21 March 2010

Hairy Woodpecker

Okay, put away the Middle School jokes.  There is such a bird as a Hairy Woodpecker, and it lives right here in River City.  My neighbors have the best bird attracting stuff!  They put up this new feeder and I don't know what it has in it, but the Hairy Woodpecker was there this morning ON THE BOTTOM of it.  Here are the grainy, badly taken photos:

And the piรจce de resistance, the CLOSE UP.  It's also bad and grainy.  Sorry.

If anyone knows what kind of feeder that is, please, do tell.

25 February 2010


[Ed.'s note:  I found out that if I allow our camera to leave the date on, even when I crop it the date stays there!  Maddening.]
This is the immature Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin sitting in my neighbor's tree 2008.

This is the immature Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin eyeing the suet feeder in my neighbor's yard, 2008/2009.

Just to add context.  2008/2009

This is the now grown up Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin sitting my other neighbor's tree.  2010.  Disregard the camera's marking. . . Move along...move along.

This is the Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin being rewarded for hanging out in my neighbors' trees.

This is the Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin getting a little wary, eating his catch, watching me take pictures of him eating in my neighbor's yard.

This is the Cooper's Hawk that I thought was a Merlin watching me take pictures of him being wary while eating his catch in the neighbor's yard.

And this is just plain cool.

17 February 2010


Snow.  I am so tired of the fluffy white stuff that I don't even want to take pictures of it.  It has been a long, hard winter and I can understand the prairie pioneer women going crazy.  Kind of.  This is a picture of the 1st snow.  Note the date.  That snow is still on the ground to this day.
It doesn't snow with the sun shining and everything all sparkly and pretty.  It howls around the house, angry it can't get in and make the house cold too.  It's gray and dark.  There is a sidewalk to the left of that tulip tree, with steps up to the house.  Don't see it?  Neither did I.

And when the sun comes out, it is pretty.  For awhile.  This is still the 1st snow.  That snow is still there, lurking under the other 20 or so inches of snowfall since, waiting to cause havoc this Spring.

2nd or third snowfall (read "blizzard").  The landscape is now flat, with mountains of snow at the sides of streets, with Everests at each side of the driveways and intersections.  We finally broke down this year and bought a (relatively) cheap snowblower.  Note the date.  We are already tired of hearing "snow in the forecast".

First, I will state here that the camera reset because of battery issues and I hate resetting it each and every time I change batteries, which is often.  So this was not taken in January of 2007, but rather end of January, 2010.  This is either the (?) merlin falcon or sharp-shinned hawk (can't decide) that visits our neighborhood from time to time.  It stayed around for 2 whole days this time.  Merlins are called "sparrow hawks", which would be an opportune thing to be in this area, what with all the sparrows living in the tenement arborvitae and the higher rent barberry bushes who feed on our seeds together.  Barberry bushes have better security what with all the thorns.

Talking about food.  We are prohibited from feeding the deer.  Which doesn't bother me.  They've already eaten all deer height serviceberries from our (formerly useless) serviceberry tree.  They knock our bird feeder over to gather seeds from it, and scrape up the husks of birdseed on our patio during the night.  The number tracks are fewer, and there is no running any longer.  The deer tracks look depressing, like they are plodding along, knowing their trek is useless and there still won't be any food for them. 

I've heard of rabbits stripping bark from ground bushes, and am sure the damage done by them will only be visible when this SNOW melts.

05 December 2009

Bell Ringers and Guilt

Should I feel guilty that I don't put money in every bell ringer's container?  Because the looks that one gets when one doesn't are very guilt producing.  And what's up with Santas in the grocery store?  Sitting on twelve pack thrones no less. 

We have truly given over the asylum to the lunatics.  Truly.

Just sayin'.

24 November 2009


I was busy in October making my son's dreams come true.

The Green Lantern and Star Sapphire

Considering that there are no Green Lantern costume patterns and no one has ever heard of Star Sapphire except my son, I had to wing a lot of it.  I have never sewn pleather.  And I don't do stretch fabrics.  Ever.
Until now.

Aren't they adorable?
The only things I didn't make are his gloves and his mask and the rings.
My son made rings for each of them, learned how to make a mold and sprue and the whole nine yards, and cast them, and put little LED lights in them. He also molded the mask out of some moldable stuff that hardens.

The rings all lighted up.  I thought that was really cool.  Give a nerd a child, and you get two nerds. 
Feel the love.

So, as a side story:  #1 son comes over to my place to use my workroom.  He has morphed an old Superman action figure into a character of his own creation and wants to make a cape.  An action figure cape.  This is after I made these costumes to his (often) very extreme demands.  He works down there (my workroom/studio is in the basement of our house) for awhile, then comes up and states:  "Fabric is the most difficult medium to work with!  It moves all over the place.  I don't know how you do it."

26 August 2009

Praying Mantis

Came home yesterday to this hanging out on my garage. Poor guy only had one "arm". He was really quite large: about 3 inches stem to stern.

It's pics like these that really make you realize just how badly your house does need painting!

23 August 2009


With my mother, who recently moved in to live with us:
[While watching Millionaire when Ken Jennings was the "expert".]

PJ (That's my Mom): That Ken Jennings. I don't know why they have him as an expert on there. He made his money on Wheel of Fortune, not Millionaire.

Me: You mean Jeopardy, Mom. He was a multi-million dollar winner on Jeopardy.

PJ: No, it was Wheel of Fortune.

Me: Jeopardy, Mom. Jeopardy.

PJ: No, it was Wheel of Fortune.

Me: *Sigh*. Okay Mom, whatever.

PJ: Oh, you mean Jeopardy! I thought you were saying Millionaire! That's right, it was Jeopardy.



Heard from my son, who was home eating for a visit:

Mom, I'm gonna take the jalapeno pepper jelly home with me 'cause I'm the only one that eats it.

Like he's here the other 22 hours of each day, each week.