Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas greetings

Hello, my friends. For those who have been reading this blog, you'll know that for the past several years I've been spending my Christmas in Florida visiting with my in-laws with my sons. I've just returned home today to temperatures in the teens after spending a beautiful week of sun-filled warm days. It was heavenly.

I met a lovely couple during my flight home and we chatted for a bit and showed each other our dog photos. I missed George terribly and he was ecstatic to have me return home.

(Hello to Bill and Peggy from the flight. Hope you have a wonderful visit with your family).

These photos were all taken at the Venice Rookery, which remains my favorite place to photograph Great Blue Herons while they nest and raise their young. The nesting area is on a small island in the middle of a lake and photographers come from all over to capture their images.

I tried to get a better photo of this couple as they went back and forth getting food for their young and greeting each other during each return but oh well. I am only there for such a short time and every year I say that I need a better lens. And I need to bring my tripod. You should see the gear these photographers bring. I have serious lens envy.

These were all shot with my Nikon D7000 using a Nikkor 70-300 lens. I've had it for years and the darn thing sticks sometimes and won't auto-focus. But I make do. Unfortunately, I lose some key shots because of this problem.

I find it so pleasurable just being still with my camera and watching these beautiful birds.

Here, a nestling is being fed by its parent. There are several more in the nest but you can't see them.

But I could hear them. They are so loud!

Here a nestling stretches its wings on this beautiful day.

You can see some others in the background.

The male brings much of the nesting material to the female who then proceeds to build the nest. 

They are such graceful birds.

I went at a difficult time, as the sun was quite glaring. I fixed what I could with editing but still . . . I am my own worst critic.

I hope that your holidays were pleasant. 

I find Christmas difficult to get through sometimes as do some of you, I'm sure.

I'll be posting more as I go through my files and hopefully it will be soon ~

Thank you again for all your lovely comments.

Until next time, my friends ~


Saturday, December 9, 2017

The miracle of the falling snow

Hello and wintry greetings from Maryland on this beautiful Saturday. It began snowing this morning and I should have gone out before it did because I really need some groceries. Unfortunately, I slept too late. I like sleeping in a little bit on weekends.

This is one of my favorite trees on the property and it's beautiful when it snows.

The first thing I did when it began snowing was to fill the feeders.

Hello there.

I was a gifted this new feeder for my birthday.

It's supposed to be squirrel-proof.

This isn't that great a photo but I liked how this male cardinal was perched on the hanger.

The squirrels are ruining this feeder. 


I have a baked potato and a yam in the oven and the house smells of them cooking.

I just thought you needed to know that.

About an hour ago, I looked out the breakfast nook window to see these three mourning doves huddled on the snow-laden branches. They're all fluffed up, keeping warm.

It's near dark as I write this and the snow has stopped, leaving us with about 3 inches.

Today reminds me of a story that was written a long time ago. I found it online and it's about snow falling.

This is a small excerpt from it:

Look up at the miracle of the falling snow, ~ the air a dizzy maze of whirling flakes, noiselessly transforming the world, the exquisite crystals dropping in ditch and gutter, and disguising in the same suit of spotless livery all objects upon which they fall.

~ John Burroughs
from "The Snow Walkers" 1896

Until next time, my friends . . .


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Waiting for my real life to begin

I'm really not waiting for my real life to begin, although it does kind of feel that way at times. I'm actually sitting in my living room listening to Pandora with the Colin Hay station on and that song came up. I don't know what the urge was to actually write on this blog today but I think it had something to do with having it in my mind lately, the holidays coming around again, and a lovely e-mail from a reader asking why I hadn't blogged in so long and that she missed me. Thank you, Yvette, for making me remember why I had been doing this in the first place.

I think it's about connection.

For those of you who know me and have visited me here before, you know I can't have a post without photos. So there I was, perusing my deplorably scant photo files looking for something to share here. I finally came to the realization that my camera must be lonely without me. I have very few recent photos.

The one above was taken a few weeks ago during a visit to Florida to celebrate my father-in-law turning 90. You would never believe the man was this age because he doesn't look or act it. It was a good family visit and I'm so glad so many of us could come.

This photo was taken during another trip to Florida -- to St. Petersburg for an impromptu Labor Day weekend trip with friends. I've been doing more traveling than I had in the years with my husband. I am still living in the old manor house on the hill and the owner is prepping it for sale. I believe it may go on the market next Spring and then I'll be finding somewhere else to live. It's fine really. It feels like it's getting time to move on.

George is still here with me and turned 10 years old in July.

He suffers occasionally from a bit of arthritis in one of his front legs -- maybe it's his hip; I'm not sure. But he still acts like a puppy sometimes and he does love a good game of fetch be it with a stick, or a frisbee, or one of his current favorite toys.

And yes, he still knows the names of his toys.  But if you don't work with him on it, he will forget over time.
I took this late this summer. I'd gone outside because the light looked so pretty and saw a hawk in one of the tall trees in the west lawn. I went back inside to get the camera and coming out again, he began to fly away, screeching while doing so. 

There is a small herd of deer that visit each evening. I took the photo above late in summer when the bucks were still in velvet. 

I got up early today because today's the day I'm celebrating Thanksgiving with my sister-in-law and her husband in NJ. I'm taking a brussels sprouts side dish and for dessert, an apple pie cake with brown sugar & rum sauce. I hope they're really good. This is a first for making each.

Tomorrow I'm going out to dinner with long-time friends, Jeff & Karen, in NJ. I've been spending a lot of time with them since my husband and my best guy friend, Warren, passed away in 2013. Warren was Jeff's brother. 2013 was a crappy year. My husband's brother, Richard, also passed away that year. Three deaths, all so young. 

But life goes on. And it's ok. 

Oh, crap. I meant to tell you but am almost embarrassed to do so but I signed up with last month. I dislike it immensely. And that's all I have to say about that.

 One of my relatives snapped this photo of me with my sons while we were in Florida earlier this month. My youngest, Shaun, is on the left and that's Matt on the right. I'll see both of them today for Thanksgiving (I hope).

Here's hoping that all of you in the States have a wonderful holiday. I'll try to post more in the future!



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Whatever makes you happy

Well now. I hope I can remember how to do this . . . it's been so long since I've been here that I'm a little rusty.

But I missed it here. And I thank you for the kind comments you've made over the past year since I've blogged. Well, nearly a year anyway.

George is still here (thank heavens). And we're still living at the old manor house on the hill. This evening after work, I spent some time in the yard with my buddy, throwing his favorite frisbee. The weather has been surprisingly lovely for February and we've hardly had any snow at all here in Maryland. I'll stop now before I jinx it.

Rather than posting here, I've been uploading photos to my FB page and occasionally on IG. I was actually going to post George's photos on FB tonight but I remembered a co-worker who is going through an illness with her beloved Great Dane and I thought it would be unkind of me to post photos of a happy dog, just in case she's browsing Facebook tonight and it comes up in her feed. So rather than the possibility of hurting her feelings, I decided to come here and try this.

I guess not a whole lot has changed in the past ten months since I've written. I can't remember the last time was that I visited a blog . . . and I don't understand that.

Sometimes when I look at this tree, especially from this angle, I remember [this].
It's a good memory. And who doesn't like a good memory, eh?

The owner is planning on (eventually) selling the house. And last fall, had someone come cut all the bushes down to nothing so that they could sandblast and paint this spring.

George and I will find somewhere else to live . . . eventually.

He looks like a crazy boy going after that frisbee, doesn't he?!

He's still sweet as ever.

A bit lonely while I'm away all day at work, I'm sure.

But I thank God he's still in my life.

Until next time,