Monday, January 18, 2016

January images

Greetings from Maryland on a cold Monday in January. Winter has finally arrived and yesterday, we even had a little snow. I've got the day off and was up early this morning, making coffee and then packing my bags to come home. I stayed a couple of nights at my friend's house in NJ. George gets to come too.

I'm writing this on Blogger, something I haven't done for years . . . since 2009 maybe . . . not since I began using Windows Live Writer. Something's up with that program however, and I don't feel like discovering what's wrong. The only reason I began using it in the first place was the ease it affords in the placement of images. But it looks like Blogger has gotten a little more user-friendly in that department, so I'll give it a whirl.


 This was taken last week some time. I had opened the front door to let one of the kitties in and looked up and liked what I saw.




A little nuthatch waits for a turn at the feeder. Taken through my kitchen window.



 I took this female cardinal yesterday through the living room window while at my friend's house. It had been snowing for a little while and was actually sticking to the ground and the branches. Very pretty.





Ditto for this little white-throated sparrow.




I was walking through my kitchen last week when I saw this lovely glow coming through the window. I grabbed my iPhone and took this while standing on my front porch. I love the colors!




I think I was heading to the grocery store last weekend when I snapped this image of my driveway and a crazy cool-looking sky.




George waits patiently while I sew up a tear in a toy that he'd gotten for Christmas. 
He had chewed a little hole in it which isn't like him.

All fixed.

Hope all is well in your world. Thanks for stopping by mine.




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Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas in Florida


Hello, friends. I’m still here although my visits have been sporadic this past year. Happy New Year, by the way! I hope the year brings more good than bad to everyone. I spent the week over Christmas visiting my husband’s folks in Florida along the Gulf Coast. My sons were with me and it was great to be away.

And the weather . . . oh my stars. It was like summertime.




One of the many highlights of my trip was taking bird photos the Rookery/Venice Area Audubon Society. There were so many nesting birds – it was amazing. Can you see some of them in the photo above? This was an island in the middle of a small lake and there were so many egrets and herons in there.


I managed to capture this one of a Great Blue Heron.






And this one of a mother with one of her nestlings.





I love how graceful they are in flight.




I found this on the beach one evening and thought it was pretty cute.

Merry Christmas!




This is a Great Egret that came right up to our table at a waterfront restaurant one day.

Love that green.




Wish I had a bigger lens sometimes because I could have gotten a much better shot of the elusive Roseate Spoonbill if I had. Caught this one in flight at Myakka River State Park while on a boat tour.





This is one of my favorites from my bird shots. A Great Blue Heron coming down for a landing with ruffled feathers galore. I love it.





We took a little tram ride through the park and this was a pretty scene from my seat in the back row.





A sailboat glides through Venice Inlet on a beautiful afternoon.

I had a restful holiday over Christmas. Hope yours was good.

Thanks for stopping by today ~

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Photos in November

Hold onto your hats folks, because I’m posting twice in the space of a week. Believe me, I’m just as surprised as you are, but the fact is that I’ve been taking pictures again lately and wanted to share some of them with you.

It’s the morning before Thanksgiving and our school is closed until Monday for a holiday break. Yesterday was Grandparents’ Day, a lovely tradition we honor at school and it’s always a nice way to spend the day before break. It’s crazy and hectic but so worth it to see the little ones with their grandparents or special friends. We always have an early dismissal so I used the afternoon to get my Thanksgiving food shopping done but realized this morning that I neglected to buy pecans. Now I have to run out again. Typical.

The photos I’m sharing here were all taken within the month of November – one of my favorite months of the year. I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s good food, love of family, and no pressure to buy presents. It’s really quite lovely.

 

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I never rake leaves on this property as you can tell from this photo. The lawn service came a few days after this was taken and they mowed them into nothingness. The wind blows the rest of them away into the woods ~

 

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This is the hickory tree and its pile of leaves.

I love the hickory tree in the front yard.

 

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And this guy.

Even though he rubs his neck in fox poop every time I give him a bath.

My friends asked how I knew it was fox poop and not some other poop.

I just know that it is. I caught him rolling in it once and it’s right in the line that the fox travel on the property.

It’s fox poop.

 

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Blackie is a sweet girl, even sweeter now because she puts up with the new kitty. He seems to adore her and follows her everywhere. When she’s had enough, she lets him know and he’s clever enough to stop.

 

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He is a snuggler and loves to be held and pet.

Blackie . . . not so much.

 

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Hickory branches in the morning light.

 

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And border collie in the morning light.

:   :   :

One of my favorite things (and if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times) is enjoying my coffee on the lawn in the morning. I will wrap myself up if it’s cold, but the feel of the sun on my face is just wonderful. I toss the stick or a frisbee to George and the cats come around for cuddles. And life feels good.

 

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The setting sun.

* sigh *

 

I have a number of things slated for today, some of which include making two of what have become my signature Thanksgiving dishes. I am really not a fan of pumpkin pie, but when I found this recipe years ago, I realized how good pumpkin pie can be. This recipe calls for a layer of caramelized apples topped with a layer of pumpkin goodness. I posted the recipe here:

Pumpkin/Apple Pie

I’m also making a glazed sweet potato casserole this year which I’ll let you know whether or not is a hit. This is the recipe that calls for the pecans I so inadvertently forgot. I’m also bringing an autumnal salad that’s got a poppy seed dressing that is so delicious. A relative gave me this recipe:

Festive Tossed Salad

I’d better get a move on and get this day started. To everyone in the States ~ I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. To everyone else ~ I hope you enjoy your weekend to come. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. It’s always appreciated.

Until next time ~

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nothing gold can stay

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted here and all I can say is that all is well, all is quiet, all is calm. Well, it usually is, anyway. And it’s been a beautiful autumn.

I have been doing much and my weekends are full. In fact, in a couple of hours I’ll be off on another quick trip – this time to visit my sister who lives a couple of hours north of here. I’m going to see a local play with her, one in which she’s helped in creating the wardrobe for the actors. I was so looking forward to sleeping in this morning and not getting up until 7:30 or (gasp) even 8. But someone furry woke me at my usual time and after letting him out, I found I could not fall back to sleep.

And so I got up and made some real coffee. I usually use the Keurig machine that my husband bought for me years ago. It’s quick and it’s easy and although it gets the job done of waking me up, the coffee never tastes like something out of this world. But this morning, I had some extra time because the sun wasn’t even up yet ~ and so I brewed freshly ground coffee beans that I keep in the freezer and poured boiling water over them into my husband’s old Melitta coffee pot. And my stars, was it ever delicious.

 

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And I took it outside and set up a chair in the line of the sun, and in my coat and scarf and fingerless gloves, I watched as the sun rose on my little world here on top of a hill in Maryland. And as I tossed a stick to my furry friend, I felt that all was right with the world.

It’s just an illusion with everything going on in our world today, but watching the sunrise on a beautiful fall day just feels good.

 

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~ Robert Frost

Thank you for continuing to stop by. Until next time ~

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(I spied this little hickory nut hanging on for dear life on the end of the branch and went back inside for the camera while the morning light was still right).