Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On The Road Again

No quote.....brain is dead.
No witty sayings.... too tired.
Just moving... always moving... this time moving Nyssa back to Mississippi for grad school.
I am off to bed... a 1AM alarm set and I will likely be out of pocket until August 8th... unless there is a miracle and great service with internet in Starkville...I won't hold my breath though.
So, it's "On the road again.........."

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Chameleon

American goldfinch, Carduelis tristis
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"It is the color closest to light. In its utmost purity it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful, serene, gently stimulating character. Hence, experience teaches us that yellow makes a thoroughly warm and comforting impression. With yellow the eye rejoices, the heart expands, the spirit is cheered and we immediately feel warmed. Many people feel an inclination to laugh when looking through a yellow glass." ~ Johann von Goethe, Theory of Colors, 1840
I learned something this year... actually, I've learned quite a few things this year... such as, how to set a toilet, how to scrape up floor tile, how to spackle, how to prepare a concrete floor for painting, how to re-upholster chairs.. you get my drift and I am drifting.

Anyway, we've (Mom, the cats and I) been birdwatching for several years now and each spring the yellow finch (goldfinch) show up and devour several pounds of thistle seed, providing the cats with hours of intense entertainment. These birds have been greyish brown with bits of yellow shading on their heads or about the wing. At the old place in Virginia Beach, they would feed for several weeks and then disappear for the summer and make another appearance in late fall. I always wondered where they went.

Well, it seems that the Virginia Beach finch takes his summer vacation, not at the beach, but here in Chesapeake. This invites the question.. where do the Chesapeake finch spend their summers... at the beach... literally? The local Wild Birds Unlimited shared this tidbit. The more fascinating observation, however, occurred in late May... suddenly it seemed, these fairly drab and tiny birds showed up at the thistle stash sporting blindingly bright yellow feathers. This intense yellow deepened the contrast with their black wing markings. Were these different birds, perhaps from North Carolina or parts more distant? Probably not.

These yellow finch (goldfinch) are chameleons. During mating season (summer), the male's feathers change color, becoming this bright dazzling hue... break out the sunglasses! In nature, it sometimes takes a lot to snare a mate! This made me wonder.... how often or how much does the male of the human species change in order to find his mate? I decided it was a moot point.... you see, when the mating season is over, these bright little males change right back into the mousy gray-brown feather coat they had in early spring. In my experience... humans tend to do the same.

Submission for Thursday Challenge topic "yellow".

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

If We Could Talk To The Animals....

....would we learn how silly we look to them?
Judging by the look this fellow gave me... I think so!
(Click picture to enlarge)
Posted by Picasa
"In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself." ~ Albert Einstein
"Oh! Hello! Just taking a picture of the fascinating windmill on the pivoting base with the Dutch architectural influence, that sits right in the middle of your fenced pasture here in Williamsburg! What's that? You don't really care?! Oh, but you should.... what with all this history right around you. Oh! Right! You're most interested in the next meal or perhaps wondering when you will be sheared next... Yes, hope it IS before those 95 degree summer days! No, I really didn't call you over here. No, I really don't have anything special for you to eat. OK. I'll just be on my way!"

"But... before I go, could I just snap a picture of your handsome face... you see.. Carmi has a weekly themed project and this week it is "animals". Why would I want to include you? Well... er.... you see.... you ARE one!"

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two For The Price Of One

Black shutters pop on this colonial home...(Colonial Williamsburg)
(click pictures to enlarge)
"Without black, no color has any depth. But if you mix black with everything, suddenly there's shadow - no, not just shadow, but fullness. You've got to be willing to mix black into your palette if you want to create something that's real." ~ Amy Grant
I love how the texture of the wood shows up, even with the dark black paint. They took such care to build the shutters with the angled boards to make a pleasant design. I think this window is what inspired me to paint the shutters on my parent's house a similar black, before we put it on the market... it sold in less than two months!

Does he know how elegant he looks? I think so! (Muscovy duck) Posted by Picasa
"I fell in love with black; it contained all color. It wasn't a negation of color... Black is the most aristocratic color of all... You can be quiet, and it contains the whole thing." ~ Louise Nevelson
I put two totally different pictures in this post because I loved them both and since I've been late in getting these up, was afraid Anna's "black" project would be ending. This fellow thought he was the king of the lake as he strutted his black plumage around. Up close he proved the color black to be a compilation of all color as his feathers had a purple sheen in one light and a dark green in another and still a touch of blue as well. Again, the contrast of another bright color against the black, makes it all the more alluring and mysterious.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beautiful Reserve

Dwarf beginnings. Posted by Picasa
"One of the most attractive things about the flowers is their beautiful reserve." ~ Henry David Thoreau
I am slowly trying to plant in the front flowerbeds; easy care flowers that will eventually provide color from the early spring well into the late fall. I found these dwarf lilies at the local garden center, not yet in bloom, so the spectacular colors were quite the surprise as they opened. And they are great subjects for the macro lens that Stephen gave me for my birthday. I love how stately lilies are, so regal and serene... of course the recent rain and residual droplets of water don't hurt either!

My first entry for a LensDay in ages... this week's subject is "flower".
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Standing Guard

Black pickets standing guard around a bit of history. Colonial Williamsburg. Posted by Picasa
"There is an undeniable virtue to a true black; allowing the brain to be mesmerized and pulling the pupils deep into that unfound but sensed abyss." ~ Jamie Lavin
This is the real thing... the old fashioned wrought iron fence...not aluminum but heavy iron. It's old... surrounding an historic home in Colonial Williamsburg. Perhaps it needs a new touch of paint.... see the tiny patch of color? Mauve or perhaps a touch of rust?

This week I have been converting a white enameled wrought iron twin sized bed into a black enameled wrought iron twin sized bed... you know, something that is a bit less "little girl". In two weeks, we will be loading all the furnishings we have obtained from Craig's list, the local thrift shop and various garage sales (and then completely refurbished with more elbow grease than money)... and be off for a fabulous and fun-filled sixteen or more hour drive to Mississippi. (OH JOY!) She will have her first apartment and begins her graduate work in meteorology at Mississippi State. (I just re-read this and did I get off topic or what?!!!)

The point I started to make was that I have a can of black enamel paint left and I could just squirt a bit on that patch and ... voilá.... it's fixed! Anyway, another example of the color "black" for Anna's current project.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Hidden In Black

Yellow-green eyes hidden in a deep dark furry swirl of black.
"There's something about black. You feel hidden away in it." ~ Georgia O'Keeffe
This cat had a rough life before she met up with my cousin in Atlanta. Then her fortune changed. Kenny persuaded his brother Bob to take her and another orphan to his home in Indiana. It wasn't long before they realized that she was pregnant.... so now there are five. We must all have the cat gene in some form or other because these little gray and black waifs pulled Bob in with their antics and individual personalities. No more roaming or having to scrap for food for this girl....who ever said that black cats were unlucky?

We missed the ark and the carnival this week, but Anna is doing a "Project Black" and while we are again late in posting... better late than never!

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