Sunday, September 02, 2007



Blogging has been on my mind. I want to post more often because the innards of my roasted brain contain ideas. My attitude has been poor, to say the least, and I can’t even bring myself to comment on blogs I love to read. For the past six weeks, I’ve been lazy about everything I do at work and home. I have been yearning to walk and get out.

Reason: 32 days of record heat with the average temperature at about 96 - (no, I think 99) with five days just under 104. It’s been the hottest and driest August here since 1867, when record-keeping began. I should not let the weather affect me but it does. It has become an ugly obsession.

Now there is good news to report.

We had three brief rain showers this week! Mandatory water restrictions are being enforced because we are ten inches below normal rainfall for the year. I can use my garden hose on Thursdays and Sundays only, and the rule will last for quite a while.

More good news! The weekend has been cool! 80’s!


and the livin’ is easy.

Fish are jumpin’

I fed them today. They made it through August and look just fine.


I went outside this morning and enjoyed watching Chloe & Bella charge the pigeons.

Here’s a pigeon bottom. There were twenty up there giving me the one-eyed stare through the skylight.

Every day I see Mourning Doves, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Wrens, Chickadees, Titmice, Brown Thrashers, House Finches, Mockingbirds, Hummingbirds, and Goldfinches. I’ve seen them through the window.

I had ten minutes to spare before the nail salon opened on Saturday morning and it was cool, dark, cloudy, and refreshing. A pond is nearby so I parked near it. I had less than twenty seconds to get a shot of two birds who were a half of a city block away and that one shot was all I could get before they fled. I guess this is a Great White Egret and I don’t have a clue as to the bird in the tree. Can anyone help? (click to enlarge the photos)

I leafed through a field guide on the way to the optical store with Michael. It was useless to me due to the bad photo above. We bought new prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses. I was in stitches watching him try on glasses fit for the Nutty Professor! We are wearing our sunglasses already and I love mine. My new eyeglasses will be ready in two weeks and they are not the usual oval frames I wear. They are very sexy… and rectangular.


I enjoyed finding a small yellow weed living under the Canna.


My bargain butterfly bush was near death when I brought it home and needed constant attention during the last two weeks. It’s doing well!


Two dozen dragonflies pose for me. I’ve ignored them for so long...


Low maintenance. I love them. I’m showing life here – not the August death and ruin all around.


This photo was taken last night at the little fall. I didn’t see the spider on the lower right. I could have zoomed in. Oh, well.


Today we felt a glorious 82 degrees at noon. This is the pond where I saw the two mystery birds who got away. North Carolina is wonderful. The foliage is abundant and this pond is located next to a grocery store and shopping strip mall. That's typical here. I hadn’t stopped by in two long months.




Made my day. Awwww… a-haw-haw-haw… I counted ten at the turtle party.


Mary is happy, enjoying outdoors, and smiling again.

She drove away from the pond in her sexy black car. She wore her sexy black sunglasses, sexy pink lipstick, and opened the windows and sunroof with air conditioning on. Her hair was flying. She sang to songs of the eighties loud on the radio - Paula Abdul, Barry White, and Donna Summer, while on her way to her friends at Wild Birds Unlimited. What a day.
Sexy? Not really - but a girl can dream, can't she?


Alyssa said...

Sounds like a great day, Mary! Isn't it amazing what a change in the weather can do?? It reminds us how truly tied to nature we are.

Great pictures - My favorite is the pigeon on the skylight. I think she was cooling her butt on the air conditioned glass underneath! I'd do the same if I was out in your heat.

Will you be getting bi-focals? They aren't bad. Both Steve and I have had them for years and you get used to them fast. Steve tried the blended (instead of the divided) but they made him sick.
We also have the self-darkening kind which is really convenient.

The turtles are so neat to see and I love the orange zinnias. Nothing like zinnias for hardiness!

I think the blurry little bird perching by the water is a type of Kingfisher. I could be wrong but the coloring and beak look like one.

Have a great holiday and start the work week with a smile :-)

Mary said...

Alyssa, we've been wearing bi-focals for a few years. No problem. I was a little woozy at first, like Steve. Could be a female Belted Kingfisher? Thanks for your help! The sunroom isn't air conditioned. The pigeons like to watch me closely...sigh...

Chrissie said...

Great post, Mary :-) Love your pond, your lilies look good, ours are a little sad maybe not warm enough this year for them in our garden. Back to reality for me tomorrow :-(, it was nice while it lasted :-).

Elaine Cougler Author said...

Hey, Mary! Great to hear you're cooling off in the sunny south. I've been bloggin in my mind only the last while and have missed you. Loved your post today, as usual. The turtles are spectacular!

Beth in NYC said...

Yep, looks like a female Belted kingfisher to me. They're fun birds and have a very distinctive call.

I'm glad the weather has finally moderated for you down there. We had a couple of horrible 95 degree days here in NYC and that was plenty for us!

Mary said...

You make my day with your posts.! I'm so glad it has cooled down I dont think we have reached 80 degrees in UK at all this winter.. oops summer!

Ruth said...

I have looked for Belted Kingfishers all summer and you get one accidentally! Glad to hear you have some relief from the heat.

Susan Gets Native said...

Thank God you are getting a breather, Mary.
I am jealous of the kingfisher/egret combo shot!
And BTW, that yellow "weed" is a miniature sunflower. A bird must have dropped a seed there.

KGMom said...

Mary--with the record days of heat, and the low low rain fall, makes me wonder about using more native plants in gardening. Is that something that has much of a following in NC?
I read about folks in s. California doing that to conserve water AND have plants that grow.

thailandchani said...

It's been over 100 degrees here for the past 6 days... and the heat has been relentless, settling into the concrete, making everything uncomfortable... so I do know what you mean! :)

The pictures are beautiful as always. That looks like a really nice neighborhood! :)



LauraHinNJ said...

Mary, I feel for you with that heat - I couldn't stand it!

It's been lovely here - I can almost feel Fall in the air. I hope it will stay this way and not get hot anymore.

Anonymous said...

Aww, everybody beat me to it. Eee! Eee! Eee!
Loved this post. We had some nice Canadian air, too, for one day, then went back to roasting our brains again. I wish you much rain.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Alyssa! What a nice change in weather for you! I'm looking forward to it as well. Here it is near 8pm and temps are still in the 90s (kind of unusual for So Cal - we usually cool down in the evenings). I love your koi pics - they do look happy to have survived August!

Susan Gets Native said...

BTW: The girls LOVED the pigeon butt!

Andrea Frazer said...

Found you through Laurie's blog. Fabulous photos. I hear you with the heat - can we say "110 degrees in Los Angeles"? I'm melllllting!!!!!!!!!

LostRoses said...

Mary, there's a good excuse for your lethargy - the dog days of summer! Who are we to deny a phenomenon of the Northern Hemisphere? But it sounds like you shook it off anyway!

The Quacks of Life said...

wettest summer on record here :(

NatureWoman said...

Yay Mary! I'm glad you've gotten some rain! I love your words and all of your photos - they're all very awesome! You don't look lazy at all to me. LOL - Michael and The Nutty Professor glasses! Glad your fish are okay!
I'm thinking of the song for you, but changing the words:
I'm too sexy for my car, too sexy for my car, toooo sexxxxxy. . .

Jayne said...

I'm so with you sista! Check out the calendar on my blog entry today. Temps here have been the same, and I am so ready for hell on earth to end! Love the pretty pics! Hang in there, we'll survive somehow!! HUGS!

Unknown said...

Mary you brighten my day with your photos and writings. So glad the weather is a bit cooler for you and that you had a bit of rain. Weather sure makes a difference in peoples lives.

JeanMac said...

Lovely pics and great writing, as usual.

dmmgmfm said...

Mary, dear Mary...where to start?

As always, your photos are wonderful. They show a depth of caring that a lot of people just don't have. You are a remarkable woman. Your love for nature and all things in it is truly beautiful and yes, girl, it is sexy. You are a very vibrant, intelligent, incredible human being and if that isn't sexy I don't know what is.

Now about the weather; I can totally relate. The weather usually dictates my mood. If it's bright and sunny and I can get out in it, it's going to be a good day. If it's gray and cloudy...I tend to be as well. But 99 degrees for weeks on end is just too much heat. Seeing the devastation it has caused must be very hard on you. I sincerely hope your weather cools down soon.

Cooling hugs to you,dear SEXY friend,


Mary said...

Chris, I hope your back to school days are fine! Those summer vacations slip by so quickly.

Elaine, thanks. It's difficult to post at the end of the day when you can't think anymore :o)

Beth, thanks for stopping by! Only a few 95 days in NYC? That doesn't seem right...

Mary, from the opposite end of the earth. My goodness. What a cold summer... Has the sun forgotten UK?

Ruth, I knew it was a lifer for me but only caught a fleeting glimpse. I've seen egrets before but was never sure about the ID until I bought field guides.

Susan, really? I'll let them live!

Donna, you BET! Next year I'll try some favorite flowers but I'll have a lot of natives, too!

Chani, I heard it hot over there but you must be wilted in those temps. Good practice for Thailand, I guess :o)

Laura, lucky girl... We posted a Happy Autumn sign on the front lawn today - high hopes...

Science Chimp, I almost e-mailed that photo to you... When no one else knows, we count on you, dear! I hope you cool off soon, too.

Nikkipolani, yes, it's pretty disgusting to wake at 5:30 a.m. and step outside into 80 degrees...

Mama P, great to meet you. 110 in LA? Ughhh! Stay inside!

Lost Roses, thanks for your sympathy...I'm still trying to shake it off. I still look for shady spots outside...

Pete, weather is so unfair...I wish you a nice dry spell. Really.

Pam, LOL! Too sexy for my car... No - not too sexy at all! I wore sneakers because I need a pedicure. Not sexy.

Jayne, I saw that calendar - you have been hotter than here. Somehow, we will live through this. We'll dream of cold, blowing rain.

Toni, I'm glad to brighten your day. Sometimes I need to correct myself with a positive post!

Jean, thank you. I hope to start posting regularly again...

Mary said...

Laurie, oh my gosh! You are too sweet & kind! Didn't you see my comment to Pam? My feet need a pedicure in the worst way. NOT SEXY! LOL! I did feel kind of sexy in the car yesterday. No one looked my way, though. Hmmph. LOL!

Dawn said...

I'm very happy to hear that your tempertures are dropping a bit, Mary. Sounds like you had a lovely day. Your pigeon butt made me smile as did the twenty giving you "...the one-eyed stare". Very funny! :-)

BTW, *I* think you're sexy. So there, too.

Here's hoping you get the rain you so desperately need.

Take care,

Naturegirl said...

Mary I can see the smile right through these images!! Love them..A little bit of rain makes all the differece!
The red flowers and the image above it ..stunning!!
You go sexy girl ..singing her heart out with the top down and the wind through her hair!! I'm whistling!! NG

RuthieJ said...

I'm a day behind Mary, but I could see right away your mystery bird was a belted kingfisher. Good for you and with the egret in the background...very cool.

I'm so glad you finally had some rain and it's cooled down a now you're getting your picture-takin' & blog-postin' groove back!

Cathy said...

Hey! How about a picture of sexy Mary!?

You cutie. That pigeon cracks me up. Your heat misery makes me wish for autumn. I'm so with you, Mary. I hate heat like that. Hate it.

I guess I got here way to late to be a hero with the ID. You sure get some lucky shots. Neat.

Larry said...

I share your summer heat lack of enthusiasm and haven't been keeping up with blogging related stuff either.-I always enjoy your posts and photography when I read them though.

Dorothy said...

Mary you are NOT lazy, you have been posting your widdle heart out in spite of your horrid summer temps. Now, I, on the other hand, am lazy. I have let a few problems here, not weather related, keep me from posting all but once in August.
I am so glad your weather is cooling..ours is wonderful..Fall is here. Love your pictures, as usual. They're the best!

Anonymous said...

Long Post!! I agree with everyone that the blur bird is a belted kingfisher! So sorry to hear about your head and very glad that temps have gone down into the 80's! Only two days a week you can use your water on the lawn? That's crazy!

Beth said...

I want to see pictures of Mary In The New Glasses.

dguzman said...

So glad the heat is letting up on you and your mood; there's nothing worse than summers in the South. Great pics as usual! Nice twin shot of the egret and kingfisher!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Love all photos, Mary! Love the pond and the gazebo! There is something very peaceful about those image by the water! And the view from your balcony is wonderful!

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

mary, your pictures help me so much. i just love them. thank you for your kindness. love nita

BirdingMom said...

Wonderful photos as usual! We are having a wonderful holiday weekend here in the North East. The sad part is that I see tinges of orange on the trees, and as much as I try to deny it, it is there, and the black birds are starting to gather into flocks again. Summer is coming to an end but as it does I recall how much I love the cooler weather of Autumn!!!
If you stop over at my site, I have a birding meme that I picked up from my step-daughter, might be fun for you!

Q said...

Dear Sexy, Saucy Mary,
As you glide about in your pretty black car, sauve and sophisticated, snapping photos of natural wonders, heads do turn.
You bring "chic" to birding!
You bring "care" to the commute.
You bring "compassion".
When you post you bring the world together. You gift us with smiles and tears and love.
That's sexy!

Bill said...

My first time by your blog. Beautiful stuff! I'll be stopping back.

Bill said...

Revisited this "pond post" while vacationing here in Idaho this morning. LOVED THE PICTURES! You definitely have some things to teach me about blogging. I love your style.....and by the 30 + comments....apparently so do a few others!

Mary said...

Hi Willy,

Thanks for your kind comments. Do you have your own blog without the team players?

Enjoy your vacation!