Tuesday, April 26, 2011

O is for ...


Most people think of Orioles as being orange in color, mostly because they think of the Baltimore Oriole, which is more well know known and is usually orange.
However our orioles , which are usually the Hooded and Bullock's Oriole, are nearly always yellow -- except for this one,

which is a Hooded Oriole and was definitely orange when he visited us a couple of weeks ago.

This year we are happy to have a new Orange colored bird who is visiting us frequently because he likes the grape jelly we put out.  He is the Black - headed Grosbeak, not to be confused with the Rose-breasted Grosbeak which is not a western bird.

He is quite spectacular  in comparison with other birds, not counting the oriole and the yellow warbler, because his orange under parts  are quite orange, not as my bird book says, 'buff', and his black head and black wings which have clear white bars, stand out against all the other birds which are usually smaller and not so colorful.  Of course the out standing part of the Grosbeak is his gross beak!  Very large, as you can see from these photos.

Be sure to visit ABC WEDNESDAY to see other contributions for O Day.


 It will probably be a week before I post again as we are going up to Boise to see our youngest son.  We must love him very much since we are exchanging our beautiful 78 degree weather for  56 and rain!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Friday, April 22, 2011

A Blessed Easter to my Blogging Friends

Thank you so much to all those who visited my last blog and left a message!  

It was so encouraging to hear from you all after a not very encouraging month  for me.
But things are improving and I am moving around a little better each day.

I must be doing better because I have completed my first painting after all those weeks.  It is a fairly simple scene of Wastwater in the Lake District in the UK.  It is 5 X 7 and done in Prisma-Colors.

We spent our honeymoon in the Lake District  in 1959 and it rained every day except one.  We spent the weekend at the Swiss Lodore Hotel on Lake Windemere, behind which winds a long but shallow waterfall -- the Lodore Falls -- made famous by the poet Robert Southey, one of the five Lake Poets, so-called because because they lived in and around the Lake District. After the weekend we stayed at a caravan, (small trailer home ) in Buttermere, not far away.  On the one dry day, we visited Wastwater which is a little off the beaten track and perhaps more rugged  or forsaken looking than most of the other lakes.  We purchased a water color painting of Wastwater while we were there and it still graces our bedroom wall.

Here is part of the poem about Lodore Falls, (sorry, not too well presented here) interesting because of its lightheartedness and broad use of vocabulary:

.......And on it goes for a couple more pages, but you get the idea.  It's a good exercise for improving your vocabulary!  If you want to read the rest of it click HERE.


In the mean time here's your Easter Bunny, of which we have four, Mom and Pop and two babies, burrowing under our spreading junipers.

But our true Easter Gift comes on Sunday!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I know, I know, it's about time I posted another blog!  I have to do them in stages now because I can't sit at the computer too long.

A couple of weeks ago we visited Oceanside Harbor, which is about 15 minutes away from us.  It was a gorgeous day.  This kind of weather in March, no less!

I liked this shot of our little lighthouse and the American flag with a good breeze.

And how's this for a day at the beach in March.  I know they're in the water, but though the weather was warm, the ocean was only about 62 degrees.

At the other end of the harbor, we visited the Jolly Roger, a restaurant that caters for boaters.  You can tie up at the dock and walk up the ramp to the restaurant. We went (by car) for a cup of tea. It was mid afternoon.

In the parking lot we discovered there were several Great Blue Herons nesting in the pine trees.  I could only get a headless shot because if I moved to where I could see his head I would have been shooting directly into the sun.  But I thought you might like to see the large nests they build.

Then when we came out of the restaurant, here was a much better shot and the sun had moved a little.

I put this shot last, even though I took it through the restaurant window as we drank our tea.  It looks like he is flying right past the moon, only it's not the moon.  It's the reflection  of the light in the restaurant window.  

There were at least five nests around the perimeter of the restaurant.  What a mess they make!  But they sure made it an interesting afternoon.  I was in much need of distraction and this served me well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

L is for...

....Leo Carrillo Ranch.
Still messing about with pain medication and doctor's appointments, but we took an afternoon off while the weather was still gorgeous to visit the Leo Carrillo Ranch.  I know I have posted photos of this before but here are some more shots of  this beautiful place.  You can never have too many of them.  We stayed about 2 1/2 hours and were serenaded (?) by these:

There are about 40 or 50 of them and it is mating season!

This one settled himself down right beside our table and stayed quite a while.

Then came his majesty himself to survey his realm.

In the mean time, two of his lackeys had to beat the carpets in preparation for a wedding the next day. The one closest to the camera looked very much like Anthony Denozzo from N.C.I.S.  He was quite flattered when I told him!  Made a friend for life, there!

And who should we find but the white peacock keeping vigil over the feeding area.  Yes, he is real.

Here are two more beautiful shots of the ranch to justify calling this an L for Leo post, (and not 'p' for peacock -- remember I am scrambling around to catch up with the ABC WEDNESDAY  and I'm not very mobile yet).

The dark succulents in the front are a rich dark red almost mahogany -- beautiful rosettes with shiny leaves.

A beautifully shaped agave or yucca, (not sure which) turning two trash barrels into a point of beauty.

LEO CARRILLO, an American actor, played the part of Pancho, side-kick to the Cisco Kid, a TV series of the '50's.

For more fascinating entries to Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC WEDNESDAY click HERE

Friday, April 1, 2011

Apologies for the Silence

To all my blogging friends I apologize for my long silence and lack of comments.  Just coming out of a severe allergic drug interaction.  It's been a hard few weeks, but I am making good progress each day.  Since my back is involved, among other things, I'm not sure how much time I can spend at the computer, but I hope to be doing a little more each day.  In the mean time, my love to you all, especially you who communicate regularly with me.

 Here, to brighten your day are a couple of photos I took in our back yard this week (Two days of 80 degree weather.  Just what I needed!)

A weed!  Oxalyis  -- or something like that.  It's everywhere  at the moment, spreading 'like a weed!' .  But it has gorgeous bright sunshiny-yellow flowers.

Hope to be back visiting and commenting soon.