Monday, August 20, 2007

Vacation time

My daughter, Heidi, aka Red, and I will be flying to Richmond, VA early Wednesday morning. We are planning to visit Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg Thursday and Friday.

Friday night we'll probably stay in Fredricksburg so that early Saturday morning we can attend a birding tour at Washington's Ferry Farm. The tour begins at 8 a.m. and lasts for 2 hours. It will be led by Paul Nasca, a birding enthusiast. There have been over a hundred species sighted at this location, so I hope to see a few that I can add to my life list.

After the birding tour we will drive up to New Jersey (southern end) to attend our family reunion. This family reunion is on my mother's side where the majority of this family has lived and stayed in the Norristown-Philadelphia area for many decades.

Last week I went shopping for a new piece of luggage. My old luggage does not have wheels except for the largest piece. I think it's a 29-inch bag, large enough for a two-three week trip. But this trip is only for one week, and I don't need anything that big. So I got myself a Samsonite 21-inch upright.

It certainly has plenty of pockets on the front, as well as several more pockets and pouches inside the bag. And there still seems to be plenty of space for clothes, too.

Sunday we will drive in a southerly direction. We are hoping to visit Annapolis before heading to Washington. Can you believe this native of Baltimore has never visited the capital of her home state?

When we get to Washington we are hoping to visit the Museum of Natural History (a favorite of mine), and the Library of Congress. We also want to visit the memorials on the mall and hopefully will visit one of the Smithsonian buildings. I'm also hoping we'll get the chance to visit Arlington National Cemetery. I haven't been there since I was in high school, the year after John F. Kennedy was buried there. There's always so much to see and do in Washington and the surrounding area.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

The third annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival will be Fri, Sat, Sun, Sep 21, 22, 23 this year. Go to their web site by clicking on the link above. Here is the checklist of birds seen last year during the festival. There are so many trips planned it is hard to decide which trip(s) I would like to attend. The Monterey Bay area, a large part of the central coast of California also known as the Pajaro Valley, is quite extensive and geologically diverse - such as wetlands, marsh areas, grasslands, woodlands, etc.

Various and numerous trips are offered and the cost is certainly more than affordable for each trip. Most trips seem to have a limit of 20 attendees - so the earlier one registers, the better the chance of getting your choice of activity.
Oh, so many choices! Watsonville wetlands, Monterey Bay, Elkhorn Slough, Pajaro Dunes, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Carmel Valley and River, or Pinnacles National Monument. Two of the trips offered are pointing out that there is a possibility of locating a California Condor - those trips are full-day events - one to Big Sur and the other to Pinnacles National Monument. The Big Sur trip will also have bird banding demonstrations.

Can you imagine an opportunity to see more than a hundred species of shorebirds and songbirds?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Salad, anyone?

These are some of the different tomatoes my husband is growing this year. They are ready to be picked, and DH and our son are presently in Alaska - biking, fishing, and backpacking. My daughter will probably pick them tomorrow, adding to the ones we already have in the refrigerator. I think it's time to offer some to friends and neighbors. The two of us can't eat that many by ourselves; and we are preparing to fly back to the East coast early Wednesday morning. I think we both will have to take these tomatoes to church on Sunday, and then whatever is left over I will take to work on Monday and Tuesday.

These are a few of our Roma tomatoes. These are my favorite; I really like their flavor best. I prefer this type for tossed and taco salads. If there is an overabundance this year I will probably freeze them and try to make homemade tomato sauce this winter.

These tomatoes I call grape tomatoes - I think they were supposed to be cherry tomatoes, but they are the size of large grapes. To me, cherry tomatoes are about 3-4 times larger. These little goodies make a great nutritious snack food during the day.

And here is a prize cucumber.
Bon appetit!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

House Finch video, by request

Here is the video as is. I have not learned yet how to edit them, or if that is even possible. Just a word of caution for those who may have a slow connection - it may take a while to upload. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fledgling? or LBJ?

Yesterday, around dinner time, this LBJ stopped by my window feeder. It sat there in the feeder for the longest time doing absolutely nothing. It just sat there, not even bothering to eat any of the seed, and I was thinking something might be wrong with it.

I got up from my computer and stood there at the window watching the bird, expecting it to fly off, but it didn't. So I slowly backed up to retrieve my camera, returned to the window and started snapping away. I couldn't believe it wasn't bothered by what I was doing. From what I could tell it looks like a recently fledged female housefinch -- those of you who may know better, please correct me if I'm mistaken. Just click on the photos to get a larger view.It finally began to eat some of the seed. I kept looking around for mama or papa, but didn't see either of them. Actually, this LBJ was all by itself. There didn't seem to be any other birds around at the time, except for a hummingbird. I thought it would be fun to capture this little critter on video, and so I got started. As I was filming, one of our cats decided she wanted a piece of the action and rubbed up against the lens of the camera. And in the midst of this comical scene Red's laughter (my daughter) is recorded and we both can be heard talking about the cat. I was hoping to figure out how to edit the recording so I could post it. But I'll have to leave that for another time.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Welcome to my blog. Those of you who regularly read my posts will notice that my blog has a new look. The new look has been designed by my daughter, Red (aka Heidi). I hope you like the new look. I think Red should consider being a graphic designer, don't you? But she really loves her job as office administrator at the church where we are members.


Current skin is MC Winter 08 and designed by Red.
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