Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Oh, MY!!!  Yes, we drove out of the Walmart parking lot and THIS was the temperature on the car's gauge! Actually, it was 111 Farenheit, but as I snapped the pic, it changed.

Sky, Earth, water...

As usual, the sunrise was glorious.  I had to lighten this photo a little to get the hayfields to show up.

Sunrise over the horizon. 

This photo was actually from yesterday, coming home.  This little bunny let us get within 10 feet before bounding away.  The hayfields are mowed so the rabbits are coming out everywhere. 

I looked over the bridge rail and saw this...note the open mouth - this is the way water moccasins like to sit, waiting for prey. This guy was HUGE. 
Probably around 5 feet or so.

He moved on, and tucked under this set of rocks.  Did I mention I hate snakes? 

And while watching the snake by the bridge, we looked out across the creek and there were the baby raccoons again.

This photo was from yesterday.  A car went by, and we looked back, and the dust was playing in the sun's rays.  As a child, I had a little white Bible with several small paintings in it, depicting God talking to Adam and Eve, Moses and Jesus.  All the pictures showed the rays of sunlight like this, as 'God talking.'  So, when I was little, whenever I saw these rays, I thought God was talking to someone. My family thought that was cute,  so now when we see these rays, we all say,
"Oh, look!  God's talking to someone!" 
When I went to look up the phenomenon this is what I found..

"These rays are known as crepuscular rays - or God rays..."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Open Sky, Raccoons, Dragonfly & Christian...& Oranges...

Yesterday, the mowers came and hay-baled the open fields.  The fields on the left are Corps land, the right belongs to a farmer down the way.

Echo looks down the long road, contemplating life.

There are 5 coons in this photo - but you cannot see 3 of them.  Momma is in the water in the upper left.  The babies are lined at the edge of the water, mid-photo.  Two babies are visible, the little hump almost middle of the pic, and the other sibling, just to the right.

This dragonfly's name is Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa).  It is the male of the species. 

And now, for Christian the Cat pictures....I was doing computer work, and saw a flash out of the corner of my eye.  It was Christian, climbing the tree outside my office window. I thought he was just playing around, he and Dinah often run outside, go up a tree and hop back down, just for fun.  And then I looked up, to see what he was looking at. A pair of pileated woodpeckers were hopping between the trees...40 feet up!  Christian jumped off the tree, and then climbed the skinny stump next to it.  I went outside to get a better photo of the birds, and they flew off, upsetting the 2 pairs of blue jays that live in the trees along our back fence.  Everyone was flying around, and Christian still sat on the stump next to the tree he climbed, waiting for a bird...or two. 

Christian in the tree.  Windowscreen is making the picture cloudy.

Now, he's on the stump, thinking he can leap 40 feet and get that bird. 

Once the woodpeckers flew away, he turned and zeroed in on something else.  I went outside to see what it was - the two sets of bluy jays were squawking and took off.  Christian gave up, came up on the deck to twirl around my ankles, and then stretched out for a nap. 

And while I was out there, I took a photo of my orange tree - 2 years old and finally producing oranges.  It had about 10 oranges on it, but wind and rain knocked some off.  I now have 3 healthy oranges about the size of marbles.  We'll see if they make it to maturity.  I need a greenhouse.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today's walk...

I know I take a lot of photos of the sun rising, but each day is so different and beautiful.

Sun through the clouds.  We were hoping those clouds would make rain here, but they moved on to the north of us.

Look closely at the center of this bouquet of black-eyed susans.  There's either a white daisy or an albino black-eyed susan in the midst of them.

Going home, more clouds, alas! no rain for us today. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Walk, Cat, and Cake...

Occasionally, someone else pushes Flint in his stroller on our walk.  Today, it was Mom.  Her backpack contains bottled water, a snack, the camera and the brown bag is the binoculars (because you never know what we'll see on our walks).

The basket under the stroller contains a water container with a lid for the dogs.  They know its there and when we get to the bridge, they wait for me to open it so they can drink.  Echo and Flint try to drink before Buddy, because Buddy slops water everywhere. 

Dinah and Christian came inside today for a while.  The heat is really getting to them.  Christian only stayed for an hour.  Dinah remained inside longer and took up residence in her favorite spot, the back of my office chair.  She twirls around a few times, and then settles, laying down to keep an eye on everything from her perch.   

I am attending a baby shower tomorrow for a neighbor and fellow church-member.  So I made a diaper cake for the baby.  The 'layers' are rolled up diapers (secured with rubberbands), then I decorated with baby things, in this case, I stuffed in lotion, baby wash, petroleum jelly, medicine spoons, baby pain reliever syrup, and pacifiers.  The "frosting is two folded onsies, and pink & white ribbon folded into a flat bow.  I topped it with little pink baby shoes. The baby's name is Grace Kimberly. The whole thing fits on a 12 inch pizza pan. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dogs, dogs, and dogs...

Since no wild animals graced us with their presence, and the flowers are all dead in the heat, I thought I'd take photos of the reason we walk to the bridge every day - the three dogs who not only need exercise daily, but sulk when they don't get their walk!

Why everyone believes Echo is part wolf - despite her stunning wild look, she's actually one of the gentlest dogs we've had. 

The 'old man' - Flint.  Note how his front elbows splay out.  He's arthritic, has hip dysplasia and had both cruciate ligaments in his hind legs replaced.  Despite the pain, he howls when left behind, which is why I bought the jogging stroller.  He walks when he wants, and signals when he decides to ride.  I've been giving him CM8, an amino-acid arthritis natural remedy, and it has greatly improved his quality of life. Since he's been taking it, he's walking a lot more and even runs when the spirit moves him, something he was incapable of for the last 6 months or so.   

Buddy - the puppy.  Yes, puppy.  He is closing in on being 2 years old.  Before, he ran free and was a lean, long distance runner.  However, he was constantly hungry and was underweight.  We took him in and now he's around 100 pounds, gets regular meals, and enjoys the air conditioned life inside.  He loves men, trucks, and rides. Everyone who sees him says he is a gorgeous dog, and he truly is, very well porportioned and great personality.  

Buddy and Echo together. Buddy has to be on a leash, because he loves running and will take off without thought.  At one point, he ran off and was found 3 miles away.  People shoot strange dogs out here, so we keep him leashed.  He has a red collar and leash, but in the photo he is wearing Echo's pink, sparkly princess leash - it just happened to be convenient for us humans.

All three dogs, heading home.  Flint decided to walk a ways, rather than ride in the stroller. 

Sun, Moon, and animals...

As we top the rise to start down the road to the bridge, the sun is usually right here, appearing as if it is rising through the trees.  Actually, its just the angle of the hills.  However, it makes an awesome photo.  That ray of light looked pretty cool, too. 

The sun through the trees.

On one side of the sky, to the east, was the sun...and to the west, was the 3/4 moon. 

This was the best photo I could get of the snapping turtle who hides/lives under the big rock in the right corner of the photo.

The little coon was out and about again, turning over rocks to find crawdads. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Walking, Napping, Animals...

This morning's walk was pretty, the sun rose through the trees in a flaming ball of fire. 

Sun in the trees.

A fog was in the little valley as we walked to the bridge.

The little raccoon was busy digging for crawdads and probably catching the little minnows, too. 

Later, we went to church, had a bite to eat, and came home in the late afternoon to take our usual Sunday nap.  I crawled into bed, and next thing I know, Buddy was up at the foot on Richard's side.  When Richard came in, Echo was looking longingly at the bed, so he helped her up.  We ended up squashed on my side to nap...until the phone rang.  We both got up, and when we thought to come back to finish our nap...
this is what we found... 

Echo and Christian curled up in the middle of our bed.
I've heard people say our animals are spoiled...ya think?

Going Home...

I take a lot of pictures going on our walk to the bridge...but 2 days ago, I decided to take one coming home...the sky was such a pretty, bright blue and the clouds were shadowing each other.

Going home.

When I came home, I settled in to do some writing and heard a noise from outdoors.  Yes, that's Dinah, hanging on the screen, wanting in.  She came in for her daily cuddle, then hopped down and wanted back out.  Silly cat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today's walk...

The clouds were stunning today. 

Walked right out of our driveway, and there was God.

This baby raccoon was leisurely wandering over the rocks at the bridge.

Queen Anne's lace near a rock formation. 

The infamous bunny...

Yesterday's walk...

I really love seeing glorious sunrises. 

This is over the trees right in the middle of our road. 

Chicory flowers. 
The roots of this flower are used as coffee subsitute, and down south, are added to coffee to give it a different flavor. 

This rabbit is in the same area almost every morning.  We believe its nest is across the road, and it waits until the dogs spot it before leisurely running off into the brush, away from the nest. The dogs now know to look for the bunny and Flint even tries to get out of the stroller when he sees it.    

Friday, July 08, 2011

Sitting on the deck...

It was a nice afternoon so I took a magazine and went out on the deck.  Buddy was the only one who would come with me.  Richard took this photo of us through the window, the screen is making the picture cloudy. 

Buddy with me.

Later, I was working on the computer and saw a flicker out of the corner of my eye.  It was the fawn, scampering about in the open while Mama Doe grazed.  Finally, the fawn settled to snack a bit.  Again, photos are taken through the window, and the screen causes the cloudy effect.  Mama is to the left.  The other doe is probably last year's fawn. 

Baby stops playing long enough to let me get a face shot. 

Christian had his leg in the air, washing his toes, when he switched gears to wash Dinah, who was sleeping, instead.  He didn't put his leg down, just continued with the washing on Dinah's head.  This cat causes much amusement around here. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Night Sky, Budding Fruit, Morning Walk, Animal Friends...

Richard and I try to spend a while each evening on the back deck, where we have a great view of the Southern and Eastern sky.    

A fingernail moon glows through the trees.

After two years of careful handling, the Valencia orange tree has fruited (see the pencil eraser-sized fruit right in the middle?). Whether the 6 fruits (so far) will mature is another question - they usually get blown off by wind, or eaten by something. 

Someone tossed catfish guts on the embankment at the creek down by the bridge.  This raccoon has been there since yesterday scavenging.  Today we got a photo of him.

Buddy and Christian enjoy a quiet moment together.  Actually, it wasn't that quiet, Buddy tried to pick Christian up by the neck and the cat protested.  When I reprimanded him, they settled down again.