Monday, April 30, 2012

morphing monday (meow)

~ morphing monday   3 ~

every monday. 
one of my 'nature shots'...altered with picassa, gimp or fast stone imaging.

milo says, "this fence is way too narrow...
i'm a little too clumsy and accident prone to balance myself up here any longer." 

Everything I know I learned from my cat:  When you're hungry, eat.  
When you're tired, nap in a sunbeam.  
When you go to the vet's, pee on your owner.  
~Gary Smith

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

longhorns. ocklawaha. birds & a couple of bugs.

this past sunday we took a ride to 
Rodman Reservoir (or Lake Ocklawaha)

you might remember, we went there to check it out a couple of months ago...
because this spot is known for it's good fishing.

but the reservoir was on a draw-down back then...and it was just about bone dry!
it was supposed to be back up in april.

along the way, we passed a 'Longhorn' farm.
sam pulled over so i could get a few shots!

what beauties, huh?!

well, the water's back up!

and flowing!

there were lots of people fishing...and catching!
and lots of  birds too...happy to have the reservoir filled with food!


Cypress tree knees (roots) along the Ocklawaha river

buzzards...sunning & waiting for hand outs...
discarded fish carcasses i guess.

this one got tired of waiting and decided to try and sneak onto the fishing pier.

we made reservations for the first weekend in may!
whether the bathroom is finished or not...
we're finally getting out of town!
(bathroom update: sheetrock up and primed & painted. shower pan in but not yet hooked up to the drain.)

there were some other birds flying...circling...hunting...overhead.

do you know what this bird is?
at first i thought maybe Shrike....or Osprey...
but after looking them up in my HUGE north american bird book...
i'm just not sure. 
the Shrike has a band through the eye...
but doesn't seem to wrap around like this one does.
maybe these birds are juvenile Ospreys???!!!!
also...i guess just the fact that they are hanging around the lake...means Osprey is more probable.
any ideas?

we are excited!  yeah!  camping and fishing.
not this coming weekend, but the one after.
i don't mind

stay cool. be safe.

( i still have some catching up to do in blogland.
i'm home between appointments and thought i'd get this posted before it becomes OLD news!)

Monday, April 23, 2012

morphing monday - 2 (mOO-mOO)

every monday. 
one of my 'nature shots'...altered with picassa, gimp or fast stone imaging.

“Who was the first guy that looked at a cow and said, 
"I think that I'll drink whatever comes out of those things when I squeeze them?”     
~ Calvin & Hobbes quotes 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

TIME for rambling & EARTH day

maybe you've noticed the 
2 new (pre-scheduled) posts i've started?!
morphing monday & friday's fringe.
these are to keep me 'out there'...
to keep me floating around the blog-o-sphere.

t i m e

Among life's regrets is all the time wasted being early for everything.  
~Robert Brault

hmmmm. i'm always early.
sitting.  waiting.  wasting time?!

in the morning, i leave for work with a list 
of errands to run
and things to pick up...
between appointments.

by the time i get home,
feed milo,
put up some laundry,
water all the plants,
call to confirm the next day's appointments...
cook dinner...
hmmmm. where'd the day go?

"I am tired of the imposed rhythms of men,
Tethered time, restrained and trained
To a monotonous beat
Digital time blinking exactness 
~Phillip Pulfrey, "Conjecture," Beyond Me,

in the blink of an eye...
sleep...and dream.
then wake up and go through the same routine all over. a time warp.
i can't get that Meatloaf song out of my head.
Rocky Horror's Time Warp.

Let's do the time warp again...

i need a break.
something to snap me out of this haze.
this monotony.
i haven't even been very 'creative' lately.
i haven't even gone out to look for bugs!
or to take pictures.

It's just a jump to the left...

oh yeah...much of our spare TIME is spent on bathroom repairs.
it's getting there.

we need to get outa town.
go camping.
go hiking.
maybe tomorrow...

And then a step to the right...

(doing a little) T I M E.
update on travis.
remember? my youngest.
petti-theft. warrant. blah blah blah. 
he has been transferred to another jail,
three and a half hours drive (south-east) of here...
he has another five months to go.

With your hand on your hips...

it must be the spring-time blues...i'm having.
yep. call me crazy...but i'm happier in the winter.

why do i feel guilty when i write a post,
knowing how behind i am on reading other people's blogs?!

i don't have a smart iphone here.
it's not like i get online during the day and check email...
or see who left a comment on my latest post...or catch up on reading the blogs i follow...
i don't have a twitter account...and i don't have a hundred friends on FB.

Let's do the time warp again...

i'm rambling.

i wanted this to be a quickie.
to just pop in.
and say hey.


tomorrow is earth day.
if my today is your tomorrow...then it already IS Earth Day!

earth day or not...
let's be kind to the earth
every day.

plant a tree.
pick up litter from the roadway.
take a walk.
watch the sun set.
ride your bike.
donate things you don't need or use anymore & buy used.
go dance in the rain.
watch the sun rise.
be greener.
pick a day...and turn off all electricity, phones, computers.
let's preserve our planet.

stay cool.  be safe.

"I found out why cats drink out of the toilet.
My mother told me it's because the water is cold in there.
And I'm like: How did my mother know that?"
 - Wendy Liebman

Monday, April 16, 2012

morphing monday - 1 (hawking it)

Red-shouldered Hawk

every monday. 
one of my 'nature shots'...altered with picassa, gimp or fast stone imaging.

Different shades of life make the painting more beautiful.  
~Mike Dolan

if you're a 'regular visitor'  may have thought...
hmmm, what's up with laura & these new monday and friday  posts?!!

sometimes it seems...even to me...that i get 'carried away' when i do a post.
i go on and on...aimlessly...weaving in and out.
each new post feels like it could have been cut least...half.

also, there seems to be something else going around.
i have read about it. i have felt it.
the feeling of being torn between taking a break...and not.
i love to write...and take pictures.
but lately i've been putting off, getting on here.

i see the laptop sitting on the counter...and just the thought of turning it on...
makes me feel panicky.
i start procrastinating. making excuses. finding other stuff to do first.

because i DO love to share the little things i see around me...
and i DO love to be creative...
i decided to put together TWO posts a week...
where there will be NO, or at least minimal talking...
rambling on and on...
like i'm doing now.
(and then when time permits...and i feel like whining...
or being my silly self...i'll stick another post in between)

stay cool & be safe.

My grandfather always said that living is like licking honey off a thorn.  
~Louis Adamic

Thursday, April 12, 2012

mystery bird & skull art

if you saw my previous post...
you saw the nest we spotted out back.

then we peeked and found there was a little spotted egg in it.

we had no idea what kind of bird made these hanging nests.

earlier in the week i went out back...
and waited...
and waited.
it paid off. the mother bird flew to the top of the nest and just sat there.
it was early. the sun was bright. so the pictures aren't great.


and she sure does have WHITE eyes!!

beady eyes.

so cool.
this is my first time seeing this bird. now i'm keeping my eyes open 
for more nests...hanging around!


here's a deer skull i found a while back.

here it is after i painted it.

ok...back to blog reading...
just needed a break!

stay cool & be safe.

Monday, April 9, 2012

wandering the well-worn paths...

this weekend we needed to take a break
working on the bathroom, laundry, raking winter's leaves, trimming dead limbs,
and all the other chores that fill up your time...when you're off work.

so while the burn barrel was smoldering
we put on our boots and headed out back...
wandering the well-worn paths.
well-worn by us...and all the other little critters that share the land.

milo follows us on our hikes...
making her way through the underbrush and climbing the downed trees.

at the edge of the wooded area we spotted the strangest
and coolest
looking caterpillar!
Catocala Badia

look at those cute little legs!!  and little pincers on it's tail end!
(underside) Catocala Badia
i had no idea the name of this caterpillar.
after looking online and through my Butterfly field guide...i was unsuccessful at ID'ing it.
it was time to send the pic's to my friend on FB who is a Moth expert.
*Genus: Catocala.  an Underwing moth!!*

time to carry a big stick...
to keep from walking face first into spiderwebs.
Crab spider

the woods out back are a mix of Pines, Oaks, Maples...
ferns, thorny blackberries, Virginia Willow, Fetterbush...
and so many other trees and plants that i wish i could name, but i can't.

i spotted this fuzzy caterpillar dangling from a fern.
 a not so lucky Tussock moth caterpillar

upon closer was being eaten by some smaller bugs.

the forest floor is so packed with peat moss that it's spongy.
peat moss, tree roots, downed trees and lots of thorny brambles...
makes for a sometimes difficult trek.

a jelly-like fungus on a downed tree limb

a huge yellow mushroom. at least a foot across!

sam spotted this nest, hanging from a limb on a small tree...about 5 feet off the ground.

peeking small lightly spotted egg.

we walked back out there just before dusk...hoping to see the mother bird.
we hid behind some trees...across the clearing...but it started to get too dark to see...
so we headed home.
i looked in my bird book, and think it might be a White-eyed Vireo.
they build these hanging type nests, 1-8 ft above ground...
and they like to hang out in thick brushy tangles, forest undergrowth and blackberry thickets.

grasshopper nymph...i think...anyone know for sure?
>>>i've said before...i'm not an expert at IDing stuff...
but biobabbler  thinks this little guy might be a katydid nymph...
not a grasshopper.  sounds good to me!!  thanks! :)

Polyphemus moth cocoon

in this same clearing where we saw the nest...we also saw some poop.
scat.  full of fur...and some small bones.
i may collect owl pellets...and dissect them for bones...
but the owl pellets are coughed up...that's ok.
i don't collect ANYTHING that comes out the OTHER end...
whether it has bones in it or not!!
i just take pictures.
possibly Coyote...or maybe Gray Fox scat.

in the early 1900' this these woods...
they collected sap from the pine trees...for the turpentine industry.
we've come across the clay collecting pots while wandering the woods before.
i get SO excited when i see a portion of a clay pot sticking out from under the leaves and peat.
i spotted another one!

it's pretty rare to find one UNbroken.
i've even glued a couple of them back together...when all the pieces can be found.
not so lucky with this one. but we collected what we could unearth.
i'll put the larger piece in one of the flower beds.

(i did a post in Aug. of 2010 about these pots : ...into the woods )

we spotted a couple of areas where the deer bed down...
where the thickets are smashed down...and smoothed out.
other evidence of the deer...
White-tailed deer pelleted scat

we hear...and see...woodpeckers all the time.
the Pileated, Red-bellied, Red-headed...
but once in a while...we'll spot this little guy.
sorry for the blurry picture.
male Downy Woodpecker.

part of a snake skin on the ground

small pile o' mushrooms

the hummingbirds are back!
we've heard them buzzing around...and seen them dive bombing each other
for nectar competition.
i haven't taken any pic's yet, but i will.

the dragonflies are showing their cute little faces too!
this is the FIRST one i've seen this year!

more fungi 

well, it's ALWAYS nice to take a break from life's hectic times.
getting outside...breathing the fresh air...smelling the scent of nature...
swatting the mosquitoes, plucking off ticks, getting bit by yellow flies.
no,'s worth it.
i could EASILY give up everything. no phone. no computer.
sell the trailer. sell everything.
but then what?  it's not really feasible.
not nowadays.
you still have to have $$.
so i guess it's just a waiting game.
i hope social security still exists by the time we can retire.
i also hope i live that long.

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

TWO Phaon Crescent butterflies on the tiny flowers of a Fleabane weed.

stay cool & be safe.

*see you in blogland as i catch up during the week*