Two representatives of the ‘Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service’ were here again last week. When I pointed out to them that I really didn’t want any more pruning done, this is what they said:
“Well, we chose your yard for a free complimentary call! I’ve got a young trainee with me. Junior hasn’t got the skills of our more experienced crew, so really needs the practice.
Junior can’t reach the taller branches, so I’ve assigned him to hedge duty. He should have your willow cut down to about 3 feet before the morning is over.
While he is doing that, I’m going to work on this aspen tree over here. What’s that you say? It was pruned just a few weeks ago by our other crew? Well, they missed a few branches. Look at how lopsided it is!
See how we eat everything and never leave a twig behind for you to clean up! Well, yes ma’am, we do leave these round brown lumps on the ground, but we don’t charge you a thing for our Munching Moose Tree and Hedge fertilization program.
Three moose grazed their way through our yard a few mornings ago. Only one of them was within camera range. If this moose could talk, this might be the moose side of the conversation:
Good morning. Me and my two pals were sent here by the Munching Moose Tree and Hedge MaintenanceService. I finished pruning the hedge. Now I’m going to do an Aspen Tree. What’s that? You don’t want the Aspen pruned? Well, usually the customer is right, but let me show you how I can fix the lopsided growth on this particular tree.
If I was to cut this branch off, right about here, this tree would look much better.
Now, another little snip right here…
There, I’m done this branch. Just thirty or forty more branches and I’ll be full… I mean done. Hope you weren’t counting on this tree to provide any shade this summer…
I give my blog a make-over now and then. (WordPress.com has so many themes to try). When I test drive a new one, I ask a few friends to let me know what their browser thinks of the change. Does my blog load fairly fast on their computer, phone or other device? Can they read the blog easily? Does anything seem to be ‘broken’?
Why does speed matter?
We might live in a fast paced world, but our internet connections vary from rabbit to turtle. I sometimes have a frog connection – fast leaps alternating with “really, you’ve stopped completely!?” pauses. A fast website loads completely in my browser while my frog is leaping. I can read the site while my frog has stopped to admire the scenery. A slow website doesn’t load completely during the leaps. I often get tired of waiting and abandon the site.
Apparently search engines also use load speed as one of the factors in search ranking. You can test the speed of your site with a free tool called Pingdom Website Speed Test. The test will tell you how fast your site is. If you scroll down their page, you will be able to see exactly what is slowing your site down.
If you click the Home button on my menu above, you can check my new landing page. According to Pingdom my Performance Grade is 90 and it loads faster than 83% of sites tested from New York City.
How does your Home Page compare?
One way to speed up your site – reduce the size of your images
Your theme choice dictates the size your images will display. Resize your images to match your theme – your images will then be the best the theme can offer AND the fastest to deliver to your readers.
The original of this frog photo was 2756 px by 1991 px with a size of 2.82 MB. The content width for this theme (default post) is, however, only 640 px. (I’ve been using a maximum image size of 700 px for quite a few years).
As you can see, the frog photo on the bottom is of no better quality than the photo above it, but it takes up more space in your WordPress account. If I had uploaded the full size photo, it would have taken a lot longer to load, and would not have looked appreciably better than the smaller size photos.
Is your font choice working for or against you?
Speaking of size, is your font large enough to be read easily? What about colour? Dark text on a light background is easy to read. Light text on a dark background is harder to read. Check your site on a computer, a tablet and a phone. How readable is it?
If you a Frog Lover
The frog in the photo is a Northern Leopard Frog. They are no longer common in Alberta, though we often used to see them at the cabin.
A well-rounded and compact head – a good description of a cabbage, but it works for a pumpkin too!
This year I used a drill to make almost perfect round holes in my jack-o’-lantern. (Did you know that the term jack-o’-lantern comes from an Irish folktale? Large turnips and potatoes were used by the Irish in Ireland, but they switched to the readily available pumpkins when they came to America.)
‘Jack’ doesn’t look all that handsome in the daylight, but he really ‘shines’ in the dark!
When I was looking for a quotation about pumpkins, I found a musing by Alexander McCall Smith. It reminded me of transporting my pumpkins last year. I secured them in the back seat of the Jeep and briefly thought about what quiet, friendly companions they were.
The pumpkin looked delicious—almost perfectly round and deep yellow in colour, it sat on the passenger seat beside her so comfortably as she drove out of the car park, so pleased to be what it was, that she imagined conducting a conversation with it… And the pumpkin would remain silent, of course, but would somehow indicate that it knew what she was talking about, that there were similar issues in the world of pumpkins.
There was no harm, she thought, in allowing your imagination to run away with you, as a child’s will do, because the thoughts that came in that way could be a comfort, a relief in a world that could be both sad and serious. Why not imagine a talk with a pumpkin? Why not imagine going off for a drive with a friendly pumpkin, a companion who would not, after all, answer back; who would agree with everything you said, and would at the end of the day appear on your plate as a final gesture of friendship?
– Alexander McCall Smith, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine –
Happy Halloween, all!
(Is it still called Halloween in your community schools, or has it been changed to Black and Orange Spirit Day?)
There is a growing list of Halloween costumes that have been described as inappropriate because they are negative representations. Lynda Davis, at BoomerBroadcast wonders: “If I answer the door dressed as myself, an aging baby boomer in a comfortable T-shirt and yoga pants will I offend my entire generation?”
Cårven Der Pümpkîn | Recipes with The Swedish Chef | The Muppets
This weeks’ WordPress.com Photo Challenge is Rounded.
Can you find the shape of the Letter ‘B’ or ‘b’ in the photos below? (Hint: You might have to look for pairs of circles!)
Some famous ‘B’s
Bubble and Bobbin (3 out of 6 letters are b’s)
Type B Blood
B Musical Note
B Shoe Size
B Bra Size
B-2 Stealth Bomber
I have been sorting through photos, both the paper ones in boxes and the digital ones on my computer. It has been a big task that makes me wish I had developed a file naming or sorting system that was more descriptive than, for example, ‘UK’ – which has 79 sub-folders. It will take some time to sort through over 1500 folders and move them into more suitable descriptive locations. It has been fun, though, to revisit the past and in the process I’ve stumbled upon the fact that there are Letters of the Alphabet in many of my photos.
Can you find the shape of the Letter ‘A’ in the photos below?
Hint: – look at the three windows, and the front door!
Fun Facts about the Letter ‘A’:
Which common English words have the most “a’s” in them?
The 6 letter word ‘banana’ and the 8 letter word ‘caragana’ can both boast being 50% ‘a’.
If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.
― Original Author Unknown –