Sunday, August 31, 2008

30 days of happiness - day 4

Happiness is:
Wishing you had a yellow feather and then finding one on the bike trail the next day.

30 days of happiness day 4

30 days of happiness day 4

Saturday, August 30, 2008

30 days of happiness - day 3

Happiness is:

The color purple! Ok, I'll admit it, I've never been a big fan of purple. Never decorated with it and very rarely wore it, unless it was a muted shade like burgundy. But these days I feel drawn to it. I keep noticing it everywhere and am feeling much more kindly towards it. Not enough to decorate with or wear it yet, but it is making me happy...

I call these my "screaming" flowers.

The grapes are getting darker.

Cloud's toy octopus.

Colorful spatulas.

From the garden.

From the bookshelf. (Awesome book by the way...)

And best for last... I was photographing this little mosaic plant stand that I've had for years, and for the first time noticed that the design is a hummingbird! I didn't see it until I uploaded the photo...funny how things can sneak by you. I guess I just needed a different perspective.
Purple and hummingbird - two 'happys' in one!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

30 days of happiness - day 2

Happiness is:

Cruising YouTube and finding this gem of a video made to my favorite song by Kimya Dawson (I just love her!) By the time it was over I was applauding and cheering, not only for the song, but the hard work and creativity that went into making the video. Hope it brings you a bit of happiness today as well. :-)

If video won't play you can watch it here

Thursday, August 28, 2008

30 Days of Happiness

This is going to be fun! Posts every day for 30 days about things that make me happy, from the everyday to the extraordinary. (Of course, every day is extraordinary!) Not only will it be a way of practicing gratitude and appreciation daily, but it will also be a good exercise in creativity, not to mention help me to learn my camera better. It should also get me prepared to see if I can handle another project that's been swimming around in my head for the last few days...

Yes, I will make other posts too. :-)

So here we go, 30 days of happiness - Day 1

Happiness is:

30 days of happiness - day 1
I stayed up waaaaaaay too late last night reading, so my funky mustard colored teakettle seemed a fitting subject to start the 30 days with. :-)

30 days of happiness - day 1
I've been drinking Tazo Earl Grey in the mornings lately. I was drinking jasmine green tea, but now usually prefer the bolder taste of the Earl Grey in the am. The jasmine is my "go-to" tea for the rest of the day, though. The mug matches the teakettle. I didn't really plan it that way, I just like this color.

30 days of happiness - day 1
There it is, a steaming cup of happiness, comfort and wake-up-ness. Ahhhhh...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Very disturbing!

While I was taking the hummingbird photos today, I noticed a strange looking bird. After a better look, I saw this very disturbing sight. Look if you dare...

It appears to be a cardinal with a bald head! Yikes!!! I was afraid he might have some weird bird disease, but a quick search turned up this bit of information:

'For most birds, molting is a process where a few feathers are lost and replaced at a time—the bird looks a little scruffy, but it always has a covering of feathers. In some species, however, particularly Blue Jays, cardinals, and possibly grackles, a few individuals seem to lose all the feathers on their heads at once, resulting in a very odd looking bird.

When birds become bald this way, it’s temporary: new feathers soon grow and the bird looks normal once more. Some bird experts believe this is a rare (and insignificant), molting pattern seen in particular individuals year after year. Others wonder if the phenomenon is caused by a health problem.'

This bird has made me realize that if vultures had feathers on their head, they would probably be considered beautiful birds. He acted normal enough, I hope he gets his feathers back soon. He needs a name. Any suggestions? I'm thinking 'Igor' or 'Rogaine...'


My obsession with photographing hummingbirds is still going strong, and I was rewarded big time today - I finally got some pictures of male hummingbirds! And not just any photos, but some fantastic ones! :-D This one was taken through the kitchen window. You can clearly see his ruby throat. I quickly set up outside for the rest of the sequence. It was an action packed hour with many different birds. Migration?

The color of the throat patch seems to vary depending on the way the light hits it. In these photos it is gold, orange and even black!

Grabbing the perch.

Nice still shot w/gold.

Love this picture!

This guy was very acrobatic!

Flying treasure!

It looks like he's falling but he's really flying upside down for a moment.

Cool photo, reminds me of an airplane coming in for a landing.

I spotted this girl in the tree. Good practice for my powers of observation!

Nice shot of a female, and her little feet.

Hello there!

Pretty girl!
Hope you all enjoy the photos. :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I've been having a lot of fun taking pictures of hummingbirds. I keep an eye out for when they seem to be active. In these shots I'm sitting outside about 10 feet from the feeder, holding very still with camera up and ready. When they're actively feeding they have been showing up about every 15 minutes. Sometimes I get lucky and they are only a few minutes apart.

All these pictures are of females. I have yet to photograph a male, they seem to be more wary. I've only seen two males so far and was inside and didn't have the camera ready. Males have the ruby throat.

The feeder is in the shade most of the day, so it is hard to see the iridescence of the feathers. I'm going to try for some morning photos to see if I can get them in the sunshine.

I like how the tail is spread out in this picture.

Landing on the perch!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm... sweet nectar. Ok, sugar water...

Sitting pretty. Isn't she the sweetest little thing? These flying jewels fill me with great joy.
(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

Some interesting facts about hummingbirds:

Their hearts beat up to 1,260 beats per minute.

A Hummingbird's flight speed can average 25-30 mph, and can dive up to 60 mph.

In their non stop quest for fuel, Hummingbirds may visit 1,000 flower per day. For protein, hummingbirds eat spiders and strain gnats from mid-air. They will pull insects out of spiderwebs including the spider itself.

The hummingbird's tiny brain, 4.2% of its body weight, is proportionately the largest in the bird kingdom.

A hummingbird can rotate each of its wings in a circle, allowing them to be the only bird which can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways or sit in sheer space. To hover, hummingbirds move their wings forward and backward in a repeated figure eight, much like the arms of a swimmer treading water. Hummingbirds can move instantaneously in any direction, start from its perch at full speed, and doesn't necessarily slow up to land. Hummingbirds can even fly short distances upside down, a trick rollover they employ when being attacked by another bird.

Hummingbirds can live a decade or more in the wild.

Many species that migrate to the U.S. travel impressive distances. Many ruby-throats make a 2,000 mile journey between Canada and Panama. The trip includes a non-stop, 500 mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico.

A male Ruby-throat weighs as much as two and a half paper clips.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Random photos from the new back yard

The first two are the view of the back yard from the kitchen sink. Makes doing dishes much nicer... (Click on any picture to view full size.)

Looking out across the patio.

Purple Coneflowers.

Cloud loves his new yard!

The waterfall is so soothing.

Hummingbirds at the feeder right outside the kitchen window. They are so little and sweet.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The cutest bike!

Our new house is in close proximity to some wonderful bike trails, so during the weekend hubby and I got some bikes. I fell in love with this model as soon as I saw it. After a test ride I was sold. It's made by Trek, has front shocks and rides smooth as silk and sweet as honey. Is this not the cutest bike you've ever seen???

Even the seat has flowers!!! I have christened her The Blue Bomber, and feel a little bit like Pee Wee Herman because I am so in love with it. We rode about 8 miles Saturday and again on Sunday. I'm sunburned and saddle sore and can't wait to go again.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Good to be back!

Love is beauty and beauty is truth,
and that is why in the beauty of a flower
we can see the truth of the universe.
~Gautama Buddha
My break from blogging lasted much longer than I thought it would. I can't believe it's been almost a year! And what a year it's been, I've experienced so much - a new job that I love (working at the library,) the illness and death of my dearest friend, and a move to a wonderful new house. Through it all, relationships have deepened, and I'm reminded again and again how important family and friends are.

Wishing you love and blessings on this 08/08/08.