Monday, December 31, 2012


Every new year is a fresh start - a do-over; a chance to mend a fence, repair a wrong, fix a bad habit, renew a relationship, forget a pain.  May you not feel burdened by this new chance this year.  May you be gentle on yourself if you fail and may you not be afraid to try again in the months ahead.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Such an impressive scientific name for such a lovely little songbird.

Family Troglodytidae (from the Greek words for those who enter a cave or hole)
Genus Troglodytes (Troglodytes are reclusive mythical people who live in caves or holes.)

I do not think I have ever met anyone who would not find the song of the wren uplifting on the grayest spring day or the coldest winter day.  They sit on the end of a branch or the post of my deck and throw their little heads up to the sky and then sing silver notes.  This winter one has been sleeping in the wreathe over the front door and I have to remember about it or it will fly into the house in a panic and we will spend an hour trying to capture it.  They also have been caught in the garage several nights this month and refuse to leave seeming to enjoy the warmth of the newly parked car.

All of the above are a little blurry because they were shot through the deck window and not directly.  It is COLD outside.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Silver Light

I have a dozen in the yard this week, but this one seemed particularly red!

(My other blog no longer has a malware,  so I am guessing Blogger has run its scans and removed it after I sent the email to them.)


Please do not go to my other blog! It has contracted a malware...from another blog that I viewed. I will try to find a solution before I depart for the holidays and will come back here and explain...I HOPE!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Do me a favor and share something today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wild and Crazy Guy

I have been waiting for this Court Jester guest to show up and decorate for winter's partying time.  Jack at long last stopped by last night and with his usual enthusiasm for finally being the primary decorator at the party and the center of attention he spilled his loot everywhere.  Fragile diamonds caught on the edges and in the hollows of plants and even on the dark brown leaf-covered forest floor, giving it a fancy costume.  He is such a show off...this wild and crazy guy.  

Too bad that he is so cold, but it gives me an excuse to finally wear a coat and scarf and keep up with him.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tweaking Reality

I find that photo-shopping or digitally editing photos is much like decorating a cake or buying something for someone you love or making soup. You can tweak and stretch and add and subtract, and eventually you can end up with an inedible or unappetizing mess or getting someone way too much stuff. For me it sometimes ends up meeting the vision that I was trying to achieve or at least getting close enough that I am too tired to delete all the work I put into it. One of the people making a comment asked if the prior post was created from a real photo. It was, and below is the original (reduced to 40%) for your edification.   (You can click on the photo for a close-up.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Help

Someone was trying to get me in the holiday mood yesterday. She was a big help.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


It is cold and rainy and no frost, so we are getting a wonderful harvest of oyster mushrooms.  We are not experts on mushrooms and know these are safe to eat because we planted them this past year!

As you can see we harvested some already in the photo above.  I had once read that there was little nutritional value in mushrooms but according to one website their nutritional value is as follows: "The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of  Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin D, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Selenium."  Since we cook ours with butter, garlic and salt and pepper, we probably negate a lot of the healthy significance of this fungus.  Another website claims that mushrooms have  complex carbohydrates that strengthen the immune system.  I can use more of that!

They have high water content and I think that is why I see squirrels eating them once in a while.  Our little harvest does get impacted by mice harvests.  The photo below is a wild mushroom, that looks like our cultivated, but could very well be inedible.  I ain't trying it.  You can see where squirrels have nibbled.

Other fungus in our woods is just pretty and exotic looking.  Some growths look like rubber ribboned ruffles (say that fast three times) and others like scallop shells that have fossilized.

There are so many different forms, colors and patterns that sometimes I return home all muddy kneed from trying to get a close-up shot of something I haven't seen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Surprise

What a surprise to find in my garden.  This summer annual marigold is still waiting for a frost.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Movie Title

Guess what movie I saw yesterday? Found this old zoo photo and had to give it some mood swings to go with the movie.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Morning Light

Thought I would share some morning light in a photographic painting.
Just had to add that this was taken from the side of my deck and cropped so that you could not see the roof of my neighbor's house. Then I photo-shopped with lighting and filters. I do like how it turned out!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Soft Beginnings

The sky is blushing with excitement to start the day, but the heavy fog pulls a veil over her excited face and leaves only the clawed outline of branches in silhouette against the rosey sky.  The air is heavy with water and warmer than usual.  I can hear the mist collecting on the few remaining leaves hundreds of feet over my head and then rolling to the leaves' edges and falling with abandoned effort to the forest floor giving in to gravity and creating a soft snapping sound.

Eventually the sun pierces through in places turning the straw, which covers newly seeded patches in the lawn, to gold.  Almost everything else is still hidden in the silk of fog.  It feels safe and comforting as if this misty blanket can protect me from anything harsh.  All the sharp edges of the end of fall have been smoothed to a soft sheen.  All is reverent and quiet.

I am compelled to take the path to the river to follow the early morning call of Canadian geese disturbed by the increasing light. Their chatter always sounds like the panic of old women at the empty bargain table going for the last treasure and is misplaced in this gray cathedral.  Their camouflage is being removed in subtle layers with each degree of the sun's climb over the southern horizon and they are wary.
The geese have heard me or seen my dangerous shadow before I am near for they are just distant fuzzy ghosts barely visible in the middle of the river heading rapidly and with magical grace to the opposite side.  For a short time it is very quiet.  I am alone.  But wait...I hear the tenuous songs of several birds in the trees.  There is the high cry of a jay above me and the song of white-throated sparrows calling from the shelter of the salt bush to my back.  Even the rhythmic tat-a-tat of the red bellied woodpecker tells me that the day is beginning with or without the sun.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


I was flying over the river...via the bridge...hubby was driving.  These are called drive-by shots and would not hold up to the scrutiny of a magnifying glass for sharpness since we were moving about 30 MPH.  But they were the last of the fall a few weeks ago that I could capture, and I thought I would share one of the neighborhoods I pass fairly regularly.