Monday, March 28, 2011

The Owl That Ate the Butterfly

Do you see it? I took this picture back in July of 2008 because I saw the butterfly...but I didn't see the owl shape of the sky until I was going through my pictures today! Geez. And I thought I was soooo observant. Better re-think that... And, on a side note, Blogger is behaving badly...again. It won't let me put my book list in order, but just runs everything together. Grrrrr.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Winter-Spring-Winter

I took this photo up at the top of the ridge last April 8th. It looks the same today, just add about another foot of snow on top of what's there and take away the pretty sunset light since it's cloudy today.
I'm so thankful that we're getting snow and rain, but I just wish the heavy snow had come in January and February like it's supposed to do! But, if that picture from last April is any indication...well, I'd better not anticipate seeing any spring flowers until May.
Oh well. I'm going to change my blog header to something spring-like even though it still looks like the depths of winter here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring? Really?



This little Lesser Goldfinch has such a questioning look on her face. I'm sure she must be wondering what happened to Spring.


This kind of weather isn't unusual for us here in the San Bernardino Mountain range, but the amount of snow that we got is rather unusual this late in the season. A little over two and a half feet of heavy, wet snow caused power lines all over the mountains to fail and closed the schools.


We're supposed to get more snow tomorrow and Friday. I just hope we don't have any more power outages. And it would be great if the snow would turn into lovely spring rain.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Faeries Friday - Bellalucia

(photo taken last summer)


This is Bellalucia. I think, perhaps, she is in charge of the faeries book club. I don't think it's because she has her own reading light. I mean, everyone knows that faeries can see pretty well in the dark.




I'm guessing she might be in charge because this is where I usually find most of my misplaced (maybe 'borrowed' might be a better word) books, placed just so across her lap. The faeries are careful with my books; they never leave them out in bad weather.




Last summer the book that was borrowed the most was 'The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame. I think the faeries were reading it to the skunks and raccoons. Can't you just see it...Bellalucia, who quits pretending that she's a statue when no humans are about, surrounded by an attentive circle of raccoons and skunks sitting quietly on their haunches, paws folded properly in front of their tummies, little faces filled with wonder as they listened to tales of animals from a faraway land?



Monday, March 14, 2011

A Tiny Sign of Spring

When the catkins come out on the alders, it's a sure sign that spring is on the way, even though we're supposed to get more snow this weekend.


I can't wrap my mind around all the disasters that have happened around the world in the past several months. I've sent money, care packages, lit candles and said prayers. None of that seems like enough.

If only some enormous miracle could restore all the lost lives, both human and animal, lost and damaged property and land, renewing all the way Spring renews the earth each year...that would be enough.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Sunsets


Taken at Lake Gregory, CA, November 4, 2010.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Amazon's Kindle

I've had this Kindle for several weeks, but I didn't want to post about it until I was sure I liked it. Well...
It's very easy to use as it comes with a really simple,

easy to understand user's guide.


The one I got is not only Wi-Fi enabled, but also has 3G. I don't actually know what 3G does, beyond that I had to wait until the latest version of Kindle was equipped with it to be included in their coverage area.

You can see at a glance what books you have by going to the home page. I'm not sure yet how many titles it will store on the home pages; so far, I have two pages to access when I click the 'home' button.

Pressing the 'menu' button enables you to turn the Wi-Fi on (I've found the battery charge lasts for 10 to 12 days if I only have the Wi-Fi on when I'm shopping for new books).

You can get free samples of a book to read before you purchase it. There are also many, many books that cost only 99 cents or are totally free! Some books are 'text to speech' enabled, which means that the book will be read to you. That's very handy if I have a migraine, but the quality of the reading is very poor and almost sounds, at times, like it is an electronically generated voice. That's something Amazon could definitely improve.
One feature that I really like is the ability to change the size of the font. You can go from teeny-tiny to huge, with many sizes in between those two to choose from.

The cover has a cool little reading light that pulls up out of the upper right corner. It has two tabs on the inside that slide into two ports on the left side of the Kindle, thus enabling the light to be powered by the Kindle battery. However, I've found that the battery will need recharging much more quickly if I use the reading light.
The screen isn't back-lit and is really easy on the eyes. It's not anti-glare though, so you do have to adjust the way you're holding it if you're reading in a bright, direct light to avoid glare.

When you're not reading, you slide a button on the bottom of the Kindle to put it in 'sleep mode' and this helps extend the battery life also. There are a lot of different pictures of various authors and things that it cycles through each time you put it to sleep.


What I like best about the Kindle is the extremely light weight. I have some medical conditions that are starting to make it very painful for me to hold large, heavy books for more than a very brief time. Kindle solves that problem for me.

But will it ever replace 'real' books for me completely? NEVER. I just love books too much; the scent of them, the texture, the covers (on some), the feeling I get when I open a book that I'm actually stepping into another world. I have no doubt that I'll buy a book in hardcover after I've read it on Kindle just so I can have all those experiences if it's a book that I really love and is available in hardcover. (There are quite a few books that I love that were never released in hardcover. Stupid publishers!)
Of course, good writing will transport me into the world of the book I'm reading, whether it is a 'real' book or a book on Kindle...it's just that the transition is a little easier for me with a 'real' book.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Sunsets


Taken September 3, 2001, at Lake Arrowhead, California, with a pre-digital Minolta X-700. I miss that camera...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Light and Shadow

Light and shadow...endlessly fascinating to me. This is my favorite old oak tree, beautiful in all seasons.

And it will be endlessly annoying to me that I didn't notice that white thread on the lens.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Faeries Friday - Luna Selene



Well, she's not really a faerie. This is Luna Selene, the Goddess of the Moon. OK, an interpretation of the Goddess of the Moon. A friend who makes dolls made her for me.


Usually, dolls creep me out. Stuffed toy animals and statues don't affect me in the same way as cute, pretty dolls. Those dolls are the kind that will grow sharp teeth in the night and have you for a snack. The fact that there has never been a documented case of murder by doll means nothing to me; phobias are not rooted in rationality.


When Marissa gave Luna Selene to me she warned me that there was a doll inside the box. She also told me the doll's name was Luna Selene. Marissa knows about my phobia. I nearly dropped the box, but she asked if I would just trust her. I've known Marissa for ages, so I agreed to open the box. Honestly, my stomach was churning and I was afraid I was about to have my first-ever panic attack. How silly was that? But we are what we are.


So, I cautiously opened the box. I didn't say anything for a minute, just looked at Luna Selene. Marissa said, "Oh well...it's all right if you don't like her..." and I interrupted and said, "No, no...I think she's beautiful, exquisite. She doesn't scare me at all. She's a Crone, and her face is so wise and kind. How did you know?"


Marissa simply said, "I know you."


It's wonderful to have a friend who can see you so clearly and still love you, craziness and all.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Winter Haiku


sleeping trees dream deep
escaping winter's cold grip
into a green warmth

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Little Visitors

These are the paw prints of a raccoon, one of the little wildings that come to eat the food we put out for them. There were some good, clear prints from skunks and feral cats, too, but Miss Bigfoot (that would be me) managed to obliterate them while getting this picture.
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