Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Benny Haz a Sad and Posts of the Week

On one of our many trips between my place and his, Frank leaned over and nudged me after glancing at his rear view mirror. "Take a look at the long face." I slowly turned back to look at Benny. It was pathetic, I tell you. Just pathetic.

I haz a sad.

After all these years, he still doesn't get why he has to be crated in the back seat of the car when his people clearly enjoy their uncaged freedom in the front seat. He made his feelings abundantly clear when he broke out into musical whimpers.

Nobuddy knows de trubble I seeeen.

Benny, it's not that bad and really, you have it pretty good.

At least you're comfortable, unlike this guy.

And we're not humiliating you by suspending you in midair.

Wait until you see how we're going to travel with the cats! Thank your lucky stars that's not you.

Remember, Benny - life could be a whole lot worse. It's not like you belong to a certain American politician or anything.

So count your little canine blessings.

One more thing before I move on to the POTW. If you haz a sad or even if you duzen't, I'm sure this short video of this beautiful couple and their impromptu duet will have you smiling and bouncing in your seat.

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


This Hand - A Soliloquy
by NitWit1
at Coward's Corner With Luckie

Our Friend, Kicoo
by Shrinky
at Shrink Wrapped Scream


Sun-Shiny Day
by Michele
at Michele Made Me


Ghost Traveler
by Barb
at One Good Thing

A Broken Hush
by Brian
at Waystationone


Is There a Problem, Officer?
by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment


Before the Storm
by Kerri
at A Little Piece of Me

Why I Love Winter in Quebec
by Bonnie
at Original Art Studio

Walking the Wetlands
by Laura
at Pretty Pix

Visions Through the Ice
by Laura
at Shine the Divine

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Promise of Spring

All winter long, I've felt as if we've hovered somewhere between November and March, with none of those really seasonal months in between. It's not been terribly cold. Promises of significant snowfalls turn into dustings, and melt away before another day passes. The words "wind chill" have hardly factored into our temperatures at all.

For the early part of the winter, it seemed like November just lingered on. And now that the days are growing longer and sunnier, and birds are beginning to sing their mating songs, it seems like we've skipped right over winter and into an early spring. At least, so far.

I'm not complaining. Not one bit. True, the snowy photo opportunities were almost non-existent. True, the joy of seeing the last of an accumulation melt away hasn't happened. True, there's been limited snowballs to toss around for our over-energetic Benny. But also true is that I've enjoyed this winter that never was. And it might not be over, anyway. March may still turn out to be something we've not bargained for.

It won't be too much longer no matter what happens from here on in. And I'm enjoying the promise of spring. I hope you'll enjoy the late February sunshine along with me.

Late afternoon is the best time of day for sun kissed images at this time of year. Come on down the steps with me and we'll head out into the park.

These exposed tree roots are probably anxious for a snowier winter next year. They look rather thirsty.

haunted face
Sunlight and shadows create various faces on this beautiful cedar trunk. I can see a sad, feminine face over to the left, looking to the right. Does it speak to you?

Milkweed pods are clever. They open at all different times of the year from late summer until well into the winter, ensuring that some of their seeds are ripe for rooting whenever the need arises.

sunkissed trees
Tree lovers share a kiss in the late day sunlight.

seed pod in February
Another holdout - the bare bones of this seed pod and its fine tendrils which once held ivy-like leaves.

New buds are evident on this branch which still clings to last year's leaves.

It shouldn't be long at all now. Hopefully.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On a Cold and Frosty Morning

One frosty morning, a couple of weeks back, I took Benny out for his morning walk. Everything was covered with a fine dusting of frost.

frosty morning2
Old Queen Anne's Lace sparkled in the morning sunlight.

frosty morning5
As did a few of her royal subjects.

frosty morning4
One more look at the lovely queen and we'll move on.

icy shelf
A thin shelf of ice had formed near the shoreline of the creek.

icy stones
And it got caught up amid all of the nooks and crannies of these little stones.

icy kitteh
It was a cold morning and we didn't encounter any other creatures - except for this ice kitty. Can you see what I see? The butt end of a white cat - tail held high and head turned to greet us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No More Word Verification and a Few Posts of the Week

As you can see by my very short POTW list, I've still not had much opportunity to visit many blogs, this week. Time seems to have flown these past seven days. Hopefully next week will work out better. Blogging fingers crossed.

One thing I have noticed when commenting some of the blogs I have had an opportunity to visit is Blogger's new "word verification."

It seems to me that about two or so years ago, Blogger went from words which were difficult to type, to words which had a natural rhythm to them, making their "captcha" fairly easy to type.

Not any more.

This is what it looks like now.

(Image stolen borrowed from TexWisGirl who wrote a very well-expressed post on The Run*A*Round Ranch Report, which mirrors my own opinions about WV.)

In the past few days, it seems that Blogger has gone over to a really difficult-to-decipher word verification, and it slows down the process of commenting on blogs considerably. I don't like it, and I'm finding that I'm less inclined to want to leave a comment when I know I'll have to battle the verification process.

I know that some bloggers don't even realize that they have word verification enabled because when they go to the comments sections of their own blogs, it isn't a requirement to identify themselves as a valid visitor in order to leave a comment to themselves. I encourage you all to check your settings just in case you don't realize your word verification is on. You might be surprised to find that it's on. And while there, please consider turning it off.

Some folks are concerned about possible spam. You needn't worry. Blogger is very good at filtering spam. I even allow anonymous comments on my blog. I haven't used word verification for well over fours years and I don't think I've had as many as three spam messages. Most of the spam generated on Blogger is caught by their filters. You can remove word verification from your blog in two short minutes. Please consider it for the sake of the many of us who do not wish to struggle through heavily-guarded blogs just to leave a friendly message.

I'm going to walk you through the process whether you are in the old Blogger interface (as I am) or the new. You'll have to switch back to the old briefly in order to disable word verification.

1) Make sure you are in the old Blogger interface. If you're on the new Blogger Interface, click the cog-like icon in the upper right corner of your blog settings screens. Select "Old Blogger Interface."
Edited to add: Ellen tells me that she can't access the old Blogger interface in the above manner. You can still get to the old Blogger by clicking on your "Settings," select the "Basic" tab, scroll down to "Global Settings" and select "Old Editor." Save your settings.

2) Go into your settings.

3) Select "Comments" tab.

4) Under "Who Can Comment?" I would suggest either "Anyone" or "Registered Users (this one keeps anonymous posters from commenting if you so desire). If you allow anonymous comments, they will be filtered by blogger and not appear in your blog comments. You will, however, continue to get email notices of their existence if you're set up to allow email notifications regarding your comments. They can all be found in the spam filter.

5) Under "Comment Form Placement" I would suggest "Full Page" or "Pop-up" since some folks are having a tough time viewing and commenting on embedded forms.

6) Scroll down the page a bit and look for "Comment Moderation." You might want to allow moderation on posts older than 14 days because very old posts sometimes seem to be spam magnets. Include your email address if you want notifications of comments left on you blog posts which are older than 14 days, if you selected the above option.

7) Under "Show Word Verification for Comments?" Please select NO.

8) Save these changes to your settings.

9) Return to the new Blogger interface, if you wish by clicking on your Dashboard and clicking "Try the updated Blogger interface."

That's all there is to it. After that, you'll probably find an increase in comments as folks won't have to try to read the word verification a few times before giving up and moving on.

Thanks for listening. The choice is yours, of course and I'll understand if you prefer to leave word verification intact. My choice is to refrain from leaving comments while word verification is in this silly state. I hope you'll understand that as well.

And now, without further delay, here are a very few Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


Whistle in the Wilderness
by Betty
at Bossy Betty

A Ticklish Situation
by Sandra
at Add Humor and Faith


I'm So Sorry..
by Beth
at Be Yourself

Honey Cake Dream
by Cloudia
at Comfort Spiral

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Texture of our Days

The weather has been uncharacteristically mild this winter. Here we are in the middle of February and there's been very little snow, and a fair bit of rain. Above freezing temperatures keep it feeling as if we're alternating between late November and late March, having skipped the three months in between.

“Small moments accumulate and transform the texture of our days”
~ Steven Monaco

I've posted images of texture before. It's a subject I like to explore with the camera lens every now and then. Like then. And like now...

February sunflower
This is what remains of the sunflower which was previously posted here and here.

sappy tree2
This pine tree has had its share of injuries. The sap which oozes from its wounds becomes colourful in the bright sunlight.

macro bark
A different tree. I'm likin' this lichen.

oak leaves in February
A couple of oak leaves think it might still be autumn. Who can blame them for clinging to the season?

ornamental cabbage
An ornamental cabbage - dry and withered in the cold but still beautiful in the sunshine.

inside a stem
This is a peek inside of a broken, hollow stem. Its colours and textures caught my eye and how could I not share?

That's it for this post. I'm still terribly behind with my blog visits but I'll make my way around to your posts eventually. Thanks for being so understanding and thanks always for stopping by with your kind comments. You're so appreciated.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Golden Sunlight

The hour was golden. It was late afternoon, and the sun was brilliant. Frank and I went out walking together. The man has long legs and keeps quite a pace ahead of me most of the time. I spend much of the walk looking at his back, as the next few photos will prove.

shadow jacket
We entered the park, and just as I raised my camera to my eye, the shadow of a nearby spruce tree flickered across the back of Frank's red jacket.

icy walk
Further along the path, Frank negotiated an icy patch.

He navigated all of the frozen puddles just fine but by now, I was in the habit of shooting him from the rear. I liked the reflection of his jacket in this one.

branch reflection
Okay, on to other things - like this sun-kissed branch and its reflection in the deep blue water of the pond.

golden willow
This golden willow appears to just soak up the sunshine in every season.

Jaylynn and Lily
Back on my street, I caught a brief exchange between two of the neighbourhood kidlets - Jailyn and Lily of "boobie" fame in yesterday's post.

And another walk is now behind us. Thanks for coming along.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Boobies and the Posts of the Week

Blogger is doing some really strange formatting, these days. I have no idea why these white blocks appear in the body of the post but I hope you can work your way around them.

My neighbour's little two year-old daughter, Lily is a delicious little munchkin. Her language skills are beginning to accelerate but her pronunciation is still lacking just a wee bit.

When Lily and her mom were visiting last month, she wandered into my kitchen and started shouting excitedly to her mom.
"Boobies, Mommy... BOOBIES. Pwees, boobies?"

She'd long been weaned and has never asked to be nursed since then, so we were all kind of perplexed. We headed into the kitchen. There was Lily - my fridge door was wide open and her little finger was pointing at a small package of

She just loves her blueberries.

lily boobie
Role reversal: Lily offers her mom a boobie.

lily yum

lily close up
Now isn't this face more delicious than any ole blueberry?

And now, without further delay, here are the Posts of the Week. The icon below is yours for the taking if if your blog post is named as a POTW.


Full Circle
by Deb
at Nourish the Soul


by Tabor
at Room Without Walls

by Solarity
at Living With the Sun


Tea Time
by CiCi
at Liquid Mind, Sanguine Soul


Central America
by Daniel
at Daniel's View

by Louciao
at Décolleté Glimpses

by Anyes
at Far Away in the Sunshine

by Reena
at Missing Moments

Small Wonder
by Barb
at One Good Thing

by Christine
at Have A Beauty * Filled Day


Brevity is the Soul of Wit
by June
at Aging Gratefully

I Was a Pinterest Pigeon
by Susan
at Wild Life in the Woods

by Deborah
at The Caterpillar Uprising


Recommended by: DJan
by Deb
at Catbird Scout

Please drop by their blogs for a visit and leave a kind comment if you have the time. Also, please feel free to add your own choices (for any blog except this one) for a specific blog post in the comments section below, where others can see them.

Thank you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Out Walkin'

From the interesting to the mundane, I see all sorts of things when I'm out walking. My camera and I decide whether or not they're share-worthy. These made that cut and I hope you don't think otherwise. Here's what I saw one day when out walkin'. Come join me.

snow blind
Snow Blind Friend: It was early in the day and Benny was ready for his walk. For a brief moment, the sun shone brightly. I tossed a stick which our four-legged friend usually chases quite readily. He typically picks it up and runs off with it, lest I try to get it back from him. He doesn't understand fetch and return. On this morning, Benny caught up to the stick but appears to be blinded by this short burst of sunlight.

hazy sun
Hazy Shade of Winter: Did I mention that the sun was only out briefly. Here it is, kissing the day goodbye. It remained pretty dull and hazy after that.

lost mitten
Lost and Found: As I wandered along the park path, I thought I saw a blue jay perched on the fence but upon closer inspection, it was just a lost pair of inside-out mittens or gloves which someone placed upon the fence in hopes of them being reunited with their owner.

mockingbird berry cute
Listen to the Mockingbird: Toward the end of my morning walk, one of my favourite birds made an appearance. The Northern mockingbird flitted and landed nearby to feast upon berries.

mr red
Little Red Bird: Speaking of beautiful birds, this handsome male cardinal greeted me back home. He dined on seeds which were scattered in my back yard. It's quite possible that Frank snapped this shot as he tends to station himself by the back door more often than not. He might be able to tell you for sure.

from across the pond
Here Comes the Night: Late in the day, it was time for another walk. Night time and a dusting of snow makes for some fun photography. The snow added a bit of light to the otherwise well-lit park. This is the view of part of the dock from across the pond.

from across the pond2
The Dock of the Bay: And here's the full view as seen through my lens. You get a better sense that we're standing on the opposite shore, with just frigid water and sleepy mallards in between.

That's our walk for today. As always, you're such fine company. I hope you'll be back in a few days when we walk in the late-day sunshine.

Now, who's up for some hot chocolate?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Winter's Foliage

Those of you who follow such things will have noticed that there was no POTW post again, yesterday. That's the bad news. The good news is that I should have one for you, next week and it will probably be supersized.

For now, here are a few simple photos and quotes. I hope you enjoy them. I'll be by to visit your blogs before too much longer.

wispy seeds
"The poetry of the earth is never dead." ~ John Keats

sunlit snowy cedars
“I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.” ~ Hamlin Garland

snowy pine
"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

white decorative cabbage
"Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand." ~ Henry David Thoreau

still seeding
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~ Lao Tzu

cedar grove morning
“The shadows now so long do grow, That brambles like tall cedars show, Molehills seem mountains, and the ant Appears a monstrous elephant.” ~ Charles Cotton

cabbage with icy center
“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” ~ Mark Twain

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Snow Melts Away

I apologize for my minimal online presence, these days. I've had little time to visit blogs for the past week and I don't forsee that changing for at least a few more days. I will catch up eventually. I almost always do but for now I just want to let you know that I so appreciate your visits and kind comments on these scheduled posts. And just so you know, all is fine. I'm just keeping busy.

Now, I think it's time for another walk. Put on your comfy shoes, we're hitting the park path, once again.

carolines deck
Heading out the front door, you'll notice how beautifully the afternoon sun is bathing my neighbour's (hi, Caroline!) front deck with its warmth. We had a little bit of snow, on this morning but now it's melting quickly.

bare limbs3
As we enter the park, the dead branches of the pine tree directly ahead of us soak up the sun's rays.

icy valley
We've had some cold weather on and off through the winter. But the temperatures keep coming back to hover around the freezing point. This little valley always collects water and freezes in winter but turns slushy with the warmer weather. The sun was spilling onto it just beautifully at that stage and it demanded that I take a photo of it.

melting snow peanut
This might be a peanut that we left for the squirrels a few days earlier or someone else might enjoy feeding the little cuties, also. You can see how the snow is melting beneath it.

ducky opening
A peek between the twigs and old growth allows us a view of the mallards, just this side of a thin shelf of ice.

slushy willow reflection
A slushy puddle reflects the trunk of a beautiful old willow which proudly guards the pond's dock.

Thanks for joining me, once again. You're such fine company.