Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gone for Three Weeks Now

This is what has consumed so many hours of my time for the past two or three weeks. Below is the original photograph and beneath that is my watercolor copy.

Not easy to do at all! But I did enjoy doing it. Since I took this photo 0f the painting, I did whiten and brighten the clouds and also brightened the blue sky.

Phew! At least it looks something like the original. It will be displayed in the new church that is being built right now. It is the Logan Memorial Church on the Island of Chuuk of the Federated States of Micronesia. For more details you can scroll back to Tuesday April 14th.


In the mean time I did take some breaks to sit out on the patio. This is an Anna's humming bird. We have quite a lot of them around here.



Then there were some cheeky and very noisy little wrens -- Mom and three juveniles I think.
I guess Abe Lincoln's blog need not worry about competitiion from me!!
And this little fellow is one of a family of about three, who live underneath our deck. he was keeping a close eye on me!
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I think this will be my last blog until about June 12th. We are going on a cruise for our 50th Anniversary. The actual day is not until October, but because of our destination we did not want to wait until then. We will be going to Norway and traveling the fjords all the way up the coast, across the Arctic Circle and over the top of Norway until we can almost see into Russia. We might also get to meet one of our blogger friends there. Some of you may guess who, but I will not tell until we get back. We will have no access to computers as far as I know so I will have a lot of catching up to do. DON'T FORGET ME.

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Assortment

I have forgotten the name of this flower. It makes a spectacular display on our patio every spring, with numerous large showy flowers. It is a kind of cactus with large flat leaves. The blooms are eight or nine inches across, and only last a day or two. I'm so glad it decided to bloom before we left for our Anniversary Cruise.


Here it is with all its buds. I counted 37 in all!! The amaryllis I posted the other day now has two blooms. Fortunately our Jacaranda tree blooms later than most of the others round here. So we will still get to enjoy it when we get home.




My Mother's Day roses are still going strong. In the first photo here, I love the color. Call it apricot, peach, orange, salmon or whatever, I really like the color. Almost every room in my whole house is done in a pale shade of this color. In my kitchen , sage green is the accent color. I find that color is very important to me as I grow older (!) My husband says I can't tell the difference between blue and green, which is possible, because my father was color blind. Interestingly enough, I just discovered my sister also has the same trouble with blues and greens.


This one I would call, mulberry. What do you think? The interesting thing is that none of us knows exactly what color the other sees.
My father tells the story that he wanted so badly to be a pilot during the war, but he failed the test for color blindness. He then went home and memorized the color test booklet and went back to take the test again. But they skipped a page and caught him!


Time for a photo opportunity for Bailey. These are before and after photos. That is, before and after the vet put him on a diet. I hope you can tell which is which! He still has a flabby tummy, but I estimate he has lost about 6 pounds. He weighed 21 pounds at Thanksgiving last year. I will take him in to be weighed after we get back from our trip.



Noses and Toeses!




video

And that's about as active as he gets!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More "Never More" and More

I didn't realize when I was taking the photos of the crow last week that I had at some point put the camera in video mode. This is my husband's camera and new to me so I have been experimenting with it a little.
video

Short but interesting, I think. That's a dog barking in the background and the little noise at the end that sounds like a child is actually Bailey at the patio screen door, complaining because he wants to be outside -- or he didn't like the crow.

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This was another surprise. We received this Amaryllis as a gift several years ago. It was in a pot and the kind that you watch as it grows about an inch a day until it blooms with a magnificent flower.

Barry planted it in the back yard after it had finished flowering and now, here it is three or four years later blooming once again. We knew it was still alive because the leaves come up every year, but this is the first time we have had a flower.







This is an old drawing of one of the Twin Inns, now known as the Ocean House. There were two of them once upon a time, one on either side of the road, across from one another. They each had a large statue of a rooster outside. Unfortunately, as I understand it, one of the inns burned down. The one left standing has been renovated and redecorated. It is beautiful. This is where Son #1 took me for Brunch on Mothers day. An OUTSTANDING brunch.

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I decided to try out the macro focus of 'my' camera on a couple of the roses that came from Son #2 for Mother's Day. They came out pretty well. I have not done any manipulating of them.


I don't know if it's my imagination, but it always seems that photos of red flowers just don't come out as brilliant as they really are. Any way they are still as fresh as they were when I received them on Friday. Beautiful!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

Copyright Walter Chandoha

The word 'adorable' is so over-used but how else could you describe this card? This came to me from my husband. I got it early so thought I'd share it with you.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bluebirds and Wren

On Kay's last day with us we planned an expedition to San Dieguito Park. We had talked with the man at the bird shop here in Carlsbad and said we had heard some bluebirds were nesting on the hillside behind his store. He told us that unfortunately they had not stayed around but there were a good number down at San Dieguito Park about 20 minutes down the coast. Since Kay and I had never seen a blue bird and mainly remember them from the old song "Zippity- doo-dah" in an old, old Disney movie, we decided we would make a point of trying to find them.

So we set off armed with cameras, binoculars, drinks and chairs. We spent the first hour at the top half of the park and didn't see anything. So then we went down the hill to the other park entrance off El Camino Real. This area is more green and has a little stream running through it with trees and grassy areas. We were there less than ten minutes when we saw them. There were two or three. We were so pleased and so excited.

I was amazed at how blue they looked as they flew quite low over the grass and from tree to tree. Kay got the good photos and that was when I decided to exchange my camera for Barry's after we got home.

Unfortunately it was starting to get quite cold, so we couldn't stay as long as we wanted. But it was great to achieve our goal! I will go back again with Barry sometime soon.
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The photo below is not too good because it was late afternoon and the light was going. We have a nest of wrens in among the bushes and the fledglings were making quite a noise as Mom (or Dad) kept arriving with food.
As I said, not a good photo, but at least you can see they were wrens! We had a beautiful Bullock's Oriole visit our water fountain last week, but by the time I got my camera he was gone. I have heard him a couple of times since, but no actual sightings.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Else Did we Sisters Do?

We visited the Nature Center at Agua Hedionda Lagoon

The swallows were still nesting -- and plentiful.



We met Bella, the new dog at the center. Such a happy dog!


Met and admired this piece of art -- but I don't think I'd want to have him in my living room.


Went to Bible Study.




Talked to Ed, Felipe and Luis, our cherished grounds keepers, who keep the church campus immaculate.



Went for Mexican food at Rosarita's




Bought Bailey a new toy. It's not real!



The grande finale will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Return of Henrietta /"Nevermore"

If you've been visiting my blog for very long, I'm sure you will remember the saga of Henrietta.

She has returned to her rightful place -- outside our den window, looking as perky as ever.

Sorry, she is my replacement for Henrietta, because Bailey and I both missed her. She had to wait until the rainy season was over before I could put her outside.


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Now we have the saga of the Crow, "Never More". He arrived on our patio last Thursday, making a lot of noise and talking to himself. He really did sound like a human talking -- among other things.

I decided to tolerate him. He reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"
"Quoth the Raven 'Never more'"

I have exchanged my camera with my husband's Canon Power Shot A560, so I was very happy to get this close-up. But how close was I? About three feet! However I still have a shaky hand so some of my photos are not as sharp as I would like them to be. This crow (not a Raven, I believe, as I was taught that Ravens have shaggy legs and crow's legs are smooth) has taken a decided liking to our patio.


First he pulled out this stone from a basket of African Violets we had been given for Easter.

Then he dropped it in this Peter Rabbit pottery watering can. After that he took it out again and tried to make off with the whole Peter Rabbit pot.

At that point I chased him off.



He came back. Next he tried to pick up this rock in his beak. We have it on a little table to use for holding down papers when we are sitting out there.


Then he went for the rope door mat. I chased him off of that.


Then he started pecking at the rubber stripping on the patio windows!!
Not a good photo, but I had to take it through the window.


Then he knocked the stone off the other little table and almost got this one in his beak.


Then he started on the Parade Magazine from the Sunday newspaper. I had gone outside to read the paper in peace and quiet!

He began to rip this up, so I chased him away again.


Back he came!
Finally, when I saw him making for the telephone I got out the hose.

He did eye me a couple of times and I think he was looking at my sweater! Since there was nothing else he could attack except me, I decided to call it quits.!
I don't know if he would have attacked me, but he was very close and that beak looks lethal. He was getting braver and closer by the minute.
So ends this saga -- for now.