Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Watery Wednesday

More photos from our walk around Walney Pond last Sunday. I loved all the reflections found on the water that day. No matter what time of the year we come here, and we have been coming here year after year, there is always something new to see. All photos but for the top one were taken with my cell phone.








Thank you 2sweetnsaxy for hosting this great meme.

You can get there by clicking here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My World Tuesday

This week's post starts at Thanksgiving. We were invited to join our daughter-in-law's family for dinner and what a fun time we had. The company was great and so was the food. Lisa made delicious appetizers, thinly sliced ham wrapped around fresh asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes with a gruyer cheese and thyme dip, which we spread on slices of toasted baguette. Dottie and Leo prepared a super main course, turkey with all the fixings, and Kenzie made a yummy pumpkin pie. The conversation flowed and they were happy to allow me to put my photos on the blog. From left to right: Leo, Dottie, Jon, Kenzie, Lisa, Brad and Gregg. I am taking the photo. Dottie and Leo are our daughter-in-law's mom and dad, Jon is Lisa's youngest brother and Kenzie is his fiancé. And Gregg is once again happy I am putting more people photos on here - aren't you Gregg?

Yesterday Gregg and I were going to see a movie. It seems that all the shopping areas are decorating for the holidays and the Christmas tree is already up here. I can't believe that Christmas isn't too far away. In the United States many people start decorating from Thanksgiving but when I was growing up in England, in my family at least, the decorations went up on Christmas Eve and we always took them down again on Twelfth Night. Thanksgiving is an American holiday which I found out about when I moved here, and I have grown to love it. I have also started decorating a little earlier but still probably won't put the tree up for at least another two weeks.

In this building you will find one of our local movie theaters.

The place below, Color Me Mine, is where I spent a nice afternoon painting pottery with Lisa and Brad a few months' back. I wonder if they realize what a kick I got when I saw they had placed the bird house I painted, along with Lisa's pretty plate, and a tiny pumpkin on their dining room table? My humble little birdhouse was included in her very pretty Fall centerpiece.

Yesterday Gregg and I were a bit early so went to lunch, and also did some window browsing. When it was time for the movie we kept looking at those beautiful blue skies. It was a bit chilly but it seemed a pity to waste the nice weather inside a movie theater. I asked Gregg would he mind if we went to Walney Pond instead, and sometimes we can read each other's mind because with a big smile he said let's go. We simultaneously realized that we would rather enjoy a walk and get some fresh air than stick ourselves in the dark for a couple of hours.

We took one last look at the Christmas tree and walked to our car. The tree below had its own ideas of decorating, and I thought way to go Mother Nature.

We thought those ornaments were beautiful.

Another people photo, we have reached Walney Pond and I set the self-timer and put the camera on one of the poles that separates the pond from the parking area. I ran back next to Gregg and ten seconds later this is what we got. I've tried three seconds and you'd be getting a picture of me running next to Gregg's side, five seconds is still iffy and Goldilocks says ten seconds is just right, time for a smile and a chuckle at the quick-step, and I don't twist any ankles.

We are at the other side now looking towards the road where we had parked our vehicle.

Below Gregg is on one of the overlooks. On the opposite side is a beaver's lodge but he wasn't around today. Do beaver's hibernate? I don't think they do but I'll have to look it up to make sure. We are very fond of our resident beaver as he has given us a lot of entertainment since we have been coming here, him and his kin. We love to look out for any movement below the surface and watch him come up and splash his tail. He dives to the bottom to pull up the shoots of the waterlilies which he finds very tasty.

The lily pads are still on top of the pond, the sunlight is bouncing off the surface and there are lovely reflections in the water.

I thought I heard the song of a Red-Winged Blackbird in the undergrowth but couldn't say for sure. The only wildlife we saw was the vulture high up in a tree. We had watched his graceful flight for several minutes, and when he landed we walked up a trail which took us right underneath the tree.

I couldn't get very good shots of him and when he took off I wasn't fast enough to frame his whole body in the photo, but I took what I could.

Whenever Gregg and I walk along we enjoy looking at the old tree stumps. There were several old trees that had toppled. Yes we had passed up Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton for these old tree stumps. I have an idea they would have approved. We enjoy the outdoors too much and don't pass up any great days like this with winter coming on. Plenty of rainy and freezing cold days ahead to do that.

There's a lot of beauty in those old tree stumps. Doesn't take much to keep us entertained.

You never know who you're going to bump into. How about a Roman Emperor, or at least one who is dressed up like one? This very nice man was on a run with his companions. We didn't get the chance to ask what or why as we had already delayed them long enough. Gregg told him he was going to be on my blog and he said "Great!" so here you go, another people photograph Gregg.

They were all having a good time and truth be told I think they were glad we had stopped them as they took a breather. This man had an interesting quote on his shirt. It said, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." I like his way of thinking so he also gets to be on my blog post.

And off they go. No, his sign didn't really say Calligula's Run, XII. I took the name and phone number off to protect their privacy. They were nice enough to let me post these photos, it was the least I could do.

All the babies had flown from this nesting box, but it will be there waiting for new ones next Spring. We'll be here waiting......

for the birds, the beavers and the muskrat, the frogs and turtles, ducks and geese and dragonflies, the fish too. We've seen them all here and much more.

No duckies or geese or fish around for people to feed. They've all flown south, maybe, and the fish are lying dormant along with their other friends until the warmer weather comes back. Sleep well my little friends.


Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia for hosting My World.

You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

TODAY'S FLOWERS

We are always looking for participants to join in Today's Flowers. Please won't you consider joining in this fun meme and show us what grows in your part of the world? The link opens every Sunday at 10.00 a.m. (GMT)

I thank all those who make this one of my favorite days of the week. I love flowers and consider myself a novice in identifying a lot of them, but thanks to many of our more knowledgeable blogging friends, this has been a great learning experience.

We would also enjoy adding your name to our list of "Guest Friends" which will be on the Today's Flowers homepage. If you are interested in the Guest Friend spot, you can send two or three flower photographs to me at luvinwildlife@gmail.com and I will happy to pass them on to Luiz, who will share them in the order that they are received.







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, November 26, 2010

Camera Critters

I found these beautiful birds in the same area as the flamingos when I visited Sea World on my San Diego trip. If you would like to look at any of those photos you can click on "San Diego Trip - Sept 2010 - in the selection of labels below this post.

Many of you will recognize the Snowy Egret (Egretta Thula), which can be identified by its black bill and golden feet. These small shorebirds often congregate in groups of five to twenty and can often be seen along shorelines and shallow water mudflats, hanging out with great egrets, roseate spoonbills and ibises.

In the breeding season, long plumes of feathers, called aigrates, grow from their heads which in the past almost caused their demise. At the beginning of the 19th century these airgrettes were used as a fashion accessory in Europe and America and were worth their weight in gold. Every year more than a million of these birds were killed for their ornaments. Thankfully, nowadays the snowy egrets are protected and have healthy and abundant populations along the coasts of inland waters of North and South America and in parts of Europe.

This is a Scarlet Ibis. It is the most colorful of all ibis species and is native to South America. Chicks are born gray and gradually turn pink during their first year of life. Just like flamingos, adults require carotene in their diet to maintain their color.

The Scarlet Ibis is a wading bird that belongs to the same order as herons, spoonbills and storks and like the flamingo, adults eat a diet of shrimp and other crustaceans which helps to maintain that color. Both males and females exhibit the same coloration, but young scarlet ibises are a shadow of what they will become, with gray-brown upper parts and white underbellies.

Scarlet Ibises form large colonies and build their nests in close proximity to each other in trees that are close to water.

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

You can find other critter photos by clicking here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

SkyWatch Friday

Gregg had to go into Washington DC to meet up with clients a few days ago. He sent me this photo taken with his cell phone.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia for hosting SkyWatch Friday.

If you want to join in you can click right here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To those who are celebrating,
Happy Thanksgiving To All My Family and Friends

"Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers."

~ Edgar A. Guest, Thanksgiving ~


And to everyone, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

For any of us who love to look at trees....

I found a link I wanted to share with you, "50 Most Beautiful Tree Photos." Click here to take you to the site. You can click on each picture and it will take you to the individual photographer's home page.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My World Tuesday

I am a little late with my post for My World but better late than never I suppose. We are back at the San Diego Sea World last September. I had a lovely day walking around while Gregg was working. This was when he had go to San Diego on business and I tagged along. We had two long weekends together and wonderful evenings, and from the Tuesday to the Thursday I enjoyed entertaining myself during the day.

The one good thing we had this time was a GPS system. I'm late to the party for this but in preparation for finding my way around, Gregg bought me a phone for my birthday with the GPS system as one of its applications. I think he had an image of me not going too far away from the hotel because I have a thing about getting lost in areas I don't know. That's why he gave me this before we left for our trip. Maps? What are those? It beats pulling over every few miles trying to figure those out. Besides the fact that I had to get a large road atlas a few years ago with major large print! It had been 20 years and so much had changed with new freeways on top of everything else, but ever so slowly and thanks to the mechanical lady living in my telephone, I went far and wide and I began to recognize landmarks.

I was amazed that having this thing available, all that anxiety of ending up in the back of beyond left me. It was wonderful. Before I left the parking lot I just put in where I had to go and that lady with the mechanical voice didn't steer me wrong once. If I overshot a road I didn't even have to worry because she adjusted quickly and just kept me going until I got to my destination. I found myself answering her back after a while, "Yes I know, I know, I went past the exit. Where to now Madam?" Maybe I'll try geocaching next, what do you think?

Back in Gregg's Navy Days when we had just moved to San Diego, we had gotten most of the boxes unpacked and put away. Our son Brad who was ten at the time had not started school yet as it was still in the summer but the day rolled around when Gregg had to start his new job. It was decided to drop his Dad at the navy base and Brad and I would spend the day at Sea World. This was a new, exciting adventure for us as we had never been before. Brad and I had the greatest time ever and thought it was all pretty magical. We were both totally in awe of all the marine animals we were seeing, the Orca whales so big and beautiful, the dolphins. Everywhere you turned there was an amazing exhibit, and one of these included the penguins.

It was the first place I headed for, the Penguin Encounter which you can see more of here. You are transported along on a moving walkway where dozens and dozens of penguins are behind a thick glass. You can see them above and swimming below in the water. After you step off the walkway you can walk behind and sit and watch them for as long as you want.

These guys look like they are saying, "Here comes another crowd of them. Aren't they funny looking? Oh boy, do they make me laugh. They are so comical all excited and pointing at us, especially those little humans. I think they call them children."

The humans are staring back and saying moreorless the same thing. I'm sitting at the back by now and being entertained by both penguins and humans who are moving along at a slow pace. You can tell that for some it is their first time here and there is a lot of excited chatter which I find infectious. I haven't stopped smiling since I entered. I hope they don't get so interested that they miss the voice that comes out of the darkness as you get to the end of the ride, "Watch your step, you are coming to the end of the walkway, watch your step you are coming to the end of the walkway, watch...." Well you get the idea, if you don't watch your step you can trip over and start a domino effect! That would be pretty exciting too. I bet those penguins would be leaning over, pointing and laughing then. It is very dark in there but it all adds to a great atmosphere, and your eyes get adjusted. In the back there are TV's with people telling you all about the different types of penguins and above information signs that you can read. It is also nice and cool and is a very pleasant and welcome relief, especially on a hot day. I stayed in there for a very long time, not only because it was sweltering out there, but because of those beloved penguins and the memories that started flooding back of a very special time with my son all those years ago.








Right next door and in another exhibit are the puffins and other birds. I enjoy watching them too. These photos are not as sharp as I would like because the lighting is so low, but I thought I would share them anyway.





Here is a video of the puffins. I tried to download one of the penguins but I think it was a bit too large a file. I got carried away over at the penguin exhibit.

video

In the next post I will show you what else I saw.


Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia for hosting My World.

You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.