Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Watery Wednesday

While trying to discover what this fish was, I came across a great blog hosted by The Brine Queen, a marine biology student. It has all things to do with the sea and if you're interested in that kind of thing, I'm sure you would find the visit very interesting. You can find her blog if you click here.

I think he is some kind of puffer fish and I found him at the Seattle Aquarium a few weeks ago.



video

Thank you 2sweetnsaxy for hosting this great meme.

You can get there by clicking here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Rambles

First of all I wanted to let you know that our blogging friend Gill at "That British Woman" is holding her first "Giveaway" and you can read all about it if you click here. If you aren't already reading Gill's blog, pop on over for an enjoyable read.

I think I mentioned in my last Monday Rambles that my daughter-in-law Lisa and son Brad invited me along for a fun time pottery painting a week last Sunday.

This is Lisa and the plate she painted.


Brad decided he needed a jug to put his coffee in. This is what he painted. I've since learned that he is giving this coffee jug to a friend of theirs.


And this is me with my birdhouse. I decided I need lessons on how to paint pottery. It took me forever to get this far. Lisa told me it takes a lot of layers of paint on pottery, because it is needed for when they are kiln dried. Otherwise you won't get a very colorful piece. Who knew? Thanks Lisa. There is actually a page on their website that gives you a lesson, but I didn't see this until a few days later.

Lisa and I at the end of our painting session.

Our painting place is called "Color Me Mine". It wasn't too far away from the movie theater I go to. While we were there several small children came in for a birthday party, which I thought was a great idea. Bless their little cotton socks but I needed my ear plugs to concentrate. From all the noise coming from the other end of the shop, I could tell they were all having a blast.

You can find out all about "Color Me Mine" if you click here.

For the rest of my ramble, over the last two weeks I have been home while Gregg has been on another business trip to Seattle. He was in a different location this time - several miles out of the city - and although I could have gone I elected not to. He didn't rent a car and walked a couple of blocks to work every day, so he got some great exercise. But he decided if he went back he would probably go to the same hotel downtown, rent a car and drive to work if it was still at the same place, 10 miles south of the city, near the airport. Last time everyone met up at a building downtown. I told him to count me in if that was the case. I'd love to go back to Seattle and would jump at another opportunity.

It was good to see Gregg walk through the door on Friday. He got home at about four in the afternoon. Lisa and Brad came over in the evening. I decided to bake brownies and by the time they turned up the house smelled like a chocolate factory, which was divine. We all had a small piece with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top. Always great to be with my darlings. They are so much fun to have around, and with Gregg back home again it was a perfect evening.

Saturday Gregg and I slept in and missed the farmers' market again, so off we went over to Whole Foods. They had an excellent trio of musicians playing jazz, which was very nice to listen to as we walked around.

Here are those ostrich eggs I am always tempted to buy, at least one just to see how different they are from chicken eggs. I could feed an army with a dozen of these, but at $19.99 for one I think the army will have to eat elsewhere, or they will have to bring their own ostrich egg. No pretty green emu eggs this time.


Give you two guesses as to which are the ostrich eggs.

Here is the fish department. One of the staff was giving out free samples.

This is what we had in our basket just before we finished our shopping trip at the bread department.

For the first time ever I bought organic edible flowers. Yes it was an impulse buy as it was the first time I had noticed them on sale at Whole Foods. I have seen them on various foods in some of the cookbooks I have, and I was curious. I was surprised Gregg agreed to try them but he did. We put them on our salad. They had various flavors that I can't begin to describe and were 'different'. Although we didn't dislike them for their flavors - reaction was "Hmmm....,interesting!" -and maybe we could get used to them like we did with cilantro - neither of us could stand cilantro when friends of ours served it on pizza years and years ago, but we love it now - we both said that we wouldn't bother buying them again. On second thoughts I probably would if I wanted to decorate a cake or some kind of dessert, because they did look very pretty. A bit of a surprise to see flowers on a salad than in the garden, but it is always good to be a little adventurous isn't it?

As I am very much a creature of habit we stopped in at Starbuck's on our way home so that I could get my weekly treat of a Venti Cafe Latte and after that, did a quick stop at the supermarket next door. We had to get regular eggs and a few other items. Clever me, I had a case of the dropsies and the eggs landed on the floor. I cracked at least half of them but necessity is the mother of invention, and I decided we would have scrambled eggs for breakfast the following morning. I mentally congratulated myself on not buying a dozen ostrich eggs. It would have been one heck of a mess.

After I put all the groceries away it was time to visit my blogging buddies. Do you see what my favorite desktop photo is right now? My little pals from the Woodland Park Zoo. One of them has the reflection of the lamp across the room, just in case you noticed.

We started off Sunday with our ostrich eggs which we had for brunch. Not really, the scrambled eggs were courtesy of the chicken. Gregg got really hungry smelling the English sausages cooking in the oven. I also grilled a tomato to go with it and topped it off with one of those ever so delicious seeduction rolls from the store, finishing off with a bowl of mixed berries, and a large glass of orange juice. It was all pretty scrumptious. (By the way, I Googled Seeduction Rolls on the web and was surprised to find that there are a hundred recipes out there. I had never heard of this particular type of bread before I saw it at Whole Foods several weeks ago, but now I might try making it. I collected a dozen recipes to browse through.)

Gregg and I went over to Borders where I had a Seattle's Best Latte, this from the little cafe attached to the store. Gregg before we left: "Would you like to go over to the book store today? You could get yourself another latte in the coffee part." He knows how to throw out those hooks! I bought BBC's Photographer Wildlife and Nature Photographer magazines, sat down in an easy chair near the magazine racks because every seat in the cafe was taken, browsed through those and sipped my coffee while Gregg looked through the business section. He bought a couple of books.

We went back home after that and watched the Little League World Championship game between Hawaii and Japan. Because I have friends in Hawaii and I feel connected since our vacations there, I was rooting for Hawaii and I was so sorry they lost to Japan. But they played well and should be proud as they put their hearts into it and played a good game.

We relaxed for the rest of the day. The heat had lessened some - it got up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. We get a lot of enjoyment looking out on our deck where we can see the birds feeding and hear them chirping away. I got quite a shock however when Gregg said quietly, 'There's a hawk on the deck." It's the first time we have seen one out back in years. I immediately sank to the floor and crawled along the carpet like a creeping tiger - sort of - edging up to the window, trying to hide behind the easy chair where I grabbed my camera and took several photos of him before he spotted me and flew away.

The first photo was a bit blurry but I put it in here anyhow because I wanted to show those claws! It wasn't long before he turned his back. I am no expert but I think this beauty may be a Cooper's Hawk.

Fantastic to see him only ten feet away from the glass. What a lovely end to the day. I didn't want him to hang around too long though as I want my birds back. I heard a Blue Jay up in the tree soon after he had left and it wasn't long before a few more brave birds started to appear. I think they knew our friend had left the neighborhood.

I finished up the evening watching a Sherlock Holmes episode on PBS, in "The Adventures of the Illustrious Client". Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes and Edward Hardwicke is Dr. Watson. They make a great pair.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 108

These are flowers I saw in the Tom Kubota Stroll Garden while in Seattle. The other photos I took there you can see here if you missed them.







TODAY’S FLOWER’S was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli Jr.

You can find beautiful and unusual flowers from all over the world by clicking here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Camera Critters

Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
Part 2

This is the second and last part of our trip to the zoo. You can see Part 1 here. I found this cute video on the zoo's website, and I thought I would start off with it as I took a lot of shots at the Meerkat exhibit. I think any small children will really enjoy this one.

You can enlarge all the photos to get a better view. I have provided what information I can, be it from the photographs I took of the signs or from the actual website of the zoo.


I fell in love with the little guys, a familiar comment of mine I know.








If you want to know more about them you can click here.


This rather shy little fellow is a North American Porcupine, and you can read all about him here.

This is a Matschie's Tree Kangaroo. His information is here.


We went into an area where we could visit with these cute little birds. The ones below are Cockatiels. I couldn't find a page for them but the sign read, "In the wild Cockatiels live in pairs or small flocks that search for seeds or berries. It makes its nest in the hollow of a tree, stump or fence post. Cockatiels have been domesticated for more than 100 years."






This bright little bird is the Eastern Rosella Parrot. The sign read: "This brightly colored parrot is well known in the farmlands, suburban gardens eucalyptus woodlands of southeast Australia. Typically living in small groups, Rosella's eat fruit, seeds, berries and flower nectar. They nest in tree cavities and communicate with a wide variety of screeches, chatters and loud metallic calls."

This delight is a Laughing Kookaburra. You can find out about him right here.

In another part of the aviary was this lovely bird, but I slipped up and didn't take a picture of the sign to remember him, and I couldn't find a web page on the zoo's site.

Below is "the national bird of Nepal. a pheasant that lives at elevations as high as 15,000 feet (4,573 m). In winter Himalayan Monal's descend to lower elevations where food is more abundant. When alarmed both male and female deliver a shrill, prolonged whistle that ends in a single, high-pitched note. The male is more brightly colored than the female, who must be camouflaged while incubating eggs and feeding her young. The long, curved bill of both sexes is used to dig for grubs, roots and worms."


This is a Common Wallaroo
"There are more than 60 kinds of Kangaroos in Australia and New Guinea, from the one-pound Rat Kangaroo (which lives in rain forests), to the 200 lb. Red Kangaroo (that lives in deserts). Between these extremes are Wallaroos and Wallabies, medium-sized Kangaroos that live in grasslands and woodlands. All Kangaroos eat grasses and other plants, and all have pouches to protect their young. Many species can move quickly when necessary - the Common Wallaroo can cover 20 feet in one hop."



There was so much more to see but unfortunately we both ran out of time and more importantly energy. All those lovely animals that we missed will have to wait for our next visit to Seattle. I hope it won't be too long before we make that trip again, because the northwest is an area that we have both taken to very much.


Camera Critters is a wonderful meme created by Misty Dawn. Thank you Misty!