Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #21

Every Monday we thank Drowsey Monkey for hosting Mellow Yellow Monday.

This Monday I have a picture of a house not far from mine. I always have to chuckle when I pass it. It's a very nice, well kept house, but it's just another on a small plot in a large subdivision, and does not have all that much land around, in front, or behind it. But it is guarded by two imposing lions on either side of the driveway. They are very nice lions. I just feel they are a bit out of place in the neighborhood. But, as you see, there are lovely yellow flowers out front as well.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #54

Our Shadow Shot Sunday meme is brought to us each week by Tracy, of Hey Harriet. Thank you, Tracy. We love doing shadow shots.

The three shots I have for you today were all taken at different times. The first is one of my favorites. It is the shadow of a small butterfly on a Montauk Daisy.

The next was taken on my back deck. A pot of mums.

And the last is simply part of the deck. I just like the way the shadows formed,
criss-crossing the boards of the deck.

Dr. Seuss Lives

Remember that crazy looking mandevilla that I tried to nurse through the winter indoors? I named it my "Dr. Seuss plant". Well, just in case anyone cares, I did move it out of doors this spring. It is alive - barely. I had hoped that it might actually start thriving and give me more of its beautiful, big flowers. Turns out, it is still hanging on, still a skinny, scrawny little thing. No flowers. No buds. But still a few nice, green leaves. I haven't the heart to dump it after it has survived so long. It is on my front step, under the hummingbird feeder where it lived last year, but sort of hiding behind a huge pot of petunias. If it ever decides to climb the pole toward the feeder, it is free to do so. Poor thing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sky Watch #46

The Sky Watch team: Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Ivar, Louise and Fishing Guy, have done it once again. They bring us this wonderful meme every week.

Last week, as I sat on my back deck with a friend in the late afternoon, I looked up and saw this sundog in the sky. I really enjoyed this, since I don't often see one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Think Green Thursday #6

Our friend, the Pagan Sphinx, hosts Think Green Thursday for us each week. I think she has a wonderful idea here. In the short time the meme has been in existence, I know that I have discovered some new and better ideas for helping our world and ourselves. Have any good thoughts that might help us all? Please join in.

There are two things I would like to mention today, and I am borrowing both from other people.

The first thing I am stealing is from my daughter, Kathryn. She has done a short post today about receipts. It seems at first glance like a very small thing. But when you stop and think, it adds up to a tremendous waste. She cites one store receipt she received which was over a foot and a half long, for just one single item. We are all familiar with endlessly long receipts from drug stores, office supply stores, and others. Not long lists of purchases, but ads, coupons for things we will never buy, etc. Some of these receipts are on regular paper, and others are on non-recyclable material. And what can we possibly do about this? Maybe - just maybe - if enough of us protested this kind of thing we could get the chains of stores to cut back. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic in this. Maybe not. We have to start somewhere, don't we? Speak up. "They" won't do it. We ARE "They". If we don't do it, it won't be done.

My other topic for today is something I know little or nothing about.

Hybrids, hybrids, hybrids!

I cannot claim any knowledge at all concerning automobiles.
But I have great confidence in Tom and Ray. I'm sure many of you must know them from NPR's weekend program, Car Talk. I love their show, which is very amusing, and does offer sound advice about your car, via call in's from their listeners.

I subscribe to their Car Talk Plaza email newsletter. The most recent issue does concern hybrid cars, and I can't imagine that there is anyone more knowledgeable on the subject.

Now I don't care what you say, I think that's funny! In their own comedic way, Tom and Ray may have some valuable information to offer you if you care to visit their site at the above link. I wouldn't even attempt to re-word it here.

Surely there are some of you out there who may be thinking of a new car. I wish I could be one of you. And surely, the fuel efficiency alone would make enough sense to lead us in that direction.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday Bird Nest Update

Not much to report these days. Many little ones have fledged. In Canada, a few of the live cams are having lens trouble. They have clouded up.

What remains clearly visible are two nests. One is an eagles' nest in Canada - in Delta, B.C. This is the smallest of the eagles' nests. There was one egg, and since that one hatched, another chick was placed in the nest, and Mom is raising two chicks. They are pretty darned cute!

The other I can still tell you about is the hummingbird nest. Someone has named these birds. Mama is Phoebe and baby is Jewel.

And that's about it for today.

In our part of the world, the heat is gone for the present, and it is rainy. They tell us it will continue to rain the rest of the week, off and on. I guess that's a good thing for me. My garden is seeded. I have both flowers and vegetables in some containers on my back deck. No doubt they can all use the rain, and it saves me getting out there early in the morning before the heat sets in.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

The toll continues to climb. As I write this, 4300 American lives have been lost in Iraq, and 686 so far in Afghanistan. It may have climbed further by the time you read this. The toll of lives other than American is beyond count and imagination. And then there is the toll of other lives destroyed by psychological problems, lost limbs, disfiguration - it goes on and on.

Please consider joining the Blogblast for Peace.

Quote from Jimi Hendrix

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #20

We have Drowsey Monkey to thank for Mellow Yellow Monday each week. It's a very cheerful meme. Yellow is about the cheeriest color I can think of.

Today it's two from the archives. Two places that I love. The first is the East Point Lighthouse, located where the Maurice River meets the Delaware Bay in Heislerville, NJ.

The second is the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ. A marvelous place to visit.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday #53

Time for more fun with shadows, thanks to Tracey at Hey Harriet. Her Sunday in Australia comes on Saturday in the U.S.

As I left the house the other day, I noticed this shadow on the neighbor's fence.

Later in the day, the sun had moved around to the back, and the satellite dishes moved to the front yard.

The tree and the mailbox were also pretty clear, across the street.

When I took a drive, I saw this tree's shadow against a pretty house.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Oldie But Goodie?

Yes, I have been driven to this.

How Quickly They Grow Up

Looks like we are fast approaching the end of our bird watch.

Red tailed hawks' nest at the Franklin Institute. Only one chick still in the nest. The others have flown.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sky Watch #45

As always, I want to thank the team that brings us Sky Watch each week: Klaus, Ivar, Fishing Guy, Sandy, Wren and Louise.

The changing skies always amaze me. They change so swiftly and radically during each day. When I looked out of my front door the other morning, this is what I saw.

I left the house about 9: am, and as I travelled on my way, I saw this.

By the time I reached my destination, the skies were so very different looking.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thematic Photographic

Signs - that's the theme Carmi has chosen for this week's Thematic Photographic, at Written, Inc. I have always been fascinated with signs. I think some people feel I'm just a little crazy, because I do take a lot of pictures of signs.

I have three to show you. I've shown them all on my blog at one time or another. The first is one that I took in Pacific Grove, California. I think it is my all time favorite sign.

The other two were taken by my daughter, Kathryn, in Los Altos, California on a farm/nature preserve the family was visiting. I like them both very much.

Think Green Thursday #5

In the relatively short time that I have been blogging, I have already used this theme and published this picture twice. So, for the third time, I believe in this and honestly feel that most of the world's problems could be overcome if we all followed these precepts.

Those who peopled our land long before our European ancestors arrived on the scene understood their world and appreciated their obligation to treat it with respect. There are many versions of the Native American Ten Commandments, but each of those versions is basically the same as the others.

I hope that you can read them if you enlarge the picture. The points that I would like to call to your attention are:

The Earth is our Mother, care for her.

All life is sacred, treat all beings with respect.

Take from the Earth what is needed, and nothing more.

Follow the rhythms of Nature...

Enjoy life's journey, but leave no tracks.

We have spent many years ignoring this advice, using and abusing the resources given to us, thoughtlessly discarding our trash, over-fishing, over-hunting, depleting the soil, harvesting the trees, polluting the air and water. Finally we are becoming aware of our folly. We have a huge job ahead of us to repair the damage. Each one of us has to do his own small part.


Just made the rounds of the nests I try to keep track of. First - the three robin chicks which were crowding the nest almost to bursting yesterday, have all fledged. All I saw today was an empty nest. It took fourteen days.

The hummingbird is still busy feeding her one chick, and the other egg is still in the bottom of the nest.

Yesterday I was told there were only two red-tailed hawk chicks still in the nest, but I see three there today. Could one have taken its first trip, and returned? Could be. They are pretty big, as big as the mother really, and all have been peering over the edge and teetering back and forth. Here are the two with Mama.

There was no broadcast from the eagles' nest on Hornby Island. For the past couple of days the lens has been so fogged that you could barely see the birds.

There are still all three huge chicks in the Sidney nest. The biggest one is almost all black feathers now. The next is mottled. The third is still soft gray fluff, but also very, very large.

And lastly, in the little Delta nest, where the mother was sitting on only one egg which did hatch several days ago, the mother eagle is now feeding TWO chicks. No explanation given. I saw her feeding only one earlier on. My best guess is that someone has placed a foster chick in with her. That is often done if a baby is orphaned and zoo keepers or park rangers or someone cares enough to give it a try. In this case, mama seems to be very happy with her two chicks.

If you haven't seen it already, Daryl just commented and gave me the url for a great little video - the rescue of 12 ducklings. Go to: and see it for yourself. Thanks, Daryl!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I have been doing a lot of tooning lately. Mostly I just do it for my own pleasure or entertainment. When you go to and start to create characters and/or strips, your work is seen by everyone else who does it, and they can comment on yours. Their comments are in the form of a toon of their own - either a single panel or a strip. That can really be fun. This is me as a toon.

I started it when I saw the great strips that Daryl does on Tuesdays in her blog, Out and About in New York City.

I've always loved to write things down. If I'm worried about something, or angry, or whatever, it just helps to put it on paper. Oddly enough, I get much the same feeling from tooning. I sometimes make strips of just myself, and trying to condense my feelings into brief statements for each panel, and changing my facial expression using different shapes of eyebrows, mouth, etc., seems to give me satisfaction. Sometimes when I'm done a stip, I copy it for myself, but then delete it from toonlet because I feel it's too personal.

You don't draw these cartoons yourself on You choose the parts of a character from various packages, and put them together to make someone. You change their expressions and moods as you please. For instance, here's my version of my friend, Lisa. Her normal expression, getting annoyed, starting to get angry, and when she's really had it. Don't know if you can see the cuss words. The background color was a bit too dark here.

Then of course there is the source of her anger - in this case, her boss. (I know how she feels. He used to be my boss.)

Normal (if you can call it that), worried by her reaction, and then just copping out of the whole thing.

I did a strip of myself and an old friend - both of us becoming pretty forgetful in our old age. Click to enlarge.

Hope you enjoyed it.