“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




my POETRY | ANNI'S BOOK CRITIQUES | my ART | my BIRD photography | MLB | NFL | hurricanes






...those were the days

yep, the days of photos with no particular theme going...from flower blossoms to a 12' long critter...just snappin' away [me, with photos, not the critter!  Altho it's known to snap.]



...Instead of "Christmas" cactus, mine always tend to bloom long after Christmas. Go Figure. But, one is blooming as it's placed on the south window sill!! Early in the morning, the bud showed signs of opening wide...by midday it was in full bloom...

...If you live in the United States, did you know [or do you know] that each state has symbols? Like state bird, flower, flag, gem, etc. But, each state in USA also has a state rock?!! Texas's state rock is the Petrified Palm Wood. According to Wikipedia, our state's palmwood - Palmoxylon (Petrified palmwood) - is from the Oligocene period dating some 23 to 33 million years ago. During this period, the continents continued to drift toward their present positions. When Bud and I are out in our yard, working on some of the mundane chores such as weeding, I take time to stop and smell the roses pick up and look at the landscape rocks along the house's foundation between the foundation and lawn. There, I find several pieces of petrified palmwood!!!



Read more on YOUR STATE...



...Have you ever heard of witch balls? A witch ball is a hollow sphere of plain or stained glass hung in cottage windows in 18th century England to ward off evil spirits, spells or ill fortune. The witch ball originated among cultures where witches were considered a blessing and these witches would usually "enchant" the balls to enhance their potency against evils. Later, they were often posted on top of a vase for a decorative effect -such as garden gazing balls of today!! As y'all know by now, I love witches. Especially in doll form. But I DO HAVE a witch ball also. I think I have shared this before, but the photo remains in my folder so it may be a repost from long ago...



...'Long about mid September, when the two of us were walking along an Audubon Trail, I came upon this wildflower. It was quite tall in the prairie grasses, and such a pretty lavender shade of blossom. It kinda resembles a hairy [or hoary] vervain, but lacks the silvery large leaves near the base. So, I really don't know what species it is. Still, attractive...



...the Day after Christmas we spotted this sunning in the grasses on the peninsula. I set the camera on panoramic to get its full length; my guesstimation is it's about 12 to 14 feet long...




SIDEBAR linking to Random 5 Friday, Friday Fragments, Camera Critters, Saturday Critters



114 comments :

  1. A nice collection of randowms this week...I've never heard of witch balls! :)

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    1. ...thanks Deb. I know for one thing, I really enjoyed reading your book review post.

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  2. Interesting things to read about on this early morning! Okay, I've not heard of a witch ball, you learn something new every day!

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    1. ...leave it up to me to find anything about witches. Come back near Halloween here...LOLOLOL

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  3. My Christmas cactus was "late" this year. They are usually a tad early. They know better than I when they should flower! I have a red gazing ball -- love the history. Interesting about the state rock. That's quite a gator!

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    1. ...thanks Snap...glad to know you enjoyed the post.

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  4. I enjoyed your random 5 today. Very interesting about the witch ball and the state rock. Such a lovely Christmas cactus to brighten these winter days. Wishing you an extra nice weekend.

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    1. Lots of good information in your Random Five...I didn't know about the state rock or the witches ball....My Christmas cactus never seems to bloom when it's suppose to but it's beautiful whenever it decides to show its beauty.....

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    2. Midred...thanks, and enjoy your weekend too!

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    3. Nancy...thanks, glad you enjoyed the post.

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  5. Thank you for interesting post. I knew nothing not of the symbols of the states and nothing about witch ball.
    With us in the "Harz"region (Saxony-Anhalt) a witch is the tourism icon. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the Brocken mountain and there's well-known his "Faust" play. This is the "Blocks- mountain". Witch was taken over as a symbol today.
    But spiritual women who call themselves modern witches, there are hardly any. In the GDR was spirituality and religion not an issue and still today much less than in western Germany. Even Christians very little... It's a very materialistic world. -

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    1. ...a materialistic world indeed!!

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  6. I went over to find out more about my state. That's a really interesting website. Of course I knew the bird and the flower, but I didn't know about petrified wood being our ROCK. You find the most amazing stuff, Anni. Thanks! :-)

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    1. ...Washington has petrified wood for the state rock too? How 'bout that?!!!

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  7. great gator! i love petrified wood and stones, too.

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    1. ...I bet y'all can find a lot of that palmwood where you're living!!!

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  8. That gator is up close and personal!! Wow! The purple flower looks like a fuzzy pipe cleaner! How pretty! The Christmas cactus is beautiful, and it doesn't matter when it blooms. I had one that would bloom a couple of times a year. Your Witch's Ball is beautiful.

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    1. ...it does resemble a pipe cleaner now that you mentioned it!!!

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  9. Well. I learned two interesting things today. We have a state rock? Who knew that? I didn't. Maine does have a very rocky coast though. I have seen those balls in one of the stores downtown but never heard them called Witch balls.

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    1. ...Stephanie? I can't find your blog with your profile link?!!! Help me?

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  10. Very nice collection of random finds today. I have a gazing ball in my garden but never knew the history behind them. And OMG....I think I would have peed in my pants to see a gator that big.
    Visiting from R5F

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    1. ...the 'gators will leave you alone for the most part around here...that is, if you leave THEM alone and give 'em wide berth!!!

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  11. Love your cactus. Ours bloomed before Christmas.

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    1. ...well, at least the blossoms just before Christmas gave you the spirit of the holiday I assume.

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  12. Good grief! That alligator is huge! And I confess that when I read witch balls, something entirely different came to mind. I love the fact about the petrified palmwood. I'll think about it next time I see a piece~

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    1. rofl...okay, I won't ask just what you thought of! We'll keep that thought silent. Oh heck Shelly....now you have so curious!!!

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  13. Hi, there!
    Thanks for visiting and commenting today. I also have a Christmas cactus blooming. Mine seem to bloom around Thanksgiving and then again, after the New Year!

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    1. ...they have a blooming calendar of their own I guess.

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  14. The petrified palmwood is pretty neat. Our stone is the Petosky stone but it's not an easy one to find, except in the upper part of the state.
    I love your witch ball!

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    1. ...now I've not heard of a Petosky stone before, gonna have to make a trip to Google.

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  15. Ah, a bit of color from those cacti in the dead of winter. How nice.

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    1. ...with cabin fever...any bright sunny warm colors will do, right?

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  16. Enjoyed reading your Random comments this morning. The State Rock of Tennessee is LIMESTONE... Typical choice!!!! ha

    My Christmas Cactus blooms at all kinds of different times other than Christmas... The past 2 years it quit blooming. I repotted it --and this year it gave me a few blooms. Hopefully next year will be better...

    Love your witch ball. They are so pretty --and give all kinds of pretty colors when light and sun hit them... I do not have one.

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. ...yes, the prisms from glass is awesome when the sun's shining through.

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  17. I live in Texas but did not know all that. Thanks for sharing. My Christmas cactus is still blooming as well. Guess they got the seasons mixed up.

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    1. ...I think Texas is one of the states that has more symbols than any other.

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  18. the wildflower is gorgeous and so is that glass ball. i always just called them glass balls, now i know what they are...

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    1. I think the witch's balls are a whole different thing...like I posted, they're LIKE the gazing balls.

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  19. I have a witch ball too! That gator is awesome!

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    1. ...cool, Karen - what color is YOUR witch ball?!!

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  20. Dang, that is one big gator! Isn't it a little early for them? Beautiful bloom on that "Christmas" cactus. Apparently it's on its own timetable. :)

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    1. ...well, here it was a bit warm out around the holiday season, so maybe it came out to enjoy the warm sun. I dunno what the habits are of 'gators.

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  21. Interesting randoms! I'm so glad MO doesn't have alligators. It would pretty much freak me out to walk upon one of them, especially one that size! Thanks for the link to our state symbols. I was most interested in reading that our state dessert was ice cream cones. Now, there's a good reason to like Missouri!

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    1. I imagine there are some...from illegal pet alligators, but if they were 'freed' along a river or somewhere...I'm sure they wouldn't survive the winter.

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  22. Our little pharmacy (not a chain) has witch balls hanging in all the windows - for sale. They look nice suspended in gardens where they won't bang into something and break. You teased me into looking at my state in your link about the stones and NONE is listed for PA! It MUST be Pennsylvania bluestone - it MUST be!
    http://www.susqco.com/subsites/ecodev/pages/bluestone.htm

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    1. I'm seeing that some states don't have all the state symbols Texas does. so maybe they don't have a state rock. Would LOVE to see the pharmacy with witch balls...well, on 2nd thought it's a good thing...or I'd have to take a loan out from the bank...HA!!

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  23. That last photo is not something I want to see in real life up close! Scary!

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    1. yes, they are scary...but so are Texas drivers. LOL

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  24. i think our Christmas cactus sound similar - mine is very confused as well. it blooms when it feels like it ... not when i wish or hoped it would. ha. ha!! ( : ( :

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    1. ...I'm finding from all the comments, that my cactus isn't the only one that doesn't follow holiday protocol!!! ;-)

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  25. A state rock? Really?? We have a provincial flower and a provincial bird...but I doubt that we have a provincial rock. I think I need to check that out!

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    1. ...Americans are weird with stuff like this, I think.

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  26. Eeek - we definitely don't see any crocodiles (or alligators) up in this part of the country! Now I need to look up my state rock (who knew?). The Christmas cactus is pretty, even if it is a little late :-)

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    1. ...stick around, you may learn more. [kidding!!!!!]

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  27. I got a Christmas cactus this year ... for $1.66. It bloomed like crazy. It's resting now.
    I'll have to look up Connecticut's state rock.
    Yikes to the alligator!!!! I would have run away!
    I'm likin' that Witch's Ball ... :-)
    Have a great weekend.
    diane @ thoughts and shots

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    1. As long as you keep your distance and they don't feel threatened with their territory, they're okay ... the sleeping 'gator is even better. LOL

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  28. What a lovely spot of color you have with your Christmas cactus blooming now. - My mom has one but hers has white blooms.
    Never heard of a "Witch Ball" but the one you showed is lovely.
    I know our state tree and bird and song but not rock so I guess I'll have to look that up.

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    1. ...maybe your state doesn't have a state rock, but it's worth a look-see.

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  29. Love your witchball! I might have to get me one of those. ;-) I would not like to encounter such a big grumpy looking reptile.

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    1. It's been a long time since I've seen any witch balls...hope you can find one to buy!!

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  30. Very interesting about the witch ball.

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    1. ...glad you found it of some interest Sarah.

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  31. Oh, my. You just led me to a poem I would not have read...the Indiana state poem is Indiana by Arthur Franklin Mapes and it is beautiful...

    Now, I learned something new about the witches balls...I wonder if half the people that have the balls in their yards know what they are. I had never heard them called that.

    As for Christmas Cactus, mom always put hers in the basement during winter and barely even watered it. It got very little light...I cannot remember when she brought it out but I think in the spring. It always bloomed right around Christmas.

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    1. Well, then, I am gonna have to go out there to the site and read the poem!! Thanks for the heads up.

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  32. I have a Thanksgiving cactus that turns into an Easter cactus. I love the witchball, very pretty. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. ...A Thanksgiving Cactus. Guess, like others have said, it blooms whenever the notion arises!!

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  33. My Christmas cacti bloom in October... maybe it has to do with the window it's in? Yours is lovely. Nice that it gives you some color this later in winter.

    Thanks for the State Info link. Our state drink is Kool Aid. Now that makes sense! Lol.

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    1. When I was a youngster...in Nebraska no less, I drank a lot of that stuff! LOL

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  34. Always love your posts! My "Christmas" cactus is full of buds right now...may be a Lent Cactus, or Easter.

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    1. Ya, an Easter Cactus sounds super, tho, doesn't it?!! Thanks Sue.

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  35. I don't know what Idaho state rock is but our state bird is mountain blue bird. A pretty bird.
    Right now we have chickadee and woodpeckers hanging around
    At this time we don't have a Christmas or Easter Cactus.
    Coffee is on

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    1. ...I like the name of it tho...Easter Cactus. Seems more appropos to the Spring coming to life again.

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  36. I knew there were state birds and flowers but I had no idea there were so many other state items.
    I never heard of a witch ball, yours is really pretty

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    1. ...well, come back often...you may learn more. rofl!!!
      Ya, state government has nothing better to do with their time so they rig up lists of symbols! lol...I'm on a roll.

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  37. While visiting Blue Springs Park in Florida a couple weeks ago I spotted a big alligator. It just sunned on the bank for a long time and the Manitee did not seem bothered by it.
    I have a witch ball too. It was given to me by a niece. Your's is so pretty.
    Beautiful flower.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. ...thanks for the visit Doreen.

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  38. What an informative post dear Anni . The witches ball looks so intriguing and a bit spooky. Interesting bit of history there. loved the lavender colored wild blooms :) hope you are Having a lovely weekend .

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  39. thank you for sharing here in OK State tree, eastern red bud,
    rock: Oklahoma rose rock, Flower Mistletoe, Indian Blanket, Oklahoma Rose, The official state motto of Oklahoma is "Labor omnia vincit" (Latin for "Labor conquers all things").


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    1. Oklahoma Rose....that is a patented rose that my father had in his rose garden long ago. It's very pretty.

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  40. My mom' s Christmas cactus also blooms way after Christmas.
    I love that witches ball.
    Thanks for sharing your flower photo s.

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    1. I sure wish you'd blog some!! I miss you. ;-) Glad you always stop by and say 'hi' tho!!

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  41. beautiful blue witch ball. I love that color.

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    1. I particularly liked the blending of blue and lavender.

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  42. die Hexenkugeln..
    die hängen auch bei mir in vielen Fenstern.nur das man sie so nennt war mit neu.
    Versteinertes Holz habe ich auch.
    einen LG vom katerchen zum Wochenende der mit dem ..langen Tier ..nie Kontakt haben möchte

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    1. ...so, witch balls are in your area of the world then!!? that is pretty cool.

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  43. Good Morning, Anni! I had to stop back to look again at your critters. The gator is cool! Thank you for linking up to my Saturday's Critters. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. Good morning right backatcha Eileen!!! Thanks for hosting Saturday Critters!!

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  44. My Christmas cactus never bloomed when it should have.
    Lovely shots and info, Anni.

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  45. Those purple flowers are so lovely -- and then the last photo made me laugh out loud! Great post.

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  46. Nice collection of randomness! The alligator is pretty impressive!

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    1. Nikki...I'm not sure where to find you and pay you a visit...your two blogs from this link of yours are very outdated.

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  47. Holy smokes... 12 to 14 feet? That is truly impressive... and that sight would probably terrify me. lol

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    1. ...long ago, it would've scared me too...but y'kinda get used to them here in swampy areas of south Texas.

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  48. What a huge beast! I'm glad we don't have them here.

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  49. I'm not sure by what circuitous route you found my blog, but thank you very much for stopping by today. I have no alligators to share with you, but there is large creature on a neighbour's lawn: a freshly made snowman. It does looks somewhat more friendly than your friend.

    I haven't heard of witches' balls before, so it was interesting to read your comments on them. As for the Christmas cactus, I need to have a chat with my "bloomless" one.

    -Karen

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    1. Karen....I'm glad you stopped by to chat a bit...and happy that I visited with you today. If after your talk with your cactus and it blooms...please share your secret conversation...okay?

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  50. Hi Anni we always love your post new or old. This was new to us
    Hugs madi and mom

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    1. okay...well then, that makes me happy. I feel sometimes my posts are boring.

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  51. no I have never heard of witch balls but the one you share looks nice,

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    1. ...now you know what they are if you ever hear of one in the future. ;-)

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  52. That was a cool website.

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    1. interesting stuff there for us Americans, right?

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  53. I learned about witch's balls today while visiting you blog. Thank you for the history about them! Enjoyed my visit and thanking you for visiting my blog.

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    1. ...thank YOU for visiting me ME Diane.

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  54. Nothing blooms more than once in this house; I just don't have my mom's green thumb.

    I can only imagine walking along and confronting one of those!!

    Thanks for joining in. Have a great weekend.

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    1. ...thanks goes to you too; for hosting F F.

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  55. I've never heard of witch balls! There's always so much to learn from your lovely blog, Anni!
    That alligator looks pretty scary!

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  56. I have never heard of a witch ball! Learn something new every day!

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