Friday, July 27, 2007

Art ~ Rich Gems

All work depicted here is protected by copyrite ©

I look at all the places I visit on the internet, and am in awe at the rich gems that people share with one another. I am speaking of course about different blogs. Like most people who are swept up in the magical world of the net, daily it seems, I jump onto the flying carpet and start my search for a grail.. This morning I visited two blog sites, in order to get my day under way.

It was the content of those two sites though, that really gave me a boost to start this post. I went first to a new found friend, he is a wonderful painter, a real artist. His was the site that really opened my eyes, with a display of his work and a very nice success story, his first exhibition and sales of his creations, such wonderful work, of “Plein Air Painting.”

I am lucky to have a successful artist right here of my own, with Elizabeth who is a pretty good painter herself. Of course styles do differ and that’s what makes art what it is. The wife has painted a number of canvases, most of which she did in acrylics. Acrylics are different to work with because they dry so much faster than oils. Her Tiger is on a 14x18 canvas board.

In thinking more of the riches of the net, ‘Gems’ do come in different fashion.

I speak now of the world of literature. It has really amazed me as I go from site to site, just how many really good writers there are out there. At least two of those is where I visited this morning, during my rounds. That is what prompted me to come up with my opening sentence .
It brought to my mind that old saying of “What if.” I was thinking of course, in terms of the era before television and possibly even radio, let alone the computer age. I wondered if, years ago there was the same talent pool opportunity that is around us today and accessible just because of the internet?

If the answer is yes then oh my! What a crying shame and such a waste. In thinking of all the well known poets and writers of a bygone age. One wonders, or at least I do, how did they get their rise to prominence?
More is the pity for those that didn’t make it, but I am sure appreciative of the ones that did.
Where would we be today without the likes of William Shakespeare, Byron, Keats and Shelley to name a few. God forbid that Charles Dickens would not have come along. Such wonderful stories there and what about my “Christmas Carol?” played so brilliantly by Alistair Sim (can’t you tell he’s my favorite)

The little girl in 'Contemplation' is on a 10x12 canvas.

The whole thing is though, there is such a multitude of talented people out there and we the denizens of the net, certainly reap the benefit. I applaud you all as I devour all you produce. Thank you.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Whispers In The Willows

The air is full of old cliché’s nowadays. ‘The older you get the worse one gets?’ I don’t think so! ‘The best things in life are free’ we can go along with that, but then our needs are few, in order that we be happy.
‘Life is what you make it’. I can’t argue with that one.

The whole point to this preamble is, yesterday we had a great day, and all we did was go out to our ‘special’ park again and sojourn with mother nature for about three hours. Of course now on these excursions, we take along a packed lunch making it into a picnic. On these occasions the camera is a must, for there is no telling just what we will bump into each time we visit. ~ Today certainly was no exception.

Every time we go the park I seem to say the same things over and over. “I feel that I should sit and do an article about this place,” for each time we go I am moved by an urge to write.

Could it to be because of the peaceful tranquility that just seems to flow over you and envelope you in its embrace.
Or perhaps it just may have been the ghost of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Author of “Anne of Green Gables”, who used to live in this area for a while. Adjacent to the park, there now stands a beautiful memorial garden in honor of her. ~ Whatever the reason, the urge to write is always there!

Today the sun was shining brilliantly, occasionally peeking out from behind convenient white puffy clouds, that sailed along like ships in the night.
The temperature was very comfortable, with a light breeze, just sufficient to make the tree tops sway, in rhythm to the whispering sounds of the rippling stream. Happily, three American goldfinches flirted with the glistening waters, swooping and dancing then swooping yet again.
Further along closer to the wetland the bullfrogs could be heard honking their deep throated call. The vibrant chirping and singing of a cardinal rang out from a nearby tree. Overhead could be seen a gliding hawk, scouting the area for a morsel for lunch no doubt.

We sat for a while and had lunch ourselves, all the time surrounded by the sounds of nature, such music to the ears. ~ In the distance the sounds of happy children & their parents, as more visitors arrived at the park.

We wandered over to the wetland area to a chorus of calls of the bullfrogs once again. Standing on the wooden patio platform, one can lean on the rail and get a good view of the whole wetland terrain. Before long a couple of frogs came near, I thought they would pick up a hapless moth that had come amiss on the pond water, but no. Instead one sizeable frog came ashore. At first it seemed to sun himself but I guess he had his eye on a good sized bug that was flying around, more meat on that one I thought as I spotted them. However it was not meant to be as the bug went on his way the frog meanwhile, still sat there.

Elizabeth ever vigilant, decided to try and get close without scaring him away, and yes! She got a very good picture of our friend.

During our visit we explored some more, to see what else was different today that maybe we could photo and spirit away to go with the other souvenirs from previous visits.

We had been by the bridge a little earlier and heard the sound of a bird not very familiar to us. Then we spotted him landing on the branch of a nearby tree. The wife went to work right away with the camera. She was successful in getting a couple of shots and more when he decided to alight on the rail of the bridge, this was our lucky day! We are still not quite sure what kind of bird it is, it does look a little like a larger Robin except he has spots on his breast and his head is a somewhat different shape than a Robin, we have got to look that one up. So far the possibility is maybe a juvenile robin, but the spots are misleading.

We moved on eventually, making our way over the bridge ready for our departure, walking up the steep sides of the hill. Stopping for a moment that I may catch my breath, I noticed a very weathered tree, that at that level I thought, would make a good photograph.

At the top of this garden of magnificence there stands a grand looking house. The occupant of the house certainly provides such pleasure with their choice of music regardless of whether they are aware of the fact. They play the haunting strains of classical music from the Masters, which seems to simply float on the air as we wander around the park. Truly, Whispers in the Willows. A whole different World.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Global Turnaround

Rather than give a big yawn for lack of words to write this day. I decided to take a different route and bring you relief from all the hot and humid days that so many of you seem to be experiencing, even here where we live.

So by way of a change, instead of pictures of summer and all the beauty that nature can bring, I decided to give you another form of nature at her best, but in a different season. I hope they will please you ~ so button up ~ think cool, and enjoy!

.(clickable thumbnails)

This first one I found on the net.

Talk about winter Berries and icy cream.

These are some of our stay all winter birds.

This one always fascinates me with the pattern it has created.

Just a peeking out to see if summer is comng yet!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First Steps

Sunday night we received an email from Julie in England, yes the one who is doing so much in the ancestry search thing. It seems that on Monday morning, her daughter was graduating from the Lancaster University in England, and the ceremony was going to be live on the internet! Well it meant being out of bed before 5am (for England is 5 hours ahead of our time) so we could watch, but how could we not watch! We wouldn’t miss that for the world.

Talk about a beautiful ceremony, you just have to love all the pomp & pageantry and the different colorful gowns of the principal teaching staff and of course the gowns & mortar boards of the students. From time to time the camera would pan the audience of families and friends. You could see the look of excitement and expectations on their faces. It was so wonderful to watch the students of differing ages and different cultures and even one in a wheelchair, as they went up and were greeted by the Dean of the University to receive their diploma, a warm handshake, and a congratulatory word. The whole ceremony was heralded with the sound of trumpets, making it all so much more spectacular. ~ So very special.

It is nice to visualize that this young woman has her whole life ahead of her. Now accompanying her on such an exciting start, the results of the first step, on her journey into a future of who knows where! We all wish her well.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Time To Meander

Yesterday was another beautiful day to be in touch with nature. Going to our favorite park is getting to be good habit forming. So just a few more shots of that adventure. (clickable thumbnails)

For those of you who suffer COPD, please note my trustworthy chariot and life saving refreshment on tap! Proof positive that one can get around.~ Follow me!

Surprising difference when the sun goes to hide.

This little fella provided a nice surprise, glad the bullfrog didn't snatch him up!

Another whimsical treat, me wandering around, thank goodness the park is handi-capped accessible. (no drooling allowed!)

Where there are bullfrogs, you just gotta have bullrushes. A beautiful contrast.

For more history and information on the park follow the link. :)

Willow park


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Living Out Of Boxes

It all started a number of years ago. It had been a cold wet and windy week. I had been hoping for a break in the weather for I had to go and get Elizabeth from up north and bring her down here. It just so happens that it had only been a week since I moved into this new apartment and so my stuff was still scattered all over the place, talk about chaos. Sure most all the furniture was in place and you could make it into the kitchen for a byte to eat, but oh my! ~ THE BOXES!

Believe me folks when I say there were boxes wall to wall I mean it!. I know I have been a bit of a packrat over the years, but I never realized just how much stuff was there until I had to pack for the move. Aside from all the drawers being loaded with stuff, I seemed to have acquired this overspill of things and no place to put them ~ yet! ~ When I surveyed the scene I had visions of all the sales I couldn’t pass by!

I set off with the rental truck to pick up my honey and spirit her and all her things away into my sin bin. I had rented this larger truck because although I had a pick up truck, I doubted it would carry all the gals belongings.

Before leaving for the trip, I had moved my boxes to one side so as to make a pathway for us to walk. I was so excited at what we were about to do, so the time passed pretty quick. It didn’t take too long to get loaded up but by now it was spotting rain, so we had to get a tarp over the load, securing it with those elastic cables that they sell these days. Even so I was a bit flabbergasted at the number of “more boxes” plus other surplus items. More visions of elasticized walls came to mind and a shudder went through me, where are we going to put all this stuff!.

The day couldn't have turned out worse really, for when we started out it was supposed to be a nice sunny day. Well guess again! During the trip back here it literally poured buckets. Consequently all of Elizabeth's stuff was saturated. Try carrying wet soggy boxes and see how you manage! Grrrrrrr

Believe me, you know you’ve got oodles of containers around when you actually have to literally climb over boxes just to get to your computer desk! ~ No Fun! ~ At this stage, even just try finding anything!

A healthy period of time has passed since those days. Even now I am amazed how we handled things and where we put everything. We had gone I believe from something like a hundred boxes, down to what I am looking at right now, ~ four!

The reason I am going through these last couple of items, is yes you guessed it I misplaced something and am in the process of turning the house upside down, but to no avail.

It is surprising just how one deals with such situations like we had in the beginning. Then you end up with a full storage room, small as it is and life is wonderful! Going through a couple of boxes yesterday was what prompted me to make the remark to the missus, “Blimey! we live out of boxes” followed by “I think I could write about that ~ as we both broke up laughing!”


Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Futile Rant

Of late I seem to have lost a little gusto, words are getting increasingly difficult to come up with. This is not a good sign or a happy moment right now. In this fast moving world I now find I have to increase the pace, that I may keep up with life.

Right now I guess I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet with all that is going on around the world. When I was a kid growing up my parents always advised, never get involved in an argument that involves politics or religion. Well I ask you, how can one not get involved with all that is happening all too frequently today.

Yesterday I watched fragments of the “Live Earth“ show stopper that was being put on TV around the world. It didn’t take me very long to ask myself this question. Just how much good do the organizers think this will do, and how best do they think it will manifest itself?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for anything that will stop this rollercoaster madness that is taking place, ~ virtually destroying the Earth. But to think that concerts are going to change that? To that I really have to say ‘Get real!’
The only way things are going to be changed is if all the countries and governments of the world get off their duff and get their snouts out of the trough!!

For while the concerts provide a nice summer interlude to the madness, ~ Still the wheels of destruction grind on.

I don’t see too many businesses cutting back on their toxic emissions destroying the ozone. I don’t see very many folks trying to cut back on their use of the automobiles and the poisonous gases they emit. The flagrant abuse of energy, just so some folks can have their toys to play with. I could go on forever for the list is rampant and so endless.

The thought crossed my mind whilst watching parts of the ‘Big Show’ wouldn’t it be great, (in a dream world) if all of the millions of people who were watching the concert, could be harnessed ~ as in one big voting block.
Put the votes to work in all of the countries concerned ~ get rid of the stumbling block bodies who are concerned only with their own image and brownie points.
Vote in responsible politicians who would devote their time and beliefs into doing something realistic about this World problem in addition to the normal government activities. Governments who would clamp down on big businesses and either make them comply or shut them down - period! I realize that this too would require some cooperation between countries. We all know that this can’t be achieved without some growing pains to everyone, that goes without saying. We would then see in reasonable time I feel, a change taking place in the world environmental conditions. At least then, there might be a planet for the children of the future. I know this cannot be achieved overnight, but it could be done.

The people who are the stumbling blocks to world recovery are well known enough, there is no need for me to get into names. I think that most will agree the BS has been going on far too long.

Of course all of this is probably a futile rant, lets face it, at times people living on the same street can't get even along let alone a whole world of people.

As a footnote: I would like to say my words are not here to be critical of the ‘Live Earth‘ concert concept. I do not take away in the least anything from all the good work, time, effort and entertainment values put out by all who contributed to the ‘Live Earth program” I thank you all for the attempts to make people more aware to the world’s environmental problems. Thank you again.


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Little Piece of Yesterday

Yesterday everywhere was closed for the long weekend so we went for a drive in the country.

That‘s when we found this little piece of heaven. An Ecology park is what they called it. I have lived around here a long time and never knew this place existed. (clickable thumbnails)

Beautiful. .



And last for now.