Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The year ends on a crispy note

I went out for a slippery walk on Christmas morning with camera in gloved hand.
Fresh from my camera:
frost decorates plants
and fallen leaves
and clings to wooden surfaces
 the sun is low in the sky (but days are now lengthening)

the walks are icy

 but the views spectacular for those few that have ventured out

small and large birds are foraging

the ducks are perched on the ice,
 they may look as if they are asleep but all seem to have an eye open

the park is beautiful in its coat of frost and ice

in a shelter spot this branch has escaped the snow

the back of an amaryllis petal catches the light from outside
the photographer signs off for the year

May the New Year bring...
joy to your heart…

and warmth to your home!

yours with whimsy,

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Christmas Greetings

As I write this it is still snowing and everything is covered in a thick blanket of white. Here is one of our hummingbird visitors, he would wish you a Merry Christmas if he weren't so busy "guarding" HIS feeder.

The snow coats everything in our garden from the herbs...
to the ornaments and gargoyles.

Here are some thoughts on the season: 

"It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring
Is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.”
Meredith Willson
“Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness.
 To an opponent, tolerance.
 To a friend, your heart.
 To a customer, service.
 To all, charity.
 To every child, a good example.
 To yourself, respect.”
Oren Arnold
They seem to be smiling under their blanket of snow?
“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
Peg Bracken
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.”
Francis C. Farley
 “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
Norman Vincent Peale

“Each sight, each sound of Christmas
And fragrances sublime
Make hearts and faces happy
This glorious Christmastime.”
Carice Williams

“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.”
Janice Maeditere

 “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”
Burton Hillis



“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Let us have music for Christmas…
Sound the trumpet of joy and rebirth;
Let each of us try, with a song in our hearts,
To bring peace to men on earth.”
Mildred L. Jarrell

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.”
Irving Berlin

“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.”
Joan Winmill Brown

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?"
Bob Hope

It does not look as if the snow will last for Christmas it was pretty while it lasted.

As you relish the goodies, decorate every nook and corner of your home
and enjoy the get-togethers...
May the joy and festivities continue to radiate in your lives,
long after Christmas is gone.
Merry Christmas!Happy New Year!

A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! 
That's all for this week, thanks for dropping by,
happy Wednesday, with whimsy,

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Seasonal Colours?

From my camera:

This week I have the seasonal colours in the shape of an Anna's hummingbird. Green wings and beautiful red (red-purple head and gorget). I didn't go far to take these pictures, this little fellow is a year round visitor to my back garden.

Here perched on a trellis in the sleet:
"Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna), a medium-sized hummingbird native to the west coast of North America, was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.[2] In the early 20th century, Anna's hummingbird bred only in northern Baja California and southern California. The transplanting of exotic ornamental plants in residential areas throughout the Pacific coast and inland deserts provided expanded nectar and nesting sites, allowing the species to expand its breeding range."

"Anna's hummingbird is 3.9 to 4.3 in (9.9 to 10.9 cm) long. It has an iridescent bronze-green back, a pale grey chest and belly, and green flanks. Its bill is long, straight and slender. The adult male has an iridescent crimson-red derived from magenta to a reddish-pink crown and gorget, which can look dull brown or gray without direct sunlight and a dark, slightly forked tail."

"Female Anna's hummingbirds also have iridescent red gorgets, though they are usually smaller and less brilliant than the males'. Anna's is the only North American hummingbird species with a red crown.[3] Females and juvenile males have a dull green crown, a grey throat with or without some red iridescence, a grey chest and belly, and a dark, rounded tail with white tips on the outer feathers."

"These birds feed on nectar from flowers using a long extendable tongue. They also consume small insects and other arthropods caught in flight or gleaned from vegetation. A PBS documentary shows how Anna's hummingbirds eat flying insects."

"While collecting nectar, they also assist in plant pollination. This species sometimes consumes tree sap.[5] The male's call is scratchy and metallic, and it perches above head-level in trees and shrubs.[3] They are frequently seen in backyards and parks, and commonly found at feeders and flowering plants."

"Anna's hummingbirds can shake their bodies 55 times per second to shed rain while in flight or, in dry weather, to remove pollen or dirt from feathers."

"Anna's hummingbirds have the northernmost year-round range of any hummingbird. During cold temperatures, Anna's hummingbirds gradually gain weight during the day as they convert sugar to fat."

These hummingbirds are extremely protective of their food sources (feeders included). I feed them year round, but even I am not spared being dive-bombed if I get too close to one of the two feeders I maintain.

They also have a raspy scolding sound that they use to voice their displeasure if I get too close to one of "their" feeders!

... hummingbirds with inadequate stores of body fat or insufficient plumage are able to survive periods of sub-freezing weather by lowering their metabolic rate and entering a state of torpor.

"There are an estimated 1.5 million Anna's hummingbirds. Their population appears to be stable, and they are not considered an endangered species."

"The Anna's Hummingbird is one of only three hummingbird species that are permanent residents of the United States and Canada. (The others are the Allen's and Costa's.) This hardy hummingbird has the northernmost year-round range of any North American hummingbird species."

"Anna's Hummingbird is an extremely vocal species, especially for a hummingbird. Males sing a buzzy, scratchy-sounding song while perched and during their high-flying courtship spectacles. During the display, the bird ascends up to 130 feet, then swoops toward the ground. At the bottom of its dive, the bird's tail feathers emit a burst of noise. These elaborate dive displays may be direction at other birds and even at people!"

They are territorial, they can be scolding, but they are also tiny and beautiful and amazing to watch.
I currently have at least 2 hummingbirds attending my feeders, one is dominant and chases the other mercilessly.
Time to fill the feeders, it is cold out there!
Here is a You tube video of the Anna's Hummingbird:
I hope you have enjoyed my pictures today.
  I have two shows on now:
The Great Stuff show and sale at the Ferry Building and a Christmas Art show at Image West:
That is all I have for you this week.
Thanks for dropping by,
happy Wednesday, with whimsy,