Tuesday, December 20, 2011

computer woes. more fungi. goin' camping. art journal.

a Bromeliad flower in bloom!

sunday morning my laptop woke up with a dark screen.
i thought it might have been stuck in hibernate 
because the light on front kept blinking like it does before it goes to sleep.

so i went online...on sam's comp...and tried all sorts of remedies.
no luck.
yesterday morning i took my laptop to the hospital.
hopefully i'll hear from them SOON with a diagnosis.
i hope it's nothing serious.
my laptop's about 8 years old...running windows xp.
i like xp. it lets me be in charge!

close-up of the Coral Mushroom!

the one i'm on right now...sam's computer...runs vista.
vista treats you like an idiot...like you have no idea what you're doing. 

or maybe it's just because i'm so used to MY computer...
where all my files are...my folders. my programs. my desktop.
my pictures. my scheme. my theme.
my stickers all over the cover.
oh well. i'm whining. get over it.

HEY!!  if sam & i didn't each have our own laptop...
then i wouldn't be here...telling my tale of woe!

a little garden spider

so i don't have access to my latest pictures...
only the ones i still had on the camera.
i know...back up! back up!
i DO backup on an external hard drive...but not as often as i should.
it's been a couple of weeks.  :/

OH yeah...sam got the week between xmas & new years OFF!
so we'll be packing up milo...

and our bare necessities...on the 24th...
and hitting the road!! camping!  yay!!!!!!
~no phone~no internet~no stress~

(i found some older pictures i had saved on discs...from when we stayed at these parks before...)

first stop  will be Suwannee River State Park.
you might remember...this is the park where the 
Suwannee & the Withlacoochee Rivers meet...
where Balanced Rock  hangs over the Suwannee, along one of the trails.

Balanced Rock

...where a tired & worn out Hackberry butterfly hitched a ride on sam's back while we hiked...

after Suwannee, our NEXT stop will be Florida Caverns State Park.
we visited there about seven years ago. 
at that time we only went into the caverns...we didn't walk the trails. 
underground...in the caverns

a little BAT hanging upside down in there...

so...where ever this coming week takes you...
what ever you do...what ever you celebrate...if anything at all...
hanukkah...christmas...new years.
whether you're dealing with snow...blizzards...rain...freezing temps or summer heat...
may your life be filled with unexpected magical moments!
16  december  2011  6:30am

i leave you with my latest...my second...ART JOURNAL entry.
(17 dec 2011)

a two-pager!  tree done in marker.  collage on the right.

have a safe journey...this year into the next.
see you in 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

moon~hawk~'shrooms~bugs~lizard~and my art.

"Dawn seemed to follow midnight with indecent haste."  
~J.K. Rowling, "Magic is Might," 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 2007 
dec 6, 2011.  6:49am

it's been cold, cloudy, foggy & rainy.
(i wasn't able to get an eclipse or full moon pic due to the heavy cloud cover)

here are some pictures i've taken over the past week or so.

let's start with the Red-shouldered Hawk...who was sitting in a tree in the yard last weekend
when we pulled in after camping.


~these next two pictures...the strangest mushroom i've ever seen~

 CORAL mushroom
i've never seen it in the yard before...but now, there's a big patch of it!


i heard something out back. by the porch. at night. 
grabbed my camera, turned it on, lifted the flash...
aimed and hoped i captured whatever was sneaking around.
I DID.  ms. opossum.  probably hanging out hoping milo would come out to play.


remember the Orb Weaver on the front porch?
she still comes out at night (when it's not too cold)...weaves her web...
and waits for a meal...or a mate...or both.

one night i noticed a lizard (Green Anole) sitting on the same wind chime 
the Orb sleeps in during the day...and hangs her web from.


"Nature is the great nurse for tired minds. Let her have her way with you, and all will be well."  
~Herbert Pryke 


here's a grasshopper, out back in the woods. hiding in all the dried up vines.


here's an unusual looking mushroom.
kind of purplish...curled up & holding rain water.

we have such a variety of  mushrooms around here...as you well know!
they have inspired me to make little clay mushroom holders...
for the little glass vials i put tiny bones in.
i've never worked with clay before...but have wanted to give it a try for some time.

so i bought a small amount of self hardening clay.
and played. it's pretty messy. 
very messy. i like it!

after shaping the clay into a mushroom...i let it dry for a few days...
then coat with 'mod-podge'...then paint...then coat with acrylic sealer.
i added a small piece of felt to the bottom.

the mushroom on the left...i embedded small smooth river stones to the base while the clay was still soft.
the one on the right holds the frog skeleton.
it SOLD at my shop on etsy!  yay!

sam has dubbed these..."MUSHROOM CRADLES". 
i like that!!
i also sold a decorated Deer Skull!!   another YAY!

well...that's all for now.

i'm trying to avoid all the hustle & bustle as best i can.
i wouldn't mind just leaving town. heading to parts unknown.
sitting on a mountain top. staring at the moon and stars.

this time of year gets me a little down. stressed. pressured.
i tend to think too much...dwelling on my past, my mistakes, deaths.
AND i hate shopping...it's all gotten way too commercial anyway.

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, 
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  
It came without ribbons.  
It came without tags.  
It came without packages, boxes or bags.  
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.  
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.  
~Dr Seuss 

have a safe journey!   

 be merry. 

PS: if you liked my halloween...skeleton...macabre...graphics i'd collected over the years...
then check out my page...tab at the top, click here...
MORE creepy pictures have been added...BUT with a christmas-y feel!!   


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

hiking at our in-town prairie

last weekend we packed up the camper, loaded up milo, 
and drove 25 minutes to the other side of town...to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

it would've been nice to get a camping spot at a park a little farther away,
but when i tried to make reservations a month ago...this was the FIRST and ONLY available spot!  
so i booked it!

the prairie basin was formed when a number of sinkholes close together eventually merged.
for 12,000  years people have settled in this area.
from prehistoric times to Potano Indians, Spanish explorers, Seminole Indians...
followed by cotton farmers, citrus farmers and cattlemen. this land has been an irresistible lure
to explorers, adventurers...hunters/gatherers...farmers...Native Americans & Europeans.

BACK in march we visited another area of the park...The La Chua trail...
where we saw LOTS of gators and the wild spanish horses.
((check out the post for more: alligators-wild-horses-turtles-and the moon))

THIS weekend, we were on the 'camping' side...with trails, lake wauberg and a nature museum.

so, lace up your hiking boots...

our ONLY deer sighting was on the way in...it crossed the road right in front of us...
my camera was in the case...in my lap.
the deer was faster than me!  no deer picture this time.

(we had been warned...due to the low water level in the lake, the wildlife will be scarce.)

view out the back of the camper
“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” 
~John Muir

Milo checking out the woods...

and trying to decide whether she wants to climb the tree...or just relax for a while.

she decided to just kick back on the picnic table

after milo goes inside...we'll head down the trail.

Whitetail Deer print
the massive oak trees are covered with spanish moss

 cattails on Lake Wauberg

you don't have to tell me twice...

a Great Egret

Opossum front paw print

keep going...we're heading to the nature center...

Sweetgum trees against the clear blue sky
since so many of the trees we have here in north florida are the pine,
it's really nice to see the autumn changes in the Sweetgum.

Sweetgum leaves

this is the  Sweetgum dry fruit which contains seeds eaten by birds

an old...faded...Buckeye butterfly

want to go grab a drink? i'll wait...

ok, we made it to the visitor center/nature center, where they have pictures and artifacts
explaining the history of the prairie...the land...it's people.
cool stuff...to learn...see...touch...
Horse skull

Bison skull

((i have to give mention here to TexWisGirl @ The Run*A*Round Ranch
for letting me know that i had my skull labels reversed!! duh! they're fixed! THANKS  T!))

this old prop was recovered from Alachua Sink in 1954.
it was believed to have pushed a small Steamboat
on Alachua Lake in the later 1800's

a map from 1883.
if you spot The Sink/Alachua Lake, just south of where it says GAINESVILLE...
that's about where we're at right now.

follow the RR out of G'ville, going north-east, and you'll see

Fairbanks...that's where we live.  stay on the train, next stop is Waldo...which nowadays is
best known as a Speed Trap. there's even a warning in the AAA trip book!

walking out onto the observation deck...looking out over the prairie basin...

back on the trails...

coyote print
the Jackson Gap trail, was named after a pioneering cattle rancher at the turn of the century,
Archie Jackson...who moved cattle through here.
the old Jackson cottage
a nice fixer-upper...huh?


we spotted a pile of bones & feathers...
Red-tailed Hawk bones & feathers along with Armadillo bones.

Red-tailed Hawk pelvis or sacrum

a trail left by...possibly a snake...maybe even a 'gator.

geese...   Ummmm...see below...i stand corrected...these are Sandhill Cranes
(OK! i did it again! Kathie @ Kathie's Birds has corrected me...and she knows her birds!!
the are NOT geese...they are SANDHILL CRANES! thanks kathie!)  :)

wild Boar print

and where there's Wild Boar...you're bound to find...

wild Boar...scat

**just a REMINDER**

gator and Cormorant
juvenile Cormorant

Golden Silk Orb Weaver  aka  Banana spider

Turkey print

WHEW!  we're almost back to the campground...
there's the sign!

Puff Balls

and here's Milo...
sitting on the step up to the bed...patiently waiting to be let out.
(remember, we have a slide-in. which means the camper sits in the bed of the truck.
our bed is over the cab of the truck.)

"FINALLY! i thought you two got lost out there"

Milo...S T R E T C H I N G...

time to have a drink...relax...play scrabble or cards...while Milo sits and watches.

she's amazing really. she listens. she stays. she comes when you call her name.
(well, MOST of the time anyway.)

another perfect weekend...gone too quickly!
lucky for me, today was a slow one because i wanted to get these weekend pic's
on here before too much time passed.

have a nice week. have a safe journey.

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."  
~spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore. 
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999.