Weekly photo challenge: Carefree

OK, a sunset and palm trees is a bit of a cliche, but it’s a good cliche –an instant reminder of vacation and carefree days in the sand, surf and sun.

Silhouetted palms in the sunset

A few others:

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | glassoscotch
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | hi, my name is…
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | Elizabeth Melton Parsons
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree Castaway Cay « IF I ONLY HAD A TIME MACHINE
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | dadirridreaming
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | Here & Abroad
  7. “Carefree” | “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | acieartikulasi
  9. Carefree: weekly photo challenge | Chronicles of a Public Transit User
  10. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | wordswithnannaprawn
  11. Carefree (or not so much) | follow your nose
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | Retired2Travel
  13. Carefree Summer | Drops of Ink

And the most carefree place on earth this week: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/photo-challenge-carefree/#more-34146

The downside to celebrity

It was just a matter of time before the paparazzi found Perry County Blossom, our answer to that other weather predicting groundhog in Pennsylvania. Below the tabloid  is the real back story from her caregivers Jack and Tamara.

tabloid cover

2013 marks the fourth year, and third hibernation since Jack and Tamara first saw Blossom foraging among the oaks. Jack started feeding her and over the course of the year, she learned to recognize his voice, her name and the word “Dinnertime!” He guesses she was a year or two old on their first meeting.

In spring 2011, she’d had a litter of five and then seven the following spring. When the babies were about the size of guinea pigs, she would bring the pups out to eat and Tamara and Jack would watch them play. This year, she didn’t bring the pups out.

Nursing the pups  is very strenuous for Blossom; taking a toll on her energy and any stored fat. When she emerges, she’s starving and will raid the garden and chow down on whatever else is available.

Jack, her personal chef, says Blossom loves anything juicy such as ripe pears, peaches, tomatoes, nectarines and melons. He usually gives her a half-cup of old fashioned rolled oats ( with a pinch of Sel de Guerande,  French gray sea salt), one apple, one carrot, one-eighth head of cabbage and six peanuts in the shell. Blossom also gets any spare cucumbers from the garden.

Jack says there is a specific order in which she eats: oatmeal, peanuts, carrots, cabbage, then the apples. She will not eat squash or any kind of potato and especially despises bananas. Blossom has put on substantial weight over the past month, an improvement over her first appearance this spring. She was thin and was looking a little less than healthy.

They are sometimes joined by Ratty or Fox, a gray fox. Fox gets two dog biscuits every night plus table scraps. As Jack said, “It’s a wild version of the nuclear family.”

Going to the Gulf

There are few things so refreshing as being around salt water. We managed a few days away at the Alabama coast for some mental freshening.

One of our favorite places is the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. With wonderful exhibits and knowledgeable docents, it’s a great place for adults, kids or kids at heart.

It was great to see how well Dauphin Island recovered from the battering it took from Katrina. (See before and after photos from USGS.)

Where the wild things are

Some random wild things on our first sunny day in weeks. The luna moth was hanging upside down, tightly clutching a piece of crabgrass. Maybe it thinks it’s a bat.

Who, us?

Now the folks over at Biltrix.com have done it again, this time nominating us for the Most Influential Blogger Award.  (We strive to be entertaining and maybe informative, but “influential” did not occur to us.)

While modesty (and common sense) should prevent us from accepting this honor, we have no choice. You see, the rules require that the acceptee (us, the party of the second part) must answer seven questions from the bestower (Biltrix, the party of the first part.) And there’s a lot at stake here.

There is no other blogging award that comes with this offer:

“Now …  the bloggers I nominate have to answer 7 questions, but it does not specify which 7 questions they have to answer. … And if you answer all of the last 7 correctly you’ll win a free Shuttle tour of Planet Biltrix, once gravity is installed.” (See http://biltrix.com/2013/07/27/biltrix-discovers-puzzling-new-planet-and-is-nominated-for-most-influential-blogger-award/)

Boldly going where no blogger has gone before. A shuttle. A planet. With brand-new gravity. Who could resist?

Now to the other rules:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog. (check)
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you. (check)
  3. Answer 7 questions. (thinking, thinking)
  4. Nominate ( no limit of nominations ) other bloggers for this award and link back to them. (check)
  5. Notify those bloggers of the award requirements. (OK)

Thank you Teresa at Catholibertarian

We really want this trip, so we’re playing it safe and answering BOTH sets of questions.

  1. If you could create your own planet what would it look like?  Like Earth, with Saturnian rings.
  2. If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation would that be? Iceland. Geological wonderland!
  3.  Who is your favorite saint? Augustine. Very human. Very smart.
  4. What is your favorite animal?   LOLcats.
  5. What is your favorite song? Changes daily.
  6. If you could meet one person who is still alive who would you choose to meet?  Pope Francis.
  7. Name a book that you have read (other than the Bible) which has influenced your life and describe how it influenced you.  The Encyclopedia Americana (OK, not a book but …). Had a set growing up and its volumes were endlessly fascinating.

Or you could answer this single seven-part brain twister:

How many __________________ does it take to change a light bulb? (And why?)

  1. Influential Bloggers (As many as your mind will allow to have influence.)
  2. Electricians (220, 221, whatever it takes. Ask Mr. Mom.)
  3. French Existentialist Philosophers (Zero. The light bulb does not exist and light violates the absurdity of nothingness.)
  4. Pantomimes (Watch closely, we’ll mime the number.)
  5. Scientologists (What does the E-Meter say?)
  6. Acts of Congress (Depends on whether you can get House and Senate legislation that keeps the electrical and bulb components together and intact through conference.)
  7. Baseball Umpires (Infinite number, each will see the bulb from his own angle.)

And now those to whom we’d like to pass this award to:

Our seven questions to you:

  1. Do you like sunny or overcast days?
  2. Beatles or Stones, and what’s your favorite song?
  3. John Cleese or John Belushi?
  4. What’s your favorite comfort food?
  5. Why do you like blogging?
  6. What’s your favorite movie and why?
  7. What’s for dinner?

Thanks Biltrix!

Loyal Reader Award

Many thanks to the multi-talented blogger at The Dancing Rider for the loyal reader award. It’s  especially generous in light of the fact it’s been very hard to squeeze out time to do any blogging, whether reading or writing.

loyal reader

Here are the rules for The Loyal Reader Award:

  1. Display this award on your blog.
  2. Thank the person who sent it to you.
  3. Answer a rhetorical question of the author’s choosing.
  4. Send on the award to everyone you consider a loyal reader.

The Question: If I am a tree, will I become a book or furniture?

Would love become a family’s kitchen or dining table to enjoy some family togtherness.

As for No. 4, this is difficult, we are blessed with so many regulars! If you are a repeat visitor here, we would like to commend you with the Loyal Reader Award. Our cup runneth over, and we are grateful!

The question, should you choose to accept the award:

If you could take a photograph of any place in the world, what and where would it be?



Weekly photo challenge: One shot, two ways

Heading back from a few days on the Gulf Coast, we made a point to cross the beautiful cable-stayed bridge that spans the Mississippi River between Greenville, Miss., and Lake Village, Ark.  These were two from a series taken on approach  through cornfields on the Mississippi side of the river, and on across the bridge.  The photos don’t really do this gorgeous piece of design justice.



Here’s this week’s challenge homepage: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/one-shot-two-ways/

Beautiful sky and silhouette: http://vastlycurious.com/2013/08/10/weekly-photo-challenge-one-shot-two-ways-1/

and others looking at things in two ways: