Monday, April 2, 2012

Look deep into nature.....

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
~Albert Einstein~


I haven't done a bit of a ramble in a while so here goes.  

A dear friend of mine underwent a serious operation recently.  We visited her afterwards and were happy to see that she had color in her face and though obviously feeling rather sore and a wee bit frail, she greeted us with a big smile.  So good to see.  We didn't stay long and once we saw she needed her rest, we left.  I'm happy to say that she is back home recovering and I wish her the speediest of recoveries.  

On Sunday night son and daughter-in-law came over and we had dinner. Always good to see our dear boy and his sweet wife, and the evening flew by too quickly.  Our dear boy by the way, is 32 but will always be our dear boy.  I made a new dish which I will be posting this week, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole, good comfort food at its best, very yummy.  

Earlier in the day Gregg and I visited Walney Pond.  The weather was gorgeous with pretty blue skies.  Not a lot of wildlife but we did see a couple of butterflies, a trio of tree swallows who were being territorial about one of the nesting boxes, and three turtles sunning themselves on a log.  There were also a couple of Canada Geese ducking their heads under the water as they floated on the surface, probably enjoying a feast of delicious new shoots that we saw growing in the shallows.  Gregg also saw some minnows and there were people fishing, hoping to catch a larger fish no doubt.  The beaver lodge had been dismantled.  I was sad to see that and I don't know what the story is but several trees were protected at the bottom with wire mesh,  Perhaps the park people have encouraged them to move elsewhere.   If that's the case I shall miss them but I haven't seen sight nor sound of them for over a year.

We took several photos with our new point-and-shoot camera.  Poor Gregg took a tumble in Philadelphia and broke our old one.  Apart from a couple of sore spots he was thankfully okay, and was more concerned about the camera at the time.  

Tumbles are what I usually take.  I can't remember the last time Gregg had one.  I told him, "Hey, that's my rep, not yours."   He was doing a "Denise", taking photos and not looking at the high curb in front of him.  Mine used to be walking backwards with camera up to face, and stepping into space, usually off a curb.  The pretty doorway of the Bank of America building on Pennsylvania Avenue (Washington DC) can attest to that.  I've learned to be more aware of my surroundings when taking pictures, and have also avoided going out in icy conditions as there have been some doozies on ice.  My last bad fall was tripping over a packing box in our family room, stepping backwards and not paying attention yet again, hitting the middle of my back on the edge of the brickwork.  And let's not forget the rabbit hole that this Alice put her foot down when walking across a field of high grass, giving herself the worst sprained ankle of her life.  I have quite a list of pitfalls which includes the steps of Albert's statue a few years ago, and doing the same thing Gregg did in Philly and landing badly on my knees when I misjudged a high curb coming out of one of the museums, all of which I have written about before.  Joyfully and dare I do a happy dance here - maybe not because you never know -  lately I have managed to keep upright with hard lessons learned - let's all touch wood.   When Gregg fell in Philly I was frightened he had hurt himself badly, because he never falls, never.  As we all would agree, more important for us not to get hurt, and blessed cameras can be replaced eventually.  We need to remind ourselves that material things are secondary next to our own health and well-being.  

Anyhow, our new one arrived last week.  It is a Nikon Coolpix and I have my father-in-law and his wife to thank for pointing me in its direction.  When they last visited Celia showed me hers, which was a Christmas gift from Gregg's dad.  What immediately caught my attention was how sharp the zoom feature is.  I was impressed with the fact that you could take pictures without a flash as it takes great shots in low lighting.  There are a few more bells and whistles that will take me a little time to use, like the GPS feature for instance.   Our cameras stay with us for a very long time but when we do have to replace them, the updates are amazing.

Gregg is home early today and working on his laptop on the other side of the room.  The sun is shining and a Wren is serenading us.  It's another lovely day out there and hopefully we will be getting out in it soon.  Time for me to share this post.  I hope you all have your own sunny days and enjoy a great week ahead.

Added note: we went over to the shopping mall this evening.  Gregg needed a new pair of shoes and I thought I might get a pair also.  I was going to go into my shoe store but found it closed, it was my favorite place too.  At least one of us was successful.   In the men's shoe store the salesman had an accent I recognized.  I mouthed to Gregg, "He's English."  Gregg mouthed, "I don't think so."  Well, my ear is well tuned into that kind of thing and after he spoke another sentence or two, I asked him where he was from and his reply was London.  I told him that I was from the Midlands and he said very dryly and with a very straight face, "Well, I won't hold that against you."  I laughed and told him I had friends from London, and he again said, "I won't hold that against you either."   It broke the ice as the three of us started talking about the differences in humor.  I told him that mine had gotten me into trouble a few times over the years and that I suspected his had too.  He said, "Oh yes!" We ended up with him saying we had made his day as he had been having a very bad one up to that point.  He was supposed to have been relieved several hours earlier and no one had shown up.   He had worked an extra six hours and was ready to go home.  We wished him well and said no doubt we'd be seeing him around the next time we came to the mall.  At least I hope that will be the case and his store doesn't close down like the other.  I also hoped that the people who worked there were able to get other jobs quickly.  We are always seeing shops come and go.

An extraordinary thing happened as we were entering the mall.  Near the entrance in part of the landscaping, there was a Canada Goose lying down on the pavement.  Close by we saw his mate on what we think was a nest, right out in the open where people could reach over and touch them.   There is heavy foot traffic in this spot.  We walked by and the goose lying down on the sidewalk bared his tongue and gave us a hissing sound.   If these are the same geese I am thinking of, I saw a pair sitting on the roof last year and the year before that.

We went inside and did our shopping and as soon as we came out the door a Canada Goose was just outside and giving us a very intense look.  I was so surprised I stood still for a minute or two and we stared at each other, me thinking this was one of the pair we had seen earlier.  He came walking up to me.  I told him that he was freaking me out a bit because he was literally only a foot away and his beak was getting awfully close, and you know how they get that look in their eye?  Yes I speak to Geese.  I moved my hand a little and he opened his beak.  Thinking I was going to get hissed at again, I realized he was behaving non-aggressively and was hoping to be fed.  I suppose he's used to people feeding him when they came out of the mall as there are several restaurants in that area and this is his fast-food drive through.  There is a pond just across the road and I told him that the three of them really ought to be heading back over there because human food wasn't good for them.  He obviously disagreed because he gave the loudest honk and scared the daylights out of me.  As close as he was it was extremely loud and I almost fell out of my shoes, and I thought I was doing so well.  I involuntarily backed up, fortunately retaining my vertical position and  not bumping into the people coming out of the mall.  They were as startled at the goose as I was but we all laughed.  When we retraced our steps back to the car we walked past the other pair. They hadn't moved an inch and that goose was still hissing at people as they passed by.   Do hope they get out of there soon, it really wasn't the best of places to start a family.  


  1. I haven't had a fall in a long time and don't tend to do that. My 96 yr old mother, on the other hand, has been falling frequently and has had 3 back surgeries and her arms in casts because of them. Take care, Denise. Glad Gregg didn't break any bones.

  2. I havent fallen whilst photographing YET ! never say mever ! lol Glad to hear your friend is doing well and of course hubby from his tumble lol ! WOW ! awesome you have a new camera wonderful photos have fun with it. Have a great day !

  3. sorry about the broken camera - but if that was all, then that was good. :)

  4. Great pic Denise, Julie has a Nikon cool pix and she really loves it.

  5. Let's not mention falling!
    The skies were so blue at the weekend, a definite hint of spring in the air.
    So sad about the beaver dam...yes beavers change the landscape , but so do we, they only do it for survival poor things.
    Jane x

  6. Loved your little ramble Denise.Falling gets more dangerous as we grow older. When I was little, my siblings always admonished me not to walk backwards for that is measuring your mother's grave. I have a very vivd imagination and that certainly made me aware where I put my feet although at the time I could not understand how it would do that.

    Your new camera takes lovely pictures, the new leaf on the Liliodendron is just bursting with the joy of spring.

  7. Thanks Denise.
    Take it steady out there.
    Look forward to more images from your new camera.

  8. Denise, I sorry Greg had a fall but I am glad he was Ok. Congrats on the new camera. I am usually the one who falls, either walking backward or not looking where I walking. Hubby usually says now "what did you do that for" Ha. The dinner sounds delicious and I would love to have the recipe. Lovely scene and photo. I hope you have a great week!

  9. Sorry to read Gregg had a fall, I hope all is well.
    As you know, I've been recovering from knee surgery this past year, just when I thought things were looking up, I fell down the stairs.
    I have a Nikon Coolpix also, a handy little camera that's easily transported in a pocket or handbag.
    Funny about the goose, I watched a video on Youtube just this evening, of a very aggresive male, attacking people who were getting to close to the nest, he was in an office complex !
    Love your header serene.

  10. extraordinary photo nature is my universe and I don't want to miss a thing.

  11. Those photographic tumbles are all too familiar. Glad that the victim could be replaced so easily. I, too, hope the geese go back to a safer, more natural for them, place.

  12. Enjoyed reading your ramble and your interaction with the wildlife at the mall both feathered life and an Englishman. Glad Gregg wasn't injured too badly, we must take more care as we get older. Things break easily and take ages to mend.

  13. Oh I loved this chatty post, Denise. I hope there are no more falls on the horizon. I underestimated the height of a curb in Bar Harbor, fell flat on my face in front of everyone. I felt such an idiot.

    My camera is a Nikon Coolpix. I like the Nikon even though mine has no GPS.

    The story about the goose made me smile, I could imagine you talking to him. Thanks for entertaining me so well.

  14. my parents had a duck nest on their balcony one year, it was fun to watch.

  15. That chicken and wild rice casserole sounds divine. I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Thanks for visiting this post everyone. Glad you enjoyed my rambles.

  17. Oh, a new camera! You are so lucky! I finally sent mine in to the factory. Glad Gregg is okay after his fall. You just never know! My son-in-law had a spill at work and discovered he'd broken his knee cap practically in two!!

  18. Wow, Denise, what a lot you have had going on. I'm so glad that Greg is okay after his fall. Sorry about the camera. I hope the new one works out for you. The goose story was funny!