Saturday, April 25, 2009

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Carlsbad is renowned for its beautiful flower fields which are in full bloom right now: Covering 50 acres, the rows upon rows of flowers are a favourite spot for visitors to Carlsbad. The tractor transports visitors around the blooming hills, but we snuck into the Hilton Hotel grounds, just above the hills and enjoyed them from afar. The Pacific Ocean is off in the background.
Bougainvillea is in bloom everywhere in Carlsbad -- a gorgeous sight!And the oranges are almost ripe for picking.

We drove to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Centre

Situated on a marshy lagoon...(Agua Hedionda means 'stinky lagoon', but we didn't find it to be so!)'s a haven for avid bird watchers like us!
Swallows were nesting in the eaves. Can you see the baby?
The hummingbird....
was drinking deeply of the nectar from these beautiful flowers. Myriads of birds find refuge here from the bustling city... We heard that if we had been there earlier we would have spotted the elusive Road Runner.Ah well -- next time!

Unfortunately, the weather had turned decidedly chilly, so we didn't stay at the centre too long. But long enough to capture on camera some more stunning plants and flowers:

This 'itsy-bitsy' eyed us as we were leaving, and Bella, the pseudo guard dog bade us a fond farewell! And this goodbye wish from the Lagoon Discovery Centre is my wish for you today:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All Creatures Great and Small

We had a pleasant afternoon down at the harbour:Watched the fishing boats come in. The fishermen (and women!) straggled off this boat with their catch in plastic bags. Looks like most only caught two or three fish. I guess that's why these egrets waited on the stern in vain, for a share of them:
The pelican, too! Can't imagine how many fish he could woolf down at one meal!

What a majestic bird he is!

Ultimately, they all gave up and flew away:

Look at that wingspread!

Well, we had come down to the harbour for lunch. But...oh no! The fish and chip shop...

was closed up tight -- too early in the season, I guess.
So what else could two 'Yorkshire Lasses' have instead?

Why, a cuppa tea, of course -- at the Robin's Nest Cafe!

Later, we drove down along the beach road -- not a lot to see, as this old dredger:

...was clearing accumulated sand from the entrance way of the harbour. It sucks the sand all up and then deposits it back on the beach by way of massive piping. Not exactly a scenic view today...but a very necessary process to keep the harbour clear for the hundreds of boats that go in and out daily.

Back at home, the patio was a lovely cool spot to sit and read for a while.

This little guy was snooping around for insects.

I followed the tiny lizard around for quite a while, trying to get some good shots:
until he finally gave me a look that said:


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunny California!

Oh, the joys!

No more snow!

Warm temperatures!

A sister who lives in California!

And an early vacation for me!

Bright California colours to dazzle the eyes, after the drab greys and greens of Toronto's pitifully slow emergence into spring.
What more could one ask for; Sunday afternoon on the patio, a cuppa tea, reading the newspaper, and enjoying the song birds!

But, yes, that is 90 degrees you see on the dial, so we didn't stay there too long.

But the birds were having a great time:

Flying in and out of the water

Keeping cool

Having an afternoon snack, and ...

an impromptu conference in the shade.

Even Bailey found a cool spot to rest

Aaah -- California; no place like it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Need a Good Laugh?

This is priceless:

and only TV could make such a big deal about it -- guess they were short of news for this program:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My First Attempt

My sister is accomplished in many things, but especially in art. You can find some of her work here and lots more here.

She has been encouraging me to try my hand at sketching. In a recent comment, she suggested I could try drawing my blog banner. I've never been able to draw well, although I can be pretty 'crafty' at other forms of art.

But I've been challenged by the beauty of her sketches. So, here is my attempt -- what do you think?

(Unfortunately, the colours didn't scan well. The colours I used are pretty close to the original; those pinks and mauves are actually a light and dark rust). I'm pleased enough to try again!