Saturday, June 28, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Weeds Can Be Beautiful Too!

"We have a choice: to plow new ground, or let the weeds grow."

-Jonathan Westover

If all weeds could be this beautiful, I think I just might be tempted to let the grow! LOL. This edition of the RRC comes to us from Kim, who authors the blog, "Nekked Lizard Adventures." Her idea was for us to showcase the softer side of weeds, by showing off their unusual beauty. For some reason, weeds have been catching my photographer's eye the last couple of summers. The way they look so soft against the backdrop of the ocean, and also the way they can appear when they grow among wildflowers. Like somehow they are saying, "Hey, we have our place you know, we have an earthly beauty that stands out, if you just take a moment to really see us." One day I took that moment, and now I am fascinated by them. I love photographing them. Great idea for the challenge Kim!

Be sure to visit Kim and all the other participants of this challenge, by following the links below...

Linking List

1. Kim... Nekked Lizard Adventures


2. Carly... Ellipsis


3. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

4. Karen... Outpost Mavarin


5. Wammy... The Ellis Family


6. Jennifer Robin... Robin's Woods


7. Jema Hameed... Sweet Memories


8. Robinella... Robinella's


9. Olive... Ur Olive


10. Gina... Gina's Space


11. Kiva... The Eclectic Granny


12. Mary... Answers To The Questions


13. Monica... A Family Affair Photography


14. Vicki... Maraca


15. Julie... Julie's Web Journal


16. Molly... Return Of The White Robin


17. Teena... It's all about me!


18. Steven...(sometimes) photoblog


See... I saved some open places. They are just waiting for you to play along too. There is still time! Just hop on over to the official Round Robin blog and leave your information to play along with this challenge! Come on... you know you want to!

NOTE: Tomorrow is my birthday, but I am having my birthday dinner tonight. I will be updating and visiting your blogs until 4:00 PM today, and then I am will be gone. If you post after that time I will be by either late tonight or sometime tomorrow! See ya soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

8 Non-Boring Things About Me (Meme)

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."

-Ray Bradbury

Suzanne did a new cute little meme over at her blog, Living... New Suzanne R's Life. The idea is to list 8 non-boring things about yourself, and I enjoyed reading her answers so much, I thought it might be fun to do it on Ellipsis. When you get the chance, go get to know my friend Suzanne a little better by reading her entry. She is such a neat lady, and I will always be glad I got the chance to meet her. Cool meme Suzanne, thanks for sending it my way!

8 Non-Boring Things About Me

1. My birthday is this Sunday, and I share that birthday with the following celebrities...
Gary Busey, Fred Grandy, Slim Pickens, Ruth Warrick, Nelson Eddy, Little Eva Boyd, Richard Lewis, and Sharon Lawrence.

2. I am only 4' 11 tall. Yep... I am a shorty. LOL

3. I owned all kinds of animals as a child, including... Rabbits, cats, dogs, goldfish, a turtle, a roadrunner, a turkey, two geese, chickens, a hamster, a guinea pig, a parakeet and a mouse. I like animals. LOL.

4. I had Chicken Pox and a sunburn on my 6th birthday, and had my appendix out the following year just a week before my 7th birthday.

5. I flirted once with a U.S. Senator! (WINK) Thanks again Senator!

6. I love playing with Hoola-Hoops!

7. I have a small beauty mark over my left breast.

8. I have been moderately lucky with drawings and lotteries. I have won, among other things, a diamond necklace, a cake, $2500.00, a One-Touch Mini Meter in Pink Glow, a sterling silver key chain, a silver suede coat, and a $10.00 scrap booking gift certificate.

That was fun! :) I LOVE doing memes, if you have a good one, feel free to send it on to me. :)

Reminder: We are playing a Round Robin Challenge this weekend. "Weeds Can Be Beautiful Too." You're invited to play along! Come on, you know you want to!

"Morning Glory"
Berkeley, California
June 26th, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unhealthy To Breathe

"I don't know whose hand hung Hesperus in the sky, and fixed the Dog Star, and scattered the shining dust of Heaven, and fired the sun, and froze the darkness between the lonely worlds that spin in space."

-Gerald Kersh

As the California wildfires continue to burn, the air quality continues to drop. It has been difficult to breathe here lately, and there is a forecast for more dry lighting storms this weekend, which may spark even more fires. I don't remember a year as bad as this one is for fire. We are dealing with a drought, and that just makes it all ripe and ready for a long fire season. Not much good news, but doesn't all the smoke in the atmosphere make for a lovely photo?

Grizzly Peak Boulevard
Berkeley, California
June 25th, 2008
Early Evening

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Out Of The Ashes

"Each separate dying ember wrought it's ghost upon the floor."

-Edgar Allen Poe

It doesn't matter how many times we wash our cars here in the Bay Area, within a few hours they will once again be covered in tiny particles of fallen ash from the many wildfires currently burning in Northern California. It is of course not just the cars that tell the eerie tale, the sky is a thick smoky pink color, and there is nowhere to go to escape the smell of burning grass. Even Elvis seems particularly dusty, and just yesterday, as I was sitting in front of Lucky's, while waiting for Alan to finish picking up a few items for dinner, I saw this little bee land on the windshield of my car, and it too seemed to have a fine matted dusting of ash on it. And as it sat, clinging to the glass, it seemed to have trouble breathing.

I have mentioned before about a terrifying experience I had as a child with a house fire that happened in the neighborhood where I grew up. It haunts me to this day, but I admit that I have done very little over the years to deal with that fear. Lately, however, I have been paying pretty close attention to all the dry grass here in the hills, and wondering if I would be able to deal fire, if one should happen in my area. Would I freeze-up in fear? Would I run and keep running? Would I rise to the occasion? Would I hold up under the fear and memories?

I don't really know, but somehow I can't help but think that maybe I am getting a hint from above about learning to overcome my fear of fire. I am going to do some photographs of the affect the fires are having on my immediate environment, such as the ash which has settled on my roses, and that eerie glow in the sky that I mentioned earlier. Maybe do a little research to make sure the area around my cottage is as safe as possible. I can learn something from all this I think, at least I hope. We'll see. :( Isn't it strange that we learn our greatest lessons from the things that hurt and scare us the most? Just once I would like to laugh my ass off and learn something profound at the same time!

Lightening Sparks 800 plus California Fires (ABC Affiliate KGO)

"Out Of The Ashes"
Berkeley, California
June 24th, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Common Checkered Skipper

"Teaching a child not to step on a Caterpillar, is as valuable to the child as it is for the Caterpillar."

-Bradley Miller

Yesterday, was the first day this past week that wasn't way too hot to be outdoors here in the Bay Area. Well, at least it seemed that way to me! I am beginning to appreciate summer more and more, but learning to like hot weather will take a bit of doing. I can't think straight in warm weather, I tend to do a lot of idle daydreaming and memory visiting. That's not always a good thing, but sometimes it can be nice to visit those moments from way back when. Especially when I think about how brave I was as a little girl. I was a girly-girl, but I loved caterpillars and grasshoppers. I used to carry grasshoppers around, and show them off as my latest pet, as if I needed another, pets were the one thing I was never short of growing up.

Anyway, I would gently pick them up and carry them about, petting the back of their heads and naming them something weird like... Stuart. I have no idea why I found them so intriguing, but I did. Spiders were another story. I don't remember why I developed such a fear of spiders, but something certainly cemented that phobia in my psyche. LOL. AAACCCK! When it came to butterflies, I just let them float about, I never tried catching one. I don't think I ever quite believed that they actually came from caterpillars. LOL. Somehow it seemed to me that they must have been just a little bit angelic rather than something earthly.

One day, back in the mid 1990's I was in a toy shop, and found a butterfly kit. For a small price I could send away for the live caterpillars of Painted Lady butterflies. It took about a week to come by mail, and while I waited I put together the little habitat that came with the kit. I had so much fun with the first kit, that I bought several more after that. I haven't done that for a long time, but I think maybe I might start again. The company that makes the kits, Insect Lore, is on the Internet, which makes it all the more easier.

Anyway, back to yesterday. I went out in the backyard to look for Elvis, he had been out most of the afternoon, and I found him lying under the pear tree, watching something very tiny hopping and floating between the tree and the tip of his nose. As I got closer, I saw the teeny tiny butterfly, and it looked perfect. Like it was only a day old. I grabbed my camera, and waited patiently with my kitty for the butterfly to fully open it's wings. When it did, I was amazed. It was indeed perfect. It was a lot whiter then it appears in the photos, and it was probably the smallest butterfly I have ever seen. I didn't even realize at first that it was a skipper. It took a bit of research to find that out, although I should have known by the eyes that it was from the skipper family.

It has been a big year for Yellow/Black Swallowtails, which I haven't been lucky enough, so far, to be able capture with the camera, but I haven't seen very many Skippers at all, and I don't remember ever seeing a checkered one. It was a nice treat to be sure. I need to go and check on Elvis in a few minutes, but you can bet I will bring the camera along. You never know, maybe today will be the day I get a photo of a Swallowtail, but if not, I will be happy with whatever treasure I do find!

"Common Checkered Skipper" Pyrus communis
Berkeley, California
June 22, 2008
Late Afternoon

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Monday Photo Shoot# 24: Candles Or Something Like Them

"Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished."

-Michael Strassfeld

New Monday Photo Shoot #24: Nearly everyone has candles, for one purpose or another. Photograph one or more candles - real or otherwise.

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

I love this candle, it is my favorite. Alan gave it to me... oh... about... 25 years ago or so. Long before we were dating. It was a friendship gift for Valentine's Day. It is one of those little items I call a treasure. I have a fear of fire, but I ask Alan to light some from time to time around the house, you know, to set a mood. LOL. This candle, however, sits on my desk at all times. I love just looking at it. It provides a different kind of light for me. :)

Little Kitty Candle
Berkeley, California
June 21, 2008