Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Benny on a Road Trip and Post of the Week

Benny loves going to the cottage. Let me amend that to "Benny loves BEING at the cottage." The trip to and from are another story.

Despite how the pictures below appear, he really doesn't mind being in his crate. He gets inside of it quite readily and is happy just to know that wherever we're headed, he's going with us. It's the long drive which gets him antsy. He's fine when we're zooming along the highway - he'll sleep most of the way, but as soon as he senses that we're getting closer to making a few stops (to get worms, to buy groceries and to acquire our usual goodies from the liquor store), he starts getting restless. He has a full repertoire of sounds which range from soft whimpers, vocal pants and bird-like chirps which change in range before your very ears, from very high-pitched to deep low growly sounds. It's quite the symphony of canine sounds.

Of course, while he's entertaining us with his vocal prowess, he's not just sitting or lying still. He's often facing forward, imploring us with his eyes, to understand that he can not wait a moment longer and must be at the cottage right now lest he implode.

One day, I'll record Benny's symphony of sounds but for now, the following three photos will give you an idea of his sense of urgency.

benny save me
Are we just about there yet?

Benny save me 2
Please! Can't somebody help me?

Benny save me 4
For the love of dog, please stop this car.

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.

A Good Read

I'm Britney?
by Gary
at Follow Your Bliss

Empty Hands
by Fiona
at Lady Fi

The Prune One
by Moannie
at The View From This End

I Can't See That From Over Here
by Christopher
at Christopher's Views

Funny Stuff

Would You Rather...
by Michelle
at House of Lime

Hurricanes: How to Prepare (or Not)
by Crabby
at Cranky Fitness

Photographic Gems

Sunset Sunday
by Scott
at Just Used Pixels

Monarch Butterfly - Egg Laying - Ovipositing

by Kerri
at A Little Piece of Me

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, August 28, 2011

Drive-by Shooting

It's been a while since I posted a series of drive-by shooting - images snapped through the window from the passenger seat of the car. I guess it's time to remedy that right now.

rolling hills
Lovely rolling hills and a glimpse of a barn and silo made for a quick decision to snap a shot.

2cute car
I spotted this powder blue car for sale after we turned a corner, on our drive through a small town on our way to the cottage. Note the license plate "2CUTE4U."

driveby barnAnother barn at a farm, as captured through the car's windshield.

laying sod
Workers were busy laying sod in hopes of having a grassy green hill alongside the highway later this summer.

old barn
Another charming, old red barn and silo.

This guy is busy transporting round bales of hay.

peking over
I caught this group peering over the railing to take a look at the water below, and probably at the folks fishing it.

red barn
Another pretty sight which caught my eye. A couple of red, barn-like sheds or bunkies on a pretty treed lot with lovely wildflowers.

That's it for now. I'll have more photos for you in a few days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer's Best

The beautiful shades, sights, sounds and smells of summer never fail to make me sigh. Below are a few images taken in the warmth of August.

blackeyed susan
Black-eyed Susans grow in the field across the road from Frank's place. We wandered out there one day, with cameras in tow.

Along with the Susans are Cone Flowers, also known as Echinacea. It's brilliant pink petals are very attractive to butterflies - none of which were cooperating with us that day.

Another lovely flower along with the above two, is this purple beauty. I don't know what it's called but I have faith in you fine people. One of you will inform me, I'm sure. I hope. You can make out some more Cone flowers faded into background.

purp with surprise bug
And if you lean in close to this one, and maybe squint a little, you'll see the bonus insect that appeared to me when I uploaded the photo.

bee on flower
Another insect, easier to see this time. The bees were all over these flowers. Still, I had a hard time getting a really good shot. I still need time to get used to this macro lens. Lots and lots of time. Can you hear me, Frank? ;)

Aside from the obvious, which is well-fed birdies, another benefit of leaving quality seed out for our feathered friends is the unexpected growth of sunflowers in the yard. This beauty appeared just past the edge of my patio.

cherry drop
And last but never least, one of the best part of summer are delicious Rainier cherries - so sweet, so dense, so juicy. Yum!

Back in a few days with more photos.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Macro Bling and Posts of the Week

bracelet up close

I recently bought this colourful bracelet at a jewelry party held by my neighbour. It looks pretty clunky here but that's mostly because it was photographed fairly close up with Frank's fabulous macro lens.

Here it is, resting on my knee - a bit more dainty than it first appeared (the bracelet - not my knee).

I've decided to make a small change to the Posts of the Week. Each week, I struggle to select a solitary, and occasionally two top posts. No more. Each of the posts that I select to include in the POTW are tops to me and I'm no longer going to single out one that I think might be better than the rest. I'll continue to categorize them in no particular order as you'll see below. Each and every one of them are top Posts of the Week.

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.

A Good Read

by Frank
at Baron It All

by Jim
at Suldog

Depending on the Kindness of Strangers
by June
at Aging Gratefully

by Brian
at WayStationOne

by Elizabeth
at One Magical Moment Per Day

by Kat
at Seeking Sanity

by Wide Lawns
at Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds

Funny Stuff

by Janie
at That Janie Girl

Just Plain Good

by Ellen
at Stuff From Ellen's Head

by Gail
at Louisiana Belle

by Reena
at Missing Moments

Photographic Gems

by Bob
at Birds and Nature in the Forest of Dean

by Rocket Man
at Virginia Through My Lens

by Barb
at One Good Thing

Fairyland Part 2
by Christine
at ChristineMYoung

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, August 21, 2011


Something is happening to my summer. It's beginning to fade despite my best effort to make it last forever. Ah well the beauty of it all is that it will be back again next year. And even better, it's not quite over yet. I hope you enjoy the following photos taken over the last few weeks.

badminton racquet3
Tennis anyone? OK, so it's not a tennis racquet but rather a dollar store piece meant for badminton. There it sat beside a citronella candle, probably from the same store. And there I sat with my camera in hand. What else was I to do but snap a shot?

bubble toys
Not to give the impression that dollar stores get all of our business but they really do come in handy sometimes. I'm guessing that these colourful bottles of bubbles were purchased there too. It's all a guess because everything in these first two photos was found at Frank's place and really, where else are you going to buy toy racquets, anti-mosquito candles and bubbles for Benny to chase and burst?

windshield condensation
I can't remember where we were driving to or from on this day, but the rain had begun, and I liked the way it streamed down the windshield in small rivulets, allowing a peek at the cars' lights, like little bubbles ahead of us. The window was a lot clearer than it appears. I was trying to focus on the lights and water droplets. Can you tell it was a hot, muggy kind of rain?

early morning puddle
Where there's rain, there are puddles. This is one I tend to photograph fairly often. It's not as large as I've seen it before. Then again we'd not have very much rain at this point in the summer. Don't puddles make you want to return to your childhood just for a moment so that you can stomp around in them without looking like the neighbourhood loon?

This umbrella wasn't made for rain. It's the kind you latch onto the arm of a chair so you can sit in the hot sunshine and still have some shade. Colourful, isn't it?

qal umbrella2
Speaking of that, when I snapped this shot of a Queen Anne's Lace, I thought that the underside of it kind of resembled the inside of an umbrella. If you ever pull one of these flowers out by the roots, make sure you give it a good sniff. It's related to the carrot family and the root smells just like carrots. Did you know that?

milkweed low light
And finally, since we're enjoying the flowers, here's a photo which I meant to include with the previous "purple" post but I forgot. Milkweed grows all around the field near Frank's place and it does its best to attract Monarch butterflies. It does a pretty good job of it too. Had you noticed that up until now, I've ended every photo description with a question?

How about now?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Colour Purple

I've been fairly absent from blogging lately and figure this will continue at least for a few weeks. I've been spending a significant amount of time away from home and very little of my home time has been spent in front of my computer. My posts and blog visit will continue to be hit and miss for a while.

Below are a few photos from sometime over the past month. They all depict one of my favourite colours - purple.

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." ~ Alice Walker

clematis bud
Before: This is an unfurled clematis blossom found in Frank's back yard.

During: Clematis in bloom. One of the prettiest purple flowers on the planet.

spent clematis
After: Once the clematis bloom has come and gone, this is what remains. Can you tell that I was having fun playing with Frank's new 100mm macro lens.

colourful plant leaves2
Also found in Frank's back yard. These leaves have the uncanny ability to appear purple, brown, red or green depending on the lighting.

wild chicory
Wild chicory is one of my favourite wildflowers. I find it in my local park and just about anywhere else I wander.

Although it's considered a weed, I quite like thistles - maybe not in my garden, which is where I found this one, but it's loved by the goldfinch and I wouldn't complain if they came to visit.

purple bellflowers
The purple bellflower shot in low light. This one is for you, Adrian!

I'll be around for visits as soon as time and circumstances permit.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fair of Face

We have a number of small children on our street - some of whom you saw recently, playing with water and that crazy little dog named Benny. Below are a few photos of one of these girls. Her name is Lynzie and she came by to visit one day. I just couldn't stop snapping photos of her beautiful, little face as she watched Benny scamper about.

She's only two and a half but has advanced command of the English language, speaking in full, intelligent and sophisticated sentences. Needless to say, she is very charming. She also displays a multitude of expressions on her lovely, little face. I culled my dozens of photos down to the ones you'll see below. I feel fairly certain that once you see her, you'll fall in love with her, too. I hope you enjoy these portraits of Lynzie and the quotes which accompany them.

Lindsay cup
While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about. ~ Angela Schwindt

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streightiff

The soul is healed by being with children. ~ Mark Twain

The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision. ~ Aldous Huxley

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. ~ Shel Silverstein

Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Truly wonderful the mind of a child is. ~ Yoda

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. ~ Albert Einstein

This was a scheduled post. I'm still away from home for a day or so. We're probably in transit somewhere between the cottage, Frank's place and my own. I hope to catch up with all of your fine blogs before too long.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Days Gone By and Posts of the Week

Below are two more photos from my day spent at the Toronto Islands. Both seemed to lend themselves to a sepia treatment and a step into the past.

sepia sails

sepia ladies

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 Post of the Week - either as top post or as a runner up.

This week's top post goes to:

Extraodinarily Ordinary
by Pauline
at Writing Down the Words

Other wonderful posts are categorized below (they may well fit into more than one category but I'm only selecting one for each):

Spike and the Evil Shoelace
by Gary
at Gary's Third Pottery Blog

On Eagles' Wings
by TGL
at The Good Life

Le temps s'est arrĂȘtĂ©... (Time Stopped)
by Pierre
at Pierre Boyer

This and That from June
by The Retired One
at The Retirement Chronicles

Sidewalk Chalk
by Brandy Marie
at Bumbleflies and Butterbees

by Bob
at Birds and Nature in the Forest of Dean

Bless You
by Wendy
at Changes With Seasons

The Farmer and his Field
by Dawn
at Just One LIfe

The Silence Between the Notes
by Ciara
at Milkmoon
Recommended by: Mimi

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.