Sunday, August 31, 2008

PhotoHunt: Beautiful (Alternative Version)

As I said in my PhotoHunt post yesterday, I wanted to present something different. With absolutely no disrespect to any of my fellow photobloggers, many of whom presented truly beautiful photos in yesterday's Hunt - and I told you so in your respective comments (mind you, I still haven't looked at everyone's!), I knew there would be a lot of landscapes, flowers, children, and yes, even old people. Even I showed an orchid that I thought was particularly dramatic and beautiful. As our hostess illustrated in her presentation, everything is beautiful through the lenses of our cameras, if it moves us.

This moved me:

Why am I moved by an empty bird's nest? It goes back to what I'm trying to accomplish in my yards, front and back. That is, establish a wildlife habitat in an urban/suburban setting, while still maintaining a "socially acceptable" landscape.

We planted this longan tree (relative of the lychee) about six years ago, in the front of the house, next to the driveway. It's about twelve feet tall now. We've had bird feeders and bird baths in the backyard for about three years, and the birds came. And they brought their kids. But I've never seen evidence - despite all the native shrubs and other plantings we planted over the years, that they were actually nesting here. I've done some research, and I think it's either a mockingbird or cardinal nest. I'm leaning toward cardinal because of all the paper and plastic in the outer part of the nest.

You should click on that graphic over there in the sidebar, and find out how you can create a wildlife habitat in your own yard. You don't need a lot of space, just an appreciation for the creatures we displace.

There's a nest in a tree we planted near the street and next to our driveway. To me, that's beautiful.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

PhotoHunt: Beautiful

The PhotoHunt theme this week is "Beautiful".

You know, this is a very tough theme. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and all that. I really wanted to show something different, but this ain't it. :-)

This is my "stopgap" entry for this week's PhotoHunt challenge. It really only just occurred to me which picture I'd really like to post, but I haven't taken it yet. :-) I'll have to wait until daylight, then see if I can get it. ** Well, it's daylight now. Unfortunately, it's also pouring rain. So. I guess this will have to do, after all.

In the meantime, this is a dendrobium orchid. It's my favorite kind of photo - intimate. I've posted some of these before, but not this particular photo. You really have to click on it to fully appreciate the variety and depth of textures and details. It's like it's own little world.

This is more along the lines of traditionally Beautiful. I'll get that other shot later in the weekend. It will just have to be it's own post.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bunting Girl

This is a female Painted Bunting that visited my feeders all last Winter. I'm hoping she'll return this year, and maybe bring a mate with her! The males are the ones with the brilliant multicolored plumage. I've only ever seen one in my yard, and he stayed back in the corner in the "butterfly/hummingbird" garden, chasing insects. By the time I got my camera, he was gone. Maybe this year, a pretty little female like her can tempt him to the pleasures of the feeders!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

PhotoHunt: Wrinkled

The PhotoHunt theme this week is "Wrinkled".

This is actually my own hand decorated with henna for a friend's wedding. Her family is from Tamil Nadu in southern India, and she had a "mehendi party" the night before her traditional Hindu wedding. The whole weekend was awesome and created memories for a lifetime.

A favor? Please click my little dragons before you go! Thanks!

A couple of you have asked to see more pictures from the wedding. Clicking here will take you to my Flickr mini-album. I apologize for the quality of the indoor pictures - the light was strange in the temple. That is, there was lots of it, just not where I needed it! :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Tropical Storm Fay grazed us with the "dirty" - that is rainy, windy, messy - side of the storm. The birds made off for cover somewhere, mid-day yesterday, but came back hungry this morning!

BTW - This is Fayze. Guess where I got the name? Please click on him/her (don't know yet which) and my other baby dragons, so they'll grow up!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

PhotoHunt: Colorful

I had to choose something from my photos of the first Chihuly exhibit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for this week's PhotoHunt theme: "Colorful". But I couldn't choose between these three. Which one would be your pick? Don't forget to click on the images to see them full-sized!

1. Carnival Boat

2. Carnival Tree (top)

3. Carnival Tree (detail)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

On Top Of The World

"Go get your own country - Germany is mine!"

JJ loves "Ticket To Ride - Marklin". Her winning secret? Block all of the tracks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


"Hee hee hee! Is he looking?"


Monday, August 11, 2008

Shoe Tree

This is a planter right outside the front door of my office building.

There's a major bank, more lawyers than you can count, and a very upscale plastic surgeon whose clients arrive in limousines, in this building.

The planter has a 30 foot tall palm tree, some oak leaf fern, and now this embellishment.

I'm just trying to envision the circumstances where one would leave a single shoe behind in this particular location. I'm stumped (you should excuse the expression).

Could it be the other shoe? Check out Flamingo Musings today to see one theory...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

PhotoHunt: Dark

This week's theme at PhotoHunter is Dark. I chose this pic because it epitomizes dark, nightfall, the end of another day, to me. This is the time that many of the birds come for one last feed and one last bath before flying off to roost wherever it is that they go for the night. :-) Like these white-winged doves and starlings. Please click on the image!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Oh, Yeah?" 2

Don't forget to click on the images!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The mockingbirds and catbirds love this stuff. It's supposed to repel mosquitoes, but I'm not holding my breath.

I was going to be a smart-ass and post this for PhotoHunt's "Beautiful" theme, but I don't know those people that well, yet. :-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

February Revisited

So, it's been like 92 degrees and sticky icky humid the last several days and I needed to feel cool again. I just now, quite by accident, figured out that I can download the photos from my iPhone into my computer, as if it were a regular camera. Tech Goddess, I am not. What does one have to do with the other? Well, these shots have been sitting in my phone since February, when we took that ill-fated trip to Virginia. This first one is from our first frosty day in Williamsburg.

We finally did make it to Monticello - on our way out of town - and this one was taken there. That slopey area behind it is Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden (which they continue to plant), and then a rather sharp drop-off.

I wasn't much into pictures of people in colonial dress and all that, and it was February, so nothing was really blooming, and I just really love the textures. Hope this translates when you click on them.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

PhotoHunt: Clouds

Willa at Pixel Minded clued me in to PhotoHunt. Every week there's a theme, and you post one of your own photos that personifies the theme. I thought that was a fun idea and that I might join in.

So here's my first entry for this week's theme: Clouds. It's another Sarasota sunset.... Can't get enough of them Sarasota sunsets!

Friday, August 1, 2008

What The Heck?!?

Yes, it's a lizard. It looks like a little dinosaur. I have no clue. Anyone? Bueller?
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