Sunday, July 3, 2011


We're back from the cottage for about a week, then we hope to return. The weather has been mostly nice if you include rain as nice. And I do. We had a great mix of sun and showers which lent itself to lots of photos. Of course, I haven't even looked at most of what was shot yet, so I'm going to post a few older images while I buy some time work on more current shots. I don't know if I'll ever catch up, but I'm going to have fun trying.

I hope to resume visits to some blogs this week, too. You don't want to know how many hundreds of posts have collected in my Google Reader while I was away!

The following are a few random photos left over from last month.

A most curious sight caught my attention one day while walking. Which bird is bright red with a black head, I wondered? And a red beak? And the occasional stray red feather on its head? A bald Cardinal, that's what. I've since seen a few more around my place and Frank's. According to a number of websites, it's not all that unusual at this time of year though nobody seems to know for sure why it happens. Mostly likely it's part of a normal moulting process.

This is the first dragonfly which held still long enough for me to photography this year. Frank got some great shots of various species up at the cottage and I'm sure he'll be sharing some of those with you when time permits.

A lone daisy catching the late-day rays.

One sunny afternoon, I was taking a walk in the park. I encountered a few girls who appeared to be having a picnic. It was only when I stopped to photograph something else, that I noticed the item which ulitmately drew me to snap this shot. Take a look beside the girl on the bench.

They were smoking shisha - a sweetened tobacco.

This little sweetie is my neighbour, Leah. I'm glad this she's protecting her beautiful head while out bike riding.

quick check
And last, but never least, we END with another little neighbour, Lily. She's undergoing a quick diaper check by her dad.

More photos as soon as I can get to them.

Happy Independence Day to my Amurikan neighbours!


Elizabeth Grimes said...

These were fun! Lovely randomness. A bald cardinal...that's a new one on me too!

TexWisGirl said...

oh, that poor bald redbird! ugh!

loved your cute little neighbor girls. the hooka pipe is a bit much for a picnic outing. but to each their own...

the damselfly was beautiful!

Unknown said...

Never heard of a bald cardinal before: remarkable!

ds said...

Oh, poor cardinal--no wonder they hide in summer. Odd to see a hookah in broad daylight; Jefferson Airplane came to mind.

Your neighbors are most precious!

Robin said...

Ah, those are wonderful! So pleased you're back!

Anvilcloud said...

The Daisy pic: super!!

Ruth Hiebert said...

That last picture makes me laugh.A man has to do what a man has to do.
The Cardinal is not as beautiful as usual.I have seen the Blue Jays here have the same situation.

Scott Law said...

Some sweet photos here today. Too bad about those cute girls making such poor choices so early in life. Hopefully as they mature so will their judgement.

Tabor said...

Welcome back! I have seen a bald cardinal in the spring here.

Frank Baron said...

Nice collection of colourful subjects. Leah (and her sis) can't take a bad pic. Loved the shot of Ron checking on "business" too. :)

CiCi said...

Well you have to get home occasionally to catch up with mail and laundry before you head back again. Glad you are having a great summer. The bald cardinal is so interesting. We have seen some with about to be bald heads and though they had mange or something.

Pierre BOYER said...

Lovely pictures Hilary !
Regards from France,


Friko said...

These are wonderful; I am particularly struck by the pretty faces of all the girls.

And what is that object?

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

That poor cardinal looks embarrassed. I think he was trying to hide in the grass. Beautiful shots of everything. The color on the cardinal was brilliant. The detail on the dragonfly amazing and the daisy just lovely. Good job, as usual. You make me want a camera and lenses like yours, but I'm afraid my images would still be lacking and I'd be broke.

Birdie said...

Love the diaper check. I think some things are just part of being a man and that is one of them. Seriously, in all the years I went to mom and baby groups I never once saw a mom check her baby's diaper this way.

I thought it was a bong.

ellen abbott said...

I have never seen a bald cardinal! and I love the daisy. beautiful. and the diaper check, classic.

messymimi said...

Who would ever have guessed that cardinals go through male pattern baldness! ;)

Done many of those diaper checks myself, that's a cute reminder.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Great shots! That bald cardinal is freaky. I've never seen one. I love the dragonfly. The detail is amazing. Hope you have a wonderful summer up at the cabin.

Barb said...

Each of your photos tells a story, Hilary - the people just shine. Those young girls are so beautiful - why smoking, I can't imagine!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Like many others, I'm intrigued by the bald cardinal. Unusual as it is, I think my favorite photo in this go around is the daisy - shot from underneath is very creative - I love the diaphanous look of the petals.

ADRIAN said...

Superb photography I really like the flower.

Bob Bushell said...

A beautiful blog, a demoiselle and the couple smoking a hookah; they are my favourites.

June said...

A devoted birdwatcher told me once that "second year birds" have bald heads. Apparently it's a part of maturation.

"They were smoking shisha - a sweetened tobacco."
Sure they were...
Last time I saw a hookah, it wasn't holding "sweetened tobacco."

Dave said...

An interesting selection of photos again Hilary. That cardinal sure looked unusual - Dave

Sueann said...

Wendy's lunch and a Hooka!! Too fun! Sweetened tobacco huh? Ha!!
That bald cardinal is awesome. Have never seen one myself. Very cool shot!
Love the lone daisy!
Happy 4th

Leah J. Utas said...

Great pic of the moulting cardinal. Bald birds are freaky.
Excellent pics, and I love the young women sharing the pipe.

Daryl said...

The Cardinale is keeping a cool head .. love Lily's diaper check, I am sure she'll also love it years from now ..

Mental P Mama said...

Ah the diaper check....always a treat!

Bossy Betty said...

I would like a red coat just like the first little fellow's!

Lovely shots! Your neighbor is a little cutie-pie!!!

Reb said...

Lovely random shots! The poor Cardinal! That is a beautiful hookah, but it is sad to see such young girls smoking (and I say this as a smoker).

holdingmoments said...

What a great selection Hilary. Those young ladies look like they're having fun lol
The poor Cardinal looks to be suffering like a lot of birds this time of year; the pressures of parenthood.
And the last shot is priceless!

photowannabe said...

Amazing bald cardinal, that's a new one on me. Love your lone daisy too. Great shots Hilary.

Country Girl said...

Oh, yes. These were fun. Surprising about the cardinal, too.

Brian Miller said...

a hooka...ha...i have never seen a bald least not a me some dragonflies too! have a lovely weekend hilary!

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Elizabeth. Apparently there are bald blue jays, as well. Go figure. :)

• TexWisGirl, I suspect that bald cardinal thought he was just as beautiful as always. And of course, he was. Thanks for the kind words. The girls were having fun and were not concerned about the photo. :)

• Susan, it was a new one for me too but now I'm seeing lots of them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• DS, I'm seeing lots of Cardinals around this summer. Funny you should mention Jefferson Airplane. The song White Rabbit has been going through my head all day. ;)

• Thank you, Robin. It's nice to be back.. however briefly. :)

• Thank you, AC. :)

• Ruth, Lily needs to be checked on the run like that. She's always moving.. and always making me smile. I've read that Blue Jays and even grackles can have the same problem as old red. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Scott, thank you kindly. I know what you mean about the poor choices. But I also remember some of the poor choices I made as a kid which I outgrew, so there's always hope. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Tabor, I suspected that if anyone else had seen one, it might be you. :)

• Thank you, Frank. You know as well as I do how that little one is always on the go. It's about the only way to check. Scoop, pull and peek. :)

• TB, that's about right. Catchup mode is such hard work. ;) The cardinals.. apparently, nobody really knows for sure why it happens. Some think they're plagued with mites and the head is the only place they can't get at them with their beaks. Others say that it's just part of the moulting process. The ducks around here certainly look pretty bland right now, until they get their fall feathers. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Merci beacoup, Pierre. :)

• Thank you, Friko. It's a hookah. Used primarily (around here, anyway) for smoking pot, but was designed for cooling tobacco (shisha) by drawing the smoke through water. :)

• Linda, I suspect that Cardinal thinks it's just as beautiful as ever. Only we know the difference. Thank you so much for such kind words. You never fail to make me smile when you drop by. :)

• Birdie, you make me wonder about that now.. the diaper check thing. I usually just did a sniff test. And yes, it is a bong. They were just using it for shisha.. whilst out in public, anyway. :)

• Ellen, now you have. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• MessyMimi, too funny. You checked diapers that way? You must tell Birdie (two comments up)! ;)

Hilary said...

• VM, thank you. The cardinal was a bit disconcerting but now I'm seeing enough of them that I'm quite used to them. I hope it doesn't take all summer for it to grow back. Thanks very much for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Barb, thank you kindly. Hopefully they'll outgrow the smoking. I hope my son does too. I can imagine because I smoked cigarettes for about 12 years myself. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Ethelmae, thank you so kindly. I'm glad you liked that pic. Thanks for the visit. I hope all is going better at your end? :)

• Thank you, Adrian. Much appreciated. :)

• Bob, thanks very much. I got quite a kick out of the hookah myself. :)

• June, I didn't know that. That's very interesting. I certainly see balding ducks throughout each summer. They don't lose it all though. The girls truly were smoking shisha. I could smell it.. .it was kind of fruity. And they assured me that they weren't so foolish as to smoke pot in public. I believed them. But the last hookah I saw before this, wasn't cooling tobacco either. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Dave. The poor thing has no idea how funny he looks. I hope. :)

• SueAnn, I couldn't resist photographing the girls and they were quite happy to pose. Thanks for the kind words. They always very much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Leah. Bald birds are indeed freaky.. but hopefully not to other birds. Thanks very much for your kind comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. :)

• Daryl, I wonder if bald birds are actually cooler or warmer in summer without their feathers. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• MPM, every parents' job. :)

• Betty, you might want his coat but I doubt you'd appreciate the hat. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Reb. I agree with you about the girls. I'm an ex-smoker, myself. My younger son smokes and it kills me. I've never seen him smoke, but he admits to it freely. Hate it! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Keith, I suppose they were having fun.. and enjoying being noticed for it. Thanks for your always-kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. :)

• Thanks kindly, Sue. Much appreciated. :)

• Kate, thank you. Glad to see you stop by. :)

• Brian, thanks very much. I'm glad you dropped in and enjoyed. :)

Unknown said...

These really are random photos, Hilary! The girls were a bit of a shock, but the nature pics smoothed things out. Thanks for your note on the 4th! : )

Barbara said...

I love these! I've never seen a bald cardinal - I'm relieved to know it's kind of common. But poor thing! The diaper check cracked me up - oh, I remember those days!

Anonymous said...

love the daisy flower shot

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for sharing Hilary. Cardinals were my mom's fav and she never tired at watching them.

Suldog said...

That's a beautiful hookah. Pretty girls, too. Despite the misgivings of some here, I'm willing to bet they were just smoking tobacco. You bring something like that out into the open, you had better be legal! Not easy to hide if law enforcement comes along!

Sandra said...

Your pictures are always interesting. I have NEVER seen a bald cardinal ... before now. Thanks for that little piece of education. :)

But my favorite picture is the last one. So cute. She'll love that one when she's an adult. :)

Hilary said...

• Michael, I'm glad you enjoyed the pics. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Barbara, I was relieved to learn that too. It otherwise looks like quite an infliction! Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thrviewfinder, thank you. :)

• Slamdunk, I'm glad I could oblige. I'll bet your Mom would have seen a bald one or two if she was such an avid watcher. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Suldog, I agree. The girls were bright and not that foolhardy. It was indeed shisha. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Sandra. They're odd looking little creatures without those head feathers, aren't they? :)