Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Houseboat jumping

We sold our little houseboat last year and have regretted it ever since. I think my husband checks ebay almost every day, trying to find a replacement. So far, they've all been too big, too expensive or too far away.

jumping from houseboat

houseboat jumping

Not only did it make a fun jumping platform for the kids, it could be used as a guest bedroom when we had a full house.


Sunday, August 27, 2006


A couple of sad things - our 11 year old pet cockatiel, Angel, and my 4 year old tame gouldian finch, Daytona, both passed away. I'm not ready to write about them tonight, so instead I will post some pretty photos:

flower & bee


These two teenage cuties are my husband's granddaughter (the tall one) and her teeny-tiny friend. As you can see, they do not need
all of those beauty products.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A neighborly visit

This is Tyler. Yes, he's a Boston, but at 31 pounds he makes Chet Baker look like, well, a chihuahua. Hey, is anybody home????

Boston terrier

I've probably never mentioned what gracious hostesses our pups are when other dogs come for a visit...

because they're not!

Just look at big Tyler - all smiley - who wouldn't love him??? Well, I don't profess to be a perfect translator of "chihuahua-speak", but I'm pretty sure that they're not saying "Come on in! Make yourself at home!"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A bird and a mouse

Society finches love to snuggle. Usually it's with other society finches, which is why they are called society finches. But if another finch isn't available, a mouse will do.

society finch & mouse

I took the above photo yesterday. I spent a lot of time at the computer and Honeycomb was snuggling against my hand as I "moused around". She loves having my hand brush against her as I move the mouse.

Today she took it one step farther and squeezed herself between my hand and the mouse and rode the mouse around as I played a game of Spider Solitaire. What a cutie!

society finch & mouse

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Day and night

Our squirrel feeders are used day and night. Squirrels during the day -

squirrels on feeders

Flying squirrels (no photo yet) and raccoons at night -

raccoons on feeders

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

A visit from Monkey

Seems like I'm about due for a Monkey post. He still comes by for a visit most days and I took these photos yesterday morning. Some days he just wants to eat and run, but yesterday it was all about play-time. Up my leg...

squirrel climbing leg

On my arm and a little too close to the camera lens...

squirrel on arm

and in my face!

squirrel in face

No, he doesn't usually jump at my face and it looks a little scary in the photo with those little rodent teeth showing, but it was really just a split-second of over-exuberant play. One second he was sitting on my shoulder and the next thing I knew, he had leaned over to get a closeup view of my nose.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some pretty things

I've spent a good portion of the day obsessively checking Julie Zickefoose's blog for an update on the condition of her very sick dog-child, Chet Baker. So, while I'm sitting here hoping for the best, I thought I'd post some pretty pictures. The man that lives next to our church has a beautiful garden and that's where I took these photos:

Black-eyed Susans

butterfly on flower

butterfly on flower

Black-eyed Susans

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

She's flying!

Honeycomb is growing up quickly. She still eats from a syringe, but she's starting to nibble on millet spray. Her favorite place is still in our hands...

but she has started to take some exploratory flights...

Below, she admires her reflection in the glass of the coffee table.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Crossing 2006 - Lake Gaston

I love eating at a restaurant where you need to wear sunglasses. I took this photo last Sunday from the deck of the new Watersview Restaurant. The grassy patch in the water in the lower left part of the photo was the "finish line" for The Crossing which took place yesterday. At the far side of the bridge is Eaton's Ferry Marina. That was the starting point. My husband and I, along with 30 or 40 other (mostly faster) swimmers, made the one-mile swim with no trouble.

Watersview Restaurant Lake Gaston

Here's our "before" photo. Sorry, no "after" photo is available.

The Crossing - Lake Gaston

53 boats lined up across the lake as a barricade to keep us safe.

The Crossing - Lake Gaston

Besides the swimmers, there were non-motorized watercraft (and I use that term loosely) that participated. I know that our friend, Al, worked a lot harder paddling this contraption across the lake than I did swimming.

The Crossing - Lake Gaston

One last photo - here's the "Bull Ship". I didn't get a photo of it in the water, because they made it across a lot faster than I did and already had it loaded on the truck.

The Crossing - Lake Gaston

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Spy vs. Spy

Just taking another look at Thursday's kingfisher photo and decided that he reminds me of Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy characters.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I think this is the first time that I've been able to take a photo of a kingfisher. They are so skittish, I usually can't get anywhere near enough for a photo, even with a 300mm lens. I think this one was a recent fledgling. He seemed content to sit there waiting for Mommy or Daddy to lead him somewhere else.

belted kingfisher

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Mommy, I swear I will die if you don't let me lick your plate...


Look at me - I'm so weak I can barely keep my eys open...


or hold up my tail...




Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The birds and the bees

Yesterday I read Birdchick's post about the problem of bees at hummingbird feeders and it prompted me to post some photos of our bees and our low-tech solution.

bees on hummingbird feeder

I'm no bee expert, but it seems that we mainly have 2 kinds of bees here - little bees (above) and big bees (below).

bee on hummingbird feeder

About 2 weeks ago they started swarming around our hummingbird feeders, effectively keeping the hummingbirds away. Two things helped - keeping the outside of the hummer feeders scrupulously clean and dry, and placing plates filled with sugar water about 6 feet from each feeder to lure the bees away.

bees eating sugar water

In the next photo you can see the size difference between "big bee" and "little bee".

Monday, August 07, 2006

Flying squirrel

We have had a flying squirrel at our squirrel feeder almost every night for the past few weeks. Our porch light provides enough light for us to see him, but not nearly enough to take a photo. We did catch one daytime glimpse when we opened a bluebird house that we thought was empty. No camera on hand, and he ran up the tree. So, I will refer you to Endment's August 5th post where he has some very cute photos and a nice poem.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

An uninvited guest

Seen in our aviary this afternoon & still unaccounted for...

I'm not walking around barefoot.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Crossing Lake Gaston

My husband and I are "in training" for the Crossing, which is an annual charity event here at Lake Gaston. The 2nd annual Crossing is coming up on August 12th - participants will cross Lake Gaston near Eaton's Ferry bridge by swimming, canoeing, rafting or any other non-motorized means that they can think of. The lake is about a mile wide at that point and we will be swimming.

swim fins

I swam it last year with my teenage nephew and as we were waiting with the other swimmers for the event to start, we saw two young girls with swim fins. My nephew and I looked at each other and both said "Flippers! We should have thought of that!". And of course, those two little girls swam to the other side of the lake much faster than I did. But then again, so did almost everyone else. Let me stress (as the promotors did) that this was not a race, but if it was, I would have placed next-to-last.

That in mind, when we came across some swim fins at a yard sale in Florida last winter, we jumped at the chance to spend $2 for each pair. Well, those flippers have not been the panacea that I'd hoped for, at least for me. Every once it awhile I can get into a rhythm and cover some distance, but most of the time I struggle - blister on the toe, foot cramp and general frustration - why don't those fins move right?. So once again, I will be swimming across the lake with just skin on my feet, no flippers.

swim fins

swim fins

My husband, on the other hand, has had no trouble with them. Twenty years older than me and some fairly serious asthma, he still outpaces me - effortlessly flippering along.
Below is a photo from last year's event - my nephew and I eating our celebratory ice cream after we finished our swim.

The Crossing - Lake Gaston

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hand feeding a society finch

Let's face it - none of us look good when the camera is this close...

A little distance, some strategic blurriness - much better!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Raising mealworms

You know those mealworms that my birds and the wild birds love so much...

birds eating mealworms

Here's a photo of my little mealworm "farm" - one of the trays is filled with hundreds of darkling beetles and the others are filled with thousands of mealworms (which are the larvae of the darkling beetles) in various stages of growth. I have the whole stack sitting in a shallow moat of water to keep ants from invading.

mealworm colony

They live in a bedding of wheat bran mixed with corn meal, topped with sheets of newspaper. They are easy "pets" - I just give them some fruit or veggie scraps every few days. Today I gave the beetles a peach pit with some fruit remaining on it. I think they liked it! These photos were taken in 30 second increments:

darkling beetles eating peach

darkling beetles eating peach

darkling beetles eating peach

darkling beetles eating peach