A raptor visitation

Yesterday seemed to be my day to visit with hawks.  While out running errands a red-tailed hawk flew close to me, showing off his gorgeous colors and beautiful feathers.  I did not have the camera with me at the time.  To be honest, even if I had I probably wouldn’t have thought to photograph the hawk because I was stunned by his closeness and beauty.

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Flamingo

I took this photo at the Akron Zoo during a visit with my granddaughters.  As long-time visitors to Life in the Bogs may or may not recall, I am a fan of the flamingo.  I like all birds, but the flamingo is one of my favorites.  (If one were to do a search of my blog for flamingo, one would like find a couple of posts about them.)

See how the sacred old flamingoes come,
Painting with shadow all the marble steps:
Aged and wise, they seek their wonted perches,
Within the temple, devious walking, made
To wander by their melancholy minds.

~ William Butler Yeats

I’m taking the day off from blogging today.  Just because.  I’ll be back live and in person tomorrow.  Maybe.  😀


360: Coasting

Church steeple in Akron, Ohio.

The closer I get to the end of this commitment, the less I am in the mood to work on a blog post.  I feel as though I’ve already put in most of the hard work, and now I just want to coast on in to the finish line.

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358: Something you don’t see everyday

We woke up this morning to the sound of a hot air balloon overhead.  The Ravenna Balloon A-Fair is this weekend so I suspect we will have quite a bit of balloon traffic over the next day or two.  It’s too bad they don’t have a hot air balloon race as part of the festivities.  A race would have fit right in with Scott’s latest assignment which is Competition.  The assignment is due on September 28th so there’s plenty of time to find something suitable.

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254: Have a seat

Inside the Akron Art Museum. Processed in Picnik using the HDR effect.

M and I met M the Younger in Akron on Thursday evening to see the M. C. Escher exhibit at the Akron Art Museum.  I’m not sure what to say/write about it.  His work is incredible.  It would have been nice to have more time looking at some of the prints, but we were not the only folks there that evening.  It was the most crowded I’ve ever seen it, and that meant moving along at a faster pace than I would have liked so others could have their turn.

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250: Scenes from a bike ride

Ready, set...

The city of Akron was co-founded in 1825 (so it is younger than the township in which I live) by Paul Williams and surveyor of the Connecticut Western Reserve General Simon Perkins.  It was interesting to learn this because the street where we met M the Younger and his wife, Merdi, is named after Paul Williams and we have often wondered if it was named after the composer/songwriter (we were obviously unsure of any possible local link, not knowing much about him) or someone else.  History mystery solved.

The really important thing you need to know about Akron, for the purposes of this bike ride, is that the name is derived from the Greek word ἄκρον which means a summit or high point.

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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.