Monday, March 16, 2015

Just Take Them

I'm back from my ten days away visiting family and friends. I saw lots of wonderful people in old familiar places, and had several fun photo opportunities which you'll see over time. But not today. Today's post is one I already had prepped but somehow left it in draft mode. I'll get around to visiting some blogs soonish. There were over 500 posts sitting in my Feedly feed. Ack! I'll just have to catch up with the most current posts.. eventually. Now onto this one. 

The pictures are there, and you just take them.
~Robert Capa

In case you hadn't noticed, it's winter around here. That, along with a problematic back is limiting the number of photo opportunities to be found outdoors. So what better way to remedy that than by wandering around with the camera indoors. I switched out the lens for a marcro lens and began focusing on some of the items around the house. Some of the subjects will be pretty obvious upon first sight but some might need a bit of an explanation or an additional photo to clarify.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day so we'll just have to start out with something green.

Here's something you might see at a kid's party if you don't fancy the idea of doing much cleanup afterward. Or if you don't fancy being fancy.

Here's another view at the bottom end of the packet. They're plastic spoons, knives (left and right in the top photo) and forks.

If you're like me, you get your morning boost from the same place I do. The camera is peering inside a large tin of ground coffee.

If you should run out of coffee filters, a piece of paper towel can come to your rescue.

And this here is the breakfast of champions - if you happen to have feathers and wings.

No need to get overly picky about this closeup.

Just grab one and put it to good use... you have some spinach stuck in your teeth.

They help to freshen the breath while having the added bonus of a Valentine's Day sugar rush - cinnamon hearts. In the interest of true disclosure, I can not for the life of me ever remember how to spell cinnamon. I mangle it so badly that even my computer's built in dictionary throws up its little arms and stares back at me blankly. Good old Google comes to the rescue and doesn't even laugh at my sad attempt. It just calmly replies with "Did you mean cinnamon?" Yes, I did indeed.

This isn't a storm over the lake. Or a snapshot of something on TV. I think I might have guessed the latter if I didn't know what it was.


It's a closeup of something my son gave me for Christmas. Its ever-changing picture can be quite soothing to watch.

It sits on the bookshelf in my bedroom just waiting to be flipped over to start again and you can tell by the smudgy finger prints that it's been flipped many time. Thanks, Alex!

I was intrigued with how this turned out up close and took a few snapshots of it.

I never would have guessed that all those fibres would show up like that. The bright sunlight helped to illuminate them.

A different view from the front.

I haven't read it yet. If any of you have, you can let me know what you thought. Failing that, perhaps I'll let you know if I enjoyed it, once I'm done.

More photos coming up soonish.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Deer and Some Trivia

This is a scheduled post. Right now, I am probably back in my old haunts for a family wedding on Saturday which will kick start about ten days of visiting family and friends before heading back home at the end of the following weekend. It will be my first return to the old setting since moving up here and I'm very much looking forward to it. I probably won't be visiting your blogs during my absence and I may or may not have another scheduled post before I return. More than likely, I'll just see you in about ten days.. ish.

There seems to be very little in the way of deer quotes to be found, and those which do exist have already made an appearance on my blog. So today, I thought I'd research a bit of deer trivia for you - just for fun.

feed me
Paul McCartney credits the shooting death of Bambi's mother for igniting his interest in animal rights.

five amigos resting
The 1979 movie The Deer Hunter was nominated for nine Academy Awards and walked away with five of them - best film, actor, director, editing and sound.


faupie ears
Red Deer is Alberta's third most populated city after Calgary and Edmonton.

notcho itcho
The works of German artist, Franz Marc mostly featured animals in their natural settings - many of which were deer.

notcho boy
Contrary to urban legend, the popular German drink Jagermeister does not contain deer blood. The label does have a stag's head on it though. According to Wikipedia, the name Jagermeister means "master of hunters" the verse found on the bottle loosely translates as follows:
It is the hunter's honour that he
Protects and preserves his game,
Hunts sportsmanlike, honours the
Creator in His creatures.

Notcho beauty3
Doe, a deer - a female deer.
Buck/stag, a deer - a male deer.
Fawn, a deer - a baby deer.

three amigos resting
John Deere began production in 1837 but did not have a logo until 1875. The still-familiar symbol of choice was a leaping deer but the first logo depicted a kind of African deer. This was rectified in 1910 when they changed to a North American white-tailed deer. The logo has been redesigned several times through the years but the well known green farming equipment still sports a leaping deer.

A deer totem symbolizes innocence, gentleness, power, mystery, sensitivity, powers of regeneration/renewal, wisdom and security/protection.

Opie's carrots2
"Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day."
Home on the Range was written by Dr. Brewster Higley in 1876. The lyrics and title have undergone some changes through the years. In 1947 it became Kansas' state song.

fauxpie carrot2
Deer are one of the many Chinese symbols for longevity.

bank climber
The Yearling is a tear-jerker book and movie about a post civil war farming family who adopts a fawn after killing its mother.

beautiful boy
And finally, a quote.
"The buck stops here."
Not exactly about deer but since we've come to the end of the post, it'll do.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Not so Fast Food

If you're a cannibal, an Olympic sprinter would be considered fast food.
~ Jarod Kintz

I have a few indoor photos to share. Pour a cup or a glass of something you enjoy and have a seat. There are always refills available upon request. I wonder if you can guess the reason for the above quote. Read on and you'll find out.

heat-seeking kitty
During the cold winter months, Skitty likes to position himself over the heating vent. This is not a dumb cat.

winking skitty
Of course, when the sun is shining, he'll just hightail it to the nearest warming rays. Give him a little scritch behind the ears (if you're not allergic), and let's move on. Skittles will be back before the end of the post.

blue stems3
This stemware has been around longer than I have. It belonged to my parents and was passed along to me quite a few decades ago. It's a large set and I keep finding more glasses in boxes as I try to empty them, once and for all. About a year ago, I thought I had all of the pieces put away in the china cabinet. But twice now, I've opened another box and found several more.

blue stems
This house is the only place where there's been enough space to accommodate the full set - about 52 pieces in all shapes and sizes, so far. I may still find more. The cobalt blue stems have always appealed to me.

Anyone from the province of Nova Scotia might recognize this scene. It's supposed to depict the beautiful Peggy's Cove with its easily-recognizable white and red lighthouse up in the top right corner. It was a jigsaw puzzle given to me by Frank's son, Francis at Christmas time. We worked on it from time to time during January. I think it's about time to start another one.

Montreal memory
And if Maritimers could recognize the previous image, Montrealers would certainly know this name. Schwartz's Deli is a smoked meat tradition for many of us from my native Montreal. It has gone through some changes through the years and the restaurant, which has been around since 1928 is now partly-owned by Celine Dion and her husband. Frank happened upon this packaged version of their ready-to-heat and eat smoked meat at our local Foodland - out here in the Ontario countryside. Whouldathunkit?

ladybug cannibal
I've mentioned before how several ladybugs are wintering over inside our house. They came in during the late autumn seeking shelter from the cold and have become a regular sight on window ledges, walls and sometimes flower pots where we'll transfer them to the leaves of a houseplant when they seem to be in danger of getting washed down the kitchen drain. There's really not that many of them - probably a couple of dozen in all and possibly half of those will have died by the time spring has arrived, and we send the rest of them on their way. On any given day, we'll happen upon one or two of them and we do often find the dead ones here and there.

On this day, I was watching this lady bug pay very close attention to the body of one of its deceased comrades. At first I thought it was concerned about its state of lifelessness. It appeared to be trying to turn it over from where it had died on its back. As I kept watching through the macro lens, I witnessed what was really going on.

Have a look at the video. A word of mild warning to those of you who may be squeamish about such things. Please forgive the shaky quality and the going in and out of focus. Those of you who are reading this in email will probably have to click over to the blog to see the video.

Evidently, we don't feed our little house guests well enough. I have since read that cannibalism is rather common with ladybugs but we had no idea that this was going on under our roof.

skitty in sunlight
Skitty will have to keep a sharper eye on things from now on.