Monday, September 29, 2008

Pulchritudinous Plants

A sampling of the pretties from Africa:

A sample of clawfoot grass in its dried out summer state:

These next two pictures are of the dada plant--it is the local version of pot! We had one of the more politic guides try to convince us that no one smoked it, but a couple other guides were very up front about the fact that it is indeed smokable! The first picture is of the dried seed pod and the second of the still green slowing plant. The pod beneath the flowers will expand to become like the top picture. The plant is interesting as each stalk can have several (4 or 5?) of these pods along its height.

Thorny acacia. Only tasty to giraffe's. Somehow they manage to wrap their almost prehensile tongues around the branch and remove the leaves without getting skewered!

One of the many water lilies seen in Namibia. There are actually two kinds--a night lily and a day lily. Both evidently are white until pollinated at which point hey turn light purple!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ooooo...See the Birdie

The Blue Bird of Happiness taking a bath

Purty birdie (another blue bird possible...female? many possibilities!) roosting on the sprinkler it is now illegal to use in Georgia. Maybe someday I will get to use it again!
Woodie Woodpecker came for a visit :)

One who quoths nevermore...

The camera was getting pretty squirrelly here!

This past weekend I finally refilled my bird feeder after about 2 weeks of flaking (sorry birds!) and a couple days later the birds had found it again! Lots of visitors. Not my best shots but still fun. These were taken from the upstairs window through a screen so the quality isn't great but I didn't want to scare them away. :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mom and Her Prince Charming

In November of 2006 my parents came out for a visit and we headed out to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Very pretty though a bit more expensive than the Georgia Botanical gardens (which are free!!!) They have many a pretty flower and sculpture for you to see. Mom say this guy sitting on a bench and fell in love with it running over to get her picture taken--I hope my dad wasn't too jealous. :) I love the smile on my mom's face in this shot :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Williamsburg Wonderfullness

Here are a selections of goodies from the Williamsburg area! I had the chance to head out there for Spring break this year and there were many a nifty site to be seen. If you had told me as a kid that I would volunteer to go on a historically themed vacation I would have told you you were crazy :) But as I get older, even the learning vacations are fun!!!

This is a goodie from the Richmond Botanical Gardens--I like the patterns.

And now to Williamsburg--one of the aspects of the city that makes it fun to visit is that as a part of the living history they recreate many of the crafts from the 1600's and 1700's int he traditional manner. One of those crafts is the spinning and dying of wool. They hand the wool from the rafters to dry before weaving which is how I got this shot.
Another Williamsburg craft they keep up are the traditional cooking methods--seen here is a baked potato hedgehog which I am sure is traditional!!
While visiting the area I also ended up over in Richmond, VA so had to visit a battlefield or two to prove that I was a true patriot. (Side note: there is a shop in Richmond that takes the patriotism thing (with a Republican bent) more seriously then I knew's s little scary. I really don't need a tie with George Bush or Newt Gingritch surrounded by USA flags on it!). But, the battle field was interesting and in the museum you can see this--one of General George Washington's actual tents! This was his command tent through much of the war. A nifty connection with history!
Every battlefield needs a cannon or two!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Most Illuminating

Siena. 2004. Illuminated manuscript. Purty

Friday, September 5, 2008

Major Cuteness!

Ok, thought I'd do a collection are some of the way to cute animal babies we ran into while traveling. They are from a variety of parks--enjoy!

Hippolet from Hwange National Park in Zimbabwae

Baby elephant and mom also from Hwange. I love how the baby kept his tail in the air the whole time he walked across the watering hole with his mom--I guess he really didn't want to get it wet!

This is one of the lion cubs that we walked with in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwae--the female this time.

Botswana Baboons! When they are younger they rude under mom and when older (or depending on how fast she is traveling, they will sit on her back as well.

I love the ears! (Also Botswana)

Chobe park In Botswana seems to have been a heaven for the little ones--the baboons above as well as this giraffe and the elephants at the bottom of the post! We ran into this family grouping a couple of times and took pictures of the cuteness every chance we got!

Two different elephant babies from Chobe in Botswana. the first was on his/her way down to the river around dusk to get a last drink and the second cam down for a mud bath :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Clear as a Bell

Back to Africa and Botswana for today's post. We had been traveling for a couple of weeks and one of the constants throughout the different countries we visited was that at night you could hear a very distinctive frog call that sounded just like the ringing of a bell. The sound was actually very loud and evidentially traveled long distances easily. Turns out all that loud noise was made by some pretty tiny frogs! The African reed frog, or bell frog was the culprit and when were exploring the Okavango delta by canoe (mokoro) we finally found some. The first picture os of a female and then next two are males. For a sense of scale, they are ounly a couple inches long.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Water Lillies Everywhere!!!

Back to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for today's post. There were many a pretty water lily in bloom throughout the gardens and I captured are a few for your enjoyment :)