Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Pretty Birds Have Arrived

Finally!! With the exception of one day when a House Finch dropped by for a few minutes, I've been looking at little brown sparrows at my bird feeder all summer long and hoping for something more interesting.  Sorry, Sparrows...it's nothing personal, but all those brown feathers are just a tad boring after so many months.

Maybe it's the change of season, or maybe it's the fact that two weeks ago I filled the feeder with black oil sunflower seeds, but suddenly this afternoon my new offering of food was discovered and I had a variety of interesting birds to look at.

I have a lot of respect for anyone who takes wildlife shots successfully - some of these birds move so quickly that it's near impossible to capture them. I put my limited ornithological skills to work, grabbed my "Birds of Alberta" book and tried my best to identify these birds.

Black-Capped Chickadee


Red-Breasted Nuthatch

I'm not sure about this one but I believe it is a juvenile Robin or maybe an adult female. It looks like a robin but not like the ones I normally see which have a darker red breast and are the males.

Downy Woodpecker

So it was a pretty exciting afternoon for me as far as birds were concerned and I hope to see more pretty ones visiting again. I showed the photos to Richard when he got home from work and he said, "Wow, finally some quality birds!"  I had to laugh at that one.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Photo Scavenger Hunt...Done!

Today I'm posting the final photo for Rinda's Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt. I knew this would be the one photo that I put off taking until the very end and it's surprising actually that I got it done 4 days before the deadline. I'm not a fan of having my photo taken, much less having to take a "selfie", but in a moment of pure spontaneity this afternoon I grabbed my camera, stood before the bathroom mirror and clicked away. I have to say it felt weird but I got the picture I needed to complete all 21 items on the list and for that I'm happy. 

#21 A photo of me with a Craft Tool

I chose my all-time favourite paper punch - the Martha Stewart Starburst. If I could only keep one of my scrapbooking punches this would be the one.  I wouldn't even think twice about it.

And now that the challenge is done, my plan is to make an 8"x8" scrapbook album using all my photos. It will be a great souvenir of the fun and adventures we had this summer while doing this.

A big thank-you to Rinda for hosting the challenge...and thanks also to Sian because it was through her blog that I found it.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

One Photo & Twenty Words


A beautiful piece of  moss.  So soft and green.  There's an island in the palm of my hand.  Amazing nature!
~

I found this piece of moss in my backyard and was somehow awed by how it looked like a little island.  I took a photo so I can do a scrapbook page of it.  Sometimes it's the seemingly insignificant things in life that have the biggest effect on us.  Twenty words really wasn't enough to say what I wanted to.  This was hard! And I think I've just cheated by adding all of this! LOL

Thank you to Sian of From High in the Sky, who got the inspiration from Abi of Creating Paper Dreams, which in turn inspired me to give this interesting idea a try.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Winding Down the Photo Scavenger Hunt

I'm back again with the last group of photos which I took for Rinda's Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt.

One Sunday on the way back from visiting my mother at the home we stopped near Edmonton International Airport, certain that we would easily be able to photograph an airplane coming in for a landing. As we approached the airport two planes passed overhead but by the time we'd parked and gotten out of the car, it seems that there were no more flights arriving. There were plenty of planes taking off but it turns out that photographing a moving aircraft is really hard (at least for me!) and all I ended up with were specks in the sky.  Jen suggested we try the airport closer to home so the next day we drove to Edmonton City Centre Airport but after standing around for a while there was absolutely nothing happening there either.  Luckily, we had noticed the Alberta Aviation Museum along the way which has several stationary aircraft outside.  I have no idea what this airplane is called or the story behind it but I thought it looked really nice - so bright and yellow!

#4 Airplane


The past couple of weeks I've been keeping my eyes on the sky waiting for a nice sunset, but where we live there seem to be too many buildings and trees obstructing the view.  Richard suggested that we go to the top level of the parkade at a local shopping mall in hopes of getting up high enough for a decent shot. What a good idea!

#5 Sunset

This rustic fence line was photographed at a beautiful park close to where we live. There's an off-leash area where dogs can play and run free, picnic tables and BBQ's, trails to walk, and a really cool water play area for kids. It's a great place to go to spend a sunny day relaxing and we've also done some geocaching here as well.  

#13 Fence

A good old-fashioned black & white police car! I was so thrilled to see this type of police car when we moved to Edmonton because I hadn't seen any like this for years and years in Quebec. They have such a great, retro feel and remind me of when I was a kid.

#15 Police Car

This was the one item on the scavenger hunt list that I really had no plan for until the last minute. I have candles at home, but nothing special and nothing that I particularly wanted to photograph.  When we went to the police station to take the above photograph, I decided that a trip to Target was in order because surely they'd have some nice candles in stock.  It was a toss-up between an elephant and an owl but the owl won because he's just so darn cute.  I didn't bring him home with me though because it bothers me to light a shaped candle and see it disintegrate slowly into nothing.

#17 Candle

This is the Tim Hortons which is within walking distance of our house. It is a favourite spot for my boys who are particularly fond of the cool and delicious Iced Cappucino that is sold there, not to mention the donuts and muffins.  I'm not a coffee drinker myself so it's not a place that I go very often but I did try an Iced Lemonade this summer which was very refreshing.

#18 Local Coffee House

And that just about wraps up the Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt for me. There remains just one photo left to be taken - me with an artistic tool or craft supply.  We'll see how long I procrastinate on taking that one!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Someone Call the Fire Department!

Continuing with Rinda's Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt, I have a little story that goes along with my next photo. I put up a bird feeder in my backyard this summer with the hope of attracting lots of beautiful birds to the area, but several times when I looked out the window, instead of seeing birds in the trees I saw this...

#9 Something That is Clearly Out of Place

...clearly not what I expected to see in the trees and clearly out of place!  We love this little cat who comes to visit us.  She's so friendly and "talkative" and the first time that we found her stranded in the tree we did our best to help her get down.

She meowed at us...


We called up to her, giving her verbal instructions even though we knew she couldn't understand a word of what we were saying...and she moved even further out on a limb...


And looked down longingly at the ground...and we joked that maybe we should call the fire department to rescue her...


But in the end we got a ladder and Chris was able to turn her around and guide her to a branch that was the logical route down...


And then she was on her way to the safety of the ground...


After doing this twice within about a week we realized that we couldn't drag the ladder outside all summer long to rescue this cat who probably didn't really need rescuing anyway.  Since then when we see her stranded high up in a tree we just watch, amused, as she eventually finds her own way down.  Just yesterday I saw her go higher and higher until she literally "fell" her way out of the tree, grabbing on to branch after branch with her claws until she finally landed at a large one near the bottom.  It's probably a good thing that cats have nine lives.  ;-)

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More of the Scavenger Hunt...

You wouldn't know it today by the temperature - it's 26C, 29C with the humidity - but fall is definitely on its way.  I've heard the geese honking overhead lately and seen them congregating on ponds, which is probably a sign that they're getting ready for their big trip back to warmer climates.  I also heard the school bell ringing down the street this morning - proof that summer is over, so I'm trying to wrap up the Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt that Rinda hosted once again this year.

At the beginning of August, Richard and I took the LRT downtown so I could capture some of the photos I needed.  I don't use public transportation very often so I am a bit like a little kid when the occasion arises.  I totally enjoy the ride and all the people-watching that I can do (which for me is the best part of the whole trip!) Once we'd arrived downtown we had lunch at a nice sandwich place and then set out in search of some of the items on the list.

This was my first time seeing Edmonton's City Hall.  I thought the triangular glass roof and enormous clock tower where quite impressive, but what I especially liked was the large wading pool complete with water sprays that sits right in front.  I like the idea of  people being able to come down here to let their kids cool off and have fun in the water.

#3 City Hall


Winspear Centre, on the other hand, is not at all an impressive building on the outside, but I have been there with Jen and Rob to see a comedy show and the inside is very nice.

#2 Theatre for Performing Arts

And finally, sitting directly across from City Hall is this sculpture (statue?) which I thought makes for an original bench.  It is called "Lunchbreak" and was created by J. Seward Johnson Jr.

#10 A Bench that is Outside

And that was how we spent a few hours downtown one Saturday afternoon before getting back on the LRT for some more people-watching and heading back home.

Until next time...
Susan :-)