Monday, October 31, 2011

Living Lawn Ornaments

At first, I thought I was seeing things.......so did the woman who lived in this house.  She was on her way out and did a double take.  Again, back in Colorado Springs, here is yet another deer sighting! These two bucks were on the front lawn.  I thought it was just lawn art but when I caught movement off to my side, I quickly realized that the "art" was moving.
 The homeowner just hung out, like we did, and watched Mother Nature at work.  Incredibly beautiful and again, this scene happened at twilight....which made driving home a bit tricky and a bit dangerous.

No Need for Masks or Expensive Wedding Dresses!

Years ago, I snapped these scary looking masks at the market of Chichicastenango in Guatemala.  They are Mayan masks full and color and design.  For people in the desert southwest, they make a great addition to your home or garden.  There's a restaurant here called Cafe Poca Cosa that utilizes these masks in their restaurant....plus they serve a delicious meal. 
Last year at this time, my friends were getting married in their backyard for Halloween up in Phoenix.  No need for the wedding dress or fancy overpriced dinner halls.  We had a blast and everyone loved the evening.  Best wedding ever!!!  To Justin and Gabi, congrats on your first year together!!  And I'd like to wish the same to my Mother-In-Law Kathy and her husband Steve. We had two weddings during this month.  Here's a vid I put together.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Passing the Buck

This was another one of those fall moments that made me smile.  On another section of the mountain in Colorado Springs, we came across a group of bucks hanging out. 

The Lighthouse

We're getting close to Halloween and I thought it would be fun to look at a scary moment that we had in an abandoned lighthouse in Panama. From the road near the Canal, we saw this really cool looking lighthouse.  On our last day there, we hiked up this old structure.  As I walked up the spiral staircase, I heard lots of squeaking and it was disturbing.  I was already halfway up when I noticed A LOT of black furry critters flying all around me.  The pic above looks like my black kitty featured below and made me smile.  Note. I didn't use flash, but our friend Desiree did!!!  Boy did she hear it from us:)
Here's the lighthouse.  Thankfully my friend Desiree snapped the pic.  I was more concerned about getting pictures of the bats. 
While the bats held our attention, it was this alien looking nest on top that scared us the most.  It looks like a termite nest, but really, I don't know what it was.  We were just careful not to touch it.  Nasty. We had to pass it to get onto the lookout.
There was a window with a large nest hanging over it.   We walked first to this place, but Desiree had crashed on the bed at our b & b in Gamboa so we didn't want to wake her.  Sleep is precious in foreign countries.  However, she did wake and realized that we were gone and figured we had headed to "her lighthouse", but by the time she got there, we were already gone.  So she climbed the steep stairwell alone discovering all these cool things on the way up.  I wish I could have seen her face!  She came back all freaked out and we laughed. To be honest, I don't know if I could have climbed that thing alone. 
This is my black cat that looks like the bat above.  Her name is Cassie! and she has vampire teeth.  More ghoulish fun on the way:)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Deer Season

The best part about hikes come from the unexpected things you come across during the walk.  While in Colorado Springs, I think I saw every kind of deer you can possibly imagine.  In fact, during this trip, everywhere we turned, there were deer....here are several amazing shots thanks to the new camera that allowed me to capture these wonderful moments.
 It started with one....and then.....many!!!  Camera in hand on rapid shot fire......
 ...they followed an imaginary trail on the prairie grass......
 .....sometimes walking.....sometimes running......and sometimes jumping.......
 .......and they made their way through the cool weather passing us by looking every once in awhile....
 .....in our direction.....
....until eventually they disappeared into the woods.  It was a great way to end the evening:)
Of course the best time to spot deer is early morning and before sunset.

Sign Language for Cactus

My sign language is bad, but I can speak a little Tarzan with my hands.  Working with special needs kids, I had to teach myself basic words so that I could communicate with them at school and in their homes.  I thought it would be fun to share the sign for cactus with you all. When I first discovered what the hand gesture was, I laughed so hard.  I'm not going to do that hand gesture, but I'll let your mind figure it out below:) I was working out in the gardens at a group home when someone flipped me off.  Using my terrible sign, I said, "Excuse me?" and then they pointed to the cactus.  Imagine all the fun that followed that little gem of knowledge:) To be on the safe side, I asked an ASL teacher and it was confirmed.  He was signing cactus not insulting me.  Phewww. 
 

This is the real sign for the Saguaro cactus. Of course there are other signs for cactus, but people learning sign don't forget this one.  Next time someone flips you the bird, think of this pic and smile.  Until tomorrow friends.....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shades of Autumn

 Colors. Colors. Colors.  These are just photo shoots for the photo gallery at 1 PM:)  October is a very busy month for us!  More tomorrow.

Moon Over Coiba Island

Moon over Coiba Island
I absolutely love the moon and I'm never bored by all the shapes, colors and sizes it makes in our beautiful skies around the world.  Here are some shots of the moon from the virgen rain forests of the Coiba Island chain off of the Panama Coast in the Pacific Ocean.
I've saved several of these artsy shots from my photo shoots this past summer for later posts.  It's nice to revisit the trip from this beautiful country again.  There's nothing like seeing the moon and knowing that we are a but a speck in the cosmos.  In one part of the word where the moon is just as visible, there are cars beeping their horns on busy highways.  Yet here I saw that same moon surrounded by a tropical rain forest....and that thought brought a smile to my face.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Passing By"

The name of the game today is "Passing By".  On our trip this past summer from Tucson to San Diego, we took the long, and sometimes boring trip on Highway 8 to the Pacific Coast. To make it more exciting, I brought my camera.  The rules for this photography game were simple.  One person drives and the other person snaps pictures.  You can't stop the car or get out of the car BUT you can take pictures from your seat.  Rolling down the window is okay:)  Over the past couple weeks, you've seen some of these "passing by" shots at 1 PM each day.   I'm working on my photography now to improve my work on this blog.
The Imperial Sand Dunes near Yuma
 The Imperial Sand Dunes outside of Yuma.....
 As we entered El Centro, bales of hay were everywhere.
Green, yellow, golden bales of hay.
As we left the El Centro area and entered Alpine.  Trucks could be seen transporting the hay through the windy roads of Highway 8.
As we got higher.....
Massive giant windmills towered over cars and mountain ridges.....
And that's "Passing By".

Choo Choo!


Keeping with today's theme of "Passing By", here is yet another shot from another recent road trip on the way to Colorado.  Here is a cool train from the outskirts of Alburquerque, New Mexico.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fence

El Otoño

 Colors change in the desert.  On a recent road trip to Colorado, we drove thru New Mexico and here are some fall images that remind us that seasons are changing.



Ruffles Have Ridges!


This latter part of the month has been more reflective with photos and less about my gardening ideas or work. I have also been working on future posts from several areas in the state of Arizona for future postings.  I feel pictures can also convey a message within their captured moment that tell a story.  It may be a little abstract, but the pics may stop and make us think about how we design our gardens or place centerpiece trees/bushes in our yards to give it that extra "something". Today's final palm post is one that caught my attention.  It cannot be grown in Arizona because it's too hot AND cold here. Well, you can, but just keep it in a pot and protect from intense sun or extreme freezes.  It's call the Ruffled Fan Palm or Licuala Grandis.  Many people ask about this palm because it has such a unique structure and habit.  So for my Tucson gardening friends.....put this palm in a pot:) or greenhouse.  I will occassionally see it for sale and it really has a unique look....like a Ruffles potato chip. Below is a short video that I took from Panama this summer.  Watch how the wind moves through the plant......

video



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rock Climbers

 On our recent trek to Colorado Springs, we caught these brave rock climbers at the Garden of the Gods.
 I once rock climbed many many years ago.  Today I wouldn't even dream of it.
But it was a lot of fun watching them climb slowly to the top!

The Stand of Time


There have been some grueling road trips going on lately.  We just came back from Colorado Springs with some great stories to share.  But for now here are some random photo shoots from the countryside in New Mexico.  We spent two 12 hour days to get to our destinations!!! However, it was for a good cause....visiting family:)

Nature's Design


Fascinated by design ideas, nature provides us some unique views out in the wild.  Slowly scroll down this post and view the amazing detail of Mother Nature's work.  This is part 2 from my artsy shots collection of nature at work in design with palms.
We were walking through the woods and this object caught my eye.  It looked almost out of place and captured my attention.  How could this be real?  And yet I discovered another fascinating palm of Panama.
One more post tomorrow from this artsy palm series:)