Last night’s little visitors

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Lightly effortless,

Suspended in calm stillness,

Nocturnal visit.

 

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There were a few tiny cute visitors congregated outside the front door and along the window yesterday evening.

What a wonderful surprise greeting us!

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These three were gathered higher up at the entrance, while one frog remained independently alone near the bottom….also attached to the window glass.

 

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About 2 centimetres in length….and I enjoy marveling at their amazingly strong legs and their well-adapted tiny fingers and toes.

 

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Upside-down…..and

 

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…..right side up.

 

 

Auto Mechanics Recreate Renaissance Paintings

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery….” as it’s been said, and I agree, particularly if it’s well done and with a fresh, new twist to it –  as these ones are, using photography and some good-natured models.  😀

Like this one, for example….

 

Mechanics Classics.1 from article, Aug. 12, 2017

 

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Check out the link below to see more of these creatively inspired paintings-photos.

via Auto Mechanics Recreate Renaissance Paintings

A Young Robin Says Hello

 

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Flurry of feathers;

Then a hip…hippity-hop.

Why, hello, new friend!

 

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On the way to the cherry farm, we parked near one of those farmer booths along a smaller country road….and ended up buying some fresh-picked peaches and apricots for snacking.

Within seconds of our arrival, I caught the landing of this fine young robin out of the corner of my eye and decided to watch.

Robins are such cheerful birds to see going about their business. 😊

 

 

 

 

A Future Monarch

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Starting out so small,

Eating its way through milkweed

To grow and transform.

 

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I’m visiting at my parents’ place, and my mother excitedly showed me her little “friends.” Each one in a separate glass loosely filled with a couple of freshly picked milkweed leaves.

Her two friends are still quite small and not easily seen.

My mother is once again fostering a couple of monarch caterpillars in comfy protectiveness with fresh milkweed leaves, until they grow into their full size and make their chrysalis for their metamorphosis stage.

This one of the two is the larger and is about the length of my index fingernail right now. About 1 cm.

See the cool eating pattern it has made in this milkweed leaf. 🙂

 

My mother is all excited at these two new ones, as she has successfully nurtured monarch caterpillars in previous years and set them free as butterflies. 

 

By Special Request

Every so often my family will make requests for their favourites, whether it’s the oatmeal pancakes, or homemade pizza, chocolate chip cookies, or as today, the request was for Mom’s Banana Loaf – it also comes with chocolate chips!

It’s been another rainy day – we are having so many of those this summer! – so that’ll make a satisfying treat.

I hadn’t made a banana loaf in a while, but there were these bananas on the table going past their prime – having not been gobbled up sooner, as all the others – soooo…..good time to turn them into a loaf.

And according to the guys, it doesn’t need to be cooled off that much. Eating it warm is MUCH better…..because then all the chocolate pieces are all “melty” and warm. 😀 

This time Jason and I had our slice with vanilla ice cream on the side….something new! (we don’t eat much ice cream) 🙂

 

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A Revival of Old-style Communications

Isn’t it interesting that in these smartphone and computerized times there are still people around the world who delight and participate in sending letters – and especially postcards! – to friends and family…..AND even to strangers!

Yes!  They do!

I’ve been drawn back into that world of communications quite recently…just by those unexpected happenstance moments.

The first one occurred on my return flight back from my visit to Germany in May of this year.  The woman sitting on the other side of my husband was on her way to visit friends in Montreal.  And somehow she and I just clicked and we got to chatting – in German – about each of our adventures. Ultimately, we realized that one of our common interests involved how much we both enjoy writing and receiving mail…the old-fashioned way.   So, we exchanged our mailing addresses and have since embarked on a fun pen-pal relationship.

A couple of weeks ago I sent her these two postcards, showing some views of the town near where I live…

 

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And then the second memorable time was when I went to the book store in that town to find some postcards to send.  I was chatting with the owner of the store, and as our conversation was coming to a close, he added on something that had just occurred to him on the subject of postcards and how tricky they can be to find these days in view of all the e-mailing and social media that’s going on.

He told me how his wife had found a website that encourages postcard exchanges from all around the world!  She had just recently started and was enjoying it immensely, and he gave me the link in case I was interested in pursuing this old-style mail exchange.

And yeah!  Was I ever interested!

So, I searched out Postcrossing.com, registered, and was on my merry way to engage in postcard exchanges.  The site is well organized in that from all its members, people wishing to send postcards are given randomly drawn names of other members with their addresses and then are required to send a postcard to that person.  There are codes given with each postcard for ease of recording and keeping track of all the mail exchange activity going on.

The site is super friendly and provides interesting information, as well as a forum and help pages.  It gives stats on the distances being covered with these postcards and keeping track of one’s own personal sent and received cards, along with a wall in which to post one’s favourites.

The fun is in requesting a name for sending a postcard – and you don’t know who it will be, but you can read their personal write-ups on the website once you have been given their name.  You get a little idea of who they are.  And once your postcard has been received by that person and registered with the website, then someone else will get your name…..and THEN…..the delightful surprise at one day going to the mailbox and finding a postcard from someone from another country!!

Isn’t that cool !!

In my case, the first person I was given lives in Germany, and he’s a fellow who enjoys sports and collecting stamps, among other things.

So, I picked this postcard from my town, which shows the statue of the gentleman – Dr. James Naismith – who invented basketball.  And I picked out a stamp with a Canadian moose on it for his stamp collection.  He sent me a thank-you message when he received it.

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Once I found out that my postcard had arrived all right at its destination, then I was eagerly awaiting the one that would be coming to me!

And I’m happy to say that when I went to the mailbox yesterday, there among a couple of advertisement flyers was a postcard for me!  Interestingly, it came from a young lady, also living in Germany……but from a different area.

Here is what hers looks like:

 

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Cute, isn’t it?

Translated, it means:  “Don’t wait for the storm to pass by….instead learn to dance in the rain.”

So, I went on the Postcrossing website and registered the arrival of her postcard.  And I also sent her a thank-you message.

AND….I have requested my next new postcard recipient!  She lives in Moscow, Russia!  How exciting!!

Exchanging postcards in this way is a bit like travelling, isn’t it?

Yes…even with all of our ultra advanced and cool technology, there are still some old-style activities that provide lots of fun like they used to do.

 

 

“Signs”

My goodness!  It’s been a few weeks since I posted last.

It’s been an incredibly busy time with various other activities claiming my attention.  But I’ve missed blogging.  So, I return with the most recent photography assignment with the topic of “Signs.”  Two of them you may recognize from previous fairly recent blogging posts.

Oh well.  Some are worth repeating, right?

These are my four submissions:

Signs #1 – (taken a month ago)

I thought I’d start my submissions with this piece…..er, tree with peace.

 

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Signs #2 – (taken in March 2017)

Someone was being creative and having a sense of fun!

If you like, you can see my original blog post with it here to read more about where I discovered this sign.

 

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Signs #3 – (taken in April 2017)

As some of you may know, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday recently – 11 days ago – and there were things that popped up here and there even months before the big day…..to get people into that birthday spirit.

I’m sure some of you will recognize the wrapper for a familiar chocolate treat. When I saw this on the convenience store shelf, I couldn’t resist! Haha!

Yep…..I gobbled it up. Right after I took the picture. 🙂

 

 

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And to finish off, here is another one with a touch of humour….to give you a chuckle.

It seems this one is always a bit of a favourite!

Signs #4 – (taken Nov. 2014)

This facetious sign is posted above the washrooms area at The Cove Country Inn in Westport, Ontario, Canada. I was there one evening to go see some friends of mine giving a smaller and intimate concert there. Lovely time!

And, as well, if you would like to read the original blog post which featured this photo, you can find it here .

 

Men to the left because Women.....my photo Nov. 8, 2014

 

 

Three Birds and a Chipmunk

Last week’s assignment for my photography group was the theme of “Animals.”

It wasn’t until I had picked the final four and had written captions for each one, that I noticed that the majority were birds.  Haha!  And one solitary chipmunk.

So, here they are:

Animals #1 –  A swan looking comfortable and foraging in the grass on the banks of a pond that’s part of the huge expansive property of the Linderhof Palace in Bavaria (formerly one of King Ludwig II’s residences).

 

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Animals #2 –  On a hike along the Weitach river in Augsburg-Inningen, among a variety of water birds, my friend, Toni, showed me the nest of this Eurasian Coot family that he’s been observing on his daily walks there.
It was fun to see the babies poking their heads from beneath mama coot’s warm feathery embrace; one of the babies ended up following dad’s coaxing call into the water.
Also, I love how the colourful heads of the ducklings contrast and “jump out” compared to the more “formal” colouring of grey, black, and white of the parents.

(Note:  I had posted a lengthier story with photos on this coot family; find it here ).

 

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Animals #3 – It seems that I took predominantly bird photos on my recent trip to Germany. Haha! Here’s one of a grey heron that I observed for a good length of time as it hung around the Nagold river by the village of Underreichenbach.  At one point it flew up to the top of the train bridge, and that’s where I captured this one.
When it first flew up there, it had twigs in its beak, so I’m assuming it was working on a nest? I particularly like this pose.

 

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Animals #4 –  And here’s the chipmunk!  Recognize it from this recent post ?

This photo was taken up at a cottage near White Lake. There’s a resident chipmunk who decided  that the scent of my fresh untouched apple – MY lunch snack – was too irresistible and fair game for sharing. I had put my purse on the front porch with a slight opening…..not really thinking more about it. And along came Chippy! Poked its upper body into the purse opening….scratched up some fresh apple, sat up on its haunches, munched with gusto, and always kept a keen, curious eye directed at me. Did this several times. Haha!

 

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“Will you share with me?”

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Completely at ease;

Perched on my purse; treat in hand,

You don’t mind, do you?

 

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Hahaha!

I can only be filled with admiration at the audacity, charm, and cuteness of this little furry friend I saw a couple of days ago.

I was almost done my work at the cottage I was cleaning and had already brought supplies onto the porch, along with my water bottle and purse.  The last thing to do was finish mopping the floor.

It wasn’t long before I heard the distinctive sounds of my chipmunk friend coming to check me out.

I learned something new that day.  And I shouldn’t be surprised….really.  My chipmunk friend has a tremendously keen nose. After coming up the stairs and investigating a bit, it crawled up on my purse which I had left open by about four inches, leaned in, tore off some pieces from my apple inside, sat on top of my purse, and munched quite happily on it. Did this a few times.

 

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It could smell the tempting scent of my fresh apple – which was intended to be my after-work snack – from a good distance away.

Funny thing was,  I’d forgotten that I had put an apple into my purse when I left for work, and the way the chipmunk was holding its hands together while eating, it looked more like it was eating nuts. Which puzzled me, because I definitely remembered not having any nuts in my purse!

It wasn’t until after the chipmunk continued on its purposeful way, that I looked inside my purse and found the food source!

Feels good to have shared with my little furry friend.  And yes, I DID finish eating the apple.  Haha!

Hmm….I’m thinking claw scrape marks?  As the munching was done while sitting on its haunches outside and on my purse, keeping a steady eye on me.

 

 

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And a few more photos….of its arrival and just hanging out…..

 

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And then on its merry way again….

 

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Until next time, Chippy!  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

A Forest Encounter

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Mottled appearance;

Complement to rocks and wood,

The silent runner.

 

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The common lizard.  Or so my research tells me.

My uncle first said it’s a salamander, as salamanders are native to Germany.

We also bandied about gecko and lizard.

Either way, a sleek-looking and fascinating creature!

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We – my uncle, my husband, and I – spied this little lizard on our extensive hike up towards Schloß Staufenberg in the Black Forest during our recent visit.  The first part of the hike was on a good-sized trail through a forested area, followed by a road along hilly fields, covered in rows upon rows of wine grape plants.

This lizard had been coming along the edge of the trail and then decided we were such big creatures and it was better to hide away in among the sticks and old wood.

Scrambled away quickly!

So cute!