Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

May 25, 2013

Stream-of-Consciousness-Blogging…

It is raining here today…cold for May 25th…”the rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down, in rushing rising rivlets, til the water crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet’s!”…I should write a blog post to pass the time on this rainy day…really wish I was outside planting the veggie garden…what could I write a blog post about?

Mmmmm, chocolate…that chocolate fountain I borrowed for Meghan’s graduation party looks very interesting…
chocolate fountain

maybe I should experiment with it before Meghan’s party!

Blog, blog, blog…I need some inspiration…stuff I want to talk about but I can’t go outside and take pictures…hey the rhododendron is blooming and I can see that through my dining room windows…
rhododendron

I can see the perennial bed too…
perrenial bed

Not a great picture, but more complete looking than the last one I posted…I wonder why Flickr changed their layout…have to learn how to navigate it all over again while I post photos to this blog post…finally found the link to the archives that I complained to Kate about in my comment to this lovely post of hers…I wonder if blogspot users get notifications from wordpress users…Boy I really wish I could have been outside planting today…I hope my poor little plants aren’t getting drowned with all this rain…
waiting to be planted

At least I got the whiskey barrel planter done earlier this week, but still so much more to do…so much to do coming up soon…prom, graduation, recital, graduation party…at least I got the party invitations sent out…Inkgarden.com did such a nice job…

Ooh, hey, the bearded irises are budding…not as many buds out there as I’d like to see, darn it…
irises soon!

Wait a second, I thought I bought a pink foxglove for the perennial bed…that looks white…hmmm….
foxglove

Not going to get any new pictures of the baby robins in all this rain…oh but hey! I do have a lovely picture of my baby girl to share this week…she’d probably hate it if she knew I just referred to her as “baby” girl…”Moooommmmmmm I am going to be 16 in 2 months”…oh don’t remind me…another with a driver’s license soon…so proud of her for receiving that computer award!…sophomore with highest grade point average in computer class…wahoo!…

sarahaward

Blogging, blogging, blogging…where will I find some inspiration? ๐Ÿ˜‰

May 22, 2013

A Plethora of Photographic Passion

Contrary to how it may seem, I really have been thinking about Scott Thomas’s current photography assignment “Your Photography Passion”. Scott posted some interesting articles concerning the subject and mentioned that there are really two ways interpret this idea: what you are passionate about photographing or representing your passions with photography. Two really different ideas, that I think could also overlap. Hmmm, a challenge if I ever heard one.

I believe the first interpretation of the idea is the simpler one for me. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you have probably noticed that I love photographing the details of nature. Flowers are usually a very congenial photography subject, and I love taking their pictures, and if at all possible, taking the pictures to a different level either literally or figuratively. Let me try to show you what I mean with some of my favorite photos from the past.
Fuschia
crazy poppy
sunny sunflowers (2)
IMG_8033

More recently, I’ve become more passionate about improving my bird photography. Last year, I started attempting to keep a “life list” of the birds I’ve seen, and I’m always trying to identify the birds I may not know or get a picture of one I’ve never photographed before. I’ve been especially passionate about getting pictures of the tiniest and largest birds in my area: hummingbirds and hawks.
hummingbird edit
hawk1
And I sure spend a lot of time taking bird photos on vacation too:
Blue Heron 4
snowy plover
But what if “passion” is defined as those things that we choose to find or make the time in our lives for? Of course I am passionate about my family, but I believe that is natural and not necessarily definable as a “passion” in this instance. So what else do I make the time for in my life because it is important to me?
In this sense of the word, I think dance would qualify.
Picture Fall, Day 12
I make the time for those few hours a week of exercise and socialization and learning and fun.
My garden would qualify too, I think, since it certainly isn’t a necessity in today’s world and why the heck would we gardeners go to all this trouble if we weren’t passionate about it?
P5292323
I am perhaps most passionate about one of the more elusive facets of my life:
Hills Beach Mosiac
The beach and the ocean are the place where I find myself most at peace. Breathing the air and feeling the sand and the salt and the sun bring me to a special place within myself, in all likelihood, the closest I will ever find myself to a zen-like place if I am using that term correctly.

Thank you, Scott, for a very thought-provoking photo assignment!

May 19, 2013

Nest Watch, week 2

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 5:42 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Things are getting busy these days! Meghan’s final days of high school are sliding by in a hurry, the paperwork for college is rolling in, preparations for recital and graduation are busily moving along. I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride for the last couple of weeks, and I don’t think the ride will be coming to an end any time soon. In the meantime however, I have been keeping an eye on those robins’ nests I told you about in this post.

The first nest has babies in it. I poked my head outside one day to see 3 hungry open beaks swaying in the nest.
first baby robin sighting
It’s difficult to see all three in this photo, but I think they are all there. One particularly hungry little one made an extra effort to get some attention.
hungry baby

I moved around to the other side of the nest and was able to get this little charmer:
baby robin gets some sun
I love the tuft of down and the satisfied look!

feed me!
Feed me!

I think the second nest is maybe a week or so behind the first one, but I have seen mama robin sitting on it fairly consistently over the last week, so I’m thinking another set of babies isn’t too far away.
mama robin

My perennial bed is looking fresh and healthy with its new coating of mulch, but I’ve neglected to take its picture. I’ll remember one of these days.

Planting will be continuing as well. I’ve been back to the garden center for annuals and vegetables:
garden center purchases
There are tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, geraniums, dahlias, zinnias and much more all awaiting their summer homes. Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, my traditional planting weekend, so they won’t have to wait too long.

Whether you are enjoying your own gardens, visiting vistas around your home state, unpacking and getting used to a new home or just trying to fly a kite, I hope you have a lovely week!

May 12, 2013

Cee’s Share Your World

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 12:21 pm
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For quite a while now I’ve been reading Carol’s answers to Cee’s Share Your World questions. I believe Week 19 is coming to an end, but if its okay with you all, I thought I’d share my answers this week, as I found the questions quite interesting.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you would stay? Question came from Wanderings of an Elusive Mind
I’d like to say that a big, comfy bed would be a requirement, but in reality I often find myself putting up with less-than-perfect sleeping conditions in order to enjoy the place that I am. My case in point:
IMG_1154
Tiny bedroom of the cottage we rent in Maine, with tiny bed
IMG_7576
Tiny cabin on the cruise last year, with tiny bed
IMG_5399
The annual camping trip, sleeping in a tent, on, you guessed it, a tiny (air) bed.
So, my real requirements of a place that I stay for a vacation? A wonderful place to visit and wonderful people to be with.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?
I’ve never really considered myself to be a writer, although when I was in high school and college, I could write a pretty damn good paper! I attribute this ability to my favorite teacher, my high school social studies teacher Ms. Brewer, who was the toughest but best teacher I ever had. She was my inspiration for wanting to be a teacher myself. I guess that blogging is sort of like writing short stories, isn’t it? They don’t have a plot or a conflict usually, but I do enjoy presenting my little stories to you.

Whatโ€™s your favorite song of the moment?
I told you in my post about color that I really enjoy Pink as an artist. Her duet with Nate Ruess “Just Give me a Reason” is a current favorite.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top items on your wish list?
Cee says that we can dream and let loose on our answers to this one. If I could have anything that I wanted in a new house? Beachfront property would be my number one wish. It wouldn’t need to be huge and expansive; just large enough to be comfortable with a sandy beach that I could step out my back door on to. If I really kicked up the dream, it would have a master bedroom with an ocean view and a hot tub on the balcony!
What would your answers to Cee’s questions be? Tell me in the comments or make a post of your own!

Happy Mother’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:21 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Happy Mother’s Day, moms! I hope you are having a lovely day wherever you are. To my mom, I hope the weather is cooperating on Cape Cod and you are having a cup of tea at the beach! Thinking of you today. ๐Ÿ™‚

My family was very kind to me today. Dear hubby provided the hanging flower baskets that I love for my shepard’s hook in the backyard:
hanging baskets

My two sweetest of daughters presented me with a gift bag of things they knew that I would appreciate:
great gifts
The green packet contains a new set of herb snips and the brown box contains these:
biscotti!
Biscotti! Yum!
While I was outside photographing my gifts, I noticed a second robin’s nest in the yard. Remember I told you (I think?) about the nest on the downspout? There’s a new one on the floodlights:
robin's nest on floodlights
It surprised me to see it there – I swear it was built overnight. I swung my lens around to take a picture of the other nest
robin's nest on downspout
and I couldn’t believe it – while I stood there with the camera pointed at it, the robin arrived to sit on the nest!
robin arrives at nest

robin on nest
I’m hoping I’ll get lucky again sometime in the coming weeks and get a shot of the babies.
I also took some photos of those hummingbird feeders I mentioned in a previous post. I filled and hung them up yesterday, despite not seeing any hummingbirds just yet. I’m sure this is the time of year they arrive back in this area so hopefully I will see them soon.
I found this one while shopping with my mom on the Cape and just loved the unique antique bottle look of it. Mom saw my enchantment with it and promptly decided to buy it for me as an additional birthday gift!:
new hummingbird feeder 1
I just noticed the little hummingbird design on it today while I was taking pictures!
hummingbird feeder close-up
This feeder was given to me by my dad for my birthday. The “petals” are made from recylced cans! Very cool looking!
new hummingbird feeder 2
The lilacs have become heavy with bloom and with the much-needed rain we’ve had the past couple of days, but they are still gorgeous and perfuming the air and bringing me joy each time I see and smell them.
lilacs
I hope you all are having a lovely day, enjoying the things you love.

May 7, 2013

Springtime, Lovely Springtime!

I love this time of year. This part of the world is coming alive with green grass and leaves and the bloomers of spring. We’ve had a string of 17 days in a row with no rain, and while I know we need the rain (coming soon according to the local forecast), I’ve even thoroughly been enjoying my rides to work in the morning: the sunshine at that time of day is gentle and beautiful and lights the flowering trees and greening lawns in a way that makes me remember to breathe deep and appreciate the moment.

When I walk out to my car, the air is perfumed with these:
lilac
Lilacs – mmmmm, is there a better spring time smell? And I’m going to have an abundant amount of blooms this year. The tops of my trees all look like this:
abundant lilac
They haven’t quite opened yet, that’s why the dark color, but they are beginning.

During all this lovely weather, I’ve been outside when time allows (mostly weekends) working on my yard. I did a lot of cleaning up and pruning during the April break from school. In addition to all the usual work, I made a decision to rip out a perennial bed that had not been looking overly healthy for the past few years:
periennial bed -before
I kept only what remains of my bearded irises, – they are yet to bloom this year and I don’t know how many blooms I will get – the bleeding heart
bleeding heart and my “crazy poppy”- click here for the story of that moniker.

On Saturday morning, I made a visit to my favorite local garden center, 16 Acres Gardens. (They are called that because they are in a part of Springfield known as “16 Acres” not because there are 16 acres of gardens)
garden center 1

garden center 2

It is still just a little too early around here for planting tender annuals and vegetables (unless you’re a bit of a daredevil and willing to watch the weather each night for frost warnings!) but I was more than ready to go spend the generous gift card I received from my dad for my birthday to replant that perennial bed. I came home with 9 new perennials of varying sizes and heights ranging in colors from pinks to purple to purplish-blue and planted them that afternoon:
perrenial bed - after
(I’m rather proud of myself for installing that new border around the bed too, even if it is a less than perfect circle!)

My latest-to-bloom-in-the-neighborhood daffodils are in full bloom now:
daffodil

daffodils

daffodil

as well as the giant rhodo-azalea:
full bloom rhodo-azaleas

I’ve seen two butterflies in the past few days – can the hummingbirds be far behind? I’m excited to hang up two new, unique hummingbird feeders I received for my birthday – I haven’t taken pictures of those yet but I’m sure I will do that soon.

I finally cleaned the vegetable garden patch of last year’s debris and removed the decrepit fence surrounding it. Next outdoor projects: put up a new fence and mulch my perennial bed. I’m also trying to grow some new grass in an area the dogs have ruined. There’s so much going on in the yard! But I do love this time of year!

May 4, 2013

Wrapping Up Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:35 pm
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IMG_9657
It has taken me a week to do it, but I am back with a little wrap of the Color Photo Hunt! I’d say I was slacking, but I really haven’t been. I’ve been taking pictures and working outside and reveling in the fact that spring has really, truly arrived. My usual Saturday morning ritual of catching up with all of you over a cup of coffee was even put on hold for a visit to the garden center. Another blog post relating to that is still to come, but let me get on with the wrap-up!

Robin jumped in right away with a post about the color purple. She found a stunning variety of shots to showcase in purple. I don’t think she had to hunt too hard for her beautiful collection!

Joanne, my inspiration for this photo hunt, also brought us a lovely variety of photos of purple. Her purple Australian sunset is amazing! Joanne also includes the psychology of purple. Joanne has been delving into the psychology of colors, so I am happy to add a link to another post she did about blue. I just love the shot of the misty morning in this one.

Kathy found it pretty much impossible to choose one color to which she is drawn, so she chose them all! ROYGBIV is her favorite. I still remember learning that mnemonic device for the order of the colors of the rainbow when I was a child. Click here to have some fun checking out Kathy’s post!

Stacy did a color that many of us probably would not have considered when thinking about the colors that we are drawn to – she chose brown. For anyone who loves nature, this is really a perfect choice when you think about it!

Isa hadn’t even realized I had posted a photo hunt, but she happened to pop over and see my post and kindly asked if she could include a link to a recent post of hers about the color green. I said, “Mais bien sรปr!” (French for “but of course!”) Well, I didn’t actually say that but I wish I had been witty like that at the time! Isa has a pretty collection of shots to remind us in those days without much color, that spring will someday arrive.

It wasn’t too hard to figure out what color Sybil would choose when it came to this challenge, even though she did try to trick us! If there is one blogger that I read that is a more hard-core gardening lover than me, it has to be Sybil, so her color naturally had to be green! I still remember Sybil’s response to Scott’s “Winter” photo challenge because it made me laugh and I totally agree.

Dawn was totally right when she said that I posted a photo hunt about color at a time when a lot of color was not easy to come by for those of us in the northern climes. But a color hunt would have been too easy in the middle of summer, wouldn’t it, Dawn? Dawn wracked her brain and came up with some beauties to feature about the color red and the joy that often goes with it.

Carol is another who had trouble choosing just one color to present in her photo hunt. She talked about neutrals, and burgundy and green, and gave us a nice peek into her life. I love blog posts that give us those little peeks, don’t you?

Indecisive bloggers turned out to be quite common in this photo hunt! But you know I’ve never been a stickler for the so-called “rules”. Sonali’s lovely post starts with a beautiful burst of yellow, which I thought was going to be her color choice, but she went on to present a pretty variety of colors.

Apparently I made Tamara worry that she wouldn’t get her post in on time! (Tamara – see that part in the last paragraph about me not being a stickler for rules, LOL!) Tamara is another lover of purple and has a sweet post presenting her favorites.

If you happened to miss my post (but probably not since I haven’t post anything else in a week, I’m guessing!) it was completely in the pink!
IMG_9651

I’m glad so many of you jumped in and enjoyed this photo hunt. I thank Joanne one more time for the inspiration. I can’t promise it with any regularity, but I will try to come up with a few more photo hunts in the future, oh, I don’t know, maybe when I feel like it? ๐Ÿ˜‰