Showing posts with label Pictures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pictures. Show all posts

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sun on the Water

Sunlight resting on the calm glistening water
what a peaceful feeling.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Fun

Last month I had the long-awaited opportunity to visit Ashley and her family in the far-away place known as Ephrata, PA.  We lived next door to each other in our youth, and although youth is rapidly fading into our middle years, we are still close despite the miles between us.

So before I get maudlin, let's get on with the fun stuff.  Below is Sheba, a sweet, lovable Labradoodle who belongs to Scott, her oldest son. 

Not only is she adorable, she is smart too.  We were sitting outside with her and she was demonstrating her ability to come, sit, lay down, etc. when Ashley told Michael to have her l-a-y-d-o-w-n for a treat (spelling it out). Sheba responded by laying down.  We tried it again and she did it again.  We told Scott later that Sheba could spell.

While Ashley is born and bred a Southern gal, she has taken great pride in finding fun and interesting things to do in her own backyard. She truly does bloom where she is planted. And speaking of blooms, aren't these pretty?  This is a flower tree at Knoebels Amusement Park, about an hour or so from their house.

If you like groovin' to the oldies, the group singing here would be right up your alley, with such songs as Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Surfin' Safari and The Twist.

For a different kind of music, check out the old Wurlitzer Organ tapping out a lively beat.

What trip to an amusement park would be complete with a ride on good old wooden roller coaster? Well, it's not my cup of tea, but the boys enjoyed it. We all later enjoyed the Black Diamond ride through a haunted coal mine.

We capped off the adventure with a ride on the giant ferris wheel.  It had been a very long time since I had ridden one, but it was fun and afforded us a great view of the park, and the surrounding countryside.

The next day we traveled to Strasburg to ride the steam train.  It was a 45 minute journey through Amish country...literally through the cornfields.  The engine puffed black smoke from it's coal fire and chugged along at a leisurely pace.  Here you can see it at the station waiting to depart on it's next run.

As many exotic places as there are to explore, there are just as many here in our own corner of the world. With every trip I take I make new discoveries, whether it is a new destination or favorite vacation spot. Many thanks to Ashley and her family for hosting us!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Faces of Lititz

Lititz, PA, a small town in Lancaster County, is nestled in the heart of Amish Country. Lititz, population 9,385 (2012), boasts a beautiful park with a stone-wall lined pond that stretches from one end to the other with a fountain at the entrance and culminating with the emergence of the underground spring at the end.

Surrounding the spring-fed pool is a stone wall covered in plants, moss and amongst them - spider webs, resembling those made by a funnel spider.

These, however, looks like faces on the wall.

Can you see the faces looking back at you?

Look at the wide eyes on this one. I think we frightened it.

Spiders aren't the only ones making faces. Take a look at this tree. This tall fellow looks like he was sticking his tongue out at us.

Of course, a trip to Lititz Park wouldn't be complete without ducks...lots and lots of ducks.

Take a stroll along Main Street and pop into some of the shops. There are furniture shops, restaurants, specialty boutiques and even a wine shop. This one has some colorful mushrooms for your garden. In case you can't read the sign, it says: We are so excited about the garden we wet our plants.

How much is that doggie in the window?  Isn't he cute?

If you have a chance to visit this quaint little town, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Look here for more on Lititz from my last trip.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Night Falls

As night falls
And evening fades
Painted into subtle shades
Of purple, blue and gray

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Pretty Face

I took a picture of Sophie.
I'm so pretty!

Then I applied the brush stroke technique
in Paint Shop Pro.
I could be a painting.
This gives it an Impressionist look.
Isn't she lovely?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Webbed Feet and Feathers

The sunny South hasn't been so sunny lately.  This is the view from my front door this morning.  Not unlike many other days this winter.  There were 13 strategically placed rainy days in December.  

Note the 3 Saturdays and 4 Sundays!  Lovely!  Not too bad, though, considering there were 19 days with above normal daytime temps.  Now to be honest, not all of this rain fell during daylight hours, and we have no drought concerns for the moment, but seriously...every weekend?  

And then there's January with 4 rainy days already, and all but 2 days the low temps have been below average.  But do you think we got any snow?  All the moisture dries up before the cold air arrives.  We are either freezing or floating.

I won't complain (too much) because compared to other parts of the country, the winter is balmy and fairly typical for our area.  No sub-zero temperatures and no wind chills equal to my age.

But would it be too much to ask for a little snow?  I'd trade my webbed feet and feathers for some snow boots and mittens.

So how's your weather - too hot, too cold, too much snow (or not enough)? 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What is a Myrtle?

The Boardwalk at Myrtle Beach
Having just been to Myrtle Beach for a long-awaited getaway, we pondered this question as we strolled the new boardwalk which opened in May 2010.  Just what is a Myrtle, my hubby asked?  I thought maybe it was named after a woman.  If you ask people how Myrtle Beach got its name, you get a variety of answers from the Indians to someone's daughter.  All are good guesses.  The area has had many names over its history.  When the Waccamaw Indians inhabited the land, it was known as Long Bay.  You may recognize the name Waccamaw from the river and pottery named for it.  It was later known as Withers for a family who had had property there since the 1700s.  There was even a post office named for them.

In 1881 the Burroughs and Collins Company of Conway purchased much of the land long held by the Withers family and Withers was now called New Town.  As you can see there have been many changes and many names as is often the case with developing lands.

Getting to the story behind the current name, in 1900 a contest was held to choose an official name for their town.*   Credit is given to Addie Burroughs who suggested the name Myrtle Beach, named for the abundant growth of the Wax Myrtle bushes.  

Image Attribution: Mary Keim
The Wax Myrtle is a North American native, and is a small tree or large shrub depending on it's environment.  It is often found in landscaping, especially around the beaches but is also used in candle making, as well as having medicinal uses.

And that is how Myrtle Beach got it's name.
*Myrtle Beach officially became a town in 1938, then a city in 1957.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Colors of Fall

Each season has its own special beauty.  Here are some of the colors and textures of Fall.

Caught on a spider web, this leaf is swinging in the breeze.

A friend of his landed on this old stump.

 These two are sharing a little leaf love.


 Gold and Green

Colors explode in the late evening sun.

An early Fall sunset paints the sky.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Quote of the Week

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.  
- Jonathan Safran Foer 

Rosie - November 3, 2013

I know this statement to be true.  Sometimes those we love most and who bring us the most happiness can also bring us the most sadness.  That they aren't always human doesn't matter, the love is still the same.  Isn't that worth it?
A lot has happened since my last post.  I put together this quote last Monday but couldn't bring myself to publish it. 

Rosie and me
Early on Sunday morning, November 3, I said a tearful good-bye to Rosie, my constant companion for the last 16 years. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Quote of the Week

There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.  - Tay Hohoff 

This is actually Beretta, the stalker cat from next door.  She was helping me with my leaf blowing last week.  Quite often she is there to welcome us home.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Artistic Rosie

Rosie was feeling a bit artistic today.  He went from this...

To four easy steps.

It's amazing what you can create with a digital image and some computer software.

You can make your own customized digital artwork.  Just choose your photograph, add one or more special effects to create a colorful design.

For this I used Paint Shop Pro, and layered the textures of mosaic antique and soft plastics followed another application of mosaic antique and finally applied the kaleidoscope as the finishing touch.

What interesting things have you done with your photographs?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cartoon Rosie

Do you remember when the primary function of a phone was making calls?   Not too many decades ago, phones were wired directly into the walls.  Now we walk around not only carrying our phones in our pockets, but the internet and multi-feature cameras as well.

I was playing around with the cartoon setting on my phone's camera the other day and this was the result.

This is what my Rosie looks like after having been cartooned.  It reminds me of an old paint-by-number picture.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Fluffernutter

This was my lunch the other day.  Hopefully the nutrition in the peanut butter offset the empty calories of the marshmallow creme - a gooey layer of carbs and sugar slathered on a slice of white bread.

The Fluffernutter was a phrase coined in 1960 for the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.  Marshmallow Creme (also known as Marshmallow Fluff) was credited to several inventors Emma and Amory Curtis in 1913 and Archibald Query in 1917, both from Massachusetts.  During World War I Emma Curtis created a recipe using peanut butter and marshmallow creme on white bread, which she then sold to Durkee-Mower Inc.  They changed the name to Marshmallow Fluff, which paved the way for today's Fluffernutter.  It soon gained popularity and has been proposed as the official state sandwich of Massachusetts.

The Fluffernutter is still most popular in New England, so what is a Southern gal doing eating one?  My Mom was from Maine and she would occasionally make them for lunch as an alternative to the many, many bologna sandwiches I ate.

Now that I've admitted it, who else enjoys a Fluffernutter?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Stalker

Stalking is something that happens to other people.  You know famous people, important people.  I never figured that would be me.  She is beautiful, I will admit, and I suppose I'm partly to blame for my situation.  I took pity on her and friended her because...well she lives with a bunch of real dogs.  

Now I find her waiting for me when I get home.  She appears from out of nowhere whenever I venture outside.  She boldly shows her affection for me and tries to force her way into my home. To get my attention, she throws herself at my feet, and when I try to leave her, she chases me down and trips me.  She even attacked my hubby.

To make matters worse, she lives next door and can scale the fence in two seconds flat.  Who knows...I may have to become a hermit.  Where is the "unfriend" button?

This is the face of a stalker!

She really is beautiful.

You know I'll find you!

Her moods can be as explosive as the pistol she was named for, but in all fairness to the lovely Beretta, she has calmed down some, and I no longer fear a feline home invasion.  Maybe living with six humans and a pack of dogs is sometimes just too much for her and she needs a little one-on-one with a cat person.  I can understand...that would make me a little nuts too.  I guess she could use a friend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beneath the Poplar Tree

I planted this tree a little more than 20 years ago as a seedling that I dug up from the woods next to our house.  It started out in a large soft drink cup and when it outgrew the cup and looked like it was going to make it, I planted it.  My guess is that it's nearly 2 feet in diameter and at least 50 feet tall.  Although the tree did all the work, I am very proud of having grown it from a mere sprout. 

So many people around here now are cutting down perfectly good trees and leaving their yards looking sad and naked.  It just breaks my heart when I see those lovely, healthy trees destroyed, leaving only ground out stumps and piles of sawdust.  I guess it is the fear of what might happen one day.

We are having a tree taken down, too, but for safety reasons only.  If it were healthy, that old maple, with all it's interesting character, would remain there shading the house for many years to come.  Fortunately, it is on the north side of the house and the neighbors have a large elm nearby so there will still be some shade. 

This is why it has to go.  It is so hollowed out it's a wonder it's still standing, but to look at the top of the tree, you'd never know it.  We (mostly me) have been putting this off for a long time but each year the hollow gets bigger and bigger and sooner or later, something will set up housekeeping in there, or it will go over in a big puff of wind...not a pleasant thought.  So Friday down it comes [sniff].

For now, cheers from beneath the poplar!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Freaky Fungi

I found these interesting looking critters under the dogwood tree this morning.  They are called Mutinus Elegans, more commonly known as Elegant Stinkhorn, and while they are found up and down the East Coast, I've never seen one before.  However, with the aid of Google I was able to identify these unusual fungi.

They are reported to have a foul odor but considering how close I got to take the pictures, I didn't smell anything.  The brown coloring is actually a slime which flies and other insects feed on which disperses the spores.  Yuck!  Because of their odor, they are not considered edible for humans.

Interestingly, in a study of a variety of mushrooms, the stinkhorn showed antibiotic activity against all six of the human bacteria tested including E.coli and Salmonella.

Has anyone else seen these or have them in your yard?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

In Plain Sight

Betcha can't see me now.
Do you see the spider...hidden in plain sight?  Some of the best camouflages are found in nature.  I think this one is a Wolf Spider, and he recently participated in a capture and release program.  He was captured in the basement and released into a natural area outside.

Here is his release photo.  The capture equipment consisted of a flat piece of metal and something to contain him during transport.  As you can see he has been accessorizing with items found in the basement.

He quickly departed the table for the safety of the ground below.  They are fast!

Oh what a tangled web...wait, that's not mine!
He did allow us to remove some of his new-found accessories so he could hasten his escape.  Hopefully he found suitable quarters elsewhere.

I'm planning a change in my blogging schedule, but at this time I'm not sure what days I will be posting - other than Monday's Quote of the Week.  Thanks for reading Roses to Rainbows, and I hope you'll stick around while I sort this out.


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