Saturday, July 31, 2010

Window Display

Last weekend was the 3rd Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. Photographers of all skilled level from all over the world gathered into their local groups to socialize and take photos.
Our group traipsed through the charming downtown & residential area of Los Gatos, CA and I came across this window display.

If you took part in this photo walk in your area, I would be interested in hearing about your experience.

- Karen

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bicycle Pattern

When I am out taking photos or just walking about, my eyes and brain automatically look for patterns.

Look around you now.
Do you see a pattern of something? What is it?

- Karen

Friday, July 23, 2010

Creatures in the Woods

Went hiking and encountered these camouflaged creatures along the way. I was not sure of their intentions. Many feverish thoughts crossed my mind.
Were they friendly and coming out to welcome me on my journey? Were they hungry and hunting me for their dinners? Were they just as frightened and protecting their young?
I did not stay long to ponder the possibilities and relieved they did not chase after me.

- Karen

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Thousand Cranes

I read that in Japanese culture when someone folds a thousand cranes (Senbazuru in Japanese), they can be granted a wish by a crane. Such a gift is usually given to friends or family to wish them a long life, happiness, luck, or well-being.

Here is a close-up of some of the cranes. They can be folded with solid color paper or those with designs like kimonos patterns.

Skilled origami artists can fold these miniature cranes.

Do you see the difference in size?
Click here to fold your own thousand cranes step-by-step.

- Karen

Friday, July 16, 2010

Old Firehouse

The town of Auburn, California grew during the Gold Rush days of the mid-1800's and this was where the volunteer fire department was housed until 1954. Tall and unique, this 1891 building is now their museum.
It was not open when I visited so this is what it looks like from the front.

This is the view from the back.
Am I the only one who would love to get onto the top floor and ring that bell?

- Karen

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

And Now There Is One

Sunday morning, I discovered one of the baby hummingbirds have flown away from its nest. It was just a matter of time. The remaining baby, hatched exactly 3 weeks ago today, looks so lonely by himself.
If you look closely, parts of the nest looks chewed away and flattened so both growing birds could fit on it.

To my amazement, I spotted the baby that flew away only a few feet away from its nest. Surprisingly, I thought once it leaves the nest, it would be gone forever, but it actually knew the way back to the nest and made several appearances there, but it flies with such skill now that I am not fast enough with my camera.
With each flyby, I think it was showing off to its one-day younger sibling to see what he could now do.

- Karen

Friday, July 09, 2010

Hummingbird Update

Going on 3 weeks since they hatched; yesterday, one of the babies tested its wings for the first time and flew from the nest. Without much control, it got tired quickly and eventually landed on the ground.
My husband picked it up and put it back on the nest.
Here is the little guy or gal. From what we read, hummingbirds do not have a strong sense of smell, so the momma bird will not know it was touched by a human.

This morning, Friday - July 9th, both hungry babies were craning their neck looking for momma to feed them.

Momma comes on a regular schedule for feedings. Sadly, in a few days, both will fly away and not return to their now familiar nest. They will be on their own hunting for bugs and nectar. Soon, they will be adults and start the cycle all over again.
It was entertaining and educational while it lasted. I hope it was for you also.

- Karen

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, July 05, 2010

More Baby Birds

It has been about a week since my last update about the baby hummingbirds. With some patience and very sore feet standing very still, I was able to capture the momma bird feeding the two-week old babies.

Today, July 4th, they have grown so big that one of the baby's tiny wings is hanging outside of the nest.

While we were watching the baby hummingbirds yesterday, we discovered another baby bird in our backyard. But, this one is not so lucky, it fell out of its nest somewhere and its mother has abandoned it. We waited and waited, but the momma never came back for it. The poor baby was chirping for its momma and for food.
We bought some baby bird food formula and a syringe to feed it.

It looks so sad. We had to bring it to the local wildlife rescue because we are going out of town and cannot take care of it. The wildlife rescue worker said lots of people bring lost baby finches to them to raise and then to release into the wild once they can fly and take care of themselves.

- Karen

Saturday, July 03, 2010

View From the Top

I heard stories of having to wait in line for over an hour to visit the Empire State Building. We arrived early and bypassed that unpleasant scene.
With all those velvet roped lines, you can imagine what it would be like during peak season.

From the 86th floor of the open-air observatory, visitors can look through the openings of the metal grates and see the Empire State Building cast its own shadow over neighboring buildings on a sunny day.

Looking south, one can see Lower Manhattan where Wall Street, government offices, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, ...etc. reside.

Looking northwest, you can see Central Park and the Upper West Side, home to many famous celebrities and museums.

From a few posts back, I wrote about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can see both islands here. They look so small from a distance.

- Karen