Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 31, 2009

To wind up this challenge with something colorful here's my study in amber. I love the warmth of this color. The perfume, my very favorite, was a Christmas gift from my son and his wife, along with some art materials which I'm taking great pleasure using. The earrings were a gift to myself some time ago, and the wonderful little silk bag came holding yet another gift awhile ago.

I missed posting a photo yesterday after receiving some family news which put everything else out of my mind for awhile. So here's a picture from my files and I'll get something else up later today. Autumn is my favorite time of year for several reasons. The main reason is that I get all this glorious color in my neighborhood without doing any new planting, watering, weeding, or any of the other tasks involved in gardening....which I can't do much of anymore, anyway. What's not to love?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Photo a Day, Jan. 29, 2009

Have you had enough snow pictures yet? Here's what we got for our first snow of the year. Just the right amount, if the truth be known, don't you think? This was as it was falling and we didn't get too much more, just a couple of inches, actually. It melts, freezes over, melts again, freezes we still have most of it on the ground, but the roads are clear.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 27, 2009

This is a small treasure (3"x4") that brings me pleasure every time I look at it. Some years ago the artist and I worked together on a Doll Street exhibition for We Folk, a fabric dollmakers' convention held near my home. In lieu of a thank-you note after it was done, she created this little book of pockets and collages and a wonderful message that reads as you leaf through the book: "There were two women - who met - playing - dolls - they shared - a sense - of joy - in life, - an appreciation - for all - that's beautiful - They became friends - and, - in the course of time, - the one woman - simply and quietly - said - thanks - friend." It was as warm and moving a gesture as I have ever experienced. I wish we still had occasion to see each other, and I wish I could show you each and every page.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 26, 2009

It's a dreary day and I'm not much in the mood to take anymore photos of my poor barren yard. So here are a couple of things from my "treasure trove"---recent gifts from my daughters. The first is a Belgian lace ornament Lisa brought back from a trip she made with two of her Belgium...last year. It's too pretty to put away and just bring out at holiday time, so I keep it on an ornament hanger in my living room.
The next photos are of a carved ceramic vase Deni had made for me a couple of years ago. It's covered with the names of all my immediate family, children and grandchildren...and Roy and I...all eleven of us are there. I love using it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 25, 2009

Surprise! No bird pictures, trees, or squirrels today! I've been looking for my knitting I started last year, and just found it today. When I start clearing up and organizing the clutter before the holiday guests start coming, I put things away SO carefully I can hardly ever find anything again. I'm thrilled to find these two scarves. They're both very easy and something comforting to do when there's nothing on TV to watch in the evenings.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 24, 2009

Someone posted a photo of migrating birds a couple of days ago and I remembered taking this picture last week but never posted it. I don't have any idea what kind of birds these were, but there were thousands of them! Having my camera handy is such a boon these days. I wish I had had it handy some years ago when I came upon thousands of migrating snow geese clustered around a pond in a field on my way home one day. Cars were stopping along the roadside just to watch them....and so did I!

Photo a Day Jan. 23, 2009

I took photos yesterday, then forgot to upload them here. Mea Culpa...I've alwasy wanted to say that! Anyway I felt very lucky to catch this woodpecker who has been visiting the feeder everyday for about a week now. Just the feeder pole, however, not the feeder pan itself. There must be insects in there for him. He usually comes and goes so quickly I miss him, but he stuck around yesterday for his portrait. You'd think he was a red-headed woodpecker, but he's actually designated a red-bellied woodpecker in my book. The red-heads don't have stripes on their backs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photo a Day Jan.22, 2009

Frst up today is our neighborhood cat. He has discovered the visitors to our backyard bird feeders and has been stalking them fairly regularly this week. He hasn't caught anything yet..he apparently isn't the great hunter our Moses was, thank goodness. He almost had a squirrel yesterday but fortunately is got away.

As promised, you can see the goldfinches don't take long to discover how to feed from those upper perches. They can sit upright on the bottom perches but must hang upside down from the others. This serves to deter other birds from taking over their thistle feeder, and they seem to like that. We get a dozen or more in the summer months, but only a couple, usually, in the winter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Photo a Dad Jan. 21, 2009

I knew it wouldn't last. Although they're beautiful, these blackbirds usually show up in such numbers that the other birds don't get a chance at the feeders, so I dread to see them start coming. But there was one bright spot today..see next photo.

I keep a thistle feeder filled most of the year (sometimes I get lazy) for the goldfinches, but hadn't done it lately, til a week ago. No one showed up until today when one lonely little goldfinch appeared at the feeder. It's an "upside down" feeder, which means the birds must hang upside down from the perch to feed, and the goldfinches seem to be the only kind who know how to do that. This one hasn't figured it out yet, I see. They get this feeder all to themselves, except for an occasional squirrel, but I have slathered the pole with Crisco to deter those little rascals.
I know I said no more bird pictures, but I was too happy to see my little goldfinch. Usually there are at least two who winter over and I hadn't seen them at all this year until today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 20, 2009

Taking a hint from Linda's photo shoot a couple of days ago, I ventured out in the cold today, sans gloves (brrrr!), and took a couple of photos of the back of our house. Our bedroom is under the skylights you can see at one end of the house. Directly below the middle skylight are the windows in my breakfast room where my computer dwells and where I'm looking out on the backyard at this moment.

This is just another shot of the back of the house toward the front of our property.
It really is very pretty at other times of the year, but looks very dull and boring right now!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 19, 2009

Here's where I sit several times a day. I love the background on my computer screen. And those two charmers hanging next to the monitor are artist trading dolls made by dear friend Jacque Uetz.

How about this for a lovely ornament? Another dear friend, Linda Fleming made this one and it would be lovely on my Christmas tree, but I wanted to hang it where I could see it year round, so it became a ceiling fan pull! Not that I let anyone pull on it, I caution them to pull the cord, NOT the seahorse!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 18, 2009

The Healing Hand is a very thoughtful gift I was lucky enough to win from a dear friend, Kerry Seymour. It holds an orange crystal, thought to offer a number of wonderful benefits, all of which I will certainly welcome! Thank you so much, Kerry, I will treasure it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 17, 2009

I totally forgot to post a photo yesterday so today I'll post two. First is our toasty warm pellet stove that helps keep us comfy in the family room now. There are so many windows in this part of the house that the heat pump just can't get enough heat back here without making the rest of the house uncomfortable, so the stove has been a lifesaver. Not that we didn't love the open fireplace, but the heat all went up the chimney.
The second photo is of two little dolls I've had for many years, probably around 25 I would guess....long before I started making cloth dolls on my own. They're made of corn husks with little round wooden heads and wooly hair. I've always loved them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 15, 2009

I promise these are the last bird pictures for this challenge unless something extraordinary shows up in my backyard! But our bluejays are rarer visitors than usual this year, for some reason. Although they're much more aggressive than the other birds that eat at the feeders, I still love to see the flash of color when they come and go so quickly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 14, 2009

I'm happy to see the cardinals back again today, after the episode with the hawk earlier. Only about half of them showed up this time, but that's probably just as well. I think the hawk is more likely to attack a large group where he has a better chance of a catch.
The photos aren't great because I had to shoot through my not-so-clean window!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Photo a Day Front Yard

Okay, you can see I'm getting desperate for things to photograph. We had headed out to do some errands this morning and I thought perhaps I'd get some interesting shots along the way, but we had to postpone our errands until tomorrow. And the flock of cardinals and snowbirds I hoped to photograph in the backyard was frightened away by a hungry hawk, who managed to catch one of them for his lunch. I rather wish I hadn't seen him do that.
So today all I can offer are a couple of shots of my front yard from one of the guest room windows. One straight across the street with a view of nothing but the land between two houses. The other looks back toward the front walkway and the driveway. Not exciting, but a part of my world, narrow as it may be.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Photo of the Day

I almost forgot to upload a photo today, so I had to dig up one I took a few months ago. I was on the computer in my breakfast room when I looked out the window to find this very unusual cloud formation overhead. There's a very simple explanation for it, which of course I've forgotten now. Some of you who have seen this photo already may remember, however, and can remind me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Photo a Day Magnolia

A lovely summer bloom from my Southern Magnolia I planted in the side yard about 15 years ago.

This is how the tree looks now. This variety of magnolia has been my favorite since I was a child and the neighbor on the corner had huge ones in her yard.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photo a Day a Visitor

One of Moses' relatives perhaps? For those of you who are new to my blog, Moses was a dear feline friend who adopted us several years ago after abandoning his original home two doors down the street. He lived with us as an outdoor cat for many years and died just last summer. Now an occasional former housemate of his will come to check out our yard, perhaps looking for old Moses...or just enjoying venturing into the yard that Moses defended from their intrusion into "his" territory all that time.
Sorry the photos are so bad, but I was anxious to record this visit.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Photo a Day, Pine Cones Again

Here are the pine cones again, but in the sunshine this time.

And more of them in the shade. Not your usual hard prickly cones.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Photo a Day - Mr. & Mrs. B.

I had no clues as to what to photograph for today, but to my surprise, my little bluebird couple showed up as I was busy in the kitchen with dinner preparations! I haven't seen them since sometime in November. Are they not sweethearts?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Photo a Day Challenge

Pine Cones in the Rain

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 6, 2009

One of the bottles of an excellent (IMHO)wine my daughter gave me for Christmas. She and her husband had taken us to a wine-tasting on the Outer Banks last summer and this was my favorite wine from that event. I tried ordering some from the vintner, but they couldn't ship to Maryland, so Lisa surprised me with this at Christmastime.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fallen Angel

A Christmas disaster, or rather an after-Christmas disaster. This is one of those times you wish you could turn back time. Just one minute earlier would have prevented my carelessness in carrying this angel down the hall to put her away after the holidays. It will be easily repaired, but she'll always carry the scar.
Sorry about the poor photograph. For several reasons I didn't have time to learn the ins and outs of close-ups with this new camera today.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Photo a Day Jan. 4

You'll have to bear with me for yet another bare tree. I have a strange affinity for winter trees. I love the tracery of the bare branches against the sky. Some trees I love during the spring and summer when they are fully leafed out, but many I like best when they are bare. I hardly notice this one in the summer, but I think it's quite beautiful in the winter with its graceful symmetry against the blue of the sky and the dark evergreens behind.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Photo a Day #3

My table centerpiece from Christmas as stayed fresh-looking enough to enjoy through the week, so I moved it to the family room where it's more visible

I felt the need to add some color to the blog today, and since there's very little color outdoors right now, I chose a couple of leftovers from Christmas to photograph.