Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Headbangers take a "Leap"

I had thought that it was my turn to choose the theme for our headbangers competition this week, and the day being what it is, I was going to choose "Leap". As it turned out, I learned that my place on the rotation comes up next week. But the next message I got in its regard was from Dave, who chose the them this week. And guess what? It's

So, since I'm not getting out too often right now for phototrolling due to gloomy weather and being busy with appointments and volunteer work,  I got to thinking about some pictures I've taken that would convey this idea.

This little guy seems to be ready to leap down the steps.

And this big guy (Son #2) is making a great leap over the beam.
Wish I were that nimble!
So what did I choose?

I'll put it up this evening Pacific Time  as we will be out all day tomorrow Wednesday.

Headbangers is a small group of friendly bloggers who change the header to match a theme for a friendly competition each Wednesday at what turns out to be around noon Pacific Time (evening for our UK members.) You will find the others linked in my sidebar if you care to check out what they've posted.

For the skeptics who think that the frog is not leaping but floating, here is the sequence of three shots from which it was taken.

ABC Wednesday G is for

Did I ever mention that I really really like giraffes?
Babies taller than you or me?

 Once many years ago my family--Mom, Dad, Sis, nephews and niece, and I--were going to the San Diego Zoo for an outing. They had a new baby giraffe at the time. The newspaper story told us that it was six foot five. Nephew declared, "Wow! That's taller than Sandy Koufax!"
Let's have a bit of tongue here.

Watcha lookin at?

Potluck time.
While doing this post I realized that I also have some really cute gorillas. I think I have posted them before, though. I may have posted these guys before as well, but here they are all together. The photos are from 1. Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo in 2008, 2-4. The San Francisco Zoo in 2010, and 5. The Phoenix Zoo in 2011.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--First Sunday of Lent

Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.

Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.

In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.

Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

Good and upright is the LORD,
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and he teaches the humble his way.

Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth 
to those who keep your covenant.

from Psalm 25

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ABC Wednesday F is for...

.F is for Forests
Eucalyptus forest in India

Diversity is the mark of the Old Growth Forest at Ohanapecosh, Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

This could be my favorite forest view, the Taiga forest stretches across Siberia with mostly birch and pine. This was right outside where we were staying and a large copy of the picture hangs above my desk.

Forest of Caledonian Pines we hiked through on the way to Ben Dampf in Scotland.
Who needs cruise excursions when you can go on a hike in the forest above Skagway?
They may call it a "Woods", but Muir Woods is part of the Redwood forest in California.

Trees are sparse in the bristlecone forest at Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Bristlecone Pines only grow above 10,000 feet.

Twenty-nine years later, the boys check out what Mt. St. Helens did to the forest when it erupted in 1980.


Off we go into the wild blue yonder!
That's about all there is to say.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


A little cabin fever got us out to the Toppenish Wildlife Refuge this afternoon. 
The sign said the gate  opened at 5:30 a.m. and closed at 7:00 p.m.
It wasn't.

That didn't stop us. We parked outside the gate and took a walk.
Up at the gazebo there wasn't much to see.
A few ducks out in the marsh.

We took the wildlife trail.
Followed the stream. 
Startled some birds that took off in a flash of blue. 
Waiting silently was not enough to bring them back.

Farther along we crossed the bridge out into an area that has
 often been posted as closed when we visited.
More wetland.
A few ducks.
What do you see?
 In the distance I saw two white heads swimming along.
From where I was they looked like they were six feet tall.
Side by side with the ducks, maybe they were only five feet tall.

I had a better glimpse in the binoculars, but the zoom on my camera does not stretch quite as far. This is when I envy the folks with the huge lenses. I stop envying them when I remember how heavy they are to carry.

My very amateur identification is that these are tundra swans. They are distinguishable from the less common trumpeter swan by a bit of yellow on the bill in front of the eye. You can't see it here, but zooming in carefully on a couple of the photos it is visible.
 A couple of them appeared to be juveniles. The cygnets start out as a dirty gray. These are now nearly white, and you can see that the black color is coming into their bills.
Let's go soaring a bit.
All in all we saw these five or six birds in one pond, and possibly the same number in another post at a bit of a distance.

A good walk, good exercise, and so it was time for us to take off as well.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.
Blessed is the one who has regard for the lowly and the poor;
in the day of misfortune the LORD will deliver him.

The LORD will keep and preserve him;
and make him blessed on earth,
and not give him over to the will of his enemies.

Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.

The LORD will help him on his sickbed,
he will take away all his ailment when he is ill.
Once I said, "O LORD, have pity on me;
heal me, though I have sinned against you."

Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.

But because of my integrity you sustain me
and let me stand before you forever.

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
from all eternity. Amen. Amen.
Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ABC E is for

E is for Eagle
 Showing her good side, this eagle -Lady Baltimore--lost an eye in the wild. She is resident at Mt. Roberts in Juneau.  You don't have to go to Alaska to see eagles, but if you want to see a lot of them, it is a good place to start. The one above is a totem in Eagle Park in Ketchikan. These below were seen in the wild--and finally, where the eagles live.

Headbangers--Let's Get Out of Here

 Chris gave us a theme of "Let's get out of here" for this week's Headbanger's competition. So I started looking for something that might suggest that. What better than this:




Waiting to get out of here.

With all the security at the airports these days, everyone is waiting to get out of here and go wherever they are going.

On this occasion we were going to the UK to hike in Scotland, visit some bloggers, and see some sights.

This, taken along the way is after we have gotten out of here, so though it fits the header space, it doesn't quite fit the theme.

Look for this in the shot I put in the header:
I think I've got it.

BTW, that is the Underground station near our hotel in London.

Monday, February 13, 2012

No Odd Shot

I am suspending doing Odd Shots each Monday for a while. I am not getting out with my camera as much with so much going on. I guess I need to replace my pocket camera, because I miss a lot of shots without it. Odd Shots will return again someday as a regular feature, I promise.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sunday's Psalm--Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, 
and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
 Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.

I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.

I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD,"
and you took away the guilt of my sin.

I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, 
and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice,
you just;
all you upright of heart.

I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Headbangers Theme: Garden Birds

I do get birds in my yard. Here is the evidence:
 But the birds don't hang around to pose for me.

Maybe this is why:
I do have some particular neighbor birds who are not daunted by the cat--in fact, they come over to dine with the cats.

Dave chose the theme of Garden Birds for this week, inspired by the annual count of birds that come to your yard in a day in the UK--similar to our Christmas Bird Count here in the US.

Maybe I should try a different garden--the grounds at Maryhill Museum:

or the "yard" when we camped
at Sun Lakes State Park:

I have a friend with a rather special "garden bird". I will go visit and take a picture. You will see it in the header.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ABC D is for...

 Liz's George helped to show us the sites of the Gower Peninsula.

Yoli's Jazzie is a football fan.

I grew up with a dog named Mopsy. She was a white Cocker Spaniel/Maltese Poodle mix--they've since got a name: cockapoo--they look like a dust mop. Dad got Mopsy as a tiny pup when I was just a baby from a lady about half a mile along our road. When Mopsy (and I) were ten years old, she ran away. We lived near Camp Pendleton, and maneuvers on the base caused vibrations that made her agitated and restless. Whenever they were doing these training exercises she would wander, but she would always come back or be easily found. This time we looked and  looked for her, but it was the same day my oldest nephew was born and everything was hectic. We eventually gave Mopsy up for lost.

One day a few years later, my Dad was making a business call at the property where Mopsy was born. The same lady still lived there. Dad was greeted by a friendly white cockapoo that looked like a mop. The dog's name was Flopsy. She had shown up at the site a few weeks after Mopsy went missing, obviously having had a rough adventure before reaching there. The lady had nursed her back to health and she had lived there happily from that time. Mopsy/Flopsy lived there at her original home until she was seventeen years old.

That rough adventure to find her way "home"? You see, it wasn't just a half mile jaunt down the road any more. In the time between Mopsy's adoption into our family and her return to her birth home, Interstate 5 had been constructed--right between the two addresses.

Aren't dogs amazing?