Christianity/Religion Culture Family Life love Photography Shirley Buxton Photography

The Phone Call

“Calling to check on you, Mom,” the adult child said when the woman answered the phone.



The mother smiled. Ordinary conversation ensued–the mundane, the heat, how are the dogs, slim talk of daily activities, progress, and regression. Then the child said the other  words.

A tense sliver of silence. “That hurt me. You should have told me about that.”

“I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I apologize.” The child told explanatory  words that went to the heart of the matter for the child had tried to spare the  mother the sorrow of the untold fact.

Again. “I’m sorry, Mom.”

“I know you are. I forgive you.”

“I know you do. I would never hurt you on purpose.”

“I know you wouldn’t.”


Hours later, I think on this scene. It makes me happy. Happy? you ask. Yes, for by now you must know that life is imperfect. People are. People who love each other, with no intent for hurt, do just that thing they would never intend to do. DSC_9550

At  that moment, each person has a litany of choices. We can continue with the hurt, or not. We can apologize or refuse to do so. We can gather in the sorrowful words, or reject the apology, We can dredge up prior hurts, or not. We can sulk, feel old, not needed,  rejected

Or not.

My child and I chose the high, logical road. No hurt was intended, indeed quite the opposite, no hurt would be nursed.

Such is the good life. How blessed, truly blessed I am


Animals Christianity/Religion Crestline My Home Photography Weather/Nature

The Sabbath Hummingbird

In twenty minutes it would be time to leave for Sunday morning worship. “I’m going down with my camera and watch the birds,” I told Jerry yesterday. “I’m ready to go when you are.”


I settled myself in a lawn chair about eight feet from the wide bird bath where the timer had turned on the fountain and where the water was now softly bubbling. The morning was calm; perfect, with a temperature in the low 70s and with a breeze that caught in the high trees and that ruffled about the scarlet and pink and orange flower petals on the plants in the stone urns and in the hanging baskets. As I have done numerous time, I admired the lines and shadows of the bird bath with its flat water that was routinely interrupted by the bubbles that escaped from the top and fell below.


Suddenly, it was there–a hummingbird, its beat of wings so rapid that it was beyond the comprehension of my eyesight, and so to me was a fluttering blur. The bird swooped, flew away, then back, then finally into the bowl, splashing about for its Sunday morning ablutions.


I watched, then that jewel of a bird was gone.


Do you recall that Scripture says God is aware of every sparrow that falls? ….really? I suspect then, that He sees me this morning, knows of my day, my challenges, the decisions I must make . . . my successes . . . my failures.


New post on my photography blog:


America Animals Life Photography Social The World

A Day in the Life of the Buxton Robins

A Bird’s Eye View of Robin Maternity Central

Early yesterday, Jerry climbed up, held a mirror and I snapped this picture. There are four babies who probably hatched only a day or two before we arrived here Wedneday.

“Would the paparazzi please go away?”
“As soon as you’re through snapping your infernal camera, I have this fine meal to take to our babies.”
“Daddy’s home. We can have dinner now.”
Introducing Guy. How do I know this is Guy? Well, looking like that, it can’t be one of the girls, and it surely doesn’t resemble a bear. Must be Guy. R Guy! Look at that hairdo!
From left to right: Carol Esther, Eve and Goodbear singing for their supper.

Animals Weather/Nature

The Scoop on Poop

Uh, I don’t want to be too forward, but I just know some of you are thinking to give me a baby shower, and I want to let you know I won’t need any diapers. I hadn’t given any thought to the diaper issue for my baby robins, but someone else has brought up the subject.

Baby robins remain in their nest for about 13 days. Just about every time the nestlings gulp down some food, they poop. Let’s see–that’s 13 days x 4 babies x 356 insects and worms on average each day–that’s a LOT of poop! How on earth do robins keep their nest clean?

Baby robins can’t wear diapers of any kind, but they do put their poop in a strong “bag” so the parents can carry it away. This bag is made of thick, strong mucus that a parent robin can pick up in its sharp beak and carry without puncturing, and is called a “fecal sac.” Fecal sacs are just like disposable diapers for birds!

The rest of this very interesting article is here.

PS I think my blog has morphed to such degree that it is now “for the birds.”

America Animals California Life My Home Photography The World Uncategorized Weather/Nature

Life’s Amazing Continuum

Mirrored Robin Eggs, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Amazingly, I had chanced on the opportunity to watch from the beginning this life process. A beginning, you understand, not The beginning. Then again, as I consider the preceding sentence, was it at all a genesis…was it a beginning or merely a link in this great continuum? This continuum called life. Life with a capital L.

Uhm, my mind clicks, well surely it was the beginning of the fledglings who soon will be cheeping there, but no, intellectual and faith-based honesty decry their germ to be ancient. Their root is Eden.

Inside our study, I sat before the slider that opens to our deck and watched as she flew to us, perching among the rigid supports inside the large canvas umbrella that shades the table. As though gauging the suitability, she looked about, then in a flicker was gone.

Despite hindrances, which I wrote about here, within a day, she had built a nest. (More pictures in this link.)
Of robins and their nesting habits, I read a little, learning that a bird’s nest expert is known as an oologist. The prospective mama lays one egg daily, with a total of two to four eggs each season. She lays them around noon and does not continuously set on the nest until all the eggs are laid…leaving the first eggs cold, so that all the babies will hatch close to the same time.
Sure enough, for hours she would disappear, then return, and a couple of times I think I saw Papa, who also sets on the nest to give Mama an occasional break.
Handsome dude, isn’t he?
On Friday, we had to leave Crestline and the drama that by the day was unfolding. My curiosity was boundless, and I knew I couldn’t probe around the nest or the parents would be disturbed, but I just had to see if there were eggs in that nest. So sweet Jerry climbed on a stool and held up a mirror so I could see the twin blue eggs that rested there.
A couple of hundred miles from where I am this morning, on our back deck in Crestline, life’s spectacular continuum broods. We’ll be going back in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping to be there in time for a glimpse of a hungry nestling. For before he flutters away, before destiny whirls him on his long voyage, I want one last look.
My devotional blog is here.