

The medley is courtesy of Lenny and his amazing gift ... as I mentioned to Elise - the calendar was featuring best photos and the female won out this time!

The flickers also have nifty little red spots too ... I didn't see those... how gorgeous ...

Great you're looking at the Glass Books again - while the cats can rest easy a casa ... and you can enjoy a languid watch of the Glass Book video - well worth it ..

@ Keith - those scarlet tanagers look amazing - I don't know where Lenny got his from to send over here .. but both Linda and I are enjoying our calendars even before 2014 has arrived!

What a great way to learn to take the field guide with you .. we did that in South Africa ... lying in the bush - wonderful world!

@ Manzanita - yes Audubon was a very clever recorder of nature - fantastic drawings and paintings ..

@ Rosey - I thought the Hummingbird was special as too Lenny's owl: the snowy one ...

Thanks for popping over to see Lenny ...

@ Julie - Lenny is critter mad and will enjoy seeing these photos I think .. thanks for popping in to wish him Happy Birthday ...

@ DG - thanks for going over to see Lenny .. and I too wish him all the very best ...

Great information for us about Audubon - and I'd love to visit his House in Key West. It's good to read about the conservation of his work - yet I'm shocked that his prints can't even be purchased - as they're prohibitively priced ...

Did he kill the birds to draw and paint them ... I hadn't thought of that aspect ... I wonder what other naturalists did .. I'll have to check ..

@ Rosaria - it's interesting isn't it that Audubon wasn't recognised in his day ..

What a lovely way to learn about the flora and fauna about your new area when you moved there - so pleased you found your local photographer ...

@ Lynn - Weren't Linda and I lucky to have such wonderful calendars - I've loved writing about the birds ...

Lucky you to have that framed print - I gather they're like gold-dust ... what a great find from that exhibit many years ago ... so pleased you're still enjoying it.

@ JoJo - what a 'lovely' story about the Flickers! Sorry - but just such fun to read .. I can believe it ... little devils - did the house survive ... but the songs in Spring must have been amazing ..

Is that why you moved ... ?!

@ Joylene - aren't they gorgeous birds .. and I too love the Black Skimmer.. the photographer got a great shot = the one in the calendar - though this photo is pretty good ...

Are hummingbirds that vicious .. incredible to learn about ... and you were attached four times?! Staggering ..

@ Alex - great points ... they are both extraordinary notes aren't they ...

@ Suzanne - the cake is magnificent ... and the calendar I shall enjoy seeing each month's choice in 2014 ...

@ A Lady's Life - thanks for wishing Lenny a happy birthday ...

Aren't the birds great ...

Thanks everyone - lovely that you've been popping over to wish Lenny a Happy Birthday - thank you.

Cheers to you all .. Hilary

nutschell said...

great trivia! wanted to go to the Natural History Museum when I was in London but I ran out of time! hope to go back sometime.
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

L.G. Smith said...

Happy birthday Lenny.

I worked as a naturalist at a state park that was known for it's migrating bird population. Got me hooked on birds in a big way. Hummingbirds are probably my favorite in the backyard. :)

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Shall keep this brief. My paws are aching. Lenny's Audubon calender. Strangely enough, the bald eagle, America's bird, is more frequent in Canada.

I'm glad you noted our young buddy, Lenny's birthday. I made an announcement in my previous awards posting and I gave one very special award to Lenny. I have sent our inspiring young friend a birthday card.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Happy Birthday to Lenny! What beautiful birds! The Calliope Hummingbird is my favorite!

Julie

Chatty Crone said...

Hey girl - so tell us about Lenny - who is he and what is going on with him. I looked at his blog.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENNY.

And I think that my favorite is the Calliope Hummingbird - I have never seen a pink one before - it looks so beautiful.

Sandie

Michael Di Gesu said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LENNY! Hi, Hilary...

What a wonderful calendar. LOVE birds... LOVE Autobahn! Put the two together, and it's truly magical!

Have a lovely weekend...

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss Hilary!

wow! thanks for the HUGE cake. its gonna last me all the way til my next birthday. and thanks for sending your blogger friends round to my blog to say happy birthday and thanks to the ones that wished me happy birthday right here. all those wishes make me soooo happy. im glad you like the calendar and its cool you did a post and shared all those cool pics. youre the best!!

...big hugs from lenny

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Happy Birthday to my dear Lenny! Miss Hilary gave you a lovely post! I really enjoyed the pictures. Some of those birds I've never seen.

Jo said...

Happy Birthday Lenny, hope its a great one.

I forget where, but one of the southern estates, had Audubon original books on display, they were huge with wonderful plates painted by Audubon himself. Marvellous. ]

We used to get a lot of these birds in our feeders and nesting boxes when we lived in NC, and we have photos of the Scarlet Tanager bathing in our bird bath which was very popular with our avian visitors. Never knew they changed colour though.

Have you ever checked our son-in-laws paintings? There is a link on my blog site. He paints mainly British birds.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nutschell - lots of fun information .. but you'll so enjoy the Natural History Museum - see you there ..

@ Luanne - what a great way to learn about birds ... and a lovely job too - seeing the seasons as the birds come and go.

@ Gary - poor Penny looking at all the birds! Interesting about the Bald Eagle being more frequent in Canada .. with all its forests not surprising really. Then of course it's warmer now too ..

Thanks - I saw you'd shouted out for Lenny in your last post - he does so inspire ..

Clever dog is Penny!

@ Julie - looks like lots of happy thoughts for Lenny coming from here .. aren't those little hummingbirds just beautiful.

@ Sandie - Lenny is just one special lad ... so that's what's going on with him .. an inspirational special lad.

Glad the Calliope Hummingbird appeals .. I love its look.

@ Michael - thanks for coming by for Lenny - and aren't the birds just beautiful ... so pleased Lenny me the calendar ..

@ Lenny - look who is here! Welcome! Lovely comment .. and so pleased it's made you happy ..

Your calendar has provided me with a big learning curve .. I loved seeing the original Audubon book in London too ... this post is fun - and I get to wish you Happy Birthday again! Big Hugs to you too ..

@ Sharon - thanks so much .. it was a lovely post to write, especially for Lenny .. I certainly hadn't seen many of the birds - so it has taught me much ..

@ Jo - thanks for Lenny's wishes .. I expect it's down in Key West (as DG mentions above) .. I must say I'd love to visit the Museum, sounds lovely to see more originals.

Feeders and nesting boxes do help conserve our birds .. and those you had in NC have obviously given you and your visitors much pleasure over the years you were there.

I tried to link over to your SIL's site - but couldn't access it .. I'll try again ...

Cheers to you all - thanks for coming by to wish Lenny "Happy Birthday" for tomorrow .. Hilary

Julia Hones said...

I LOVE watching birds, Hilary.
They inspire me.
Two days ago I saw a snowy owl for the first time. I was so excited!
Beautiful post.
Happy birthday to Lenny.

TALON said...

Happy Birthday, Lenny! Hope it's a day stuffed to the brim with goodies. :)

Hilary, this is a post after my own heart. You know me and birds. :)

I couldn't agree with Standing Bear's quote more. I know I need a nature fix every single day or I feel out of sorts.

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend.

Gattina said...

A happy birthday to Lenny ! I am quiet ignorant (and not so interested) when it comes to birds. Maybe because of my cats ? But I love owls ! They have such funny faces !

Robyn Campbell said...

Happy birthday to Lenny! I love him with all my heart. And I adore you Hil. Thanks for doing this for him. You're the best! That snowy owl is beautiful. Mine is September─the Cactus Wren.

What a wonderful tribute to our friend who has the expando pants. Ha. (i'm writing a story just for Lenny. Expando pants man.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Happy birthday to Lenny!

I remember being really fond of owls when I was little - that Snowy Owl is gorgeous :-)

Tina said...

What a neat self-publishing story! I had NO idea that's how he got the job done. I've always been fascinated with birds, not enough to become a bird-watcher, but always enjoying spotting them around town and watching them in my (quite popular with several varieties) garden and yard. That hummingbird is gorgeous!
Happy birthday to Lenny, a remarkable young man. I imagine this post will thrill him. I'll be sure to stop by and say it to him in person.
You're a gem, Hils, to honor him in this way.
Tina @ Life is Good

Mary Montague Sikes said...

I love the Audubon story and the beautiful bird photos. I didn't know about the self-publishing and should have! I went over to wish Lenny a Happy Birthday!

Thanks so much for working with Amy!

Mary Montague Sikes

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julia - gosh seeing a Snowy Owl ... how wonderful. I'd be inspired too. I'm sure Lenny will enjoy coming back and looking through the post - he does love life ...

@ Talon - yes today is the day and what excitement. Your photos are always so beautiful .. and I love seeing them and reading your words .. so I'm glad the quote rings out true and clear ... A Nature Fix is a great thought for each day ..

@ Gattina - good to see you ... birds are such an important diverse part of our natural world - love cats too ..

@ Robyn - I was so pleased I had the calendar to use for the post .. it's so appropriate for Lenny. He'll love all the comments, cards etc .. The shot of the Cactus Wren in the calendar is amazing .. it's just sitting amongst the prickles!

Gosh a special story for Lenny - he'll love that ... I can't wait to read it too .. what a lovely thought for his birthday ..

@ Annalisa - owls always appeared didn't they, I used to love robins and the peewit .. bob bobbing along .. I really should spend some more time studying them ...

@ Tina - good to see you ... well I hadn't read about Audubon either, so this posting covered all the bases for me - but provided many photos for Lenny. I see our birds here skittering about .. and occasionally spot one I need to look up - but I'm not good at remembering them all. I loved that Calliope Hummingbird .. amazing magenta frontage ..

Lenny does inspire us all - we really can't grumble when he's around .. a little ray of sunshine, and any little extra we can all do for him .. especially on this special day.

@ Monti - it's fascinating to learn who struggled in publishing their books early on .. I had no idea about the Audubon story .. so was glad to learn.

Pleasure re helping Amy as best I can ...

Cheers to you all and thanks so much for going over to Lenny's site and wishing a Happy Birthday today ... better go myself, before I forget seeing as it's the 20th here!

Have great weeks - Hilary

JJ said...

I am a bird lover. You present many I have not seen here in the States, and I thank you.

Connie Arnold said...

Happy birthday to Lenny! Thank you for the fantastic post, Hilary. Love those birds - Lenny's calendar is terrific!

Susanne Drazic said...

Wonderful post, Hilary. What an awesome calendar to receive from Lenny.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lenny!
: )

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ JJ - it's all down to Lenny and his calendar - it was a lovely surprise and I've enjoyed writing about them ..

@ Connie - you're so right in all ways re Lenny .. he's a special 14 year old now ...

@ Susanne - many thanks and I'm sure Lenny had a lovely day yesterday .. but the calendar is just so great ...

Cheers to you all - Hilary

cleemckenziebooks said...

I wished Lenny a HB and he wrote back a lovely note. He's quite a special human.

And those images of the birds today are breathtaking. Such lovely creatures we get to share the planet with. Thank you Mr Audubon for capturing their beauty in your careful work.

Now I'm off to find some of those "forgiving" pants, so I can hit the cake shoppe!

Karen Lange said...

Happy Birthday to Lenny! October is a wonderful month. :) Will hop over to see him. Thanks for sharing all the goodies and info with us, Hilary!

Ann Carbine Best said...

So glad I decided I'd better get over here to thank you for stopping by to visit me on my very occasional blog post of about 2 weeks ago. I think I will do more blogging than I have been able to do, and then it doesn't happen. But I'll never forget you. And now Lenny is on my unforgettable list as well, and also these beautiful birds. What WOULD the world be without them? Many, many ((( ))) from me and Jen

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - Lenny is a special human .. he is so thoughtful and considerate. The calendar is wonderful .. I already have it up and I'll enjoy each of the birds next year as they pop up as the months change.

Aren't those forgiving pants such fun to think about .. ye olde cakeee shop .. love cakes and birthday times.

@ Karen - so pleased you're popping over to his blog .. and glad you enjoyed the calendar et al ..

@ Ann - it was lovely to see you back again, even if it's occasionally. Also it's good to hear from you ..

Lenny does put us all in our places doesn't he .. inspirational little lad ...

Then birds - they are thoroughly enjoying the warm weather over here .. singing away all the time ... just not sure that it's such a good idea as it's way too warm ...

So good to hear from you and Jen .. and ((()))s back ..

Thanks for popping over to see Lenny - and for being here .. cheers Hilary

Southpaw said...

First, I have to say the Black Shimmer is a little freaky. I realized her eyes are hidden in the black feathers, but she looks eyeless!

Happy Birthday Lenny!

Sandy said...

Sounds like you're having way too much fun! He looks like Daniel Boone or Davey Crockett. Not sure I've ever seen a picture of him. Hummingbirds are always so pretty.

They Call it Mellow Yellow

Nick Wilford said...

Always an education here! That sounds like a lovely calendar. Big Happy Birthday to Lenny.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - yes her eyes are half in the black and half in the white feathers .. I can just see a half-moon ... still they seem great birds. I'm sure her eyes open wide when her babes cause her to worry .. here the seem like fluffy cuddly chicks!

@ Sandy - it's good to get to see exhibitions, but that day I was rattling around London for another reason. I thought he looked rather handsome too .. Audubon certainly did a good job keeping birds in the public eye. I agree hummingbirds just look so delicate ..

@ Nick - it's been an interesting write-up ... all thanks to Lenny.

Cheers to you all - Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Hello Hilary. Wow! Lenny 14! How that has flipped by!
It's funny how we forget that self publishing isn't some modern phenomenon and that some very famous people forged that path many years ago.
Now if I lick that macaron paper I won't get fat! Too cute!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise .. time does disappear doesn't it .. but happy birthdays are worth having.

I found Audubon's way to publishing an interesting topic .. and as you say many over the decades and centuries have found their own way to publication.

Oh - what a good idea .. a quick lick of the macarons ... looking through the window was good enough .. if I'd gone in - I'm not sure what I'd have done ... s p e n t ....!

Cheers good to see you .. Hilary

Marja said...

A bit late but I hopped over for Lenny's birthday. The macaroons are very colourful I must try one one day Never had one before.
The birds are beautiful. My favourite is the snow owl as well. and yes persistence works Jk Rowlings was also rejected 12 times
I send you lots of love from NZ

Suze said...

I love reading accounts like these as it reminds me that there is nothing new under the sun--not even self-publishing. :)

Romance Reader said...

Happy Birthday to Lenny! And a macaroon cake? Awesome!

Loved the post Hilary.

Nas

Sara said...

What a nice birthday tribute to Lenny! You are such a good friend, Hilary. Not everybody has that gift of making and keeping friends where ever you go, but you do:~)

I love the birds. That's one of my favorite things to do -- sit outside and see who visits the feeder. We had lots of hummingbirds this year and a few stragglers still drop by. But none of them matched the glory of the Magenta Calliope Hummingbird. We get lots of Ruby Throat Hummingbirds and they are very aggressive little birds!

I hope you great weekend:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marja - I'm sure Lenny will be thrilled to know his birthday is continuing on .. always fun. Macarons are delicious - very rich!

Aren't the birds great - it was a fun posting to do .. and as you say persistence does pay off ...

Thanks for the love from NZ - lucky you going into Spring ...

@ Suze - so right somewhere along the line it all started with self- publishing didn't it ..

@ Nas - good to see you .. Lenny will enjoy your birthday wishes .. I know I'd love to share the macaron tower with my blogging friends and Lenny ..

@ Sara - good to see you and thanks for the lovely comment - Lenny is one wonderful friend, as are all my blogging pals ...

Aren't the birds delightful .. yet Joylene said the hummingbirds at her place in Canada were vicious this year - I'd have never have thought it .. interesting fact. Ruby throated ones must look so pretty .. but now I know they're aggressive ...

You too have a happy weekend...

Cheers to you all - have a good weekend .. Hilary

River Fairchild said...

A very belated happy birthday to Lenny! I'm still being haphazard with my visits to blogs.

That's quite a publishing story about John Audubon. I'd love for one of my books to command that price...preferably within my lifetime though!

After staring at that Macaron wrapping paper, I'm now going to scour the cupboards for sugar...

Sue Travers said...

Hilary I was enjoying reading this post, then paused for a moment to listen to the birds outside. There's a crow, some wattle birds, a dove and assorted calls I don't know. I listened to some information about our magpies last week and found out that they are distinctly different from yours - I'd always assumed they were similar. Ours have the most beguiling song which I gather yours don't which explains why overseas people think we're a bit odd with our love of them.
cheers
Sue

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ River - lovely to see you .. and having changed up your blogging, you have lots going on. It's fascinating how much self-publishing occurred early on .. they were pioneers in all ways. Well - if you command a few million pounds for one of your books -then that will be just brilliant!

Looking at the macaron cake in the shop window was pretty distressing too ... I struggled on with my shopping and no cake!

@ Sue - our birds are still singing around ... well they were til the strong winds started sweeping across - it is still so warm .. flowers are out and leaves are springing ... strange weather.

Our magpies are thugs - but only because we've killed off their natural predators .. and they have a nasty squawk and don't sing!

It's amazing how flora and fauna has changed so much between the continents ... evolution fascinates me ...

If your magpies have a lovely song I certainly wouldn't be surprised at your love for your magpies - ours: now I would be shocked!

I see the Australian magpie is noted as one of Australia's most accomplished songbirds .. must be lovely ...

Cheers to you both .. Hilary

Milo James Fowler said...

That's really some cake!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Milo - it looked stunning when I 'bussed' down Piccadilly a couple of weeks ago .. I did have a sugar desire and still do everytime I look!

Cheers Hilary