Category: Cats



Once home from Maine we’ve had an extended period with no travel and more mundane life. It was a relief to enjoy the comfort of our home, do a few projects, and have the suitcases in storage for a bit! However, before I get to that, let me show a few photos from our ferry ride home from Maine on the New London to Orient Point ferry. It was pouring rain for the entire ride – not conducive to much photography. But, sometimes the fog and gray conditions create their own beauty:

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1. Another ferry in the distance
2. Orient Point Lighthouse

So – this entry will be devoted to a few photos from our daily life here over the last month or so. I’ve given up on the 365 project, so the photos haven’t been taken daily, but it is a snapshot of August and September…

Thistle is a weed. It’s invasive, grows very quickly, and has the potential to choke other plants which are growing around it. Prior to our trip to Maine, I noticed some thistle growing right in the middle of our front yard hedge. The flowers had not yet bloomed, so I asked Ray to allow it to stay there – just until the flowers bloomed so I could get photos. Days after we returned from Maine – the pink flowers appeared…. It’s such and interesting plant in that the leaves are so full of prickers and sharp as a tack, as you can see in the second photo below! But – the softness of the pink bloom is like a kitten’s fur! What a dichotomy! It is a wonderful place for bees, butterflies, and the goldfinch!

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Only hours after these were taken, Ray chopped down the thistle. It was kind of weird looking growing high above the hedge! It was sad to see it go, knowing that wildlife thrives on it.

The next grouping of photos is from an unusually stunning sunset. Ray and I were on our way home from having dinner out, and the entire earth was engulfed in these pink and orange tones. I didn’t have my camera with me – so I begged Ray to “drive fast” to get me home so I could grab my camera – hopefully in time. These kinds of sunsets don’t usually last all that long. He did – and I ran back to a place up the street where the vision is the best for viewing the sunset. I made it in time, and got the tail end of it:

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In photo #2, you can see the small crescent moon off to the left side…

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The sunset light reflects on my car

Ray and I took a ride in his ’57 t-bird on Dune Road, which is a road that abuts the ocean. There are lots of summer “cottages” (uh – more like mansions!) along the way. Normally I don’t bother with my camera, as Ray is never able to stop for me to get a photo or two. But – this time I did, and took a few from the car as we were riding. Often these don’t turn out very well due to blur, but here are a few from that ride:

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1. The Dunes Church. This building was painted this year, and it’s so bright. At first I didn’t like it, but each time I pass by, the color is growing on me
2. One of those “summer cottages” ~

We’re renovating our computer room in our house — removing the 35 year old lime green shag rug, and replacing computer furniture, removing an old single bed, and replacing that with a futon, and we will be redoing the hardwood floor and repainting this winter (when we’re gone). It will be so good to get rid of that terribly bright yellow paint….! Here’s the room in the midst of the chaos of the task!

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Photo #2 is the new computer nook set up…

Blue Moon – August 31, 2012!

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…with a little help from photoshop…! 🙂

And, last but not least, I never tire of taking photos of the kitties! 🙂

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Misty

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Felix – silly kitty loves to lie on his back!

Mundane life is about to end, however. In 2 days I’ll be headed to Claire’s – and then she, her husband and I will be driving to “Crane Fest” in Wisconsin. This is Operation Migration’s annual gathering where events are scheduled like a dinner, wildlife refuge tour, auction, and annual meeting for Operation Migration, and I don’t know what all else.  I’ve never been before, so I’ll find out!  I have decided to go – but didn’t want to go alone, so am tagging along with my good friend Claire, and her husband. I have spoken about this organization here in previous entries (here and here) during their crisis with the FAA and flying the ultralights.

So – – stay tuned for an entirely different set of photos from my next adventure. If I can post while gone, I will, but otherwise, I’ll be back in early October to update!

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‘Round home


After returning to Long Island from Hilton Head, we had less than a week before heading to Maine for our annual vacation there. It was hot – and most of my photos were taken inside. With all the travel, bird seed had run out of our feeders, and I decided not to refill until we returned from Maine. I think it was during this time when I found myself beginning to go into a funk, and my 365 photo project began to unravel. I was both looking forward to our trip to Maine, yet dreading the process of getting there — the packing, the meal planning, settling in in camp, etc.

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1. On the day we arrived home from Hilton Head, I noticed there had been quite a bit of growth from INSIDE the front yard hedge – – some thistle weed. This photo was taken prior to the flower’s bloom, but I’ll have photos of that later. Thistle is not something you want to nurture, as it can choke other plants. Yet, I find it so pretty. The entire plant is full of thorns, but the flower, itself is soft – and perfect for bees, butterflies and even goldfinches to eat from it. I asked Ray to leave it there – at least until the flower bloomed so I could get a photo of that before it was cut out.
2. This is a night light lamp which was given to me as a gift by my parents when I was a teenager. Earlier, I had fallen in love with a very heavy lead crystal night light which was my mom’s that had once belonged to her mom (my grandmother). She knew I loved it, so this was what she gave me – knowing I’d like the soft light that would come from the body of the porcelain Siamese Cat!

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1. More photos of Misty and Felix
2. Photos of Shadow (above) and Phantom (below) who were our litter mate duo prior to Misty and Felix, hung in the front entryway. Phantom died November 29, 2006 from an inner ear tumor, and Shadow died on December 1, 2010 from kidney failure. I still miss them a lot… They were such good kitties. You can see another photo of them together on the right column of this blog.

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1. Interesting pillow purchased from Coldwater Creek
2. This is a Moravian Star, which was given to me on my 50th birthday from Ray and my mom. It is very special, and there is a light bulb inside, so when lit, it has a stained glass affect. When I took this photo, the light was not lit, but the daylight from the window where it is hanging was shining through it. I learned to love Moravian stars because our son went to Moravian College, located in Bethlehem, PA. These special Stars are commonly hung in Moravian homes at Christmas time.

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It was the day before we left for Maine, and Ray was packing his suitcase while I was out doing errands. Little Misty – seeing the suitcase on the bed – wiggled into an outside pocket of the suitcase and posed for a picture which Ray took with my camera. It’s as if she is saying … “Don’t go! Don’t leave me! Take me with you!”. Made me sad, as it’s always hard to leave my kitties when we go away, even though I know they are well cared for by our pet sitter.

Next post(s): Kezar Lake Maine!

365 Epic Fail


I guess the best thing for me to do is to admit defeat. In my opinion I have now missed taking photos on so many days this year, that I now do not feel this 365 project is representing what I wanted it to be. I’ll keep up with it, as I can, because I like to share the photos I take on any given day, but I feel that the chronicling of my days is not complete, as it would be if I took a photo that represented each day of my life. Life seems to get in the way, and I get distracted. Or – my camera is not with me. Or – I can’t imagine that the picture I’d take would be anything worth seeing. I think I might be trying to be too “special”, when, in fact, it’s the mundane and “daily” I’m after – and learning how to photograph that in a special way. I also do not multi task well, and when immersed in other activities or necessary life tasks, other activities – like photography – deemed of lesser importance on those days – slip my mind more easily. In 2009 I also tried to do this project and by September, I’d given up.

I will continue to number the photos, and note the days I miss, as I want this to be a record of sorts. I still like the idea of taking one photo a day, but think I need to evaluate how to best make that work in a way it hasn’t before. There are no failures – only lessons…

With that in mind, let me share the photos I’ve taken up to this point:

The following photo is of a pen I purchased at a craft fair. The outer shell of the pen is made out of computer “innards”. Despite the fact that I love writing (and typing) on a computer, I have always had a love affair with “pens”. I love how they feel, how they write, how they “hold”. I’m partial to Cross refills, with my second choice being Parker, which is what this pen is. I like a smooth write, and a fatter body to the pen, although I’m finding that this pen might be a little *too* fat! I collect pens now, mostly unique things I find at craft fairs. When I was a child I had what I now see to be an un-natural attachment to my pen. I would really become distraught if one got lost. Still do – to some extent.

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365 photo (June 28) #180

The photo from the following day is of a painting which our son did either in 1995 or ’96. as an assignment for his art class in high school. It was required that he use no paint brush for this acrylic painting, and instead used what I describe as a putty knife! (I know nothing about painting, so please indulge my ignorance!) He blended the paint with this tool rather than a brush, which gives it the “choppy” feel to it. Our son was inspired to do this painting from the wild fires which we had on Long Island during the very dry summer of 1995. The fire was started by a neglected campfire (I believe) – then spread throughout the pine barrens, burning a large portion of them. Several main roads were blocked off, making it more difficult to get on and off Long Island. On the day that the fires began, our son was returning home from a junior golf tournament with several other boys, and they were detoured from the road they wanted to travel. They got rather close to the fires, and the “red sky” and thick smoke inspired our son to do this painting when asked to do this assignment. We framed the painting and it now hangs over our fireplace…

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365 photo (June 29) #181

the photo for June 30 was taken when Ray and I were out in his ’57 t-bird. We mostly travel on Dune Road, which abuts the ocean and is where many wealthy Southampton summer residents live. This photo is of the “Dune Church”, which is only open for services during the summer months. I believe it’s considered to be Episcopal, but has no residing pastor. Instead, each week they have guest ministers — usually from wealthy New York City churches of different denominations. However, they do ask one “token” local pastor each summer to preach. It’s also a coveted spot for a summer wedding – – and I can’t imagine how much in advance one has to reserve the church for one! I also wonder when this church might wash out to sea in a rogue hurricane….!

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365 photo (June 30) #182. I am not enamored with the lighting in this photo. It was “back lit” too much, muting the interesting exterior color of the church.

365 photo (July 1) #183 – – EPIC FAIL!

This photo is the cats “toy box”. We purchased this “cat shack”, which is an ottoman style cat house, and we keep all their toys inside of it. The cats actually go inside to get a toy, and sometimes just sit in there with them! When when we see a toy lying around around the house (and no cat around to throw it for!) – we put it back.

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365 photo #184 (July 2) – Cat Shack toy box

The next photo is of a circular throw rug I purchased online from Orvis. They have sold several kitty rug patterns over the years, and this is just one of the few I’ve purchased. Because I nearly forgot to take a photo on July 3, this photo was taken actually taken after midnight so it’s technically taken on July 4th. In the spirit of what I’d intended, I’ll classify it as my July 3rd photo:

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365 photo #185 (July 3) – Orvis kitty throw rug

I’ll end this entry for now, as I have many photos to post for the 4th of July, and I’ll leave that to be it’s own entry.


Yet again I’ve allowed myself to get way behind on the posting of my photos, and will try to catch up now. I admit – I missed taking a photo during one of the days during this time. Much has happened since I last posted. I’ve returned from a wonderful visit to my friends Claire and Terry. While there, I attended the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church on the day that the new retirees made 3 minute speeches capsulizing their ministries. Terry is now retired, and I was there and took photos while he spoke and Claire stood next to him. It was a moving experience to be a part of their transition to “retired status”.

We also had dinner in a Japanese steak house at their hibachi grill and on another day we went to “Mark of the Potter” gift shop to check out their hand crafted pottery. But, most of all, I just enjoyed being with Claire and Terry in their lovely new home which they purchased a few months ago for their retirement years. It’s beautiful and a house which just screams “I’m home” when you’re inside. It’s also not far from a National forest so birds and wildlife are never far. At dusk it’s not uncommon to see deer scampering through the yards in the neighborhood.

Now that I’m home, it’s back in mundane routine. There are days when I am at a loss as to what to photograph, as I fear I’m repeating myself. Same subject, just different day. Maybe I am, but often the second photograph reveals something new I didn’t see the first time, so there is nothing wrong with that, either. there also have been days I’ve not been in the mood to take photos, but that is also part of the process – to push myself even when I don’t want to bother. On one day my photo was taken close to midnight.

So … with that – I’ll pick up where I left off:

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365 photo #163 (June 11). This was one of the nights we went to the Japanese Restaurant “Kiku’s” – and I took pictures during the show. This is taken when the chef piles onion slices in the shape of a volcano, and then lights it to allow smoke and flames to come from inside so it truly appears like an erupting volcano. You can see our main course is also cooking at the same time!

365 photo #164 (June 12) – EPIC FAIL. No photo taken

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365 photo #165 (June 13) – This was the day we were at the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. This was a globe from a world missions booth. The dove is a symbol of peace, and the globe has Africa facing the outward. I took many photos of Claire and Terry but not sure they should be posted, as they were taken particularly for them.

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365 photo #166 (June 14) – this photo was taken at “Mark of the Potter”, which is located right along a flowing stream. In fact there is a balcony in the shop that looks over this stream. What a beautiful setting!

Bonus photos for this day:

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1. The rushing stream
2. I love this sign 🙂 It pretty much gets the message across from the trout’s point of view!

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Both photos were taken near Claire’s feeders outside her front door…
1. male goldfinch
2. female cardinal

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365 photo #167 (June 15). I left Claire and Terry’s on this day and this photo is taken at the Hampton Inn motel where I stayed that night. I was on the 4th floor – and it was an interesting view at sunset. Sometimes high tension wires can be photogenic!

Bonus photos from the motel:

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1. view as a whole from my room
2. purple clouds of sunset – also from the room.

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365 photo # 168 (June 16) – These are the coffee mugs I purchased from “Mark of the Potter”. I love the shape, and they are very comfortable to hold, not to mention that they hold a lot of coffee, which is a requirement for a coffee mug for me!

I just checked – and according to my camera, I technically took this photo at 12:03 a.m. on June 17, but I’m going to count it as June 16th!

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365 photo #169 (June 17). Periodically I must make sure the kitties are subjects for the photo of the day. This is Felix lying on one of his favorite beds, on the back of the couch where we’ve placed their fleece beds. 🙂

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365 photo #170 (June 18) Late afternoon sun looking out over our front yard. You can see the shadow of the top of the house on the lawn at the bottom of the photo, plus our arbor vitae, and the birch tree to the right in the photo.

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365 photo #171 (June 19) – male and female cardinal ground feeding under the feeders.

Two bonus photos of male cardinals near the bird feeders out back:

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365 photo #172 – (June 20). This is not that great a photo, as I had to take it out a rather dirty window. the deer is at the edge of our property all set to dart away through the bushes. If I’d tried to go out, I’m sure this very skittish deer would have been long gone and the photo would never have happened. I messed with contrast and saturation to make it a bit more clear, but it still feels a bit distorted. At dusk we have so many deer who frequent our yard. The hedge in front of our house has been pretty much decimated by the deer this year, and we have to do something about planting something else — making sure it’s something deer don’t like to eat!

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365 photo #173 (June 21) Our hydrangea is beginning to come out!! More photos will come later of these!

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365 photo #174 (June 22 – yesterday) I was not in the mood for photography yesterday and I don’t know why. So – later in the evening I took a photo of the soda I was drinking – black cherry Fresca. It’s my favorite flavor. Sadly it’s next to impossible to get in Hilton Head. I bring down a few 12 packs, and then drink it sparingly while we’re there.

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365 photo #175 (June 23 – today). This is a view of our side yard (I’m standing in the front yard) showing the brick walkway which goes up to the front of our house, and a section of our driveway. It was a gorgeous day today!

And – that completes the photos – – until tomorrow, of course. Until then….!


Let’s see if I can catch up … only to get behind again!

Tomorrow I’m leaving on yet another trip. Due to needing to go to PA because of my mom’s illness in March, I was unable to visit my good friend, Claire in North Georgia. At that time we were planning to do a spring piano / flute concert in her church. She ended up doing the concert alone, and I can’t redo that experience. However, I can finally do a visit, and I am leaving for her house tomorrow. Among other interests we share, we both are photography enthusiasts, so I will have lots of different photos to share for my daily 365 photo during my visit. I”m looking forward to the change of scenery and some different kinds of photos from a different area. Claire lives in a beautiful area, so who knows what my subjects will be for my photos!!

But – before I do – I am going to finally catch up on the photos that are not yet posted…

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365 photo #150 – (May 29) – House Finch in the black pine staging area for the feeders.

Bonus photos:

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1. Grackle – kind of a bully bird. I feed the birds only safflower seeds mainly because the grackles don’t much like it so they are less likely to be around to bully the smaller birds. However, they try…!
2. Male Cardinal in the black pine “staging area” of the bird feeders.

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365 photo # 151 (May 30) – a gorgeous sunset which gave the world an orange glow for a bit!

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365 photo #152 (May 31) – I believe these are crabapple blossoms which grow wild around our yard and neighborhood.

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365 photo #153 – (June 1) Misty lying on her fleece mat which we have placed on the couch above our head as we’re sitting. I will miss my kitties when I’m gone…

Bonus photo:

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I must include Felix if I’ve shown Misty! 🙂

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365 photo #154 (June 2) – Female cardinal hanging out on an old wrought iron railing that was placed there after being removed a very long time ago. I had forgotten it was there until I saw Mrs. Cardinal there that day. I can’t believe it hasn’t been pitched, as it was from a patio that has long since been transformed.

Bonus photos:

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1. Red winged blackbird — Sometimes they are “bully birds” to the smaller birds, but they are so pretty, I think.
2. Dove

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1. White Rhododendron. The white ones are the last to bloom, so these flowers are almost done for the season. They are so pretty and am always sad when they’re done blooming.
2. The white rhododendron bush

Yesterday I made a point of going down the street to where I’ve noticed a vacant field that’s had numerous wildflowers planted. I don’t know who owns the field and why they are planting these flowers. I think it’s a future development – but it is really pretty. I stopped by to take some close up and landscape photos of the field while it’s so pretty. I don’t know what many of the flowers are…

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365 photo #155 (June 3) I don’t know what this purple flower is, but blurred in the background is a large area of wild daisies.

Bonus photos:

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365 photo #156 (June 4) – suitcase packed — ready to go tomorrow morning – pronto! It was not much of a photo day today…

And — that brings me up to date. I don’t know how well I can keep this up while I’m gone, but there will be photos for those days to post later….

Laterz…!


Our trip north was when things deteriorated with my 365 photo project. I’d planned to quick run out and take one last photo of the lagoon the morning we left Hilton Head. I went to get my camera, which I’d placed in the “staging area” of our living room – but my husband had been ever so vigilant – and the camera had been long since packed in the car – and buried under a multitude of other things. There was no way I could unearth it for the photo… 😦 However, when I ran out to remove the bird feeders (which is such a sad job for me, so I wait to do it at the very last minute — the morning we are leaving), there was a most magnificent Great Blue Heron walking right on our lawn along the shore of the lagoon. I stopped short and looked at him — and “snapped the photo” in my mind. If only that camera was with me… I looked at him squarely in the eye — and he looked at me. I finally said … out loud, “Goodbye sweet Great Blue Heron, I will miss you so very much. I’ll see you in the fall.” Yeah — I know … I’m sappy. I thought my voice would scare him and he’d fly off – but he continued to look at me even as I said, “I love you sweet birdie”. I don’t know if he/she was the bird who belonged to the nest we had in our yard this spring, but I also thanked him for allowing me to see his nest while he/she raised his/her babies. He continued to look at me, but then started walking slowly across our yard — and faced the lagoon – fishing, as always.

So – – in honor of this great blue heron — a photo of another one is my photo of the day. I’m sorry that the “real” photo is only in my mind and that I can’t share it here, but here is a photo of another great blue heron in it’s place:

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365 substitute photo of the day #129 (May 8) of a great blue heron taken 1/7/11 on the shores of our lagoon

And … with that we were on our way north…

The following day was a complete blur, and once my camera was unpacked, I was way too exhausted to even think about a photo of the day. These trips north (or south) with the cats are tiring, and fray my nerves. I need to remember that they always end up fine, and that it’s my lack of confidence in the entire process that makes me nervous.

365 photo #130 — Epic Fail. (May 9)

365 photo #131 — Another Epic Fail. Wildly distracted in “Unpacking hell”! (May 10)

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365 photo #132 (May 11) — Finally a photo was taken. This is a mirror which we purchased from Lori Wilkinson, a vendor at “Springtime Made in the South” in February. Check out her website to see more of her wonderful work! I knew when I purchased it where it would go – in the dressing area of the bedroom. It’s made of a lovely color combination of mosaic tile and it’s gorgeous. You can see the reflection of the window to the back yard in the mirror.

365 photo #133 (May 12) – Another Epic Fail. How did that day get away from me? I was getting nervous that this project was headed for the trash. Even with forgetfulness, however, I have decided to continue…

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365 photo #134 (May 13) – a sparrow of some kind – – I hope not a house sparrow, as they are the arch enemy of bluebirds and bluebird nests. I think it’s a song sparrow, though, and it was singing it’s heart out the entire time I was snapping photos! It was taken – by chance in one of our bushes. Our feeders were not yet up at this point.

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365 photo #135 (May 14) – azalea bush in full bloom – with the rhododendron bush next to it just coming into bloom

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365 photo #136 (May 15) – Sweet Little Misty kitty. I almost forgot to take the photo that day! The cats have made themselves at home in their Long Island home!

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365 photo #137 (May 16) – the rhododendron buds are are beginning to bloom!

And .. with that I will end for this entry, but will continue with the catch-up soon…. Stay tuned!


To continue… We had another week left in Hilton Head after our wonderful walk – so here are some more daily photos:

On the side of our house on Hilton Head, we have lots of bushes, trees and pine straw. This photo is of a fungus of sorts that was growing on the stump of a tree which had been cut down quite a while ago… It’s amazing what these things can grow from, and the intricacies of the growth. At the time I took the photo, everything was wet, but it was from our sprinkler system, which is turned on when things are dry.

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365 photo #123 (May 2) — the fungus on the tree stump
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365 photo #124 (May 3) — A female cardinal in the pine tree. I stand quietly in the yard and wait for these birds to become visible in a tree…
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365 photo #125 (May 4) — sweet Felix on the couch in the great room

On Saturday, May 5th Ray and I went to Savannah to see the Tall ships, and I’ll leave those photos for their own entry.


I have returned from Pennsylvania and now have a little more time to post. It took some time to go through all my photos, edit them and get them uploaded, but that job is done now.

This was a bittersweet time. My mom is very ill – so critically ill that we all felt it necessary to go see her. She was in Abington Hospital in suburban Philadelphia for almost three weeks. Despite having been discharged to a skilled nursing care facility, she still remains ill, though stabilized. Over the course of her hospitalization, our family surrounded her, including grandchildren and one great grandchild. Despite the worry, stress and exhaustion we were feeling, it was also a time of family bonding. I took a photo each day and they are a visual way of documenting my time in PA with Mom. To conserve space because I have so many photos, they are all shown in a smaller size. However, you can click on any photo to see it larger in my Flickr account.

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1. 365 photo #76 — A photo of the lagoon only a few minutes before we left Hilton Head on the day we were informed how sick mom was – and that we needed to come see her. A storm was brewing, and as we left town the most ferocious thunderstorm hit as we drove off of Hilton Head Island. It wasn’t lost on me that storms were brewing in my life, too….
2. 365 photo #77 — We stopped at a Hampton Inn in Fayetteville, NC that night – and the next morning I took a photo of the sunrise as we were leaving to go the rest of the way to Pennsylvania.

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1. 365 photo #78 — In Mom’s hospital room there were some lovely flowers…. 🙂
2. 365 photo #79 — For the first 3 days in Pennsylvania, we stayed in the Garden Hilton Inn, and I took a photo of the room that night. It gave us our own space for a few days. However we moved over to my sister’s house and that was good, too – to be closer to family. I nearly forgot to take a photo that day, and this one was taken at nearly midnight!

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1. 365 photo #80 — This is the view from Mom’s room, showing the York Road garage. It’s an “average” hospital room view, and at least she had a window. Some rooms do not, as they look out into the lobby
2. 365 photo #81 — More flowers in Mom’s room — an amyrillis which my brother brought with him shown against the window shade.

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1. 365 photo #82 — A white board in mom’s hospital room. It gives staff information, like the name of the nurse and student nurse on duty, and the date. But – we wrote all over the board, too 🙂
2. 365 photo #83 — The tower on Abington Hospital — and it’s the hospital’s logo. This was taken after sunset as we were leaving the hospital.

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1. 365 photo #84 — Since we were all in town, my siblings and I celebrated my sister’s 60th birthday — a few days early. We had dinner out together, then went back to my other sister’s house to have this delicious cake.
2. 365 photo #85 — An interesting stoplight – with trees in the background – on Susquehanna Road on our way home from the hospital. It was around sunset time when we took this photo.

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1. 365 photo #86 — Again I nearly forgot to take a daily photo, and realized this as we were getting ready for bed. In the room where we stayed, my sister had this cute little tiger – and he made a nice photo!
2. 365 photo #87 — Mom’s room was in the Widener Building at Abington Hospital, and this is the lobby, as taken from the 2nd floor, where Mom was located. They have a great coffee shop there were I stopped daily to get a cup of flavored coffee to take up to the room with me.

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1. 365 photo #88 — This was the day Mom was discharged by ambulance to the nursing facility. Our car was parked in the York Road Parking garage on the top level – and we could see the skyline of Philadelphia from that vantage point. As we were leaving to meet Mom at the nursing facility, I took this photo.
2. 365 photo #89 — On this day we left Philadelphia to return home to Hilton Head. We did the entire trip in one day, and when we arrived my first photo of the day was of my sweet Felix. I missed my kitties SO MUCH while we were gone… But – they were well taken care of by a good pet sitter.

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365 photo #90 — This was our first full day at home – and I discovered that during our trip I had managed to break the glass of the filter over top of my 100-400 mm lens. I couldn’t unscrew it, and there was concern that I’d bent the filter, or – at worst, the lens itself. At the suggestion of the Best Buy Geek Squad, I got one of those rubberized “jar openers” and that did the trick – and the lens itself was not bent. Thankfully the broken glass of the filter did NOT scratch the lens and all is well. This photo — the first I took with that lens after realizing it probably was ok — is of some fungus growing around a stump of a downed tree.

I’m not caught up with my photos yet, but think that this is enough for one entry! More to come later…!


Yesterday I was lucky to discover today’s photo subject. While I was running to accomplish some household task, I looked out the sliding glass door to see the head of an anhinga right on the shoreline of our lagoon. This required that I stop what I was doing, grab the camera (and darned if I didn’t have to change the lens, too!) and go out to see if I could get the anhinga’s photo! I got lucky … he didn’t move while I did all that! He also didn’t seem too concerned about me as I walked softly to the tree in front of the lagoon so that I could both hide behind it, and lean against it to take more close up shots of him. Such interesting aquatic birds they are with their colorful black and white wings (which are sometimes outstretched when they are drying), and their long, lean necks when they are outstretched!

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365 photo #74

Bonus photos:

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1. Preening anhinga
2. This is one of the first photos I took in this series, when my first view was just of the anhinga’s head. Our yard drops off down a mini hill as you reach the water’s edge. This anhinga was at the bottom of this hill allowing me to see only his head. Once I got to the tree which is closer to the water, he was pretty much in full view.

Today was — sadly — not much of a photography day. what a day to waste because it was probably one of the most gorgeous days we’ve had here — pleasantly warm and sunny. But – – as the sun was setting, it was shining into our house – right on one of my cat figurines, which will make today’s photo:

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365 photo #75

The situation — the metaphor for the “approaching storm” — to which I mentioned in yesterday’s post is still as it was. I will update when there is one.


It’s been a busy week of travel and good old fashioned “girlfriend” time, so it’s been over a week since I’ve posted here. I was in north GA – visiting my friend, Claire, and husband, Terry, at their new house, both to help paint her living room a fabulous “lemon butter” yellow, as well as to simply visit. Internet and phone communication is great, but nothing can replace hanging out together … face to face!

The painting ended up to be a “painting PARTY”. Two other friends came to help – friends Claire and I met on Facebook from our interest in and support of Operation Migration. “Craniacs” – they call us because we’re “crazy about whooping cranes” and Operation Migration’s work to save this magnificent endangered bird. This bond turned into a good friendship, as we painted – talked – and laughed together.

Sadly, in all the excitement of the trip, I managed to miss taking a photo on the day I arrived. The travel and excitement of arriving took precedence in my mind and I forgot. But – I have a photo for all the other days. Claire’s house and yard is full of wonderful photo ops, too! She runs a “Golden Corral Buffet” for birds, and the neighborhood birds congregate – allowing perfect shots for camera buffs!

The photos will be small sized to save space, but you can click on any of them to see them larger in my flickr account.

365 photo #59 … EPIC FAIL. Photo was not taken… 🙂

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1. 365 photo #60 – Male cardinal in the tree that is used by birds as a staging area for the bird feeders Claire has out for her birds. It was a foggy day, and in order to make the cardinal stand out, I added some contrast to the photo. But – you can still tell that it’s a bit “misty”.
2. 365 photo #61 – “The early bird catches the worm” – a robin in the “staging tree” — taken first thing in the morning before we started painting

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1. 365 photo #62 – Our friends gave Claire this lovely bouquet of flowers when they arrived, and here is a macro of one bloom. What beauty! What texture! And – it’s “sort of” like the color of the paint we used!
2. 365 photo #63 – Claire and her kitty, Hannabelle. The night before this photo was taken it was very stormy in the southeast, with violent storm cells – one after the other – marching eastward, seemingly aimed at “us”. Claire and I were up lots of the night tracking these storms, so we’d know if we needed to find a “safe place in the house” to protect ourselves should a random tornado from one of these cells decide to drop down out of the sky. (We lucked out – and were just fine) The difficult thing was that it was not just us we were worried about. Claire’s kitty – Hannabelle – was not with us, but was still in their “other house”, the house from which they’re moving over the course of this winter and spring. So — during the storm, not only were we worried about our own safety, but the safety of the cat, as well as the safety of so many friends of Claire’s in the north Georgia area. So … the next day we went over to the other house to check on little Hannabelle and it was a wonderful reunion. She was was just fine. However, as Claire held Hannabelle, as you see in this photo – she told us – in a very meow-y string of “kitty obscenities” just how much she missed her family! (The bottom line is that they’ll be moving Hannabelle over to their new house very soon!)

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1. 365 photo #64 – As we came home from doing some errands – there were 4 deer walking through Claire’s yard. Here’s one as he crossed the the driveway of the neighbor’s house.
2. 365 photo #65 – It was time to leave and return to Hilton Head, and on my way out, I took this photo of a lone flower in one of their front beds. I don’t know what it is…

Home again … home again! I’m back in Hilton Head now. Yesterday was a bright clear day, but I had so many photos to go through, I ended up staying inside to work on them and not enjoying the outside as much as I would have liked. But – – I took a break to find my daily photo. It was then that I discovered that our blue bird box is inhabited – but not by bluebirds. There is a brown headed nut hatch couple who have set up “housekeeping” inside. Here he (or she?) is guarding the home front. Not only was I really shocked at how close they allowed me to get to them, but they are the cutest little “contortionists”! They can twist around into such odd positions – often upside down!

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365 photo #66

Now … it’s time to find today’s photo….

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