Friday, December 31, 2010

Some small photos of some very big camera critters

Photos by Richard Schear

Three whales, mostly invisible.

We tried to get some whale photos while out on a catamaran in Hawaii, but the whales were too far away. We didn't get any from the deck of the ship as we cruised around the islands, either. But, while in our cabin, Dick saw three humpback whales, and he got some semi-close-ups of one of them.
Posted for the Camera Critters meme
hosted every week by Misty Dawn at Misty's Musings.
To see other critters from other people's cameras, please click

Thursday, December 30, 2010


                                                                                                                        Photos by Richard Schear, December 2010

Our trip to Hawaii early this month took us through San Francisco on a fairly small plane (much smaller than the one that took us across the ocean) so I had the aisle seat I wanted, and Dick had a window seat, plus his new digital SLR -- what fun that was, and what lovely clouds he found for me.

Posted for this week's 
Skywatch Friday!

To see beautiful skies
from all over the world,
please click HERE! 
Happy New Year to All, especially the Sky Watch team
for hosting this wonderful photo meme every week.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

We wanted that doggie in the window
The one with the waggley tail
We wanted that doggie in the window
(We hoped that it wasn’t a male)
Didn't want a bunny or a kitty
Didn't want a parrot that talks
Didn't want a bowl of little fishies
We can't take a goldfish for a walk
We adopted that doggie in the window
The one who had been in Dog Jail
We adopted that sweet girl in the window
With red curls, and some hairs so pale

Our darling dog Lindy

Photos by Kay Davies
and friends and family

Posted for Hootin' Anni's
musical meme
Thursday Theme Song

To see what songs others chose this week, click
Note: all the dogs shown have good homes!

Lindy was found by the SPCA of Medicine Hat, Alberta, wandering and "living wild" with another Golden Retriever. The people at the SPCA found both dogs to be friendly, good-natured and loving, so they phoned Medicine Hat SOS Pet Rescue, who took them both. They went to live at an SOS foster home, were vet-checked, washed, had their hair shaved off because it was so matted, and put on diets because, whatever they were eating in the wild, it had made them both quite fat. By the time we met Lindy a couple of months later, she had lost some weight and was so sweet and friendly. She took one look at my husband, and it was love at first sight. We've had her more than a year now and can't imagine what life would be like without her. She still needs to lose some weight (so do we) but we're working on that. Her favorite snacks are raw vegetables, which is a big help!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

X, good for Scrabble, crossword puzzles, and xylophagous

ABC Wednesday
Note: I was going to write about xeriscaping, which is what Dick and I should do in our large yard in the desert part of Canada’s prairie, where cacti grow wild. We really should, but it would be very uncomfortable for our dog Lindy to have a yard like this:
    So I decided to go with this X word:  
    xy·loph·a·gous (zī-lŏfˈə-gəs)

    It is an adjective, meaning:
    1. Feeding on wood, as certain insects or insect larvae.
    2. Destructive to wood, as certain crustaceans or fungi.
      Wikipedia says many insects, or their larvae, and a large number of polyplacophorans (in great depths in the world’s oceans) are xylophagous. 

      HOWEVER, I chose the word xylophagous because one of my favorite animals is on this list. No, not bark beetles or even gribbles, but yes, I love instead the Giant Panda. 

      (Gribbles aren’t as cute, are only 1/16 inch long, and I haven't taken any photos of them. Wikipedia has a picture, if you want to look at gribbles, but I’m posting pandas.)
      Examples of wood-eating animals
      Bark beetles, horntails, termites, Giant Panda, panaque catfish, gribbles, shipworms
        SO here is my excuse to post PANDA PICTURES (roar of the crowd, deafening applause, and drum roll) on ABC Wednesday's X day! Yay!
        Here they are, ladies and gentlemen, the cutest xylophagous animals in Xistence (and threatened with Xtinction) ... GIANT ... PANDAS ... (more applause) from our visit to the San Diego Zoo several years ago.

        Above, Su Lin in a tree, which is where young pandas stay in order to be safe from predators while their mothers are out gathering and eating bamboo.

        Because the San Diego Zoo pandas have their bamboo pre-gathered by their staff, Su Lin's mother, Bai Yun, is sleeping (right).

        We don't eat much bamboo ourselves, so we went to a restaurant farther up in the zoo complex, and from our table we could see Su Lin was still in her tree (below).
        Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear

         Su Lin's daddy, Gao Gao, likes to show off for the tourists, but mostly (see below) he likes eating the wood and leaves of the bamboo tree.
        He's a xylophagus mammal, big time!

        Posted for the letter X in the ABC Wednesday meme.
        How have others around the world dealt with X? To find out, click

        Monday, December 27, 2010

        My world included three Tuesdays in Hawaii this month

        Dick, wearing the lei our wonderful new friends Kay and Art gave him, our first day in Hawaii.
        Then they took us to scenic vantage points high above the city of Honolulu.
        This spot is so beautiful, we actually saw a wedding taking place the morning we were there.

        This darling wee dove visited us every morning for a week as we
        breakfasted on the balcony of our little condo in Kapaa,
        on the beautiful "garden island" of Kauai.

        A drive up to the north end of Kauai provided beautiful photos of the northeast and north coasts.

        A spectacular hour with Island Helicopters gave us great shots, like this beach on the northwest coast.

        Dick enjoyed snorkeling on Captain Andy's catamaran cruise.

        Posted for the weekly meme, My World Tuesday, hosted by a great group of people.
        To see how others view their worlds right now, please click HERE.

        There might be something to eat down there! This Pet has no Pride

            What you see here is most of our dog. The above-ground bits. Her head is the below-ground bit. She thinks she has found something interesting in the spring grass, perhaps something edible, despite being fed three meals a day plus vegetable snacks, with yogurt every morning and evening, plus a probiotic capsule for her digestion.
            But we love Lindy.
            Her curls are so pretty and she is so sweet, except when she's whining and sniveling at the fridge, hoping for veggies; or when she's digging a hole in the prairie, hoping to find a gopher.
            Thank goodness for winter, she very seldom digs for gophers in winter, especially when it is snowy.

        Posted for the Pet Pride meme, hosted every week by Bozo and his people in Mumbai.
        Lindy likes Bozo, but Bozo probably doesn't remember Lindy exists.

        Sunday, December 26, 2010

        We found a lovely mellow yellow near the beach at Waikiki

        There was a brief tropical storm when we visited Honolulu last week. We saw many flowers battered by the rain, but this Hawaiian hibiscus waited in all its beauty for us to capture its loveliness.

                                                                                                                                              Richard Schear photo

        To see other festive yellows posted for Drowsey Monkey's popular weekly meme,
        Mellow Yellow Monday, please click HERE!

        Saturday, December 25, 2010

        An early start to our first day in Hawaii produced many shadows

        Deep shade in front of the Iolani Palace as the sun is on the far side.

        Our friends Kay and Art told us they had never seen the palace decorated like this.
        We admired the shadowy trees around the palace, but forgot to ask their names. There were palms, of course, and banyan trees, and monkeypod trees, but I can't identify them, even after Googling. 
        Photos by Kay Davies

        Posted for Shadow Shot Sunday which is hosted every week by Tracy at Hey Harriet.
        To see who else has posted Shadow Shots this Christmas weekend, please click HERE.

        Friday, December 24, 2010

        Not a lot of camera critter choices in Hawaii, but...

        but... I loved the red-footed boobies we saw some years ago during our visit to the Galapagos Islands, and we were delighted this month to find out they also live on the Hawaiian Islands. However, Hawaiian red-foots aren't as tame as their Galapagos cousins, so we were only able to get distant shots of them at the Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge on the beautiful island of Kauai, which we both loved.

        Red-footed boobies, photo by Richard Schear.
        Juvenile red-footed booby, Richard Schear photo.

        Red-footed booby, photo by Kay Davies.

        Wedge-tailed shearwaters, Richard Schear photo.
        Laysan Albatross, photo by Richard Schear.

        We also saw some Great Frigatebirds flying in the distance, recognizable by their deeply-forked tails. We saw some Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, and Laysan Albatrosses, but no Red-tailed or White-tailed Tropicbirds, and we definitely missed Hawaii's official state bird, the rare and lovely Nene or Hawaiian Goose, no matter where we went.

        Posted for Camera Critters, hosted every week by Misty Dawn, even on Christmas Eve.
        Thanks, Misty!
        For critters captured by other cameras, please click HERE!

        'Tis the night before Christmas, and all through our house...

        is the sound of Kay coughing.
        (Now, what rhymes with mouse?)

        Yep, I'm sick. Same cough/cold/sneezle thing I acquired in Hawaii, or possibly on the plane going to Hawaii.
        So I've been feeling very sorry for my silly self, until I read something today that snapped me right out of it. Not out of the coughing, but out of my ridiculous self-pity. There are people starving tonight. There are people dying, and people suffering unimaginable pain. Cars are crashing and boats are sinking, and no one has found the answer to poverty, or put an end to war.
        I'm a wuss, or worse than a wuss, and it isn't as if I never had a less-than-perfect Christmas.

        Just before breakfast, December 25, 1992, my parents and my brother Rob and I were walking through the obstacle course that is my sister's driveway. I tripped over the tongue of the utility trailer and crashed, head first, into the side of the motorhome. Then I found I couldn't stand up straight.
        My dad told my mother to go inside and call 911.
        She ran inside, then came out again to ask, "Should I tell them we need an ambulance?"
        Dad said yes, muttered something else under his breath, and Mom went back into the house. My brother took the things I was carrying, so I could lean, bent in half, on the hood of the nearest car.
        My brother-in-law came out, wearing a Santa hat, and carrying two pillows, which he put under my hands so I could lean on the car without freezing.
        Then the fire engine arrived. All the neighbors heard the siren, so they came out to see whose house was on fire.
        Meanwhile, my niece Jodi was filming all the action from up on the balcony, to send to America's Funniest Home Video.
        An ambulance arrived. Two paramedics jumped out and rushed at me with a backboard, forcing me to straighten my back so they could carry me away. My sister would tell you I screamed. I say I squeaked loudly. Whatever, I was rushed, screaking louder than the siren, to the hospital where I waited, and waited, and waited. "Triage" is the word they use for interminable waiting like that. People in danger of dying are dealt with first, while clumsy screaky females are put to the end of the line.
        Throughout the day, various family members showed up to visit me. At one point, my father, brother, and brother-in-law in his Santa hat, were lined up at the end of my gurney, making me laugh. It hurt, a lot, to laugh. "Go away," I gasped. "I'm not ready for Peace Arch Hospital Meets the Three Stooges."

        In due course, I was X-rayed, and was told I had, by hitting the motorhome with the top of my head, suffered a compression fracture in one of my vertebrae.
        "What do you do for that?" I asked, expecting a body cast or, at the very least, Crazy Glue.
        "Nothing," the X-ray tech replied.
        "Nothing?" I gasped (it was a gasping kind of day).
        "Well," he allowed, "they'll probably give you a shot of Demerol, so your family can fold you into the car to take you home."
                                                                   Photo by Richard Schear
        They didn't take me home. They took me to another town, to my brother Clint's house, where his wife Ria told me to sit in a big comfy chair and point to anything I wanted, so one of the teenagers could fetch it for me.

        Now here we are, 18 years later and I'm married and living in another province, but, whenever I cough, I can feel a twinge in that one broken vertebra, right between my shoulder blades.
        It makes me feel humble. Deservedly so.
        It's the night before Christmas, and even if my husband brought home far too much fruitcake and too many fancy cookies when he went shopping today, I am at home, safe and warm, with a dog to cuddle, a family to call on the phone, hundreds of photos of Hawaii to edit on my computer, and there was a beautiful sunset here in southeastern Alberta tonight.
        Merry Christmas, everybody!

        Thursday, December 23, 2010

        Sky Watch Friday featuring skies of Hawaii




        Posted for Sky Watch Friday
        hosted weekly by Sylvia, Klaus, Sandy and Wren -- thanks, team!!
        For other skies from around the world, please click HERE!