A Happy Ending!

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Hello, Friends!

You may remember a couple of my posts in August about the monarch caterpillars that my mother was fostering.  I had stayed with my parents for a few days and eagerly took photos and observed right along with my parents on the gradual progress of each caterpillar.

In the meantime I had returned back to my home and so wasn’t present when each caterpillar transformed itself into a pupa, then chrysalis….and finally, coming forth from its temporary home as a newly fledged monarch butterfly.

However, my parents kept sending me updates and a couple of photos.  The above photo is one of theirs, and it shows the first of the three emerging from its chrysalis case, while the second one, on the left, is still inside.

My mother sent me this photo with the message, “It’s a girl!”  🙂

I’m pleased to let you know that each of the three in turn and in their own time successfully made their debut – safely until their wings were in fine form – then were moved into the backyard….and flitted away….as is their way, on their long migratory journey south.

And the other two butterflies ended up being a boy and another girl!  🙂

Note:  Here and also here are the earlier posts about the caterpillars that I mentioned above.

 

 

 

 

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A different kind of Sundae!

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This is a Pineapple Upside-down Cake Sundae!!

And it tastes as delicious as its long name – hahaha!

It’s a layering of french vanilla ice cream on the bottom, then some food processor-crumbled, days-old pound cake, topped with a pineapple ‘n sugar ‘n cinnamon sauce, a swirl of whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry on top.  YUM!!

Learned this one in Tuesday’s cooking class, and I definitely wanted to try it! I end up making most of the dishes that we learn in class. The family enjoys them.  😀

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I haven’t posted anything about food in quite a while; I figured I was due.  ❤

 

 

A high-flying sunset

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Mesmerizing sight;

From the wing of an airplane,

Just as beautiful!

 

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A couple of photos that I re-discovered from July of 2007 on a flight from Blenheim to Auckland on the first stretch of my journey back home from New Zealand to Canada.

In a small propeller plane where every passenger has a window seat – a single row of 10 seats on both sides of the plane’s cabin – I felt lucky that I had one of them facing west where I could watch this unexpected and breath-taking view.

I have seen sunsets over oceans and lakes and over hills and valleys.  A sunset with its burst of orange colour and accompanied by fluffy clouds is pretty wherever you see them.

 

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So spectacular in design….and one feels embraced in warmth.

 

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I had zoomed in a little more with my camera to see what lay beyond those clouds, and it looks like a whole other kind of world over there.

 

A Treasured Hand-made Gift

My Grandfather’s Passion

I wonder what he envisioned when he held the untouched block of wood in his hands.

I wonder if his creation came to him in one moment or did it develop over time as he prepared and carved the wood.

I wonder how his eyes would have appraised the progress and noticed anything that needed some extra care.

I wonder at how his hands would have held the wood and turned it and applied the tools and correct pressure and motions to reveal the figure bit by bit.

I wonder at how he felt as he anticipated the joy it would bring me to behold his gift.

I wonder at the hours he spent carving and shaping and smoothing and painting.

And I wonder and feel thankful for the love he put into all of it.

 

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I pulled this wood-carved figure down from the shelf that it stands on to have a good look at it again.

My husband’s and my wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and this carved figure was a present in honour of our wedding day over 30 years ago, presented to us by my grandmother and grandfather on our honeymoon visit to see them in Germany.

My grandfather was self-taught at wood carving, and I know he had such a passion for it, as he carved many beautiful pieces over the years.  His skills may appear rough compared to more highly trained wood carvers, but in our family we appreciated all the work and joy he put into each piece.

Whenever I would go for visits to their place, in every room I would see a diverse array of his artwork, including a big and detailed head board for my grandparents bed.  He also lovingly carved an appropriate sized “stone” that rests at the head of their gravesite, which he made when my grandmother died before him.

 

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Do you wonder why this long-robed man carries a key?

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The answer lies with the good wish that came inscribed at the bottom of this wooden figure.

 

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My grandfather initialed and dated this wooden figure, along with the message, which translated means, “Our dear Ela, for her wedding and for the future the key to happiness.”

And he signed it “Vati,” my endearment for him.

❤ ❤

 

 

Summer Evening Paddling Trip

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A call of a loon;

Quiet splashing, rhythmic sounds,

Kayak glides along.

 

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Yesterday’s warm temperatures and sunshine beckoned.

So, following the family supper, some of us embarked on an evening’s paddle.  Well, as many as could fit into two canoes and a single-person kayak.  😀

We launched our craft onto Taylor Lake and eventually made it to the channel leading to adjacent Clayton Lake….and ultimately the village of Clayton where we finished just as it was getting dark.

It’s a lovely paddling excursion….usually taking about two hours.

There are quite a few cottages along the shores of Taylor Lake, with avid boaters and fishing enthusiasts sharing the water….and everyone respecting the speeds near other boaters.  By contrast, Clayton Lake is quieter.

We were lucky and were treated to multiple loon calls, the sighting of a loon family of three, and a pretty sunset.

Here are some more photos…

 

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A juvenile loon…

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Sunset on Taylor Lake

From the time the sun was just touching the top of the trees to my extracting my iPhone from the protective plastic box tucked inside my life vest and then going for a photo, as you can see the sun went into hiding – moved so fast! Anyway….still looks pretty over the water like that.

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Kayaking is a lot of fun!

(Good time to add in a selfie….)  😀

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On Clayton Lake

I took a photo of the view behind me with the pretty clouds and the pinks and purples…..getting darker fast.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Funny quirks of spatial perception

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I was amused yesterday when I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  I found a spot in the area I usually like to park, and as I pulled alongside the grey car I was going to park beside, my mind quickly registered that that car was parked a bit crooked.  No biggie, as I figured I knew where the lines were and would park aligned with them.

At first glance it looks as if I managed to park straighter.  (see photo above)

However, I soon realized that the habit of reversing into a spot has me always looking to my sides and gauging the distance from any car at my side.  Even though I had made that mental note about the crookedness of the grey car, it seems that the habit of aligning myself with the neighbouring car was MUCH stronger than my sense of fitting into the rectangular lines.  Haha!

In the second photo you can see how crooked I was with the view to the line on my passenger side. 😊

 

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A Lily a Day….or Daylily

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Tiny dancing girls

Swaying, with long golden hair

In petal curtains.

 

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Ever since that day when I first noticed a massive clutch of orange daylilies growing by the side of a country road – with their vibrant colour and abundance of blooms – I’ve had a soft spot for daylilies, or Hemerocallis as they are also called.

So naturally, when it came time to add some new perennials to my starting-anew-garden over 20 years ago, I had daylilies on my wishlist.  First though, I managed to find some of those orange ones that were growing “wild” along a little used road and not belonging to anyone…..and dug up a clump of them, just a small portion, for transplanting into my garden.  After all, I wanted them to feel included with the daylilies I was planning on getting from a nearby garden nursery.

When I went to the nursery, I ended up getting a more reddish coloured kind, an apricot-coloured one, as well as a pale peachy kind.  In that way all four look distinctly different even though similar in flower style.  I used to know their cultivar names, but over the years I have forgotten them.

The close-up photo above is of the peach-coloured daylily.  And below shows how it looks before the flower buds open up….with two more smaller ones growing in size to have their one day of blooming.

 

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The buds on this next one are from the apricot-coloured one.  Notice how the buds are more elongated and “pointy,” compared to the peach one.

 

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The six stamens on this one look like six graceful long feet wearing black ballet slippers, and the white pistil seemingly doing its own thing is ever so long!

 

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Here is the peach daylily again….with a second flower to the right on the verge of opening up….and another smaller bud in behind.

 

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And finally, the one that started it all in my garden, the Tawny Daylily….collected from a “wild” clutch down a gravelly country road.

 

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For this post, I did some research and found out that those orange ones, that have a tendency to naturalize over time, are called Tawny Daylily or Hemerocallis Fulva.

And in case you’re wondering, as their name implies, each flower blooms for only a day.

 

 

Overcoming Tremendous Challenges As They Pursue Their Dreams

I enjoy stories

Reading them, hearing them read out loud, listening to a storyteller.

Among my favourites are those featuring people who were faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and with their inner strength along with the love of others at their side, they managed to climb those mountains and reach the summit.  And what a joy it is to witness them in those sweet moments of their achievement.

I give you two such stories that were shared with me a couple of weeks ago.  They feature two different young people whose big dreams – at their particular summit – were to share their love of singing.

Here are youtube links to watch, and I hope they bring you inspiration, as they did for me.

The first one features a young lady, Kechi Okwuchi…

 

 

 

And for the story featuring Christian Guardino, I couldn’t find a link that had everything combined, so the first link gives you his performance, and the second one gives you his background story.

 

 

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