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He showed up at back door and is lounging on kitchen floor. Doesn’t seem concerned, I know he must think I am crazy as I have been feeling him all over for any sign of wounds or bites. I am sooooo happy – now will take down signs and there is still time for fishing!
Loved seeing that face through the glass, what a relief! Thanks for all your positive thoughts!!!!
Frankie stopped in her tracks! She looks on with disdain at her younger ‘brother’.

Stopped at animal services first.  The building is across form the Seminole County .    jail. It conjured up images of an incarcerated Ringo.  
I looked at all the strays they had, no Ringo. I looked at each cage, there were cats who wanted attention and called out for it, reaching their paws between bars for a point of human contact. I saw cats too scared to ask for anything. They had many many animals!
I was then ushered back up front to fill out a form about my missing cat and I left them with a photo. They said I had to check, they would not call and they only keep animals 5 days, so I will look again on Monday if he has not shown up. I left there with the ‘indifference’ weighing a bit heavily upon me. There was no sympathy at all. But maybe you get that way after seeing so many abuse cases and animals needing a home that will never have one. So many animals euthanized every day, animals that just want love and a decent life like we do. It must harden your heart if you are to survive the animal services job.
Wanted to take photos of the cuties in a cage, but waited for a supervisor who never came so I left. They were busy which was good,
unless all the people were dropping off animals.)
Left the Government compound and across the street is the Humane Society.     I stopped and left them with a photo and the woman encouraged me to look through their cats. While I walked around the cat cages, another woman approached and I told her why I was there and she was so very sweet and helpful and pointed to the doors where the cats were in small rooms hanging out. She said to check out each room and look at the outside fenced areas too.  They have a wonderful new facility where the cats can be “free in rooms that have access to outside via fenced in areas. The cats looked so relaxed and happy out there. This is truly the way it should be for animals awaiting adoption. There were many I could have taken home with me, but I still have the two other cats, and since none of these was Ringo, I left empty handed.  www.ohs-spca.org/ both agencies have sites to view the animals if you are considering adoption.
upon returning, I saw a couple of the neighbors, passed out flyers and listened to stories of their Ringo encounters. One woman said he was a terrific ‘rater’ and had seen Ringo kill rats on her property, another said Ringo would fish with his kids and they would feed him the fish, yep that is so Ringo!  One said Ringo had a regular run most days, spending time at his house, then next door on the neighbor’s carport, then he usually headed back to my house in late morning which is the way it was. He would come inside to sleep at around 11pm, then wake around 4am go out and be back on the porch waiting for breakfast,    leave for a few hours and come back and nap on the porch till fishing time. Where is he?

Adam thought he would take me to lunch to the new restaurant, Athenian Garden on H.E Thomas where Fishbones and Applebees is.
I only wish I had had my camera with me. They have just opened and it had a wonderful space and nice presence. The waitresses were helpful and the menu was loaded, excellent choices. I had a salad and spanakopita, Adam ordered a chicken gyro. Our meals were delicious and we had dessert of something I can’t say, Galatoboureko, a custard baked in Phylo with honey, YUM. I promise to go back and take photos, it was a beautiful presentation.  Go  and enjoy!
The draw of a new digital camera calls to me, must I wait for a sale? I think about it and rationalize a lot. Will see if Sunday’s papers bring something of a price drop on that Sony I like.
As we drove back home, I was hoping to see Ringo somewhere, but no such luck, I am thinking more and more that someone nabbed him. I put his face up on two stopsigns, no one has called, more and more I think someone liked his looks and drove away with him.
I only hope they love him and treat him like we did!  

It’s a blue moon tonight with Ringo having disappeared last night and has not come home to eat all day.  That’s what you get with a rogue agent like Ringo. I miss his funny face and sparkling blues!
We fished last night,  and as always he waited patiently for his reward, but nothing came. Maybe he went to go live with a better ‘fisher’?  All I know is, there was no sign of him anywhere all day. Tonight I went to several of the neighbors whose homes he frequents and no one had seen him. The neighbors checked their garages and looked all over, but no Ringo. I am hoping I will look up and see his face at the back door, but so far, nothing. To those of you who say that’s what happens when you have outdoors cats just don’t understand the dynamics of a cat who was brought in by my neighbors as a stray and raised for years as part of the Loch Arbor scenery. I have inherited him, but Ringo does his own thing,  though he always comes home. Most people around here know Ringo and enjoy seeing his handsome face, they know he is a rascal.  Maybe he needs a tracking chip!
Let’s hope he is somewhere safe, and if someone catnapped him, they will learn he is not a cat you keep inside for more than a four hour stretch.   I have no reason to doubt he can fend for himself, he eats lizards and birds and would find his own food with no problem.  Just wish somehow  knew where he was. This is not like Ringo to be MIA like this. AT least everyone is on the lookout. I’ll put his face up by the stop sign tomorrow if he doesn’t show.
Around here it is hot hot hot and no rain in sight, I bet we will get dumped on all at once again. WOnder where this tropical depression will hit? Will it build to become a hurricane? Will have to watch. Thank goodness the well has stopped leaking oil, but there is still a lot of oil out there. What happens to the streams of oil once picked up and swirled in a hurricane?
The birds are very quiet lately, not as many as in early spring. I do see my beautiful jays come all together before 7pm. There are still five of them and they get quite snippy with each other.  Here are 4 of them, they are  hard to get at one time.   and of course, the cardinals are adorable to watch as they interact with the bold jays. The cardinals are much calmer.   Have not been getting grackles, though the crows come in the morning and early afternoon.   Monday and Tuesday I finally put a photo\art book together, it was a lot of fun and look forward to seeing the finished product when it gets here. I would like to do a few of them on different subject, but the cost seems high with the shipping being about $3 over what normal flat rate mailing should be. I even tried calling Printers, Book Binders and Graphics places this morning and was told for them to make the photo books would be expensive, I was hoping to be able to buy them in bulk fairly reasonably, but can’t find a way to sell below $25 to squeak buy with a tiny profit. Anyway, the first book is on Crows. Will give link when I see the book and it’s finished product.
My Kodak Easyshare P850 died, I put in the recharged battery and it acted like it was taking a picture and flashed like it, but there was nothing but black on the screen. I checked the settings, re did the battery, set back to default and nothing but black. Time to replace it.    Ran over to Best Buy to look at what they had, liked the Sony HX1 and the two young clerks, Byron and Kristen were wonderful and helped me do comparisons with the Nikon of the same specifications. Will consider my options, love the 18 months same as cash!
Saw a hummingbird tonight as I was putting weeds in the trash, it was drawn to the lush red buds on the fire bush. I hurried out with fresh hummingbird food, but the only thing attracted to that seems like the carpenter ants.
In the meantime, I keep looking up at the back door, then walking over the the front door and open it and call Ringo’s name, then  stare and stare and stare…       Where’s my boy?

a beautiful and quite humid night — but had a wonderful evening being treated to dinner with Andrea and Lee. Lee is quite the master of the grill and his two dogs are nearby to see what might be reclaimed if someone drops something.
Merle is giving the snake “scent the air” look as he hurries around the pool. Sweet Loretta is always bright eyed for squirrels and lizards.   The weekend has gone so fast again and here it is Monday. Sleep avoids me and my brain lacks because of it.
The heat is so great, I hardly a flicker of a wing today outside my window, it seems the heat tethered them somewhere shady, but nowhere in sight. Their crumbs and seed remained intact until almost 3:00 pm when the crane family came.
I walked around the yard around 4pm and there was really nothing to visually stimulate me, no bugs, no freshly bloomed flowers since we have been hammered with heat the past couple days and the heads of the roses and many other plants look as if they have succumbed to the torment.  The lilies wilt, the roses die, sunflowers dry up,   a good rain is always so replenishing and needed, but not today. I did take the hose and give a bit of relief to what I have planted by the bird feeder. The weeds pull up with ease, but found that the lack of energy to extract them from Hell wasn’t worth the try of being in the weedy garden garden for longer than ten minutes. It has become a haven for the grasshoppers who seem to take advantage of their numbers and breed.     Clinging to screens, on the ground,  they seem to hop around and enjoy their tandem-ness.
Part of the day I explored trying to look into doing a photography book on Blurb or LuLu, my Ovation friend Lana Gramlich did a beautiful job getting hers together.   http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1464395/?utm_source=badge&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=140×240#
Why can’t I make one? Tomorrow I will check it out. They are a bit pricey.  I love how my friends Lana and Robin Pedrero are always marketing their work, where is my ‘chip’ that can be inserted into my head so I can be as good at marketing as they are?
Here’s some photos from the past two days, not much exciting, but still,  the alternative of finding something to admire is always urging me on, and I am hoping that you find it fun also. Have an excellent week. And yes, I am still on baby watch.
The only winged thing flying around.   an immature grasshopper.  A crow from two days ago:     and that’s it, sleep is calling, must obey!  Enjoy the new week and may it bring exciting things for you!

I came back from Tampa yesterday as we thought our new grandchild was coming sooner rather than later, but after all doctors reports and tests, she will be coming on her own terms, not to a timespan set by the doctor for his surgical convenience. So figured I actually had a bit more time in between and thought I would spend time here and get things in order and today I was rewarded as I drove to run errands and saw a fox squirrel running on the golf course.    I drove home as fast as I could seeing I didn’t have a camera. I hoped that fox squirrel would be roaming nearby for a few minutes and I was right. Though when I got on the Mayfair Golf course, the rodent kept running away!  First I looked left and right to make sure I wasn’t going to be “whacked” by some golfer! But it had been raining and was still thundering so the place was empty.
Walking toward the animal was like trying to catch your cat who only lets you get so close and then runs off about twenty feet further just to tease you as you approach.  Here’s the pics, I was lucky that there was a second one not far from the first and he let me have some photo access at a distance.
Leaping away, I had to hurry, luckily a guy in a golf cart gave me a lift.

I wondered how close I could get before I could get a good shot.

Closer and closer… The darker one was not quite as jumpy as the first.    What a handsome face and coloring he had.   I love seeing them.

At home all was hot and quiet, the birds were just not very busy at all. The woodpecker is still busy feeding his brood.
Had one crow come visit this morning and of course, the young jays.
Oh, it’s good to be home again….

I was feeding the birds this morning and saw two wasps trying to make a nest about 14 feet up near the roof line and fireplace and noticed a hole through the plastic soffit, a hole that would easily accommodate rodents going into the roof again. 
That wasn’t there just last week, so something had to be making a place to nest in the attic. What is so weird was a couple nights ago it was about 2am as I sat at my desk and suddenly Ringo jumped up onto the outside window ledge looking up at the fireplace, it was like the dead had come alive, I jumped about a foot! I bet it was a mouse or rat scampering up.  Ringo is supposed to be part of the natural pest control around here.
But anyway, as I looked at the hole I got paranoid about critters going up into the attic and had to do something. So since neither of my ladders was the right size, I borrowed one from the neighbor, it was a perfect size. I cut a piece of Adam’s VCR video plastic box and got superglue and steel wool, I heard rodents hate bumping into steel wool. So I shoved it through the hole and superglued the plastic over the hole. For now it will do the trick… I think.  I filled in the area with more steel wool while Adam held me steady on the ladder. My neighbor who I borrowed the ladder from lives on the lake also and has put traps every fifteen feet around the perimeter of his house with rat dehydrating bait inside. I might have to try that too, though I am always hesitant with Ringo, what if he grabbed a poisoned rat, would he get poisoned too? That’s something that makes me weary.
As I sit here tonight, I only hope there were no rats in the roof that I have sealed, it’s so hot up there I don’t know why they would want to spend time melting. I do have four traps still up there that I re-bait and check every few weeks. After seeing a rat one in my bird feeder several months back,  I know they can enjoy the benefits of left over bird food just like the raccoons.   I don’t hear anything above me, yet and Ringo is behind me snoozing, I watch for his radar ears. When he looks concerned, I will too.   
Fishing was lousy, you  would think I’d give up trying already rather than complain, but it was so nice out tonight, great breeze despite the fact it was 96 this afternoon. I did catch one shiner which Ringo promptly ate. After that is was a turtle race as usual.  The fun part was watching the woodpecker come in to feed his yapping babies. They must be young as I see no faces looking out of the hole when the  male leave.  Here he is grabbing some cut up fries from Arby’s, he knows a good thing when he sees it. Here he is with the twins.  And leaving   and more in between!    I enjoy watching their black and white jackets fly by.   Have not seen any of the pileated, bigger woodpeckers lately.
just these red bellied cuties. And how about the hummingbird moth, they are so cooperative, I could easily hold it and stroke it’s little soft head.  

Over head were the usual plane routes, They fly right over my head, I always wonder if the Captain of one of the regular routes comes on and says, “see that lady down there fishing? She’s at it almost every night, that’s how I know I’m on the right path to the airport.”
Sometimes those planes are so very very low. 

How I wish I liked to get on them and could fly somewhere! But soon I will be making my way toward Tampa to see my Granddaughter’s birth, we are all so excited, she will be a tiny little birdie.
The afternoon heat has gotten to me, I have been able to mow most of the yard, but gave up feeling like a gallon of water was sweating off me.  It’s just too intense, the sky is clear and blue –
I keep thinking about The Gulf of Mexico, I keep waiting for the actual break in the news saying it has been capped. But what does capping mean? Look in the past, they say over 27,000 old drilled wells could also be leaking:http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/07/national/main6653016.shtml  (cut and paste)   My brother in Key West also sent me photos of his last fishing trip  

showing oil sheen, whether it is associated with the leak??? Will only be a matter of time before they get it. The gov is saying it will be capped by the 27th, but in the meantime, the pollution to our water is significant and sickening. Sickening that more was not done sooner. I can only guess once they hit this “Mother Lode” some 70 + days ago, all that mattered is trying to keep as much oil as they could  recapture. It didn’t matter. It doesn’t seem to matter to our president, BP seems to be in control, the bottom line is profit. It’s still a tragedy to me.  It seems to really be taking a toll on sea turtles. Nad some whacko had the gall to behead sea turtles… for what purpose?
http://www.wesh.com/video/24177933/index.html
What is with this world of ours? I guess the best thing is to try and make others aware of what is happening in the news and also to give balance to the beauty of nature and what you can easily bring to your backyard, that’s my aim, to keep nature safe and CLEAN!
And for you to enjoy some photos along the way –
Have a wonderful weekend…. The mockingbird blasts the crow.
Don’t mess with doves, this interaction just out my window…
and that was that! Jays were forced out, AGAIN! (But only for a matter of minutes) — Now go make sure your birds have  fresh water, they are thirsty

Lots to do coordinating the exhibit for University Club and making sure it is a fine representation for the Gateway Photo Group – the work by the contributing photographers is beautiful, it will be a terrific show – so off to University Club on Tuesday to look around and chart wall space. But today, my daughter had off and she took me to lunch at Willowtree in Sanford, a very noted German restaurant.  We stopped by Andrea’s first where her cats were lounging, Musa and Cocobella looked like Romeo and Juliet,  Little Cocobella was looking so adoringly at that devil Musa.  Andrea had taken a picture with her and Musa, I loved it so must add it of course.    Then we headed to Hart Sister’s Tea Room on Park Avenue and thought we would grab a bite to eat there, but they were closed. It’s an adorable setting.   there was such a nice garden setting and plants around the place.   But since it was closed we ventured to First street and the gallery’s were closed so we headed to Willowtree and ate outside.   The place was still quite full and it was 1:30pm.  I had quiche which was good, but the honey mustard pecan dressing for the salad was excellent. Andrea had a sandwich, neither of our choices were German dishes, but if you like the schnitzel and knockwurst, liverwurst and bologna loaf, this is for you! The desserts looked wonderful, but neither of us really wanted any, we were full.   They do have great desserts!   My sweetest daughter and I strolled up the road, passed Maya’s and saw the Yoko John Poster:  and then saw something I didn’t expect – a rooster at Two Blondes and A Shrimp! He was a poser!    They say he comes around all the time, wonder if he came from Horstmeyers on Commercial Street, they have chicks for sale.
We stopped and bought a few things at Baileys Consignment store and then went over and looked at Miss Libby’s Antique Emporium.  They had moved their recently, but I believe Miss Libby said she and her husband had been at another location down the block for 14 years.  They had done a beautiful job of placing all their antiques. It was well organized. Had a lot of glassware and lots of Harmony Kingdom boxes which are so much fun to look at.
and Betty Boop!   There is furniture, original artwork, primitives, coins and a very cool monkey   Enjoyed our talk with Miss Libby who was happy to help us.
address is 204 E. First Street – 407-328-8298.
We had a nice chat and then headed home. It was a lot of fun, thanks Andrea for lunch!
Last night I was a stick in the mud, could see some of the Sanford fireworks from the backyard, also saw my pesky little raccoon who decided to eat the remaining cat food.   While Ringo decided he did not like the commotion at all and came in and even sat on my lap voluntarily, a first!   I had to watch to see who I let in — didn’t want a raccoon on my lap!  I watched Bye Bye Birdie and sang away with the movie..  
This morning the jay were at it again, in fact, I had forgotten there were so many fledgling birds. They were trying to be the boss of everyone and chased off the other birds and squirrel.   Though the doves are pretty feisty too.   There was a showdown between the squirrel and dove, but they called a draw and both stayed.
The jays then came in pairs:   and had a few words,  

the third brother joined in, then two more.   They were hard to get at one time!  Then it boiled down to two and they argued and both flew off — but they come back now again and again and it never gets old.   and to look at this last picture, it is my tribute to Independence day, the natural beauty of the red, white and blue!

The heat is Hell-a-cious, you go out for a few minutes and your burnt. Today no birds have even come to the feeder, the bread I put down this morning is still there and it’s 8:15pm. I guess the birds don’t have much of an appetite, I can’t believe I have not seen one grackle or crow or jay all day! So instead of birds, I took things around the yard and will have color and Black and White photos.

Finally it looks like we might get some rain,     the lake level is down by a couple inches. I stuck my hand in the lake and it was like bath water, maybe thats’ why fishing is so bad. The flowers on the plants are just drying out so fast after they bloom. We love our daily rains when they come, even if it’s inches at a time because the storms move quickly. So take a look and enjoy Sanford, Florida.

The ants love the ginger plant blooms. Usually there are a couple of them running back and forth, chasing each other around the bloom.   They are big ants too.   My “womenly tree”, a camphor,  (non native)  is draped now with a vine going up and it looks like it’s dressed like a Goddess.
The dying sunflower and in color,

Of course Ringo in color shows off his blues, but he is striking in black and white too.    a lily in

crazy color and in black & white.     butterflies are all over the place like the dragonflies   .

caught this bee grooming itself, running its’ legs across it’s face over and over as if slicking it’s hair back.   the bees were everywhere, almost got stung a few times. This one was more interested in the rose.
the dying flowers have beauty too.  
Last nights fishing companion.         And a big and beautiful full moon to top the night off, make sure to appreciate it where you are –    You might find it winking back….

Kim Nelson must be thanked for all the hard work she did in getting the Museum of Seminole County History’s latest exhibit up and running.  It is all about native animals and settings around our state of Florida. There are taxidermy samples on loan from The Student Museum which is supposed to be really something to see, I have never been there, must make note to go.  Here’s a look:  The art works shown are from artists:
Betty Bay, Jeanie Beline, Myrna Cumming, William Haight, Sil Horwitz, Pradeep Lodha, Robert Mier, Ted Page, Robin Maria Pedrero,
Mark W. Rice, Linda Shawde, Doug Snider, Julia Thompson, Rusty Wahl, Amy Weick, and “yours truly” are all displayed to show the intricacies that have inspired us as artists.  Here’s just a few so I don’t spoil it for you:   This beautiful bronze cast was done by Amy Wieck, she has two pieces that are so detailed that it keeps you looking and wondering how the process is done.

The wood carving by Mark W. Rice of two owls craved into a stump makes you smile. Rice was the 2003 national Champion of Chainsaw Sculpture – now that’s a title!   There were acrylics and photographs, sculpture and carvings. The turkey painting to the side is by Robert Mier – the woodpecker and marina painting belong to Myrna Cumming. There are more to ponder and it is up to you to get yourself and others over to take a look at the whole place. The exhibit will be up until August14.   Here’s some photos of the Museum itself.  
It was an old Folks Home at one time.   Always enjoy seeing the

cameras.  

1906 Blickendorfer Typewriter made a bit ‘arty’.   Remember, Celery was a big part of Seminole County history as were the Swedes who came here to work the crops.
Upon leaving, the new Courthouse is just around the bend.  
Get out and support the locals! Museum of Seminole County History in Sanford, Florida. Admission $3 for adults – $1 kids

300 Bush Boulevard
Sanford, FL 32773
Phone: (407) 665-2489

This looks like a polished piece of porcelain with hairs sticking wayward, but it is a close up of an Alaskan King crab claw. That was dinner last night, (not mine, I ate shrimp and they were ‘shrimpy’ in comparison with the width of that leg!) But, when I saw the cracked claws, I had to take some close ups, the hair was just too bizarre! The orange was such a pretty color.
Outside it is like a blast furnace and everywhere I go, I notice the mockingbirds chasing everything out of their way. I did happen to get a few of the crow sitting on one of my cut off trees getting ‘buzzed’ at by the mockingbird. Here’s the story in pics:
the crow retreats to tree stump, he looks out at the oncoming vengeance of two mockingbirds.

They swoop down and fake attack that stubborn crow,  The crow took off,   heading
right in my direction and then veering off.  The crows and mockingbirds can be seen all over as the ‘mockers’ love to dive bomb the crows. The crows just go about their business looking overhead all the time.  Here’s some crow pics: 

My cranes were here on and off all afternoon, I witnessed the tender moments between parent and child by the lake. The babies do love to chase off the other birds, they have been taught well.    Here’s Mom grooming.   Baby watches to see how close the ducks get.     ah, the love!  It was so sweet how tenderly the mother would tap the baby’s beak.   My mallard pair are hanging around too. The foot that looked broken is up and running again I am glad to report. Birds must injure themselves from time to time. I have noticed my grackle since last year who has the mis-shapen toe,     notice that wayward toe on the right.
He hops on it, gets along well and makes up for the impediment by being very much of a bully.  

That grackle is a great example of  ‘making do’!
The flowers are looking good, but the heat is getting to them as there has been no rain for over a week and 90+ degree temps that actually feel like over 100!     It’s so hot even the doves

have become feisty!    Blue jay and dove eye to eye.   The dove was

“unflappable”  Stood its’ ground.     Then it actually moved forward at the jay and they both flew off.    The heat is making our tempers short. Confrontation isn’t limited to humans – I see well executed sparring right in my own yard!
P/S, now I am in possession of a dove that got pounced on by the neighbors cat.    I saw it out of the window and ran out. The poor dove was stunned and not flying. Right now it is sitting quietly inside the cat cage with food and drink, in a dark bedroom and later or in the morning I will let it loose…(When Ringo is in the house)

The rains have been coming off and on today. The heat is tremendous under the weight of all the humidity. The birds seemed to be panting.    They cooled off a lot in the bird baths.
The one baby and it’s mother were back.   I noticed that there were actually two fledgling babies begging for food, but she refused to feed the second one, (in the middle) though both seem fine because if they have to eat on their own, they do, they are just lazy.  The rejected baby at the bottom right of the photo finally got his own seed.
Have young jays coming in also,  Got nice photo of the handsome young male
They hear me clicking the camera from at my desk inside and jump!
I had a baby thrasher come in and eat, then get exhausted and sat down to relax.  I felt like that too, I had a hard time getting my camera to adjust to the heat outside, it took about ten minutes before I could defog my lens.|

The BOB’s, band of brothers stopped by for a drink, they ambled away into the steam of the afternoon. I walked down to the lake and saw the Mallard couple, the male is one of the BOM’s band of mallards from May, he was the weakest of them and they dominated him.   The two stronger ducks left. The weaker link stayed here and took a mate. His foot was injured back then he was limping. The female stays with him all the time, the pair stay on the edge of the lake as they are shy of people and head right out on the lake when I get too close.  He hobbles on the left leg. But today he got up and could hardly walk on it.  It was so pathetic watching him swim off not using that leg.  The leg looks broken poor guy. I hope the Band of Brothers don’t find him down there, they will take advantage of him for sure as they did with our sweet Carbs, the muscovy who was hanging out here last year until the BOB’s made him leave “their” lake, nature can be so very cruel.  (That’s Carbs)  What will happen? Oh, it is the secrets of the lake that keep us all guessing around here! Like, will I fish tonight? All I have to do is look at the lake to see the sky is telling me no!  

and I mean that title literally! For some reason the birds were bossy today.  First, there were two blue jays coming to enjoy some seed and water.   A woodpecker came in and decided to partake.    and things got heated,    

The woodpecker bowed in a subservient  position.  He tried to calmly discuss his position But the jay chased him off.  Though they didn’t bother the doves. Nor the sandhill cranes,   Though the crow chased everyone off so he could stuff his mouth.

Sweet cardinals .  The mallard couple came too. Everyone was hungry for bird seed.

The cranes even decided to come and knock on my sliding glass doors.  When I answered they hurried outside the porch patiently waiting for rations.   
A storm threatened and a squealing osprey sat in the tree warning of lightning.  

I took photos of flowers,   

The common grackle took to bossing the other birds around. One jay came back   

challenging the grackle    face to face they each showed their attitudes.  

and then the jay flew off after a threatening jab of grackle beak.   The jay landed on the pot and looked down at the despicable grackle.
A back up grackle came in ,   as a squirrel ran up the tree and raided all the food in the birdfeeder,    peace at last…   Wonder where Ringo was? he slept through it all, silly boy.   

First the business of art:  Friday night the Casselberry ArtHouse held a reception for the exhibit,  “Celebration of life, Bohemians Redeaux” – saw a few of my old group members from  Womans Caucus for Art and their work. Here’s some of the art that will be on the walls for the next few weeks.


They had quite a nice reception and wish I could have stayed longer as I missed a lot of good people. And Rob, your quiche was delicious!   This was before it got crowded – it was a tribute to Sharon Pollard who talked 11 other artists to go with her to Paris a few years ago to spend time and together and to be themselves in a city known for great culture, the  10″ X 10″ paintings reflect their view . Sharon has since passed, but her legacy through art is very much alive and at the Arthouse, Enjoy!

The weekend flew away, the days melt like ice cream on a hot pavement.  I have enjoyed the squabbles of the crows versus the mockingbirds. Where ever you go you see familiar battles with the smaller mockingbird chasing the crows out of their domains. The mockers must be guarding nests.  

The crows love to aggravate and they are food hoarders, the load their mouths with as much as they can fly away with. This guy was hurrying to get everything!  The crows are sticking around lately.  Love their cocky demeanor.   So much fun to watch.
the heron babies are huge, fully grown, but they still come back at night to the nest to feed. I don’t think they know about landing on the land yet???   They are rigid young fliers.
As for the herons, spotted them yesterday out my window:   later I saw the mother enjoying a nice Sunday bath before rejoining the family for a stroll, here’s the sequence of pics:  
Her head fully submerged.  She was enjoying her time alone.   Sheddiing a feather.   laughing out loud at her own jokes.   refreshed!    
catching up with the family.   baby stretches his wings high in excitement.  Mother calms him down   more love  
They all groomed themselves.  the babies are great groomers.     And love their faces.
Then of course, must add some flowers and scene from the other night fishing, hope I have de-stressed you…

haha, this beauty is part of life here too.
and a visitor from Saturday    ….

Somehow these days have liquified and spilled away – I went to Tampa to paint the new house for the new baby. Painted bedrooms and the nursery which was a joy and every stroke was painted with love for the new life about to come our way. When I left, the chair rail was all cut, but not up yet, nor the border, but Aaron will get it all done and send me a photo of the end result.
The day I left Sanford, the baby herons had taken to flight and what fun it was watching their clumsy sailing from pine tree to pine tree where they would spend perched hours trying to determine when to fly back to the nest.   The first day they learned their wings worked was on the 28th of April. One of the babies took off and stayed away about 3 doors down in a tree top for 6 hours. The other was too afraid yet and stayed in the nest waiting one extra day to test it’s wings. Since then they come and go, always back at the nest for bed time.  They are very excited about flying, but as much as they go tree top to tree top, I have not seen them down in the water getting their food.
we enjoy our night time visitors and the flowers that have been blooming to make gorgeous photos:
Over in Riverview I really was too busy to take photos. I did stop and look closely at the blooms on the magnolias over there as there were so full and buzzing with bees.  I had never noticed how fuzzy the buds were. They looked like they were coated in hair.
— The house was in a subdivision 6 miles from Aaron’s current townhouse. As is the norm here in Florida, many acres of cleared land have farm animals upon them to get the owner a tax deduction. In the meantime, they don’t have to provide an ounce of shade at all for these animals. You know those cows and goats in the heat of a 90+ degree afternoon oppressive sun can’t feel too good. It’s wrong that animals are treated so cruelly and the owner benefits financially, use the money for some shade!
In their natural state on land that has not been denuded for developers, the cows and goats will be found under the trees taking in the shade on these brutal afternoons. It is quite sad that the owners of agricultural animals are not required to supply an area of shading via structures on this vacant land areas, anything to give them some shelter. Am I wrong in my thinking? PETA, where are you?
I stopped by one morning around 8am, the cows were close by the fence.  The first thing I saw was this bird who was intent on telling me this was its’ property.  Not sure what it is.  Here’s the cows:
So many look alikes.  
I got to pet one cows head and love the feel of the strong hide and the smell of these wonderful animals.
Back at the townhouse, the birds were scarce really, not much variety. The pond behind the townhomes had all these bed where the fish tilipia were nesting, they were huge, but, NO FISHING!  Here’s a look at the birds:  That limpkin was so chatty.
Then yesterday, I took off back for Orlando.  Always keep my camera handy as I approach downtown.
And after that, it was a day of getting back into order, tossing junk mail, paying bills, hugging my other two kids and cleaning and loving on the cats. It was a great time in Riverview and it’s always good to get back into the groove!

Well, so much for my Mothers Day!  I was thinking about this really nice flatware I wanted as I stood on the roof this afternoon over at Andrea’s townhouse and caulked around the upstairs bedroom window.   I sat up there overlooking Lake Bellaire which looked like it was getting algae too. People must be mindful of over fertilization of their grass. But to get back. I was on the verge of asking the kids for some Reed and Barton flatware I had admired, and knew that would be something fun for mothers day. I kept it in the back of my head all afternoon. I didn’t go to Sanford’s Alive After 5, instead I fished and then came in because the turtles, 5 of them were harassing me by going for the bait. I went to go look in the dryer when I noticed my water pump was running and running and there was no water on. When I opened the garage door I saw a problem… now I guess I will tell the kids I want a well tank instead of the flatware. See those mumbo-jumbo of contraptions?   That is my water system, the blue tank is the well pump tank, the middle is the chlorine tank, then the softener and then the charcoal tank. If you notice, you will see water all over beneath the pump tank, yep, the iron has eaten through the bottom of the tank and it gave way and has been leaking as I was fishing which of course is after business hours! Water was gushing when I came out to check on my wash after fishing. Now it feels like a hurricane has passed through as I have had to turn the water to the house off. BUT– I have a great water team, Bill and Bradley who own Discount Water Supply  on Airport Blvd in Sanford. Bill is good about calling me back and smoothing things over and assuring me I will live through the night and won’t flood out.  I will have water tomorrow. Bill really gives good lessons in water equipment and I write down his lessons on the wall above the tanks,   they read like Biblical verses of things to live by regarding water, like which spigot turns off water to the house, which is the by-pass for the salt tank, which is the testing spigot. Too much for a brain to absorb. So I wrote them in permanent marker on the walls and live by them.  Bill even provided me with my own little ‘plug’  so during hurricane season or if a bad storm would turn the electric off for hours, I can plug right into my generator so I have water. When you live with a well, it does make you appreciate water usage that much more. Tonight I even miss simple flipping on the spigot at the sink to have water, for now  I pour about a tablespoon of water in my hand and some soap, foam it up and then a small amount of water  for a short rinse. It makes one mindful of what a precious commodity water is.
But to get back to Mothers Day, I had so wanted this nice inexpensive flatware to replace all the cheap broken sets that are now occupying the drawer.  But think I will ask the kids for the new Pump tank, that makes more logical sense and I will certainly use it enough. These things aren’t cheap. Gosh, $200 for a tank which hopefully will last for years, and I also need a new charcoal refill, another $200 also, but once both are put into place, they should last for years. I have no monthly charges for water and sewer, but things must be maintained for up keep to have good water. Most of you have city water, my water is loaded with iron and goes through a chlorine tank that then washes out the chlorine via salt and then the charcoal, there is no flouride in my water. I have noticed that that now have chlorine free systems, there are options to maintaining clean water.
I guess flatware can wait for my birthday, well, that’s in August  – ummm, my front truck tires are wearing out, maybe the kids can buy me flatware next X-mas…

This young mockingbird was outside my window this afternoon   – it was eating seed and then seemed to get tired and it sat down. 
It almost toppled over, but straightened up and flew off.

Yesterday I set up my solo exhibit at the Maitland Library which is a wonderful place. I am also working on an Etsy site to sell my work, but left the details to drive over to the beautiful Library.
The librarians I encountered could not have been nicer or more accommodating, Pat, thanks so much if you read this. My work will be up for the month.

Here’s a few pics of my show,  “Cat Dreams and Wings

Afterwards I walked around Lake Lily next door and took pictures then headed to the Maitland Art Center just a short hop away. A photo of mine did not sell at an auction last week and it was to be dropped off there by Jerry Bell whose wife, Gayle, a painter, had rounded up other artists to donate work for an auction to send to the group, Doctors Without Borders for continuing their work in Haiti. I was sad to hear my photo did not sell along with a few others. But they did raise $5000!
AT MAC they looked for my picture, but couldn’t find it. I figured maybe Jerry had not dropped it off yet. I lounged around a bit and enjoyed the surroundings, though the giftshop and gallery were not opened. I headed across the short street for the Chapel, a wonderfully serene and soothing place. The style of the chapel is called ‘Mayan Fantasy’. The buildings and grounds are all part of the National Register of Historic Places. The first photo is of the original home which is now the Gallery and Gift Center.

The Chapel in its’ Mayan theme is an intricate and captivating work of art, have a look.

The owner, Jules Andre Smith bought and designed this place in 1938– he was an architect besides being an artist and he set up an artist colony called The Research Center. He lived there until 1959 and during that time he saw the need for artists to come and find their own solace and inspiration – I can’t imagine how cool it would have been to have belonged to the ‘entourage’,  those lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the place back in the day.
Now the city of  Maitland owns the land and buildings and makes great use of it  for conferences, art classes and lots of Weddings which is a perfect place for them! I went to a writers conference there years ago, the atmosphere was electric. It’s the aura! Here’s the link  www.maitlandartcenter.org
Here is the view of the Formal Garden.  

I decided to head back to Sanford as it was getting to be about 4pm and traffic moves at a turtle pace.After arriving, I grabbed Adam and got some dinner at Applebees. His friend Ari was at the AAA building in Lake Mary where the Seminole County High Schools were showcasing the area AP Art students. There was to be a reception and awards. We went and the place was packed and the art was amazing and professional. These students have big futures! The style and individual work was so impressive. The show will remain up for 3 weeks, so you have time to head up there and take your time, there is so much to look at — it is definitely worth the time. Adam and I really enjoyed the quality of the art. Ari’s work shows she has a solid artistic soul!
Finally when I got home I sat down to email Gayle to ask where and when I should pick up my picture. There was an unread email from her, I opened it and she said my photo sold at the golf course that Jerry had been playing on that monring, he was showing a golfer the picture and the guy bought it! That made me really happy. being an artist and selling art is hard work, so it sure is nice when someone appreciates it enough to buy a piece. I always feel honored when that happens, especially with something kind of ‘off par’ – an ‘out of gallery experience’ for sure…

It is wonderful waking up to go outside and hear all kinds of birdsong. Sometimes the cranes are in the yard and they scream in your ear, but most of the time, it’s always the cardinals who start things off first thing in the morning, then woodpeckers and other birds join in.
I used to have a chimney bird who sang haunting tunes down the chimney, and then there was a titmouse who would look into my desk window at me for months. As it is, I am just a lucky person to have an abundance of bird music and to be able to appreciate it.  here’s yesterdays mockingbird who was sitting on one my oleanders just singing away.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1362550593784&ref=mf

Here’s the beauties that I have encountered the past few days – feel free to enjoy them as much as I do. I have not seen the baby cranes today, but Papa crane has been here several times being bossy as usual. Fishing was horrible, nothing for the heron, she had to catch her own…

(Does Avatar count?)

and of course, this last funny face thinks he can fly like a bird too, and I let him think it, but really, he eats like a bird — like a dozen birds. He needs to learn to dance at the end of a leash so he can make some money for all the birdseed he eats

Today was a bit better than the last week, at least it got to 70.  The birds are busy, the yards look terrible and fishing was pretty good. I still hear the baby heron in the nest, but cannot see it up there.   The nest does have a rather large escape hatch on the side, hope the baby stays on the side it is on!
Before fishing, Andrea and I ran out to get a few things, I bought the new baby some baby fishing hats.   Yes, those will be essential.  At around 5pm I started fishing and while the sun was still up, it felt a bit chilly, but not too bad. By 6, I had to put on a hooded sweatshirt beneath the jacket as the wind was brisk and cold.
Both herons came down to watch and see what I would pull in.  
The one toward the bottom is the female.  They wade in the shallows and eat the minnows while I fish for the bigger stuff.  It gets rather crazy because the male wants to grab any fish I get right from the line so I have to hustle my catch in fast.
Tonight there were two other small boats and some young men were fishing not too far away.  They asked if they could cut through my yard with their kayak and I said sure. They asked if I wanted their bream and I said I didn’t but I bet the herons would. One of them emptied out 4 small bream and the female just hurried over and scarfed up all of them before the male had a chance. It was really humorous watching her eat them as fast as she could. The male was perturbed and told her so face to face. We all had a good laugh. Here’s a few heron pics from tonight.
the male

and across the lake I could see the cranes, but I was stretching it to even see them.  This is the best I could do   — That baby will show up one day.         Meanwhile the herons looked at each other and then ignored each other and it became too cold to fish as the water had a pretty crisp current going. Ringo and I went in and watched the Academy Awards, it was fairly boring.  And my program won’t let me open any more photos so will have to call it a night, or rather and early early morning….

This morning was loaded with woodpeckers, pileated and red-bellied. they were in pairs and very busy looking at existing tree holes and even trying to make home improvements on other ones.

Of course there are always the regulars
The cats wonder if Godzilla crane will be setting foot onto the porch to trample them…
Ringo dreams about fishing…   
Grackles look out for Ringo, the squirrels find safety in numbers
This little “rocky” says, “Bring it on Ringo” 

And of course tonight the rain was coming in and the ibis looked beautiful in the tree.  They were so white against the dark blue sky, whereas on Saturday they just looked beautiful flying against the cloudy sky.

The grackles and blackbirds are always waiting for food.
At around 4-5pm, the heron comes down to fish with Ringo and me.     and all is fine until the jealous crane comes and chases the heron off.  Even Ringo steers clear of the mean crane.

On Sunday as Lee fished, the crane chased the heron off to the island, the crane thinks he’s the boss of everyone.  

The heron hurries away, but waits for the crane to fly off and comes back. Tonight a storm came in and I had to quit fishing,             

tomorrow the heron and crane will be back as will the woodpeckers, birds and squirrels and we will start all over again…(gladly)

The best pastels are natures.  I take the photos and try and do mather nature justice. Sometimes I leave them natural and sometimes give them a little ‘boost’.  Either way, I am so lucky to have this option of time and sight to take it all in and appreciate it and then pass it on to those who don’t get the time.  There is beauty in everything,  even chaos ask Ringo!
The fishing tonight was nothing, not even a nibble except for one turtle who came by looking for a hand out. You know what they say about elephants never forgetting? Well neither do the turtles.  They look at you with disdain that says they will go after your bait UNLESS you throw them some bread.  So, sucker that I am,  they do get a treat.
How do you resist these angry stares?  
The sky tonight was interesting, had twists and twirls and weird, ziggy lines from con trails.
Here’s what it looked like over the lake around 5pm and then as it progressed.  The temperature was in the upper 50’s – still needed all my layers of padding to stay warm, if I fell down I would bounce, (unless I fell in the lake and would surely drown, or more likely be totally humiliated as it is knee deep by the shore line.)

Ringo gave a nice profile shot for me, then sat down and watched the day undress.

Ringo came home last night with a bruise on his chin, I bet he was fighting with that black stray cat we see often.   Ringo rather looks like he has a goatee on his chin, kind of a “beat” and hip, Kerouac cat. In fact at night, I have to read him from chapters of archy and mehitabel before he goes to bed, he snickers as only cats can, silently.
Tonight as I pet his soft head, I asked him why he always has to get into scraps, why he must lie in the street, why he had to kill birds and play with snakes?  He told me to refer to page 107,  Of archy and mehitabel,
the lesson of the moth

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
things for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does it matter
it is better to be happy
for the moment
and be burned up with beauty
then to live a long time
and be bored all the while…

I hate to admit it, but Ringo is such a ‘cat’-e-gorically feline progressive thinker…
”                    

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