Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nature's Jewels

As the snow melted, the sun came out.
Nature's Jewels were here!
I caught this beautiful amber gem
Nestled in a fir branch.
(To see it clearly, click on the picture to enlarge)

I captured these diamond-coated Hawthorne berries

Up close and personal!!!

Even the pine tree dripped with beauty.

I wish I could capture these jewels for real -
I would wear them to a party!
For the New Year!

I guess it's just as well, since I am staying home and celebrating quietly ...
Perhaps in my sleep ... I can dream of
Nature's Jewels.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow is Falling

The holly so recently tipped in frost
Is now loaded with snow.

I was thinking ... I'd like to go outside and play in the snow.
For some reason, though ...

I can't find my shoes!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mushrooms, Before and After Frost

I found this delightful family of mushrooms last month near an old wooden pallet.

The same family, after a few frigid nights and frosty mornings.

The circle of life.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Frosty Beauty

The frost touched just the edges of this holly tree, tipping the beautiful evergreen leaves a bright white.

And made this dried blackberry vine glow in the sun.

It coated the leaves of the evergreen blackberry leaves

And gave this spider's home a jeweled surprise!

The Queen Anne's Lace lived up to its name ...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Swamp Mist by Suzy Crancer

I am honored and humbled by what I received in the mail from Suzy Crancer of She sent me her Swamp Mist capelet that she made. In an envelope of hearts, and a beautiful card.

A picture does not do justice to this beautiful capelet. To hold it is to hold a gossamer butterfly wing ... a feathery spider web.

Thank you so much, Suzy. To know that you made this yourself, and chose to send it to me ... well, I am at a loss for words, and that doesn't happen to me very often. I do know that this will be treasured forever.

God bless you my dear friend. May you have a rich and blessed Christmas and year to come.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Icy Jungle

There was a light freeze last night,
Just enough to create
This icy jungle
In the rainwater left
From last week's deluge.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blue Heron in Fog

Down the street at the bird sanctuary, I am used to seeing ducks, geese, songbirds, blue herons, snowy egrets, even a hawk once.

The blue herons that call this area home never seem to be around when I stop by ... until today.

The fog was drifting in tendrils across the water. There he was, standing silently in the haze on a partially submerged log. I pulled over to watch.

Eventually he flew away, his huge wings making barely a sound.

Isn't he awesome?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wandering Capes

In front of the local coffee shop they glide -
Like something out of Star Wars
Or Lord of the Rings.

The caped ones, on the move.
Wandering soon to a strip mall near you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Raining, Its Pouring ...

The rain came down so hard yesterday afternoon that the pond seemed to be boiling over.
I managed to get this shot before my umbrella became saturated and I got soaked.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stellar Jay Eats Lunch and Mt Hood Wears Hood

I was watching this Stellar jay from the big picture window in the front room.
He has been hanging around for years, but this year he has a mission.

He spied the bird feeder we set up last month.
He has tried to perch on it to eat, but it is too small.

So he swoops down, smacks the bird feeder with his feet ...
Then eats what falls to the ground.

Smart bird, eh? He's been at this off and on for days, but this is the first time I've managed to 'catch' him in the act. I know it's a little blurry, but keep in mind - this is through the window and this guy is FAST!

Not to be outdone, Mt. Hood showed off its 'hood' for a short time yesterday morning. When I was a kid I thought that's how Mt. Hood got it's name. Alas, it was named in honor of 'Vice Admiral Samuel Hood' in 1792.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Close To Home

I am used to taking long walks. After my release from the hospital, I was confined to the area immediate to the house, until I was cleared by my doctor.

Today I was inspired by Lois of Tallahassee Daily Photo to look through the pictures I took during that week. I was amazed at what I found ... right outside my front door - like this old net draped across some tree branches, silhouetted by frosty early morning sunshine.

There is much beauty to be found ... if we stop to look and see.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

King of the Forest

To really appreciate this photo, enlarge it to view the king of the forest. He is the tree in the bottom center, proudly guarding his domain.

"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Eat at This Burger King

Of course I have axed all fast food from my diet, but I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this funny, funny sign combo.

Makes it easier to avoid eating here!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Funny Hospital Story

The doctors had let me sit up for the first time, and the nurse helped me into the chair. It felt really good after 24 hours of flat-on-back stuff.

They left me watching TV and I sat back to enjoy the moment. Only I forgot two very important things ...

One, the phone was on the OTHER side of the bed.
Two, I was wearing a hospital gown.

You're starting to see where this is leading, aren't you?
The phone rang. I stood up, reached over the bed ... and realized 'very important thing number two' . Oops.

I grabbed the phone (and the back of my hospital gown) and turned to the door, only to see my nurse walking by supporting a very old man. Oh no.

When she came back to my room I told her what happened, she said yes, she had noticed.
I asked her about the old man ...

She said (with a totally straight face - at first) "Oh he just looked at me and said ---


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I am Given Another Sunrise

For those of you who don't know, last Friday (Dec. 4, 5:05 AM) I suffered a moderate stroke in the left side of my brain, rendering me completely paralyzed on my entire right side, and unable to speak.

I was able to call for help before my speech left me, and was rushed to Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin. Because I got there so fast, (within 20 minutes of the first symptoms), I was given a special "clot buster" drug that can only be administered in the first few hours after a stroke.

My sister Beth showed up and stayed with me during that tortuous time when I was unable to move or speak. Then changes started to happen - waxing and waning. I could curl my toes, lift my arm several inches off the bed, say a few words. Then just as suddenly lose it.

Several hours later the worst wave hit, I felt my mind starting to wander for the first time. Beth's prayers became more focused.

And I lifted my right leg clear off the table! And my arm as well! My speech became clearer and they whisked me to a room in the ICU for observation.

By Saturday morning, all symptoms seemed to be gone. The neurologist shook his head, muttering something like "Whether it was the medicine or the prayers ... some things just can't be explained." That's when they decided it may have been a "TIA", not a real stroke. Nothing had showed up on the CAT scan, so they did an MRI.

And found that yes indeed, I had suffered a stroke. A fairly small one, the size of a small lima bean. Without the clot buster drug, it would have been the size of a silver dollar.

I found out that I had the entire ICU staff confused. I wasn't supposed to get well that quickly -- there was NO protocol!!! Even with the clot buster drug, I wasn't supposed to start improving for 2 to 3 days! What to do with me???

As it turns out, they let me go home on Sunday, lifestyle changes to be made.
And golly-bob-howdy are they being made.

I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers on my behalf. I am humbled that God used your prayers to perform a miracle in my life, and I will strive to be worthy of that awesome gift.

Oh, and be sure to enlarge the picture. I caught this bird at sunrise, the light just beginning to peek over the horizon, showing a hint of color. Sunrise. Just one more thing I will NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED AGAIN.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Geese In A Row

I just had to pull over and get this shot. Even left Dad and Mom in the car with puzzled looks on their faces ... because it really struck my funny bone ... all my geese in a row.

But even funnier thoughts went through my warped mind ... like "Caution - underground power line buried here". Snicker.