Saturday, July 30, 2011

From the Past to the Present...

I was watching ABC World News and saw a story about this 22-year old, Taylor Jones, from Canada who has started a new web site of photographs.  He takes an old photo and goes back to the original photo site and then takes a new photo holding the old.  He states on his site:  "Take a picture of a picture from the past to the present."
*This is Taylor in one he did himself...
I am guessing that is him with his parents as a little boy.
You can see where the old pictures are placed just right and how they fit into the new picture.  This is the one of the coolest things I have seen!  I looked through all of his pictures that he has done and those that have been submitted by others and posted thus far... they are awesome!    You add a caption to each new photo.

Here is a link to his web site  Look through the pics posted, they are great!!  You might have one you could submit.  He has a link within his web site called dp's Press; you can see all the publicity about his web site.  I think his site is only a couple months old.

I can just imagine the new album I could make with some of my favorite old photos!   I might be able to talk my brothers and sisters into contributing... could be a great family album to share.  Yes, it would be some work... well, let's say it would be a lot of work, but I think it would awesome!  Guess I would have to do it in my spare time, and now... I'm wondering where that spare time might be???  Maybe I should just do one of my favorite pictures and frame it and call it good!

Just a thought... but, this would be a great gift idea for someone.  So get to looking through your old photos...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Armadillo Soup...

Well, I think this must be one of the most prehistoric looking critters roaming the earth...
Mr. Armadillo in my Ajuga ground cover.
See the dirt dug up by his tail,
 that was from a previous evening of digging... aaarrrggghhh!
Close up of the little varmit's face...
Recently, I noticed my yard all scratched up under the bird feeder and then within a few days the front yard was dug up, as well as other places in the yard.  I really didn't get too upset because I have been watering during this drought.   I knew the armadillo was looking for grub worms or such in my freshly watered yard; but when he began digging in my flowerbeds, I knew we were not going to be friends!   He really had not done too much damage, just scratching around up until this point.  But one morning I went out on the back patio area and saw this small flowerbed dug up with the plants laying over and dirt all over the patio... that was not a good move for my intruder!   Mr. Dillo had to go!
This is the flowerbed... and of course,
this picture is after replanting the flowers
Granted it is a very small garden tucked in the corner of the patio, and thankfully he didn't destroy the plants.  I replanted everything and told Dennis the armadillo just roamed in the wrong place at my house.  Since they are nocturnal, Dennis went out that night with his flashlight and gun, but Mr. Armadillo was no where in sight.

The next morning the flowerbed was completely dug up... yes, the one I just replanted!  The first time he dug up the four plants on the left... but this time, he dug all those up again plus the two plants to the right that are separated to a higher level... he dug up everything!!  Wished I had taken a picture of it all tumbled up... but I didn't.  Being the gardener that I am, I replanted the Dragon-Wing Begonias once again.  They are beginning to look a little ragged at this point.  They are pretty fragil anyway, easily breaking off stems and leaves.  To say the least, I am not happy with Mr. Armadillo!

After looking around, I also noticed he had dug all under the wisteria bush only a few feet away, so I reluctantly went to look at the other flowerbeds up against the house... yes he had been there too!  Okay, this is a serious mission now, but Dennis assured me he would get him.  Again, he walked the property around the house that night before going to bed, but still no armadillo!  I understand Dennis could not scout all night... he does have a job!

While Dennis went on to bed, I was still up.  Ten minutes before midnight, I took the flashlight out to see if I could find him.  Ah-haaa, he was there!!!  Yes, in that same exact flowerbed.  I did not see him at first, but I noticed dirt on the patio... so I approached closer and I then actually saw him digging!!!  ...he had only dug one plant up thus far but he had dug down six inches in that lush potting soil!

I wanted to bang on the bedroom patio door (knowing it was locked) to wake Dennis up... but I knew I would scare the armadillo.  So I ran back around to the breezeway door, into the house, then ran all the way to the other end of the house to the bedroom.  Of course Dennis was asleep.  He is normally a light sleeper, but after calling his name three times, he did not budge!  So I nudged him at which point he then just about jumped out of bed.  I told him "he's out there!!"  He asked, "what?"  I told him the armadillo, he is out there!  He said, "oh, okay;" he got up, put on his sandals, got his flashlight, and his trusty rifle and out the breezeway door we went.

We walked around to the back flowerbed and of course the armadillo was gone!!!!  I'm thinking "oh no!!!"  It was pitch dark with no moon in sight!  I told Dennis he could not be far and we were going to find him!  I looked under the wisteria bush, not there; I headed towards the next flowerbed when I then noticed him sauntering down the sidewalk into the center flowerbed as if we were not even there... perfect spot for him to stop!
Within seconds and one shot... he went from his feet to his back
and never moved again!
Anyone who has read or follows my blog knows I like my critters for the most part, but I also like my gardens and my gardens will win!  Here is one more picture of this prehistoric creature.
He's resting... from all that digging!
Now for the caption "Armadillo Soup" ... no, I did not make soup, but it certainly brought back memories from a trip we took to Belize several years ago.  Four of us had taken a night-time guided jungle tour with flashlights.  After the tour we were all sitting talking with our guide, Fallet Young, and a couple of other locals who lived there.  During our conversation, some dogs started barking in the distance and Fallet immediately jumped up with excitement and said "they've got one!"  We're asking... "got one what?"  Fallet explained, the dogs have an armadillo cornered!  He and the other guys took off running towards the sound of the barking dogs.  After just a short time Fallet and the others came back and he was holding the armadillo by the tail.  We HAD to ask what they were going to do with it!  He explained it was a delicacy there and they would eat it and make soup!  I will tell you-- that is one delicacy we did not try while on our journey!

We later found out that Fallet has since passed away in April 2009, but we had the privilege of him giving us tours while on two different trips to Belize.  He knew his animals, birds, and plants and we enjoyed his wisdom.   One day after our first trip I was watching the Discovery Channel and there was Fallet, he was doing a documentary of the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Bermudian Landing, Belize; which is where we stayed for one night while on each trip. They call the Howler Monkeys "Baboons"... we could hear the monkeys howling throughout the day and night.

On the first trip, Ben, our fearless leader had asked around for someone who could take us on a jungle birding tour and Fallet was the person recommended.  We really had no idea how much Fallet really knew or how he was involved in trying to save the animals in his country at the time;  but after the birding tour -- Ben said, "this guy knows his birds and bird calls!"  Ben, who was an avid birder, was impressed.

On our second trip to Belize we went to the Community Baboon Sanctuary again and stopped at a little market in the area and specifically asked if Fallet was around.  One little boy said he knew where Fallet lived and he would run and get him.  Sure enough, Fallet showed up shortly.  He was excited to see us, and we were more excited to see him.  It was so fun to share our story about seeing him on the Discovery Channel which eventually led us to doing the night-time jungle tour.  He told us if we were lucky we might see a possum... and indeed we did!  We all thought that was hysterical... we traveled all the way to Belize to see a possum in the jungle!

The next day he took us on another jungle tour and he called a Howler Monkey family down out of the trees with their howler call.  He brought some bananas and we did actually feed this whole family from our hands to their little hands... it was a fabulous experience to feel the texture of their hands!!  There was a mama, daddy and baby.   Fallet said this was the only family they do that with.  They strive to keep the animals in the wild.

Here is a link to a YouTube video where someone did a tribute to Fallet.  The song is in fun, but towards the end it shows him calling to the monkeys and you can hear the loud howling sound the Howler Monkey makes.  They established a foundation in honor of Fallet.  His last wish was for them to continue their education and preservation in their country.

If you want to read more about the area of Belize we visited, here is a random blog that I found.  This guy also talks about Fallet Young and their experience in the area.  I was not blogging at the time of our trips to Belize, but we experienced many of these same things he refers to, with the exception of the ant.  We did see many of the leaf cutter ants at work, but to our happiness we did not experience any of their bites.  Belize was a great adventure!

Okay, I've gotten a bit off the subject of our armadillo intruder, but I sure wish we could have given Fallet the armadillo Dennis had just shot! who knew the great memories Mr. Armadillo would bring back to me.  You just have to look for something good in everything!

I could not find a recipe for Armadillo Soup, but here are other recipes for Armadillo, if anyone is brave enough to try them!  Haaa!  Some people would say-- eating armadillo is just wrong!  ...and I am one of those people!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bandit at the Birdfeeder...

Dennis was looking out the kitchen window and noticed this raccoon at our bird feeder in the middle of the day...

He was scavenging sunflower seeds off the ground.

I have a squirrel shield on the pole and SOMETIMES...
it keeps the raccoons out too.

I managed to sneak around the side of the house
to get a pic of his face wasn't long before he noticed me and scampered off.

It was funny though, he went down to the corner of the little barn,
stopped to turn around and look at me for a moment...

As if to say... "you are interrupting my meal!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tully - 3 Months Old on July 5, 2011

It is hard to believe that 3 months have already gone by.  Tully is growing so fast and developing his own little personality.  He rarely cries and seems so content for the most part.  He certainly has his opinion on things and has no problem communicating in his own way!  He is still a sweet little baby boy and such a joy to us. Mommy took her monthly photo of him and I stole one to post on my blog.
He was 3 months old on July 5, 2011
Ashley has returned to work after having 3 months off and Tully is adjusting quite well with his nanny, who comes to their home.  Ashley is so lucky to work from home and be close to him every day.  It is really nice when Grammy wants to drop by and steal some kisses too!

He has now began to use the bottle some, mostly just during the day with the nanny, and I also love the opportunity to feed him.
...gotta love those little fish lips!
One day recently while I was holding him, he decided it was poopy time... he tooted so loud he scared himself!  It was funny to watch his eyes and reaction.  He looked at me as if to say "what was that?"  He has now started to sit up on his own and looks like such a big boy.  He is not much on that cradle position in your arms anymore, he'll pull himself up into a sitting position...
...he's going to have strong abs!  haa
John was playing with him on the floor and watched Tully roll over for the first time.  It is good to see him developing and using his motor skills more and more each day.   He seems to enjoy his activity center and Ashley said one day he was intentionally batting the drum with his foot...
...of course the kickball team will say
he is practicing to be their newest player!
I'm so happy the kids live in Tulsa and I get to see him often.  I was playing peek-a-boo with him and it was fun to hear him almost doing a belly laugh.  On July 4th weekend, Ashley and John traveled to Texas to spend time with John's family.  Ash said his Aunt Sara was playing Patty-Cake and Tully loved it...
He really is such a sweet boy!
Of course, while they are gone to Texas I think I'm having withdrawals; this was the longest I've gone without seeing him.  Once they returned, I quickly found my way to their house to spend some time with him.  I can't believe how much he changes in a week!  Seriously!!  PawPaw Dennis has not seen him for a while, but we are having birthday dinner for John on Thursday, so PawPaw can do some quick catching up.

Here are a few other pictures around 3 mos old:
Fun in his bouncer
One tired little safari boy
Grammy is loving his bright blue eyes and everything about him!
Links to previous blog posts you might like to compare:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Frog Who Wanted To Be A House Guest...

A few days ago, I opened the patio door from the bedroom and up jumped a frog to the door frame...
Of course now, I could not close the door... so I poked at him with a sandal that was laying there, but to no avail did he want to move away from the nice air-conditioned air that was escaping from the house to the outdoors!
He decided to hunker down and hang tight... I could just invision the electric meter whirling around, because it was at least 100 degrees outside, but I knew I could not close the door without squishing him.

I continued to prod at him with the shoe and that's when he decided to be a "house guest"!!  Right into the bedroom he hopped... I didn't really take time to take a picture of him inside, but rather immediately flipped him back out onto the rug on the step just outside the door...
He just kinda sat there and looked at me
Notice those little droplets on the threshold... well, uh, yes, he decided to mark his way on the way out!  Yuck! ...and then had the audacity to just sit and look at me as if trying to decide rather to take another leap back in...  being quick, I closed the door and scrubbed up his mess.

I then made my way out the door for the task at hand... he was still sitting on the step.  As soon as I shut the door he made his way in one hop right up to the door again.... thank goodness I got the door shut!
He was certainly determined!
I watched him for a short time and he made his way up towards the handle...
I was just waiting to see him open it!
I won the battle though...
and Mr. Frog remained outside!
A couple days later,  I found him again...
I think he was trying to figure out how to pick the lock!
Here are a few more pictures of his cousins that hang around.
This little guy was waiting to be served at the patio table...
This one was clinging to the kitchen window
just waiting for a bug to come to the light!
If you look close you can see his beady eye...
My Staghorn Fern that hangs on the wall in the breezeway
seems to be a home for this guy
They are camera hams and don't seem to mind my pics
They change colors depending on their environment
Here's a Leopard Frog that I found in my gardens
My nephew, Jacob, was swimming one evening and couldn't resist interaction with this bullfrog sitting on the rocks.  From the time he was little, he loved to catch critters!
He had the flashlight out and
being on the prowl spotted him.
He did catch and release though!
Another evening some friends were over swimming and their grandkids spotted this Mama Frog with her baby at the edge of the pool!
The baby frog is hiding back in a crevice...
Mama is telling junior to come out and swim!
I seem to have a variety of babies in my life right at this point -- my precious grandson, Tully, who is now 3 months old; I recently watched my wren family from eggs to babies, and now this baby frog.  It will be fun when Tully is old enough to experience all these little critters with me.

UPDATE JULY 15, 2011...
Couldn't resist adding a few more photos of my beloved frogs!
Clinging to my bedroom window... 
This view from outside... caught reflection in window just right!
Hanging on the faucet to the outdoor sink...
This is my garden guard frog!!!
Any bug thinking of getting close to these tomatoes...
is Mr. Leopard Frog's lunch!
This guy blends with the rocks, he is sitting on the edge of the light.
He has lived in this light for couple years...
he just has to go out on his porch when the light is on!
This pic is just from a different angle.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Its Official -- I'm a Farmer...

I'm thinking if you have tomatoes sitting in your kitchen window ripening, that means you are officially a farmer!
This is two days of pickings June 29 and 30th!
A touch more of ripening and they will be just right!
Now some of you may not get excited about tomatoes, but I love a vine ripe tomato.  I planted four  varieties of them and they are to grow to different sizes and produce at different times.  At the time I bought the starter plants, I could only hope that one of them might survive if I got a variety!  I kept the little tags with each plant, but I have to laugh-- once I pick them, I have no idea which is which!!  I threw them all in the same basket and placed them in the window!  Only the bigger tomatoes in the middle of the window sill are ones that I actually know which vine they came from.

My first tomato harvest (see below) was on June 26 and consisted of four juicy tomatoes... I had not checked the vines in awhile and when I saw them, I thought wow -- they were ready to chill and eat that day! ...which I did eat one and it was delicious!
I also picked a couple more squash and had a handful of Blackberries!
While there is obviously not enough blackberries for a cobbler (which might be Dennis' favorite dessert)... I do still have some berries on the vines ripening!  If I'm lucky, I'll get enough for a tart (haa) before they quit producing.  I'm putting them in the freezer for now... so Dennis don't give up just yet.
This is just one cluster of the berries still on the vine,
I have several other clusters ripening as well.
A friend in the neighborhood told me they do not have any tomatoes or blooms... not sure what I did right, but I'm glad I am having success with them.   Maybe it was that early planting that I had to cover at night to avoid the frost - haa.  Here is a picture of one of my vines... all four varieties are loaded!  Ashley I'll have some tomatoes to give you soon.
...this is just one side of the vine that you can see
These are the only things I planted -- tomatoes, squash, and zucchini.  The blackberries I actually planted a couple years ago and they are just now producing.  Oh wait, I did plant one cucumber plant, but no harvest from it yet.

In closing this blog, I will show you what I had for lunch today...
Just a little salt and pepper, these veggies were certainly fresh and YUMMY!
As I view this picture, I notice the little chip on the plate on the left side and how irregular the blue willow pattern is on the plate itself... but I'm loving it's character!  These dishes were a wedding gift 36 years ago!  Maybe one day I'll buy some new dishes... uh-mm, maybe?

Happy gardening to those of you gardening!

Related blog:
I Might Be A Farmer

Friday, July 1, 2011

Empty Nest Syndrome...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Ashley and I were sitting in the recliners in the bedroom feeding/rocking Tully and watching tv.  Looking out the patio glass doors, we noticed both the male and female house wrens bringing insects to the nest with multiple feeding trips for the babies.  It is really the first time I have sat and just watched them come and go to the nest.  Maybe it's the first time I have actually sat down during the day since they have nested!  It was fun watching them, the wrens spent a lot of time collecting their insects, perching on the chair, then moving to the nest.  It was as if they were trying to get the babies to come out of the nest.  I took a few pictures from inside looking out the patio door of the adults fluttering about:
Here she had flown to the nest with a bug for feeding
Later I opened the blinds, to have a better view
but then they were skittish to actually go to the nest.
They spent a lot of time on the chair trying to figure out
what had changed, but eventually went to the nest again.
On Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I had two children visiting and over to swim, so of course we had to look at the baby birds!  I took another picture of the babies in the nest and to my surprise I could now see SEVEN LITTLE SETS OF EYES looking at me!  Who knows how many are actually in there?  Where were all these birds in my previous pictures???
I can see 7 birds for sure, but think there are actually 8 in this pic.
I knew a nest with only three birds was small, but that was all I could ever see.  Most wrens lay 7-10 eggs in a nest.  I just could not ever get down into the flower pot enough to see all the eggs/birds.  I hated to disturb them and it was just an awkward spot because the top of the pot is fairly small and the nest was down in the pot a little ways.   Finally, I got this pic with a much better view... or maybe they just decided to pose for me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011
I was going to try to get another picture and found the NEST WAS EMPTY!!

Sure glad I looked in there yesterday and got the picture seeing more of them before they were gone.  I'm going to leave the nest for now, but I am glad that I can actually water my plant and not have to continue to use the aqua globes that seem to be a never ending task of filling them with water.  It was all worth it though to see the wren family survive.  I wish I could have seen them all actually leaving the nest... learning to fly out, one at a time!   :-)

Links to my Previous Wren Blogs:
Mama Wren
Baby Wrens are Here
Wren Family Update

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