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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

On Cloud Patrol #21

Well, what do you know?  I went outside the other day and found a sky full of clouds and immediately ran inside for my camera!  The funny thing was – everything I “saw” involved heads and faces.  There were no bodies, no interesting scenes, but perhaps those will come with warmer weather.  I’ve decided to present them to you from easiest to hardest, since you’re probably out of practice.  Without further ado, here is the easiest.

I call this one “Doofus Guy.”  It’s pretty hard to miss him. His eye is in the upper middle and he has a very pointy nose.  His mouth is open and he has a small chin and a long neck.  His collar is up.  Oh yeah, and he has long hair that is blowing in the wind.  See him?

This second one is “Rabid Clouds.”  Two crazy vicious clouds are about to devour the helpless one in the middle. Okay, you can barely see the one in the middle over the fence.  On the left is one insane cloud with his mouth open and a mean eye.  The one on the right also has his mouth open and he looks to be purely evil!

Okay this next one is called “Gremlin Guy.”  I think he’s pretty obvious, too. His pointy nose is in the middle-right of the picture.  He also looks remarkably like Grandpa Munster from the TV show.

Okay, now we’re getting into harder territory.  This one is called “Girl in a Coma.”  She is lying down and staring straight up. If you start at the left upper corner, you’ll be at her hair and bangs.  Move down and you see her big eye, complete with eyelashes.  She kind of has a piggy nose and her mouth is slightly open.  She also has braids behind her head.  This one takes an eye.  Can you make her out?

And last but not least, is the hardest one of all.  You get extra credit if you can figure out this one.  Sometimes when I look at it I can’t see anything.  Then, when I make it out, I can’t believe how obvious it is.  It’s called “The Guy From Above.”  It’s not God, but probably a friend of His. To orientate you, in the middle toward the bottom of the screen is a blob of cloud which is his big fat nose.  From there, you should be able to see two eyes, a smiling mouth and a white beard on his chin.  Or, you could start at the beard which is in the lower middle right and work up from there.  He is literally looking down at the earth from the sky.  Can you see him?

So, now that I’ve given your minds a good workout, I’ll bring this to a close.  As always, if you have the time I’d love to know which ones you found and which you couldn’t see.  And until next time, remember “Keep your eyes on the skies.”

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The Mole MUST Die!

Last week we were blessed with at least two days in the seventies.  At long last the heaps and heaps of snow that surrounded us finally started melting away.  And when it was gone, I looked at the area of lawn right in front of my front porch and saw this:

Well, actually, this is a shot taken AFTER I had furiously pounded down all the mole tunnels and runs.  It was the first time I took an objective look and realized that The Mole, working surreptitiously under the snow, has managed to kill off virtually all of the grass in that area.  He has left me with a mud pit!  That bastard!

If you’ll remember the research I did in November 2009,  summarized in this post,  moles are active 24/7.  And this particular maniac doesn’t just limit his destruction to my yard.  I looked at my neighbor, Marcia’s and this is how hers is shaping up. You can see the bare spots where he attacked last summer, too.

In fact, between her yard and mine he must have found an earthworm buffet because he doesn’t seem to bother my other two neighbors whose yards attach to mine.  I’ve always loved looking out my front windows and seeing my tree and stepping-stones.  This is how they look now.

You can see all the scars in the earth where this filthy creature has continued his destruction!  When I first moved here I was naive enough to think that the lawn maintenance guys, for whom we pay hefty home owner association dues, would do something to remedy the problem.  Silly me.  Last summer Marcia called and was told they had “put something down.”  First of all, I don’t believe that.  Second of all, if they did, you can see how well it worked!  The lawn care expert on the radio says that poison peanuts, mole stuff and stuff crammed down into their tunnels don’t work.  The only thing that works is a harpoon trap.  In my experience that’s right.  In my last house it wasn’t until I resorted to traps that I finally caught one.

But, when I knew I’d be moving here, I gave those traps away.  What I’d like to know is…WHY ME?  Every house I live in has moles, while most of the time the neighbors are blissfully mole-free.  It’s not fair!  I feel like I’ve spent half my life fighting moles and I’M SICK OF IT!  Sick. Of. It.

I heard on the radio Saturday that in a 5,000 square foot yard, one trapper caught twenty-one moles!  Can you believe that?  I can’t let myself even consider the fact that I might have more than one or it might drive me totally over the brink of sanity!

But though I’m tired and war-weary, don’t think for a moment that I’m going to concede this battle.  I won’t stop until I nail his dead body to a tree, as a warning to all of his comrades.  I simply can’t let him completely trash my property’s value.  Meanwhile, I’d better be thinking of buying some grass seed.

Oh, and if you think I’m alone in this mania, watch this wonderful animated You-Tube piece entitled “The Mole” by Jasper Carrott.  It would be hilarious if it weren’t so damned true.

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On Cloud Patrol #20

Despite how cold it’s getting, your faithful Cloud Patrol has been out scanning the skies, ready to capture any promising formations and I’ve managed to come up with several.

This first, however, is compliments of my friend, Dee, who took this at Grand Lake in Colorado.  What caught her attention was the fact that it appears to be a square cloud, something you don’t see very often.  In keeping with my tradition of identifying shapes, let me suggest that this one is either a piece of toast or actually could be a square face because I do see something in the middle that suggests a nose.  What do you think?

This next one is a baby dragon.  He’s reclining but you can see the suggestion of his wings on the left.  That’s his big eye in the middle of the picture, then his snout.  He looks very comfortable.

The next is a dead witch.  Although you don’t see it specifically, I think she’s lying in a coffin.  Anyway, you can see her long pointy nose sticking up and her folded hands.  And if you want extra credit, see if you can see a halo in the mid-left part of the picture.  Maybe at the last moment, she repented of all her evil and is going to be made an angel!  I love happy endings.

And finally, this last one’s so obvious that I’d be surprised if you didn’t see it right away.  It’s a unicorn!   Look for a horn in the middle of the picture and just work your way down.

So, how did you do?  Did you see them all?  You know, it isn’t easy standing out there in the frigid weather, freezing my patootie off to capture these clouds!  But I figure you guys are worth it!

Till next time, keep your eyes on the skies!

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Meet My Moon

I have friends ( who shall remain nameless,) who think I’m a little crazy to get up at 4:15 a.m. every day.  But, first of all, I can’t help waking up at that time.  That’s how my body clock is set.  And second of all, I wouldn’t change it if I could.  Early morning is a special time when I can be alone with nature while everyone else is fast asleep.

And, as much as I love trees and stars, I have a very close relationship with the moon.  When I step out on my balcony each morning, he’s the first thing I check out.  He has so many moods and appearances that I thought I’d share a few with you.

Some mornings he’s just a solitary being.  This is the moon I envision when I think of space travel.  How I’d love being on a space shuttle heading to that  moon!

Other times, he’s far away.  If you look closely, you’ll see he has a little star friend here.

This is my favorite – the “mysterious moon.”  I love it!  They always show a shot like this in movies when something ominous is about to happen – sort of like a “bad moon rising.”  I don’t see it as bad, though.  I see it as beautiful and magical.

And finally, a close-up.  How can one not be in awe of something like this?

Just think, that moon is in the sky every night and early morning.  How often do you look up and really appreciate it?   I look at it every single day.  But then the moon and I have been through a lot together.  By now, we’ve become best friends.  Lucky me.

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Gee whiz, when I first started going on cloud patrol and collecting clouds, I never dreamed I’d have nineteen collections already!  But, come to think of it, my cloud warehouse is starting to fill up.  I’ll have to think about sending some of them to Area 51 or Warehouse 13.  But that’s a problem for another day.

My first cloud is so easy to see that you shouldn’t have any trouble.  It’s a dinosaur taking a big bite out of one of my trees.  He’s facing right.  His mouth is open and you can see the bare suggestion of an eye.

This second one is a little harder, but so romantic! It’s of two kissing clouds.  The guy is on the left and he’s stretching so hard that he has almost pulled his head off of his body, but he has already gotten his lips on hers.  She’s on the right, accepting the kiss.  Someone should tell her to close her eyes.  Can you see it?

Okay, this third one is pretty difficult, but I insisted on putting it in because it appeals to my whimsical side.  So stick with me here.  Immediately right of the tree is a cloud head which is in the middle of a sneeze.  You can see its open mouth.  The “sneeze stuff” is floating up higher, however the bottom part of the “sneeze stuff” seems to be forming an “M.”  (Is this some sort of secret hidden message to us from the sky?) In the bottom right of the picture are three other clouds watching and applauding.   Yes, I know I’m a bit weird, but that’s what I saw.  Can you see it, too?

On this particular day, when I turned around and looked up, I was shocked to see yet another Crazy Evil Cloud! I hope you all will remember what I’ve told you about this.  Any time you look up and see one – DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT. I’m not exactly sure what will happen to you, but I do know that it won’t be good.

And last, but not least, in the spirit of Halloween I give you a Wolfman/Ogre.  He’s facing left.  You should be able to see his nose and a big tooth coming out of the bottom of his jaw.  He also has big hair.

And that concludes our collection for today.  I hope you enjoyed it and remember what I always say, ” Keep Your Eyes On The Skies!”

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On Cloud Patrol #18

I went on Cloud Patrol yesterday, after not having had any luck for a while, and was happy to see a few things finally shaping up there in the sky.  This certainly is not my best selection, but it will get us all back into practice again.

I’ll start with a simple, easy one.  Coming from your left is an alligator (or is it a crocodile?)   He’s kind of stylistic, but, you should be able to see his long nose, then be able to locate his eye.  See him?

If that one was a problem, this one is even easier.  It’s an Elephant Man.  It’s kind of hard to miss that trunk curling up!  It’s funny, but I can make out a smile on his face, even though it appears there is a hatchet sticking out of the top of his head!  Some people are just born with a good attitude!

This third one is kind of scary.  It’s an evil crazy wicked cloud monster. You can tell he’s insane.  His right eye is high up there on the right and his left is kind of squinty.  But there’s no doubt about that malicious smile.  His guy definitely wants to get you into a fog bank and then make you disappear.  Who puts these things up in the sky, anyway?  If you see one of these guys, look away quickly!

And for my finale, I have your traditional Halloween witch.  I couldn’t believe it when I looked up and saw her so clearly.  There she is, flying behind the trees.  She has the trademark long pointy nose and tall hat.  You can see both of her eyes (and she even has eyebrows!)  And she looks none too happy.  You’ve got to remember, I don’t create these things.  I was just gazing up into the sky and there’s this full-blown witch trucking across the sky!  She’s very cool, isn’t she?

Well, that’s all I have for you today, but I have a feeling, now that Fall is on the way, that we’ll be seeing a lot more.  Let me know if you saw them all and which one is your favorite.  And meanwhile, like I always say, “Keep your eyes on the skies!”

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Since the weather has finally cooled down, I have been spending as much time as possible outside, just drinking it up.  And it isn’t unusual for me to step out on my balcony for small periods of time all throughout the day, just to monitor what’s going on in nature.  So, a day or so ago, I was out leaning on the balcony rail when I looked over at my neighbor’s rail and saw…Rodney.

Don’t ask me how I knew that was his name.  I just did.  I sort of have special powers that way.  I can look at something and just know its name.  That came in very handy in my greeting card career when I was called upon to bestow names on all sorts of stuffed animals, dolls, places and things.  But actually, it wasn’t because I had a special talent in making up names.  It’s  because I have been naming things my whole life – dolls, cars, places, situations.  It’s what I do.  I think everything deserves a name.  But I digress.

So anyway, I stood there and Rodney stood there and we both just watched the trees.  At one point I gently eased into the house for my camera and was surprised that he was still there, communing with nature, when I returned.  The first picture he forgave, but the second pissed him off.

“Are you looking at ME?”

He’s just so cool-looking that I couldn’t help myself.  And then, as I watched, I saw him working himself up.  First the feathers got ruffled…

And then he just sort of lost his mind and started walking around screaming. I kept telling him to calm down, but he totally ignored me.   He was making some pretty disparaging remarks about humans, let me tell you!   And the language!  I don’t know where he learned his manners, but I actually asked him, “Do you kiss your mama with that beak?”  Sheesh!

So anyway, after his little temper tantrum, he gave me one hard look and then flew away.  And all because I was just sharing the view with him!   And besides, I wasn’t the ONLY one watching him…

This guy never took his eyes off him the whole time, and yet I’M the one who got yelled at!

Nature can be cruel.



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