Sunday, June 29, 2014

Little foxes...and lost things...

"Do you know that nothing in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God, and loving the people He has made." -Francis Chan

I live in town.  On a fairly busy street.  So it is amazing the amount of wildlife I have on my property, or near it.  We have, or should I say had raccoons...that were having a wonderful time making a mess on our back porch.  I trapped about 7 of them.  Game and Fish came, and removed them.  We have skunks...bad news for sure, and stinky.  I have lost count of how many skunk I have trapped.  Animal control comes to get the skunks. Only they shoot them before they remove them, and our yard stinks pretty bad.  We had gophers...we got rid of those ourselves.  We have lots of squirrels that are destroying our trees.  I am still trying to get rid of them.  We have turtles, butterflies, and several varieties of birds...including hawks, and buzzards.  I do not want the last two kinds of birds.  I am having a hard time getting rid of them, too.  Down a couple of houses, there was a rattlesnake.  Just down the block, there is a den of foxes.  They are out in an empty field with a church, and houses nearby.  There is a construction site across the street.  I do not know why these foxes like it there, but they do.  Right in town with all kinds of activity nearby.   This morning I got up early enough to get some photos of the foxes activities.

See the house in the background...these foxes are in my neighborhood.

And there is a lot of traffic...

Here they all are.  Only one seems concerned I am there.

He does not seem to worry too much about me being there if he can sleep.

Look at the little fox's hind can see the leg bone in the light of the sun.  Such a lovely tail.

Remember I told you I lost my notebook with all my quotes in it?  This morning when we were on our way out the door, I could not find the notebook I take to church.  Warren told me I should make a list of all the things I have lost, then we should make more of an effort to find them.  Let's see...two notebooks, a check, SD card, my glasses...and that is this week.  I need to figure out how to stop losing things.  Be blessed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Milky Way and Stars...

"The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." -Psalms 19:1

Last night was a new moon, which means the moon is totally black, which means it is very dark outside.  This is a perfect time to take photos of the night sky.  Since night sky photography needs total darkness, it is better to be in the country...away from the city lights.   Our photography club decided to take advantage of the blackness to photograph the sky, and do a little bit of light painting.  To do light painting, there has to be some object to light paint.  One of our members suggested using the oil jack pumps east of town as our subject.  It was a fantastic suggestion.  Several had scouted the area before the night.  We were warned that a couple of snakes had been spotted, including a rattlesnake.  Thankfully, we did not see any snakes, but we encountered  tons of bugs.  Very annoying.  Especially when they go down the front of your blouse.  Bugs aside, I think it was well worth all the effort.

Getting set by Stephanie DeFranco

This photo was taken right after sunset.  I think it is amazing how much light the camera picks up.

The stars are starting to come out.

I have no idea what the line is above the pump jack.  It might be a meteor, an airplane, or bug.

Here the Milky Way is just starting to rise.  It is the white cloud like formation about half way up the horizon.  Many of our participants had not seen the Milky Way, nor did they know that it rises, and sets like the sun and moon.

A better view of the Milky Way.  To light paint, cameras are set at a high shutter speed (25-30 seconds).  During this time someone takes a flashlight, and paints light on the subject for about 1-5 seconds.  The subject is lit quite nicely...if it was not painted, it would be black.  Our painter, Gennean, was an excellent painter.  She should hire herself out for this.

This photo was painted a little longer.

The Milky Way really shows up in this photo...along with all our cars. (to the right of the jack pump)

My last photo of the night...
I was so glad there was a group of us that went out...otherwise, it would have been a little scary.
Be blessed.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday finds...

"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you love.  It will not lead you astray." -anonymous

I am linking up with Kim Klassen's Friday finds today.

Kim Klassen dot Com

What a busy week this has been.  A very productive one for pictures, too.  I walk with a friend at our soccer fields.  It used to be the old airport, which was the stomping ground for my brother and me when we were very young, but has since been converted to soccer fields, a skate park, and a walking trail. (on the old runways).
When we went walking, there was a nice thunderstorm brewing.  Even with the bad weather we were determined to get a walk in.  We were glad we did, because the Lord had the most beautiful double rainbow in the eastern sky.  I used my iPhone to take some pictures.

This was the first time I used the "pano" option on my iPhone.  As you can see, I was pretty pathetic.  God's rainbow is not crooked.

My second attempt was better...still not great though.  
I had a wonderful find of some burrowing owls.  Actually, I mentioned to a friend if she ever saw one of these owls to let me know where she spotted it.  She found a whole bunch of them.  They did not let me get too close, but I think I got some nice photos. These are three different owls.

This guy is really giving me the evil eye...

This one let me get the closest.  It is like he is saying,"what is this lady doing?"
In the field these owls were in, there were a lot of wild thistle plants.  I thought they were as nice as the owls.

And then there are the standard huge dandelions... I really like taking photos of these.
make a wish...
I love fact, I try to collect seeds from flowers I find in my travels.  The vacant lot down the street has a field of gaillardias.  Rather than gather seeds, I dug up some plants.  I took my shovel, and a bucket.  I came home with 12 new plants.  They look like they are all going to make it.

I have to show off some of our flowers that are now in bloom in our backyard.  I have enjoyed picking them to make bouquets for several rooms in our house.  Oh, they smell so wonderful!

Black-eyed susan

And apricots...our tree was loaded this year.  Our neighbor's plum tree was also loaded.  I spent the week picking, and freezing the fruit.  And eating as I picked.  So good, and sweet.
These are delicious
The last of the apricots.
I will close with a picture of Maggie, who is right there helping me with all my tasks.

So long for now...and be blessed!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My birthday...

"Everything I know I learned after I was thirty." -George Clemaneceau

I just celebrated my 61st birthday.  These birthdays are piling up on me.  Anyway, I thought I would write about some things I know for has only taken me 61 years to figure this out.  When I was a little girl three years old, my mother passed away.  I am sorry to say that I do not remember anything about her, but I do remember asking where she was.  I was told "Heaven."  I understood there was a heaven and a hell.  I very vividly remember going into my backyard talking to the sky telling God I wanted to go to heaven.  I believe He heard the cry of my heart, and He has orchestrated events, people, and places in my life to bring that about.  I feel like I am like Ruth in the Bible, and God has "dropped hands full on purpose" in my life.  I am so grateful that He called me out of my darkness and brought me into the marvelous light.  It is through God, and His word that I know these 10 things...well maybe 9 things.  The first one is a result of age...

10 things I know for sure:
1.  I spend more time looking for things than accomplishing tasks...or so it seems.  I have to write notes to myself reminding me of where I put things.  As I write this, I cannot find my notebook of quotes.
2.  Challenges and difficulties can be a catalyst to make us stronger, and better.
3.  I am happy "in my own skin."  It has not always been so...especially in high school.  I thought every one was smarter, prettier, and skinnier than I.  If "I could only be her."  Not anymore.    I am very happy about how God chose my personality, looks, and talents when He created me.
4.  My "ordinary" life is filled with speculator, wonderful-extraordinary moments.  Each new day is filled with its own magic.  I just have to look for, and recognize how God is blessing, or thrilling me today.
5.  My photography has made me more aware of the presence of God.  I have to look for the light for my photos.  God is light.  And the beauty of His creation is what I try to capture in each picture.
6.  Happiness is a choice.
7.  Success is a choice.  I found a great quote from Yoda of Star Wars: "Do or do not, there is no try."
8.  The grass is greener on your side of the fence.  Look for the positive in your own life, and circumstance.
9.  Being grateful opens your heart, gives you a positive outlook, brings joy to you, and others.
10.  God is good.  Always and forever.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Now how about a glimpse at my birthday...
The birthday girl...(taken with my iPhone).  Here's looking at you, kid.  

Warren did a great job with the decorations...

more decorations...

The cake...6 individual candles, and the number 1=61

Blowing out the candles...with a helper standing by just in case I ran out of air...

present from the family...

A pillow with photos of cool.  Sorry my eyes are closed.  This happens in a lot of photos.

Two of my favorite gifts...

My best gift of man!  

Here's to another year...

Thank you, Jesus for life...

What a wonderful birthday...
Be blessed.

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