Sunday, June 16, 2019

06/16/19 Hummingbird photographic puzzle

OK, let's have a little fun with the pictures taken in early evening light in shadows.  There is a pair of hummingbirds in my gardens several times a day. They have been feeding on the azaleas and now are having a feast on the honeysuckle.  They try the nectar in the hummingbird feeder but I never see them hovering there for any length of time. Flowers are sweeter I guess. I am making the effort to plant flowers suitable to hummingbirds and butterflies but need to do more butterfly planting.

I watch them hover and feed and they also vocalize. You can hear them whizzing past you. But last evening the male was doing his courtship routine and I decided poor light or not, it is time to try to take a picture or two. No time for a camera, these are from my cell, so the quality is not up to par.

Look close, can you see the hummingbird flying directly at you?

Here she is - a female ruby throated hummingbird. Coming right towards you!

Here she is feeding on the orange honeysuckle flowers. Beautiful little birds. I'll keep a camera handy for the next time I see the male.

Can you find her in this photograph?

This is like finding Waldo. Hope you enjoyed the challenge of finding the hummingbird!

06/16/19 Happy Father's Day

To all of the father's out there today, new and experienced, a very heartfelt Happy Father's Day.  This is a special day to celebrate the Dads in our live who may have worked very hard to give us the opportunities so that we are the people we are today.

My own father was a very kind and generous and nonjudgmental man. He died 19 years ago and I still miss him every day. He was hard working and very committed to making this world a better place. The one thing I miss most about him is his great sense of humor. And I have inherited his great dislike of fixing cars! He was very handy at home with carpentry, masonry and electrical work not to mention all of the outdoor work he did with animals and yard work and felling trees. But the car, not his thing! My thoughts on the car is that when it gets dirty it is time for a new one - in theory not in practice!

So if you can, take a moment to thank your Dad or father figure if you do not have a Dad, for all that he had done for you.

This was a busy week with a lot of activity. We had beautiful weather for most of it and the gardens just blossomed. Fionnegan, Gunnarr and Shorty can easily get lost running under the greenery!

Here are a few photographs.

This peony is for the fathers for Father's Day. It is one of my favorite Spring flowers.

A single mountain laurel flower.

Mountain laurels come in a variety of colors and really is one of my all time favorites. Of course, the deer like them, too!

The peonies are beautiful this year - fragrant white and pale pinks and hot pinks. I cut almost two dozen to bring inside before it rained as the rains bend the flowers and they also lose their petals. Now the house smells fresh and sweet. So far, no ants!

This white mountain laurel is growing close to the front porch along the sidewalk. I get the feeling it may take over the sidewalk!

Until next time...……..

May your days be many and your troubles be few. And may all God's blessings descend upon you.

The boys were let outside to empty out but never like being there alone without me. Gunnarr and Fionnegan are crying to get back inside while Shorty is lying peacefully ignoring them. But as soon as the door opens Shorty is up and inside!

Not to worry little fellows, I did not forget you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

06.12.19 Video of PMA Sea Search in Yap

My friend Amos, who is a pilot on Yap for PMA (Pacific Mission Aviation) received notice that an outrigger canoe that was sailing from Guam to Yap capsized.  Here is his video which shows the provision drops they made until a ship could rescue the three men.  You may be impressed by the precision of the supply drops and the safety equipment carried by the men on the outrigger.

The video is on YouTube. The link works by using the Control tab and click and a secondary link appears for you to click. It is a well made video that shows the men in their rafts waiting for a rescue. They are 400 miles off a remote island in the Yap State.

Monday, June 10, 2019

06/10/19 A visitor in the garden

Now I have the photographic proof. Bucky Deerburgher in the gardens! Here he is, hiding behind a lilac plant. Hummingbird feeder is in the foreground.

Usually I let the boys out in the early morning while I get ready for work. But today I decided to go outside and make sure they "empty out". Fionnegan and Gunnarr were wrestling and as soon as I opened the door to go outside, they ran back inside to continue with their games.  Shorty was lying down in the driveway watching the cars and the neighbors.

Then I heard some snorting. Much to my surprise Shorty was not paying attention and kept his vigil on the road. But I recognized the snort as once a few years ago Bucky snorted and stamped his hoof at me. Well, this Bucky was no different. He snorted again and stamped his hoof. I quickly went inside the house and grabbed my cell phone and snapped one picture right off just in case Bucky ran.  But Bucky was not going anywhere and Shorty did not sense him.  So I took a few more pictures then went to the fence to take a few more.

There were more snorts and stamping but that was about it. I also made a mental note to myself - under no circumstance, no matter how good the sale, am I to buy any more rhododendrons or mountain laurel for the back gardens. Note to self two - buy the real "deer away" stuff as the knock off brand I bought this year was not a deterrent.

But I digress.  I must have had a full three or four minutes of watching this beautiful creature watch me, the "rodent with antlers" as I frequently call them when they use my gardens as a salad bar. He let me get as close as the fence and still click away with the camera.

Then Shorty noticed that I was not taking pictures of him, Fionn, Gunnarr or flowers. Yes, there was Bucky! Well he started barking as he ran to the fence. the boys inside the house were watching from the kitchen door started barking, and the deer as expected ran away - eventually. He first watched Shorty before he decided to jaunt away, in no particular rush.

After watching this behavior, I do believe that he figured out that the dogs cannot jump the fence! Bucky was safe from those pesky little four legged creatures!  That could be why the deer keep coming back despite the dogs barking full force at them. They sense they are safe. Yesterday Shorty spotted him while he was looking out the window and the deer did not run until I came outside. So my little warriors are not that frightening to a big deer!

Bucky Deerburgher watching me watching him.

Here is Bucky aware of Shorty barking as he ran up the driveway. Initially he only twitched his head.

Finally Bucky turns and runs over the hill.

Interesting enough, he did not raise his tail as a flag sign to warn other deer of danger. I'll be back he seems to say. Sure enough he was, in the early evening he returned to a chorus of three dogs trying to keep him at large! Bold, bold, bold.

The gardens inside the fences are gorgeous. The best ever! I suspect I saw that every Spring but this year with all of the rain they are quite big and full of flowers - irises, lilacs, mountain laurel, geraniums, columbine, old fashion roses and peonies are just a few of the plants that are in flower right now.

Here are a few photographs of the flowers in bloom today.

My little warriors tracking down the deer and squirrels.

 These are the most fragrant lilacs right by the front door.

Smaller but regular visitors to the gardens are the ruby throated hummingbirds. The pair has been around since the first azaleas have bloomed and are frequently seem by the honeysuckle. One day maybe I'll get lucky and snap a photograph of one of those lovely little but noisy birds! I suspect they must have a tiny little nest somewhere well hidden from site and predators. The honeysuckle are growing in towers so that the flowers are readily obvious for the little hummingbirds. I am tryong to plant flowers that attract hummingbirds, bees adn butterflies. So far, so good!

Hope you enjoyed the photographs of Bucky and the gardens.

Until next time...……..
May your days be many and your troubles be few. And may all God's blessings descend upon you.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

06/02/19 Launched!!!!!

Yes, my girl is at her mooring. Mimì had her hull sanded and painted, mast stepped and launched. So we sailed her over from Crystal Cove Marina to CPYC on Sunday and securely attached her to her mooring. Every year it gets a little easier to get her ready for the season, good thing. The sail to the club was smooth and we are hoping with a sanded and painted hull so will go faster!

Mimì at Crystal Cove, stripped down. After a couple hours of work, she was ready to sail away from the dock to her mooring.

New gates at Cottage Park Yacht Club. Also a new seawall along the right side of these gates.  Pretty fancy!

Here is my girl, looking pretty lonely out there almost all by herself! She is the little one in the near center of the photograph.  The fog set in rather quickly as we were sailing, with the winds picking up to 20 knots. Always an adventure to find her mooring, it was a bit more of a challenge without her wand and trying to figure out which one is mine. Decided to make it colorful and leave on all of the mooring stickers from the past several years. It is a bit shallow on this side and the moorings were moved further away from shore. Good move as even Mimì has touched bottom at high tide near her previous mooring site.

Hard to resist sharing photographs of the gardens.
Fragrant lilacs by the front door - you can smell them throughout the house.

Can you find the bee?

Three happy boys wishing you all a wonderful end of Spring!