Sunday, August 31, 2008

Picture - Postcard - Wish You Were Here

Daddy D and I are taking a small Labor Day vacation. We have had full and busy summer with little time for vacations so we made the decision late in the week to get away before the snow flies. Because we waited until the last minute, we not able to make reservations at some of the traditional vacation spots in southwestern Michigan. Thus, we made reservations to stay in Niles, a city located a few miles north of South Bend, Indiana. When we arrived in the city, we learned some of the local history of the area. We have had a grand time investigating the area and the historic structures. Pictured here is the historic Niles City Hall that originally was the family home of Henry A. Chapin. The city hall was built in 1884 and used by the Chapin family until 1902. Chapin was a local business man, who made most of his money from the discovery of iron ore near Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Isn't the buliding magnificent both as a home and as a public building?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Round Robin - Public Art

For this week's Round Robin, participants are displaying public art. My public art picture is located in St. Joseph, Michigan on the Silver Beach along the scenic blue waters of Lake Michigan. The sculpture is And You, Seas created by Richard Hunt. The statue was commissioned in memory of Patrick J. Kinney for his life-long interest in sculpture and in sailing. Soaring more than 40 feet above the water, Hunt's nautical design can be appreciated from all angles and directions, but it is especially captivating from the lake guiding and welcoming boaters to the Port of St. Joseph along the St. Joseph Channel.

For a list of other participants, visit Carly at Round Robin Photo Challenge.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fun Monday - Can You Answer This?

The wonderful and talented Lisa of Lisa's Chaos is this week's Fun Monday hostess. The challenge for this week is simple just ask a question for the visitors to answer or show Lisa a bird picture. Keep in mind, Lisa is an extremely capable photographer.

I have decided to show a picture and ask a question. My question is related to my bird picture. Those of you that have visited my blog, Return of the White Robin, are familiar with my masthead picture. Most you probably recognize that the bird is a young robin. I felt fortunate to capture this picture without the little creature flying off to his nest. Last June. I posted a photograph of the bird that currently appears in my masthead for a Wordless Wednesday post; and then, a few days later I was lucky to catch another juvenile bird in a photograph . This bird was perched in the exact same spot as the first bird. So even though the birds were different-looking, I wondered if the two pictures might be the same bird. I posted a second picture on my blog with my query, "Is this the same bird?" Three people, who know more about birds than me, questioned my assumption that these two might be the same bird, my lovely sister-in-law, REM, Pamela of Dust Will Wait, Gawilli of Back in the Day. I sent the pictures to some experts at Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Sure enough, the bird experts confirmed what my friends suspected or knew, that these are two different birds. The first picture, the one that graces my masthead, is an American Robin, and the second baby is a Common Grackle.

On June 15, 2007, I did publish this retraction in my blog.

I am sorry blogging world for the misinformation about our avian friends. I
thank REM, Pamela, and Gawilli for their insight. However, I am somewhat
embarrassed by my error. Not only, do I teach science, but my degree is actually
in biology. Moreover, I have partially completed a correspondence course in
ornithology. Finally, I call my blog, Return of the White Robin. Hopefully, if I
ever see a white robin, I will be able to recognize the bird...Sheesh.

My question is, "Have you made an embarrassing or idiotic mistake on your blog or in your life that required a retraction or at least a revision?"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun Monday - Favorite Photos

AOJ of The Lurchers, the lovely Angela, is the hostess of this week's Fun Monday. AOJ is asking to see our favorite picture.

I have two favorites and they both hang on the wall in my computer room. Both are pictures of our sons as toddlers. I like the composition of both photographs, and both pictures remind me of wonderful times. The first picture is our oldest son, Dean, on a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Notice how the photographer, Daddy D, was able to capture the ripples of the rock Dean had just tossed into Lake Fanny Hooe at Copper Harbor, Michigan.

The second picture features little Luke looking wistfully at the beach and the bay in Naples, Florida. My parents retired to Florida, and we spent several Christmas vacations in Naples.

To see other great photographs and the list of participants, visit The Lurchers .

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Night Shots.

Today's Round Robin challenge is Night Shots. My night shot is a flower that my mother-in-law gave my husband a few years ago. She calls these flowers, Night Bloomers, and the plant does indeed bloom at night. In fact she has planted her bloomers in the ground and will have 30 some blossoms in an evening. The flower has some characteristics of the Common Evening Primrose with yellow petals and a crosslike stigma. However, there are some differences as well. These Night Bloomers produce one blossom on a long stem. I cannot locate the specific species, but I am sure this night blossoming flower belongs to the genus, Oenothera.

Night Bloomer, Oenothera

Friday, August 8, 2008

It Stormed in Camelot, or Noah, Noah Build Me an Arky, Arky

Some you may have read here about my life in Camelot and the lovely weather that we have had throughout the summer in northwest Indiana. Well, this last Monday evening, the rains came and the winds blew. A change in the weather is not necessarily a bad thing. However, extreme weather can have extreme results. Last Monday night on August 4th, we received 2.47 inches of rain in about 3 hours.

Majestic Stream by our home

Since we live on a stream (drainage ditch), we frequently experience seepage when the creek rises in front of our house. A little water in the basement is irritating, but we have learned to live with the nuisance. The water usually recedes in a few hours and our home dries out quickly. We have a submersible sump pump that removes this extra water from the outside world. The electrical pump works fabulously as long as we have power.

Daddy D in the receding waters of his Inner Sanctum

Maximum depth of basement floodwaters was about 12 inches.

Unfortunately, Monday evening the power went out during the storm, and the water rose in our yard and in the basement. Many people, who live in similar circumstances, have purchased generators to run the sump pump when there is a loss of electricity. However, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere must have believed that they lived the charmed lives. Meaning Daddy D and I never bothered to purchase a generator. We talked about buying a generator. We looked at generators at Home Depot after the last big storm. But, did we have a generator on Monday night? Absolutely not. Did we buy one Tuesday morning? Absolutely!

Although we have sustained minor damage and lost a few belongings, we feel fortunate that our loss was minimal. Our hot water heater, washer, and dryer all still function. We need a new furnace anyway. Thus, with our brand, new, sparkly, shiny gasoline generator, we can return to the charmed life in Camelot.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fun Monday - I Swear

This week's Fun Monday task is to tell about our favorite words. Actually, we are instructed to keep the words in our list G-rated. Our lovely and clean-minded hostess is the Mothers of Brothers. Actually, I do not swear as such, and I do not equate swearing with saying X-rated words. Swearing to me means to take an oath or proclaim that something is true. On the other hand, profane or obscene words are ...okay, all right, that should be another post.

I do have a few favorite words that I like to use in writing. When speaking of many things, I like to use the word, myriad, but I dislike using plethora. If possible, I will try to weave the word burgeoning into my formal writing to describe growing or expanding processes. If I speak about something that is everywhere, ubiquitous is a grand term. In letters to inept bosses and disreputable businesses, I explain that I am befuddled and bewildered.

There is another category of words that I favor because of their intrinsic meaning. Love, grace, hope, forgiveness, patience, understanding, compassion, empathy are such words with profound meaning.

If you like words, visit our hostess at Mothers of Brothers to see the list of other word fanatics. You also might enjoy the word game at Free Rice, a website that donates 20 grains of rice for every word you can define correctly in an online multiple-choice quiz.