Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunlight Smiles in Shadowy Places

It may seem dark and shadowy, but sunlight laughs just out of sight ... saying it's going to be a good day, if you let it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hey, Where'd Mommy Go?

My darling niece joined us in the park for a birthday party. While everyone was eating, she got bored so we went for a short walk. After sitting on the bench for a while, she suddenly said "Where's Mommy?", looked under the bench, then went racing back to the picnic area. And mom. Credit for the photo goes to my daughter Victoria.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Indian Plum Berries

My beautiful Indian Plum blossoms have grown up into berries! They aren't quite ripe, but the birds don't seem to care.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mushroom ... Over Easy!

This awesome mushroom caught my eye, not because of its beauty (which it has in abundance) but because of its uncanny resemblance to an egg, over easy! Hey, isn't it near breakfast time now? I think I might have to have ...


Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today is the day we remember and thank our fallen soldiers.

I would also like to extend my remembrance and thanks to those soldiers who did not die in battle ... who came home to lead separate lives.
Because they carried home the "ultimate sacrifice", and somehow managed to live with it the rest of their lives.

I also thank the families of ALL soldiers -- those lost in battle, and those who came home changed. Because when you see what these brave soldiers have seen, have done what they had to do ... you die a little. It may not show for years; the scars stay hidden in their hearts. And their families who see (and saw) them suffer, also feel the pain.

On a personal note ...
Thank you to my grandfather, who served in WWI.
Thank you to my father, who served in WWII (and was a POW).
And thank you to my ex-husband, who served in the first Gulf War.

You have my everlasting gratitude.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pink and Yellow Columbine

A beautiful columbine stands supreme in our late spring garden - pink with a yellow heart. They are tall this year -- and breathtaking!

The abandoned church yielded this paintball artist's rendition of what appears to be the same pink and yellow columbine :=}. Also breathtaking in its own way, don't you think?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Down By The Railroad

I was waiting in the car when I heard the distinctive sound of a train whistle. I have never taken a picture of a train before, so I walked over to the tracks ... and watched as a very short, very fast moving train rushed by.

After the train was gone, these beautiful orange poppies caught my eye. I couldn't believe they were growing in the midst of the railroad rocks and debris!

But this single flower is the bravest one of all.
Talk about 'bloom where you are planted'!
Now I know what it means!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Tree That Smiled

This morning as I waited for the big yellow monster (the one that comes every weekday morning, swallows my children then spits them out again in the afternoon!), I noticed a sparkle on a tree by the road -- the sunlight glinting off a bit of sap I suppose. Despite my efforts, the sparkling drop refused to transfer to my camera. I did, however, find this adorable smiley face of shadow and tree. I think today will be a good day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Wildflowers

A wild strawberry blossom shows it's delicate beauty

Wild flags seem to be everywhere this year!

And are even more lovely after the rain.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reflections ...

Sun reflects brokenness into a web spun of shadows.
A beautiful sunny day reduced to an eerie reflection.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Help There's a Chicken in the House!

This darling lady decided to take her afternoon nap in a most unusual place ...
I had to pick her up and carry her back outside. She refused to budge on her own.

While this darling lady showed off the look that earned her the nickname "Vulture Chicken"!

We have so much fun with the ladies. They both have personality plus -- and they think they are cats. Of course the cats think they are people, so they fit right into our unconventional family! I guess it's a good think we didn't decide to raise pigs or cows, huh?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Now THAT's an Earthworm!

I couldn't believe my eyes when I glimpsed movement near the driveway and, upon investigation, found this amazing earthworm. Isn't he huge? I've seen fatter ones, but never longer ones!

Bird Condo

What a fun place for a bunch of birds to live! I didn't have to stand very long before I was able to catch some action -- a pair of birds taking turns feeding their voracious young-uns a feast of delectable lawn grubs!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Courtyard Grafitti

I don't think the vandals realized the art they were creating here ... the way the writing on the broken glass frames the beautiful tree in the background .....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nature's Beauty!

Iris through broken glass

White fawn lily in woods

I love wild flags!

Wonder what he wants to be when he grows up ......

My Bliss Challenge!

What could possibly be more blissful than kicking back outside on a warm sunny day with a favorite book and a bar of chocolate?

Thank you Deann for this most blissful challenge!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mothers Day Gift

Click on this picture to enlarge and read message.
No other words needed.
Happy Mothers Day!

The Many Clues of STOP

Okay, so how many hints do we need to realize we are supposed to stop here?

Hmmmmm let's see! ... Torn up road. Railroad tracks going through torn up road. Cars parked facing us on the other side of torn up road. Railroad ties blocking our lane. A big heavy metal gate, chained shut with padlock.

Is that enough to give us a clue? Apparently not! Because we also have the big red and white STOP sign!!!

Okay, okay, I think I get the idea!

The funny thing about this ... I mean the OTHER funny thing about this? All of the signs on this street indicate parking for Department of Corrections employees only! Now I don't feel so bad!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pacman Orange

This hungry looking Pacman Orange is dedicated to my sis-in-law Bert. She is the one who found it, and dragged me over to where it was foraging to take its picture. Thank you Bert! And if you're in the vicinity of this guy ... watch your toes!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It Takes A Village

A popular slogan from several years ago was "it takes a village to raise a child". This seems to be true in the animal kingdom as well, at times. I watched this gaggle of geese for a long time, but never did figure out which goose was the parent of the baby (lower right corner of picture). They all took turns making sure this little guy got a chance to eat the bread someone scattered at the water's edge. The big guy ... well he didn't like me getting too close, and hissed me away. Once the baby had gotten its fill, the rest of the group finished off the treat.

Monday, May 4, 2009

If Only ...

If only I had known ...
But I didn't.
I would have stayed home ...
But I didn't.

How could I have known
That the clouds would burst
The rain come down like that
Pounding all around.

If only I had known ...
The puddles would form
Lakes, the dry streams
Rivers ...

But I didn't know.
Because if I had known
I would have had stayed home ...

And The Golf Ball Would Not Have Drowned.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Birth of a Dragon!

Do you see the baby dragon here? Shhhhhh, you'll wake him up!

Uh oh, looks like I might have woke up the baby!

I'm not so sure I like that look on his face .......

I caught this baby dragon cloud shortly after a huge thunderstorm yesterday. The blue sky lasted just long enough to get these cool shots.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Living Dangerously

I found this beautiful forest snail in the most unusual place this morning -- right in the middle of the busy road! What was he thinking? Since he had already made it most of the way across, I helped him along. He's probably happily nibbling away in my garden now, but I don't really mind so much right now.

This little chickadee flirted with me out in the woods! Actually I think I was too close to its nest, so I left.

Wild strawberry blossoms ... and a dose of poison oak! Beauty and the Beast anyone?

I had no idea there was a dogwood tree in the front yard. It had never blossomed before!

The world in a soda bottle.

This was my short walk from yesterday. So much to see and appreciate! And I never went more than a hundred yards from the house.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Another Mika Story

Last night a beat up pickup truck stopped at the end of the driveway in the middle of the road. I went out to check, and heard a woman calling me over. She sounded like she was in tears. In a broken voice she told me she thought she had just hit a cat. A gray cat. A little gray and white cat. It went running back up the driveway. My heart stopped and my world stood still. Not Mika! No, not my Mika! I thanked her for stopping, and said it wasn't her fault. In a shaky voice she kept saying "I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry! I have 5 cats, I'm so sorry!" I told her over and over again that it wasn't her fault -- but what I really wanted to do was to go find my Mika. The lady finally left and I ran in the house for my kids and flashlights. After searching for a while, we found her! She was skittish and kept running from us, but finally calmed down. Cradling her in my arms, I ran into the house, checking her carefully ... No broken bones ... no obvious bruises ... no bleeding ... just a tiny little scratch on her nose. She loved on me for over an hour. I loved on her for the same, and finally cried.

I wish I had a way to let the lady in the truck know Mika is okay. I hate to think of her crying. I hope she went home to her 5 cats and cradled them close, and let them love on her. I can never thank her enough for stopping, for caring. She is Mika's angel -- in an ugly truck -- with a heart of gold.