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Today is the day that I reveal the winner of the 2015 Pretty Feet Contest! Thanks go out to everyone who took the time to vote.

We have a tie at third place! The two winners of the third place award go to the Koala and the Frog!

Koala

Koala

Koala

Koala


Frog

Frog

Frog

Frog

Proud to be in second place in this year’s contest is the Cougar!

Cougar

Cougar

Cougar

Cougar

Drum roll please….The first place winner of the 2015 Pretty Feet Contest: Nicholas the Elephant!

Elephant

Elephant

Let me share with you a bit of his background. He was born on December 19, 1993 at a circus breeding facility. He was an unruly elephant, maybe because they made him ride a tricycle. He was retired from the circus at the young age of 5. His constant companion for years was a female named Gypsy. She became his surrogate mother. When he reached the ripe age of sixteen, he had to be separated from her to “go his own way” which would happen in the wild.

Nicholas is living a happy life in a huge enclosure at the Performing Animal Welfare Society compound located in the small town of San Andreas, CA. His new companion is a deer. Would you like to adopt Nicholas? You can! Here is the link to PAWS to find out how to do it!

Here is Nicholas in all his majestic glory!

Elephant

Elephant

Thanks again go out to those who voted, and may you have an amazing day. Be well… ^..^

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I was thinking about what to post today, and decided I would share with you some random views that I took of insects. I hope that you enjoy the photos today.

A cricket.

A green cricket

A green cricket

A flame skimmer dragonfly.

Loaded with details

Loaded with details

Green comma butterfly.

The Green Comma

The Green Comma

A swallowtail butterfly.

A White Swallowtail Butterfly

A White Swallowtail Butterfly

EB’s mothra.

Female Ceanothus Silk Moth

Female Ceanothus Silk Moth

Check out the eye on this wasp! Click twice on this photo to see the detail!

The eye of a wasp

The eye of a wasp

A bumblebee.

The Bumblebee

The Bumblebee

A Sierra Foothills native. The tarantula!

Coming at you!

Coming at you!

I hope that you enjoyed the photos today, and thank you for taking the time to drop on by. Be well… ^..^

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Ben Huberman over at WordPress has chosen the topic “Half and Half” for this week’s photo challenge. He says, “…share an image that has two clear halves, literally or figuratively. You could focus on composition, like me, and take a photo with an explicit dividing line (either vertical, horizontal, or diagonal). Or take the theme in other directions: zoom in on a pair of objects that together form a whole. Show two people whose demeanor or personality complement each other. Or bring into balance two opposing visual elements — light and dark, color and its absence, sharp focus juxtaposed with blurriness.”

Here is my world of half and half.

Half smooth, half rough.

Sea foam

Sea foam

Two halves of a wine barrel.

Pulling the barrel apart

Pulling the barrel apart

Acorn squash cut in half.

Cut the acorn squash in half

Cut the acorn squash in half

Split image in a reflection.

One lovely reflection

One lovely reflection

Half on, half off.

I was so tired after flying that I fell asleep on the stairs!

I was so tired after flying that I fell asleep on the stairs!

The top half and bottom half.

Yellow cone up close

Yellow cone up close

There you have it! A world of halves. Thank you for stopping by today! Be well… ^..^

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A couple of years ago I planted a Russian sage in my garden. This is the first year that the plant has topped 6 feet. The lovely lavender blossoms are a magnet for not only honeybees but bumblers too. I took some time the other day trying to capture some of these bees. So, today I share with you what I caught.

Russian sage attracts the bees

Russian sage attracts the bees

Heading to a blossom

Heading to a blossom

Some sweet nectar

Some sweet nectar

Seeing all parts

Seeing all parts

Harvesting

Harvesting


I wish you could smell the aroma of the plant. It is heady! Thanks for stopping by today and be well… ^..^

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It is past time that I feature, as I do every year, the pretty feet contest! This year we have a number of exciting contenders! You get to vote on whose feet you like the best and in a couple of weeks I will announce the winner! Are you ready to check out some really pretty feet? Let’s go!

Contestant #1 – Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo

Contestant #2 – Cougar

Cougar

Cougar

Contestant #3 – Elephant

Elephant

Elephant

Contestant #4 – Flamingo

Flamingo

Flamingo

Contestant #5 – Frog

Frog

Frog

Contestant #6 – Koala

Koala

Koala

Contestant #7 – Meerkat

Meerkat

Meerkat

Contestant #8 – Wallaby

Wallaby

Wallaby

There are the contestants for 2015, and now you get to vote! Just click on the button to register your vote.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! Be well… ^..^

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This week Jen H. over at WordPress Photo Challenge has chosen the subject “symbol” for this week’s photo challenge. I kept thinking of the symbols that I have seen throughout my travels. Here we go!

An Alaskan native art symbol…

Native art

Native art

The lines shapes and designs in this glass roof, painted by Native Americans, are were found in the desert of AZ.

Lines, shapes, designs  - Geometry!

Lines, shapes, designs – Geometry!

Petroglyphs certainly tell a story! Click on this photo twice to get a close up of something that is thousands of years old.

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs

Stained glass created to re-create a symbol.

Stained Glass - 2

Stained Glass – 2

Symbolic art…

Another piece of art on the outside of the building

Another piece of art on the outside of the building

There you have it! A variety of symbols…Have a terrific Friday and be well!

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Years ago, when I was in the Big Trees State Park, there were loads of hazelnut trees. I thought that the leaves on this tree were very pretty. I attended a native plant sale at our county fair grounds years ago, and the master gardeners had hazelnuts for sale. I bought one. It has not produced nuts, which was disappointing. I was surprised this year when upon inspection I discovered that it finally has nuts. Here are photos of the developing nuts…

This is what first caught my eye.

Developing hazelnuts

Developing hazelnuts

Looking around my bush, I noticed that there were a lot of them hiding under the leaves.

Hiding under the leaves

Hiding under the leaves

There were single nuts.

A single hazelnut

A single hazelnut

And, a pair.

A pair of hazelnuts

A pair of hazelnuts

Even triplets!

Triplets

Triplets

Here is what the bush looks like.

My hazelnut

My hazelnut

I am really excited that this shrub is producing. Stay tuned as I wait for the husks to dry and the nuts to fall. Hopefully I will get to them before the squirrels!

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In the late summer, early fall, the praying mantis lay their eggs. Over the winter to late spring, they do their thing inside the hard casing and finally emerge. They grace my garden and eat the pesky bugs no one wants on their plants.

Let’s start by checking out a praying mantis egg casing.

Praying mantis egg case

Praying mantis egg case

Weird looking isn’t it? This casing was on the bottom side of one of the branches on my liquid amber tree.

Here is the praying mantis that I discovered, which let me know that they are back!

The praying mantis is back!

The praying mantis is back!

This is a baby and is about the size of a quarter. It will grow to a length of 3-3 1/2 inches long.

This is a baby

This is a baby

Now about the size of a quarter

Now about the size of a quarter

If you look closely at the photos you will see lots of detail. This little guy is watching me. Click on the photo so you can see the pupils in his eyes.

It watches me

It watches me

This one looks funny with its butt up in the air.

Sticking its butt up in the air

Sticking its butt up in the air

Because this is just a baby, it has not yet developed its wings.

You can tell the sex of the mantis by the wings. This next photo shows the typical stance of the praying mantis.

Typical stance of a mantis

Typical stance of a mantis

It has been watching me the entire time I took these photos, and as I try to get closer, it moves away from me.

It moves away

It moves away

I hope that you enjoyed today’s photos. Thanks for dropping by, and have a splendid Saturday. Be well… ^..^

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Today I wanted to share some photos taken yesterday morning. We had a jack rabbit in the yard, then a doe came along, followed by a turkey. Only in the foothills can you see such wonders! Ready to check out the doe? Here we go!

Hello!

Hello!

She hears a sound

She hears a sound

She has something to say

She has something to say

Got any apples?

Got any apples?

What's that over there?

What’s that over there?

Look - a lovely apple!

Look – a lovely apple!

Found one!

Found one!

Licking her lips

Licking her lips

Wasn’t that fun? Have a great day! Be well… ^..^

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My husband and I both enjoy the birds that visit us here at our home in the Sierra Foothills. They have been a great source of enjoyment, and the subject of many of my recent photos. So, for today, I thought that I would share with you some recent photos of these birds speaking out.

Are you looking at me?

Are you looking at me?

Check out all that food!

Check out all that food!

Where's the seed?

Where’s the seed?

He's hogging all the food!

He’s hogging all the food!

Are you listening to me?

Are you listening to me?

I hope that you enjoyed the photos! Thanks for stopping by and be well… ^..^

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