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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The unfittie's fall in winter

In the chapters that I've managed to write for my stalled work-in-progress (with the same title as my blog), I admit to being unfit and unhealthy. I even admit to having a poor sense of balance.
What I don't come right out and say...what I actually hate to admit...is...I'm clumsy.
In some ways, it's a family trait. I remember once, when we were young, Mother was entertaining guests. My brother Clint who was probably 6 or 7 at the time, came running into the room, fell flat on his face and, lying there on the living room floor, turned his cute freckled face up toward the guests and grinned. "Ain't I grateful?" he asked, and everyone laughed.
Fast forward 55 years or so.
I may not have mentioned to my blog followers that we've been enjoying...er, having some very cold weather, but we have been. Having, that is, not enjoying. It is, right now, counting the windchill, -32 Celsius, which is the equivalent of 25.6 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit.
We live in a cul-de-sac on a side street in a small town on the edge of the small city of Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Richard Schear photo
The Trans-Canada Highway runs through "The Hat" and then through our little town on its way to the Rocky Mountains and eventually to the warmer climate of the west coast of Canada. The private company chosen by the province of Alberta to maintain the highway does a stellar job of the flatlands here, because they also have to clear the mountain passes, so the prairie is, you might say, a piece of cake. (In Canada's other official language, that might be what my brother Clint calls un morceau de gateau. My husband, who grew up in Quebec, the raison d'etre for the second official language, just shakes his head when Clint says that.)
If you're in Quebec, forgive me for having an English keyboard and only knowing how to make an acute accent...é...cute, isn't it?
However good the highway maintenance is in Alberta, the whole idea falls apart in the outskirts of a small town, on the outskirts of a small city. The main roads are plowed regularly, and the not-very-main roads are sanded, sometimes. When snowy weather is followed by rain and then by extremely cold weather, the snow, rain, and sand mix together and freeze to form hard, icy ruts. I hate to go out in this weather, whether walking or driving.
Today Dick left in his car and, although he did brush the snow off my car, he left me to my own devices otherwise, and I had an appointment to have my hair cut, which it really, really needed.
I was fine, driving on the ruts and the bumps, and finer driving on the main roads, which were mainly clear.
Richard Schear photo
I came home, parked in our cul-de-sac, walked across the lawn where the snow wasn't deep, and around the corner of the house. I peeked in the window and saw Lindy sleeping on the floor. She hadn't even heard my car. I tapped on the window to wake her up, and continued toward the door, giggling. And I forgot to look at my feet.
So I fell. I could have landed on the air conditioning unit, on a wooden planter, on a big rock, or on a low spreading juniper shrub thickly covered with snow and dead leaves. I didn't have a choice in the matter, I simply fell, and I landed on the softly shrouded shrub. Somebody up there likes me.
I came in, played with the dog, and was very pleased I hadn't injured anything, although my arms were a little sore where I'd landed on them.
See the depression in the snow, almost shaped like a snow angel, but not quite?
That would be me. See the rock near the bottom of the photo. I didn't hit it.
Kay Davies photo
I forgot, I have fibromyalgia, a ridiculous medical condition which includes muscle memory. I like muscle memory for everyday chores like walking, washing dishes, brushing teeth, even for driving a car with a standard transmission. I don't like muscle memory that suddenly says to itself, Hey, we fell, didn't we? So shouldn't we hurt? Yeah, we should, so let's. Soon, every muscle in my body had responded as readily as my left foot depresses the clutch pedal. So who is depressed now? Here's a hint: it's not the dog.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Out of Standard at Real Toads: hula hoop girl

For her Out of Standard Challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Izy has offered us 10 lines that never made it into print.
We are to give them life, get them out there to join the party.
Although I have used one of Izy's lines to open my poem, it doesn't necessarily have to be the first line. It just has to be in there, somewhere, meeting the world for the first (or second, if you count Izy's list) time.
 

Although she wouldn’t admit it,
Jill knew she was slowly turning
into a hula hoop.
It would take one more chocolate cake,
she knew,
or a bag of butterscotch chip cookies,
then she would be as big around
as the toy her mother played with
years ago.
N Image by Tyler Hounsome
at clker.com
She could use it for a belt
instead of sewing it into
the hem of a dress,
as she had
considered earlier.
She wouldn’t admit it,
not aloud,
but she knew in her heart,
oh yes,
she knew...
Hula Hoops R'nt us
but us R Hula Hoops

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our World Tuesday: it's going to change


pdclipart.org
We're going to Europe again.

My husband and I are about to have a transoceanic adventure.

We're crossing the Atlantic onboard the Carnival Destiny, from her present base in Miami, Florida, to her new home in the Mediterranean.

Then we can add Italy to the list of European places we've visited.
 
So far, our European travels have included Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, with a quick stop for a few photos at the train station in Luxembourg on our way from Switzerland to The Netherlands.
 
We disembark in Venice and, after visiting there and taking plenty of photos of my husband's dream destination, we'll be traveling by train as far south as Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, then flying home from Rome.

Carnival Cruise Lines photo: Carnival Destiny
We sail next week from Miami, so this will be my last visit to Our World Tuesday for a while. I'm hoping to be able to post some photos from Italy, however.
 
We aren't going to take in a basketball game in Miami, as we've done a couple of times before...our first ocean crossing will be excitement enough!

Richard Schear photo

Above, the jump to start overtime between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers, January 29, 2005. It was my first professional basketball game, and it was exciting alright, but Miami lost in overtime.


For Real Toads: Unfittie Chapter 5 redux


Audrey Hepburn
from Wikipedia

    I’d love to be a tall, slim, elegant, rich person cutting an awe-inspiring swath through an expensive hotel lobby, carrying only my tiny purse and a pair of kid gloves, followed by a cadre of devoted bellboys hefting my dozens of pieces of perfectly matched luggage, met by a smiling hotel manager as he exclaims joyfully, “Oh, we’re so happy to see you again, Ms Davies. What can we do for you?”
Davies-Schear photo, 2008
    Such people expect help to be offered, and appear to be born knowing how to accept it graciously.
    But how many of us want to be plump, gray-haired grannies being pushed in wheelchairs at airports?
    Mumble, grumble.
    Nevertheless, I’ve been there, when my feet are so sore I can’t walk another inch lest I burst into tears of pain and frustration. Yes, I can get myself down the jet-way from the gate, onto the plane, and from there to my seat, but I now know I can’t handle the miles and endless miles of hallways and escalators eventually leading out of the airport.
    In addition to the adventures engineered by my still-athletic husband, I've taken many trips alone to visit my family, so I’m familiar with my usual airports. My Air Canada and Aeroplan online-profiles both say “assistance at terminal” but, when my plane lands in Calgary, I ask which gate we’re using before I leave the plane, so I know how much walking is involved. If I can get to the next stage of my journey by myself, I’ll do it.
    YVR in Vancouver, BC, however, has been too big for years, and is much too big since they enlarged it to cope with the 2010 Olympics.
    At the end of a day of travel, it can be tough to get from my plane to the baggage-claim area in time to meet the family member designated Auntie Kay’s driver du jour. So I happily accept a ride to the elevator on one of those cute golf-cart gizmos, beep-beeping through the crowds. But being pushed in a wheelchair? In Vancouver? Where someone—someone who knows me—might see me?
    I dunno.
    A wheelchair at London Heathrow is essential, though. I’ve seen entire cities smaller than LHR. But I was once very surprised to be among a group of disembarking passengers whisked off the plane and onto a large scissor-lift built for baggage. We reached the ground safe and sound, but very confused. From there, all of us, with our wheelchairs, were manhandled into a bus for a high-speed unguided tour through the bowels of Heathrow, after which I found myself on a slightly-less-speedy wheelchair ride through long corridors, past desks full of airport personnel. As we zipped by each desk, one of the airport employees would call out, “Are you Kay? Your husband has been looking for you.”
    Really, the poor man had no idea where they’d taken me, plus no idea where he was going to catch our flight to Barcelona. He did manage to arrive at the departure gate ahead of us, but when the wheelchair attendant delivered me, Dick was the very picture of a man who didn’t know whether to be angry or relieved. Still, I suspect he was actually happy to see me after his long, worried walk through unknown territory.
    In large but considerably less overwhelming airports, where he can walk right beside my wheelchair, he is particularly happy. My carry-on luggage gets piled on top of me, so Dick only has to worry about his own bags – and the people who push wheelchairs know all the airport shortcuts. We get to the next gate or to the baggage claim far faster than if we had slogged along on foot, having to stop in order for me to rest every 50 yards.
STOPPING TO REST
    A major big deal, for unfitties who travel, is the frequency of pit-stops. Whether stops for the use of facilities, for resting poor aching legs and diabetic feet, or perhaps just for breathing, they’re of utmost importance to the unfit traveler.
    However, they aren’t always located where we want them to be.
    It’s hard to remedy the placement of facilities in airports or elsewhere, but feet can be refreshed momentarily when we just sit down.
    But sit where? we wonder.
    Good question. That’s why I have a chair thing, which folds down into a cane, or maybe you’d call it a cane that opens up into a chair. One or the other. Not exactly a push-button massaging recliner chair, but it’s something on which to sit when the only other choice is the floor or the ground, because if I get down there, I might never get up again.
Richard Schear
photo Dec. 2006
Galapagos Islands
    I now have my second folding cane/chair gizmo, and I outfitted it with heavy-duty rubber feet—all three of them. Yep, only three legs. It isn’t elegant nor, to tell the truth, is it wildly comfortable, but it sure beats the alternative. Practice using one in the store before you buy it, and again at home before you embark on an adventure, but by all means get one.
    Some stores offer a sling-style folding travel chair with a heavy fabric seat. It may not be quite as much use cane-wise, but it certainly looks more comfortable for sitting. I’ve seen one being used by a friend, and meant to ask if I could try it out, but I forgot. So try them both, if you can.
    My chair/cane was a lifesaver in the Galapagos Islands.
*
Posted
for
Open Link Monday
in
the

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Succinctly Yours: whack


"Don't worry, pretty little redheaded girl. If anyone tries to hurt you, I'll whack him with my fist," promised Charlie Brown Bear.
131 characters, including spaces & punctuation

Posted for
Succinctly Yours
the Monday meme at Grandma's Goulash

The rules of Succinctly Yours are simple. Every weekend, Grandma posts a photo as a prompt. Participants are invited to write a short story of 140 words or less, or a short-short story of no more than 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
There is also a word of the week, chosen by Grandma's daughter Calico before she saw the picture. This week's word is "whack" and I have used it in my 131 characters, including spaces and punctuation.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pet Pride: nap time at Lindy's house




Posted for
Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family
at their Pets Forever blog in Mumbai, India

Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo. See the top picture? That's me, sleeping, with my favorite toy. His name is Biggy Piggy. In the bottom picture, I'm on my window seat, and I'm just ready to put my head down on the chair next to it. The chair only has a thin cushion on it now, so I've asked my mom to get a thicker, softer cushion for the chair, and I think she will. And guess what? For your blog next week, we have a picture of my dog cousins, Jasper and Roxy. I haven't met them yet, but we might go for a nice long car ride to see them soon. They live at a place my mom calls The Wet Coast of Bee See. I hope we don't see a bee, but I really want to meet Jasper and Roxy."

For Real Toads: last becomes first


Here’s the challenge: Look at five to ten of the latest poems you wrote and find last lines that are rich with possibility for a new beginning...the first line (or two) of the new poem—long or short—that you write this weekend.

My friend Susan at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, issued the challenge above. I looked up the poems that have appeared on my blog since September, and chose ten lines, hoping one of them would work.


Susan showed us an example of a ghazal, but my poem is a free verse last-line poem instead.


in what emotion was I caught
when all my heart and mind were fraught
with terror over spending
eternity alone?
Richard Schear photo, 2012
  
eternity alone
can break
the universe,
one solar system at a time,
  
and time alone
can mend my mind,
and heal this heart
of stone.

Kay L. Davies, January, 2013


Camera Critters: casual summer stroll


This small group of pronghorn antelope could be seen sauntering slowly across the Alberta prairie last summer, with the sun warming their flanks, and in no hurry to get anywhere very fast.
Richard Schear Photo, 2012
A little bit of summer sun posted
in January for Misty Dawn's
Camera Critters meme
Thanks, Misty!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekend Reflections on the Danube

Late autumn may not be the best time of year for sunny weather on the beautiful Danube River, but my husband still managed to capture some reflections during our 15-day Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises.

Posted for James at
Weekend Reflections
Richard Schear photos, November 2012




For Real Toads: music prompt 'Dessa'


Marian and Izy have a love-in going on via computer, and today theyre lovin' the music of Minneapolis hip-hop artist Dessa, whose “music is intriguing, mysterious, beautiful, danceable”... Izy describes it as “lavish and highly addictive.” Marian agrees.

Dessa
via Wikipedia
They provided a sample of Dessa's music as a prompt for members and contributors at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, telling us how Dessa likes to take everyday sayings and bend them in her own way. It is this aspect of the artist I would like to get into today.

Better Never than Late

Dessa says “kiss the bottle, spin the girl”
and take the English language for a whirl—
now do your thinking 'way outside the box
if you don’t have a chicken, roast an ox.
blamestormings not like rocket science now
it’s better to know who instead of how.
if you’re between a hard place and a rock,
it’s better that you yell instead of knock.
the best things out since sliced bread would be grapes
pre-packaged in their skins like naked apes.
better never than late, they often say
(say those who don’t know nighttime from the day)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Skywatch Friday: sun and moon last month

My husband took these photos four minutes apart on the same afternoon last month. However, the second one, the sunset, was shot first.

Posted for
Skywatch Friday


Richard Schear photos, December, 2012

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Worldbuilding challenge, for Real Toads


Kerry’s challenge today for members and participants in An Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, is “worldbuilding” — although she has provided photos for inspiration, and a link to her favorite worldbuilder Jacek Yerka, this challenge is not the same as “ekphrasis” which came up recently: to compose a poem reflecting a painting. Kerry definitely wants us to create our own worlds.

As it happens, I stayed recently in a home with a 9-year-old, an 11-year-old, and their collection of Harry Potter books. I read the first four, and, while I could identify with J.K. Rowling’s delight in creating names for her characters and places, I felt, as always, no desire to write fantasy fiction.
Original "Hair" poster
via Wikipedia

Instead, given the age that I am, and the age that I was in the 60s, my mind went this morning to the lyrics of the song Aquarius: “la la la, peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars, dum de dum, harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding, no more falsehoods or derisions, la la la, and the mind’s true revelation, dum de dum”...

So I decided to look up the lyrics, because anyone can get them wrong.

No one outside a website on misheard lyrics could get it as wrong as this one I found, though...
No more need for superstition; all your living dreams are visions; and Pete will guide the planet; and love will steal the stars. (Oh yes, good old Pete.)

So I was laughing before I tackled today’s Real Toads challenge. Mix laughter with a lifelong lack of interest in the fantasy genre, and I could only manage a very, very short poem, about the most domestic of imaginary worlds. I don’t even have a house-robot or constant good weather in it...

in a perfect world
spouses would ask
 “is there anything I can do to help?”
in a perfect world
teenagers would say
 “want me to clean up my room?”
in a perfect world
children would cry, dogs would bark,
cats would yowl, crows would caw
HubbleSite photo
only before eleven p.m.
and after seven a.m.
in a perfect world
if a perfect world
were suddenly here
in our imperfect world








Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lindy's shadow in sun, snow and wind


"Isn't this fun, Dad?" asks Lindy.
"What could be better than a sunny, windy, snowy day in January?"

Photos by Richard Schear, January, 2013
"I think I'll just sit here for a while, Dad, and maybe I'll purr...!"

Shadow Shot Sunday 2
hosted by Magical Mystical Teacher,
and Gemma Wiseman, and Rose

Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's friend Bozo and his family
at their Pets Forever blog, in Mumbai, India
Lindy says, "Hi, Bozo. I know you don't have snow in Mumbai, and I'm sorry you don't, because it is such fun. My special boots keep my feet warm, and they don't let lumps of ice form between my toes, because those really hurt."

Real Toads: Hedge's interlocking rhyme

This weekend at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Hedgewitch has challenged us to write a poem with an interlocking, or chained, rhyme.

She provided us with this example of a medieval Irish poem:


"Charmed be this, the land of Eire
Fair isle of the fruitful sea
Trees be laden on the green hill
Filled with fruit be the rainy wood;
Moody with rain be the cascade
Made of falls be the lake of tarns…"

as well as two examples she just "scratched up" to show how "simple and open-ended" the process is. She's a fine poet, our Hedgewitch is. She puts many of us to shame on a pretty much regular basis. Therefore, what is simple for her might be considered challenging to a mere mortal such as I.


So I tried one:

we wandered into the garden where,
wearing longjohn underwear,
stared Stallion and the Old Grey Mare

and then another:
I realized, while walking, I had gained far too much flab,
grabbed a cab rather than taking a tram,
gams just couldn’t manage walking,
stockings couldn’t keep up at all



Until I managed one I liked. I don't love it, but at least I like it:
  
Wikipedia photo
letters found in an old armoir
attar of roses perfumes air
bare emotions lingering there
where my mother’s crocheted shawl
calls to mind my childhood doll

Kay L. Davies, 
January, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

For Real Toads: Mediterranean climate

Marseilles, France


Malaga, Spain
Barcelona

from Marseilles to Barcelona
down to the south of Spain
Malaga, Gibraltar, to Tangier,
from Casablanca in Morocco,
up to Lisbon, Portugal —
where winter’s wet,
and summer’s dry,
the same biome we wandered,
where similar climates
cities do enjoy

Malaga



Photos by
Kay Davies
and
Richard Schear











Collioure, France
Posted for the online writers' group
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
where Hannah's Transforming Friday challenge this week is for us to write about one or more of the world's five Mediterranean Climate Zones. I have chosen an area represented on Hannah's map that stretches south from Marseilles, France.

(Photo via Wiki under CC Author=: Vzb83 from fi)

Well, well, for Weekend Reflections

Photos by Richard Schear, November, 2012
It was a dull, cloudy, rather foggy day (right) when we visited Bratislava, Slovakia, on our recent Grand European Tour with Viking River Cruises.
However, the weather conditions did not interfere with my intrepid photographer's ability to catch his own reflection at the bottom of an ancient well (below) on the grounds of Bratislava Castle.
In the first photo, the  Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising can be seen as a gloomy reflection in the Danube River.


Posted for Weekend Reflections

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yes, I'm back...

I'm here, following a bit of a disastrous day. First, I fell out of bed (actually, I fell off the couch in my brother Rob's living room) and didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't see the clock, didn't know what time it was, so didn't yell for help. Finally got myself up off the floor (I forget what time it was, but it wasn't too terribly early) and back into bed, and back to sleep before the rest of the family woke up.
Got to the Vancouver airport early for my 11:10am flight, which was then delayed long enough so that I missed my connecting flight in Calgary by 10 minutes. They booked me on the next flight, several hours later.
Sigh.
So, if you all promise not to laugh about me falling out of bed, and promise to be sympathetic about my delayed flight and my missed flight, I will try to come up with something more interesting for tomorrow.
And yes, it looks like the family emergency is almost over, with a happy ending, neither of which is happening because of anything I did, but at least I was there, in case I was needed.
K

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I'll be back

Yes, I promise I'll be back.
I just don't know when.
I'm in my home province, British Columbia, right now, having left my husband Dick, and our dog Lindy, to keep the home fires burning without me for a while.
I'm at my young brother's house. Our niece's husband is in the hospital in Vancouver, and I'm on standby here in the suburbs, in case I'm needed for errands or whatever.
It's the least an aunt can do.
Our niece, her husband, and their 5-year-old daughter have a cute little pug dog named Roxy. My sister-in-law picked Roxy up and brought her here to play with the big dog, Jasper, on Tuesday. Later, we went to pick up our grandniece from kindergarten. She was so happy to see Roxy sitting on Auntie Kay's lap when she got into the car!
Auntie Kay's jacket and slacks might have dog hair on them for a long time, but it's worth it because we had a lot of fun. My brother and sister-in-law have a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old. Our grandniece admires her "big cousins" a lot, and the three of them had a great time playing together.
Maybe we can do the same thing tomorrow.
And I'll be back blogging before you have a chance to miss me.
Kay



Monday, January 7, 2013

For Real Toads: Open Link Escher

mud
puddle
muddle
muddy
Puddle, by M.C. Escher, from wikipaintings.org
foot
boot
tire
tired

wait!

tree
branches
leaves
stems
flowers
fruit
sky
reflected
muddy
puddle

On the weekend, Kerry had us consider the work of Dutch surrealist M.C. Escher at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. She included a few of his paintings, and provided a link to more. I chose one for ekphrasis at the Sunday Mini-Challenge, posted another because it's a picture of a place we'll visit soon, and today I'm posting a third Escher work and the little poem it inspired for Open Link Monday at Real Toads.
And now for something really wonderful: Kerry has invited me to present a challenge or two for the members and contributors to Real Toads. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. Maybe soon, maybe not. There's still that place in the second Escher picture I posted, and we'll be there before we know it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Browsing further through Escher's work

Having just been introduced to the surrealist work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher, thanks to Kerry at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads (see previous post), I decided to explore his work at www.wikipaintings.org.

I came across the picture below, and thought That looks like one of the places we're going to visit on our upcoming trip to Italy, so I clicked on it for details and, sure enough, it is on the Amalfi Coast. Sneak preview, in black and white! Now if that isn't surreal, I don't know what is.

The Amalfi Coast, south of Naples, and Cinque Terre, in northern Italy south of Genoa, are two places considered to be among the most scenic in a country renowned for its photo opportunities.

I spent most of my life living in a hillside town on the coast of British Columbia, so I have a thing for scenic hillside places. Dick will have his way about several other places in Italy, but those are my picks for pix.

M.C. Escher, www.wikipaintings.org



For Real Toads: Escher ekphrasis


Two very talented poets at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads came up with a new kind of picture prompt for the first Sunday of 2013.

Hedgewitch suggested and Kerry accepted the concept of ekphrasis, "the graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art..."

To this end, Kerry chose for us the stylized work of Dutch surrealist M.C. Escher, offered us some examples of his work, and provided a link to the Escher gallery at wikipaintings.

Although unable to manage anything dramatic, I wrote the following rhyme about Escher's work entitled "Castle in the Air":



www.wikipaintings.org


we dream castles in the air
try to reach them
get nowhere
when suddenly our walking speed
becomes a tortoise for a steed
plodding, plodding
ever slower
sinking
lower
low
er
l
o
w
e
r
Kay L. Davies, January, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Camera Critters: question answered

Photo by Richard Schear, January 3, 2013. Female Common Redpoll.

Caught with the evidence in her mouth! It's okay, little bird, that's why we leave the fruit on the tree, for you and for the deer to eat in the winter.

After much research, but without having to send an SOS to our bird blog buddy Phil in the UK, I have established that this cutie is a female Common Redpoll.

Richard Schear photo, January 3, 2013. Common Redpoll.
A flock of brown and red birds descended on our ornamental crabapple tree a couple of days ago, and we thought we were having a visit from some House Finches who had wandered a little north of their territory.
The pink color, indicating where House Finches live, is in almost all of the US, and in the southern parts of eastern Canada, as well as on the west coast of BC. But their range doesn't reach Alberta (second province from the left) even though they're shown in Montana, directly below us.

Map by Terry Sohl, NatureServe
House Finch allaboutbirds.org








Then I looked up our photos from last winter and realized our visitors were most likely Redpolls. A little more research confirmed it. They came back! They like our tree. Maybe they'll be back again. We hope so.

Richard Schear photo, February, 2012. Common Redpoll.
Map by Terry Sohl, NatureServe
Redpoll range: light blue.
Common Redpoll allaboutbirds.org










Posted for Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!

Friday, January 4, 2013

For Real Toads: window challenge

Mary, a talented member of the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, hosts a challenge called Mary's Mixed Bag. Today, she has asked us to write about windows.

Photo by Kay L. Davies, December 2011
I started off with a little of my usual doggerel, thinking to use a photo of the window my husband had installed in the door by my computer desk in 2011. It was a gift for my birthday, and I was thrilled. It overlooks our small front yard, which is almost covered by the branches of an ornamental crabapple tree. We don't use the fruit, but leave it on the tree for visiting wildlife, mostly of the winged or antlered variety, which can be pretty exciting and certainly a lot of fun to watch.
I once had a window made for me
so I could look outside and see
our crabapple tree whose frozen fruit
the birds and deer would come to loot
However, after four lines of said doggerel, I began to think about no windows, and the thought made me feel hollow inside, so I wrote something else.

HOLLOW INSIDE

a house without windows
a room with no door
a boat full of holes
on the ocean floor
a life without living
a song with no tune
there’s no thanksgiving
with no harvest moon
we remain unforgiven
if there was no sin
for there was no window
no one looking in
Kay L. Davies, January, 2013

Weekend Reflections: through a lock

The Viking Danube went through many locks on its journeys from Amsterdam to Budapest, and back again, but when we were headed toward Budapest in November, the ship passed through most of the locks at night. Here, however, my intrepid photographer managed to capture some reflections as we went through this lock, on a decidedly overcast day.



Richard Schear photos



Posted for
Weekend Reflections,
the reflective meme hosted by James of California. Thanks, James!