Friday, April 30, 2010

Today Is Save the Frogs Day

And you can go to to learn all about it.

Or you can go to Michelle's blog. She has a wonderfully comprehensive post today. I hope she doesn't mind if I quote just a little of her post. I don't think she will, because it is an important topic to her and I think she'd like to spread the word. I've been trying to comment on her post and ask permission, but Blogger won't let me do that just now.

''Why We Need Frogs
Stopping the current wave of frog extinctions is important for several reasons:

  • Frogs eat mosquitoes, ticks and flies that carry vector-borne diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, lyme disease and leishmaniasis.
  • Tadpoles eat algae and therefore act as a natural filtration system that keeps our drinking water clean.
  • Frogs serve as food to a diverse array of predators including birds, reptiles, fish, dragonflies and monkeys, and the loss of frogs from the ecosystem would therefore negatively affect these species as well.
  • Due to their permeable skin that absorbs chemicals and pollutants, frogs are accurate bioindicators, providing us with an early-response system that can tell us when something is wrong in the environment.
  • Frogs are important in human medicine: 10% of the Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine have come from research that depended on frogs. When a frog species disappears, so does any chance of that species improving human well-being.''
I wrote a post on frogs the other day, but she says it so much better. As you can see from the above, frogs are really very important to us all. Please do what you can.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Long Over-Due Visit - Funny Book - Cartoon

On Wednesday I woke up rather late to a really beautiful sunny day and feeling pretty darned good. Both of these things have been scarce lately. So I decided it might be a good day to try to visit my friend, Wyetta. It has been months since I have been to see her. For one reason or another it has just been impossible. I write letters and send pictures, but have not made the hour's drive up to see her in the convalescent home.

The drive went very smoothly. When I got there, lo and behold, there was a handicap space waiting for me near the door. "Hugo" was not in the car because I had not been able to wrestle it in before I left, but I did pretty well with just the cane. Only had to stop once to rest on the way down the long hallway to her room. She was happy to see me, and we had a nice, long chat. I have really missed that. I had taken her a basket of fruit that I made up in the pretty basket the Easter Bunny had brought me. She always complains about the food, and she does love fresh fruit.

I think we both enjoyed the time we spent together. I know I feel better for it. A good day!

In the afternoon, after a nap, I read some more of a book Rita loaned to me. Highly recommend this one! Just a funny, easy read, easy to pick up and put down. Mo Willems is probably better known for his children's books. Also a six times Emmy winner for his work on Sesame Street.

Mo is also a talented cartoonist. A few years ago he traveled around the world. At the end of each day he drew a cartoon of something he remembered from that day. Funny, funny cartoons. The foreword to the book was written by Dave Barry - which was enough to get me hooked in itself. In discussing travel to foreign lands, Dave says, " of course want to see the famous sights, but in the end what you remember what you did not already know you would find there." So true. And that is exactly what Mo shows us. Look for this book in your library. I think you will enjoy it. You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons - The World on One Cartoon a Day.

And speaking of cartoons - I've been checking out the Savage Chickens again.

This one amused me.

Our Friend, the Frog

Michelle, at Rambling Woods, has asked us to consider the frog in our posts, since April 30 is Save the Frogs Day.

I have always had a love of frogs and toads. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought them to be such sweet, harmless little creatures. At the last home that I owned, there were always many tiny toads in the yard. At my present home, I occasionally find one of the larger varieties. When I would walk along the nature trail through the wetlands up at Cape May Point, where the phragmitis grew very tall and thick along both sides of the trail, I loved to hear the hundreds of peepers singing in the spring. Michelle has quoted Adrian Forsyth as describing this as "...a song of poetry and emotion." I could not hope to describe it better. And whenever I visited Leaming's Run Gardens, I would search out the big old bullfrogs in and near the reflecting pool.

But our friends, the frogs and toads, as well as many other amphibian friends, are in trouble these days. They may not be with us very much longer.

Scientists are telling us that ALL frogs and toads may disappear from the earth unless action is taken very quickly. During the past ten years, 170 different species have already been wiped out completely. I find it staggering to think there ever were that many different species, let alone that many gone forever. There are several thousand more still with us, but not for long if present conditions continue. They are being lost because of pollution, global warming, and loss of habitat due to expanding agriculture and other development. They are also disappearing because of a terrible problem called chytrid fungus, which has been killing them through dehydration for many years now. A plan has been developed called the Amphibian Ark, which is asking all zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens to accept 500 of one species each, to clean them and nurture them for as long as it may take to develop a means of controlling this fungus, and then releasing them into the world once again.

Why do we care? We care very much about our friends, the frogs, because they have a very important place in nature. They are, of course, part of the food chain. Other animals depend on them. They are also important to humans, helping to control mosquitoes. And most importantly, they provide extremely vital help in developing life saving medicines - even for the treatment of Aids.

If you are willing and able, you might want to contribute financially. You can donate through the Planet Ark, which is located in Australia.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


First hummer sighting of the year! 7:35 this morning, as I opened my front door for the day, a pretty little male was flitting around the hanging basket of flowers at the foot of my steps. He did not investigate the feeder. I probably scared him off by opening the door.

Lisa had told me last night she had seen a pair. They're here! I'm so excited!!!

Not my picture of course, as you see by the markings, but I will
be trying for pictures soon. As always, click on photo to enlarge.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More Voices

Those of you who have been reading my posts as far back as June of 2008 may recall that I talked about "Voices in the Attic". I still hear them. They are never distinct enough to determine what is being said. They are just faint and far away, and with the cadence of radio talk. I'm sure that is what they are - a signal being picked up somehow - perhaps by the satellite dishes on my roof.

At that time I was surprised at how many other people commented on similar experiences. And I've taken a lot of ribbing about these voices that I hear.

At some point during my family's recent visit, the subject came up again, and my daughter said, "Maybe that's what Isaac meant yesterday." It seems the five year old had asked who Grandmom was talking to - only Grandmom wasn't there. SEE! I'm not the only one who hears them! I'm not really crazy! - Or maybe it just runs in the family.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poetry Month

As we enter the final week of Poetry Month, here is my feeling, as expressed by someone at one of my daughter's poetry events recently:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Birds and Flowers

Hope you have visited the red tailed hawks on the sidebar. I missed a few days, and when I got back to them there were three chicks in the nest instead of three eggs. The cute little things seems to be very healthy and active.

I don't seem to have found the right plug in yet on the new computer for the eagles. I'm sure I'll come up with that soon.

I did some planting on Saturday. Wore myself out. Rita does most of the work, and I'm the one who gets tired. We were pleased to see many cosmos reappearing from last year. We are getting rain again, so I won't have to water right away. My snow peas are sprouting very nicely too.

Still no hummers at the feeder. I must get a hanging basket of flowers to further entice them,

Shadow Shot Sunday

On Shadow Shot Sunday, Tracy is our host. Please visit her and enjoy many wonderful shadows.

When my grandson came to visit, we took him down the Nature Trail at Cape May Point. I found lots of lovely shadows along the trail.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010


The photo of Sunrise Earth from Space is from NASA.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Catching Up

I have lots of catching up to do. Because my family's vacation plans were side-tracked due to the volcanic ash situation over Europe, they arrived here unexpectedly. I haven't been able to do more than a quick look at blogs and even emails for a little while. Their flight was re-scheduled for yesterday, but again cancelled, so they headed up to Massachusetts for a couple of days, and then they will return to California. Very disappointing for them but I am so glad they were not in the air nor on the other side of the ocean when it happened. We do have friends who are now in Paris who were supposed to return soon. Who knows when they will make it.

On top of that, I have a brand new computer, for which I am very thankful. But it's a notebook type - nice big screen, but a very different keyboard. That's throwing me off balance. It has a touch pad as well, which I don't think I would ever get use to. Yesterday I got a wireless mouse, and am finding it so very much easier. Still, there are many things very different than I am familiar with. You know the old saying about old dogs and new tricks. It is so true!

While my son-in-law was here he taught me what he could, but there was so little time and so many distractions. So I am stumbling along as best I can. Photos are my first love, and I haven't managed to conquer that one yet. Many of our photos from the past few days have been uploaded only to this new computer. If they were on the old one I'd have no trouble. But then, I wouldn't be learning much either, would I? I can show you this one that my daughter took. We took Isaac to the Alpaca Farm.

I do love these creatures.

And we went up to the Point, which included a visit to the museum there.

Again, one of Kitty's pictures.

Isaac took this one, on the nature trail. I think he did a really great job.

I do have one of my own that I'm kind of proud of even though it isn't of family or our activities in the past week. I took it in my garden. I got lucky with this one.

Speaking of natural disasters, take a look at Kitty's current post. Pretty funny, and tells a lot about Mike.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thinking Green Thursday (A little early)

Thinking Green is hosted by our friend Michelle.

Let's make it EARTH DAY every day.

And our earth is largely made up of water. And that water is full of wildlife. FISH

Once again, my topic involves Monterey Bay Aquarium's blog, Sea Notes. In today's blog post, Julie Packard reminds us to vote with our dollars, when we purchase sea food. Try to be sure that what we buy is seafood caught or farmed in sustainable ways. It may be difficult to remember, considering the vastness of the oceans, that fish exist in limited numbers. There is not an endless supply. And there is much overfishing and habitat damage and poor management. This causes a threat to the world's food supply, to marine economies, and even to recreation.
Thankfully, the two largest food services in North America, ARAMARK and Compass Group, have long been working with Monterey Bay Aquarium toward sustainable sources. But there are many others who ignore environmental needs. We must try to be aware, and make our purchases accordingly.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Family Visit

Is it all the kids of this generation, or is my grandson truly as amazing as he seems to me? Five years old. His vocabulary astounds me. His imagination soars. He talks on and on, making up stories, songs, games. Sometimes, when I start to explain something to him, when it seems to me that a five year old would require such explanation, he gives me that quizzical look of his, and sometimes says something like, "Or why not......" some other logical way to accomplish whatever it is. He does things like handling his mother's camera like a pro. And I'm sure he knows more about computers than I do. (Not that I know much.)

He is a ball of energy of course. That is common to most five year olds. His curiosity is endless. He seems to me to be wise beyond his years, almost always polite and compassionate and capable of quick, sensible decisions. When he meets a situation unfamiliar to him, he turns to his parents and asks quite clearly what he needs to know.

Those parents have much to do with it if course, along with the Montessori pre-school he's been attending for some time, where they teach their little charges self-sufficiency and responsibility, among other things.
I was very impressed on Saturday when we visited the local Alpaca Farm. The animals are usually a little shy and standoffish, but not with Isaac. They seemed as interested in him as he was in them, and accepted his offerings of grass through the fence. He was delighted by this.
This one leaned down to get a good look at him.

Of course, there is the occasional melt-down, as with any child. But Isaac is almost always a very happy little boy and a pleasure to have around

I'm very proud of my daughter, as I am of all of our children. I'm sure Ralph would be very pleased with them too. After all, he had a whole lot to do with raising them. Our other grandchildren were pretty wonderful too, but in the present world of technology and new things happening every day, this one of our youngest daughter's surprises me all the time.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Why not join us at Shadow Shot Sunday, with Tracy as our host?

We did have sunshine most of this week. I didn't have a whole lot of time to look for shadows, but here are a couple I found right at home.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


You'll have to excuse me for a few days.

Because of the volcanic ash from Iceland, European flights have been cancelled, so my daughter and family aren't heading out for a little while. They made it from San Francisco to Philly. But tonight instead of flying to Ireland, they are driving down here to see me for five days!

No doubt there will be stories and pictures after that. I intend to enjoy myself very much.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Death of a President

The tragic death of the Polish President and so many others this week has started me thinking about the past. Today we learn of such events almost as they occur. It was not always so.

When I was a girl, no one I knew had television. Well, yes, there was one girl in my high school class whose family had TV when we were seniors. Once in a great while we would all go over to her house to watch something. But for the most part, it was radio, or movies on the weekend.

I was remembering the day that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died. It must have been a Saturday, or a vacation day. I'm not clear on that. But I know that I was wearing blue jeans and a man's shirt with the sleeves rolled up and tails tied in a knot in front. That could not have been school attire in those days. I had been listening to music on my old 78's all morning. Didn't have the radio on.

Around noon I decided I wanted an Italian hoagie for lunch, and walked down to the hoagie shop. No other customers were there, but the little old Italian lady who owned the shop had a line of sandwiches in front of her on the counter, building them as she stood there, crying - more like wailing. I asked what was wrong of course. Between sobs, she told me, "He's-a gone-a! He's-a gone-a!" I asked who was gone, and she told me, almost screaming it, "F-a - D-a - R-a!"

And that is how I learned of the death of the man who had been President of the United States for my entire life. He was elected the year I was born, and was still President when I turned sixteen.

I remember many other deaths of famous and infamous. We can all tell where we were and what we were doing on such days. But that is the one that will always stand out in my mind.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elephant Seal

We'll try this one again. I had posted this earlier, when I received it from my cousin. Then it suddenly turned into an entirely different video. He has now found it again and re-sent it. I hope this time it remains what it was meant to be, because I think you'll enjoy it.

Take a look at How To Cuddle With an Elephant Seal. (I think the penguins are pretty cute too.)


You may remember, I gave my grandson Legos for his fifth birthday. My daughter has posted some pictures of him with the Legos, and of course, I have to show you a few.

He's been busy out of doors too. Recently, they went on their first camping weekend of the year. It's one of their favorite things to do.

They also visited Pacific Grove. The purple ice plant that lines Monterey Bay isn't in full bloom quite yet.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hummingbirds on PBS

The cooler weather here has allowed me to get back on line more. My computer is behaving pretty well for now.

If you have not seen this video on PBS, I think you will enjoy watching it. It does take five or six minutes to view. A friend in Hawaii sent it to me today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Poetry Month

In honor of Poetry Month, I refer you to my daughter's current post, and to her recommendation of a site called Split This Rock Poetry Festival.

Once again, I am not staying on line too long these days because my computer is overheating. Although, since our weather has cooled, it isn't quite so bad. It still cuts out on me within a very short time. Sorry I can't visit too many of your posts.

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadow Shot Sunday once again, hosted by Tracy. Won't you join us?

Apple blossoms.

Aren't they beautiful? I just love this new camera!

And crocuses in full bloom at last.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Too Darned Hot

Not only have we had temperatures outside of about 90 for two days, my computer is also overheating, and the alarm sounding off.

Needless to say, I won't be spending much time on it for a little while. Sorry about that.

Thinking Green Thursday

Michelle has been our host for Thinking Green Thursday. When I read her post today I wanted to cheer, because she is championing a favorite topic of mine, and wanted to cry because it is such a sad topic.
I'm sure you have seen this logo on my sidebar in the past, and in several of my posts.

The story doesn't change. It only grows worse with every passing day. The owner of a mine, Massey Energy, once again found itself in the headlines this past week, when twenty-five miners died. Conditions for the miners are dreadful. Beyond that, conditions created by mining practices, particularly the practice of simply blowing off the tops of mountains, are so outrageously WRONG, I can't begin to express my feelings .

I quote from the site of

"Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining where entire mountains are literally blown up -- devastating communities throughout Appalachia, polluting drinking water and destroying rivers. And the worst part is, you're paying for it.

If your home or business is on the electric grid, chances are you are connected to mountaintop removal in the Appalachian Mountains. Find out how -- and then find out what you can do about it."

I urge you to go to this site and read the details for yourself. Learn how YOU may have a direct connection to mountaintop removal.

I also urge you to go to Michelle's post. It is full of excellent information.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Hummers Are Coming!

Lisa called to tell me it's time to hang up the hummingbird feeders. She's right. I checked the Migration Map, and they've been sighted in NJ, NY, PA, and even farther north.
I made up some nectar this morning and got a couple of feeders out there. Come on, guys! It's time! I'm anxious to see you back again! The feeders are here waiting for you. Not a whole lot of flowers ready for you yet, but the feeders are waiting. And the blossoms will be following soon.

I tried to get my taxes done this morning too. Gave up. It's just too hard when you have to use a magnifying glass for every line. I made an appointment with the Office of Aging. Nothing like cutting it down to the last minute, is there?

Today the temperature is supposed to go waaaay up! Before Thursday, that is, when it's supposed to come way back down again, with rain. Oh well. We'll enjoy it while it's here. All the more reason to hang the feeders. If it's going to get cold again, the hummers will need their nectar.

And have you seen how BIG the eaglets are now!

The hawk can probably be seen best in the afternoon, when the sun gets around to that side of the building.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Colors of Spring

Aren't Nature's colors amazing! I am particularly happy with the many colors of the cherry blossoms.

This is the delicate coloring of a tree in West Cape May.

And this is a tree in the National Cemetery.

There are so many other shades as well. And of course this is true of most of the other spring flowers. How many shades of daffodils! From white to deepest yellow. Most of these are pictures from the American Daffodil Society. (The minis are mine.)

And the same is true of the forsythia. And the blues and purples and greens! Even white comes in different shades, which seems almost impossible, but it is true.

The colors sing to me.