Monday, August 20, 2007

Color My World...

Being in the woods means that nature surrounds us. The past few weeks have been butterfly and moth season. They are all over the place! The variety is incredible, too. We've noticed at least 6-10 different kinds flitting around the property.

Actias Luna, a species of Saturniid moths. This Luna moth is one of the rarest seen or collected in North America! Sadly, the poor thing had a broken wing. The next day when we went to see how it was faring it was gone.

I chased this butterfly for 3 days with the camera. Every time I snuck up on one as soon as I clicked the photo the danged thing would flutter off! I had lovely shots of my gravel, my grass, my cedar deck and my dirt...but no butterfly. I went out to take a picture of the new steps and when I returned to put the camera away there it was sitting on the gate. I got that sucker this time!

This is a Red-Spotted Purple Or White Admiral Butterfly. The designation of "OR" is because the White Spotted Admirals and the Purple Spotted Admirals will hybridize when they are found together and the "new" butterfly has characteristics of both parents! This one is definitely a hybrid as I've not found photos on the 'Net of any looking exactly like it. It has one more red spot on each forewing than the pictures I've found. Its blue/green hindwing also is very irridescent. (I have no idea if I spelled that right and I've got other things to do so I'm not looking it up. Just call me ignorant and be done with it).

Flint is normally a white dog. Not cream, not tan, white. In the heat he went and rolled in the dry, dusty dirt and Richard was so surprised that Flint was now BROWN that he took this picture. I brushed him out later and my white dog came back.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Coming home...

Mine and Richard's next car...NOT!

All I could think of was the line in the song, "CONVOY" - "a bunch of friends of Jesus in a chartruese mini-bus..."

And on the back window of this little gem it said "Soul Of Jesus Savior" and something else I wasn't able to get close enough to read (tourists were all around it). The driver was wearing bib-overalls with no shirt, had long curly blond hair and a red kerchief hanging out his back pocket. He carried a straw hat in one hand. He ignored everyone at the rest stop as if we weren't there. My take was that he was free as a bird and enjoyed flaunting it. Some of the other comments I heard from fellow travelers were not as discerning and a couple people shied away as if the machine had leprosy. Only God knows for sure.

Vacation in Washington DC...

So, off we went to Washington DC and various relatives and friends there.

This is me and Darlene discussing the issues (grin) at my daughter's place. Darlene is my best friend from Mississippi. I've moved a number of times and have a best friend from almost every place I ever lived. Multiple best friends are a bonus - they live all over and I can visit just about any direction and run into one!

This is my favorite cousin, Eileen, with me. Again, I have multiple favorite cousins all over, too. Keeps the peace in the family! LOL

We decided we had to do the usual thing in DC - visit the Smithsonian...and the Aerospace Museum is always on our list of fun things to do there. Richard played with his camera and took photos of the various planes, rockets and space ships.

Part of the Aerospace Museum has been commandeered by the Museum of American History while it is undergoing renovations. The museum staff selected several famous exhibits to place in this new small space. One was the signpost from the television series "MASH." I lvoed the show so had my picture taken by it.

Our real goal was to go see the new Museum Of History Of Native Americans. This dance dress was one of the featured displays. Although the museum was very interesting we didn't enjoy it as much as we had hoped. The bottom two floors were a museum store - and many of the items were made in China or by non-Native artists. There was some new jewelry by Native artists which I loved. However, nowhere in the museum was a display of any of the wonderful silver/turquoise/shell/stone jewelry of times gone by. There was a restaurant on the bottom floor, too. It sold food that the Native Americans used for cooking. That was pretty unique and the food was good.

The remaining two floors had some displays but a lot of them were on an interactive television wherein you touched the screen and it would show a picture of what was on display in drawers locked below the displays. If I wanted to see TV I'd have stayed home and watched the specials on PBS and the History Channels.

My other issue was that about half the displays were about South American Natives...and except for a reference concerning kinship, one of the largest tribes in America was pretty much under-represented - the Navajo. There was no active display of anything Navajo that we could find. Also - Zuni, Hopi and the Cherokee had little or no representation. The only Cherokee with a small display concerned the North Carolina survivors. No mention of the Oklahoma Cherokee at all. A lot of Native American history - the Five Civilized Tribes, The Trail Of Tears, the famous men and women (where were Sarah Winnemucca and Elaine Miles?) weren't mentioned or represented at all.

That said - It was interesting to see the various tribes represented. Just wish there'd been more representation from our United States of America tribes.

And of course, outside the Smithsonian...Richard calls this the "VOTE FOR MERRY STAHEL FOR PRESIDENT!" picture. All you know what to do. LOL

Vacation with Todd

We decided we needed a break from housebuilding so we took off for a vacation. We had three goals. Richard, Mom, Pa and I went to visit my baby brother in Ohio. Then the parents went on to meet some friends from West Virginia to camp. Richard and I continued our journey to visit our oldest daughter in Maryland.

Here are some photos of the week we spent with Todd...

The first night out we camped at Leiber State Park in Indiana. There was a federal property nearby where people could picnic so we went to check out the waterfall and the old covered bridge there. VERY PRETTY place.

When we got to Todd's, he was so proud of his new custom bike that he wanted to show it off. I, being the intrepid soul that I am, insisted on being taken for a ride. And hey! When a body is riding a custom chopper, one MUST have a do-rag of one's own, dangit! We had a blast going around the block! Not something I could do every day, but sure was fun.

Todd, me, the bike and my do-rag. Note the granny eyeglass necklace (yes, I lose my sunglasses all the time, its the only way to keep them safe!).

Todd took us to the Botanical gardens which were lovely. They had a whole room dedicated to bonsai. This willow tree is about 25 years old. They had one tree in there over 100 years old!

While at the Gardens, they released a new crop of butterflies in the sanctuary. We chased all over taking pictures of various ones. Richard took this stunning shot with his new digital camera.

Todd also took us to the Motorcycle Museum. It was pretty interesting although the museum really focuses on Moto-Cross. Still, there were some pretty interesting and unusual bikes in the place. I believe this one is an Indian.

And I got to see my best friend from Guam, ElizaBeth. We had a great time with them catching up on our families and all the passing years' events.