Saturday, May 30, 2009

TODAY'S FLOWERS

My selection this week was taken in the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Its name means to "make a place of peace and tranquility." You will most definitely find both here. TODAY’S FLOWER’S is a wonderful meme created by Luiz Santilli Jr. and is managed by Luiz, Denise B. Castro, Laerte Pupo and me. You can find great flowers and also share your own by clicking on the button below. The link opens every Sunday.

I didn't take any flower photos this week so I once again went into my archives and chose a few from our vacation last Christmas. If you ever find yourself on Oahu take a drive up to these gardens. It has an incredible selection of the most magnificent fauna and the scenery is breathtaking. There are 400 acres to explore and you will find tropical plants from all over the world.
It was misty and it rained off and on when we were there but it only added to its beauty.





Camera Critters

You will find other Camera Critters over at Misty Dawn's place by clicking on the icon below.

This is the time of the year when little ones arrive. I found this Canada Goose family while out running errands last weekend. It is in an area we generally go to at least once a week and we get to see those little ones grow into adults. I used the bottom photo as my new header.





Friday, May 29, 2009

Female Cardinal


Morning has broken, like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird

Praise for the singing, praise for the morning

Praise for them springing fresh from the world

~

Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from heaven

Like the first dewfall, on the first grass

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden

Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

~

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning

Born of the one light, eden saw play

Praise with elation, praise every morning

Gods recreation of the new day




When I first met my husband in July of 1975 I remember him asking me if I had ever heard of Cat Stevens. This particular song was one of my favorites but I had never heard a contemporary version before. On our next date Gregg turned up with Cat's album tucked under an arm. No boy had ever bought me a gift before, and little did he know at the time how much I appreciated the gift, but more importantly the thought behind it. All these years later this is still my favorite song.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Picnic Lunch with Gregg

Yesterday Gregg asked me if I would like to meet him for lunch and I surprised him with a very simple little picnic. I made up a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches with lettuce, tomatoes and onions (all his favorite kind of foods) added a few potato chips on the side, with a bottle of water. When I picked him up and I showed him what I had brought, he was delighted and said we should drive over to Walney Pond which is less than ten minutes away from his office. We sat in the car and while we ate we watched a couple of tree swallows flying back and forth into their nesting box, and looked over the pond to see if we could see any other wildlife. It was very quiet but we did spot a turtle on the other side, and I daresay we would have seen others if we had more time to look around. A pleasant lunch break and we decided it was much nicer than going to a restaurant. When the opportunity comes up again we're going on another picnic and hopefully it won't be as damp outside. We would have liked to have gone for a walk in the woods but all the pathways were extremely muddy. It has been raining hard the last couple of days and as I look outside it is raining again.

I had some very good news a little while ago. My niece Hanna and her young man are coming to Brad's wedding. They arrive a few days before and will stay for six days. I wish they could stay longer but they both have to get back for work, and of course I am delighted for any time spent with Hanna. I have always felt a very special connection with her ever since she was a little girl. She and I are very alike in personality, my sister always said so, and when we get together Hanna feels like my little sister.

On Saturday I am meeting up with my friends. One of them, the Scottish lady, is heading back to the Highlands for the summer months and this is our last chance to get together before she and her husband leave for Scotland.

SkyWatch # 46

On the beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise for hosting SkyWatch Friday. Friday’s are a time for us all to get together and look at each other’s sky photos from all over the world. If you want to join in you can click on the button below.

Another one from the archives. We were in Virginia Beach and in the garden when I looked up and the Goodyear Blimp was overhead.
More pretty skies over Virginia.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thanks for the memories, but the chickens went on strike.

This goes with my post here. Isn't he absolutely adorable? Just look at those eyes. He spent a long time on top of my bird feeders shaking the seed out onto the ground. Even when I opened the door to tell him it was time for him to go home, he didn't budge an inch, just stared and waited for me to go back inside before he resumed activities. Even without me rolling a couple of eggs out he is being well fed. When I looked into those eyes I realized that his bandit patch is a lot darker. Yes, he is my second visitor. I'm wondering if he is going to bring the rest of his family back with him tonight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Watery Wednesday

The Mercury Fountain at Market Square in Reston Town Centre, Reston, Virginia.This very enjoyable meme - Watery Wednesday - is hosted by 2sweetnsaxy. You can see other watery photos by clicking on the logo below.

Something that may be of interest to our Brazilian friends is that Brazilian-born sculptor, Saint Clair Cemin, designed the fountain. Reaching a height of 20 feet, it is crowned with a bronze figure of the winged messenger Mercury. There are bronze “trumpets” along the column of the fountain from which the water flows. Here is a side view of its base.
Mercury was the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Hermes, messenger of the gods, god of prosperity and of thieves. His attributes were a purse, a winged cap and a caduceus. In case you are wondering what a caduceus is, click here.

The Chipmunk Poem by Arija

The Chipmunk
by Arija
~
The Chipmunk is a critter
that's hairy, striped and sweet.
It sets your heart a twitter
to watch the darlin' eat.
~
With little provocation
you strew out nuts galore
to see him eat and hide them,
and then come back for more.

I posted this little Chipmunk here and although this is a very similar photo to the others as it was taken at the same time, I didn’t share this particular one. In my comments Arija shared a delightful poem that she graciously gave me permission to use. Thank you Arija.

Arija's blog is called Garden Delights, a great place to visit and full of wonderful photos . You can click on the chipmunk to go there.

My World Tuesday

Reston Town Centre, Reston, Virginia Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy and Louise for hosting My World. You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking on their icon below.

Today it is raining very hard in my part of Virginia, but a few days ago it was nice enough to walk around Reston Town Centre.





We came across several emergency vehicles but fortunately this time, and as important as it was to have, it was only a training exercise.


Monday, May 25, 2009

An early morning visitor.

I think I may have mentioned before that I am a bit of a night owl. At 2.30 a.m. I heard one heck of a racket outside. I was watching a scary movie and my imagination took over - yes I am smiling here. Gregg had long gone to bed. My first thought was that someone was trying to break into the house. I got up with a start and ran to turn the lights on. I couldn't see anything as I peered into the darkness hiding behind the inside wall, and then I saw one of the bird feeders jerking furiously. On top of the bird feeder was a shape I could not make out. I watched as the shape moved at the sudden light but instead of scaring it off, this darling little creature climbed down and squeezed through the rail, gave me a bit of a look, realized I was no danger I suppose and started eating the bird feed on the deck.

It was a racoon! This is only the third time I have seen one in all the years I have lived in the States. The first time was when Gregg was stationed at the Navy Post-Graduate School in Monterey, California. We lived in navy housing and it wasn't long before we realized that we had a family of racoons visiting at night. There was a wood at the back of the house and apparently it was common to feed our racoon family who would climb down the tree right next to our deck. Our neighbor told us to roll raw eggs out, and not knowing all the cons of feeding racoons at the time, this is what we did the whole time we lived in Monterey. We went through a lot of eggs but it was cheap entertainment as there were a lot of kids in the neighborhood who used to end up in our house in the evening and watch the racoons feeding. We had a big old glass sliding door and were all safely tucked behind it. My memories are seeing all these three year olds, including our son, lined up by the door, lying on their tummies with their chins cupped in their hands, silently watching in awe as these wonderful animals delicately bit off the top of the eggs and licked out the contents, often using their paws to scoop out the insides.

The second time I saw a racoon was about eight years ago when visiting friends in Whidbey Island, Washington. Gregg and I were on a road trip from Seattle to British Columbia. A family of racoons ran across their back lawn but were so fast they were out of sight in moments. Our friends bought land overlooking the Puget Sound years and years ago. When they retired from the Navy they built a house on the land and they had the most incredible view. So there was this family of racoons running helter-skelter with that view in the background and with Bald Eagles flying overhead. It is one of the many favorite memories of that trip. Absolutely fantastic!


So here I am with my third contact. I didn't get but a couple of photos that first time and none the second. I have one or two of the kids in front of the back door in Monterey, but I was more interested in getting those cute pictures of the kids rather than the animals themselves. The ones in Whidbey were far too fast, and truth be told the photo 'bug' hadn't gotten a hold of me until we were able to buy a better camera. More than that even, our son had grown up and was moreorless out of the house all the time, and there was more time and thought for taking photos of other things besides our darling son and his friends. These photos are blurry, blurry, blurry but hey, I am thrilled I had this visit with my little friend here, and I was able to capture the moment.....

and when I finally went upstairs and told Gregg we had a visit from a racoon and he rather sleepily said, "That's great hun" and "I don't think that's a good idea" when I also told him I had rolled a couple of raw eggs out. Probably not but I couldn't help myself for an old memory's sake of a very special time. To top the whole experience off, after he had finished eating his egg, he came over to the window where I was lying flat on my tummy with my chin cupped in my hands and we were actually nose to nose. As he pressed his nose and tiny paws to the glass, he looked at me and said "Thank you so very much for giving me those two eggs. They were very tasty. I'll be back." Yes I have a great imagination, but in my world that's what he actually said. He ambled down the steps with the same kind of smile on his face that I had on mine, and was gone into the night.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

TODAY'S FLOWERS

TODAY’S FLOWER’S is a wonderful meme created by our good friend Luiz Santilli Jr. You can find beautiful and unusual flowers from all over the world by clicking on the button above.
My flowers were taken at Walney Pond last weekend. Apart from the Waterlily and the Buttercup, I don't know any of the others. Some I think I recognize but can't quite put my finger on the name. If you would like to identify them please go ahead. One of the many reasons I love blogging is the generosity of those who share their knowledge. It is always a fun learning experience.





Thanks to Annie over at Annie’s Blog, I was able to identify this as a Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera ). She has the same tree in one of her My World photos here. Thanks Annie.