Sunday, August 30, 2009

ROCKS IN MY HEAD?

I promised no more birds -- for a while anyway. So now you get rocks.

Throughout our yard we have some fairly large attractive rocks, each of which have a bit of history attached.

This is rose quartz. We have quite a number (a dozen or so) of these pieces in various parts of our yard. They were given to us by some friends many years ago, when they were downsizing their home. They have now both gone home to be with the Lord but I remember them frequently when I look at these rocks.



This is a beautiful piece which I believe came from the Anza Borrego Desert. It has a beautiful rose hue to it and those shiny white specks are mica which really glisten when the sun comes around.


This piece we purchased along with a number of other large pieces, when we set up our small waterfall. I believe it is just called river rock, but I like the red iron ore color which has not faded over time.



I do believe this came from the beach. Another rose color. (Do you sense a theme here?) Our backyard is really quite green for southern California even though we don't have any grass. So these rose and red pieces make a nice contrast.



These two pieces really do have a history to them. They were part of the wall of the old sanctuary of our church. The lower walls were made of lava rock, which is what these are. The church was expanded by extending the sides and we inherited these two pieces of lava rock. Today, the main worship area of our church is in another much larger building called the Worship Center and which was built in 1991. But the old sanctuary with all the lava rock is still used for many occasions, not the least of which is our Spanish church La Iglesia Cristiana de Carlsbad.



Finally, a bunch of river rocks especially purchased for our small waterfall garden at the side of the patio where I do all my birdwatching. My husband tells me he hand laid every single one of them (an area of 25 feet square). I didn't actually see him do it, but knowing my husband's attachment to details, I believe him!
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First of six tests for me tomorrow, for balance and dizziness: an EMG No major concerns, except to rule out possibilities.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flamblog to Flamblogger

I've made a small change. Not sure if it's what I want but since Flamblog is such a strange name, I thought I should give an explanation. Flamblogger is what I call myself, from my dearly beloved childhood home of Flamborough in East Yorkshire U.K.

New post for today is below.

More Birds

Hope you're not tired of looking at birds. I'm getting some good shots with my little digital Canon Power Shot A560, after practicing all summer and wanted to share them. My next post will be different, I promise.

These are all lesser goldfinches. I think I counted13 in this photo. (Click on it to see it enlarged.) Love the one hanging up side down underneath!!!


"One at a time please!"




"Oh, you caught me with my mouth open!"



"This is my better side, don't you think?"



I took this to show the difference between the two humming birds visiting our patio this summer. This is an Ana's humming bird.....




......and this is what I believe to be a rufous humming bird. Both kinds are visiting numerous times daily.


Waiting for the gardener to leave so they can get back to the feeder.



Ain't Love Grand!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birds and Butterflies

I've been stalking this fellow for about a week. He is either a rufous humming bird or an Allens. Both varieties are not too widespread across the States. From what I've been able to find out, some rufous spend summer down here whereas Allens humming birds can be found only along the California Coast. They move very fast and are very difficult to distinguish from one another -- especially the juveniles and females of each species which can scarcely be differentiated. However the male rufous has more brown on its back than green, so I'm going with the rufous for now. But I'll be keeping an eye on him in the weeks ahead, for any changes.


This young fellow is definitely a juvenile, (either house sparrow or house finch), because you can see his fluffy baby feathers. There are many juveniles around the feeders now, learning to fend for themselves. But sometimes they gorge themselves on so much seed that they don't have the strength to fly away. So they find a nearby branch or fence post, and take a nap. When they have rested -- and digested, away they fly. This one was napping on the fence outside the den window. He was there for about 15 minutes. I opened the window and stepped up close to him and he didn't even move. I was only about 3 or 4 feet away from him when I took this photo.
Such a cutie!



This is a Gulf Fritilliary. He is about 3 inches across. We had one last year and he was a little larger. He is the only red orange butterfly I have seen this year. But look under his wings...


...those white patches are actually metallic silver which just glitter in the sun. So this makes him a very handsome butterfly indeed.



And Bailey was oblivious to it all !!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another painting


The Fishing Bridge

This one began as an experiment to see if I could paint a group of trees.

Neurology appointment turned up nothing major. I have balance problems, but have to go for some more tests and an MRI. It will be about 8 weeks before I'm through with all those. It's a good job I don't drink. Couldn't possibly do the 'walking the line' test!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Such Excitement!

video

Our back yard feeders are busy all day long. The long cylindrical feeder has Nyjer seed in it for the goldfinches. One feeder nearly full lasts only 3-4 days! Most goldfinches seen on the cylinder at one time? --12. Average, most days, any time: --7. You can just see the stream of water from the fountain at the lower right, and you can hear it too, if you turn up the sound.

Sorry the picture is sinking lower and lower. I can't keep my arms up high enough without concentrating harder. Then I have to remember that you have to press the button to stop it filming and not just slide the camera away while it's still filming. Sorry. I'm just an amateur at these things.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bits & Pieces -- Here & There

Rip Van Kitti-Kat.
He'll get cleaned up pretty soon. Gardeners come in about a week.
Oh dear...there goes my jungle look!



Mother and daughter picking flowers.




Our lonely but lovely, Lily of the Nile. The only one that bloomed this year. Think they need to be transplanted.



Dandelion power. Just as beautiful in its own way.



One of our nightly visitors. There are at least three of them. This was taken at dusk and from a distance so it's not too clear. But imagine, these rabbits play every night from dusk to dawn in our circle. I wonder what the attraction is?



Oh dear! So sad, but so beautiful. I think he must have flown into the patio window -- even though I have stickers on them. But these gold finches are like a bunch of excited little children at the feeder. I will post a video of all the action soon. It was at least nice to see one up close -- though sad.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

San Dieguito Park

One day last week we went down to San Dieguito Park again. This is the park where my sister and I visited in March to see the Bluebirds. It was now a beautiful day in the first week of August -- not too hot and not too cool -- and there was nobody there! We couldn't believe it.

Look to the right ..... and look to the left... no-one!

There were all kinds of picnic tables, clean and empty; spacious grassy areas and no one enjoying them. So we pulled out our chairs from the trunk and sat for about 3 hours. Moth was reading and I watched birds. We saw a lot of Towhees and Phoebes, but no bluebirds.

This phoebie hung around all afternoon. I could hear all kinds of wren tits calling from the shrubbery but didn't see any. The one who visited our back yard a few weeks ago didn't return, he was really out of his habitat. Wren tits have a very loud and distinctive song, so there was no mistaking them. Talking of being out of their habitat, I saw a road runner run out of the bushes, grab something and then run back. He is a large bird and has a large beak. I thought they were mostly out in the desert areas. What a surprise!


On our way out of the park, a few families had gathered around the duck pond and fountains.

And yes, the water was green -- especially colored I think, but definitely not natural.


It was a wonderfully perfect and peaceful afternoon. The only thing we missed was our afternoon cup of tea. Next time we will take one with us.

If you live near San Diego, try this park -- that is, if you don't care for the beach, and crowds.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lancashire -v- Yorkshire

To continue yesterday's theme of the War of the Roses....I decided it was time to draw the two roses...

In addition,you may know the old song, She's a Lassie From Lancashire:

She's a lassie from Lancashire,
Just a lassie from Lancashire,
She's a lassie that I love dear, Oh! so dear.
Though she dresses in clogs and shawl,
She's the prettiest of them all,
None could be fairer or rarer than Sarah,
My lassie from Lancashire.

Not to be out done, this song was also written:

"My girl's a Yorkshire girl —
Yorkshire through and through.
My girl's a Yorkshire girl,
Eh! bah gum, she's a champion!
Though she's a factory lass
And wears no fancy clothes,
Still I've a sort of a Yorkshire relish
For my little Yorkshire Rose."


Sadly, not as well known.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Happy Yorkshire Day to You!

I had heard about it but didn't know when it was. But today I received this greeting from my good friend Paul, who lives on Flamborough Head, about a hundred yards away from where I grew up. Thanks Paul! They didn't celebrate it when I was a child.

What is it? Why it's a Yorkshire Rose. You must have heard of the Wars of the Roses. This was war between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Yorkshire has a white rose and Lancashire has a red rose.

The Wars of the Roses were intermittent civil wars which took place between these two Houses, or families between 1455 and 1487 to see who would be King of England.

So who won? Sorry to say Lancashire won and the house of Tudor of Lancashire ruled Britain for about 116 years after that. To my shame, I had to look up that information!

Now in our house, we have me from Yorkshire, and Moth from Lancashire -- but no wars, please!

SO HAPPY YORKSHIRE DAY TO YOU!