These Things Match up with Things on my Wants List

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Sometimes it is best if The Car Guy just agrees with me…

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This bench would be perfect on my patio! Too bad it is in a store in Calgary, not Phoenix.

565-neon-sign-dads-garageThis would be perfect in The Car Guys garage.
Too bad it was in a store in Phoenix and not in a store in Calgary.

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Ice Cream and cereal and fruit – a good match when I’m out of milk and yogurt.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is A Good Match.

Monarch Butterfly Collage

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I made this Monarch Butterfly Collage with 5 photos. The first, and background layer, was a photo of painted daisies. I gave it a textured filter.

The remaining four photos were close-ups of a single Monarch Butterfly. I put those photos into 4 layers, gave each of them a border, and positioned them on top of the background photo.

Layers, in GIMP or any other photo editing program, are like a stack of transparencies. There are many ways to alter each layer, without affecting any of the other layers!

See more blogger’s photos at WordPress Photo Challenge – Collage

Great Horned Owl in Arizona

For the past few weeks we have been serenaded by several Great Horned Owls. Their calls, a series of deep hoots (who-who-ah-whoo, who-ah-whoo) break the silence of the late evening or early morning. It is always too dark to see it, or take pictures.

Today, however, owl starting hooting before sundown. It sounded very close. I scanned the nearby tree, and finally spotted it. Unfortunately, owl was mostly hidden by a veil of willowy leaves. I didn’t want to scare ‘my’ owl away, so I slowly worked my way along the back of our house, well away from the tree. I tried to be quiet, but it is almost impossible to walk quietly on gravel – crunch, crunch, crunch.

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Owl didn’t budge. When I had reached the optimum location, I was able to take a few good photos.

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Then I crunch, crunch, crunched my way back across the yard and into the house. Hope this is the first of many more owl encounters, and the last of the rodents who burrow under the prickly pear cactus patch.

The Feather Files
Name: Great Horned Owl
Species: Bubo virginianus
Native to and Migration: Found all across North America up to the northern tree line; no regular migration – individuals may wander long distances in fall and winter, sometimes moving southward.
Date Seen: February, 2017
Location: North of Fountain Hills, Arizona

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Against the Odds.

Shadows on the Snow – a Mystery Shape

I call them Crystal Days. When the morning sun falls on the right kind of new snow, each snow flake glitters like a crystal.

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This photo was taken on a Crystal Day, mid December, a few years ago.  The overnight snowfall had turned our yard into a series of snow mounds, each sparkling in the morning sun. The snow pattern in this photo was particularly interesting. What had been a grid, was now a geometric series of hills and valleys, with each hill casting a shadow into the valley. Nearby objects added splashes of shadow too.

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Here is a closer look at one of the valleys. Now you can see the sparkles of the snow crystals on the hill surface.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember what was under the snow. Whatever it was, it had to have been a nearly horizontal surface. It was something in my yard and it was apparently familiar enough that I didn’t bother to take another photo that put this one into context. I didn’t even see the need to change the name of the photo from P1060359 to something a bit more useful. Drat…

Here are some more shadow photos. Click on any of them to open a slideshow.

If you have any suggestions as to what created my snow shadow mystery, please leave a comment!

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Shadow.

Super Bowl Quiz – The Winning Answers – Friday Funny

We were invited to a Super Bowl party. I knew it was going to be a good one when the hostess pointed me in the direction of a really well stocked snack counter. Then she handed me the first of the number of glasses of wine it takes to drink a half bottle or so. With my beverage in one hand, and a plate of munchies in the other, I commandeered a front row seat on the soft couches.

“Before the game starts,” said the hostess, “You are all going to take a Super Bowl Quiz. There is a prize for whoever gets the most right answers.”

She handed each of us a single page of questions, which I dutifully read. I only knew three answers. I had no idea about the rest. Not a clue. That wasn’t a surprise, since I didn’t even know which teams were playing in the game I was about to watch. (In my defense, I am Canadian, and the last time I really paid any attention to football was when Doug Flutie was quarterback for the Calgary Stampeders in the early 1990’s.)

So I filled in the answers I knew, and handed my page to The Car Guy.  His skill set is trivia, and he does follow American football. He filled in his question sheet first, then filled in the rest of my sheet with his second best answers.

At half time, the hostess put out more food (I have to get her recipe for pulled pork!) Then she announced the winner of the Quiz. The person who had the most right answers was ME! What a surprise!

You must be wondering how the ‘least likely to win’ quiz player stumbled into the end zone for a touchdown? Well, it was because I know Roman Numerals. Sample Question: How do you write the Roman Numeral for Super Bowl 48?  The Car Guy  knows Roman Numerals too, so my win ultimately came down to the fact that his second choice answers on my sheet were better than his first choice answers on his sheet.

The prize was a handy pair of glasses that made me look a cross between Groucho Marks and Hitler.  They look much better on Albertina Elf.

Did you watch Super Bowl LI too? What did you think of the commercials and half time show? Do you have a really easy crock pot pulled pork recipe?