Monday, April 30, 2012

White Crowned Sparrow ~ Sweet Shot Tuesday & World Bird Wednesday

Hey, look!  It's me joining in some new photo memes!
Yes, I think I'm an addict... but it's truly a harmless (and fun) addiction.

I've been a long-time lurker of My 3 Boybarians...
Darcy did an OUTSTANDING "31 Days to a Better Photo" project,
which was so good that, not only did I share it with several friends,
it caused me to immediately be hooked on her blog.

So, why have I not participated in her meme until now?
Heck I dunno!  You think I know everything?  Geesh.

When participating in Sweet Shot Tuesday (click on the badge at the bottom of this post),
you are supposed to post your favorite photo of the past week.
How awesome is that?!?!  No extremely complicated or restricting rules or themes.
Just post your fave photo of the last week.
I'm on it!

Well, my fave photos of the week included
a Great Blue Heron, my co-workers' flowers, and a White-Crowned Sparrow.

Since I had already posted the GBH and photos of the flowers.
The White-Crowned Sparrow gets to be the star of my
very first Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Then there's World Bird Wednesday, which I think is a pretty self-explanatory title, right?

So, without further ado (ramble much, Misty?)...

White-Crowned Sparrow
(c) Misty DawnS

Sweet Shot Day

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teal Tips

Yes, another photo of my co-workers' flowers.

Sorry!  They're so so beautiful, and I just couldn't get enough of them!

(c) Misty DawnS


Portraits of Daisy

At work, our department and another department share our office area.  The directors of the other department got all of the girls in their department flowers for Administrative Professionals Day... absolutely beautiful flowers... flowers that I stared at and commented on each time I'd walk past one of their desks.


it happened...

They knew it was just...

a matter of time...

I asked...


they said...


(to my photographing their flowers, of course)

 (c) Misty DawnS

 (c) Misty DawnS

(c) Misty DawnS

No, I'm not jealous of their flowers... not at all... O.K. maybe... just a little...

I would like to share these flowers with Leontien, who is courageously fighting a battle with cancer.  Love and (((HUGS))) to you Leontien.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday 9: That's Why God Made The Radio

Saturday 9: That's Why God Made The Radio

1. The Beach Boys are back together (everyone alive, Dennis and Carl have passed, including Brian) for the first time in 25 years. It's their 50th Anniversary tour. Their new single is called, “That's Why God made the Radio”. Did radio play a huge part of your growing up years?  I've always enjoyed music.  So, of course.

2. What is something that you are disappointed about right now?  My lack of energy

3. What are you really anticipating right now?  Warmer weather so my dragonflies come back for me to photograph

4. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie? What is it?  I have several favorite movies (Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, A League of Their Own, Shawshank Redemption, etc, etc), and I watch them when they are on T.V. (Ya think I like Tom Hanks much?)

5. If you could bring one person back from the dead, who would it be?  You seriously expect me to choose ONE person?!?!

6. Who was the last person you hung up on?  A telemarketer

7. Does it bother you when meme makers separate questions that could've been combined?  Nah... I run a meme too (although it's a photo-meme -  So, I understand you have to keep your participants engaged.

8. What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo?  Duh... I'm a nature photographer... I want to photograph them ALL!  Let's start with the monkeys.

9. What is the food you always buy at the grocery store that you can't live without?  Ummm does coffee count?  Probably not.  Miracle Whip?  (Yeah, I've got issues.)  O.K., O.K. bread! (and then I'll put Miracle Whip on it.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

GBH ~ Camera-Critters #212

As I said in a previous post, I took Wednesday as a vacation day from work to enjoy a little
"me time".

It was beautiful weather.

I fished.

I hung out in a lawn chair and read on my Nook.

I took photos.

I even met a new friend...
(Kinda far away, but I like the reflection in this photo.
So, I'm also joining  Weekend Reflections this week!)

(c) Misty DawnS

New friend decided to show off its flying skills.
(c) Misty DawnS

and its graceful landing abilities.

(c) Misty DawnS

To join in this fun meme, which is
all about critters,
click on the badge.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cloud Bird in the Sky

(c) Misty DawnS

I've been having trouble with my shoulder/back/neck for quite some time now.  This has caused me to have several appointments with OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) doctors in an attempt to 'break the pain cycle'.  Yesterday was one of those appointments.

I usually end up pretty sore (or REALLY sore) after these appointments.  And... well, we're supposed to have an 80 degree day with a slight wind.  And... I've been feeling burnt out and in need of some "me" time.  So... I took today off work.  Good thing I did, because I ended up in a lot of pain last night, didn't sleep well, and got physically ill from the pain.

I finally got to sleep though, and now, although I'm quite sore, it's time for that "me" time.  So, I'm thinking the pond is calling my name.  Time to grab my womens bib overalls, the camera, and the fishing pole.  In the meantime...

Is it just me, or do you see a bird in the sky in this photo?  No, not a REAL bird, a CLOUD bird?  Maybe it's just me, but I see wings raised and pointing to the top of the photo and a head, complete with eye and beak, facing to the right of the photo.  Do you see it too?  Lemme know.  If you don't see it, I'll try to outline what I see and post it, if you're interested.  Or, you may not be interested.  Or, you may just prefer to think I'm crazy and seeing things.  I'm O.K. with that. ;-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Snake Sighting ~ Camera-Critters #211




This post contains a snake.

This post contains a rather large snake.








(c) Misty DawnS

I realize that many people do not like, or are afraid of, snakes.  However, I mentioned the snake in my last Camera-Critters post, so I figured I should post it for this week's Camera-Critters post.  Please don't disown me... I DID provide sufficient warning, after all!

After I saw (and photographed) this critter, I went to Hubs, who was working in his shop, sawing with his table saw, drilling with his drill, and doing whatever other handy things he does with his cool tools out in the shop.  I stated, "We have another big snake at the pond this year."  He replied, "Oh yeah?"  I pulled up the pic on the camera to show him.  I won't repeat his next reply.

Luckily, it's a watersnake, and it's non-venomous.  *whew*

To join in this fun meme, which is
all about critters,
click on the badge.

The sign-in for Camera-Critters opens around 8:30-9:00 a.m. Central time Saturday mornings.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read my previous post, which is full of great tips and information on keeping your pets cool during the summer!

Keeping Pets Cool in Summer

Summer 2011 saw some of the hottest temperatures recorded across the country. Record after record was broken. Texas experienced a drought so severe, entire lakes dried up, and 34,000 acres were lost to a wildfire in the city of Bastrop. The high temperatures and lack of rain in many areas also devastated wildlife populations, from birds to deer, and even livestock. Spring 2012 is already seeing warmer temperatures than normal. It only follows that your pets will also have a difficult time dealing with the heat if this, and future summers are similar to—or worse than—that record-breaking summer. You already know that part of taking proper care of your pet is making fresh, clean water readily available at all times. But what if your pet spends a lot of time outside? Or you take your dog with you to the park or camping? You know the heat can be uncomfortable for your pet. But keeping your pet cool in the summer is also about ensuring his health, not to mention avoiding costly bills for vet visits and pet meds. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for summer.

Provide Shade

No pet should be out in the hot sun all day, every day. No matter how much water you make available, spending that much time in the heat will take an extreme toll on your pet's body and health. Think about it. You wouldn't stay outside that long, right? And even though they're covered in fur, dogs and cats can get sunburned, especially if they have short, thin, or white hair. If, for whatever reason, you can't allow your dog or cat into the house, at least give them a cool, shady spot to rest. You may also consider sunscreen if you plan on taking your dog hiking, camping, or just to the park. Yes, they make sunscreen for pets. If your yard doesn't have natural shade from trees, or you don't have a covered patio, consider putting up a small canopy, or attaching an awning to the house. Better yet, if possible, give your pet access to the garage where there's shade and a cool, concrete floor to lie on. For dogs who spend a lot of time outside, consider getting a kiddie pool, and filling it with just a few inches of water (depth depending on the dog's size) so your dog can cool off throughout the day. Just remember to keep the pool in the shade, or the sun will make the water much too hot to do any good.

Get a Cool Bed

Even if your pet spends most of her time inside, a thick, fluffy bed may be too hot for the summer months. You'll probably notice your dog or cat seeking out spots on the kitchen or bathroom floors, or any other floors not covered with carpeting. They're already carrying quite a bit of insulation with all their fur—a soft, warm bed can just make them uncomfortable in the heat. Try getting your pet an elevated bed. They're made from breathable fabric and sturdy aluminum or PVC frames. These materials also make them a good option for the outdoors because they can just be hosed off when they get dirty, and allowed to air dry. The elevation allows air to circulate around your pet's body, keeping her cooler than just lying on the ground. Another type of cooling pet bed can be filled with water, which keeps your pet cool, and provides comfort.

Don't Shave Your Dog

This may seem counterintuitive, especially if your dog is of a particularly furry breed such as a Husky or Samoyed. While those dogs do very well in cold weather because of their thick coats, they're also built to handle the heat, specifically because of their abundance of fur. Heavy-coated dogs have a complex coat, usually consisting of at least two layers—the undercoat and the topcoat. This layering allows their bodies to regulate body heat the same way it helps them keep warm in cold temperatures. Removing their fur can throw off their bodies' natural way of dealing with heat, or even prevent regrowth of the hair. It also leaves them vulnerable to sunburn. All that said, there may still be times when shaving your dog is advisable, particularly if he's suffering from a skin condition. Before you let the groomer take the clippers to your dog's coat, do some reading on your dog's breed, and check with your vet.

Above all, do not ever leave your pet in a car when it's hot out, not even with the windows down, and not even for just a few minutes. Car interiors quickly become ovens, and can cause serious illness or death for pets left inside. And if you see a pet left in a hot car, call the authorities immediately. It's difficult enough to lose a beloved pet. It's even worse if it could have been avoided through a few simple precautions.

Jackie Roberts is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds, and loves to help and support the pet community. You can find Pet Meds on Twitter or connect with Pet Meds on Facebook.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nature is a Musician

(c) Misty DawnS

Did you know that Nature is a musician?
No, she doesn't use a Danelectro Bass,
but she is a performer, nonetheless.

If you don't believe my words
just close your eyes and listen
next time you enjoy the outdoors.

Listen close and soon you'll hear.
The rustle of the wind through
the leaves on the trees

accompanying the birds
beautifully singing
their special songs.

The boom of thunder
joining the patter of rain
as it keeps beat on the ground.

The ripple of a stream,
the croak of a frog,
a hawk's scream...

Ah yes, close your eyes
to clearly hear
Nature's music.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bees, Fruit, and Lack Thereof

We planted a small orchard of fruit trees on our property when we moved here. Peaches, nectarines, and apples. We had many peaches last year and several nectarines. However... the apples... *sigh* The apple trees are just not producing, and we can't figure out why. In fact, we haven't even had any of the apple trees bloom until this year, and only two of them bloomed. Last year, Hubs thought maybe they weren't getting pollinated. So, he went and got a bee hive to put back by the pond in hopes they would pollinate the apple trees and the berry bushes. I've been working on overcoming a fear of bees, so I resist the urge to wear full protective gear, complete with shoei helmet when I go back there. I do, however, wish we could figure out why the apples are not producing.

Hello... Mr. Bee?
I ask you, please.
Don't waste time on this weed,
but rather pollinate my apple tree!

(c) Misty DawnS

To join in this fun meme, which is about
taking a closer look,
click on the badge.

To join Mellow Yellow Monday,
click on the badge.

Pretty Pink Blooms

The flowers are blooming in the gardens at the university where I work. They are so beautiful and such a welcomed sight. A few days ago, before the nasty stomach flu decided to take me down, my secretary and I went for a walk around the university, and I took photos of the various flowers.

They do a very nice job of landscaping around the campus, and it is nice to be able to take a break from staring at computer monitors (I have two monitors to stare at) and walk outside and stare at some beauty for a few minutes. These flowers would looked nice hanging in a pink bedroom, don't you think?  Just a thought.

(c) Misty DawnS

To join in this fun meme, which is full of beauty,
click on the badge.

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Damsel of the Year ~ Camera-Critters #210

Lookee!!! LOOKee! LOOKEE what I found!!!

No, I didn't find a great deal on tailored sportsman breeches while shopping. I did, however, find and photograph my first damselfly of the year! If you know me, then you know that's HUGELY exciting for me! Yes, it will be even more exciting for me when I see and photograph my first dragonfly of the season (not to mention when I photograph my first LIFER dragonfly of the season). However, seeing the damselflies tells me I will soon see my dragonflies. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Can ya tell I'm excited? Probably not.

(c) Misty DawnS

To join in this fun meme, which is all about critters,
click on the badge.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Does My Head Make My Shell Look Big ~ Camera-Critters #209

When we were having unseasonably warm temperatures, the turtles decided to start showing themselves. I tried to get a better shot of this big 'un, but it disappeared when I attempted to get closer. Don't worry, I don't make a habit of trying to pet the turtles in our pond. Are you crazy? There's big ol' Snappers in there!

Oh, and if you think this guy is big... just wait til you see THE SNAKE!!! But, I'll save it for another post. :-)

(c) Misty DawnS

To join in this fun meme, which is
all about critters,
click on the badge.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sparkling Grass

It has been a while since I've posted a photo for Macro Monday. Heck, it has been a while since I've even taken a photo! It's a long story, and I'll spare you.

We've had amazing weather though! We've been having summer temperatures. Summer temperatures in March! Makes me wonder what is going to happen when it's actually summer.

So, of course, I was headed back to the pond to go fishing when this patch of grass, wearing its diamond droplets, was sparkling at me. I dropped to my knees and started shooting. I think next time, I'll need to be wearing something with waterproof contemporary fabric, since I got my pants all wet and had to go change before I went fishing. hehe

(c) Misty DawnS

Glory in the Sky

Sunsets are great for Straight Out of the Camera Sunday, because God perfectly provides all the glory right there in the sky. We don't need to adjust or tweak a thing.

(c) Misty DawnS

Pear Tree Blossoms

WooHoo! I'm excited because I can start participating in Today's Flowers again! The sun has been shining, the flowers are out, and the bees are buzzing! It's just a matter of time before my beloved dragonflies start visiting the pond. In fact, I did see a damselfly yesterday, when I was back at the pond fishing. I didn't get a photo of the damselfly though. I will, however, share with you a photo of the pear tree in our field. Yes, it leans to the right... the picture is not crooked. haha

(c) Misty DawnS

Yep, it's time to get out the shorts, funny tshirts, and sandals! It's Fishin Time!!!

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