He’d always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite.”
- Dorothy B. Hughes, The Expendable Man -
We spent part of our winter in Arizona. The landscaping in our yard is more aptly called hardscaping since it is mostly paving stones and rock. There are a number of green plants – most of them of the prickly variety. Here they are, up close in all their spiny glory.
Golden Barrel Cactus
Fishhook Barrel Cactus
Possibly a type of Hedgehog Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
There is one animal that is not intimidated by the Prickly Pear Cactus. It is the Javelina. It looks much like a Wild Boar, but it isn’t. (For more information about this animal, here is an article called ‘Do Not Mess with Javelinas‘). I haven’t actually seen Javelinas in our yard, but I do know what they dine on – my Prickly Pear Cactus!
My recent story about a cactus in bloom: Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
- Abraham Lincoln -
1. The facts: This is my 400th Post. I have been blogging for three and a half years. I get about 60 views a day.
2. My Complaint: My popularity expectations are not being met.
3. My Goal: I want to be immensely popular. I don’t want to put a lot of effort into promoting my blog, nor do I wish to learn how to be a better writer or photographer. No, I just want what popular bloggers have.
4. My Cunning Plan: I’m going to start a new Entitlement Movement. I welcome your suggestions on what I should call it.
5. What my Entitlement Movement will demand:
- I want better wild animal photos for my blog. No one does a nicer job than the Canadian Photographer, Christopher Martin. Oh sure, I could buy a camera like his, and learn how to use it, and spend days tramping through the wilderness – but I’d rather be sitting at my computer complaining. I think I am entitled to some of Christopher’s photos. He has lots of them.
- I want better wild flower photos. Montucky at Montana Outdoors is very good. He (at least I think he is a he) is American, not Canadian, but I spend enough money in the USA during the winter when I visit there, so I think I am entitled to some of his photos too.
- I want better drawings. I like the work of Doodlemum. Yes, I suppose I could learn to draw better, but that would take a lot of time and like I said before, I’m better at complaining.
- I want unique and inventive content. Terry Border from Bent Objects, Nicole at The Middlest Sister and Dan at A LEGO a Day are three of my favourites. I admire their creativity. I don’t have that skill set, and I’m not even sure I have that kind of capability – but it is what I want, and someone should give it to me. I’m entitled.
- I want better stories. Most of my fellow bloggers are better writers than I am, so I want them to ghost write for me.
- I want the same viewer stats as that the top 1% of all bloggers. Why should they have so much, and I have so little?
It just dawned on me that I should be demanding better internet service too. I live in a rural area and the nearest internet tower provides “insufficient service” for my needs (“Insufficient service” – that is how my ghost writer would say it, I think). I know, I could move closer to where the services are – but it would be much better if they built a tower closer to my house. Not where I could see it, though. I don’t want my view destroyed. It is bad enough that I can see power poles behind my property. I want all power poles to be underground so I can’t see them. I want all my power to come from the sun or the wind and I want it to be dirt cheap.
Speaking of my rural aspect, there are 17 pieces of property out my way and we were here long before the developers started to march across the horizon and build warehouses. We were here long before the nearest town became a city and annexed us. We were here first! I demand that all this newly developed land be given to me and that I be made President and CEO of all the enterprises that have replaced the homes of the moose and deer and fox.
I also want to have quicker access to an airport, but I don’t want planes flying over my place. Sometimes they are so loud that I can hear them above the howl of the wind and the buzz of the mosquitoes. (I want the wind and mosquitoes to go away too.)
Now I want to go have a nap. Organizing an Entitlement Movement is hard work. I think I need to find ‘people’ to do this stuff for me. I’m entitled to have someone arrange for my entitlements.
I am President of the NBFP Club – home of all those bloggers who feel they are under appreciated!
I don’t get it – how could I have ‘Come from a pattern’?
My mom was a sewer and a knitter. One of her earliest projects (after I was born) was a stuffed bunny that I called ‘Baboo’. The pattern in this photo is the one she used over mpffmp years ago. The bunny in this photo is ‘Babo 2′. Baboo1 was a much more interesting creature. The first time Baboo1 was washed, one of his ears shrank much more than the other one did. For the rest of his life, his short ear stood up at attention, and his long ear flopped down over his eye.
When Baboo1 was about 20 years old, I carefully unstuffed him and gave him a good bath in preparation for his introduction to my first child. Once he was dry, I popped him and his stuffing into a paper bag and set him on a shelf in my mom’s laundry room. When I went to retrieve Baboo1, he was gone. Someone must have seen the old bag of grungy stuffing and threw it out, not realizing that Baboo1 was in there too.
I made a new Baboo, but he was never right. I used felt for his eyes, but I should have embroidered them. His ears were both the same length, and even when I stitched one down so it would flop, it just wasn’t the same.
Childhood has no necessary connection with age.
- Austin O-Malley, Keystones of Thought -
I’m glad I still have the pattern. I think I am old enough now to make Baboo again, only this time I will do all the right things wrong, and all the wrong things right. Baboo3 will be as imperfectly perfect as Baboo1!.
One of my other craft projects – Sondra the Snow Goddess
For more photos from this WordPress Challenge, go to Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern
Many of the old Cottonwood and Poplar trees at the Cabin have been transformed into odd shapes – a result of the weakness of heavy old branches in big wind storms. In the spring, the Canada Geese in our area land on the ‘platforms’ that have formed in these trees. The geese carry on loud conversations, and compete for the attention of – the females, I suppose. I’ve only ever seen them do this in the spring.
These two trees are on our property. The wide angle capability of my new Canon PowerShot SX50 lets me take an all encompassing photo like this from a relatively close position. This past week-end six Canada Geese landed in the trees in our yard. Can you see two of them in these trees?
Can you see them now that I’ve cropped the photo?
One tree branch was big enough for two geese. . .
Until one goose muscled the other off the branch.
This is a photo I took with the zoom lens of the SX50. It is hand held, and the photo has not been cropped or enhanced. The original photo is a much higher resolution, of course.
Zooming in even closer, this photo has a focal length of 215 mm, which is the maximum for the lens. I could have zoomed in even closer, but then I would have been using a digital zoom, not an optical one (digital zoom is in-camera image processing; optical zoom is the image that the lens captures.)
To put this story into perspective, six 6kg (15 pound) birds took up positions in my back yard and started to squabble over landing rights. It was truly a memorable morning!
That reminds me, a saltwater crocodile, a great white shark and a Canada Goose walk into a bar….
- Author Unknown -