Category Archives: Gardening

Painted Paradise . . . A Garden Journal Page

newguinea1One of the things I love to do in my garden journal is spend a page or a spread – and as much time as it takes to get to really know a plant.

I get fascinated with one or another of my garden delights and then study its parts enough to paint them on a page.

This time, it was my New Guinea Impatiens – an extra beautiful variety called Painted Paradise.

When I was busy with the retreat, I was not deadheading as much as I should have and several stalks that looked like little match sticks caught my attention. I didn’t know if they were coming or going – much like I don’t know if I am, some of the time!

I was afraid to remove them in case they were early buds, so I watched them for awhile, and pretty soon, they got very interesting looking . . .


I searched all five plants in the garden for new flower buds, and finally found a couple. The buds don’t look like this at all – and they even have a curly tail.

So, it was time to start my study page . . . but I needed a prettier leaf.



These gorgeous leaves are the reason for the Painted Paradise name for this variety.

My curiosity got the better of me and I had to cut this seed pod in half to see what it looked like inside.


So, that had to be added to the page . . . and time to add some lettering.


Now, I had to find a blossom and a bud or two to complete the study. This wasn’t easy because we have had our first frost and the plants got a little ragged (they will be moved to the greenhouse now and be protected for the winter).


I added the buds to the page . . .


And then, a blossom . . .


Drawing the flower was super easy. If you want to be convinced that drawing flowers is easy, try my workbook -

Draw Simple Flowers

You could draw this blossom in no time.

Painting it was a little more challenging – mostly because the Coral color is hard to replicate in watercolor. I had to use three different color washes to get close to the right color, and it’s still not perfect.

And finally, my page was finished . . .


I had to laugh because the only thing handy to hold the page down was my pair of reading glasses, but after I took the shot, I realized that it looked like a page from Lori Vliegen at Elvie Studio. She uses her reading glasses as a signature of sorts. (Find her link in my sidebar under “Favorite Blogs”).

I hope you enjoyed getting to know my Painted Paradise plant as much as I did!

This page was created with pencil, Pitt Pen, Daniel Smith Watercolors in a Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook.

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Holding a Hummingbird In Your Hand . . .


I think the most stress-producing thing in the world is to feel powerless in moving your life forward toward its goals.

When I get absolutely crazy about some things, Mark will say, “Relax. You’re not driving the bus.”

That makes me even crazier.

I like to know where I am going and I like to be in control.

Without boring you with details, we are currently in limbo about the timing of our gallery move. Our current landlord is playing musical chairs with tenants and we happen to sit in the middle of it all. Bunches of other people have to decide about their plans before we can make ours.

I can’t get any answers and it makes me nuts.

So I was sitting on the garden swing steaming and simmering over the latest non-answer.

I kept hearing a strange noise. 

I couldn’t place it but I just felt like it was some critter in distress, so I started searching all over. Couldn’t find anything. But I did find that the bird feeders needed refilling.

As I was going in the front door to get the birdseed, I heard the noise loud and clear – from above my head.

We have a skylight in the portal in front of the door, and it is set up into a box-like frame.

A Hummingbird had flown up into that box and was trying very hard to fly through the skylight, which she obviously could not do.

Those of you who have been online friends for a long time will think this sounds familiar. It did happen before and I blogged about it – in May, 2007. How time flies!

I got my big ladder and my leather gardening gloves and climbed up until my head was in the skylight box.

The Hummingbird really went bonkers then, of course, and flew into the skylight over and over. Can you just imagine how frustrating for her that the sky, which represents her life and freedom, was suddenly a barrier?

I told her that I would show her the way to go if she would trust me.

She did.

I held her in my hand and brought her down to where she could easily fly, and let her go.

She was uninjured and flew off to resume her usual nectar-gathering routine.

I climbed down off the ladder, and it hit me what an amazing analogy this was for the way I’ve been feeling – flying over and over into invisible barriers until the effort hurts.

Perhaps better to relax and trust that the hand of fate will carry you to the proper path.

I felt so much better!

And there is something so profound about holding that powerful a life force in your hand and knowing that as powerful as it is, it is also very fragile, and must be handled with extreme care.

The Hummingbird at the top of the post is not the skylight Hummer, by the way. It is the very first Rufous that I have been able to photograph in my garden, and I really love the photo. Hope you do too, and that this little story has brought a smile into your day.

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Welcome to the Ghost Garden


2013 has been my most challenging year in the garden – ever.

We started the year with a prolonged drought, and then, a month ago, the monsoon season started with a vengeance. We have not had such a heavy monsoon season in several years and everyone is glad for the rain. But, as I mentioned a few posts ago, every rain this year has ice cubes.

Most of the hail storms barely miss us, passing to one side or the other, but one that hit early in the season did a lot of damage and made me start thinking about how I could protect my precious plants.

Someone suggested shade cloth and I bought many yards and made covers for some of the plant stands . . . and it was protective, but I couldn’t see the plants at all, and the garden looked like a ghost party. What’s the point of having a garden that you can’t see? Or ghosts that you can see, for that matter.

Since these storms have been coming through daily, I needed a solution that would not be quite so extreme.

I don’t know why, but I thought of nylon net. I didn’t want the garden to look like a wedding party either, but they make nylon net in a dark forest green and a taupe-y dark brown.

I bought 36 yards and a couple of packs of wooden clothes pins. This worked great.

I could see the plants, they could get light and air and water, and hopefully not get hurt by hail.

The garden certainly does not look normal like this, but there is a surreal beauty that I never expected.

ghostgarden1 ghostgarden gardenghost6 ghostgarden4

This last photo shows you what the shade cloth looked like too. And it shows all the Hibiscus wrapped with the pillars of our portal.


The nylon net folds out to a 72″ width and cuts very easily with scissors so it was easy to make a cover to fit all the different beds and planting arrangements. I attach the net with clothes pins to trellises, the edges of pots, tree and shrub branches, and everything else that is handy. I put plant stakes or something in the containers to hold the top of the net off the plants.

I take the net off for as long as I can for the Bees and Hummingbirds etc. and put it back on whenever the radar tells me I must. It is a ridiculous amount of work.

I have been doing this since late June.

A week ago last Friday, there were no storms in the forecast. I took the netting off.

Mark called me over to watch the gallery while he came home to meet a plumber we had fixing a leak in the water line to the new refrigerator.

While I was at the gallery, it started to rain – big drops – which means trouble.

I called home to tell Mark to get the dogs in and cover the plants as fast as he could.

It just so happens he was on a run to get parts for the plumber.

We got flooding rain and very bad hail. Wet dogs, flooded yard, lots of damage to plants.

Almost a month I had religiously protected every vulnerable planting – and there they all were left undefended when the hail hit the fan. They were very mad at me.

There is great irony in this tale, and probably some lesson about control issues, but I did a lot of wailing and weeping and could not tell what the lesson might be. I also didn’t feel like controlling all the wailing and weeping.

Then I dried the tears and started the clean-up and first aid. And promised every injured plant that I would not let this happen again!

The silver lining in this event is that I had left the netting on two trellises and those plants did not get a bruise. And that was BIG BAD hail.

So my system works!!

If you live in an area that is threatened by hail this Summer, you might want to try this on your most precious plantings.

The garden has valiantly recovered in the last week and a half. Nature is an amazing thing. As new leaves grow, I remove the torn ones.

For two days now, there have been no storms on the radar, and the Bees and Birds have been having a great time. However, I am going out right now to put the protection back on because we have more T-Storms in the forecast.

This is anything but relaxing, but there is a weird beauty to a garden draped in veils.

Watercolor Marker News


I have been doing some searching.

The Triplus Marker Set I have with the 1.0 tips can be found at this website for a VERY good price.

and here

And here

AND . . . I saw three packs at my local Staples store – in the children’s art section where the Crayola stuff is.

So, everyone who wants one of these sets can still get one.

I was also searching my art supply drawers and found an old set of Pentel markers.

I tested them and they work great for the marker painting too.


REALLY Easy Art Journal Color . . .

coneflower1 Been trying to loosen and lighten up in my art journal/sketchbook because I have run into a problem.

Since switching to the Stillman & Birn Beta Sketchbook with the wonderful cold press watercolor paper, and getting my magnetic watercolor kits set up, I find that I am not journaling – I am PAINTING.

This is not a bad thing, but it is very time consuming, and gets in the way of the idea of recording my little life moments.

I found my water soluble markers. They can be used as a “palette” for watercolor sketching.

I had never considered that possibility for several reasons. I used them for rough sketches in the graphic design business, but never liked their lack of blendability when applied to a page.

In my fine art, I never even thought of them because they are not lightfast. I only had them around for that huffing thing rubber stampers do, and I’ve got more important things to get huffy about. (My server was down all day yesterday. That was a huff. Hail hit my garden Friday – during the only two hours I had the protective netting off the plants in the last THREE weeks. That was a huff and a half!)

I have to have control of my looseness, of course (yes, I know that is very peculiar) but I could do something with this idea.

And I work in books now, so lightfast is not an issue, because the pages get very little light.

I got out a small piece of Sheer Heaven to use as a palette – as I do with watercolor pencils.

But, so much of the marker color sunk into the Sheer Heaven that not enough color could be picked back up with the water brush. The colored pencils sit on top of the tooth, which is why they work so much better this way.

So, I turned the Sheer Heaven over, scribbled with the marker on the slick “wrong” side, and picked the color up with the water brush.

It worked GREAT and the best part is that this is a way to re-use your Sheer Heaven pieces left over from transfers, because you are using the backside. AND, when you are done painting, you wash the Sheer Heaven off under a running faucet, dry it with a paper towel, and it is fresh and clean for the next round. I LOVED this. Now, could I make a decent illustration this way? coneflowerpage I first sketched a fantasy Cone Flower from memory – and did not remember the petals are pointed. Oh well.

Then I got out the beautiful pink Cone Flower I bought at Lowes the day before and sketched it – a blossom and a leaf and bud. Love the name of this hybrid – “Butterfly Kisses”.pink-coneflower2 Isn’t this beautiful? Lowes had red ones too. I might have to get one.

The markers don’t have to be expensive. I have a set of 50 made by Crayola, that cost me $6.99 after coupon at Hobby Lobby. Sargent is another cheapo brand.

Expensive is not necessarily better in this case. LePlume, and Tombow, have much more pigment, but they don’t flow so well with this technique.

I have a set of 100 Fibracolor markers I like best that cost only $22. watermarkers I used a combo on my Cone Flower page.

Triplus markers by Staedtler are great and I wish they came in more than 20 colors – but you can mix extra colors right on the Sheer Heaven.  They also don’t seem to be available anymore.

All you need for this journaling experience is a pencil (and eraser), Pitt Pen, Water Brush, a piece of used Sheer Heaven, and a few markers. Plus your journal, of course.

If you don’t have these markers around, your kids or grandkids do. And I know you’ve got some used Sheer Heaven to recycle. Give this a try. I think you’ll like it.


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Garden Art Journal . . . Remember the Soaker Hose?


If you remember this, you have been with me for a long while – five years at least!

Thank you for still being here – I really appreciate it.

Anyway, one of the big mistakes I made along the way was trusting Apple to have a blogging platform that would last (MobileMe). When they pulled the plug in June of 2012, I had moved to WordPress, but everything previous to that move went into oblivion.

Except that I had created it all in iWeb, which remains on my computer, and using it, I can find and bring back some archival posts.

This one was too much fun and I still feel the pain of that accident.

The journal page was done in my Moleskine Sketchbook with watercolor pencil, Pitt pen and the magic of the Sheer Heaven transfer, which allowed for the realistic newspaper article.

After doing this illustration, I was excited about how realistic my soaker hose looked and did another page about how that was drawn . . .


“Loop Doodle”? I maust have made that up. I wonder if it could have become as big as Zentangle? Oh well, another ship that sailed.

Anyway, if you follow these steps, you can have all the recycled rubber tire soaker hose you would ever want to draw. And the drawings can’t bite you on the heel.

And around that same time, I made an earthshaking discovery of something that everybody else in the world already knew about – how to use a hose repair kit . . .



And I still fix every hose that I can by using this method.

HOWEVER, I have moved on to a new kind of soaker hose . . .


First of all, it doesn’t bite – and it doesn’t fight you either.

It is a flat nylon ribbon, stitched along one side, which surrounds a “leaky” plastic tube.

As the water leaks out of the tube, the only place for it to go is out the holes made by the stitching. This provides a nice, slow soaking.

It lays flat on the ground and can easily be wound around wherever you need it.

Here, you can see it bottom left, running under the Monarda which grows in the shade of the Aspen.


And here is a close up to show you how it works . . .


I have become a devotee of soaker type watering. Last year, I did an experiment and did not use the weeper hoses, and my perennials grew to only half their usual height. Plus, I almost got carpal tunnel from holding hose guns.

These flat weeper hoses are not available in big box stores, but they can be found on Amazon here (Prime shipping too):

Gilmour Flat Weeper Hose

So, I hope you enjoyed the little trip to the past in my journal, and also learned something useful.

As I go through my old, lost blog posts, I plan to bring the good ones back for a second day in the sun. Do you like that idea? That also makes them available in the Archives of this blog, which is a good thing.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Garden Art Journal . . . New Stuff


Another good art starter when you can’t think of what to journal about is a chronicle of new things.

It seems like every year, I add some permanent things to the garden: tools, pots, sculptures, feeders, etc.

When you bring them home all shiny, it’s a good time to have them star on a garden journal page.

Plus, they hold still and let you sketch them, unlike many other things in the garden.

This page was done with pan watercolors in my Stillman & Birn Beta journal.

I didn’t do any transferring – just sketched with 3H pencil and painted over.

These pots really are a find.

They are beautiful and look just like ceramic.

You all know I don’t like plastic much, but I needed to get those Hibiscus into large pots and I have to be able to move them – to rescue them from hail.

These are still managable even when full of wet dirt. And they look natural.



Corona is my favorite brand of garden tool and I am excited every time I get a new one. The one in the journal is a mini lopper.

And, of course this trip to Lowes also yielded some Morning Glory Seeds. I have some full grown already that I started from nursery plants, and I am about to start another crop from seed. I got some incubators I will be telling you about, so they will get enough overhead light and still not get eaten by bunnies.

Another GREAT Thing from Lowes . . .


Oh do I love this app!

First of all, the print magazine you can pick up in the store is really good, but the interactive version on the iPad is TOO wonderful.

Great animated graphics – like watching little gardens grow right before your eyes, and every project has step-by-steps and supply lists to click on. It is ultra-entertaining – and free!

And maybe my favorite thing – Pin It! buttons with every article, so you can keep and share the projects for future “doing”.

Yay for Lowes! This is marketing at its best.

Here’s the link

Creative Ideas


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Garden Art Journal . . . Birdcages & Blocks of All Kinds


Watercolor & Ink – Stilman & Birns Beta Journal

On Pinterest yesterday, I found a board dedicated to Garden Journals – when someone pinned my birdbath sketch to it, and it occurred to me that, for the most part, Garden Journals are Art Journals because they tell a story about your life, help you remember things that happened, and usually have sketches, photos and other kinds of visual note-taking.

Since that happens to be my definition of “Art Journal”, I decided they belong in the same category.

And it’s a good thing, because so many of my art journal pages are about my garden that I would hate to have to separate the two.

This page is from back in April, but I rediscovered it yesterday.

When I created the page, I had just gotten home from a trip to Lowes, where I bought some stepping stones that I thought were the same as all the ones I put in last year.

They weren’t.

It’s weird how you can look at something everyday and not remember what it looks like.

But, it’s ok because I only bought these for the birdbaths to sit on – not to add to my walkways.

And I was having an uninspired journaling day, so it gave me something to draw – (grin).

Which brings me to a good idea to share with you.

What to Draw?

OK – sometimes that is a problem for everybody. You’ve got the urge – but no subject.

When it happens to me, I turn to some books I keep around for just such an occasion. These are fun, illustrated books of one kind or another, and seeing some simple pictures always gives me ideas of things to draw.

I will share these books with you from time to time. Here is a favorite:

Beautiful Doodles – Nellie Ryan


This is not a tangle type of doodling, but rather, simple sketches and partially drawn scenes for you to fill in. You can even work in the book itself if you want . . .


Either way, there are enough idea starters in here to get you out of any drawing block.

Past Garden Journal Pages . . .

This page brought up memories of other garden journal pages that are now lost in the archives.

Do you remember the Story of the Morning Glories I tried to grow from seed?

That was a five page garden journal story way back in 2011.

You can find the entire story here:

I enjoyed reading that story again – hope you do too.

And, I have the urge to blog more often again – let’s see how that goes?!?

OMG and WTF . . .


I don’t text.

It seems crazy to do all that thumb typing when you can leave a voice message instead. I talk faster than I thumb type. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. I don’t want to develop big muscular thumbs either.

Thumb typing is an arduous activity, and it takes a long time to become proficient enough to do it while driving. (Don’t look at me like that – I’m kidding!)

But, there is something to celebrate in everything.

Because thumb typing is so arduous, and because Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters, and because we are a ridiculous people who must make a hurry-up version of everything, acronyms have been created for many common phrases. You’re all familiar with LOL and BFF, of course.

My absolute favorites are OMG and WTF.

They have wonderfully rendered my favorite expletives harmless, while retaining all of their expressive power.

Face it – “Oh My Gosh!” just never did the job.

And uttering the F word as often as I felt it was called for, was no more ladylike than having big, muscular thumbs.

But I can pull out an OMG or WTF any old time without offending anybody.

However you choose to interpret it is up to you, but all I said was O.M.G. or W.T.F. (Both of these acronyms are even more potent when separated with periods, BTW).

Now, of course we had acronyms before smart phones and email came along.

We had the PTA and FBI and AAA, to name just a few.

But, IMHO, they weren’t good for much. No punch, no emotion.

I mean, you can’t get a big surprise and then exclaim “P.T.A.”, can you?

So, I am grateful to the texting trend for this gift.

Now, WITW (what in the world) does any of this have to do with that beautiful Asiatic Lily at the top of the post, you might be wondering.

Well, I’ll tell you.

Every rain we get this year seems to come with ice cubes.

We crave the water – our gardens love it.

We hate the hail – our gardens become salads because of it.

I have been such a clever girl devising protective cover for what is planted in the ground (will share in a later post), but for the containers, I use the old fashioned way, which is to carry every GD (gol darn) one of them into the house or green house – and out again after the danger of getting mulched has passed.

I watch the RADAR, dontcha know, and when it looks like this . . .


The plants come in. See the Red pin in the middle? That’s me.

Sunday night, the plants were in the house – all over the place.

Monday morning, one plant was partially mulched on one side anyway.

“WTF?”, I said. It had to be the cats.

Then, I realized it was the Asiatic Lily.

Better look it up – just in case.


Then, it was time for “OMG!” And a call to the vet.

Most lilies are highly toxic to cats, and this Asiatic hybrid is one of them. In fact, don’t mix your cats with any lilies because there are only 3 or 4 that are not toxic to them (Calla being one).

This is serious toxicity – can cause kidney failure and death.

Luckily, my cats did more mulching than actual eating and did not develop symptoms.

Now I know – and now you know – and the lily stays outside from now on.

This was my second poisoning scare of 2013.

Back in March, we came home from a party to find that one of our three dogs had emptied a package of sugar-free gum containing Xylitol, which can cause severe liver damage in dogs, and also critical drops in their blood sugar. Who knew?

We did not know how many pieces of gum were in the pack, nor which one of our pack had eaten them. The most likely culprit got blood tests right away.

And we lucked out then too, because nobody consumed enough to make trouble. They are big dogs. But a little dog could be in big trouble from just one piece of gum.

That’s something else that few people know. Xylitol is all over the place – used as an artificial sweetener. It is in most sugar-free gum and candy and also any products made to treat dry mouth. Make sure any product that might contain it is kept out of reach of the pups.

Here is a very helpful link for the Pet Poison Help Line

If more people were aware of the everyday things that are harmful to animals, our furkids would be a lot safer.

Gotta go take the plants out. The sun is shining.


Have You Ever Seen a Robin Bathing?


It was one of those slightly interesting pieces of time anyway.

I was reading an old gardening issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine – from 2005 in fact.

The gardening issues are the only ones I ever read because the garden is the only place I ever stand a chance of doing Martha Stewart type things.

I started reading the Letter from the Editor because it was about Martha coming home from prison.

I spent some time thinking how weird that was that Martha Stewart went off to prison. As I understand it, she even did Martha Stewart type things in prison.

Then I realized who the Editor was at that time – my current gardening GURU from my favorite gardening blog – Margaret Roach.

It’s called A Way to Garden and she is wonderful.

One of the things I found so interesting about her is that she had left such a very high position in publishing to flee the city and spend her life gardening on her own piece of land in upstate New York.

Anyway, here was a glimpse of Margaret before fleeing the corporate echelons of Martha Stewart magazine.

So, I was entertained already when this Robin came along.

I found his bathing rituals so interesting that I started shooting pictures. Then I found the flying water in the photos even more interesting.

Here’s a little treat for you . . .






And now we have one very clean Robin. Anyone got a towel?

Art in the Summertime . . .

It’s funny about Summer. Many of us actually have a little more time for doing art, but it is hard to take workshops and such because our schedules get knocked around by gardening, vacationing, family get togethers, etc.

With that in mind, I have converted two more art workshops to the WHENEVER format so you can take them anytime and work at your own pace.

Inktense – Soups to Nuts is now a WHENEVER workshop after three very successful classroom sessions. There are 12 PDF Lessons which run these great water soluble pencils through all their tricks – and there are plenty! Inktense can masquerade as everything from watercolor to wood stain. I’ll show you how.

Watercolor for the Art Journal and Sketchbook is also now a WHENEVER workshop. Ten videos lessons and three PDFs teach you all about how watercolor works – in the way that I wish somebody would have taught me! Watercolor goes great with Summer because it is so light in nature and so portable.

Both of these Workshops can be found on the

WHENEVER Workshop page

Another Wonderful Book

This one isn’t fiction, but it is funny and informative and completely illustrated in a charming style.

It might even accidentally teach you something about gardening.


Kiss My Aster at Amazon

The Look Inside feature at Amazon allows you to get a very good idea of the humor and fun to be had in this book. I suspect the illustrations might also get you wanting to do a little drawing!

That’s what I’m wanting to do right now . . . let’s see if anything stops me on the way to my journal.

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For the Birds . . .


Backstage at the Whatever . . . Whenever Blog

I wrote yesterday’s post while sitting in my favorite place on earth – my garden swing.

No matter what I am doing in the garden, this is always right beside me . . .


And so it was that I could capture this most perfect headshot of Ms. Hummingbird.

And such a strange thing happened right afterward.

But first let me set the scene . . .

This is my all time favorite Hummingbird feeder, and it has its own story


This ceramic apple feeder was marketed by Havahart several years ago and is no longer sold. I loved it so much when I saw it at a local nursery, that I bought two.

I don’t know why I loved it so much – just one of those things. It was red and wonderfully shaped and shiny. May as well have been a heart. I loved it.

And my Hummingbirds loved it too. They know a good thing when they sip at one.

As much as I loved it, however, I gave the second one to my Mom for her garden.

Years passed and my wonderful apple got sun faded, cracked and finally got broken. I tried to find another one, and there were none to be had.

Then I went to Michigan to help my mother move to Santa Fe, and lo and behold, there was her apple feeder still in the box – just like new!

I gushed all over it until she gave it back to me.

And I was really happy with this new red apple. This time, I hung it on a shady branch of a tree so it wouldn’t fade.

But the tree I hung it in was this one – a Chinese Elm I have to keep cutting way back so it won’t become too big for the courtyard.


And one day, I cut the wrong branch and my apple feeder fell and smashed.

Great weeping and gnashing of teeth ensued.

I went back on the web determined to find another one. I called the manufacturer in case there might be one sitting forgotten in a warehouse somewhere. No luck.

But then, my friend, Google, came up with a woman on ebay who was selling some “VIntage Fruit Hummingbird Feeders”. The early 2000′s isn’t quite vintage in my book, but I went to look anyway.

You guessed it . . . there was my apple amongst some very ugly fruit that may as well have been vintage.

And I bought it.

So, that’s the ebay find hanging in the midget Elm as of yesterday (the garden is still very much a work in progress!)

And the tree is about 6 feet from my swing, so when my Hummingbird friend decided to visit the apple, I grabbed that telephoto lens and got right in her face with it.

And now, the strange thing that happened . . . she got right back in my face. She flew right up to the end of my lens – she didn’t hit it but she hovered there – just as close as she had been to the feeder. Obviously, there was no way to focus, so I just sat there until she had enough and flew away.

Maybe she was checking her make-up in the lens reflection?

Mark passed through the garden about then and I told him about it.

“Maybe she thought I was some exotic flower or something,” I said to him.

“Maybe she thought you were a gigantic Hummingbird with a REALLY weird beak,” he said.

It’s for moments like that that I keep him around.

Copyright Notice

You may have seen that I added copyright type to the lead photo in this post. I hate the look of that, but with Pinterest and all that going on, it is something I have to do – at least to the important images. I will try to keep it as unobtrusive as possible.

A Great Read . . .

I am really picky about fiction. It has to be very well written, not stupid or saccharin or hopelessly insipid. I am also sick to death of violence as entertainment. So, it is not very often that I will recommend a work of fiction, but . . .

This book I loved.



This is historical fiction at its best – telling the story of two women born at opposite ends of a century, who you would not think have anything in common – but they do. The narrative switches back and forth between the early 1900′s and 2011. I could not put it down – and smiled at the end.

Doesn’t get any better than that.


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