Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Work

So I was slowly driving along, enjoying the morning.  It was Friday, so it was take the dogs to run-around-wear-yourselves-out-so-I-can-do-what-I-want-Friday-night day.

My Stars!  What was that?  I stopped the car and looked back - yep, that was no ordinary mailbox.  It had a hawk finial.  So I backed up, whipped out my trusty camera while the hawk looked over it's shoulder and eyed me---until I lowered the car window.  Then it barely twitched it's wings and sailed about 10 feet to this tree.

'I vant to be alone.'

'Are you gone yet?'

'I vill change branches.  See my fierce talons?'

'Still there.  How rude.'

'I vill permit zee profile shot. Now, kindly begone!'

So, I've looked up the hawks common to the area, and none exactly fits.  Any ideas?  There was no rust color on it's front and the down on it's legs isn't spotted.  And there's no red on it's tail. 

Still, so very fierce and beautiful.  And a lot of fun to spot sitting on the mailbox post at 9 am Friday morning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Inevitable.

As I watched them race around on the ground, looking up at the pinecones, I knew.  As they stared with their beady, black eyes, I knew this day would come.

Have I ever told you my brother and I had a baby squirrel as a pet?  We did.  Named, originally enough, Skippy.  After the peanut butter we used.

And this morning, I awoke to no Pinecone Cafe hanging in the tree.

The greedy rascals had broken the line that the Pinecone Cafe hung from.  But I heard that a new Pinecone Cafe stash may be under construction.  Hang on, Pinecone patrons...we'll be back!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Return to Pinecone Cafe

I am still loving these pinecone feeders.  This is the last one, and as you can see, it's getting pretty cleaned out.  It's fun to watch the birds work out that more than one can feed at a time.  I'm will get the big feeder cleaned and filled up and hung, but I'm going to have to find some more things like this so I can keep seeing my woodpecker friends.  Do those suet feeders work?  Has anyone tried them? 

Monday, January 25, 2010


I take a lot of pictures.  Digital pictures.  Not always consistently, although I suspect that as I look through the year, I will find that I got more consistent for the most part.  The puzzle for me has been how to display them, for myself mostly, so I can see my progress.  And what makes up the scenes of my life.

I think I've stumbled upon a way. 

The photo a day craze, and the 365 project and on and on, have created a similar need for others.  Today I read a blog that linked to a photoshop template that I've looked at maybe a dozen times.  But today, something clicked. 

Today, which by the time you read this will really be yesterday, but I digress, I saw something different.  Just what I was looking for - a template that would let me select one photo from each day's worth of photos stored in the 2009 folder on my external hard drive.

I promised myself if there were no photos, I'd leave that day blank.  I wouldn't try to cover that most of my victims, er, models were golden retrievers who were usually dozing. And I wouldn't get all elaborate with embellishments, fonts and other things.  I didn't want this recap to become a drag.

Here's how it turned out:

I took photos 17 days out of 31.  6 of the 17 days the best photos were of the goldens.  Some days feature random shots, like the 28th.  On the 28th we went to 6 Feet Under, a local restaurant, across from a landmark cemetary as part of a fundraiser.

It's early going yet, but I think I like this little project.  There's a place I can order these as 12x12 or 8x8 prints and put in an album.  Which I think I will do as a reference.  No rush, though.  I can wait until I get several done to see how they turn out.  That's part of the fun of creating something isn't it?  Seeing how it turns out.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A nice surprise!

One of my Christmas gifts was a purple camera strap that a wonderful someone found me on Etsy.  LOVE IT!  It definitely adds pizzaz to the customary black strap that comes with the camera.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Very Gloomy Day

It is gray and rainy outside, and the view from my office window is a wall of gray. It is a day that should end with this, but instead I have to go out to dinner.  Boy would I rather curl up on the sofa in my comfy clothes and read.  Do you find yourself wanting to hibernate in gloomy weather?

Oh - and this is the first homemade vegetable soup I've ever made that was worth eating! I'm so excited. 

That is all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Woody Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker:

Downy or Hairy Woodpecker

(note the smudge of peanut butter on Mr. Woodpecker's beak...don't be embarrassed Mr. Woodpecker, it's part of loving peanut butter)

I've loved these pinecone feeders...I have one more left, and will put it out in the morning. I learned that female woodpeckers have a white circle around both eyes and that is what distinguishes them from the males.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Have a good Monday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Latest Projects

I've been taking two online classes.  I've made more progress with one than the other.  Today is show and tell.  This isn't all from that class, but it should give a flavor.  Some are created manually and scanned in, and some were created digitally.  I highly recommend having some sort of create-ing in your life.  It makes everything else richer!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Birds

Remember I said there were two woodpeckers?  Here's #2.

This is pretty fun to watch - two dining at once, I mean.

Here's the second woodpecker again...Yes, his head is upside down.

I just love the birds that can hang on the pinecones.

And finally, mystery bird.  Anyone recognize this?  Sorry it's blurry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Everyday Beauty

Beautiful things are all around if you stop and look.  This was on my car two mornings in a row - the first day I was unprepared to capture it. The second day-today-I was prepared, and this is what I caught. 

I bet it's not there tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I think this photo would be a great "name this photo" candidate. 

My entry would be "Hangover" or maybe "Can this Snowman be saved?"

What title would you give it?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nose Warmer

This is what you do when it's been 30 degrees below normal for days and your nose is cold and you are a very, very pampered pooch. You can also put the same cold nose on the back of someone's leg when they change clothes and watch them shoot straight up three feet in the air.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Satisfied Customer

I caught a relatively clear shot of this guy dining at the Pinecone Cafe...isn't he beautiful?  Anyone know what he is?

Edited to add: I looked him up - he's a Hairy or Downy Woodpecker, the only one with a white back.  But I think I have a second one visiting also.  I'll try to capture an image of him too.  Woodpeckers, pelicans and bluebirds are my favorite birds.  Do you have any favorites?

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I'm sure you've heard by now it's cold in most of the country.  Including the parts of the country that don't really get all that cold. I live in one of those parts.  We should be in the 50s during the day here.  We are averaging about 30 degrees or more below normal.  I can't even think what that means to places that are usually cold.

Enough whining.  This Christmas, I got some bird feeder pinecones, made by my wonderful niece and nephews.  They were painted silver, coated in peanut butter and seeds and wrapped in cellophane.  They are lovely to look at.

But there are some creatures that think they taste better than they look.  I've had some lovely birds dining on the pinecones.  Some I don't recognize.  I have to shoot through a window, and I don't have just the right lens, but I'll be sharing some more pictures.  The birds are gorgeous.  I've also put seed on the ground underneath for the larger birds. 

Audrey, Brooks and Eli - what a wonderful gift! 

Friday, January 1, 2010


Tradition has it that eating greens, black-eyed peas and corn muffins on New Year's Day will set the tone for a healthy and wealthy new year. My grandmother always had black-eyed peas and hog jowl, but I don't recall the greens part.

When I saw the greens recipe in my new Everyday Food, I knew it would be perfect for NYD since it included everything but the corn muffins.  If you're interested, it's wonderful!  I swapped turnip greens for collards though, not being a collards fan.

The dogs and I have had an extra long walk to celebrate new year's day. We met a nice new person on our walk and they got lots of love.  They are now curled up, snoozing while I type. I've had my traditional new year's meal, and it was so good. And as I think about it, the tradition connects me to those who are no longer here, but don't feel so far away since I think of them as I continue the tradition. 

The wind is whipping around, as if it's blowing away the last of the 2009 cobwebs. It's sunny with a bright blue sky, but cold.  I have a date with a good book, and possibly a good movie later on. And one of my new online classes has started, so I can work on that in case I need a change from reading on the sofa.

I wish you a happy, prosperous and healthy new year. 


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