Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Duck Spring

June 3, 2013

Spring! It seems that everything bloomed at once here. It warmed up at the beginning of May and everything popped. I’ve missed it some years. This year I buried my face in the lilac blossoms

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to inhale their fragrance.

I took photos of the snowballs in spring.

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and the towers of flowers

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perched on their branches like Christmas trees.

The flowering crab in the center of our back yard

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is maybe not as showy as some of the other trees in town.

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Here is a photo of our front lawn.

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Grows fast this time of year. If you look very closely you can probably see it growing in this picture.

David is having to mow it about every five days. ‘Tis the season, honey!

For the last few summers he’s been hauling the grass clippings to the back yard and dumping them under the spruce tree by our storage shed.

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Spring flies by so quickly. Early on we had ducks flopping out in our front yard. We found it amusing – pairs of ducks waddling around the neighborhood – napping in front yards. Our dog, Rudy couldn’t abide the ducks. He’d bark at them through the front windows and run them off.

A pair of ducks started frolicking in our back yard. We were amused. We’d let Rudy out, and he’d tear after them as if protecting us from an armed invasion.

Then one day I was out planting flowers and noticed him behaving very un-poodle like. Poodles see a squirrel or some other movement in the yard and they tear after it without hesitation, barking like maniacs. They are not your quintessential hunting dog. But this particular day Rudy pointed toward the back spruce tree, froze into a hunting-dog pose, lifted his right front leg, took a step forward, posed, lifted his left front leg, nudged his nose forward, then … CHARGE!! he went after whatever it was under the spruce tree to flush it out.

“FLAP, FLAP, FLAP” out flew a female duck with Rudy on her tail. I thought the duck would collide with the house trying to escape, but she soared up over the roof. We laughed.

I really wasn’t paying much attention, but did notice that that duck was hanging around. One day I noticed her sitting in the yard maybe 10 feet away from me as I was pulling weeds.

Meanwhile, Rudy got into this ‘patrolling the backyard’ mode. It would start in the den, where I was relaxing.

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“Okay! You have my attention, Rudy!”

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He wanted out.

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Scoping out the yard now…

He runs to the east fence and barks at the neighbors, just in case there’s any kids around. I have just called to him to get him to stop barking:

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He’s at the gate now…
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you know, scoping out the action on the street.

Now he turns his attention to the spruce tree, strikes his hunting-dog pose, and …. CHARGE!!!

“FLAP, FLAP, FLAP”…out flies the duck from under the spruce tree.

Huh? Surely, she couldn’t be nesting back there?

OMG!

She is well-camouflaged – hard to see her but …. she’s there

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Here you get a little closer view of her – her cute little tail is curled up out of her “nest” (which is, basically, a hole she scratched out of the middle of a pile of grass clippings).

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I couldn’t get to sleep that night for thinking about the fate of that poor mama duck and her babies. Why did she make a nest on the ground in a suburban fenced yard with a dog? How could she possibly keep that nest safe for her ducklings to hatch – what with the crows, blue jays, robins and squirrels, AND DOG lurking about. If those ducklings do hatch, how are they going to make it safely to water from our back yard?

On Friday I went back out there. The duck was gone.

Oh, look!

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Something got to the nest already! These broken eggs were out in the yard maybe 15 feet from the nest. Oh, how sad. Oh well, thank goodness. It’s a relief, really. The whole scenario was doomed from the start.

Whew! On with our lives. I’m planting flowers. Rudy is patrolling the yard.

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Then he does it again. He charges under the spruce tree.

“FLAP, FLAP, FLAP” Out she flies.

You’re kidding!!! She has more eggs! She is still there, sitting on her nest.

Now it’s Monday. Rudy still patrols the yard, but I watch him and every time he pauses and strikes a pose toward the spruce tree I call him – and award him with a treat for coming. This morning he walked near the nest, peered over at it, I called him and he left it alone. Good dog!

How is this going to play out?

I am going to try and help that nesting mama duck under our spruce tree in the back yard.

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Leave her be as much as possible for the 28 days her eggs will be incubating.

The only predictable outcome is that Rudy will surely grow fatter from all the treats he’s getting for coming when I call him away from the duck. If we do see this thing through and those babies hatch out there’s no telling how Rudy will react to a chirping tiny yellow duck invasion.

Uh, did I also mention our neighbors have cats?

‘Rudy’

April 5, 2010

I’ve spent a lot of time in the house these past four weeks, keeping Megan company while she’s in her two casts. We’ve done okay. Pretty well, actually. I’m trying to read more, write, dream …

However, quite often as I’m settling in my chair to read or relax, I’ll get distracted by something, like the furniture arrangement across the room –

which just doesn’t look right, and I’m compelled to get up and rearrange it.

Then some other form of bad feng shui catches my eye, like this scene in the same formal living room:

That sharp purple corner of Megan’s bed sheet is emitting poison arrows which look to be shooting into the carpet, but in reality, the arrows are ricocheting off the carpet through the air toward my face. Bad feng shui! Bad energy! I must tuck that in.

However, whether minor or major, most distractions at home seem to involve our dog, Rudy.

For starters, I’ll be at the kitchen table trying to read when there he is at the back door, wanting in:

I don’t even recall letting him out. But I get up and let him in. Three minutes later, he wants out:

and back in.

I get up and let him in again. And try to ignore him. But it’s impossible. Because he’s bored. And hyper-energetic – he hasn’t been getting his walks. What Rudy needs is vigorous extended play with his ‘punky-monkey.’

Except a few weeks back, while I wasn’t looking, he ripped his punky monkey apart and de-stuffed it all over the house. I gradually collected all the scattered bits of white stuffing into a bag and shoved it and the limp monkey into the buffet. Well maybe now it was worth putting the thing back together. After all, this house confinement has been hard on the dog.

So I pulled the stuff out of the buffet and set it on the kitchen table. Was it really worth the effort to put the punky monkey back together?:

I had a little coaxing from the dog:

Off he goes!

He loves his punky monkey!

Hump the monkey!

This helps him compensate for the problem he has with our cat Tee-Box –

who dominates him, posing as ‘evil kitty’ daunting Rudy to just try and pass him on the stairs.

Which, overall, can be a good thing. Because Rudy is liable to get into something when he knows we’re not looking. Like the upstairs bathroom trash. He knows he’s being bad. He’ll sneak up to the trash bin and snatch the largest and most disgusting thing he can find and race into our bedroom with it and and dive under our bed

for a private chew fest. He’s in heaven here and I’m on my knees cleaning up his mess.

He’s humping his punky monkey again, mostly to raise his alpha index:

Uh oh! Punky monkey is giving out again.

There is only so much abuse a little stuffed monkey can take. It’s back to the clinic for the punky monkey.

No problem because Rudy has a second-favorite monkey, his “new monkey.” He has found it now.

Throw the monkey!

Which, I do, of course. Wish I could throw it five blocks.

Because, sure enough, he’s right back with it. I’ll throw it again. Anything to wear him out.

Oh no!!

Poor new monkey is nearly ripped to shreds. It’s off to the clinic for him too.

Luckily, David is home now and can take the dog for a walk.

In the Idaho spring arctic temperatures.

Hooray! The dog is finally worn out.

Okay, so we are too.

It’s a new day.

Here we go again.

Ah! Except we have invited Rudy’s girlfriend “LA” over to play with him.

She’ll wear him down!

I may not be writing a novel, but at least maybe now I can grab a few minutes upstairs on the computer to write on my blog.

Oh! I’ve just received a text message from Megan, from her recliner downstairs in the den:

“Rudy wants in.”

What? Dang! You’re kidding.

I pull myself away from the computer to go down there and see for myself:

Rudy and Little Angel are wanting in all right. Well, I surely don’t remember letting them out.

Trippin’ – II

August 5, 2009

Thought it would be cool to post some pictures to accompany my previous (rather verbose, I see in retrospect) blog about our trip to Coeur D’Alene. Caraher's At WeddingSo here we are at the wedding reception on Saturday July 25. There’s the family patriarch back center in blue, my darling husband, David, a.k.a. ‘Father Time,’ who has since shaved his beard and gained about 15 yrs. life-expectancy. You will see the mindful matriarch, me, the short one, front-middle. That is Ben on the left, then Megan, and Aaron on the right.

I’m a little more hesitant to post photos of my family on my blog since hearing on the news yesterday about a Massachusetts mother who found her 7-month-old baby up ‘for sale’ on Craigslist. Her baby’s picture had been lifted from her family blog and advertised as a ‘cute baby baby boy up for adoption.’ She had been alerted by someone who recognized this baby as her son. The mother carried on elaborate correspondence with the website where she learned that her son was supposedly in an orphanage in Camaroon, a republic next to Nigeria. Ultimately the scammer wanted $300.00 to ‘start up the application process.’ Bingo! It was at this point that the mother alerted authorities of the scam.

It might be nice to know as a parent that if you have reached your wits’ end with your kid then you could put the little rascal up for adoption on Craigslist. Or at least threaten him or her with it as a stress buster/behavior management strategy.

I’d like to list our not-so-cute hollyhocks up for adoption on Craigslist. As you can see, they didn’t fare well while we were on vacation. Hollyhocks Hollyhocks Albeit, they must not have been faring too well before vacation. But here is what they looked like when we got back. Blame it on the ‘s-s-s-s-s-s-slugs’ (Jamie Foxx voice here) and f-f-f-f-f-ing-fungus.

I saturated both sides of every hollyhock leaf with an anti-fungal/insecticide guaranteed to kill about everything. The fungus is called ‘rust,’ I found out, when I took a leaf in to a local greenhouse for a diagnosis. I called a good friend of mine who has had hollyhocks for years and asked her about rust, “Have you seen it on your hollyhocks?” “No.” she replied. NEVER? “Hey, slugs and snails, come git’ yer’ slug bait I’ve laid out for yer’ big dinner party pig out…”

Backing up to our trip, the Coeur D’Alene Resort has had some more ‘after-midnight-we’re-gonna-let-it-all-hang-out’ drama since our infamous vacation ‘fire drill.’ I didn’t take any photos of the resort but in searching for a link on the internet to give you an idea of how large this place is, I came across news of another drama that happened after midnight a few days after we were there. All I can say is, I would advise anyone planning to stay at the Coeur D’Alene Resort that in addition to packing sleepwear that can be donned quickly and worn in a crowded public setting, you might also want to curb your drinking on the balcony, particularly if you are the manic or depressive type or if you anticipate partying with anyone inclined toward over-zealous histrionics. You might consider reserving a balcony room exclusive to the first story or perhaps spring for a room without a balcony. Just a thought …

Last but not least, I must post some photos I took with my i-phone on our 480-mile trek back home through Montana from Coeur D’Alene to Idaho Falls.

This one was taken in Montana, south of Butte:
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“Big Sky” Country!

Big Idaho Sky
Big ‘Idaho’ Sky! – above

Who took this?
Uhhhh…?

“Big Coeur D’Alene Lake Bottom?” I honestly haven’t a clue.

Where did this picture come from? It appeared on my i-phone amongst all the other ‘trip’ photos. Where were we here and what in God’s name were we doing? Those rocks just don’t look like mountains illuminated in the sunset to me. Did something go awry with this trip that I am not remembering? Did I … swim? How grateful should I be that I (and all the rest of us) am … alive?

Life is good … I’m bent on living the ‘next 24’ a little more gratefully. “More consciously aware” might be prudent too, although I wouldn’t want to get too over-zealous about it.

Have Camera, Will (Not?) Shoot Foot.

June 9, 2009

It happened in the back seat of our rental car during our trip to Phoenix in April: I accidentally activated the camera function  on my new i-phone and, poof! – I took a picture!  Then  I took a bunch more.  I can store them on the phone or delete any photo – it gets sucked off the screen and into the trash by simply touching the trashcan icon in the lower right corner. Although once you suck a photo into oblivion, I don’t think you can unsuck it, which, for me, sucks – and which might explain why I now have over 70 photos stored on my phone.  I’m rather attached to them. This also explains the profuse addition of photos to my blog (novel idea- geez, why hasn’t anybody else thought of this?).  And I have to admit, it’s down right painful now to view my  pre-mid-April picture-less blogs, all of them a sea of words, words, words!  Photos are the bomb!  Er, what I mean to say is, some of my photos might classify as bombs.

You figure it out

You figure it out

Take this one for instance.  I was aiming to shoot scenery out my passenger window as it flew by (no, not the window, the scenery).  I had the camera ready to roll and … poof! Well, I missed my foot.  What you see here in focus is the dash of our rental car.  The rest of it is up to artistic interpretation.   This was like, my fifth or sixth photo and I was really flying with this i-phone photography, or so I thought.

Below you will see a more successful attempt at my capturing the sunset, um, over some hills or something, not sure.  I’m very good at math, so I calculated  the upcoming sign rushing toward us at 75 mph vs. its distance away, over time,  so as to push that camera button at precisely the right moment, to capture this photo:

What were the odds?

What were the odds?

I don’t know why I don’t have photos of the magnificent red rock cliffs of Sedona, or of  Indian ruins we visited. These photos  pretty much comprise the scope of my Phoenix shoot.

And I’m thinking it’s time for me to get a photo of myself on my blog.  I would feel real comfortable with the look of my High School senior portrait, but since I graduated from High School  in 1971, guess I should opt for one a tad more recent.  I haven’t tried taking a picture of myself with my phone – admittedly,  that sounds  like a fiasco.  Although I feel confident that I could take a pretty decent photo of my foot.