Monday, January 31, 2011

When in Doubt. . . .

Wintry Weather

Write about Chicago weather. It is always varied, always interesting. Well, maybe not so much if you don't live here.
I haven't found much going on in my head worth writing. I can't quite tell you why that might be so; it just is. We had a warming spell here (meaning slightly above freezing) and much of our accumulated snow melted but it has been gray and gloomy. It felt even too dark for a photo outing. But this morning I awoke to the dulcet tones of my clock radio saying something about "blizzard." I honestly thought at first I was hearing the weather on the East Coast. But no, weather is arriving here tomorrow. I haven't shoveled snow in at least a week and I was definitely getting out of shape.

Reports the Weather

I was reviewing my photos of Spain and found that what I assumed was a clock was instead a weather gauge. I see on it "Muy seco" but whatever the Spanish word for blizzard is, it isn't up there. Anyone up for a trip to Madrid?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Curvaceous but Spiny

Melon Cactus

Melon Cactus seen in Guanica Dry Forest, Puerto Rico. For Moody Monday, Shapely.

Friday, January 21, 2011

B is for Blue Gloved Snowman

B is for Blue Gloved Snowman

I have a collection of photos of awnings with an initial on them. I imagine there was one very successful salesman back a few years--maybe 70's or 80's? I don't have the whole alphabet yet--I'm up to 17 letters.

For Shutterday--snowman.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sadly, I'm Home Again

Great Ball of Fire

An all-too-short long weekend in Puerto Rico. No more Seasonal Affective Disorder, until next week.
No, I'm not complaining yet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In Haste

I'm heading out of town first thing tomorrow. So this is a hasty post.
I decided to join another TBR (to be read) book challenge. I like the idea of getting a pile of books read that have been loitering on my shelves for far too long. My hope is also to add a bit of literary life to my blog which is still alive but not as active as I would like it.

Here is my list of 12 books which have desperately needed reading with alternates.
1. Mary Mackie, Cobwebs and Cream Teas: A year in the life of a National Trust house
2. Andy Behrman, Electroboy
3. Mark Oppenheimer, Thirteen and a Day
4. Russell Martin, Beethoven’s Hair
5. Edward Himes, School of Dreams
6. Jon Krakauer, Eiger Dreams
7. Roger Atwood, Stealing History
8. Peter Gay, My German Question
9. Bernhard Schlink, The Reader
10. Doreen Orion, Queen of the Road
11. Sherwin Nuland, The Mysteries Within
12. Naguib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley

Alternates

1. Das Sijie, Le Complexe de Di
2. Madhur Jaffrey, Climbing the Mango Trees
3. Wallace Stegner, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs
4. Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name
5. Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman
6. Howard Dully, My Lobotomy
7. Muriel Barberry, L’elegance du Herisson
8. Lauren Willis, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Some of these books have a back story (where I bought them or why but that will have to wait until I return.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hands of Perfection

Hands of Perfection 2011
2011 (now)

Auto detailing operation, I believe.

Hands of Perfection
2007 (then)
The second photo is from one of my early ventures out into the neighborhoods near my home.

Over the Top

Over the Top

Someone bought out the Christmas store. Actually, words cannot express how happy I am to be able to walk into a store and not hear canned Christmas music!

For Photo Friday--suburbia--because displays like this are never seen in the city near me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"How" Strange!

How Strange

This display is probably very old but from a 2011 perspective it seems in very poor taste. It is a lousy photo as I took it from my car window while at a stop light but it is worth sharing, I thought.

Moody Monday--Other-worldly

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Golden Chicken

Golden Chicken

So I took a few photos in the neighborhoods a bit north of me. Here is a picture for Moody Monday: Open.

Gargoyles

Slavering Monster

The University of Chicago has its Gothic moments. And no, I was not referring to the students. I caught a few pictures of them on Christmas Day. Needless to say the campus was quiet and nearly deserted, making it a good time for photography. I particularly like the drooling gargoyle.

Feeling Beakish

Gargoyles

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Stork Struck

Storks on a Church

I never finished telling stories about my trip to Spain so if you don't mind me boring you with tales about how I spent my summer vacation. . . . One of my favorite "finds" in Spain was that it is inhabited by storks.

Bedtime or Dinner Time for Storks

I went a little stork crazy in fact. My husband sort of introduced me to birding in the first place and in fact I'm not much of a birder being too sluggish to awaken to view birds at dawn. Nonetheless he finally had to put limits on my request to stop and take more pictures of storks and their nests. I got quite a few anyway and here are a few of the best.

Church Bells and Stork Nests

Storks are doing well in Spain, apparently profiting from ready access to food in dumps. I found census data which showed a low of 7005 pairs in 1974 to 33217 in 2004. I guess garbage is good for something! Incidentally, these are white storks, Ciconia ciconia.

Four Storks and a Crane
I feel compelled to share my bad pun title for this photo--Four Storks and a Crane.


Submitting to I and the Bird blog carnival, hosted by Birding is Fun on January 6.