Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 28, 2014

It’s “Z” Wrap Up!

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s Z wrap up, get it? Z like the end of the letters and Z like speaking with an outrageous French accent?

Where are my Monty Python fans?

The return of the photo hunt seemed to be a popular idea as those of us in the northern climes battle our way through this very cold and snowy winter. By February, we’ve had about enough of this and I think the photo hunt turned into a welcome distraction. We had 8 wonderful participants in the
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themed photo hunt this month.

Sybil jumped on board almost immediately! She had her photo hunt, in which she tried to fool us a bit (and succeeded!) posted the day after I announced the hunt!

Next came Dawn, with some very lovely reminders of my favorite time of the year in her photo hunt from the south. Ahhhhhhh!

Robin played in her wonderful Robin way – going far above and beyond the general photo hunt requirements. Faithful readers of Robin’s blog are familiar with Robin’s creative style and were treated to not one, not two but three pretty posts leading us to her chosen word.

Mike thought maybe his choice of words would be a little too familiar to his regular readers, so he mixed up his letters in attempt for it not to be too easy for us. He has a beautifully photographed array of indoor shots leading us to the place that I believe you would find Mike right now if you were to go looking for him!

I was happy to hear that Michaela had decided to play along. It had been a long time since I’ve posted a photo hunt and even longer since she had participated. We had no mystery to figure out over at the Daily Click because we were told that she decided to use her name as her word. Michaela showed us a gorgeous display of her tack-sharp photog skillz.

Carol’s life these days has been a flurry of household activities and get ready for her upcoming cruise (very jealous here, by the way!). She found a perfect word with perfect photos to remind us all of what she has been up to lately.

Isa decided at the last minute that she’d like to play too, and asked if archived photos would be okay to use. You know how loosey-goosey the rules are around here so I said “but of course!” Isa has a colorful arrangement of beautiful objects, but I must admit she stumped me good. Our friend Sybil from up above was the smarty who first figured out Isa’s word!

Nye also came in with a last minute submission. She tricked me a bit by using her first photo to represent two letters rather than one. In the comment section where she revealed the answer, she reminded us about the rule of thirds in photography – that’s where she wanted us to look to discover the real clue to her letters. Nicely done Nye!

If you happened to miss my own photo hunt photo hunt (no that’s not a typo ūüėČ ) you can find it here.

Thank you so much everyone for your enthusiastic participation! I’ll do my best to come up with some other fun hunts throughout the year.
Happy end of February too! Spring begins in just 3 weeks! Let’s hope it feels like spring really soon!

July 11, 2011

Camping with the Silly Walks Gang

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 3:56 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Camping.¬† It is a word that produces mixed responses from people.¬† “Oh camping!¬† I LOVE camping!” or “Oh, camping, uh, no thanks,” are two typical responses.¬† I find myself in a place somewhere¬†in between those two responses.¬† Let me explain.

My only camping experience as a child was with my family and our best-friend neighbors.¬† My mother considers “roughing it” to be staying at a hotel that doesn’t have room service, so it was an interesting experience.¬† I don’t remember a lot about it except that it ended early due to heavy rainfall one night and that my sister lost a doll’s arm in a near by creek.

My husband, on the other hand, practically grew up in the wilderness.  He was a Boy Scout for years (in the days when Boy Scouts really camped out) and a summer camp counselor when he was a teenager.  When we had been dating for a few years, he and some friends of ours wanted to go camping.  I agreed to go and was happy to spend the weekend with friends.  Thus began a tradition 20 years in the making.

With the exception of a few years here and there due to events such as the birth of children, since 1990 a group of great friends has gotten together for a camping trip.¬† The people available and the location of the camping have varied over the years but the one truth is this:¬† we have a great time enjoying each other’s company.¬† Our children range in age from 8 to 18 now, and our kids look forward to it as much as we do now.¬† For those of you on the “camping, no thanks” side, let me say that this isn’t normal camping.¬† With the exception of being outdoors, there isn’t much about our trip that is roughing it.

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Yes, we do sleep in tents – tents equipped with comfortable air mattresses, pillows, and blankets.

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Yes, we do cook over a fire – but we also use propane powered campstoves and grills.¬† This year’s big Saturday night dinner included 7 pounds of spicy beef brisket, grilled summer squash and zucchini (from my garden), tortellini salad, cheddar broccoli rice, baked beans with bacon, and strawberry-rhubarb compote for dessert.¬† During the day we munched on piccadillo (a Mexican dish) for lunch, homemade beef jerky, chips and salsa, trail mix and fresh cherries, to name a few of our snacks.¬† Oh and breakfast both mornings was quite delicious.¬† Blueberry pancakes and sausage on Saturday, egg sandwiches, bacon and cinnamon rolls on Sunday.

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Check out this set up.  We are prepared for rain, have plenty of comfy seats, and did I mention plenty of food?
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Yes, we do have to walk a bit to the restroom, but that’s really okay when you have a¬†pretty sky like this to look at while you walk:

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On my many walks in this direction, I was able to see red squirrels and various birds during the day, and circling bats and even a raccoon in the evening.  No pictures of them, but I loved seeing them.

So, to return to my explanation on my position about camping.  Roughing it? Uh, no thanks.  Camping our style? I LOVE camping!

For those interested, this year’s camping trip was at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA.¬† For those curious about my blog title, “Silly Walks Gang” is how this group of friends refers to itself and is the title of our group email.¬† We are all great fans of Monty Python, hence the name.

June 20, 2011

A Father’s Day Treat

Around these parts, Father’s Day weekend is typically the height of the strawberry season.¬† I have trouble getting my fill of the native beauties before they are gone.¬† Also typically, I make strawberry shortcake on Father’s Day.¬† Yesterday was no exception, but I made it even better.¬† My sister inspired me when she blogged about these:

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The fine folks at Fine Cooking magazine shared this delicious biscuit recipe.¬† It is easy and worth the while.¬† While reading the recipe, I got to the part about using a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter.¬† Biscuit cutter?¬† I don’t own a biscuit cutter.¬† I started texting Jennifer; what should I do?¬† Should I use a knife?¬† Could I just shape them by hand?¬† She said she did just that with her last lump of dough, so I went for it.¬† And you know what? They turned out just fine – and it just may be even easier than the original recipe’s directions because there is no need for the rolling pin; just grab chunks of dough and make patties out of them and you are good to go!

Here is the delicious result:

berries

I do admit to cheating on this recipe in one more way; I used whipped cream out of the can instead of whipping my own!  I was feeling too lazy to make another mess by whipping cream.  Nobody in this family complained.  Four bowls of strawberry shortcake disappeared in record time.

**** And now for something completely different

Just wanted to remind you that the Photo Hunt deadline is approaching this weekend!¬† Hoping to see your photos posted by Sunday, June 25th.¬† I had my first submission today, but as I told Dawn, I’m planning to wait to look at your photos until I’ve finished my own hunt.¬† I’m nearly there – need two more shots to complete the list.¬†

I have lots of other shots to share with you too – I just can’t wait until school is out for summer!

August 28, 2010

On the Beach with Sea Birds

I was very tempted to name this blog post “It’s bleedin’ sea bird flavored” after the famous Monty Python sketch, but I thought that might give the wrong impression of what you will see in this post!¬† (By the way, I chose not to imbed the video due to a wee bit of bad language spoken by John Cleese.¬† It is quite funny, so go ahead and click on it; I just didn’t want to get any type of “rating” on this blog.¬† I don’t know just how that stuff works.)¬† Now, for our regularly scheduled program.

In addition to the great blue heron, Hills Beach is populated with many other photogenic sea birds, and not just the gulls that we all see everywhere from the shore to the parking lot of McDonald’s.¬† Sandpipers and plovers were all over the place at low tide, quickly scurrying around to eat up little bits of food in the tide pools and shallow waves.
pipin' and ploven'

I would always get confused as to which were the pipers and which were the plovers.  Luckily, the cottage that we stayed in had a nice birding guide with great pictures for identifying birds.  I remember now that the sandpipers are the ones with the long, pipe-like beaks:
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And plovers have the short beaks, and are related to killdeer, (what a terrible name!) :
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I also had the pleasure of seeing a snowy plover, which I thought was one of the sweetest looking little birds I’d ever seen:
snowy plover

That breakwater that I took you for a walk along was also a roosting spot for some terns and a duck:
duck and terns

sea duck

I wonder what that duck is about to scoop up?  I also wonder if this is also a tern:
tern?

It was much smaller than a gull and didn’t appear to be juvenile.¬† Any ideas?¬† Tracy?

In addition to the sea birds, the yards around the cottage were very friendly to the more common birds we see everywhere in the northeast such as the sparrows, chicadees and even the hummingbirds (which of course I didn’t get a picture of).¬† There were many birdfeeders and birdhouses along the small lawn area of the cottage and surrounding houses.
busy birdfeeders

Many of the birdhouses were occupied with baby birds.  Busy parents spent a lot of time flying back and forth feeding the little ones:
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(Sorry that one isn’t a little clearer – I took it through a screen so that I didn’t disturb the scene.)¬† Looks like a nice, tasty grub the babies are so eager to eat! Yummy!¬† Speaking of hungry birds:
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The girls have a tradition at the end of vacation of feeding the gulls any leftover bread items that we won’t be taking home with us.¬† It never fails to attract a crowd.

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I guess the birds weren’t the only ones who were hungry! Gee, you might think I never feed the kid.¬† All part of being 13, I suppose!

ETA: I just realized that I tagged this post with “cormorant” and never included my cormorant shot.¬† Sorry for skipping you, cormorant!

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