Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
This True Colors Thursday celebrates the colors Red, White and Blue.
The name of this plane from an air show we attended recently is ‘Sawbones. The insignias on the plane are Red, White and Blue.
Red, White and Blue is also the colors of the United States of America’s insignia on their planes as well.
Seems to be the the same for this biplane.
My Red, White and Blue 4th of July table cloth along with some American Flags.
Wally in his Red, White and Blue Dr. Seuss inspired t-shirt.
Even after a March blizzard the Red, White and Blue of ‘Old Glory’ can be seen outside our front door.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This week ABC Wednesday is focusing on ‘B’
Blue Baby Boots
Winter Blue sky through tree Branches
Retired Racing Greyhounds
Blew and Buddies (Loves gone but not forgotten)
I am going to take a second and do what another blogging friend of mine did because I think it was a great idea.
If you scroll lower down on my blog you will see a Followers ‘Join This Site’ button which helps let me know who reads my blog (and I know some do because I get a lot of hits daily). I think it would be great to be able to know some of the folks who look at my photos and read some of what I write. It also connects readers together.
It only takes a second to click the ‘Join This Site' button on my blog site. If you haven’t yet, would you please be an angel and give it a click, I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much!
Art by Kim Parkhurst
This past weekend we were camping about 3 hours away from home at Lake Louise State Park. To get there we passed a vast amount of turbines with their blades whirling away above us. I’d never seen so many of them grouped together before with the road winding through them all. They were everywhere you looked and as far as the eye could see.
These things are just so imposing on the landscape you almost get the feeling the ‘space aliens’ have landed.
On the other hand, you have to feel good about the use of them to create energy using wind energy and the conservation of the earth’s other resources.
We stopped by a small park dedicated to this particular wind farm to learn more. This wind farm is the Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm and consists of 182 wind turbine generators that stand at an elevation of approximately 1,300 feet. (that is Ruby our Grand Greyhound who was with us at the time, she was excited to see it too!)
Each blade of the turbine is 134.5 feet long.
Above is a photo that gives an idea of how long the blades are. Ruby and I at one end and OH with Renner and Scooter not quite out to the tip of the other end.
The turbines create energy from winds blowing any where between 9 miles per hour to 56 miles per hour. Lake Louise State Park (Minnesota) is just on the boarder of Minnesota and Iowa and the wind farm itself is based in wide open Iowa farmland (though some of the turbines were just across the boarder in Minnesota farm lands as well). The land where the turbines are planted are also used for corn and soybean farming. This wind farm is part of the grid that feeds electricity from Minnesota to Missouri. This particular wind farm with its 182 turbines can create 300 MW (Mega Watts) yielding clean power to an average of 80,000 homes.
The above photo is a view of the wind farm from a trail by Lake Louise.
To get an even better idea of the size of these turbines, can you see the man sitting up on top of one of them?
The Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm Park is located in the very small town of LeRoy, Minnesota which is also where Lake Louise State Park is found.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I had so many comments on my Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) photo that I thought it would be fun to dig a little deeper. My only experience with him was in a Minnesota aviary so I decided to do a little bit of research. This is a summary of what I have found.
Besides the Nicobar Pigeon’s beautiful coloring, these unusual birds are considered to be the closest living relative of the dodo.
Named for the Nicobar Islands, their favored locals are Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.
These pigeons live in large flocks that travel around from island to island and the mainland south-east Asia looking for seeds, fruit and insects which is their preferred diet. It builds a loose stick nests in trees (which is what the one I photographed is doing). Their eggs are elliptical faintly blue-tinged white eggs, usually two in a clutch.
During breeding periods they tend to prefer very small, wooded, offshore islands that are mostly uninhabited. These pigeons are slowly going the way of the dodo due to the fact that more and more of these islands are becoming hosts to plantations. When the land is cleared and new predators are introduced the pigeons threat level is greatly increased. I can’t imagine trapping these beautiful pigeons for food but people do and their gizzard stone is used for jewelry. As you can probably guess these pigeons are also trapped to be sold as pets.
Though on the ICUN list reported the Nicobar Pigeon as ‘near threatened’ they are still often observed in the Similan Islands, but never seen in Minnesota…unless you visit an aviary.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
This True Colors Thursday is all about Emerald.
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
by Lauren Willig
The above is a Nicobar Pigeon that I snapped a photo of while visiting an aviary. Portions of his wings were Emerald.
This Luna Moth is a little lighter shade of Emerald.
Trixi and her Emerald collar riding in the van. She had a lot of floor room with a bed to lay on, but chose the seats.
A true Emerald, photographed at the Museum of Natural History.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This week’s ABC Wednesday is All About ‘A’
(Shirley’s Black Cinder kicking it up)
It was a birthday weekend which means a lot of action! We were at my oldest daughter’s house…it was her birthday. Ruby was into the partying mood so she turned her bed upside down and laid behind it instead of on it. She was definitely keeping an eye on what is going on!
There were presents, flowers and cake…with some candles that the little guy was highly suspicious of. Nope, he did not like those candles.
He had to stand back in another room while they were lit until Momma had blown them out, so he hung with his Bampa and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ from afar.
After presents and party we went out for a birthday dinner at Chianti Grill, an Italian restaurant in Roseville where they happen to have a WONDERFUL gluten-free menu. All of their food is scrumptious and the gluten-free items are numerous, so you have a choice, and every bit as good as the regular fare. I had the GF Spaghetti al Fresco with Sautéed Shrimp.
It actually looked a lot like this with a white plate and minus the chicken. I should have brought my camera in….. Lovely place.
After dinner we stopped at a book store where we got some Big Truck books since that is what our Grandson is into these days.
Then on to Meema and Bampa’s house for the evening where things got slightly more out of hand. We were all playing soccer with a little ball out in the foyer….don’t know how it got to this…..but the little guy still seems to have possession of the ball.
Suddenly we were informed a time out was needed. Those new books we had just gotten at the book store suddenly came in real handy!
(I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing his momentous progress in the potty training area!)
Oops, apparently he finds it shocking!
(the above is the face he makes when you ask him to make his ‘surprised’ face.)
That was pretty much it!
Monday, July 20, 2009
I stepped up my exercise program which led to a sudden wrenching of my lower back. Better now, but there has been some careful walking, sitting and no hopscotch or doing the limbo. I had to let the exercise go for a few days pretty much. It is feeling much better now, thank goodness.
Thursday evening we had a little guy here who ended spending a more time with his Bampa than with his Meema while his folks were going to see the new Harry Potter movie. He is a very understanding little guy and even at the age of 2 he will stop to suddenly ask you ‘Meema’s back still has an owie?’ Very sweet little guy and he is always an instant party as soon as he enters the house.
By the way, (this is for my younger daughter who lives in London and was visiting us a short time ago), he thinks many things are ‘rubbish’ now and doesn’t hesitate to spout out “that’s rubbish” should something, or someone, strike him as such. (Just thought she would enjoy knowing her efforts paid off.) ;)
We also celebrated a birthday. I now have a 31 year old daughter….go figure…how can that be since I am only 21.
Fiction aside, what is it with children who were born before their parents any way?
Photos to come.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This week True Colors Thursday it focusing on Peach.
We went to a butterfly garden this passed Sunday and these Peach colored Day Lilies (speckled with Maroon) were found within the garden and were just lovely to look at.
This Monarch’s wings have some Peach coloring.
This Peach butterfly is called ‘Julia’ (Dryas julia).
I think the one pictured below is named ‘White Peacock’ (Anartia jatrophae) and you can see a bit of Peach on the wings.
This Peach butterfly is a Fritillary.
A Peach colored Greyhound. (Trixi)
Geterbug and her Peach colored ball.