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Monday, May 31, 2010

It's DEADLINE day, People!!!!...You only have hours!!!.....

Today is May 31st, people!

The D-day
my May free PHOTO CONTEST!

You  have until midnight
send me one picture
fitting the theme:


Please follow these rules.

Oh, and one more thing:
PLEASE, when you send me your photo, remind me of your blog names and give me the web address(es)  of any blog(s) you have that you want me to list beside your photo. It makes it so much easier for me to put on a blogpost. Otherwise, I have to look up all the names and blog addresses each time.

I know you have
either in your archives
you can still run out
and snap
your favorite spot.

Maybe it is a park..

or the mountains...

or a lake....

or your back yard...

or a farmer's field...


(This is a recent shot that I took at sunset on Madeira Beach, Florida)

If I can get a landscape shot,

And, once again...
(because I am a big softy)....

you can go ahead and use one you
already posted
on your blog.....
(which is an exception to the rules link above)....

Because I love you.

(I am SO looking forward to seeing all of your entries once again!)

get off that hammock you are swinging
on this fine Memorial Day weekend,
and for goodness sake...
put DOWN the Barbeque fork with that huge Bratwurst on it
and put it beside that frosty beer..
go inside and send me your photo!!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

April 2010 Florida Photos: Part THREE (More of Harry)

Today, I am back to showing you some more of the many, many photos I took while we were recently
in Florida.

As you know...
I am totally, hopelessly and utterly
in love
with all of Florida's
tropical birds.

On this trip, we stayed across the street from the ocean
yet on a causeway.
We loved our little hotel and with the economic cost
and perfect location,
we had a surprise delight.

As mentioned a few posts ago, we had the pleasure of
three tropical birds visiting us several times a day
right at the tiny little pool
where we sunbathed.

The fisherman on the causeway had no doubt tamed them
by feeding them bait or fish remains after cleaning the fish
I didn't care HOW they got tamed...
I was just glad they were.

We had three that visited us.
A great heron I named Harry, a large Ibis I called Herbie
a smaller Ibis I called Howie.

Don't tell them....
but Harry, the Great Heron
was my favorite.

Here, the Great Herons are very shy and it is a thrill to even SEE one, much less get a photo of one.

So, when Harry showed up, I was beside myself!!

So today, I devote the entire post to my new friend Harry.

Here he is just hanging out at the pool:
(Isn't he GORGEOUS???)

Help me Rhonda!

at his face!!:
He "had me" when I saw that long, single feather sprouting from the back of his head.

He KNEW he was beautiful.

He was forever
primping himself.

he had bugs.

(Let's not think about that now.)

Love is blind.
My Harry would NEVER have bugs....

Here he is at his favorite past-time: primping:
Notice he didn't remove the feather sticking out of his side.
I like that about Harry.
He likes a "signature look".

Did I mention that ONE HEAD FEATHER that hangs long on the back of his head yet?:

You're kinda fallin' for him too,
aren't you?

You can't have him.

He's MINE!!

With his signature look:


I know he's a goof....

primping all the time:
(Warning: Small children and people over 30: do NOT try that position at home!)

Help me Rhonda (again!)

Look at his head crest!!:
(I am IN LOVE.  Even if he is itchy and scratches himself all the time....Don't most men?)

I repeat. Do NOT try this at home:

My husband knows about Harry and I.

He is extremely tolerant of that kind of thing.

He knows to keep me, he has to share me with Harry.

And he knows me so well, that he let me have a few moments alone with Harry
before we left Florida.

I was very sad.
I think even Harry had a tear in his eye...

oh wait....
that might have been a bug......

What. Ever.

I told him I would be back to see him again.
And, I will...
I can't help myself.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Ok, call me FICKLE.........

You know how, a long time ago....
I made a point
say how grateful I was to be getting a ton of awards...
but that 
I just couldn't accept 
any more of them
because it was getting difficult to pass them on, etc. etc..??

Well, sometimes exceptions 
have to be made...

I follow a lot of photography blogs
because it is my passion.

Some of the photography blogs, like my own, also have some writing 
thrown in (as writing is another passion of mine, which I really don't do much of these days).

Anyway, one of the photography blogs that is on my favorite list is authored

(He has more than one blog by the way, but if you click the link above, you can get to one 
of this blogs and he lists the others there too)...

Patrick wrote me to tell me 
that he had something for me on his blog today....

(He knows me enough to know that I can't resist a mystery, so of COURSE I had to go there to see what he was talking about).

I was delightfully surprised to see that he 
listed me amongst a list of one of his favorite 

For those of you that aren't addicted to photography, that may not mean much.

But to a blogging photographer....

he DID it.

He made me renege on my position 
to not accept any more awards....

(Not to mention he made me grin like an idiot and that he made me feel all fuzzy inside!) 
  Playing with my photography emotions...not fair, Patrick, NOT FAIR!!)  :0}
So this is his link (one more time)  and the award:

Here is what he wrote:

"I received several awards lately. I greatly appreciate them, but I'm going to break the rules, by handing out some "new" original awards.

I only ask that folks who receive these things, display them with my link attached.  No questions to answer, no five of this, or 10 of that.  Pass them on if you like, keep them to yourself if you like, or shit can them.  My own link isn't even printed on them.  No strings...

The "Shutter Bug" Award is for photography or combo blogs. I've noticed that almost all the blog bling goes to "text" dominated sites. I follow some excellent photo blogs and would like some of them to get in on the action.  A couple of them even manage to combine excellent photos with great writing. Not an easy task..."

Nice huh??? 
Love his strings....

Well, Patrick...
back atcha 
and thanks so much.

I am truly honored
(and you had me at "an award for photography"!)

And I DO want to pass it on...
so here is how I want to do it...

1. Each and every ONE of you that have entered my FREE PHOTOGRAPHY CONTESTs with a photo---please take this award...just post Patrick's award widget above (the one with his face on it) on your blog to indicate you deserve this award from him and me.

2. The photographers that I read and leave comments on your blog (you know who you are!): consider this award  yours too...especially the professional photographers too (Ashely and Susanne, you know I mean you two also!) And Squirrel Queen, and Betsy and Shelley and Cathy, DVM's wife, and Jientje, and Meirsi and L.D. and Ginny, and Catherine, and Far Side.... Eva and Ratty, this means you along with so many others..(I know I am overlapping with those that enter my photo contests here too)...but I especially want to mention those that are professional photographers that normally can't enter my amateur photo contests...please accept this award for providing me with constant wonderful images.

By the way, if you go to Patrick's blog today, he lists some new photography blogs as receiving this same award....I know I will be checking them all out!



You know what??
Sometimes it feels really good to be fickle.

Thanks again Pat.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yuck, Ick and Peeee-you!!!

 Once again, I found a disgusting unique news story to share with you, along with MY COMMENTS in bold italics below the news here we go!!!! :

* The entertainment manager at Thorpe Park in Surrey, England,
announced in February a contest seeking foul-smelling urine.  The
park has introduced a live action horror maze based on scenes from
the "Saw" movie series and decided that it was missing a "signature
stench" to "really push the boundaries" of disgustingness.  Manager
Laura Sinclair suggested that submissions' pungency would be
enhanced after consumption of such foods as garlic and asparagus
and offered a prize of the equivalent of about $750 for the winning
urine.  [Daily Mail, 2-25-10]

1. I know you are leaving your computer on, and hopping into your car to run to the grocery store to buy some garlic and asparagus as you are drinking that gallon of water from your sports bottle. As disgusting as it sounds, you can use the $750.00.  One must be creative in this downed economy to make a little cash...

2.  I can think of a lot better ways to be horrified   entertained.  A "live action horror maze"? No thanks. Listen, I am ancient and wrinkled old . Not real senile old, but F/U old enough that every once in a while the old ticker skips a beat. Nothing earthshaking, but dang...I don't need to shock it with a "live action horror maze." Come to think of it, I already go through a live action horror maze...those three way mirrors in torture chambers changing rooms during the summer whilst trying on swimsuits..(what could be more horrifying than THAT?)

3. And,  come to think of it, I think I may have smelled some pretty horrendous urine odors in some of those one-holers roadside parks when we traveled to/from Florida. Why didn't the entertainment company save money and just go collect it there? 

4.  They are basing their entertainment live action horror maze from scenes from the movie: SAW???? Good God!! Who on EARTH would want to go into that??  Blood squirting everywhere from cut off fingers, legs, arms....oh....I get it...the smell of urine would actually come from patrons peeing and sheeting   their pants from fear....again, why get extra smelling urine to add to it? Overkill people, overkill!!

5. Can you hear it now? 
SCENE: you are picking up your friend to go to the unemployment office in your car:

Friend: "Oh, what a nice outfit you are wearing! Since we got laid off, my wardrobe sucks.....wherever did you get the extra money?"
You: "I got some extra cash from a "side job".
Friend: "That is wonderful, but are you holding out on me?! Are they doing any other hiring? What kind of side job was it?"
You: " is kind of hard to explain. It was kind of a delivery job."
Friend: "I think I could handle that...what kind of delivery job?"
You: "Well, it had to do with handling fluids".
Friend: "Easy Peasy....what kind of fluids?"
You: "It's kind of personal...just forget it".
Friend: "Personal?  You aren't hoarding the job all to yourself are you???..because I could really use some cash too...."
You: "No, no, I think it was just a one-time kind of job. I don't think they are hiring me or anyone else right now for any more...ummm.. fluid handling".
Friend: "Whew..what IS that smell???? Man, you gotta clean your car! Smells like both your cat AND your dog and maybe a few goats went to the bathroom in here....and you know what? This is really odd...but I think I smell garlic. And I am really craving asparagus.  How odd!"
May the rest of your week be better than 
being that Entertainment Manager
the people
who went ahead 
and applied for the cash "opportunity".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Springtime at home in the U.P.: A series of signs: Part TWO

This is the second of my series of glimpses of spring in
the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) of Michigan.

I love seeing the spring unfold here
every year
after our long winters.

These marsh marigolds grow all over here, especially in or around wetlands. They are commonly called "cowslips":

A little wildflower in the woods.
I am too lazy today to look up their name!:

Cherry blossoms on the branches:

A bird's nest:

I love it when my tulips open wide
we can see all the wonderful interiors:

The walkway to our front door
is paved with tulips
every spring:
(Just ignore the long grass next to the tulips...we mowed the next day, HONEST!!)

One of my favorite tulips for its color combination:

And creeping phlox!
Another one of my favorite spring flowers!:

Stay tuned for some future posts
of some more
signs of spring in the U.P.
which I will continue to share
with all of you....

Your deadline is drawing NEAR
for the
free MAY photo contest!
The theme is:


Get your photo into me by midnight, May 31st, 2010
Remember, you don't need to be a blogger to enter the contest.
It's fun!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

April 2010 Florida Trip Photos: Part TWO, (otherwise known as Meet Harry, Herbie and Howie):

As promised, here are more pictures of our Florida trip.

But these are going to be
little different.

You see....
we had this cute little "60's" style hotel
that was on a causeway
across the street
the ocean and beach.

The hotel was clean, really economical and had a little kitchenette in it.

We were so grateful to have found it, because we ended up staying
in Florida longer than expected.

It had the tiniest pool we had ever seen, right next to the docks on the causeway.
But for me,
it was perfect.
All I needed was to get wet and suntan...
if I wanted to swim, we just crossed the street to the ocean.

But the causeway?
It was amazing.

We saw dolphins swim right next to us!!
we saw a MANATEE!
(Dang, they were too quick for me to get a photo of them, though).

But what I am getting to, is that the fisherman on the causeway have practically trained
the tropical birds there to stop by frequently
to look for fish.
Every day, we had tropical birds that landed by this tiny pool
to get a drink of fresh (albeit chlorinated!) water.

Three birds in particular.

Which, forever more...
for us....
will be named HARRY, HERBIE and HOWIE.

I would like to introduce them to you:

Don't tell Herbie and Howie, but Harry
the Great Heron
was my FAVORITE!

Here is a shot of Harry (the Great Heron) and Herbie (the large Ibis) just hangin' out at the pool with us!:
(Don't you LOVE Harry's one long black feather that is on the top of his head?)

You see...
up in the U.P.
it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get this close to a Great Heron
or a blue heron of any kind.
They are wild birds and I am thrilled whenever I can ATTEMPT
to get a shot of either type of heron.

So you can IMAGINE
how thrilled I was to get this close to a Great Heron.

Meet Howie, the smaller Ibis.  Howie was VERY tame (more about this later):

This is Herbie, eating some fish the kind fisherman gave us to feed them:

Harry had quite a personality.
Often, when I was laying out getting a tan..
he came and mocked me....
by coming beside me and spreading his wings for some sun.....
Do you SEE what I mean?:
(A real wiseguy....that Harry!)

But, I forgave him...because just LOOK how pretty he was!:
(I SO wanted to take that ONE head feather!)

Look at his face!:

He was forever primping.  Cleaning his wing feathers.
Look at his wingspan!!!!:
(I was singing: "You're so vain!"...he didn't appreciate my humor)

I have many more pictures of Harry, Herbie and Howie to show you next time.

So that I won't be accused of being partial to Harry
(which I admit, I was)
here is one last shot of
Herbie, the Ibis:
love Herbie's
fluffy, white tush...
those soft white feathers
that looked like a horse's mane...

Next time, I will tell you about how tame Howie (the small Ibis) was.
How's that about a cliffhanger?


Friday, May 21, 2010

Giddiup!!!...(or otherwise known as Have you ever seen a horse with a mullet?)

Last weekend, my husband and I headed out to
some estate and yard sales...
one of my favorite things to do!

(More about the goodie I found in a future post)...

But, when we were looking over some things in a garage, I looked out of the corner of my eye,
and saw that they had a wonderful field
it had HORSES!!!

I couldn't help myself.

I had to ask if I could photograph them.

They had the most delightful family of girls
were SO nice...they jumped right off their porch
and obliged me....
and spoiled my passion of photography
by even bringing the horses to different spots
so I could photograph them.

I hope the girls are reading the blog, as I  gave them my blog address.
One sweet girl is very interested in photography, so I told her how to set up a blog
and I hope she pursues her dream to begin one of her own
to start her photography hobby.

I mean...
how could I NOT take HIS picture??:
Don't you want to touch him nozzle right now??  I did and he was a Sweetie!

These two were sooo gentle and sweet!:

Oh!!!! And those MANES!!!.....
I dug my fingers in and fluffed them up, oh yes, I did!

Who KNEW a horse could have a MULLET???????:
Any horse that can still wear a mullet and carry it off with grace, well, heck, gotta love him!

Pretty, pretty boy!
(At least I think he was a know, I never checked any of these horse's lady or man bits to know for sure):

To me, all horses are full of grace, intelligence and beauty:

But these guys should of done hair product commercials..I mean, seriously...just LOOK!:

I think I want a horse!:

I don't think our little village would like them in our front yard though.....

Maybe I could keep him on my pontoon on the lake?


Well, my garage?

My husband quickly (and nervously) called me from the yard sale
and said it was time to go.............

I think he could tell I was developing a crush on THIS guy:

Who could blame me????

Once again, I want to thank the girls and family that let me take photographs of their lovely horses...I hope you think I did them justice!!
A reminder to all my readers, including (I hope)
the dear girls from the yard sale where these beautiful horses lived....

Please remember that I have a FREE Photo contest every month..
May's theme is:


You don't need to be a blogger to enter.
Just follow THESE RULES
and enter your landscape photo by midnight, May 31st, 2010.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh Gosh...we finally have a WINNER!!! (and it wasn't easy!!)

You all have been very patient.

Because of my travels, and then my Blogger issues
with loading pictures
(which magically now works for some reason, without having to use a URL)
I was late in posting them all for you to see.

Then, it took me a while to nail down three new judges...

But, I
finally got
three judges
to look at all of the
for the theme of:
"Rain, Mist, Fog or Dark Skies"

The first two judges did not agree on ONE winner.
But, when I contacted the third judge
she picked the same one as one of the first judges did,
so we had a majority vote and a

Let me tell you, as each month goes by, the pictures sent in are better and better
the judging gets harder and harder.

All THREE judges had difficulty picking only ONE winner....

they HAD to....

So, without further delay....

(drum roll, please.....................................)


Congratulations, EVA!!
Her blog is called: "Wrestling with Retirement".

Wonderful, wonderful job on the theme and picture!!!

Special mention goes to the runners-up
which were specially complimented by the judges:

Lynn.   Her blog is called: "For Love or Funny".

 Jientje. She has three blogs.  Her blogs are called: "Heaven is in Belgium", "Heaven in Belgium" and "Heaven in 365".

  Pat.  He has two blogs. One is named: "As I Saw It" and the other one is called "Patrick Tillett, Extremely Overdue".

Ratty. He has three blogs. One blog is called "The Everyday Adventurer" one is called "Rat Tales" and the other one is called: "Nature Center Magazine".


Cheryl.  Her blog is called "Cher's Shots".
(note to Cheryl, two of the judges suggested NOT putting borders or writing over your photos for contests. They loved your photo, but suggested you be informed of this for entering future contests.)
I loved your photo, too.


Once again, I'd like to thank EVERY ONE of you that all did a FANTASTIC job...
I am SO glad I wasn't a judge again.
I truly fell in love with them all.

remember to send in your
MAY free photo contest entry!
This month's theme is:


Get your entry in by midnight, May 31st, 2010 following these rules.
Let's see if we can get even MORE than 18 entries this month
shall we????

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Springtime at home in the U.P.! : A Series of Signs: Part ONE

When you live in the U.P. (upper peninsula) of Michigan...
way north, directly across Lake Superior from Canada...
you have long, long, cold winters with tons of snow.

when Spring arrives
it is a true celebration!

I look forward to every single sign
that the glorious season
has indeed, arrived.
So, I will be posting some of the
"Thank GOD, Spring has really, finally and absolutely arrived!"
photos of the things I am glad to see every spring here.

Some Primrose in my garden:

Double tulips and more primrose in my gardens:

Yes, I am even happy when I see the dandelions come up:

Double tulip:

Daffodils...the first flower that usually blooms in my garden (but next year I think I will plant crocuses too!):

Cherry blossoms! (The always come before my apple blossoms, which are just starting to peek out now):

The back of a gorgeous purple finch!:

His beak is all messy from seed...he's hungry! After all, he had to fly all the way this far north!!:

Stay tuned for more "Springtime at home in the U.P." photos...
in between
our trip to Florida pictures...
I'm SURE you will be able to tell the two series apart...
(Hint: Just think: HOT versus un-thawing). 

But, that's what makes the world go round, right??
I love both places!!
Get busy looking through your archives
going outside
get your photo entry

The theme is:


Follow these rules and send me your photo by midnight, MAY 31st....the deadline is getting close!

Monday, May 17, 2010

April 2010 Florida Trip Photos: Part ONE

As you all know, we were in Florida for three weeks for the birth of our newest grandson.

So, of course,
took photographs.

Florida is a wonderful place to get gorgeous sunsets (if you are on the west coast, sunrises if you are on the east coast).
And a wonderful place to capture tropical birds, flowers and beach photos.

So, I did.

Here is the first of a series of photos
that I took while there.


This beach was a stone's throw from our hotel.
Madeira Beach.
Not crowded...and very close to St. Pete Beach.
But we love the privacy and "less people" this beach provides:
(And...sunsets to DIE for!)

Tropical flowers, everywhere!   Hibiscus of red!:

And people, just kickin' back
fishing off the shoreline.....

And tropical birds flying in the sunset....

People strolling along at dusk to pick seashells:
(I always come home with a TON of seashells. It's a sickness, people, I tell ya...a SICKNESS!!)

An abandoned sandcastle at dusk.....
I am sure it was made by some little hands having the time of their lives...

And, I NEVER get tired
these little black capped seagulls!:

And while were were there,
it was a

Stay tuned for many more
our Florida adventure
in the next week or so..............

I will "mix them in" with my springtime Michigan photos...
you get
the North and the South spring
at the same time.
Don't want to confuse you....just want to entertain you!
Don't forget that there is still another FREE PHOTO CONTEST here on this blog!
May's theme is:

So, send me your photos before midnight on May 31st, 2010 
You don't have to be a Blogger to enter......

REMINDER: All photographs on this blog are COPYRIGHTED.

REMINDER: All photographs on this blog are COPYRIGHTED.
Please do not copy any of my photographs (or narratives) without my permission! All pictures will be tracked for copyright violations.

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About Me

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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