Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

April 29, 2011

Giving You the Birds! ;-)

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 8:22 pm
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I’m sooooooooo excited!  I got one!  Not the bestest ever super fantastic photo, but I got one!
My first hummingbird picture!

My very first ever picture of a hummingbird!  I’m hoping for many more opportunities this year, but I am thrilled that I actually got this shot.  Funny how I just mentioned the other day how I thought I was having better luck with birds this year.

While we’re talking birds, I’ve got a mystery bird I’m hoping one of you might be able to identify for me:
mystery bird

This one has been a pretty regular visitor to my suet cake feeder.

And since this post has completely gone to the birds, I wanted to share this funny little sparrow having a grand ol’ time in my bird bath.  Scott’s song sparrow actually reminded me that I had taken these pictures a few days ago:

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Hope you have a lovely weekend everyone!

April 27, 2011

April Photo Hunt Wrap-Up

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:16 pm
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Photo hunt mosaic

Time for a wrap-up of all the folks who participated in the scavenger hunt this month.  If you haven’t been to their sites yet to check these out, be sure to pop over and leave them some love in the comments!

First in this time around was Scott Thomas.  Scott used a combination of his iPhone and his “real” camera to bring  us his collection.  He got a “pass” for using a railroad crossing sign instead of an actual train!  Besides, his bonus shot was a beauty, so full points!

Shortly after Scott, Gerry posted her results.  I hadn’t realized that northern Michigan wasn’t a great place to spot cardinals, but Gerry found a great way to get that shot done, and she made a lovely collage of her pictures.

Newcomer Debbie jumped in this time around with a pretty set on Flickr.  Deb doesn’t have a blog, and I don’t know who’s blog referred her to my hunt, but I hope she enjoyed herself and thanks for participating, Deb!

Next in was Nye, who lives in one of the Carolinas if I remember correctly (please correct me if I am wrong).  I was quite jealous of the fact that she already has peony buds and early spring veggies in her garden!

Moving several hundred miles west of Nye, Michaela showcased her hunt results.  Her sweet bunny in the grass gave me a chuckle and the beauty of her berry bud was stunning.

Robin was next, and she had a little fun, as I hoped some of you would, with some plays on words.  I did too in my comment back to her!  You’ll have to pop over there and have a look if you want to know what I said.  Loved Robin’s “stop action” basket shot and her creative solution to the bonus photo.

My next participant in the hunt was Dawn.  Dawn had unique takes on the body of water and the sprout shots.  I’m so glad you found your way over to the hunt, Dawn, and happy you had fun!

Popping in during the wee hours of the deadline date, Brian brought us his always unique, but always beautiful view.  Never one to skip an opportunity for a play on words, he took the chance here while showing his gorgeous photography skills.  I also gave Brian a pass on the bonus, not realizing that cardinals aren’t found across the pond!

Kathy slid in at the last minute with photos scavenged from her hard drive!  I was very happy Kathy decided to participate since she was just recently back from a brief blogging hiatus.  She has the sweetest little bunny shot and yet another creative solution to the lack of cardinals in northern Michigan.

Even later than last minute, my sister Jennifer, of the soon-to-be-face-lifted Bread and Putter, posted her photos to Flickr while her blog gets its nips and tucks.  Low on snark this time around, her set does feature the cutest little hood in a hood you’ll ever see!

I hope you’ll take the time to go look at the sites you haven’t been to yet and let everyone who participated know you stopped by!  Feel free to discuss favorites here in the comments and I’ll have a new hunt ready for you in June.

April 26, 2011

Finally!

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 10:45 pm
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Okay so I’ve been whining quite a bit that I seem to be the only blogger of this cool blogging community who didn’t have any daffodils in bloom.  They finally decided to show their beautiful selves today.

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I was lucky enough to have a gorgeous, sunny and warm afternoon to shoot these pictures too.

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Yep, that was the temperature today and I was loving it!  I got my reclining chair chair out
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 and enjoyed a complimentary iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts, courtesy of their Dunkin Perks program.  When I finished my coffee, I stalked the yard for more signs of spring.  I was reminded of Robin’s lovely post with maple tree buds, when I saw these in my yard:

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These are all over a red maple that unfortunately partially broke and is bent over in the yard.  We haven’t quite decided what the best thing to do about it is.  As I meandered past the broken tree toward the back of the yard, a robin curiously decided to hang out on the fence rather than fly away as I approached.  It kept peeking back at me, perhaps to see if I’d gone away, but stayed long enough for me to take a few pictures.  I seem to be having better luck with bird pictures so far this year.

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Speaking of better luck with bird pictures, wouldn’t it be wonderful if this is the year I finally get my hummingbird shot?  My husband claimed to have seen one a couple days ago, so I went ahead and hung my pretty new hummingbird feeder:

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($5 at the Christmas Tree Shops!  Don’t you just love a bargain?)

I’m sure our 80 degree days will be short lived for now – high in the low 70’s expected for tomorrow, but I will take it!  Tomorrow I will also take you on a tour of all the Scavenger Hunt participants in case you haven’t made the rounds just yet.  See you tomorrow!

April 23, 2011

My Spring Photo Hunt

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 11:16 am
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The April photo scavenger hunt results are rolling in and I can tell you I’m loving them so far!  I’m really enjoying seeing everyone’s take on the shots.  You  have until tomorrow to post and drop me a link or drop me a note letting me know you need a couple more days to finish up.  Like our friend Scott, I will write a wrap-up post about the results.  Here’s my look at the list.

Body of water:
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Nantucket Sound from Smuggler’s Beach in South Yarmouth, MA

When I first thought of this prompt, I worded it the way I did because I thought it left it wide open for interpretation.  I had the idea in my head to try to create the shape of a body, perhaps in the sand, and then fill it with water for an extra cutesy interpretation, but I went traditional.  It’s got me thinking about coming up with more word-play fun for June though!

Train:
train

This is part of my husband’s HO scale Tyco toy train from when he was a little boy.  There are actually train tracks in my town, but I never managed to have a camera available when I was out and a train went by.  I was poking through my girls’ old toys in the basement when my husband came home and asked what I was doing.  “A train?” he asked, “I’ve got a train,” and promptly came up with an old box with all his train cars and track pieces.

Hood:
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Sarah, in action, doing her math homework, wearing one of her favorite hooded sweatshirts.

Sprout:
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Bleeding Heart sprouts in morning light

Bud:
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 Lilac buds from the other evening I wrote about with all three extension tubes attached to the 55-250mm lens.  I’m still wondering if anyone is going the Budweiser route for this one!

Basket:
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The favorite basket of Teddy and Daphne – it stores the leashes and collars for “walkies.”  Teddy regulary nudges this basket with his nose to try to give me a hint about what he’d like to do!

Bunny:
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He wasn’t carrying any treats or colored eggs, but a bunny nonetheless, spotted at the edge of our driveway.

Bonus:

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If ever there was karma, this had to be it.  The day after I posted my list for this hunt, including my bonus of a close-up Mr. Cardinal, this guy landed on my suet cage and hung around to enjoy a snack while I got to take as many pictures as I liked!  Ever since, it seems, he’s been hanging around more than I’ve ever had a cardinal hang around.

Remember it isn’t too late to get your photos posted!

April 21, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:54 am
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My 1-year blogoversary passed by recently. April 6, 2010 was my very first blog post.  I had planned to do an “anniversary” post on the day, but the date came and went before I realized it.  I still wanted to do a little rememberance of my first year blogging, so I went first to my dashboard to gather some stats.  These stats are actually for a year and 15 days, but close enough, right?  I wrote 216 posts (including today), had 3,157 comments (but close to half of those are my replies to you!), 14,329 views, and my busiest day was January 20, 2011 with 123 views (I have no idea why).  I was trying to figure out which day was the most popular comment-wise, but WordPress doesn’t seem to keep that statistic.  If I had to guess, I’d say it was this post, which seems a bit ironic if you read the name of that post.

After I scoped out the stats, I looked back at my posts for the first month of my blogging.  The baby bunnies were what really got me going.  I was then reminded of what a wonderful, warm, early spring we had last year.  Things were blooming and growing earlier than usual and spring break week (this week for me) was gorgeous, sunny and warm.  Have a look at some pictures I took during this week of last year of some blooms around my yard and my neighbor’s beautiful tree.  More than a year later, we have a very different story:

The daffodils:
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The rhododendron:
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The bleeding heart:

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The lilacs:
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The neighbor’s tree:

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Last year was exceptionally warm and beautiful; spring and summer were the best on memory in a long time.  I guess Mama Nature is returning us to reality this year.

By the way, don’t forget to get your spring photo hunt photos posted and leave me a link in the comments of that post! I’m hoping to see everyone’s shots by this Sunday, April 24Scott and Gerry have already posted so go have a look!

April 19, 2011

Awesome Weekend, Part 2

Filed under: Travel,What's Blooming — Karma @ 5:15 pm
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As promised, this is the Cape Cod edition of my Awesome Weekend.  After our delicious luncheon  and an afternoon chatting with our BFF Renae, my girls, my sister, my mother and I made the trip to Mom’s place on Cape Cod.  We arrived late evening Saturday, so my photos that I have to share with you are from Sunday which turned out to be a sunny but windy day.  The seagulls were drifting…
Bass River

… and the windsurfers were surfing!

windsurfer

As I said, it was a sunny day, but it wasn’t that warm!  Check out my “crew” at the beach at Bass River:
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Left to right: Sarah, Jennifer, Mom, Meghan

After our windy beach visit, the sun was still lovely and warm, so I requested a little walk around Mom’s neighborhood to see what might be in bloom on the Cape.  I found some pretty sights.  These were growing in the backyard, and I found out over at Barbara’s blog that they are called chionodoxa.

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Daffodils are in bloom just about every where you look down at the Cape (still not in my front yard though, hmmpph!)

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These grew in a large carpet at the front of someone’s property.  We wondered if it could be heather.  Any ideas?

Mystery purple flower

A sweet little pair of ducks was swimming in a little swampy pond in the neighborhood and I couldn’t  help taking some snaps of the cuties in the late afternoon sun:

Mr. & Mrs.

Mrs. Duck

Mr. Duck

Our weekend, in addition to the beach visit and sight-seeing, of course included shopping and good eats, with a very healthy dose of laughter.  Pretty awesome weekend, wouldn’t you say?

April 18, 2011

Awesome Weekend, Part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:33 pm
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Pickity!

A delicious luncheon with friends, a visit to Cape Cod, early birthday gifts and the Red Sox win three games in a row – how awesome is that? 

My weekend away began with a return visit to Pickity Place in Mason, NH.  It was delicious, as always.  You can click here to see what we had to eat.  Unfortunately, the wind was nasty cold and making the day seem quite bitter outside.  When we were there back in October, it was a mild fall day and things looked quite different.  Though my fingers felt like frozen claws, I couldn’t help snapping a few pics.

I thought this angel statue looked as chilly as I felt:
wishing it wasn't so cold today

I enjoy the effort the folks at Pickity Place go to to set up little vignettes that go with the seasons:

spring vignette

This frog prince didn’t seem to mind the blustery wind:

A frog or a prince?

Can you see me reflected in his gazing globe?

I did manage to find one more pretty sign of spring before my fingers shaped into the form of a claw from the cold:

Pretty, what are you?

The tiny buds remind me of lilacs, but this didn’t look like any lilac that I’ve ever seen.  Anyone know what it might be?

The Pickity kitty smartly stayed inside the gift shop on this day, quietly enjoying the goings-on outside from the warmth of the window:

Pickity kitty

I did!

I certainly did!  🙂

Awesome Weekend, Part 2, Cape Cod edition, coming soon!

April 15, 2011

Pleased as Punch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 7:54 pm
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I know I said I wasn’t going to blog again before the weekend was over, but as I turned down my street last evening, I was taken with the color of the sky.  I decided I wanted to get outside and try to capture it.  My nifty-fifty did a nice job of recording just how the sky looked:

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That’s SOOC.  Since the light was so beautiful, I decided to poke around the yard for signs of spring.  I found one that really pleased me.  I was going to save this for my photo hunt, but it was just so pretty and I was so happy with how it came out, I just had to share:

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I normally don’t like to toot my own horn, but I just love this picture.  It was mostly a happy accident.  I was, as I said, poking for signs of spring when I noticed the lilac buds had turned purple.  I was having issues focusing on these sweet little buds, so I decided to grab my tripod to see if I could get a sharp picture in the fading light.  As I moved the lens around looking for a pretty angle, I caught sight of the lovely orangy-pinky glow of the fading sun behind this bud.  Auto-focus was arguing with me again, probably due to all the greenery around, so I took my chances with manual focus.

Settings for those who like that info: 1/25, f5.6, ISO 800, 250mm focal length, 0 EV.

April 14, 2011

Concentration

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:39 pm

Our dance studio owner/instructor has started a new Facebook page for her business.  She asked me to take a couple pictures of my daughter’s pointe class to post on the page.  Only when I came home to look at the shots on the computer did I see the tiny tip of the tongue on my daughter’s determined face!

We are Cape Cod bound this weekend, so I don’t expect I will get to reading blogs and posting over the next few days.  I will be taking lots of pictures though; I hope you are keeping this month’s scavenger hunt in mind while you are out and about.  Due date is one week from Sunday (but I happen to know the author of this blog is pretty flexible, so still drop a link in the comments of that post even if you are a few days late!)

April 10, 2011

My WordPress 5k – or 7mi. as the case may be!

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 8:40 pm
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Today was the big day for the Worldwide WordPress 5k.  My plan was to follow one of the newly marked trails on conservation land here in town.  The land has much history here and lots of memories for me.  If you’d like to know a little more about it, I found a nice website describing the area here.  It holds memories for me of walking the area as a child, usually with my dad, sister and our dog, sometimes with our bff Renae.  Today I made a new memory with a new friend, Becky from Rebecca the Housewrecka.  We began our walk at our town’s middle school and followed Alton’s Way- thoughtfully named for the longtime town resident and farmer, Alton McDonald who owned the lands and passed away in 2004.

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Most of our path meandered along quiet forest and streams like this,
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with occasional clearings into fields.  One of those clearings included Alton’s barn:
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I thought all the snow had finally melted, but we came across small patches in the woods:
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At the end of Alton’s Way (2.4 miles), we came to Lake Trail, and naturally assumed it would bring us to a lake, or really the local pond, so we followed.

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Daphne and Teddy on the Lake Trail.  The dogs were very excited and enthusiastic today, by the way, both for the new smells of an unfamiliar path and for having another 2-legged friend with us.

Lake Trail did indeed come to the water, but we were unable to find a path to let us get closer.  Only driveways like this one seemed to lead directly to the pond:
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After searching around for a path to the water, we decided to start back.  I checked my iPod pedometer and it said we had already gone 3.3 miles, so we stopped for our self-portrait, having completed 5K:

at 5k

Shortly after this picture was taken, the strange little pedometer program started randomly soundly a bizarre alarm! The screen said I had apparently committed some unknown touch-screen sin.  It happened a few more times on our walk back, and I suspect it somehow interfered with keeping good track of our mileage today.  Upon our return to the trailhead, it said we had gone 4.6 miles.  We knew that couldn’t be true having been at 3.3 shortly after our turn back.  When I looked up the trail online and discovered one way on the trail was 2.4, I figured the little app was unfortunately inaccurate.  By my calculations, I walked closer to 7 miles today: 4.8 for the round trip on Alton’s Way, 1.5 for the round trip on Lake Trail plus searching for the path to the water, .2 to the trailhead and back from the school parking lot, and .5 for walking to and from the school.  So I really did two 5K’s today, right?  Pretty cool!  And pretty tired, especially the dogs:

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During our walk today, we heard frogs in the swamp, saw red-winged blackbirds and hawks, and Becky spotted some neat tree fuzzies – although I don’t know what kind of tree it was. Hopefully she will post her pictures from today, which I’m sure are wonderful.  All in all, I had a great walk.  Thanks for coming along with us, and thanks Becky, for joining the poochachos and me!

ETA: Becky did her post about our walk – go check it out!

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