Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ah, Spring, Time For New Clothes.

While taking the kitchen scraps to the compost pile last evening, I spotted this nearby.

Looks like Mr. No Shoulders has outgrown his clothes and gotten himself a new suit!
He's gone, but rest assured, he's not forgotten. I'm pretty sure this came from a 3 foot Rat Snake (we have plenty of those around in the woods), but we also have Copperheads (seen plenty) and probably Rattlesnakes (not seen one on my property yet).
Needless to say, I'm very cautious when I walk around outside in the dark! Even Mr. Rat Snake could make me hurt myself trying to get away.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weeds Can Be Pretty

Weeds Can Be Pretty

A very wet winter has produced a lovely crop of weeds in a nearby pasture. They can be beautiful if you don't have to pull them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

After the Storms

After the Storm

Saturday was a miserable, soggy, stormy day all day long. It was the kind of day that can get you down, but then came Sunday morning, and as I got in the car to go to church, what did I see but bright sunbeams shining on the flowers that had made it through the day before. That'll chase the blues away.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2 Things Challenge Obstacle/Illusion

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Obstacle/Illusion. Well a brick wall is an obstacle for sure, even if someone has carefully painted a flower pattern on it.

Obstacle Illusion

But it's all an illusion. The wall is really just a brick support for a bench at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and the painted flower isn't painted at all, but is really the sunlight shining through a cutout on a metal bracket for the same bench.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2 Things Challenge Large / Dainty

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Large / Dainty. This rather large dog is dressed in a very dainty outfit for her appearance at the Do Dah Day Parade in Birmingham, Alabama. I don't think she looks very pleased about the whole thing. Perhaps she would rather have spikes on her collar.

Do Day Day is an annual (May 15 this year) party and parade in Birmingham for the benefit of the local charities, especially animal related charities. People dress their dogs, cats, tortoises, groundhogs, children and even themselves in the most outlandish costumes and parade through some of the nice older neighborhoods, listen to live music in the parks, eat, and in general have a rollicking good time. Their pets' opinions of the whole affair are yet to be determined.

Monday, April 12, 2010

White Wisteria

Virginia showed us the wisteria in full bloom in Alabama last week here. Also blooming, and just as beautiful to me, is the rarer white version. It climbs and drapes the trees just like the lavender wisteria, but there's just not as much of it around.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weekly Challenge: Home/Town 2

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Home/Town. After I couldn't think of a neat way to combine the two, my wife suggested something like this. I just happened to have the photo in the archives, so this is my second interpretation of the challenge.

This is Birmingham, Alabama, which may not fit an exact definition of my hometown, but it and its immediate suburbs are where I spent the majority of my life. Not in this house or apartment building, they just represent homes nestled on the side of Red Mountain with the town/city of Birmingham as their view.

2 Things Challenge Home/Town

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Home/Town. I couldn't think of a convenient way to combine the two, so I just put them up separately.

This is My Home

This is My Town

But the question remains, is it my "home town"? I've lived here for almost 12 years, but one tends to think of their home town as where they grew up, if indeed they grew up in a single town. I did not grow up in this small town, but a larger small city in Georgia. I spent more years in Birmingham and immediate suburbs than I have here. I love it here though, with its small town atmosphere, but there are constant subtle reminders that we're outsiders. We weren't born here. Heck, we didn't even grow up here. We can't even remember who lived in that nice house on the corner before they died back in '87. So is this my home town? No, but for right now, it's my town.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Bad Part of Spring

Ahhh . . Spring. It's that lovely time of year we wait so impatiently for all winter. Then suddenly it's here, flowers are blooming, jackets are put away, and the grass is turning green again. Wonderful, until . . . ah . . . ah . . . AH CHOOOOOO!

All those flowers, and especially the trees, decide it's time to do their mating thing, and they spew their pollen into the air and up our noses. Actually it doesn't bother my nose too much, but it just sort of makes you feel dirty, in more ways than one.

The pine trees around here, and there are a lot of pine trees around here, all get together and within a few days dump all their pollen into the air. Today was the worst I believe I've ever seen it. I was driving over the mountain earlier and it looked like there was a fire, but it was only all the pollen being blown around. Julie was outside for a short while, resting on the cover to the hot tub, and left her footprints and body prints in the mess. She got it all over her, and I had to brush her off before I could let her back in the house. It feels almost like walking on sand on my deck. There's about a 70% chance of rain tomorrow. We've had a lot of rain, but I think central Alabama could use a good washing tomorrow.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

2 Things Challenge Noun/Verb

The 2 Things Challenge this week is Noun/Verb.

My interpretation is a photograph (n. a picture or image taken by photography) of a photographer using an antique camera as he attempts to photograph (v.t. To take a photograph of) the cannon fire and Civil War soldiers during the re-enactment of the Battle of Selma. The yankees win every year, but the rebs keep trying.

Join us at 2 Things Challenge to see other interpretations of the challenge.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Spring has FINALLY sprung in our neck of the woods. The Japanese Magnolias are mostly in full bloom.
The poppies, thrift, and heather are decorating the flower beds, with irises to come shortly.

Then there's this thorny thing. It's awful. It reminds me of the thorns depicted for the Crown of Thorns in most art of the crucifixion of Jesus. Most of the year it is just green stems with massive sharp thorns that could cause great bodily harm, easily put out your eye, and possibly very serious injury if you fell into it. We have several of these nasty things growing on our property, and they are invasive and dangerous to be around. But for a couple of weeks each year around Easter, some of the more mature bushes will get these very lovely, delicate white flowers amongst the thorns.

The flowers do mature to a citrus like fruit that is yellow or orange, mostly full of slimy seeds, and something I would not eat.
What is this thing?