4.23.2011

New Creation

(Taken at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden 4/14/11)

You should double-click this photo and get the full effect of Spring Tulips.

Go full size! It's amazing!
These beautiful colors, right out of the cold, dead-looking dirt!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold all things have become new!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

Happy Resurrection Day!

4.21.2011

Gasp - Plink - Scurry

arachnophobia

I have it.

So when I looked up from the computer and saw this:
!!!!!!!!

Thank God Above, it was on the OUTSIDE of the screen, and NOT in my house.
I cranked open the window and plinked this guy over the sidewalk, all the way out into the grass! I was victorious for about two seconds, until he came scurrying back across the sidewalk, toward the house.

I'm waiting for him to find his way into our home, and scare me witless.
It's just that spidery time of year.

(Just for a little TMI related to spiders --- I found a tick in my pants during the thunderstorms a couple of nights ago. Even if the wind, hail and lightning wouldn't have kept me awake, every tiny, wiggly itch required investigation after that discovery.)

4.18.2011

The Lunch Crowd

They're gone!
I'm missing these big boys from the Birdfeeder Crowd that meets outside my kitchen sink windowsill every day. Also missing are the dark-eyed junco, hairy woodpeckers, and the nuthatches.

The (fickle) robins are back to stay for the season, and so are the showy oriels, but they won't be visiting the feeder. I've been seeing red-winged blackbirds though, mucking around in the birdseed, and a cowbird or two. Maybe, just maybe, an indigo bunting will stop by for a free meal. I'm looking forward to it!

4.08.2011

Touchstones


My maternal grandparents were very dear to me. They raised a small family on their dairy farm in central Kentucky. There wasn't a huge estate to pass on to their children, although they did leave a rich inheritance.
The Last Supper hangs in our dining room, and reminds me of them and of those many times we had around their table in The Farm Days. It's really just a cheap, fragile hanging, but it connects me with memories that are priceless. You see, Grandma didn't switch up the decorations or move anything around. Once she acquired something she liked, she placed it and it stayed. After all, there were more pressing issues to deal with on the farm than redecorating. By neglecting those 'improvements', simple household objects were transformed into touchstones of permanence and memory for her family.

I was allowed to have this Last Supper picture after both of my grandparents had passed away. There are many other touchstones that went out to family members as treasures: the spoon jar, a tiny bookcase with books that never changed - Grandpa's going-to-town hat, a generous cane bottomed rocking chair, the fruit bowl picture, the sewing basket ...

In the constant ebb of our home, I'm trying to follow her example and leave a few things exactly where they are. For good.

4.06.2011

Flying Hunks


I'm not finished with the zoo photos yet!

Why are the sea lions so hard to find at the zoo? Off by themselves, shoved into a corner.
Finally a warm day to bask in the sun...this guy never moved while we were there.

Flamingos --- so PINK and noisy! Can't imagine how this one seemed to be so peacefully dozing with all the squawking going on.

This disgruntled guy was in a zoo hospital room - doesn't he just look peeved? Check out his eensy, tiny cast with the smiley face:

And my favorites, the gorillas, were out for sport! We got to see the almost-a-silverback gorilla beating up on the much smaller tween (it happens everywhere, folks), until THIS big daddy got up and put a stop to all the nonsense.
You'd better believe I was 'alert', cause doesn't he just look like he's thinking about it?
(I think we all know that really means 'clumps of poo', right?
Watch out for flying hunks of poo!
Zoo signage could be so much more engaging...)

4.04.2011

Zoo (Love)

A sure way to get out of books for the day here at our homeschool? No fail? Ask for a day at the zoo. Answer: Yes! There's always something amazing to see, lots of great stuff to read, tons to learn, just in observation.

When we go for a field trip, there's always a 'hunt'. Recently, the items on the list were:
1. a declarative sentence
2. an imperative sentence
3. in interrogative sentence
4. an exclamatory sentence
5. a historic fact
6. two words for the spelling list
7. two photos each of acute angles,
obtuse angles, and right angles

Whoever finds the item does NOT have to record it - but the other hunters do! This greatly motivates the searchers and turns the whole thing into a friendly race.

video

The declarative sentence was taken from the sign describing these Siamang apes. It's terribly romantic, I think...
"Male and female pairs duet to strengthen their bond and defend their territory."