Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bird Alert!

...the bird book says this is a Marsh Hawk, a young bird, since it has russet tones on the chest. It sat on the wires in the backyard for a spell, pooped of course--staying long enough for me to crunch thru the snow in the yard with camera. Finally, when it was annoyed enough at me, it left. Click for a better view. The Marsh Hawks patrol the skies over our town, looking for wayward rodents and small birds to snack on. (The photo on top was taken by Hubsy yesterday with the other camera.) For Camera Critters!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fenceline, snow and shadow: in Blue...

...blues make for wonderful tones; blue tone harmonize so well. What doesn't go great with Blue?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toes are Freezing by now....

...Steve and Lori's home is in the background; I start back, around the backyard wetland (swamp) and up their road. Paused to collect images of the rustic fence line and evocative shadows. The game just started when I got  back to their place.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stop the Presses!

....this is why we set up all these feeders and keep them stocked! Today, I was just thinking: Oh, how I wish some brand new great bird would come and give me a nice "feeder show".  The Red-Bellied Woodpecker must have heard me. This happened within an hour.

Waiting for Spring... the rest of us, the trellis in the corner, beside the front porch, slumps under the ice.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Quiet and Cold...

...I was outside for less than half an hour, but everywhere I looked: a nice opportunity for a photo. The air temperature was 15-18 F with a crystal sapphire sky, pure snow and lovely light. The horses across the road were somewhat interested in me, but more so in their pile of food.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"The Bears-Packers Super Bowl".... it was billed at a tavern on the IL-WI border near Richmond, IL. Hubs' and I drove north an hour or so to watch the event on TV at the lovely home of Steve and Lori; adorable, fun-loving and irrepressible--long time friends from the days when Hubs' and I practically commuted between Zion, IL and Madison, WI to see one another. Before the game started, I walked outside with my camera to capture some of the mid-winter magic that can be seen in the Chain of Lakes area of Northern IL.  That's my world.

Friday, January 21, 2011

" What goes on behind her little face..."

...wondered the Gardener, her Grandmother. We met Molly back in Sept.; the more active (for lack of a better word) of a darling pair of twins. She's always up to something, like a sweet little girl version of Dennis the Menace in the comic strip; not malicious, just smart, curious and mechanically inclined, it seems.
Earlier this month, when her Mommy's back was turned for a moment, she pried the spacebar and the "alt" key off Mommy's computer keyboard. Lately, Mommy's Facebook documents the mysterious disappearance of the "F" key from her closed computer. And it was gone! How is a rational young mother--housebound in this winter weather--with a pair of twin toddlers going to get along without the flippin' "F" key??   A new keyboard was ordered. It arrived; and what turned up beneath the coffee table? The "F" key, naturally.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The New Palace of Learning...

...for those of you who haven't been here for a while, here's the new library (caught on the fly). NW corner at Harlem and Glenview Rd., former site of Glenview Paint & Glass.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Noon on MLK Day...

...I believe the Chicago area had 3 sunny days in the past two weeks. I know, that's why you winter in AZ, Lady R.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Devil Rabbit"....

...Hubsy's name for the poor little bunny. (Click on the image: it's eyes are smoldering) The rabbit attends to the ground under the feeder at dusk; that's during the "shift change" of the predator birds. The hawk has gone "nye-nye" and the owl "has not quite had it's Starbucks-run yet". So at this time, the bunny is safe looking for sunflower seeds to nibble. That's my world.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Early Morning on Saturday...

...another platinum sunrise. It's difficult to find a clear spot in the small yard to snap a photo. Later in the weekend, I learned once and for all I hope, To. Take. The. Darn. Camera. with me when I go out!!! Missed several terrific shots--my own fault.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Leading Edge....

...the sunset one evening, not quite a week ago. The first misty clouds foreshadow the arrival of one of the recent snow storms--it's coming from the SW. It's Another SkyWatch Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hobbes Wants to Play, too.....

....she is so old. She came into our lives about 1996; we think she was between 1-2 years at that time. But she's still perky and active, showing no signs of illness. She is a great cat: nice and snuggly--with just enough 'sauce' to keep it interesting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Close-Ups of the Cat... know it's bad at Aunt Bloggy's when she has to resort to photos of Scotchie. She was so warm and cozy on the quilt in the sun. Tummy full of breakfast, maybe considering going over and bothering the other cat as they both await their is good.    So Let's do a Critter Cam

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Think We Might be Back in Kansas Now, Puppy....

...this would be the local cemetery near Gorham, KS. I mentioned it in a previous frame. It is jaw-droppingly flat in central KS; even more so than central IL where I went to college. The sky is always interesting, however--especially storms and great sunsets. (photo is from our archives, taken a few years back.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Close-Up of the Limestone in the Previous FencePost..

...if you look closely at the limestone fencepost, you can easily see the fossilized shells from the former sea-bottom that formed the plentiful limestone deposits. The pioneers built houses, outbuildings and even barns out of limestone; lots of the buildings still remain.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Before We all Expire from the Winter Blahs....'s something from the inventory. You've probably heard that in Kansas, the pioneers built fence posts out of limestone, since there was not enough wood. This is one of those fence posts, found near an ancestral cemetery just outside Gorham KS in 2005.  Enough Kansas summer sky for a SkyWatch Friday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let's Not Forget the New Year's Day Open-House...

..FlowerGirl's Mom and Dad had family and friends over to celebrate. That's a real homemade cheesecake with a cranberry topping. Per.Fect!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our Dinner Next Door..."Contractor's Night Soiree"

...upon the completion of the Project Next Door: Phase 1, the Gardener and her Hubs' decided to treat the construction-folk to a wonderful dinner in the new room. It was a gracious gesture and a very good time! It was sort of a block-party, too; the architect and his wife are wonderful neighbors to our North. For those of you who will experience the Wonderful New Room, I will let it be a surprise to see! Suffice to say, there is more space for more good-hearted warmth, flowers and humor! You can't wait to see it!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Same Old Comedian...and a completely new Bird!

...another crappy photo of my pet woodpecker. He never flies directly to the suet feeder to eat; he lands on the screen with a scratchy "thrunk" noise, crawls around til he can peer into the room at me, turning his head from side to side--eyeing me, you might say. It's funnier in person than it is in the telling. Then he heads for the feeder. I told Hubsy to please not remove the screen, since I'm afraid the little idiot bird will crash into the window.        Today, a White Breasted Nuthatch briefly landed on the suet feeder, then left. But I bet it returns.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Winter Sunrise...A New Year.

...I mentioned the passing of Hubsy's sister about this time last year; but I have not mentioned that our family suffered a serious health scare when his remaining sister, P. J. (she lives nearby) developed a brain tumor. Since the situation arose with shocking suddeness and was in flux, it was hardly right for "blog-banter". After surgery, chemo and radiation, she appeared to be failing; very sad and distressing! However, she got "the best of news" at a recent MRI: all signs of the tumor vanished; the symptoms attributed to swelling. Controllable with medication. And thank goodness, she is getting stronger by the day! Thoughout the entire ordeal, P.J. handled it with her usual strength, grace and trust in God. Her family is very supportive, as well: her daughter, an RN, is more than model of attentive care, to point to one example!

The Butterfly Hotel is open for business--and packed!

We started, several years ago, to assist the butterfly population by nurturing the young specimens indoors. It was slow going. But this...