Sunday, December 30, 2012

Heron Stalking

I have a tripod set up in my living room right now.

For years a Great Blue Heron has swooped through the Hollow, never getting close or staying visible long enough for me to swing my camera up and focus.

But for some reason, one is now gracing us with his presence almost every day, choosing to nap right outside the back door. 
Well, sort of...  

In these photos, he's resting at the top of some trees, but since our house is built into a hill, it's in line with my French doors.

And my camera.

Thank you, Mr. Heron!

P.S. Please pray for my dad who was taken to the hospital this afternoon with another suspected stroke. They ran some tests and admitted him, but I'm merely at the mercy of texted updates since I'm not there, so I'm not sure what his status is at this time. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for my sweet Daddy! He would love to see this heron in person!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Black Birds

For Christmas, 
I was given the sight of red-winged blackbirds once again fluttering around my Daddy's backyard bird feeder...

...and grackles enjoying the bird bath.

I wonder what they keep looking at up there in the pecan trees?

For Christmas, the black birds received a sleepy cat, 
dozing on the deck, 
oblivious to the parties going on around him.

I hope some of your Christmas wishes have come true as well!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Trail of Lights, Part 2: Storytime

Besides traveling through magical, colorful, glowing tunnels  at Austin's Trail of Lights
you also journey through many beloved children's stories and other icons of childhood.

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him "WILD THING!" and Max said "I'LL EAT YOU UP!" 
so he was sent to bed without eating anything. 

(Grocery store chain HEB passes out free books to children on the Trail. Awesome!)

"Your fight is with me, you miserable mouse! Not a defenseless old soldier!"
(This nutcracker is a little scary, isn't it? Especially in person - he was about 20 feet tall!)

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what story this is from. 
But look at its face! 
I love this dinosaur/sea serpent/dragon!
(Anyone know?)

I spent hours playing Candyland when I was little. 
Rumor has it I knew how to stack the cards when I was 3 years old so I could win. 
I was a genius!

"When someone says How-do-you-do, just say you didn't." ~ Eeyore
(Eeyore is my favorite. But don't tell Pooh or Piglet or Tigger.)

Of course, Santa was there, taking last minute requests.

Food trailers! Hot chocolate, turkey legs, Chinese food... even crepes!

Merry Christmas again! 
My kids will be here tomorrow and I might actually get my tree decorated. 
Even if I don't, it will be a wonderful weekend and the joy of Christmas is in my heart.
 I hope it is in yours. 
Wishing you tons of Christmas blessings!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Following a Trail of Lights

Almost every year since 1965
a section of Austin has come alive with
Christmas magic
in the form of

In all the years I've lived here,
had never seen the Trail of Lights with my own eyes
until Monday night
and then I wondered... 
why did wait so long?

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.  
~Aaron Rose

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby. ~Ruth E. Renkel

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.  
~Anthony J. D'Angelo

No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.  
~Terry Pratchett

I will love the light for it shows me the way.  
Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.  
~Og Mandino

See the moon hiding in the star?

Your path is illuminated by the light
Yet darkness lets the stars shine bright. 
~J.L.W. Brooks

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.  
~Blaise Pascal 

We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.  
~Earl Nightingale

You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in.  
~Arlo Guthrie

In the beginning there was nothing.  God said, "Let there be light!"  And there was light.  There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.  
~Ellen DeGeneres

The lights forming the tree below are strung from one of the original Moonlight Towers, constructed in 1894 after a Jack-the-Ripper type murderer terrorized the city. 
Actually, some think it really was Jack the Ripper who committed the crimes and then fled to London.

Anyway... back to Christmas joy...

Moonlight is sculpture.  
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

(See the moon hiding in the tree now?)

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, full of light and love! 
I'm grateful for each and every one of you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Goodbye, Instagram! It was fun while it lasted!

I'm a relative newbie to the Instagram world. 

It's a fun way to pass the time with my phone when I'm waiting somewhere, bored, or spot something I want to capture really fast.

It satisfies the photographer in me when I don't have my big camera. 

I just love playing with those filters. 


But Instagram's decision to make money off of our photos without sharing the wealth? 
I just don't think that's right, do you? 

“You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

(If you haven't heard about it yet, go HERE.)

So Instagram, we had some fun times... 
...but it's time to part ways.

What about you? 
Will you be breaking up with Instagram, too?

Just for fun, 
take a look at this Nickelback parody below by College Humor that I came across HERE.
(warning: there's some rough language in it!)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Back to Georgetown

 A small town square decked out for Christmas + lots of friends + my camera =
my idea of fun!

For some reason, taking photos of things I love is almost as good as buying them. 

And much cheaper!

For instance, I'm a sucker for children's chairs, like the one above and especially, the one below. 

There's just something about these little festive painted chairs... 
...but I already have two, 
so I was satisfied with a photo of this one.
(Especially after seeing the price tag!)

When I was small, we had an aluminum tree.
I didn't like it, and longed for a real tree.

So why do I love these now?

I'm Texan, but this purse is plain creepy!

This photo below turned out a little blurry, but I decided I really like it and had lots of fun playing with it.

I love old glass ornaments, but my tree is over-saturated as it is.

I took this one for my friend Mary Kay. 
She loves buttons and making things. 
(And I have lots of wine corks!)

I tried to take different photos this time, but I just can't resist a repeat of this metal stairway.

Sculptures dot the square.  
Here are just a couple.

This little girl posed for me on the turtle. 

I have one of me trying to imitate it, but you're not going to see that one.
You'd have nightmares.

But I'll share this one of all of us. 

I love good wine, but good friends are priceless!

P.S. I did buy something.
This square picnic basket was just $3!!!