Tuesday, August 31, 2010

G is for Getting Around the World

Okay, so many people have commented on the size of the Giant Tortoise, I thought I'd just add another picture to show you how right you are. Here is a tortoise and a tourist. The adult person is closer to the camera than the tortoise is, so you can imagine how big these reptiles really get. Thanks for all your comments! -- Kay

From the top down:

G is for Galapagos Giant Tortoise, one of the animals the Charles Darwin Research Center in the Galapagos Islands is trying to save from extinction, as we found when we went for a Galapagos cruise on the MV Letty with Ecoventura.

G is for Gran Ventana Beach Resort, where we stayed in the Dominican Republic. I laughed when I saw the swim-up bar: I'd never seen one before. My husband enjoyed it.

G is for Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect whose buildings attract the attention of all the tourists in Barcelona.

G is for, not garden, but it's a good guess ...G is for grateful to be home: home with my green lawn swing; home where the green arch over the sidewalk is slowly being pulled out of the ground by the aggresive honeysuckle.

Go to ABC Wednesday to find more great pictures.

Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear

Monday, August 30, 2010

My World is from Ocean to Prairie

My world, when we're not globetrotting, is still larger than it used to be, ever since I married a man whose work and family are in Alberta.
My world now stretches from the southwest corner of British Columbia to the southeast corner of Alberta, some 1400km (870 miles) across a dozen mountain ranges including the Rockies, and across the prairie "where the deer and the antelope play".
The prairie, contrary to my long-held belief, is not completely flat. In some places there are hills and, in other places, coulees (a pretty word for holes in the ground, or ravines).
The coulees near the South Saskatchewan River start, for us, near our back yard. My husband Dick, and our dog Lindy, usually take their daily walk around the tops of some of these scenic ravines, and they never know who they'll meet: other dogs walking their owners; cats out for a stroll without their owners; or deer who know no owners. So far, Dick and Lindy haven't met any antelope, although we often see them in the fields on the other side of town.
This week, for My World Tuesday I've chosen some of the photos taken by Dick (Richard Schear) and Lindy (who doesn't have her own camera but is good about waiting while Dick uses his) so you can see a coulee, some of the wildlife, and a lovely coulee cat.

You can see other sights (and sites) from around the world at

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mellow Yellow Silk Art in China

It is impossible to describe, in one blog post, all we saw when we visited China. So it's a good thing I'm limited here to photos containing the color yellow, because we saw everything. Well, it felt like everything. China is an immense country. The only countries in the world larger than China are Russia, Canada and the USA. So you know we didn't see everything. We did, however, see a lot. Our cruise-tour with Viking River Cruises covered a lot of territory, a lot of history, and a lot of culture -- three things China possesses in abundance. Right now, for Mellow Yellow Monday, I'd like to share three kinds of Chinese art with you. Before this trip, we knew about Chinese jade carvings, of course, and we even knew about Chinese silk carpets. We didn't, however, know the Chinese have perfected needlework and made it an art form. At first glance, the picture of the two dancing cranes appears to be a painting. Close up, the picture of the mischievous fox shows this art for what it is, incredibly fine silk (a lot of it yellow) worked with a delicate needle. In the third picture, we see a large silk carpet on the wall of a carpet factory. In front of it are baskets and jars of dye, and I think the second from the right might be the yellow dye, but I don't really know. I do know a yellow-gold wall forms a spectacular background for the carving of birds and flowers in black and white jade.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My love affair with pandas

A picture I like to call "Kay Day at the Zoo"!
(Richard Schear, photo)

Adult male Giant Panda "Gao Gao" munching bamboo at San Diego Zoo. Photo by Kay Davies.

I've always loved pictures of Giant Pandas, not to mention toy pandas, and was very excited to see Bai Yun, Gao Gao and Su Lin at the San Diego Zoo a few years ago. I had watched the zoo's panda cam since Su Lin's big brother Mei Sheng was born.
I was so disappointed not to see any pandas when Dick and I went to China in 2008, and I'll always be sorry I'm not fit enough to return to China as a volunteer at the panda sanctuary in Chengdu. It's a new kind of travel called "voluntourism" and becoming very popular with younger, healthier people.
Today, however, the Google Giant Panda Alert in my e-mail contained photos and a video made by a couple who went to Chengdu. In the video, the husband (the photographer and videographer) is heard assuring two pandas that his wife (the volunteer panda keeper for a day) will be right back with more food for them. Their photos are excellent, and I'd like to share them with you here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blue Spanish Skies

On the waterfront in Barcelona.
Above, next to the waterfront in Barcelona.
A sailing ship, as well as sailboats, moored at the Barcelona waterfront.
Blue skies above statues and a peaceful pond in a park in Madrid.
Looking up at the rooftops in Toledo.
Brilliant blue sky over ruins in Toledo, Spain.

Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear, posted by Kay Davies for Skywatch Friday. See other beautiful sky shots at
See more sites and sights from around the world at
I also participate in
so look for me there. I'll probably be accompanied by my husband, Richard Schear, or our beautiful golden retriever, Lindy, or both.
Happy skywatching. -- K

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

F is for lots of different things...

F is for Furry Friends ... above, my husband Dick with our dog Lindy; below, Dick's furry friend Igor lived for 20 full years.

F is for the funny face of a Frigate Bird chick in the Galapagos Islands.
F is for Flowers in Florida, when we went out to photograph crocodiles.
F is for Freeport in the Bahamas, above, and for a Freighter we saw in Freeport Harbor, below.

F is for Football Fans from Saskatchewan, Canada, seen at a baseball game in Seattle.
Final foto, F is for Fabulous Food in Prince Edward Island.

And just For Fun, every word in the following sentence starts with or (in the case of "of") contains an F.

Fully for folly, fair Fiona, feeling funny, flew forth full of fabulous fancies frighteningly framed for filling files, fleeing further forward from Freddy’s father’s fortune, fantasizing figments for future failures.

Further fun with the alphabet can be found at

Monday, August 23, 2010

MY WORLD SMOKES, and I don't like it

When I look at the current weather conditions on, I see the present temperature and the word "smoke". Yes, the smoke from British Columbia forest fires is still so bad it has become a factor in the weather of southeastern Alberta. It gives me an opportunity to use the words "my world" followed by a verb, but it doesn't give me much satisfaction. I think of all the people I know who have breathing problems, some serious, some less so, and I hope the thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon will come and wash the smoke away, even though the thunder frightens our dog. I think of the lungs of animals, wild and domesticated, who are exposed to the smoke without respite, unlike our dog who spends many hours indoors. And I cry.

You can see happier sights from other parts of the world at
Photos by Richard Schear.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mellow Yellow Dog

Introducing my favorite shade of yellow to Mellow Yellow Monday ...the curly hair of our adorable Golden Retriever, Lindy, otherwise known as Lindimus Maximus. It's almost a year since we adopted her from SOS Pet Rescue, and we love her more every day. My husband always thought of himself as a cat person, and never a dog person, until Lindy walked into our life. Now he is a confirmed dog person, and every day he thinks of new ways to make Lindy's life happier. Letting her climb up onto his recliner with him is a bit much, to my mind.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Smokey the Bear is STILL in the Air!!

Update -- The smoke blew as far as Manitoba, three provinces over from the locations of the forest fires, and smoke is still featured on the hourly forecast of here in southern Alberta. My husband and our dog have had to take shorter walks because of the air pollution and here in this photo the sun, setting over the prairie, is seen through a haze, darkly.
(Below, from a previous post:)
The skies here in southeastern Alberta appear cloudy this morning, but the "cloud" is actually smoke drifting across the Rocky Mountains and over the prairie, reaching as far as Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, some 800km (500 miles) from the BC border.
The smoke comes from the 110 active forest fires in British Columbia, Canada's westernmost province. There are other fires, but these 110 are all more than 10 hectares (24.7 acres) in size. That's 1100 hectares (2718) acres burning today.
I spent most of my life in BC where forest fires were always a possibility, because 2000 of them occur every year.
Even now, when many people have quit smoking, we still see smokers who throw lighted cigarettes out of car windows. There are also campers who build campfires, and neglect to put them completely out and then douse them with lots of water.
Even though most forest fires are caused by lightning, and many of them are in remote areas where smokers and campers never go, it is still important to do our part. Never throw lighted or partially-crushed cigarettes out a window. Never build campfires and leave them without being certain every last ash and cinder has been soaked with water.
As Smokey Bear used to say, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires." Please do your part.
(Photo by Richard Schear)
See photos from other parts of the world at

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I never post these to my blog, but

Thanks to Sylvia in Seattle for posting a warning about pop bottle bombs being thrown into yards and put in mailboxes. It's hard to believe there are people out there who would do such things. Children and pets play in yards. It makes my stomach curdle to think of it, but here is the warning found to be true at

Skywatch Friday, can I get this right?

My husband, Dick, and our beautiful Golden Retriever, Lindy, walk every evening down by the coulees here in southeastern Alberta. Earlier this month, Dick got some fabulous sky pictures as the moon was coming up and the sun was going down, and they were published on this blog before I ever heard of Skywatch Friday, which I only learned about on ABC Wednesday. See (This is entirely too much fun, really.)
Here, however, are my favorites from my August 2 post, for Skywatch Friday: the moon rising over the trees as the sun is setting over the prairie.
Photos by Richard Schear. Posted by Kay Davies.

You can also see more sights (and sites) from around the world at

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not Eggzactly as Instructed for E Week

Kneeling elephant at Ming Tombs, China. Above, with Dick on its leg. Below, with a sigh of relief.

Kay with marble elephants in China. Above, at Ming Tombs. Below, near the Great Wall.

Above, blue-footed booby with egg.
Below, Nazca booby with two eggs.

Above, blue-footed booby again, getting excited about protecting the egg. Below, two pictures of the statue of Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón) on the waterfront in Barcelona, Spain (España).

Found a site called 'ABC Wednesday' and as soon as I saw the picture of a Scrabble board, I knew that site was for me, but I overenthused (I do that a lot) and didn't post to it properly. Should have had an elephant picture because this week is 'E' week on ABC Wednesday.
So here are some Elephants, better late than never. And some Eggs. And a couple of pictures of the Columbus statue on the Barcelona waterfront in España and, if I haven't misunderstood something else, I still have some time to come up with the next letter in my ABCs.
You can also visit more sites (and sights) from around the world at My World Tuesday