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Friday, September 30, 2011

"Fall Fun"

Fall has the capacity to make me sad because I hate to see the birds fly away south.  But, it does become Fall Fun when I get some unusual visitors in my yard.  If you look very carefully at the photo below, taken through the front door, you will see a MacGillivray's Warbler.    What a lucky moment that I spotted it from my kitchen window on an early day in September.  I also saw an Orange-crowned Warbler but didn't score a picture.  They flit around so quickly!




Same rock around the same time, digitally zoomed in is below. On the left is a very common  House Sparrow having a swig.  The one  in the foreground acting like she is peaking back at the sparrow, is a House Finch.  To her right towards the back is a Pine Siskin.  I see these birds year round at my feeders. Well, the Pine Siskins do leave in the heat of the summer and I think they head up into the Blue Mountains that frame our valley.



The yellow bird center below left is a female Western Tanager, another voyager. She was headed south and she stuck around a few days.  I saw her several times.  Behind her in a sort of blur is another House Sparrow, and a very blurry American Goldfinch.  Many people here don't realize that the Goldfinch also sticks around.  They just lose that bright color and become sort of drab.  I'm sure that has to be some natural defense so they aren't quite so easy for the hungry hawks to see. 



The Canadian Geese have been flying over and calling me to run outside and scan the sky.  Many of them winter here in the valley after spending the summer somewhere up in Alaska and Canada.

So, on this Day 8, "Fall Fun" of Two Weeks in Autumn Photo Challenge, you see how easily entertained I can be.  A real "CHEEP" date.

Sign up at Summit Musings!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Harvest Moon"


What do you do when you don't know how to use all those fancy dials and switches for night shots on your Canon?  And what do you do when the Moon Phase is a Waxing Crescent at 4% of Full and you aren't even sure it is going to show up between the clouds?  And what do you do when you don't have any celestial photos in your archives, and you don't have any heavenly decor hanging on your patio or deck?  What do you do when you have nothing to post for Day 7, Harvest Moon" on the Two Weeks in Autumn photo Challenge?

You panic because it's after dusk.  You race to take a photo of your bounty of acorn squash and the zucchini. You groan at the Leeks in the background and hope you find a home for most because you can't possibly cook and eat that much soup.  You sigh because you know you'll have to explain how the Zinnia starts got mixed up with the vegetable starts and that's why they bloom in gay profusion between the peppers and the squash.  You appreciate your husband because you noticed he removed the dead tomato plants that withered before they yielded any fruit.

And then you set your flash and snap a photo of him reaching for the perfect courgette and you know you've scored a "Harvest Moon."

Yes! Indeed.  That is what you do.


(You don't forget to link  Summit Musing where Faye hosts the photo meme.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Reflections in Water"

You know I'm not a very tall person.  That is why this photo is not taken by me.... but by my husband.



I ran some errands on Tuesday  (all the while the drywall man was repairing the ceiling above my computer where the insulation man stepped off a beam.  That is another story for another day ..... I tell ya) and had just arrived home and grabbed the camera.

My husband drove in just minutes later and walked out to the patio where I was taking a reflection photo in my hummingbird feeder. The hummers are mostly gone by the first day of fall in our valley. Nonetheless, I always leave it up into October just in case one migrates through on a late breeze from places far north.  I've seen a few in years past and I feel  like a hummer hero when one rests and recoups in my garden.  

"You should run over to Division Street and shoot the duck pond," my husband suggested when he realized I was covering Fall Reflection in Water, day six in Faye's Two Weeks in Autumn. Once we arrived there I was glad that I had suggested he "run along" with me.  The plants were too tall for me to get the perfect shot.  I gave him the camera duty!

So, today I am posting two reflections.  One taken in THE sugar ... and one taken by MY sugar.




Everyone is welcome to reflect on fall and join us over at Summit Musings!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Fall Decorations"

Fall Decorations?  When Faye announced this category in the  Two Weeks in Autumn Photo challenge, I  cringed.  I don't have the decorating gene.

Then this afternoon I stopped at the neighborhood grocery to pick up something for dinner and  I remember that my very good friend Debbie does have that gene. Even better, she decorates in the floral and produce department where I shopped.


Aren't these pretty fall bouquets?  Sure glad I had my cell phone in my pocket!

Join day 5 of Two Weeks by clicking HERE.

Boo!

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Soup Weather"

Day Five of Faye's Two Weeks Autumn Photo Challenge brings us Soup Weather.



Faye didn't know that I threw beans on to soak Friday night and then made 15 bean soup on Saturday. Both those days, however, were in the 80's and didn't inspire the desire for a bowl of hot goodness.  But, the weather turned cooler on Sunday, the raindrops fell just enough to give the air that musky earth smell, and the wind picked off the first falling leaves and blew them down the street.   Thus, the bean soup hit the spot at lunch.  Afterwards my camera caught the blustery weather on my afternoon walk.

Post your soupy weather photo and link up at Summit Musings.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Autumn Fruits"


Autumn's yield  of Concord Grape from our back yard arbor will not even provide enough for my annual batch of jam.  The cold spring and summer are to blame.  Now I wonder if I should just leave them for the birds so that they will have a winter treat this year.


To add your photo to Faye's Two Weeks in Autumn Photo Challenge - Day 3, click  **here***.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BzzzzzZinnia



Z-bub took me on a bug hunt this afternoon where he spotted this Bumble Bee.  My cell phone took this photo about two inches above the flower.  We let the bee be, and went on to capture a grasshopper.

Update
I'm posting this to the September 24  Two Weeks in Autumn Photo Challenge.  Pop over to Faye's Summit Musings and get snappin'!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Hallowed Howl

Our open window was only hinting the promise of dawn that morning last week as we lay on our backs beneath it, giggling like school children.

We have lived in this house over three decades and we thought we knew our neighborhood, and would have argued that there was nothing new under (or before) the sun.   But, apparently we didn’t and there was.

I was roused from the perfect sleep by a siren approaching from the east.   Listening for sirens is a very old habit left over from years of being a firefighter’s wife.    Back then I would have a moment of fear and worry, and then I would shake it off and whisper a prayer of protection for him and his co-workers.

So, there I lay. Still availing a quiet prayer for life and property.  Also hoping the emergency vehicle would pass quickly and let me go back to sweet snoring ignorant bliss. 

Then I heard it.  A dog began to howl its deep base accompaniment   of the whining siren.  That low toned vocalization was soon joined by another.  Then another.  Then another. Then another.  Soprano howls, and alto howls, and tenor howls. The doggie voices continued to unite in chorus.  My head rose a bit off my pillow and matched the silhouette of my husband’s, who pushed up at the same moment

“There must be scores of them!” He whispered in shocked surprise.
“Unbelievable.” I responded and then questioned, “Have you ever heard that number of dogs in our neighborhood before?”
“No! Never! ”

Both of us lay back on pillows listening. The siren peeked as it passed and echoed into the distance towards downtown, the canine “whoooowooos” matching the crescendo in a way that vaguely reminded me of the “wave” in a sports coliseum.
The voices faded slowly.  Finally, there was only one left - the high-pitched yodeler that lives a block west.  It yodeled for another 30 seconds, then stopped.  Yodeled another 10 seconds then stopped.  Made one very high pitched squawk and stopped.

Silence. Broken immediately by the two of us as we started howling… in laughter. After 33 years in that box seat,  we were audience to a clandestine but phenomenal canine symphony performance.  The halloooooowed howl.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Watch them Grow - First of the Month

See you in September and the First of the Month.  Yes. I'm late again for the photo meme hosted by Jan @Murrieta 365.

The goal is to capture one thing repeatedly on the first of each month. It can be a landscape, a person, an animal, a project; whatever your focus is, is fine. It can even be a record of where you are each First of the Month.

My theme is my three grandchildren, Zbub, Mizelle, and Dinkum. It is called:
Watch them grow!

One of the projects that Z-bub's Kindergarten did last spring was plant something and watch it grow.  His mom bought a package of Sunflower seeds and sent them to school.  It was a wise move as many of the other children forgot to bring something that day and he got to share his bounty.    The last day of school he came home with a little sprout in a paper cup.

"Grandma," he asked, "can I plant this at your house?"

I told him we could, but that it might grow better over at neighbor Bill's garden.
Bill was happy to give him a spot to grow his sunflower but made him promise to come water it every day that he was at grandpa and grandmas house.  Then, neighbor Bill gifted the other children each a sunflower that had "volunteered" in his side yard.  All were transplanted to this spot next to the street.

This morning they posed beside the now blooming sunflowers.  What a fun summer watching them "watch them grow."

ps.  Z-bub's sunflower is the  shortest one on the left.  Mizelle's is the tall one on the right.  The triple bloom belongs to Dinkum, and the single one 2nd from the right belongs to Evalina.

Post your new photo and link upHERE!



(Archives - previous months posts)
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