Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Odd Day, Odd Assortment


This color is dedicated to friends farther north who haven’t seen much color except for white and brown. The winter pansies in the front of my house are getting more beautiful every day.

Because I was scurrying around like a mindless robot at the office today, I forgot to take my camera out on my lunch hour. I missed two incredible photo opportunities. The first one was a perfect airplane cloud image of “Tic Tac Toe”. The second was of a white-haired senior gentleman taking a walk on a thoroughfare juggling four or five tennis balls. I watched him walk and juggle while I was sitting at a stoplight. I wanted to clap for him.


The winds calmed down today so I walked the trail on campus and noticed the college groundskeepers are whacking away at dead scrub pines with loud saws. Now, I know the pines are a mess, but this really upsets the birds. Hmmmph.


Now this is funny. I found a sand flat with tracks. I examined them closely to find they aren’t bear tracks or deer tracks, but DOG tracks. Woo-hoo. What a thrill!


These rocks are for Lynne. I would have loved to climb down into the gulley and learn who lives under them.


This is a lifer, although I’ve probably seen them many times up north. A female red-winged blackbird. Not a good shot, but worth recording.


On my way home, I just had to stop in my neighborhood and take a quick photo of these Pink Flamingos. This decoration is so atypical around here.

This brings back memories of my husband’s native town in Dundalk, Maryland, home of Bethlehem Steel at Sparrows Point. It’s a blue-collar town, full of row homes outside of the Baltimore City limit. Every Christmas and Easter, the residents on the streets leading to Michael’s parents’ house decorated to the extreme, in competition with each other.

At Christmas, all of the homes on the rows were lit up and decorated with every decoration available at K-Mart or Walmart. It didn’t matter what the decoration was or how much room they had to include it. Fifty-foot blow-up Santas and snowmen were tied to their porch roofs. Every ornamental tree was adorned with blow-up tree ornaments. Tinsel garland hung around front fences and millions of lights were strung haphazardly.

During Easter, there were hundreds of blow-up one-story high bunnies tied to rooftops and blow-up plastic Easter Eggs were hanging from every tree and porch roof. It was a pink, green, yellow and white wonderland.

We couldn’t wait to see the glitz during those holidays! And we laughed out loud as we drove past the gaudy stuff. Terribly gaudy… Yes, we laughed like idiots on the way to Christmas and Easter dinner but we weren’t laughing at the families who lived here. It made our hearts warm to know there was ample spirit in those homes. It didn’t matter if their properties would never be photographed by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. What mattered was how much those plastic bunnies made the children, parents, and grandparents smile. It's been a few years since I've seen the displays and I miss it.


I noticed this digital photo number is 1988. What a great year I had at age 33! I loved my thirties…


After nearly two hours of running and partying very hard with me tonight, Chloe still WANTS MORE.


Bella is ready to fall over but insists on keeping her eyes on me. Lazy sit, ey?

They never have enough. I’m irritated with them tonight, but Michael is away and I'm listening to Celine Dion and Taylor Hicks. Then, American Idol airs soon. We'll make it a good night.


NatureWoman said...

Ohhh, Mary, thank you for those pansies! I was just talking to my Mom about our pending trip to Arizona and how we can't wait to see flowers again!
I can't wait to see Red-Winged Blackbirds again either! I love your female cardinal shot! Wow, photo #1988, you go Mary.
I love how your girls look at you so lovingly. I didn't realize Bella had black spots on her chest, a la Chet Baker. Too cute. I love dog and kitty chest/bellies anyway!

Anonymous said...

Just love the shot of the cardinal and the walking path! The colorful flowers were very much needed, thanks!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I love pansies! Thanks for the rocks too! Those are a little too big for me to take home though. Your pictures of your dogs are really beautiful.

Cathy said...

I love your take on holiday decorations. We are in complete concert, here. It's the spirit of the home's occupants writ large and gaudily that makes me smile.

Pansies and pups. You've got me smiling again on a cold snow-anticipating Ohio evening.

That path looks so inviting.

Susan Gets Native said...

Not to be a killjoy or anything, but that's a song sparrow.

Female RWB are streaked evenly all over.
I love the pansies. And the doggies.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing picturing you and Belle and Chloe watching American Idol. Belle appears to have her couch potato pose going. I LOVE pansies- I always had them as the first bright color of Spring in Michigan. This Spring will be odd, going between here and Chicago- I wonder where I might have pansies?

dmmgmfm said...

Thank you so much for the infusion of color! You made my day. Of course I also loved the bird and dog photos. Your girls are so adorable.

Anonymous said...

It was amazing going through your post...and just loved the photos...they are wonderful...thanks for posting them...and well also drop by my blog on Easter Wishes sometime and some of the true spirit of Easter it's filled up with!!!

entoto said...

YIPPPY! Pansies! Ahhhh.....something growing and live and fragrant. Gorgeous color. Thank you, thank you!

Jayne said...

The walking path looks so peaceful.

Yep, we have plenty of "gaudy" here too in decorations... plenty of spirit for sure!

Beautiful pansies!!! Come on spring!

KGMom said...

The photo of the flamingos looks like something that happens around here. Some folks have a flock of flamingos (plastic ones, of course) that they take joy in planting in some unsuspecting person's yard. That person is then "tagged" to hold the next party.
Anything like that where you are?

Mary said...

Pam, well, Susan the bird police proved me wrong. That's a large song sparrow!

Mon@rch, thought you could use some bright colorful photos up there.

Lynne, just pocket-sized rocks, huh. I'll remember that.

Cathy, what really makes me smile is to see the same shack you drive past every day and see no life, occupants for a year. Then one day around Christmas there are candles lit in the windows and a manger scene outside.

Susan, you are my reliable bird policewoman.

Vicki, no pansies in Chicago? They are tough enough to make it through ice storms here!

Laurie, for their sake, it's a good thing they are cute on some days...

Daverichards, thanks for visiting!

Trixie, I look forward to seeing color up there during your springtime :)

Jayne, my walking path was far from peaceful in that photo! Jackhammers and saws scared the birds away.

Donna, I think that's what's happening! This morning I drove out of the neighborhood and saw those same flamingos on a yard around across the street from the house you saw in the photo. I've never heard of that! Gee, I wonder if I'll be tagged. Gulp!

Cuppa said...

Ahhhhh, pansies - a sure sign of spring. Thank you.

I enjoyed the walk along that path with you too.

dguzman said...

Mary, 'tis better to be corrected by the bird police than to live in a lifer paradise, thinking you've seen a female RWBlackbird (or in my case a yellow-rumped warbler)when you haven't. It kinda sucks, but it's for the best! You should come up to my marsh in about a month; it's RWB heaven!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh pansies! And we're having snow here today..and you post those beautiful pansies! Thank you!
I envy you your weather and your chance to take walks on your lunch break...the path is so pretty...(minus the noise though).
Your dogs are sweet, your blog is terrific. Don't change a thing!
(from snowy cold PA...)

Mary said...

Cuppa, I'm glad you enjoyed the pansies. The colors are striking.

Delia, oh, that Officer Susan does a great job.

Dorothy, seems like everyone is having more snow! You must be on the northern part of PA?

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, so I'm the BIRD POLICE now?

: )

ursusdave said...

You have allowed your memories of holiday decorations in Dundalk to expand and inflate beyond any amount of air in those huge, mostly nonexistent, not nearly as large as you lead your readers to believe, blowup decorations you wrote about. All of the suburbs of Baltimore, both blue and white-collar neighborhoods, have many homes heavily decorated during Christmas and Easter. But only a tiny fraction of homes here ever come close to being covered with the mind boggling, color crazed, amount of gaudiness you describe. And Dundalk is not home to the old Bethlehem Steel Mill; Sparrows Point is a separate section of Baltimore county altogether. If you or anyone wishes to see what Dundalk is truly like then go to my blog www.davidrcrews2 (dot) blogspot (dot) com . And there are some Sparrows Point photos on my blog David R Crews’ Ramblings and Photos that is linked to the Dundalk blog. A link to them should show up on my comment, as I am a google blogger.

Your silly description of Dundalk during the holidays is very unrealistically overblown (pun intended).