Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Rain, the Park and Other Things

I've been away from my own computer for over a week now but should be heading home pretty soon. I hope to be back to a more normal blogging visit schedule but I can't say for sure. This summer will be one of running around, touching base here and there. I'll probably have a few more details about that as the season progresses.

The following photos were taken over the past month. I hope you enjoy them.

There's an Alice Walker quote I like which says "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." I sure don't want to piss anyone off so when I saw this beautiful purple bloom, I had to stop and snap this shot.

hilly road
This was the view when Frank and I were on our way home after a mini trip north.

feather reflection
A short while later, the blue skies clouded over and the rain began.

robin watch2
Of course, rain is good for the earth, particularly at this time of the year. This robin is waiting patiently for a worm to appear - or so it might seem.

rubber boots
It's good for providing puddles for little one to stomp in.

fav spot
It's also good to keep ponds at full capacity and to encourage the growth of beautiful greenery.

And fungi.

A couple of neighbourhood kidlets trying their luck at catching fish while I tried my luck at catching a shot of them.

mourning dove pair2
These two were all lovie dovie, each taking turns to coo impressively and flutter their wings. I suspect that there are Mourning dove eggs hatching as I type.

squirrel cutie
That's all, folks. Come on back in a few days for a few more images.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fuzzy Tree Sprouts Leaves and No POTW

I've been rather scarce in the blog world, recently and as a result, I've not collected any posts for the POTW. I hope to get back on track again reasonably soon. For those of you who have suggested posts, worry not. I have them saved and set to go for next time.

Since you've come all the way over here, I have a few images of a favourite young, fuzzy tree which made a recent appearance here. It's the second photo on that page.

This tree has been developing slowly, this spring but it has finally begun to sprout leaves. Below are three images of its branches as it grows into spring.

fuzzy branch budding
It was barely budding on April 14.

fuzzy branch returns
Eleven days later, you can see leaves just about to emerge.

fuzzy branch in bloom
May 10 and we have lovely, colourful foliage.

I hope to have some more photos for you tomorrow.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Soul is Sunshine

In the garden, my soul is sunshine. ~ Proverb

butterfly and blossoms
Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ~ Jeffrey Glassberg
This little beauty was flitting about from flower to flower but paused here and there allowing me to photograph it.

new pine needles
We were so far back in the woods, they almost had to pipe in sunlight. ~ Roy Rogers
A brand new growth of pine needles. They're as soft as a kitten's ear.

gull meal4 missing foot
What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? ~ Jack Handy
This gull was photographed from across the creek. Look closely and you'll see that it's making a meal of one of the trout which never made it all the way upstream, this spring. Look even closer and you'll see that the gull only has one leg. His left seems to end abruptly right below the joint. I only noticed this once the photos were uploaded.

sunlit tree
I never knew how soothing trees are - many trees and patches of open sunlight, and tree-presences - it is almost like having another being. ~ D.H. Lawrence
This is the field across the street from Frank's place. You can see the park bench in the background. I just liked the way the sunlight was illuminating the tree.

mama and baby robins
Love comforteth like sunshine after rain. ~ William Shakespeare
This little baby robin was keeping his mama busy searching for worms and feeding him. His little "cheep, cheep!" sounded an awful lot like "feed me!" I'm certain that his mama thought so too.

mini buds
Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. ~ Hans Christian Andersen
I'm not sure what these flowers are but they're about as tiny as the nail on my pinky.

new maple leaf in sun
Sunlight is painting. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
A brand new red maple leaf caught within a shaft of sunlight.

shadowy figure
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you. ~ Walt Whitman
You might have to lean back from the monitor to see the human profile in this image. This was what I saw, one evening when looking through the curtain on Frank's back door. Does he look a bit foreboding? Worry not, it was just Frank's older son standing on the back deck talking to his dad.

dumb bunny
Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~ W. Earl Hall
Bunnies are incredibly cute creatures. Not terribly bright. But darn cute. This little guy was dining on grass and weeds. You can see that we caught him frozen in mid munch.

bleeding hearts2
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. ~ Luther Burbank
What more is there to say about these Bleeding Hearts? I think Luther pretty much covered it all.

I'll have more photos in a few days. Thanks always for joining me.

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. ~ Steve Martin

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Colours of the Spirit

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

soft blossom
The very pink of perfection. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
There's something very soft and dreamy about a tiny pink blossom about to open.

grackle take off
Birds have wings; they're free; they can fly where they want when they want. They have the kind of mobility many people envy. ~ Roger Tory Peterson
This was supposed to be a photo of a grackle on that branch but the grackle thought otherwise. He wins. But so do I.

ladybugHow brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain is big as she.
Can you imagine what you'd do,
If raindrops fell as big as you?
~ Aileen Fisher
I snapped several dozen photos of this little lady. She was very accommodating.

empty blossom2
These flowers, which were splendid and sprightly, waking in the dawn of the morning, in the evening will be a pitiful frivolity, sleeping in the cold night's arms. ~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca
These were once tiny peachy-russet coloured blossoms. They're still pretty even when their petals are missing.

sidewalk art
The concrete walkway is a masterpiece…
chalk lines of sunshine yellow, serene blue,
cotton candy pink and soft grass green
create a wonderful place where children drew
~ Theresa Ann Moore
Some creative children decided to brighten the sidewalk... and my day.

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them? ~ Rose Kennedy
The late day sunlight caught the tree's branches and the Redwing blackbird's tail feathers, and turned them all to gold.

backlit leaves
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the springtime, fresh and green.
~ Robert Herrick
That beautiful sun shines her spotlight once again. These lovely new leaves are backlit by her warming rays.

grape hyacinth
Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue? ~ James Montgomery
These pretty little Grape hyacinth, standing on tippy-toes, trying so hard to appear large in stature - when in truth, they're only about three inches tall.

Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that humans belong to the same class of animals as cats and cows and raccoons. They're like the people who become successful and then don't want to be reminded of the old neighborhood. ~ Phil Donahue
My next-door neighbour, Caroline came to my front door suggesting I head out to the back yard with my camera. From her own yard, she could see this daring (and darling) little bandit trying to figure out my anti-squirrel bird feeder. She wasn't overly greedy or destructive, and left the feeder intact with plenty of seed for the birds. She's been back a few times since. Did I ever mention how very much I love raccoons?

Everybody has to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink. ~ W.C. Fields
This was a long walk on a sunny day. Have a seat. I'll pour you a beer. There's also wine, juice or water, if you prefer.

Thanks for joining me on another stroll. I'll have more photos in a few days.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teaching Benny and Posts of the Week

 Little boys and little dogs just seem to be made for one another.

teaching benny
This is my young neighbour, A. Recently, he has taken quite a liking to Benny. I think they understand each other - at least to some degree. The other day, A decided to teach Benny a new trick - to sit before being given the ball to catch. Unbeknownst to A, Benny already knew to sit when told, so A had immediate success. Benny's reward was the opportunity to catch a ball which A tossed. 

teaching benny well
And catch it, he did. 

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 Late Surprise
by Georgie
at The Author's Desk


Mother's Day and Spanish Coffee
by Stephen
at The Chubby Chatterbox

And while you're reading Stephen's blog, you won't want to miss:
The Dreaded Physical

by Tabor
at Room Without Walls


The Photo Shoot
by Terrie
at Kappa No He


by Dianne
at Forks Off the Moment

Wind Beneath My Wings
by Nezzie
at Cow Patty Surprise

Stormy Skies
by Madge
at The View From Right Here

Obviously a Love-Hate Relationship
by Beth
at Be Yourself

Below the Waterline
by Daniel
at Daniel's Views

Because Mumma is the Giver of Hugs
by Kamana
at Journaling Through Photos


O Death, Where is Thy Victory?
by Susan
at Wild Life in the Woods

Happy Other's Day
by JarieLyn
at Write Place! Write Chick

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, May 20, 2012

High Tea

A couple of weeks ago, Frank's sisters Lisa and Theresa invited me to join them for high tea.

tea cup
There were seven in our group which also included Frank's sister-in-law Judy and her daughter Jenna, Lisa's friend Pat and my friend Carol Anne.

lady kimberly
We arrived at a lovely country home, complete with Victorian decor. We were greeted by Lady Kimberly, our hostess, dressed in clothing of the day.

We were shown the parlour, where we ladies could have our leaves read if we so desired and on our way back to the dining area, Lady Kimberly pointed out "the necessary." We were told that the proper way to excuse ourselves to use the necessary, was to simply place our napkins on our seats, and leave the room without saying a word.

place setting
We each selected our own teapot and tea. I chose a purple floral pot and vanilla chai, which was delicious.

Lunch was a collection of five semi-circular uniquely flavoured sandwiches. Dessert was freshly baked scones served with Devon cream and raspberry preserves, delicious home baked tarts and squares and fresh fruit.

sweets and fruit
Far too much to finish in one sitting - especially with all that wonderful tea.

silk bouquet
One by one, ladies went into the parlour to have their fortunes read. Everyone came out smiling - pleased with the reading.

my tea leaves
This was my cup. Does anyone of you read leaves - not that I'd need a second opinion. I quite like what I was told.

vintage lamp shoes hat
Once high tea was over, I wandered around snapping a few photos and chatted with our hostess about her lovely business. I suspect that we'll all return sometime soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring is for the Birds

Everywhere I look these days, there are lovely little birds just begging to be photographed. So how could I deny them? Come bird-watching with me.

robin singing
Everyone says that Robins are the first true sign of spring. This one just kept on singing so beautifully as I approached with my camera.

Many of us believe that it's the Red-winged Blackbird which signals spring. This one enjoyed the warmth of the bright sun in the clear blue sky.

rwbb takeoff
A different day and a different blackbird, presumably. This one decided to leave his perch just as I snapped a shot.

ruby-crowned kinglet
On a day when we saw dozens of newly-emerged butterflies, my eye followed the movement of one which I thought was rather large. I lost sight of it when it flew into the bushes. Just as I shrugged it off, Frank noticed that it was not one of the many butterflies but a tiny bird, instead. It eventually made its way into enough of a clearing to get a good shot. This little guy is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. If you look really closely, you can see the tiny patch of red at the back of his head.

grackle beauty
The Common Grackle with its intense yellow-eyed stare is truly a beautiful bird. In shady areas they appear to be mostly black. But shine a little sunlight on them, and you see several shades of blue, purple and bronze.

eastern kingbird
Another lovely bird is the Eastern Kingbird. I spotted this one while walking around the field near Frank's place.

baltimore oriole
That same weekend, there were a number of Baltimore Orioles around the area. Their brilliant orange feathers sure do cause them to stand out against most any background.

Closer to home, I found these feathers among a pile of dozens more. I don't doubt that a bird's life came to an abrupt end at the claws, mouth or talons of some other creature. By the colouring, we figured it was probably a Mourning Dove.

mouring lovie doves
But I know for sure that it wasn't one of the doves in this loving couple.

Thanks for bird watching with me. I'll have more photos in a few days.