Monday, February 27, 2023

Hiding In The Sticker Bushes...

 Such an odd place to hide or take up residence, in these tangled sticker bushes.
But that's exactly what these male and female house sparrows have done.
They were quite content buzzing around, from one branch to the next, 
keeping themselves inside this tangled mess of branches and just out of view.

House sparrows are a small bird with a plump body and round head.
They have a short tail and a short, thick bill.
Some consider then to be a pest because they drive out native birds, 
or perhaps for their common color.
But I enjoy their very detailed, very beautiful feather patterns.

Male Sparrow 

Female Sparrow

- the bird who dares to fall is the bird who learns to fly -

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Saturday Critters #480

We went for a drive around Lake of the Lilies yesterday to see what wildlife I could photograph.
Things were pretty quiet, there were the usual suspects and then these five 
My bird book says they are present here year round, 
but I usually see them in much higher numbers during the summer and rarely during winter.
Killdeer have bold markings, long legs and big mouths...meaning they are quite noisy.
Long wings and a long tail give the standing bird a more elongated appearance. 
Sexes are similar.
Pictures from my "Birds of Eastern North America" book show them to be beautiful in flight.

Friday, February 24, 2023

I'm Ready...

 On October the 6th of last year, the hubs and I were in a really horrific accident.
I don't remember much, all I know is what people have told me.
We were driving straight through an intersection, 
and a car, coming in the other direction, turned and "t-boned" us.
The impact caused our car to roll over several times across the intersection.
When the car finally stopped, it was upside down.
The accident was not our fault, the driver of the other car was issued 2 tickets.

I'm finally ready to show a picture of our car after the accident...

it was a few months before the hubs showed this picture to me.
The airbags saved us.

Here's our new car, the same Lexus SUV only 2 years newer, a 2023.

I spent 4 days in the hospital for various reasons, nothing life threatening. 
I felt terrible for the young girl who hit us, she was not injured, but her brand new Tesla was totaled.
Of course, our car was as well!

This is not meant to be a poor me post...I hope it does not upset anyone...
I was just ready to share the following message...

- in the blink of an eye it can all be taken away, be grateful always -

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Let's Create...

 It's really been a great winter, very mild, no snow.
Even with the great weather, 
there are not too many outdoor activities scheduled because it is generally too cold in this area.
We have gone to a few fun, outdoor, "ice" related events,
I have been thinking, they don't really schedule enough winter themed activities.

I do like winter, I look forward to staying inside and creating.

I made these three bookmarks...they are all over Pinterest right now.
Cut two hearts from felt, you can embroidery anything you want on one of the hearts, be creative.
Stitch both hearts together, I close mine halfway, and they slide right over the pages.

The blanket I am working on is coming along nicely...
I am on my third ball of yarn, with three more to go on this my
in Wonderfluff Bulky Weight Yarn
70% Baby Alpaca, 23% Nylon, 7% Merino...100% soft and squishy!
The blanket is 32" long right now, almost 3 feet.

We have been having some really pretty sunsets...

The hubs bought me these beautiful flowers at the food store.
You just can't beat it...five dollars and they are always so fresh.

 - if i'm sitting, i am creating something -

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Norma-K III, Point Pleasant, NJ

Along the boardwalk where the ships dock in Point Pleasant,
these beautiful mini lighthouses decorate the way.

A few weeks back I stopped to photograph the larger ships,
and I decided to also take pictures of these decorative lighthouses.

I had never seen this ship before
 "Swaggy B - Toms River NJ" 
Not a regular here, perhaps it had stopped for maintenance or fuel.

As I was "running" around with my camera, I noticed the 
Norma-K III 
a commercial fishing boat/party boat, was docked and getting painted.
I was invited on board to take pictures and chat for a few...
I think the hubs feel asleep while I was gone, 
it was that long.
When I disappeared inside, he thought I had been kidnapped.

What a thrill, for me anyway!

It was super cool being inside the boat, I get seasick  
so docked and not rocking is best for me.

There was a lot of wood from the original boat,
I wish I had asked them how old the boat is.

This cool picture was at the back of the boat.

- there are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it -

Monday, February 20, 2023

What's Happening...

My Crocus have bloomed...

and are looking more beautiful than ever.

The weather has been so warm...

everybody is confused.
My Daffodils have popped way out of the ground and there is no stopping them now.
We are going to have daffodils early this year and I am not complaining about that!

Our whale problem continues...

2 more whales have washed ashore dead on the New Jersey beaches,
now there are calls to stop offshore wind research.
There have been a total of 12 dead whales that washed up on our beaches during these last few months.

I finished my Double Brimmed Hat. 
The pattern for this super easy hat can be found here.
You may remember that I am knitting with naturally hand dyed alpaca yarn, created by Liz.
The yarn is dyed using black beans, she named this yarn "The Magical Fruit".
There is a small accent of dark gray around the rim, it is a little hard to see in the pictures.

I received the new book for the book club.
The One Hundred Years of Leni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
so far, I am enjoying it.
Since we are getting a late start, and February is a short month, this book is for February and March.
The blanket I am working on is under it.

I took a lot of pictures last week, this one was my favorite.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Saturday Critters #479

There have been several spins around 
Lake of the Lilies this past week...all of these pictures were taken on January 10th.
The temperatures have been spring like here in New Jersey,
I am waiting for the ducks to become confused and arrive early/leave early.
Certainly all of the spring flowers are confused, spring bloomers  are up more than 4 inches.

Female Lesser Scaup

Male Greater Scaup
Both are bulky, robust diving ducks.
I see both Greater and Lesser Scaups but only during the winter.

There were 2 Great Blue Herons, I see these year round.
This is a familiar to many, huge heron, with long legs and neck, and a huge daggerlike bill.

Female Ruddy Duck
Small, diving ducks that feed on roots and seeds.
Both sexes regularly cock their spikey looking tales.
Another duck I only see during the winter.

American Coot
A dumpy waterbird with long, lobed toes that facilitate swimming.
I see these waterbirds year round but in much smaller numbers in summer.
They do not all migrate.

Male Mallard

Female Mallard
This lake is home to a large number of mallards, year round.
As soon as our car stops, 
they swim or waddle right over to us.
I believe they have a good memory and remember that we feed them when we visit,
only healthy food for ducks.

Friday, February 17, 2023

A Very Special Valentines Day

 - sweethearts day -

We had a really nice Valentines Day and a super special evening.
Dinner at our favorite restaurant,
Sirena Ristorante right on the beach in Long Branch.
The food was, as always, excellent.

We each started with a Ceasar Salad.

I had Pappardelle, Pasta Bolognese...

The hubs had Spaghetti and Meatballs,
this is the best spaghetti I have ever eaten...the meatballs melt in your mouth.

We went for a horse drawn carriage ride afterward, it was so romantic.

We do not buy gifts or flowers, just beautiful cards...
to me, "words" are the best gift of all!