Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Looking at the smaller world...

I sometimes stop and take the time to look at God's creation from a micro scale.  If you focus up close you can see some really interesting things that we realize are right under our feet.  If  you get down on their level a new world is revealed.

 Joanie planted some pansies a month or so ago.  I think I have seen people with these same expressions.
One of the rules of photography I like to break is shooting into the sun especially when capturing images of nature.  You get to see the luminescence of living things. 
 This ground cover plant mixed in with the grass looks as if it has tiny flowers.

This guy has been hanging around for the last several weeks.  He looks like a giant bumble bee but is a hoverfly. Some of these are excellent mimics of bumblebees but are considered a fly since they only have one set of wings.  I think he likes looking at the pansies.
 
 
 
On another note, Joanie and I have been experiencing some health issues.  I guess it is all part of the aging process.  As I write this, I am waiting to hear back from the doctor's nurse concerning a rash of some kind that may or may not be due to some new medications I started taking and you know of the reaction I had about a month ago.  I have never been allergic to anything but now - boom!
 
 Close to Home by John McPherson.
 


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hey, it's gonna' rain...

I washed the beast today so you can expect it to rain soon. Man, am I tired!  But I climbed up on the roof and washed it white and didn't fall off - always a good thing. I didn't take any selfies while I was up there - concentrating too hard so as not to fall off.
I waited until all the pine pollen was finished bombarding us.




Juniper guards her dinner until after Lobo eats his.  I  don't know what this is about...

Did I say I was tired?
 
 Joanie takes good care of me - A Greek omelet for dinner - fresh spinach, mushrooms and feta cheese.  Fresh sliced tomatoes and for dessert, home made apple pie!
 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Family Time...

We drove down the coast to Wilmington to spend the day with our youngest son and his family yesterday.  The day started out cool and was not forecasted to be the warm spring day that you would expect this time of year.  Indeed the Alberta Clipper or Polar Vortex that brought snow, wind and freezing temperatures to much of the Midwest and East, made things rather nippy for us. 

The plan was to watch Deaglan play a soccer game and then go down town to the Azalea Festival.  The Wilmington Azalea Festival is perhaps the biggest event of the year.  This year The Fox News Channel was covering the event live which would push attendance way up.  Officials predicted 100,000 additional people would converge on down town Wilmington.  Shouldering through a sea of humanity is not my cup-of-tea and, as luck would have it, the plan changed to a much more casual and thoroughly enjoyable day.

The coach gathers the team in prayer before the game.



Deaglan still has to grow into these shorts.

 



Even after a soccer game he has energy to burn!  Wish I had some of that. 
 
 
After the soccer game we went back to Chris and Katie's house so we could watch the feeding of their rabbits, chickens and a duck.  

 


 
Then a nice leisurely lunch at a nice restaurant down toward Carolina Beach - well away from down town Wilmington. 


 
Halyburton Park was the perfect spot to walk off our lunch and let the kids climb and swing.
 

 

The park has nice nature center featuring fish, reptiles and plants of the area.

Joanie could not resist cuddling with Chris and Katie's baby bunnies.
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The neighborhood view...

Last Sunday was one of those glorious days that make you pay attention to what God has given us and just naturally give thanks.  I was still feeling well myself since the effects of the steroids they gave me when I had my allergic reaction had not quite worn off.  I went for a hike with my camera to record "Spring on our street".



Our neighbor has a large holy bush that produces abundant bright red berries.


 The wind whispers through the tops of the big Southern Yellow Pines.  A change in the weather causes them to howl.  When the wind is from the north and east it blows unimpeded across the Neuse River, hits the bluff and bounces up and over us; we feel little of the wind.  When the wind is from the south and west, it rattles our toppers.  We have had to keep the awnings retracted more than  deployed due to the winds here.  It is surprising that there are no wind farms here.  
 

Joanie and I always joked about "when we retire..." we will only be able to live in a trailer at the end of an old logging road.  Well, we got the "end of the road" part right.

Wisteria is everywhere in our neighborhood.  It grows wild and left unchecked by human intervention will choke out many other plants, bushes and trees.

Some people plant Wisteria because it has such a beautiful blossom but left on its own, it is a killer!
 
A Dogwood lives near a security light.

Wisteria stars in the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" - in slow motion, of course. 



 



Wisteria and a Pyracantha bush battle it out.  Guess which will win?

Vines create impenetrable thickets around here.

 
 

 We live on the west side of the Neuse River on a bluff  which puts our lot about 15 to 20 feet above mean sea level.
 
 Looking north up the river.  Many people have tried to put docks out into the river.  Storms have away of taking out all but the sturdiest.
 
 
 
Sea birds are a constant presence at this point over the Neuse River.  The river widens here just before it flows into Pamlico Sound where many of the sea birds come from.
 

The struggle to survive in nature often comes with the demise of another creature.  The vines are overtaking and killing these two once stately pines.

Vinca grows wild in an empty lot.
 

 
This cedar tree is being overtaken by Wisteria.




Hope you enjoyed the view from our street.