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The cranes had been sunning themselves right out my window. 
The seemed so happy and peaceful taking in the warmth on this 50+ degree afternoon.
The female sat and contentedly groomed,  and I forget that they have white eyelids, and they close going up, versus ours that close down.   When suddenly the cranes took off. and I looked and the fox was out there.  He took off after them and I didn’t see him. Then I looked out the back, and there he was standing on my stump eating bird seed.  He looked starved and mange-y.
He looked at me through slits and then jumped down and ran away. I called animal services, told them the situation, and they said if he was eating he was okay. I beg to differ, does this look okay?   He looks kind of creepy, hope it is not rabid.
I will have to watch when I take little Bella outside. Don’t want the fox to think she is a Taco Bell special.    Yesterday my neighbor called when she saw the fox, I went out and caught a photo of him crossing the street.  Poor thing looks so lost.
The ibis are out in pairs again,   the heron has left it’s nest, I’m sure it went fishing.  A cute moth was on the wild little daisies.  
Later I should have some photos on http://offshoot2.wordpress.com
Until then, I am going to take a nap and then do X-mas cards. Catch ya later….

PS – I will call animal services tomorrow, request a trap, and will send them a photo…

Forgot to shout out a Happy Hanukah to the other tribe members.
Made my way back from Tampa, weather was very gray and cold until today.  I had a great time though.  I miss Sasha,  and little Bella,
and the kids. We checked the market over there, wow, great home buying opportunities!  Maybe for me???
These are some of the photos I took.

Aaron’s 250 gallon tank only has 3 fish at this time, the big puffer, lion fish and small clown.  The salt water tank is hard to maintain, he might sell the fish and go fresh water, he loves oscar and pacu fish.
The weather as I mentioned was weird, a cold front came through and the winds coming from the northeast off the lake were intense and felt so cold.  The sky was mostly dull the whole time until today.   It was gray and dreary.  When I left this morning, it was sunny and warm again.   I only got off at 4 stops on the way back, traffic was not even that bad.   I stopped at lakeland to get some fries and found a little bookstore called Mary’s. It even had women’s hats.  On the way back, it’s always good to see the outline of downtown.  
I had to stop on Washington St. at RT Art and pick up my photos that were made.
you notice I made them bigger than the others, that’s marketing. As always, Roger and Trish do terrific work, and their dogs are adorable and posed for me too.   They were awesome subjects!
Finally I got home and the sky became totally overcast. I did fish with the heron female on the nest, she flew down and got a few treats. The cranes did a dance, they seemed glad to have me back.  I’m back in the cave, now to get working on my spring crow exhibition and also send a few pics over for the Gateway next month.
Of course I will let you know the dates.
And that’s it — oh wait, the other night, TCM, Turner Classic Movies had a wonderful “short” where dogs starred in all the actor rolls, it was very funny.

And I have no idea what this has to do with anything, just thought I’d let ya go with a smile, (or a growl) …ARF ARF

It’s officially holiday season! The turkey was pardoned, and today is
“pre-thanksgiving- manic-rush-tostartcookcookcooking-wash-freshsheets-dusting-blowoff porch-and pretenditalwayslooksthisclean” day. Even though we are going to my nephews for turkey day, there will still be hungry hordes here looking for food all weekend.
Last night I fished as is usual, with the cast of usual suspects, both male and female herons flew over. The male left, the female stays with me and got rewarded with 2 fish. They have not made a nest in their usual tree, or I have not noticed any activity up there in days. instead they came from the north east, wonder where they are nesting?  (male)
female —  The turtles were obnoxious as usual.  There are three big soft shells and numerous small cooter types.  The night was cloudy – they said we would have a good rain today and we have had some nice showers. The water meter yesterday was
at  2.98 and falling fast, a foot below the summer peak of 4.17. Will read it tomorrow am to see if the rain gave it a boost. we have to have more before winter makes it fall much more.
The sky was full of clouds and crows flying off. The fishing was not great, but it’s always fun to absorb that quiet time.  The cranes had been by and were grooming as usual.  and I tried my hand at macro photography which takes a lot of patience, no wind, good light, a tripod and knowledge of aperture which I am learning
I tried frankie and Ringo  Ringo did not cooperate.  Then I tried flowers and tiny spiders  

.
This morning is totally gray and rainy, had to make pancakes for Adam, I have found that Hungry Jack wholewheat blueberry complete is AMAZING, you only need water, but I cheated and added Sugar cookie eggnog, (mybad!)   and of course, top it off with light whipping cream to counter act the egg nog.  I had to top off the whipping cream after eating my pancake –  YUM!
So better get cooking, have things to get done…now go, get outta here, quit reading, that’s it….
Ringo dreams he is a B. Kliban cat   http://www.eatmousies.com/

I read yesterday that insomniacs are not good at making split decisions, I submit, that may be the truth when looking for places to get an eye exam and glasses.
On Friday, I went to look at glasses with my son who broke his glasses. We went to the Sanford Mall and looked at Vision Works and Lens Crafters and Optical Outlet. I had not been for an exam since three years ago.  I declined getting an eye exam that day, the price was under $50 at all places.
When I was going home I heard an ad for 20/20 Eyeglass Super Store and the exam was $39 and I could buy 2 pair of glasses for $149 and the exam was free. When I got home, I made the appointment and figured, what the Hell — $39 bucks and if I don’t like the glasses so what?

So today I drove the 12 miles (one way) to Casselberry at 436 and Red Bug Rd.I saw a dead rat killed on the road and thought, maybe that is a sign that my rats are gone???
The Eyeglass SuperStore looked a bit busy, they were  nice and cheerful. I signed like 6 pages of paper work and BUYER BEWARE, READ EVERYTHING BEFORE SIGNING! I completely skimmed over the $20 charge for visual fields, which is hidden in the body of text in the agreement.
The Optometrist was nice, but I have never felt so rushed in my life. Was it thorough? I hope so as my RX seems to have changed for the better on my left eye. Then as soon as he wrote the RX, I was passed off to a nice woman named whose soul focus was to get me to buy glasses. When I saw nothing, she passed me off to another nice woman, well, dumb dumb me should have come early and looked around the store, the place had a lousy selection, Superstore my ass, they should have called it Boring Eyeglass Place. Nothing to compare to LensCrafters in Sanford.  I looked at lower price glasses with yellow tags, and nothing of interest at all. The prices for glasses by themselves seemed high!  We wandered shelf to shelf, I looked at the higher priced frames, but there was nothing great about  them either. The woman kept insisting we would find something, taking me around, and around and even brought out a few things from the back that looked like duplicates from the front. I wondered if their pay was made on commission.
It was when I asked about just using my old frames and getting lens put in them that she told me the deal about that $20 charge and I should pick out two new frames and get them covered under warranty. I was really getting steamed, and dizzy it was a rip off for that extra $20 bucks as that could have gone to gas up the truck!
There were no cool glasses that I even considered. I kept wanting to bolt! Finally I said to just let me pay and get out of there. That even took another ten minutes of paperwork.
SO LESSON FOR SUNDAY – if you want a cheap eye exam you know is thorough, first, find an Ophthalmologist, if not,  make up your mind and chance the local optometrists, I know my last Optometrist at Optical Outlet was great. Now maybe this exam was fine, but I almost feel like I want a second opinion.
AT 20/20 Eyeglass Superstore, I was cattle pushed into a feed line, then it was pressure pressure pressure to buy new frames. I would never go back there again, I will go to my Sanford vision store and look at frames or re-doing my old pairs. 20/20 sure did not work for me, wasted gas, wasted time, wasted money on a procedure that took 4 minutes top and was $1o more than had I gone 2 miles to the Seminole Town Center Mall.
And that’s Sunday so far, I’m going fishing to relax, it’s my SOMA…  
P/S, another bad split second decision was stopping by Burger King 17/92 near 434, I had to get onion rings after seeing the 99cent coupon in the paper for Steak and Shake. I got them to go and they tasted like leftover rings from Saturday.   You can see I ate them anyway. Now do I dare go fishing, it look likes it might storm? If you don’t see anymore blogs, that split decision might have been a lightning rod…

Went out around 6:45am to feed birds, get a look at the day. The anhinga was drying it’s wings, flapping them like a sail in a brisk wind.   DSC04406res The BOBs, Band of brother mallard/mix, whom I am convinced are reincarnated vikings with their attitudes, were wandering through the yard and settled to groom by the water.   DSC04401bobA-1res I still wonder where Carbs the muscovy went to.
The cranes came flying over, you will notice the baby is keeping more of a distance from its’ folks as they are harassing him more often.  Poor guy gets picked on a lot.  DSC04411res DSC04413res baby still has a way to go before all his color fills out.
But the reason I am so excited is because the herons are building their nest!  The first thing I noticed when feeding the birds was the heron flying across the lake with a stick.
000_0506heronres I ran in for my other camera since the battery was running on empty.  And I saw it leave and waited.  And it came back again, another stick in beak.   DSC04393res It then circled the tree and positioned itself for flying into the branches.   DSC04397res
DSC04398re This means it is officially Fall and we will have some eggs, when the eggs come, it’s about 28 days later that they will hatch.
I am on my way to get set up for the art venue, but thought I’d share the start to my day – I hope yours is equally exciting….

100_6630-1re The day was dull, every photo I put in todays blog is colorized. I cheated!  Hurricane Ida hit up at the panhandle and the weather is affecting us. We are supposed to finally get rain tomorrow – will it actually happen?  All day it looked so dull. As I drove up to Sanford and stopped to take some pics, I kept thinking the sky would unload any minute, but not a drop. I took a few dashboard cams of things and places, and they all looked so boring I had to jazz them up a bit.  100_6634-1re The Gateway condos actually look like this  100_6634re and the corner of First Street near the Welcome Center looked much more festive like this –  100_6632-1re and even the bales of hay in the hay trucks looked more delicious with some color to the grain.   100_6637-1re

An abandoned building looked a little more appealing by deepening the color
100_6635-1re At the marina, there was nothing new, same old birds, had to emphasize the ibis.  100_6624-1rea
And when I got home, I had to blame what I thought was an eagle as an excuse for fishing in early afternoon. I could see it flying all over, but could not get a close photo. Finally it landed three houses over so I threw out the pixels on  the telephoto to capture it  way up in a tree. That’s an osprey.
100_6644re I caught a shiner and threw it back, caught a couple bream and they went back. The cranes were there, Ringo was with me too.
100_6654-are Then the heron flew into the tree and watched me cast out over and over.   100_6649heron2 100_6650re Finally I caught a nice sized bream and threw it on the ground, the heron flew down and nabbed it.  He swallowed and happily flew off.  Ringo and I came in as it was almost completely dark by 5:30pm!
My HP “refurbished” printer came in today so I can resume getting photos ready for this weekend art show. HP tells you to send the defective printer  back within three days or get charged a chunk of change on your credit card, but the return address label I needed to do that was  not included, they forgot to send it! I had to call them and stay on the line forever getting a case number from someone in Bangladesh so they could send me a label. I suggested they email it and they refused.  I could have flown to India in the same time it took to stay on hold for their techs.
Rat update:  G & H Pest Control in Sanford came out Monday to give me my last estimate for how they would address my rodent issue. Gene, who owns the company came out and walked around and looked in the attic and did a thorough search of the house just like Massey. Gene looked at me and told me “he would be taking my money if I hired him” because he would be doing the same exact things I have been doing. They would set the traps as I have and that is all they can do. He suggested I keep fresh peanut butter in the trap every week and keep doing it. He said he could find no fresh droppings and I had no roach or bug problem. He didn’t even give me a price for a yearly spray, so if you live around this area and want a really honest pest control company, call G & H Pest Control Inc. 407-323-6681 website http://ghpestcontrol.com/ Actually, it has been rather quiet, but I will keep listening for signs of life above my head…
As I finish this I can hear a light rain outside,that is good news, hope we are in for a night of the wetstuff!  In fact, I walked outside and immediately smelled the earthy scent of wet grass. The drops were light, but anything is better than nothing!   100_6659re After the art show, I can get back to looking for photo ops. Be patient, and come to the Gateway this weekend to see what 40 artists have for you…(nothing like more self promotion)

Today started the same as always which is always a smile getter,   DSC04351re
The sandhills came flying over the lake for breakfast.  I then checked the rat traps and nothing – no bodies, where do they hide? I even did what the Massey guy mentioned, he said to throw away all rotten fruit under the citrus trees because he said a pheromone is emitted from rotting fruit that draws rats from all over — perfect I thought and brought a rotting grapefruit in and put some of the pulp in the traps. It was obvious today that not all rats are drawn to rotting fruit!
DSC04349-1re The butterflies were busy and this one had gorgeous silver inlay on those delicate wings! It really glimmered metallic when the sun hit the underside. I didn’t capture it in the photo, but it was a fine Gulf Fritillary example.  Ran errands and saw this egret running through the parking lot near Marshall’s  100_6472re He posed briefly but had places to go, so did I.
Back home the sky was gorgeous,   100_6451re full of lines and swirls.  The planes were on their way to destinations unknown, but I am going to call the airlines and request the pilots that pass over the lake at night while I fish, wave.
100_6455re They could drop off some peanuts on their way to Sanford.
I got dressed and ran over to the cutest little coffee spot in Debary, The White Cup coffeehouse at 17/92.  Two of the Gateway group members, Ed and his wife Nan were having a reception.  100_6473re They were given excellent wall space by the owner who also serves a mean cup of different coffees, cold and hot, also tea and smoothies and she has a menu with many goodies.   100_6475re
Ed and Nan  Cogle are world travelers and you could tell from both their art styles that they loved India.
What is also evident was their love of wildlife too.  Ed does photography, Nan had a mixed media approach.   100_6476re They had a nice reception packing the innards of The White Cup.  I even met a guy who was just there to get a great cup of coffee and the art was a big bonus. Art IS a big bonus. I tried to get my family physician to have an art wall in his brand new doctors office he just moved into, but he didn’t. I think it would be welcomed by the patients to have photos and art by local artists to stare at as they sit and wait and wait and wait. I would have even changed it out every couple months, that’s how it would work in Abbesworld, art would be much more employed and enjoyed by the public and as a means to inspire others. So if you are reading this and own a business, please give local artists a shot at displaying their work.
As I was about to leave, Ed was taking some photos,  100_6479re I took some also to show you that you need to SUPPORT THE ARTS!  Go out to a gallery, check out the Heathrow Arts Festival at Colonial Town Park this weekend, or pick up a brush, pen, camera and make something. Find the artist inside yourself and maybe even discover something you didn’t know you could do.  And if you happen to be on your way from Sanford to Debary, stop by the White Cup and enjoy the owner, the beverages and the art. Also — please remember that next weekend  The Gateway Center for The Arts in Debary is having a Holiday Boutique with lots and lots of artists selling their goods for the holidays. There will be table after table of artwork for all  to enjoy.  So through the week I will keep bugging you to go.  I will have a table too so stop and say hello!
Now put away part of that paycheck of yours to buy something out of the ordinary for someone this holiday season – Buy local art!    100_6504re

(pictured is a cup I will have for sale featuring my photograph, “lee’s alien dinner”)

Another one bit the dust! Went up to check traps and one held a bounty – YES!  Tonight I will be listening for the pitter of little feet. I did call Massey for a free inspection, ‘guestimating’  how much do I estimate the service will be? Over $300 for the pest control and traps are ala carte — will let you know what the estimate is. Tomorrow I will put aluminum mesh over my plumbing stacks so things cannot get in and out. I don’t want to say I have won until I hear no running above me. Hopefully no weaned babies are up there.  So for now, I reset the Victor traps and let them sit in waiting. From my results, those traps are instant death!   100_6369re
Since the daylight savings time went into effect, it has affected my sleep, I wake earlier, but go to bed the same. I have become lethargic around 10am, and have had to nap an hour for the past two days. This is not how I operate.
This morning I was up by 5:15am and of course it was actually getting light. I opened the back door and heard the heron close by wailing. He was sitting in one of my pines.
022re It actually stayed until after 8:30am. The cranes flew over for an early birdseed breakfast.  DSC04207-1re While I went out and cleared my lakefront of weeds. The water is going down so I can pull in some of the stuff clogging the shore line.   100_6371re And maybe soon, that area can look like the part I was able to clear further along the lake.  The weeds are locked together like webbing and pull in in blocks.
100_6373re You can see from this picture where my neighbor’s property still has the weeds next door.
The cranes came along and thought my weed pile was a play pile and pulled weeds out and tossed them about, dancing and jumping, they had a great time and I enjoyed watching them.
The baby had an itch  034re – the heron stayed out of their way safely in the tree.
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That’s it so far on the Rat Wars,  Victor can call me any time for an endorsement…

100_6142re Taken at Horstmeyer’s in Sanford

Well…I put the boombox with Helter Skelter from Across the Universe on the house side attic opening and Adam had a Halloween tape with cats screaming and people screaming and we blasted, and…. nothing, frigging nothing. I walked around the perimeter of the roof, didn’t see a thing. So I took the leaf blower up in the attic, left it on it’s side for 5 minutes  —  and that’s the new mission, DISORIENT DISORIENT DISORIENT!  I figure that blower blasts at decibles much higher than the boom box, (don’t worry, I plugged my ears.) I’m wondering if I do this several times a day, will it disorient them and make those critters leave???  One of us is going to be disoriented by the time this is through and yes, I have traps up there and thank Julius for his genius idea of knotting fishing line on the traps so the animals can’t run somewhere with the trap attached, Thanks Julius. Now Bobbo on the other hand felt that since I like fishing, I should give up my regular fishing time and put bread and peanut butter on the end of a hook and cast out into the bowels of the attic and wait and see.  Naw, not happening Bobbo, not missing my outdoor fishing for indoor rodent wrestling.
Well, the traps are set, I will continue to blast off the blower at weird times and see what happens… Is this how we lost Osama to the mountains? What if the rodents headed for my walls, maybe the neo-con strategy is really a lose-lose situation,  Meanwhile…

Yesterday my buddy Dee-dee and I went to Horstmeyers in Sanford, I had never even heard of it, so we drove over and what a super nice weed and feed kind of store.
100_6152re They have a ton of horse tack and horse supplies, lots of seeds, hay, and even live chicks. The help was nice and the place is very clean and appealing.  Here’s some photos –  100_6147
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100_6139-1re So if you need some pet supplies, tractor supplies, a saddle, chickens and even baby ducks and bunnies in season, fertilizer, local honey,  head on downtown to Sanford and enjoy the ambiance over there, it’s like being in the country somewhere up north!

We continued down toward the marina looking for wildlife and say the usual characters near the marina,  100_6167re 100_6157re The ducks came right toward the truck like they were getting roadside service. There was one yacht decorated for Halloween.
100_6184re ummm, wonder what made the water swirl to the left of the boat. I saw my favorite duck I will call “Blago” with his great hairline
100_6163re

We noticed a bus sitting along the river that said Stirfrytv.com on the side and the same dog on the bus was on a leash outside the bus, I looked it up at home and it is a goofy news spoof channel.  100_6155re

But the cutest thing that made us both laugh was a man wheeling around his four terriers in the back of a homemade cart attached to his bike as he rode them around and they seemed to love it, so I leave you with better creatures than I began with…
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Ran by the zoo Thursday looking for crows. Did not see one, but here’s what I saw:

DSC03702-1re The leopard wasn’t panting today, just looked board as when I saw him last.  DSC03700-1re One of the elephants was still in her stall, the other one came out to greet me.
DSC03720-1re The tortoises were kept apart by a fence because he is a bit too amorous all the time. They look like they miss being together. Both are 50 years old and can live for 200 years!   DSC03726re The keeper came in with food and he scratched her back and she just loved it! I did too, she looked so happy.
DSC03730-1re The emus always look at you like they judge you.  The kangaroos always look so lazy, didn’t even take a picture. The cheetahs could not be seen, they were still in their den.  DSC03734-2re The porcupines were quill to quill in their dream state. Even the goat was sound asleep.  DSC03810-1re But some kids came with food and he perked up.  DSC03809re The Llama just peered over top of his barn window and decided I was not worthy of his presence.
The reptiles were more active, well not the alligator,  DSC03738re he slept in the sun with a hat of greenery.  The lizards were busy.  DSC03778-2re
DSC03741re DSC03757re DSC03740re DSC03764-3re

Then I went to get french fries because I love their fries, but they did not have any made up, so

had to settle for a pretzel instead. It attracted the grackles which were everywhere, but still no crows at all.   DSC03779-1re DSC03788-1re DSC03806-3res

The grackles and I ate the pretzel and I headed on back to the car. There was an adorable marmoset out on a leash, but all it was doing was sleeping, her name is Judy,
DSC03820-2re Oh well, I’m sure if I had gone to the Walmart parking lot, I would have found some crows, but there’s always another day to catch crows. I do enjoy the zoo, especially when I have it to myself like I did early Thursday morning, even if most of the animals were still sleeping.

It’s been a little while, but really have been waiting for the heat to subside. The birds have been hardly coming, everything is just rather worn out by this heat. last night was supposed to be the beginning of a cold front touching down to bring some relief.  100_5643re The fishing is lousy because of the mooching turtles. The fish are not biting like they were over a year ago. The bass have retreated somewhere though Ringo and I relentless keep our eyes on all activity that stirs the surface.  100_5645-1re Today started sunny hot and humid, all week it has been high 90’s. The cranes flew in  DSC03487-1re to make their presence known
DSC03516-3re DSC03512-1re DSC03526re As usual they did
a rain dance

rain dance

The flowers seem tired too, we all need a change.  DSC03564re DSC03566re DSC03559re But they always manage to still color the yard.
5758re 100_5751re 100_5764re

The day clouded up and got to a cool 87 degrees, so that was about 10 degrees cooler than it has been.  They said big rains were coming with this cold front, but only a short period of just droplets came and that was it. We ended up with a rainbow hardly visible.  But still nothing that remotely felt cool. So still waiting for our big Fall to fall.

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DSC02747re This is exactly how it looked at around 7am. I have not re-touched it at all, the day began as a red one, now it is going from pinks and blues, to blue and vanilla. Gotta get gardening before the vampire sun comes up to get me.  The cranes came for their seed and I noticed when I came out to take a photo, the shadow of the baby was on the body of the mother.
DSC02753-1re

8:28am, I have washed my hands literally of weeding and trimming, so much more to do! But I got a nice reward, the blue girl roses are in bloom and smell so sweet  DSC02752re.

Tonight the clouds settled in and they were thick, I didn’t see the moon till it got higher over the lake,  DSC02767re It was beautiful. I watched it go through the clouds as it moved higher.  DSC02784re DSC02799-1re DSC02803-1re

It is just a beautiful sight as the moon moves in orbit.  Tomorrow it will happen once more. I will of course be watching.
I am working on “ab”-stractions, my way of making crappy photos I take into abstracts – here’s a few samples,  obstacletosleep-1res 8909cattoys-2re DSC02535-3re

It’s a lot of fun – what will become of them? Some will be used on exhibit, some will get trashed – but some bad photos turn into new art, and what the heck is wrong with recycling?

It was time for my daughter’s cats to get shaved again, I had to go over and wait as the mobile cat shaver did his clipping.
Now, I have three cats, one of them is a real cat, the other two are luxury items like my daughter has.
Ringo, RingoandRaccoon71209-1res epitomizes ‘Catdom’. He is the real cat, he hunts and eats his kill, he challenges raccoons, possums and even dogs much bigger than he is. Ringo’s personality is larger than life, he thinks he is a full blown lion and acts like one. 72709RingomeetshismatchB-1res

Ringo plays with snakes for entertainment, My daughters cats play with battery operated mice. My other two cats, Frank and Sealy, 000_0874res have been with us 17 years, they like being indoors, cuddling and finding a good place to sleep around the house. Not Ringo, he likes it outside and doesn’t even mind getting wet.

He is the boss of the neighborhood, has been for about 8 years. Everyone knows Ringo. He belonged to my neighbors next door. When I moved in with three cats, Ringo decided he fit right in and adopted my porch as his too. When Ringo’s folks moved away, Ringo ended up staying here. I have chronicled the details before.  Ringo for some reason terrorizes the cats next door, they call Ringo “psycho kitty”, but getting back to my story, neither Ringo nor my other two cats have ever needed grooming, (though I do brush them from time to time.) The luxury cats my daughter has are beautiful rescued Persians, they are her children and are treated as such, no, I would say they are treated like royalty. They might as well have their own silverware because they have everything else.  Cats like these are good for the economy, they have every cat toy there is and if you go back and read older posts, they have lots of cat condos too. They also require cat groomers, they keep people in business. I love it though after the cats are shaved, they feel wonderful, soft as anything, like Chinchilla!  This is sweet Coco before being shaved:  DSC01918re
and this is her after:  DSC02235re She doesn’t mind being shaved at all. Not Musa, he hates it, I think he was Sampson in another life –  Musa before:  DSC02119re DSC02239mus1re

Musa, is very mad when his hair is gone, and he is less of a bully to his two female companions. As for Lola, she is so adorable and loves loves loves being brushed,  DSC02114re, so as long as you brush little Miss Prissy, she is happy with or without hair, except when I tried to take a photo of her , she bolted upstairs under the bed, thinking I was going to make her get shaved again.  DSC02243re
You wonder why go through the trauma? Persians get so matted and throw up a lot of furballs and hair floats all over the place even when you vacuum a lot. These cats are luxurious, pussy cats. Not Ringo, he’s a cat, he  would probably fight someone tooth and nail if they tried shaving him!  71809ringoyawn-2re So where am I going? The cat-egories don’t really matter do they?  Anyway you look at it, they are all loved unconditionally and that’s the truth.
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Back to nature! Today was a slow day of wildlife. It was hot, sauna like 90’s, a quick burn if you go out for any length of time. Last night my neighbor Sonja and I went to go see the art walk in Sanford, they had terrific art at several locations, it was nice and crowded and made you feel that Sanford is pulling together the community for these great venues. I had nothing on display, but Sanford is having monthly Juried shows so when they have one that is related to nature, I’ll enter.
This morning outside there were very few birds, but a lot of dragon flies and butterflies. From my desk I saw a few and ran outside to take a few pics.  DSC02005re This zebra longwings was extremely beat up and shredded. It actually flew very slowly from all the rips and tears in it’s wings, but flew with a purpose.  DSC02010-1res It was actually interesting to watch as it seemed to be moving in slow motion.  I saw lots of different butterflies, but they were too quick. I did see a dragonfly that landed on a branch near the back door, but the Sony could not focus on it with the wind blowing the branch, so I went in and got the old Kodak. It is a sure bet with that camera.  100_5139-1re Though the quality of the Sony DSLR is better.
Flowers were wilting all over, I did get a canna lily,  DSC01995re and crepe myrtle is just beginning to bud and bloom, DSC01998re My lemons are huge and I am going to have a nice little harvest when they finally ripen.  DSC01999-3res DSC02000re
The blue jays came out later and this one was especially beautiful.
Of course later I came out to go fishing, the water was dead calm and of course, the damn turtles were everywhere I went from one end of the property to the other, they love that bread on the hook.  000_0350res 000_0359re at one point I looked down and it almost looked like a turtle was swimming through the clouds.  I counted six turtles, four softshells and two sliders.  I did catch one bream, threw it back. And looked up and noticed that the heron was on an island in the middle of lake,  000_0353-1 He was big. like the male that has been building the nests for the past 4 years, so I assumed it was him. And when I threw the bream back and the heron flew over to the yard next door, that signaled to me that this was the male who will eventually come over and stand beside me when I do catch fish. I didn’t catch anything else, but the sky was gorgeous, there was just one large cloud in the sky that changed colors and had such a beautiful shape to it.  000_0370re The planes flew too close over head,   000_0351re and there were many woodpeckers all over trying to contact each other.  000_0354re The weather will change and soon the herons will be back building their nests.  I am hoping this heron will be coming back each night now.  ringos blues-2re Ringo did not fish with me tonight, he stayed in the garage, I am wondering if he too thinks there is a squirrel or rat or mouse in the attic after hearing footsteps near my desk. I put the ladder down to the attic so Ringo could go on a hunt if he feels like it. I am confident if something is there, Ringo is my pet removal service.
Right now as I write this we are having a nice little thunderstorm which is much needed as my poor plants were wilting today.  DSC02011moonre Earlier the half moon was out and I marked on the calendar that October 3,4,5,6 should be all harvest moons, you know I will be taking photos and I so hope it will be over the lake when it rises next week.
I hope it will cool off enough that more wildlife will be coming out to capture on film. The marina is devoid of much diversity, and as for Carbs the muscovy duck, have not seen him in weeks. The BOBs were here earlier, but have not seen Pekin ducks in a while. And that’s Saturday around here, for now, I am enjoying the storm, hoping for more water in the lake as soon it will be our dryer season, so it’s good to have the lake up.
Have not heard any footsteps above my head, so maybe Ringo got whatever it was, might have to do a check tomorrow and if anything is dead in the attic, will let ya know… Sleep tight.
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Today I went over to Petsmart in Casselberry, Florida where RAIN, Rescuing Animals In Need, a 501(c) Corp. had some of their animals on display for people to adopt. DSC01770res They had an assortment of cats and dogs, dogs both small and big who need new homes. RAIN volunteers foster many rescued animals they get  from people giving up their pets to rescuing pets from the streets and from shelters that have animals ready to be euthanized.
They take care to observe the animals first and get their shots and tests like feline leukemia, and heartworm updated. All adopted animals are neutered before adoption. You have to always admire these people for going all out to help animals find a loving home.  Here are a few of the photos of pets available for adoption. ANd you can contact them at 407-620-9736, or go on their website http://www.rescuinganimalsinneed.org
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The people at Animal Welfare Alliance of Central Florida have a wonderful founder and activist named Gloria Wade. She has been working with animals and looking out for their rights for years. She and volunteer, Gail Nagin, (who had just come from protesting the Greyhound conditions at the racetrack,) are both trying hard to get a ‘high volume, low cost” spay and neuter clinic for central Florida, one that only specializes in neutering because having animals sterilized is needed badly to discourage this overrun of the dog and cat population. That has to be a priority and hopefully it will be a dream realized.  Gloria had with her a “Chain of Colors”, each link representing a dog or cat euthanized in one Central Florida shelter.
100_4877-1res This link represents a Siberian Husky put to death because someone did not have the space for him, each link has a story, and there are over 5000 of them. Gloria
showed them to me with much sadness that so many animals have to be put to sleep because they are unwanted which is her reason for helping people have a low cost spay/neuter clinic.
100_4875-2res DSC01781-1res visit  http://www.awacf1.org both groups are reaching out for your help, if you can, take an animal home and give it the love and attention it deserves, that is a great reward to all these volunteers who open their hearts for animals in need.  Contact AWACF about helping fund the clinic and RAIN  for any of the animals in the photos, and they have plenty more cats and dogs in need of a home, if you are looking for love, try looking here.

On Wednesday I had to run by a storefront I had seen before, but had not entered. That would be HobbyTown USA right next to BooksAMillion in the shopping center behind Seminole Towne Center Mall. What drew me in was the train model village in the window. I had to have a look after being with the ‘big guns’ over at Amtrak.
I wish these photos would do it justice, but the display is elaborate! The detail and time spent getting this set up must have been pretty tedious. There are details in this small scale set that include a fireman rescuing a cat in a tree.  The water fall, the landscape, just amazing. The whole display belongs to the owner of the store and the employee said it was very old.
The place itself has all types of hobby items from airplanes, to cars, to paint supplies. It is very orderly and well stocked. Kids must love it, especially the miniature car racing track. Have a look:
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DSC01641re DSC01637res This is no flat display, it has hills and valleys, a big dip where the water falls, this took a lot of planning. There were train sets of different scales and all the accessories too.  Anyone with children might want to check it out, and that includes adult children who have hobbies, like the model airplanes with motors – it looked like a lot of fun was just waiting to be had!  Here’s their link:  http://hobbytown.com/flsan
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DSC01653re So grab your spouse, child, grandchild, neice, nephew, neighbor and have a look. Gotta be something there of interest!

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Amazing how fast the years go by – it’s already 8 years since 911. I watched the whole historical footage on the Today show with Katie Couric – it still evokes the same emotions, I got goose bumps and choked up watching that second plane hit. Published two old poems written years ago after 911, they are on http://abberantverse.wordpress.com
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It is also my late sister’s birthday, the whole family misses her dynamic personality, her warmth and love.  That’s me front in blue and her behind me in white, (and cousin to right). In the bottom shot, she is in the front, I’m behind. We were always close, she was the ultimate best friend and ‘confidente’!  So it is a day to remember I don’t have her here anymore and miss her bunches.
It was a good day to escape the confines of this ‘BOX’ I am enslaved to and go to the marina and enjoy the view.
I stopped by Veterans Memorial Park and saw someone had put red roses near the flagpole.
100_4468res It added color to the rather blue day.  I was the only one there. It was so very empty.  The wind driven water was really whipping up against the sea wall.
100_4478res As I drove up to the duck pond, I could see a number of birds standing in the shade of the trees. I pulled up and could tell right away, these birds are used to getting fed!   
I’m sure they were disappointed that I did not come armed with bread.
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I always enjoy seeing the different colors on the pigeons and cross breedings of the mallards.
Again, there was not one muscovy duck up there. Forgot to mention that Carbs has also been gone four days now. I assume he will show up again soon. The Band of Brothers has been coasting around the lake lately.
Back by The Palms, the birds and ducks were all quietly sitting in the shade. Did not see any crows, but did view a few grackles.  100_4438res 100_4446res
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I came home after watching the waves for about ten minutes.  It was very calming.
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I came away with a nice sense of peacefulness.
I stopped by my friend Sonja’s.  She told me that her chimney had been struck by lightning. I guess because trees cover part of her house when I fish, that I didn’t notice it. So I had to go take a few pictures.   100_4406res Her pergola too had wood missing from the porch where the chimney had collapsed on top of the beams. She has work to get done. It affected some of her electric too.  So I guess knowing that her house is just acres away, was struck by a bolt, I won’t sneak out during those random thunderstorms to film.
And back at home, what is the best remedy for the 911 blues? Brownies! Warm brownies packed with a cut up Snickers Bar! So long for today –

The day began with the titmouse banging into my window again as I sat paying bills and looking for art opportunities around town as I write an art submission blog, http://art4submission.blogspot.com So feel free to take a look and see if there is an opportunity for you.  100_3696res
I did finally grab Adam and head for the Drivers License Bureau to change a title which will double in price after September 1st. We know they have to make money somehow. That was a two and 1/2 hour wait! Actually we took our number, and then ran a few errands and came back.
It was slammed!
Finally we headed downtown to pic up my enlargement from Roger McNichols of RT Art. He lives in a wonderful older neighborhood downtown and has artists traipsing in and out all day and night picking up their work. He and his wife Trish have massive equipment, he dry mounts, stretches canvas, giclees,  uses textured paper or whatever you want, he can probably do.
http://www.rt-art.com
Right on his street was a beautiful fountain, and I mean on the street literally.  DSC00725res It looked very European down Washington Ave.
Adam and I drove toward home and I told him we would stop and look around Lake Lily for some wildlife, usually I see turtles and birds. We had passed several lakes earlier and saw nothing.
We passed all the new condo/shops near Lee Rd.  100_3714-2res WOW, they really looked good, (and I improved them with color and filters as they would look in Abbesworld).
We parked near the lake and began to explore when suddenly Adam was surrounded by faces and beaks that were all works of art! (have a few larger views at   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com
100_3717res Adam looked like he was in the middle of a new Sy-fi  movie- Zombie Bloodsucking Ducks. They are used to getting food from people, and what happens if they don’t get their way? …They just waddle away
We actually smiled all the way around the lake at face after painted face, each with such unique markings – I love the Muscovys. But, I don’t need to tell you, like a good writer I need to “show and don’t tell”…
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DSC00764 copy DSC00780-1 DSC00788res When we got back in the car, all we could think of was how happy Carbs would be if he lived here! No band of brothers, (BOBs), the mean mallards who always chase him off. We wondered if we could kidnap Carbs and throw a box over him and take him to this park??? Carbs is not like these ducks, he is still very shy of people. I am not able to get too close to him, even when I feed him some birdseed and bread, he waits till I am about ten feet away before he will come to eat. If only he knew we were doing it so he could be so happy and never again have to worry about being chased off.  We plotted ways in the car. I think we need a big net and a box – ummm, it’s something to think about, kidnapping a duck for his well being.  Just tonight I saw the BOBs chase him and peck him as he hurried away through the neighbors yard. It breaks your heart because Carbs is so happy until the mean mallards come and dominate him. We did not witness one incident of a duck bossing another one at Lake Lily. The egrets were bossy, but not any of the muscovys we saw.  Carb’s wings just don’t work or I’d map quest a direction and tape it to his wing and send him off. And, it is way too far for his flappy, yellow feet to carry him.  What shall we do? Stay tuned and don’t quack about this too loudly until we deducked the situation. I have a feeling I will dream of things like strapping him with a remote set of wings, or hitching him to a kite, or even dreaming of him with wings that hold the power of the wind. I can’t wait to go to bed and dream in deep Rem of muscovy art and Carbs being in the land where he can conduck his life with no fear of the BOBs!  41409BOB&ElvisC-1res The BOBs with Elvis in March. Elvis flew away and have not seen him since…
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Today I walked out to feed the birds and Carbs was gone. I wondered if the BOBs had chased him away. The yard was busy, especially down by the lake where many many dragonflies and bees flew all over the yellow blooms down by the stump of my fallen oak. In fact so many bees were there pollinating, the air was humming.  DSC00669resbee
The fungi growing in the wet grass even looked happily like a cute couple. DSC00664res

The cranes flew over and the baby was quite intimidated by the step-father crane who kept bullying him. The baby would fluff all up and crouch with it’s head  down when it was near the male.  82709babycranefluff-4-1res It knows to try and stay away from that dominant beak.

A titmouse was continually banging itself against my window. DSC00680res I will go into that in a day or two. The butterflies were all over the place, DSC00692 copy 4 DSC00652res and the roses were young and tender.  DSC00687res
The brown thrasher was the bossy bird this morning. DSC00704res The bird was happily having fun splashing and cooling off.
82609thrasherinbathA-1res DSC00551res and then a dove decided it was it’s turn to get wet .  DSC00705res The thrasher was wildly twisting and jumping and I suppose the dove thought it looked like such fun, it decided to join the thrasher.  Except the thrasher wanted no part of sharing the bird bath and screamed at the dove and sent the dove flying off. The thrasher fly up on top of the feeder.
Finally it ate enough seed and flew off. DSC00504res
I ran out to my Free lunch at Don Pablos. I won the free lunch for 4 by putting my business card in a bowl about two weeks ago. 100_3688res I took my good artist friends who have been so helpful and nice to me, Pam, Judy and Leslie. The service was great and the conversation too. Judy, Pam, and Leslie are always inspiring to listen too, always have irons in the fire. Leslie is a published writer who should have another book out sometime soon. She writes about film, (movies) and does a very detailed and thorough job of research, she also writes poetry and reads it at local venues. Pam has been juried into many shows, I think she said 8 or 9 this year alone, her infrared photography is a standout. Judy has a super group, she started the Womens Caucus for Art branch here in Orlando and really took pains in getting it to a non profit status. So I am the slacker of the group, well, actually I have one piece, a photo I did of Jimmy Hendrix, to be put on display for a month as part of an interior design show downtown. Tomorrow I have to go pick up the work at RT Art. Just one email and Roger said he’d have it for me so I could get it framed this weekend, that’s service!  sales@RT-Art.com
On the 8th of September, I will have 3 pieces at the Gateway in Debary for a month. So things are not that bad for s struggling artist getting her feet wet just like that brown thrasher, enjoying the exposure, lost in her abandon of the arts and the wonderful natural view in front of her window…
P/S, carbs came back and is still here…

Carbs has been so happy the past days.  DSC07636res He sits near the shore and primps and when he gets hot, he sleeps under the lemon tree. Life was good, but last night the ‘ BOBs’
DSC00270res showed up with the Pekins.  Carbs had already taken to the lake and was peddling those webbed feet as fast as he could to get away from them. I didn’t think I would see him this morning, but there he was.  There were no more sightings of the BOBS all day. Only lots of the regular birds and lots of butterflies.
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and there was so much activity down near the lake. lots of bees pollinating the yellow blooms off something that has grown where my old downed tree fell. All kinds of bees, big and little and the little ones were not shy about harassing the big ones.  81909-2bees-1res Every time I go out in the back, I have my camera ready, and usually I am not disappointed.
Adam and I cleaned out the garage a bit this afternoon. Man oh man, he could have a video store in our garage. Little by little he is getting rid of his old videos.
I got up and cleaned out the gutters in the front. I found it was clogged and had to unhook part of the gutter and find where the clog was. Glad I did that before we do have a hurricane or tropical storm that really soaks us. At least Bill is not coming here, can’t say we even miss him. No one even seems in hurricane mode, it is always an inconvenience. I do keep two of my hurricane plywood pieces up, one on the side of the house at the garage and the other in Adam’s window because it has been painted to look like a horse in a barn looking out and the neighbors like it.
Cross your fingers that the rest of the season is flatlined.
After dinner I went to fish and the BOBS showed up again as I was fishing. Carbs saw them and went for the water, because if they get him on land with his defective wings, Carbs is not fast enough and the BOBS over take Carbs and bite and harass him. In the water Carbs is fast.
The Bobs came swimming over when they spotted Carbs, but Carbs swam away and they didn’t even go after him. They let Carbs go. I was glad. The Pekin ducks had changed a bit since becoming BOB members, they have yellowed on their undersides. But they look very happy with their mean mallards.  They like those bad boy ducks.
100_3415res 100_3413-1res Fishing sucked, too many begging turtles, and the fish are not biting. The trees sound like alarms after 8pm, the crickets are very vocal and highly orchestrated!
Tomorrow, another hotter than Hell day – but, I’m not complaining – any day without a hurricane aiming at you is a good day.

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