Ballerinas unfocused

The photo challenge for this week is Unfocused.  Unfocused is usually the state of the photographs I take at my granddaughter Emma’s dance recitals.  Every now and then, I find myself liking one or two of the unfocused shots.  (You might want to click on the first photo for a better look at it.)

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339: Bouquets

Colors of late August. From Maddy's bouquet of flowers.

It was another lovely weekend filled with family and fun.  The house is quiet now, something the cats are appreciating.  Both are napping and will likely sleep for the next 24 hours.  They tend to be jumpy when little girls and dogs come to visit, and get very little sleep.  It’s nice to see them settled down again.

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233: Trips and travels

I took a quick trip to visit my granddaughters and their parents.  Did you miss me?  Bet you didn’t even realize I’d gone away.  That’s how quick it was.  M and I left yesterday afternoon and returned late this afternoon.  We drove south through torrential rain, found the land of sunshine as we got further south, then came home through torrential rain only to meet more torrential rain along the way, and got home in time for even more torrential rain because this The Bogs, where precipitation likes to fall.  You can’t say the weather isn’t interesting around here.

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192: Somewhere…

We didn’t travel as far as over the rainbow, but we did see a rainbow and spend the weekend with part of our “pot of gold.”  Family.

We got to do the grandparent thing and spend time with our granddaughters.  It was fun.  I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.  I’m a little exhausted and just want to go veg out for a while.

I did get in my outdoor time per my commitment, but didn’t take many photos of things outdoors unless it included my granddaughters.

Normal operations of Life in the Bogs should resume tomorrow.  I hope your weekend was as lovely as mine.  🙂

184: Odds and ends

(Finch at the Cleveland Botanical Garden)

After a trip or a visit to a local attraction, I’m usually left with photos that just didn’t seem to fit into a post.  I think of them as odds and ends.  So, every now and then, I do an odds and ends post about nothing in particular.

(Chowing down.)

The problem, however, with a post about nothing in particular is that I have to come up with ways to insert some text in between the photos.  Well, okay.  I don’t have to.  But I like to.  To break things up a little.

I’m not sure what type of finches they have at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  They have quite a few of them in the Rainforest of Costa Rica glasshouse.  They are cheerful little birds, willing to pose for a minute or two.

(A plant in the Spiny Desert of Madagascar glasshouse.  Cleveland Botanical Garden.)

It’s another cold day here in the Bogs.  The high today is supposed to be somewhere around 29.  It’s hard to believe that we’re near the end of March and it’s still this cold.  It’s also sunny and clear, something I’m trying to be grateful for.

A look at the 10-day forecast shows there is no warm-up in our near future.  Spring has been put on hold.  Or on ice.

I guess we’ll have to find other ways to keep warm.

Today's view of the pond

The swallows are back.  When I was out on my walk this afternoon they were swooping and swirling over the pond.  It looks like a flying dance to me.  I stood for a while and watched.  Every now and then one of them would swoop close to me, as if checking me out.  I suspect I am not nearly as entertaining to them as they are to me.

A terrible photo of one of the swallows

I tried to photograph them but they are so fast that it is nearly impossible.  I used to think the same of dragonflies until I learned they have flight patterns.  Perhaps the same is true for the swallows.  I’ll have to take the time to sit out there one day and watch.  It was too cold for that today.

Ice formation in one of the boggy spots at the back of the pond

Remember way back to November when I posted the first signs of ice here in the Bogs?  I couldn’t remember when it was, either, so I looked.  Here it is, the bones of winter post.  It seems like it was a long time ago.

Blowin' in the wind

I guess that’s about it from the Bogs for today.  I’ll leave you with a couple of warmer scenes to help those of us still dealing with the cold.

Walk through the door...

... and out on to the beach.


129: King of the Jungle

To me, there is something a little sad about zoos.  I know the majority of us might not otherwise be able to see most of the animals that we can visit in zoos, but still, I find it sad.  That’s especially true when I see the big cats, such as the lion above.

On the other hand, he’s probably living a more comfortable life than a lion in the wild.  Maybe he’s even enjoying it, being able to lounge around and have someone else bring him food.  Oh wait!  That’s often the case with male lions anyhow.  The females do the hunting.  To be fair to the males, they do spend a lot of time and muscle patrolling and protecting their territory.

Did you know that in the 1940’s there were as many as 450,000 lions in the wild?  It may be as few as 20,000 now.  If you’re interested, National Geographic has a Cause an Uproar program to help big cats such as the lion.  They also have a movie, The Last Lions, coming out in February 2011.

Today’s CD

Tori Amos, Boys for Pele.

I’ve been a big fan of Tori Amos for, well, I don’t know.  Since the early 90’s, I suppose.  The person that introduced me to Tori Amos’ music calls her “the goddess of the piano.”

Boys for Pele is not about Pele the soccer player, but about Pele the Hawaiian volcano goddess with the boys being the sacrifices thrown into her fiery pit to assuage her rage.  I was going to write that if you’re not familiar with the music of Tori Amos, you might not want to start with Boys for Pele; however, I’m not sure it matters where you start.  Some of her music can be pretty intense (“Me and a Gun,” a personal story of sexual assault, from her album Little Earthquakes comes immediately to mind) and some can sound almost whimsical in comparison to the heavy stuff while still covering serious or emotional subjects.

Click here to listen to “Winter.”  I picked this song for the obvious reason (it’s winter!).  Or check out Caught a Lite Sneeze (which is from the album Boys for Pele).

More Snow

We had more snow overnight and this morning.  I’m not sure what the total is for the season.  We have about a foot of snow on the deck right now.  There would be more if we hadn’t had a couple of thaws.

(Today’s view of the pond from the cattails.)

It’s still a dark, bluish-gray.  We haven’t seen the sun since last Saturday.  Hopefully we’ll get at least a glimpse of it tomorrow.  I’m told the possibility exists.

(In the woods, by the creek.)

Four deer ran through the outside meadow.  I also saw a red-tailed hawk and a couple of small woodpeckers along with the usual chickadees and doves.  The only other wildlife I saw was M speeding down the hill on a sled.

(A few spots of color.)

I looked hard for something different to photograph.  I’m sure it’s out there.  I just can’t see it.  Yet.  Winter is starting to seem long and slow, stretching into forever.

(In the meadow.)

Of course that isn’t true.  Spring will arrive eventually, followed by summer, autumn, and another winter.  That’s how the wheel turns.  But winter has a way of making it feel like the wheel has paused.

128: An elephant in the room

(An elephant at the Akron Zoo.  Taken in April 2007.)

I have all these critters in my photo archives who suddenly want to come out and play.  It makes me wonder why I take the photos if I’m just going to let them sit on the hard drive.  It’s time to bring some of them to the blog.  Just for fun.

I took this one at the Akron Zoo when we were last there with our oldest granddaughter, the Exquisite Emma.  It was the year the baby snow leopards were born (2007).  I didn’t realize it had been so long since our last visit.  This might be the year to go again.

Today’s CD

Orishas, A Lo Cubano.

Orishas is a Cuban hip hop group, influenced (obviously) by the hip hop movement as well as Cuban and Latin rhythms.  A Lo Cubano was released in 1999.  You can listen to one of the songs from A Lo Cubano here.  (The link takes you to a video on YouTube.)

This CD had me dancing around the house.  It would be impossible not to dance or move in some way while listening to the Orishas.  I’m sure of it.

(Warm and fuzzy with snow.)

Hey!  It’s snowing!

I know, right?  You’re surprised.  Me too.  Heh.  We’re supposed to get another 4 inches or so tonight.  Tomorrow will be a good day for skiing.  Heck, today is a good day for skiing.

(White pine captures snow.)

I was going to wait to go out when M got home from work since he’ll probably go skiing.  But I already put in a 5-mile walk/run this morning (on the treadmill) and thought a leisurely stroll back to the woods was more my speed this afternoon.

(Hemlock captures snow.)

The snow is all fresh and white and clean again.  It has been coming down all day.  The snow is falling slowly, softly, gently, almost floating.  While walking to the woods I had a brief flash of apple blossoms drifting on a gentle spring breeze.  It was nice to feel/sense that touch spring, if only in my mind.

(Queen Anne’s Lace captures… well… you get the idea.)

I disturbed a pair of ducks (mallards) when I slid down the hill to the creek.  I didn’t even notice them until they took off, startling me.  I noticed while they were in flight that they are almost the same color as the creek looks right now.

(The mallards were here.)

A chevron of geese flew over as I was making my way up the hill towards the house near the end of my walk.  I stopped for a few minutes to watch and listen.  They were heading east.  Perhaps they’re looking for the sun.

(Prayer flags in the woods.)