Thursday, October 30, 2008

Portrait of Bella


When I least expect it, a glance over my shoulder lends a photographic opportunity. That’s usually the way it happens. It’s all about perception and caring to notice...

Because the sun illuminated a bright spot on Daddy’s chair, there was no ado on my way for the camera. At times like this, I never want to excite the children.


Visions of hula hoops danced in her head. She had fun.


I’m so s-s-sleepy. Can I stay in Daddy’s chair?

Yes, you may stay, Bel. Be still, OK?

Not sure of my intentions, she focuses on something other than me, hoping I would not say the “Off” word.


Maybe fie don’t see you, you won't see me in Daddy’s chair.


Methinks I’m s-s-safe.
Ooops. My belly rumbled. Ahhh.
I feel much better now.


Am I pretty?

Yes, you are very pretty, Bel. Stay, please.


Ok. Can I get a cookie soon?

Wait a minute…


Color? Or black and white?

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unorganized Random Stuff

Gimme some time to sharpen my organizational skills? I’m running on empty and tripping off beat. Until I gather myself…


After a day of light rain the clearing breeze was slight and balmy. Have you ever experienced a sudden swarm of Ladybugs?


A few hundred buzzed the front porch, tapping my eyeglasses, snuggling in the folds of my clothes, and crawling inside my shirt and shoes.


If it were any other bug, I would have run inside screaming wildly. When I finally had enough, I walked through the house into the garage and shook myself out before going inside for a change of clothing. They’re so cute!


I’m not getting tired of these pond shots under the clouds. The lilies will dissolve into brown mush as a hard frost must be in the forecast soon. The temperature of the tile on the bathroom floor warns me.

In the backyard, I’ve seen occasional warblers that I can’t describe. I think I saw a tiny, flitty female Ruby-Crowned Kinglet but without a photo to examine, I can’t prove it.

Since I only have two regular birds in the yard, I’m walking again and finding new places to explore. A pond in the neighborhood was loaded with warblers. Not able to conceal my excitement, I was quick to the pond’s brushy edge.


A Yellow-rumped isn’t a lifer, but I’m always happy to lay my eyes on the yellow dot. Already lost in the brush and trees, I encountered a major obstacle. When I thought the low, dark Fire Ant mounds were dormant, they’re alive! This is a real problem for me. Will I need to wear protective gear or stay away?

Before I hightailed to the parking lot, I had to stop and meet a lone duck who appeared out of nowhere to greet me.


The poor thing was the only duck at the pond. I can’t ID it. Help?


Is it looking for Old Duck Assisted Living?


It was nice meeting you.


Rather than using zoom, I’d rather sneak up on one and get a head shot. But there are those Fire Ants. Grrrrrr.


The Bank of America and the American Flag reflect on the grocery store pond. Nothing political here… I’m sick of it all.


Not far from the flag reflection, I saw this. WHAT IS WRONG HERE? That beer bottle had to have been tossed directly into the pond. This fries me, you know. If I were a cop…

Gina brought Mr. Biggins and Bam here for a play date tonight. All sweet. Have you ever experienced an English Bulldog’s fleshy face on your neck, offering noisy wet kisses? It’s heaven, I tell you.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Walking to the Beat

While using the Swiffer mop on floors and dusting furniture, I popped an old CD in the Bose.

JJ - Design of a Decade

Walk or dance to the beat. Yes, I like Janet. During the many years I walked two to four fifteen-minute miles every day on hilly terrain, sometimes with an umbrella, I needed the beat blaring in my ears for inspiration to move. Nearly every single on this CD delivers a good walking tempo. Mid-80’s to mid-90’s are my favorites…Rhythm Nation, Escapade, Black Cat Fever. Some hits were a bit slower than others, so I lengthened my stride just enough to avoid shin splints. Paula Abdul’s music was another walking favorite. Anyone remember C-c-cold Hearted Snake? Am I a pop culture freak? Whatever… I know the dances and can still shake it but my moves look differently than they did twenty years ago. Meaning: the video isn’t as appealing to the eye

I’m terribly out of shape. It’s time to forget about the ankle surgery I had three years ago and get aerobic exercise. Slowly, to start.

Feeling uninspired with my blogging business and disliking the computer lately, I took a slow stroll around the neighborhood after work one evening


and wondered, can I do this? There's no flat land. My mailbox is on the far right. Can I conquer the steep inclines? Maybe I can because there’s always a steep decline as a reward…

In Maryland, I skipped up hills like these with hand weights. Delaware was a piece of cake during power walks since the entire bottom half of the state is evenly flat.


I walked to the first hole and rested there for a while. So beautiful, it was, with lots of birdsong I’ve been missing.


At the driving range I missed photos of a hawk flying low and a Great Blue Heron on its way to a golf course pond.


Ahhhh… Downhill.

Huff and Puff. My own ridiculously steep driveway was the last challenge but I made it.

After some time of slow strolling with camera, I’ll want to quicken my pace and load Design of a Decade on my Ipod, leaving the camera behind.

Speaking of dance! On the TV show Dancing with the Stars, I caught a great dance to “Funkytown” with Warren Sapp, retired Tampa Bay Superbowl Champ. Oh, I loved this.


Can this big guy dance, or what? I squeal with delight for men who loves dancin’!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

About Nothing

This is a grab bag post without a story, a rant, or pretty pictures. Dear Fuji camera has collected dust for four days.


My last Monarch butterfly of the season. Not too visible, but it's there.

I promise not to whine about this again after today: When you’ve admired your feathered guests every day for many years and the fun comes to an abrupt halt, the withdrawal helps you realize your obsession. Jitters? Sweats? Maybe…


Mockingbirds still protect imaginary feeders

and keep an eye on me.

Some visitors to this blog have asked why I removed the bird feeders a few weeks ago. A large flock of pigeons and house sparrows spoiled the fun and drove away the songbirds we all love. That’s why. I’m composing a letter to my next door neighbors who have a few Starlings and House Sparrows squabbling over space in their attic vent. You might know these types of neighbors - uppity thirty-somethings who are rarely home and don’t even know they have attic vents or a large butterfly bush under their kitchen window that needs a little trimming. We exchanged a “Hello” once in twelve months. I intend to scare the you-know-what out of them with a Hitchcock story that might urge them to clean their attic and screen the vent.

I’m ready to offer some seed during the cold nights and days. Might take several weeks but the wait will be worth it.


She deserves it.

So, I traipse around looking for movement in the yard

and feathers wherever I can find them.

“He-e-e-e-re duckies…”

“Don’t toddle away, you little snobs.”

On Saturday I had a photo opportunity that I’m still shaking about…two Tufted Titmice posed for at least fifteen seconds right here:


No camera. I raised my arms like a wild women to see if they’d flee and they ignored me. My jaw hung open in disbelief.

I heard a Carolina Wren for the first time in a few months.


I slipped down a small hill to get to it. 'Twas worth the mud pasted to my right buttock. It’s good that I have a sense of humor to get me through the BLAH.

Perhaps the most exciting event of the week was when I heard a Blue Jay then saw it perched on a weeping willow near my bedroom window. I’ve seen them everywhere but not at my house.


WOW! (dang it, I didn’t have peanuts.)

I hope to be back with a post worth writing soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Dog Story

The Licker Sisters are ahead, but first,


if I see, let’s say, one hundred Canadian Geese during a fifteen minute drive,


how many Canada Geese are there alive in North Carolina, United States, or the world?


The tons of goose poop produced each day must be astounding!

Bella reacts to a new dog in the neighborhood.



New dog! New dog! Where’s the n-n-new dog? Snort. Fart.

Bella is our excitable but intimidated alert dog. Chloe is fearless but slowing down with age so Bella has assumed the #1 alert position after a few years of being the back-up .


Bella, you are weird. I don’t smell anything. Snort. Fart.


OK. Let’s p-p-play hulie hoop. I have two! Try to g-g-get one.

There are more important matters to tend to, Bella. Hula Hoops are for idiots, like you. I must track and nibble on bunny pellets.


Look at her physique. Remember the tune Brick House? Here's 24.5 pounds of sweet meat and muscle.

Chloe’s old favorite is chasing real golf balls. And lately, my heart breaks. My old girl has lived her life sharp as a tack and having the eyes of an eagle. Everyone was amazed at her athleticism and skill as she never missed a moving object or game…but now,

Puzzled… Where's the ball?

Well, dammit. Another bad throw, woman. I want a re-do.

Bella to the rescue. It’s OK, Chloe, I g-g-ot it.

I can still do this, dammit.
And I cheer.

A tender, short story of two Boston Terriers

We play Air Dogs in the house. Air Dogs are bouncy balls that squeak – the size of golf balls. I throw them and they each chase their own. Chloe often loses sight of her ball and Bella, the one I’ve labeled “the low-watt bulb”, always realizes Chloe needs help. When Chloe stands helpless, Bella runs with her own ball and points with her nose to show Chloe where her ball landed. The game resumes. There are times when Chloe becomes so confused that Bella will drop her own ball in front of Chloe’s face, as an offering, then retrieve the ball that Chloe lost…

Watching this every day makes me melt. I reach out and hug them both. This canine outreach. What's it called? Canine compassion, caring?

Bella, hold still while I lick crud out of your ear. It’s no wonder you’re scratching. Do I need to give you a lesson in personal hygiene? Fart. Snort.

Audible dog farts make me giggle ;-)

They have new leather collars with embedded rhinestones. Diamonds would be more appropriate.