Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Oh, My Poor Aching Teeth..."

Remember this fellow...?

The crafty raccoon.
I have a feeling he may be looking for a dentist....

While I was visiting my sister in California recently, we took a drive to the desert. Along the way we stopped in a small town gift shop and we both bought some of these 'magic eggs.' The information that came with them says, "These opalescent glass eggs from China reflect light in wondrous ways...the colors and translucence change with different light sources and are particularly alluring in water."

So when I arrived back in Canada, we put our water fountain out on the patio and placed the eggs under the flowing water. My photos don't do them justice -- but they really are quite beautiful.

But one morning, as I headed out to the patio for my early cup of tea, this is what I found.....

I think our crafty raccoon was hungry, and dipped into the water fountain for a yummy egg! Did he break his teeth? I don't think we'll see him around for a while!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Oasis in the City

For many years I was a missionary in Bucharest, Romania. I loved everything about that country. Closest to my heart are her people. But coming a close second would be Romania's flowers. Even in the winter time flower-sellers could be found on every corner -- with prices so incredibly low that anyone could afford to buy some.

My dear Romanian friend, Gabi, recently sent me these photos she took in Cismigiu Park -- a beautiful oasis in the midst of the bustling, noisy, smog-filled city of Bucharest.

But when it comes to greenery, there are few countries that can compare to my home country of England. These photos were taken on a bus tour I took last year -- in the Cotswolds.

Whether in Romania or in the UK, it's all God's awesome handiwork --
and it's breathtaking!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's Here!

Finally, Spring has sprung!

No, it's not a 'lonely little petunia in an onion patch'

It's a lonely little crocus in our back garden!

And this is a lovely little crocus patch in the front garden

But -- what's this.....

A dirty bit of snow that just won't go away --

in spite of double-digit temperatures for the last few days!

But look what the warm weather DID bring out...

...isn't he beautiful?

A majestic raccoon in our neighbour's back garden is watching us very carefully.

He could be the one who's been destroying our bird-feeders,

but, too bad -- we have an indestructible one now!

Maybe that's why he's giving us such a dirty look!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bits of Silver and Gold

That's the title of a little poetry book I've had in my possession for many years, and I guess that's what this blog is going to be about: little bits of shiny silver and gold nuggets from my life -- and maybe a few tarnished bits, too!

After a l-o-o-ng cold, snowy winter, finally there are lovely green shoots bursting up through still frozen ground. Every year we wait in anticipation to see what they will turn out to be. When we bought this house, a few years ago, the garden was fully planted, but every year we discover new plants we've never seen before -- we love surprises!

But, in the meantime, we bought this pot of varied-colour Kalanchoe on sale after Easter. The colours are so rich and they have brightened up many a dull, rainy day.

We spent much of the winter in a love/hate relationship with nature. There's a picture window in the office, looking out over the back garden, and a lilac tree with its branches almost brushing the window is the perfect spot for a bird-feeder. Not sure which critter is actually the culprit (raccoon, chipmunk, squirrel?), but our bird-feeders have been chewed on, knocked to the ground, punctured and probably trampled on, in an effort to get at the seeds! We are on our fourth feeder and I think we've found the best one, now -- at least it is still intact after a week. It seems to have also attracted some new birds. We've seen a beautiful rich, brown-backed Wood Thrush, which, along with the Brown-eyed Junco, scratch in the dirt under the feeder for left-overs. Both haven't stayed long enough for me to take a photo.
Not sure if this is a Goldfinch -- he doesn't look like the ones we saw last year which are yellow all over, with black/grey wings -- but he's cute all the same.

And this is the Pileated Woodpecker, with the red stripe on his head. They are everywhere, and when we go for a walk we hear their rat-tat-tat echoing throughout the neighbourhood. He was in the lilac tree and I just happened to have the camera ready.

And this lovely Cardinal brightened up a snowy day back in March. He is our wake-up call around 6:00am every day! But he's too beautiful to be upset with!
Finally, lest you should be envious of our springtime, this is what we faced for seemingly months on end!