Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another friend's backyard!

I had a nice visit with a friend yesterday. We ate lunch, a grilled cheese with potato salad and juice and tea. It was a hot day but the inside was cool, and we chatted and laughed. I got there just a few minutes before she arrived and contented myself with taking a few photos of the backyard while I waited.

There's a Corvette Stingray under the shelter out back. The license plate motto says "I'd rather be flying." LOL!

The odometer's measuring how fast the weeds are growing. Speedy weeds!

Former glory

Shadows and light

Shiny drums

Lucky door

Friday, July 30, 2010

Junkin' and flea markets

If you are a fan of good junk, then check out a new magazine, "Flea Market Style". The magazine's hard copy debut was made in Spring 2010 and the next issue will be out February 2010.

For web loveliness, check out Margo's Junkin' Journal, Margo's a contributing editor to the new magazine Flea Market Style and shares her latest finds, projects, and ideas for those among us who indulge in thriftiness.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A close encounter with bugs

I thought it would be a good idea to check the scuppernong vine because I wanted a photo of hanging grapes. I pushed my way in and among the thick foliage, reaching in and looking up and down for fruit. I heard a tiny 'cheep' and looked for the bird. No fruit, no bird. Oh well. So I went back inside and found about 5 min later I was covered with BUGS! Little tiny bugs! So much for photo safari. After my close encounter with foliage and insects today, from which I am well recovered, thank you, I am now convinced this is the only way to enjoy the outdoors:

However, while outside, I took a moment to snap a photo of one of my favorite birdhouses near the scuppernong vine

Outside there is undoubtedly beauty and charm. But inside my apartment there's also major cuteness:

Bert's new favorite place: the back of the couch. Home sweet home.

Friday, July 23, 2010

An angry bird!

A few days ago whenever I went outside, anywhere outside, an angry bird would follow me and swoop, chatter, yowl, and hop from fence point to fence point. He'd ruffle his feathers, fly from tree to tree, and generally wake the dead.

This is one of his quieter moments
He was hoppin' mad here
As you can see. He is yelling up a storm
Look at his claws! Neither are even touching the fence!
Up and down that fence he went, yelling the whole time.

My crime? Hanging laundry.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Photo lushness, garden goodness

Monday I visited a friend in the more rural part of the county to help her pick her garden produce. What a garden! It was beautiful as were the rolling hills surrounding it and the treeline filled with songbirds. At 7:30 am they were lively, the heat of the day not having set in nor the dew having been dried by relentless summer Georgia sun. Here are a few pictures of my drive to there, and the garden itself.

A quiet, windy country road over red clay in the early morning.

Sunrays peeking out from the clouds as I turned the curve out from under the trees.
Reminded me of the Downeast blueberry barrens on the way to Lubec, Maine
Her garden. Nice, isn't it?!

Her granddaughter in the sunflower row.
Aren't sunflowers gorgeous??
Finally tired of cavorting with the kids, the dog just sits and guards the garden.
Somehow the cat makes a more threatening guard, lol.
See the bees working the sunflower?

And that was one fine summer day. I came home with tomatoes, cukes, purple hull peas, beans, blackberries, and blueberries. Thank you for sharing!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


While watching tv last night I was putting together a collage. I'm no artist, but like a kid, I enjoy cutting and pasting. It's relaxing. And the magazines are free from the library cast-off bin, so that, combined with the collage box of goodies I won at an ebay auction, I'm all set for high fun on a summer evening.

I'm cutting, arranging, musing, thinking, browsing ... and finally a piece comes together that I'm fairly satisfied with. I arranged the pieces and got their final placements set before gluing. I went over to the sink to get some water, and was gone for about 10 seconds. I return to find this:

Luke, caught! He's sitting ON the collage that I'd carefully arranged, yet not glued. Though there were clear places on the coffee table to sit, he chose the ONE place where I exactly didn't want him to go. CATS!

LOL, here is the final piece-

Its central word, sin, represents how sin is central in everyone's life. It is surrounded by teddy bears and flowers because sin never comes in as what it is, a dark, oozing blot of poison. It's always embedded in soft, seductive terms and it always looks like something you want to grab a-hold of. Until it takes root in your life so deeply that the weeds of sin overtake you. The red ribbon is satan's emblem.

CATS! I'm not upset really, Luke is a good cat and the minute I snapped my fingers, he was off. I can't blame him for wanting to explore the ribbons and threads and pieces of brightly colored paper, because that's exactly what I want to do too! 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sun Tea

With temps hitting one hundred, I don't want to heat up my kitchen by boiling water for tea. I also do not care for microwaved tea. Solution? Sun tea.

Brewing tea this way makes for a great glass of iced tea, especially. It is a gentler way of brewing than heaping boiling water on the teabag. It tastes smoother and a more mellow flavor emerges. Besides, it looks pretty in the sun, and it is fun to anticipate the good little glass of iced tea to come. It use nature instead of electricity, so those of you who like to conserve electricity on hot days especially when the local company advises conservation due to high demand, it satisfies. Every little bit counts. I love making chilled herbal tea this way.

Add sugar to taste if you want, or a splash of lemon juice. This is Green Tea. Yum! Enjoy your sun tea.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mammoth moth

There's always something interesting to see at my friend's house! One week it was a show bird, a dove. Another it was a long horned steer. This week she spotted a mammoth moth. Pretty isn't it!

Polyphemus moths leave their cocoons in the afternoon in early May. Neither the male or female adult moths eat; in fact, they don't even have mouthparts! As soon as she has fully emerged and rested (later that night), the female begins releasing a type of scent calle "pheremones." Male moths detect the scent from far away and come to mate with her.

it is part of the giant Silk Moth family. Species detail--

Life history
Adults emerge from their cocoons in the late afternoon, and mating occurs the same day from late evening to early morning. Females lay eggs that evening, singly or in groups of 2 or 3 on leaves of the host plant. Newly-hatched caterpillars eat their eggshells, and caterpillars of all ages are solitary. Older caterpillars eat an entire leaf and then cut the leaf petiole at the base so it falls to the ground, perhaps a defensive measure to eliminate signs of feeding.

NatureServe Global Status
G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery. See attached range picture.

One brood in the north from May-July, two broods in the Ohio Valley and southward from April-May and from July-August, two broods in the California Sierra Nevada, several broods throughout most of the year in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana.

Wing span
3 15/16 - 5 7/8 inches (10 - 15 cm).
Caterpillar hosts: A wide variety of trees and shrubs including oak (Quercus), willow (Salix), maple (Acer), and birch (Betula) Adult food: Adults do not feed.

sources here and here. Photo credit Elizabeth Prata

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There's creativity, and there's genius

I fancy myself creative. I am in some respects, with writing, for example. With problem solving. Somewhat with photo composition. Here is a photo I snapped as I drove down a rural driveway, I was proud that I had noticed this composition of birds as a pleasing one, and that I had my camera ready to capture it. That's two-thirds of the battle, noticing surroundings and being prepared. The third part is, of course, execution.

Then I thought I was so clever to do an inverse and make the composition look spooky:

I was satisfied with the picture and I still am. But there's creativity and there's genius. This is what photographer Evan Leavitt did with his vultures pic:

The piece is called "Omen" and it is located at Flickr here. It is from his set called "Rural Pop" and the set is here. Wow! I love it. I love being inspired by the creativity of others who are at levels of skill so far beyond me! Thanks for sharing your photos Evan. I appreciate it!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

See how quiet it is here?

I love the rural lifestyle. I love hearing the cows low at midnight. I love hearing the sound of a train in the distance.. I love hearing the trees rustle, and listening to the tractor  hay the pasture next door. I love hearing all the birds day and night. I also know I say this a lot. But I really love the things around me that I am seeing and hearing.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Cold on Hot in Cleveland

"Hot in Cleveland" is the first-ever scripted program for back to the past channel TVLAND, which usually shows reruns of past-era programs like the Andy Griffith Show and Sanford & Son. But this June the channel broadcast the ensemble show with four actresses, most notably Betty White as one of them. The premise is that three over the hill women from body-conscious LA were en route to Paris for a vacation and stopped in Cleveland for an emergency layover. Int he course of the layover they discovered that over the hill in LA is just right in Cleveland. They were Hot. In. Cleveland.

I guess I shouldn't have hoped for a show based on such a vain premise would offer anything substantial in the way of intelligent entertainment, but; I think Betty White is funny. So is Valerie Bertinelli, Wendy Malik and Jane Leves. The first show aired and was kind of funny but it was also kinda raunchy, unnecessarily so.

The second week was kinda funny and somewhat sweet, if you overlook the adultery and manhunting and one night stand sex. It had good guest stars and the bit with Betty White and Carl Reiner at the restaurant comparing prescriptions and offering to car-pool to Canada for generic drugs was hilarious. But then at the end of the show it got really raunchy. The Golden Girls was risque. This was raunch.

One last gasp this week and I am now over it. It didn't get better, it got worse. The show is shallow, vain, lewd, obscene, and salacious. I'm sorry that the channel that broadcasts Andy Griffith, the very nostalgic definition of sweet, past age innocence, soils themselves with gutter-level jokes, but there you have it. I'm even sorrier that the show is going to be renewed for twice the number of shows, 20, for next season. I'm sorriest about Betty White stopping to such lows. But there you have it. I'm over Hot In Cleveland...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Corner View: Saturdays

Jane at Spain Daily has a weekly theme upon which we all write from our corner of the world. It is called Corner View and this week's theme is "Saturday." Please be sure to check out her entry and the links to all the others!

On Saturdays in the summer, it is like any other day. Being a teacher's aide, I don't work in summers, so I spend all day, every day as Saturday. During the school year however I work a LOT and I work HARD. On Saturdays I sleep late, blessedly. But when I get up and after a cup of coffee or two, it's time to clean up! The apartment gets out of whack during the week, and I do the dishes, vacuum, and laundry.

Laundry is an interesting exercise, fraught with lots of history and adventures. I've done laundry while living on a sailboat, and having to load pounds of laundry in a hard dinghy and rowing to shore and walking it up to a laundromat somewhere, is an experience. Using laundromats in rural Georgia is also an interesting experience. Having your own washer-dryer is a treasure. There's one here in the apartment I am now renting so I am thrilled.

A new experience for me is hanging it out to dry. In Maine, it's wet, or cold, or cloudy, and hanging laundry is not an efficient way to dry clothes. In Georgia, is is sunny, and warm, and dry, so hanging clothes is a great way to save on electricity. It takes a bit longer to hang it compared to shoving it in a dryer, but not a lot longer. I get to see the birds, and check on the figs, and feel the sun. I have the satisfaction of seeing it hanging there and knowing I am maintaining my things in an environmentally friendly way.

The laundry is in the washer by 10 and usually dry by 2 or 3. I release the clothespins and bring it in and fold it and put it away by about 4. So the bulk of my Saturdays is laundry and all things flapping and clean.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Red, white, and blue

Red: Freedom to access information, libraries, books, marketplace of ideas

White: freedom of religion, free assembly, pray, and worship

Blue: clean air, freedom to travel, breathe, pursue happiness

Happy 4th of July

America is the greatest country in the world that ever was or ever will be!

Faded but proud

New England Street

Faded but hanging in there

A vet's barn

After 9/11

1788 is not the address of the place, but the year the barn was built.