Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another favorite, The Giraffe

The Giraffe has to be one of the coolest animals on the planet. I'm sharing more favorites this week. I found my friend here at the Honolulu Zoo back in December 2009.

A male can grow as high as 18 feet (5.5 meters), females up to 14 feet (4.3 meters).
Males can weigh up to 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms), females up to 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms).
Their lifespan is between 15 to 20 years.
Those bumps on its head are called ossicones and both the male and female have these.

Size at birth is 6 feet tall (1.8 meters), 100 to 150 pounds (45 to 68 kilograms).
Gestation period: 14 months.
Age of maturity is 3 to 5 years.

A few fun facts
A giraffe's feet is the size of a dinner plate - 12 inches across (30.5 centimeters).
They have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as we do, seven. Each one is just much bigger than ours and can be over 10 inches long (25.4 centimeters).
A giraffe's tongue is 18 to 20 inches long (46 to 50 centimeters), and is blue-black. Some people think the color is to keep it from getting sunburned.
Giraffes can moo, hiss, roar and whistle.
The record running speed of a giraffe is 34.7 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour).

Its range is in pockets of Africa, south of the Sahara Desert and its habitat is the savanna.
They have a spotted coat similar to a leopard, and for a long time people called the giraffe a
'camel-leopard', because they believed it was a combination of a camel and a leopard. That's where the giraffe's species name came from, "camelopardalis".

I found all these interesting facts, and more, here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Favorites

It's been ages since I went out and took any wildlife photos, so much so that I decided to share some of my old favorite shots from way back. You may remember seeing some of these and if you do, hopefully you will enjoy them the second time around.








Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No matter where you go.....

you always find that people have trouble finding a parking spot.

Quick, put your turn signal on!

Poor things, they have been going round in circles.

There are times when I can relate.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Postcards

I thought you might enjoy some postcards from San Diego. I have always enjoyed sending them to family and friends whenever on holiday, a tradition I remember my family had when I was a little girl. My Mum always found some time for us girls to sit down and write to our grandmothers, even on a day trip to Aberystwyth in Wales, where the highlight for us was to be able to have donkey rides on the beach.

I have continued the tradition and not only enjoy sending postcards but also collecting them. I picked these up on our last vacation in September 2010.




Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monday Rambles

On Saturday our son and daughter-in-law came by for lunch. We always have a good time catching up, and they talked about their vacation plans. They will be visiting San Diego for eight days next June. We are excited for them as they are going to one of our favorite cities. Both Lisa and Brad have lived in SD but not for many years. Lisa's Dad is retired Marine Corps and her family moved back to the east coast when she was a toddler. Brad was born in Long Beach, lived in San Diego from the age of four and was ten when we moved back to Virginia.

And by the way, Brad is my 'mischievous little boy' from this post and my little tree climber from this one. You can click on the links if you missed his 'way-back-when' photos.

In the photo below you can see Gregg looking on as Brad and Lisa are checking out the selection of books Gregg has on his Nook. They gave us each a Nook for Christmas. Lisa suggested another book I might like to read, "44 Scotland Street" by Alexander McCall Smith. He also wrote the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" which I enjoyed very much. I bought the DVD series of that same book and am wondering if they made another series. I asked Lisa to see if they were offering her suggestion. They were and I asked her to download it for me.

I have to say that I never thought I would enjoy electronic reading, that I would always be hooked on reading an actual book and couldn't fathom reading an e-book instead, but I love mine. One of the things I enjoy about it is that you can enlarge the print. Another is that when Gregg is trying to get off to sleep, I can read without putting a light on and it doesn't disturb him, and another thing that I think is pretty neat, it has a feature where if you come across a word you don't know the meaning of, you press your finger on the word and up pops a feature where you can look up that word instantly. The books are cheaper than what you would buy at the store.

One negative would be if the electricity cut out for several hours - like it did when we had a bad snow storm - and the e-book was running out of power, we wouldn't be able to charge it. As our house is just about exploding with regular, honest-to-goodness paper books, we will never run out of reading material. We just have to remember to have plenty of fully charged flashlights around and failing that, some decent candles that throw off plenty of light.

For lunch I fixed a sweet and sour chicken dish. It's one of those recipes that I have had for years, and instead of posting it today, I went online to see if I could find the recipe. The one I found is identical and you click here to view. It's been around for a long time because I've had the one in my recipe box for about 20 years, and I have no idea where it came from as back then I didn't identify the source. It has the added benefit of being a freezer recipe but I made it that morning. For dessert I took the easy way out. Last night Gregg and I went over to Wegman's and their baked goods are always delicious. I thought their chocolate and walnut brownies served with dulce-de-leche ice-cream would be a nice treat and it certainly was, especially warming up the brownie first.

Last week was a little quieter than normal as I was still feeling a bit sore because of my klutzy persona taking over the last few weeks. I was, however, very glad to get out of the house on Wednesday, because it was the first day I felt I could drive the car. My knee wasn't pitching a fit and I went over to see friend Kathy who was in worse shape than I was with severe back pain. This is Hamish' mum and as you can see from the above photo, Hamish looked like he was feeling a bit sad that mum was having a hard time of it, and was more subdued than usual. He came over for his usual fuss and ear scratch, but spent most of the time in his favorite comfort spot on the sofa. Hamish' friend lying next to him on the right is his plush toy.

The weather went a bit crazy and actually got up to 70 degrees one day. It got rid of the last of the snow and ice. After a few milder days the weather forecasters say we may be having more snow tomorrow. I am hoping that it will just be rain.

Sunday we spent most of the day hanging around the house but Gregg wanted to go up to a book store and we ate dinner at a small eatery called The Firehouse. Neither of us bought any books. We make a note of the book and go home and look to see if we can download it on the Nook. If it isn't available, then next time we go to the book store we'll probably buy it.

We both looked up and said it looked like a real snow sky. We'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gorillas

I have always had a great love of wildlife. At the top of my list is the gorilla. I found a great site on line with royalty free photographs which is where I got the photograph below. You can find it right here.

A friend sent me this YouTube video in an e-mail today. It is very heart-warming, one of those videos you are happy to share with your friends. The actual address is here.


I saw another great one. That address is here. This one is a very long video as it is an episode of "Explorer".


Click on the video to take you to the larger version on your computer, or use the link to go to the YouTube site. Mine are always 'cut-off'.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sights and Scenes around Coronado, Southern California

As I promised a few posts back, here are a few photos from our walk around Coronado several months ago. The above photo is one I took as we crossed the Coronado Bridge. I had to crop it to get rid of the concrete barriers at the bottom of the picture.

Back in the days when we used to live in the San Diego area, I lost count of the times we drove across that bridge. In Gregg's Navy days he was attached to two ships that were stationed there. Often I would drop him off or pick him up, or occasionally have dinner on the ship when he had the duty. I also visited another navy wife on the island. She and her husband, who was the Executive Officer on the ship, rented a house not too far away from the base. I got to know the area pretty well.

Then of course there were times when we had relatives or friends visiting us, and we would always end up at the Hotel Del, which was on the list of places to take them to. I have another post in the near future of our trip to the hotel. In the next to last photo I have shared a postcard. The building with the red roof is the hotel complex. Click here for their official site.

Gregg first came to San Diego early in 1970 on USS Lynde McCormick and remembers riding the water taxi from downtown San Diego to his ship when the ship was at anchor in the harbor. A short time later the water taxi's stopped operating.

We were chatting about that bridge the other day and he remembered something he had not thought of in years. He told me that one morning when they were getting underway from anchor in the harbor, as they were heading out to sea they noticed a water taxi chasing the ship. It turned out that one of the first-class gunner's mates was coming back late from liberty. They kept the accommodation ladder over the side in hopes that the water taxi would catch up with them and drop off the petty officer. As luck would have it, it did. That is Gregg's last memory of the water taxi, and I am sure that petty officer has told that story to his kids and grandkids a few times.

I enjoyed being in Coronado again. Some of the homes are small and quaint but are prime real estate.
I also enjoyed the medians, every hundred yards or so there were pretty memorial gardens.

The traffic can get a bit heavy at times but it's a good excuse to slow down and enjoy your surroundings because there is a lot to see on each side of the road, and it isn't long before you get to your destination.

I have already shared the place where we had lunch. If you missed it you can see it here. This place - Mootime Creamery - looked really interesting. Click here for their website.

If we hadn't had such a big meal at the restaurant, we would have stopped for dessert. They sell yogurt, ice-cream and sorbet. Gregg liked the cows outside.....

and even Elvis greets you at the door.

A walk around a bookstore is always a must.....

and Bay Books fitted the bill. You can find their website here.

It was fun to walk around and we enjoyed mostly browsing in shop windows.

We saw a pet groomer.....

passed by a drycleaner with all kinds of pretty threads in the window.......

a garage.....

a coffee shop.....

some pretty big homes.....

and lovely smaller ones......

This is my dream home, for the curb appeal alone. Well, maybe in my next life time.

People were getting around on bikes and I found out about a bike rental that we might use the next time we're out there. It was pretty close by but there are loads of rental places, which you can check out on this page.




I liked the look of all the bikes but thought the top one with the two baskets was just my style. If I got too tired to use those bikes, this would be a great van to haul them around in, but then I guess we wouldn't get all that great exercise.

We parked our car on the same street as this church. I was glad to get back to our car as we had walked and walked and walked, and my feet had started talking back to me.


Here are the postcards I mentioned earlier.

You can learn all about the bridge if you click here.