Saturday, March 31, 2012

Elijah Harrison Through The Years

Thursday was Eli's second birthday. What a milestone for a really special little boy! And I was out of town. Sometimes things work out that way and this time I felt needed in Louisville so that's where I was. I love to feel needed so that was good but oh my the timing. We have more unusual 'timing' issues coming up but that's a story for another post.

This post is about a baby who was exceptional from his conception. Yep, that early. I remember when Beth sent the family ultrasound pictures of Eli in utero and his Aunt Amy exclaiming more than once, "He looks so masculine already!

And he did.

Then he was born and still doing amazing things. Like gripping the side of his bassinet.

Then realizing that we were talking about him and getting shy.

And finally relaxing and falling back to sleep.

I even thought it was exceptional as I sat across the room and took pictures of his little feet and hands waving busily from the top of the bassinet.

And from the get-go he was a Mommy's boy and Mommy didn't mind that at all.

Now fast forward a few months and watch as he works to remove his socks and all the while maintaining the cutest expressions EVER.

And those expressions just keep coming and coming.

And here he is at almost two years old.

So Happy Birthday, Eli, a little late. Later on I'll have pictures of him with a cake and two candles if I have to bake it myself because, alas, we're going to miss his party too.

But nothing can take away from the fact that Eli is one of the cutest and sweetest little boys imaginable with a personality that just won't quit.

Monday, March 26, 2012

You Capture - Fun

Beth's You Capture subject this week is Fun. At first I pondered when I could get together with some of my grandchildren to take Fun pictures but since a relaxing visit wasn't on the horizon, I thought about what I do on a day-to-day basis that's fun.

One things that's always Fun is feeding our koi. Unfortunately it's a little early in the season to get great shots so these will just give an idea of how fun it is.

Right now, though, my go-to fun activity is photographing the birds in our backyard. I try to capture them in flight or in quirky poses or just going about their day-to-day businesses.

Or sometimes in a series. Starting here, the guys at the lunch counter must surely feel like somebody's watching them.

Soon he joins in - unobstrusively.

Then he takes over.

For see more Fun shots, go to Beth's I Should Be Folding Laundry. Or join in, what could be more Fun?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Angry Birds

I've always thought of birds as such friendly, happy little creatures. Even though I've heard that their cheerful chirping isn't really a lovely tune whistled for our appreciation, but a warning to other birds to keep out of it's territory, my mind still persists in believing that they're singing and probably to me.

However, keen observation and my camera are about to prove otherwise.

Here a house finch and a female cardinal seem to be peaceably sharing a meal at the bird feeder.

Then the nasty little house finch started pecking at the cardinal.

And then, probably because he knew I was watching, he left the front perch but you can just make him out slipping around the back.

And sure enough, the aggressive house finch won the feeder.

And I'm pretty sure the cardinal was angry.

Another bird that got angry was this bluebird. He very obviously hated me photographing him while he bathed.

You can barely make him out, pouting high in this tree.

And I don't even KNOW what this bird was so mad about.

This Nuthatch tried to intimidate me by flying right at me.

The red-winged blackbird scolded me.

And even this robin took exception to my spying while he bathed.

So, yeah, I guess there are a lot of angry birds but that won't stop me from taking their pictures and enjoying their antics. In fact, I think I really like angry birds.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Old Nemesis Returns

Leaves of three, let it be.
An old nemesis of mine is back again. It seems determined to win and cause me unceasing discomfort. And just when I think I know how to defend myself from it, it comes back again.

The weather this Spring has been such an incredible blessing. The flowers blooming so early and the birds returning in flocks have made for good moods and smiles all around. The best part for me is that I've been feeling better - I'm back on Weight Watchers and going to meetings again.

So the warm weather and my perceived improving health combined to get me outside and cleaning up flower beds that have been sadly neglected for years. And that's what lead to the poison ivy.

I was pretty sure it was there but I took unwarranted comfort in the fact that it was dormant. No leaves - no poisonous oil right? Wrong!

I just researched it and not only are the leaves poisonous but so are the vines and the roots. And anybody that knows me and how tenacious I can be especially when I'm on a mission, knows that I tore at those roots and vines with a vengeance.

From Wikipedia: Poison ivy vine with typical reddish "hairs" (like leaves, vines are extremely poisonous to humans)

It was warm so I wore short sleeves, shorts, and my new crocs with no socks. I did wear gloves though and for that I have Mr. Right to thank. Whenever he sees me working outside, he patiently finds a pair of garden gloves and brings them out to me. I love that. And especially now when I have poison ivy on my arms - pretty much scattered everywhere, on my chest, my ankles, and even my right foot - but not my hands.

Poison Ivy. Now I've researched it and I know a lot more about it and I'll be a lot more careful in the future. And I'll get rid of it no matter what - but this time hopefully Roundup or something similar will take care of it.

Wikipedia also informed me that even dead vines can remain poisonous for years so protection in the form of gloves and skin coverings will be important even after the Roundup has done it's duty. This isn't going to be easy.

I looked back here and here to see how I had dealt with it before and was chagrined to read about my determination to get rid of it forever and then to realize I'd failed and what that failure is costing me now.

But most of all, when I read that the outbreak lasts from one to two weeks in one article and from one to four weeks in another, I'll hope that the common denominator - one week - is the one that will apply to me. Because, honestly, I can hardly stand this itching.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Squirrels

It's my own fault. I bragged to my brother that I hadn't seen a squirrel around in days. We walked out the back door to look at the pond and he said, "There's a squirrel right there". Of course it raced around to the back of the tree, knowing there was nothing I could do about it.

Now if I had a real squirrel problem, I might get a Hav-A-Hart trap. I might catch them live and take them over 13 miles away to a really, really large outdoor area where there are no homes within miles. I might take along cut up fruit and squirrel food so that they'd have some resource for nourishment while they adjusted to their new area.

A squirrel might look like this as he scampered (or raced in terror) from his confines.

I've seen squirrels take off like that for that very reason. Then if I continued to have the problem with the irritating rodents dangling incessantly from my bird feeder and keeping all the birds away as they scrounge up every morsel that falls to the ground, I might re-set that Hav-A-Hart trap and start the process all over again.

And I might get really stubborn and just keep going to see how squirrel-free I could make my neighborhood. And I might get really lucky like this person did.

Then I would actually be able to save a trip - if this were to ever happen for me.

And if I did all this, maybe the squirrels would be really lucky too because some people suggest they should be shot or poisoned - not relocated and fed. So there could potentially be luck all around.

So I'll have to consider whether or not I'd want to take on a project like this. I've heard of people relocating 40 or 50 squirrels. That surely made their neighborhood a pleasanter and cleaner place to be.

I should really think about this.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Birds

I wrote about the flowers heralding the onset of an early Spring. Now it's time to write about the birds.

I waited all winter for the terrible weather to save the birds by putting out the feeder. It really never came so the couple of times that we had a little snow, I put it up. And about the time the birds would get used to it being there, so would the squirrels and every time I'd look out the window there'd be one or two dangling from the feeder. So I'd take it down. You know a person should almost trap them and relocate them. Maybe I'll write a post about that later but right now it's all about the birds.

They're all back and I have pictures of a lot of them to prove it.

Of course these guys never left.

And these guys I could live without but I guess you have to take the bad with the good.

In fact a lot of these were around all winter I guess. It's just now that we're seeing so many of them. Surely it's the amazing weather.

But the ones that really fill my heart with joy? The beautiful bluebirds.

They don't visit the feeder so I have to enjoy them from a distance but that's okay. I just love bluebirds.

And I promised to include a picture of the hyacinths in my Flower Power post so here it is. Later I'll go out and take a better one but this is all I have in my file right now.

I really need to get more pink. These are right outside our door so every time you walk in the house, the air is perfumed with their scent.

And, finally, Harry and I had a little getaway last week. We had a good time visiting the money stealers - I mean casinos - in Tunica, Mississippi. The weather was lovely and we really had a good time. Here we are near Rend Lake in Southern Illinois.

That's all for now. Later on, I really will write about what it would be like if we ever did trap and relocate squirrels.