“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




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Singing in the rain...



Lord have mercy!! As I type this, it is finally raining! Quite heavily at the moment. Of course, it's more like a sauna outdoors, but some much needed moisture is here. Our son, Erik, called last night around dinner time and told me it was 79° in Houston. Wow. Maybe we'll get some relief from the inferno. I know, I know...it's still summer in Texas...it's...Only wishful thinking.

I finally finished the book, Imperial Dreams, by Tim Gallagher. A previous read, The Grail Bird, his other book about the nearly [probably now] extinct bird, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, was excellent which was a  great adventure in hopes of finding one surviving in the Deep South regions of America. Imperial Dreams, on the other hand,  takes us readers on a journey through Old Mexico...the Sierra Madre Occidental to be more specific. And the 'specifics' of this recent book were a whole lot different than The Grail Bird. It is a grueling talespin of violence in the country just south of us. The drug cartels, marauders, local vigilantes, treacherous mountain treks and hikes....once a near death experience. In search of a special bird seen decades ago.  Is the Imperial Woodpecker actually extinct? The author shows a lot of compassion and devotion, yet as he wrote this memoir, in the end...he and his companions are very happy to be back on American soil, when they land in Houston on the way to respective homes throughout USA. The Epilogue and Afterward in this particular book is a gut crunching update on his quest for the Imperial Dream.

150 years ago...Alice in Wonderland was published.  Since ending that book aforemetioned, Imperial Dreams, I begin with another.  Supposedly a bit dark and sinister story of ALICE [a psychotic, young woman remembering very little except a large rabbit in the dark corners of her memory...Alice in Wonderland?].  AND!!!!---working with Google search, I find that there will be a NEW book out on the shelves in October.  By my all time favorite fiction novelist....the same who wrote WICKED....Gregory Maguire.  I have a collection of all his adult fantasy books published.  Each time a new one of his comes out, I anxiously look forward to reading it.  ...his new book, "After Alice".  Can't wait.  It's been quite a few years since he's had a new published novel for us adults who enjoy a twist of a classic story.  I just hope it will not disappoint.


We drove to Tule Lake near the oil refineries. The 2nd batch of Barn Swallows for the season are nearly ready to fledge. Well, most nests. There was ONE nest that still had a 'newborn'. And nearby the newborn I spotted a Daring Jumping Spider [or 'bold' jumping spider...same thing!]...





One morning I stepped outdoors through the patio and snapped a few photos of our backyard flowers. The blossoms are somewhat small because of lack of rain and only watering from the sprinkler system. But, I can't complain...they're still blooming.




Okay, it has been about 15 minutes since I began typing up this post. The rainfall has ceased, but the clouds are sticking around. At least for now. Hope it'll continue off and on today with more. Our lawn is awfully brown....


...but the frogs are just as happy as I am for the little bit of rain; they're croaking!!




26 comments :

  1. I read "Wicked" and really enjoyed it but haven't read any of the others. Maybe I'll check out this new one, Anni. We are still hoping for rain around here, although south of us, in Seattle, they got some last week. Not enough to take us out of the severe drought we're in, though. I'm ready for rain! :-)

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    1. Wicked is the best of the series!!

      I know what it's like to have a severe drought. We here in TX had experienced that for nearly 5 years.

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  2. You sure read alot Anni! :) That's what I used to do
    until I found the brush and watercolours :))
    Love the pictures of the swallows (not the one with
    the spider!) and your beautiful flowers and that
    wonderfully coloured cloud :)
    And the blue frog :))

    Have a beautiful day Anni!
    Möwe

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    1. Yes, I love to read!! AND...paint and sketch.
      Thanks Mowe

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  3. Beautiful little frogs!

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  4. You have taken good care of your flowers and now can enjoy seeing the results. Love the spider shot and the stormy sky - WOW!

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    1. ...glad you enjoyed the images today Ms. G

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  5. What great photos of the barn swallow nest. I love the way you designed the flower collage with dotted border.....
    I cannot ignore the 'elephant' in the blog....
    That is one funky looking jumpin' spider. As if a being a spider wasn't bad enough it jumps...
    Hugs Cecilia

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    1. I take it you don't like spiders? Me either!!!

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  6. Great photos, Anni. We are headed back into Texas in the morning, but I understand the big heat wave is breaking. Good thing!

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  7. Those are some pretty flowers. Hope you get some more rain. We could use some too

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  8. If the frogs are happy, I'm happy!

    Your flowers are beautiful, it's obvious you've been taking good care of them. =)

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  9. You do have a beautiful world, Anni, and I do appreciate your sharing it with us!! I love the flowers -- oh, let's face it -- I love all your captures -- every day!! Thanks as always for sharing!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

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  10. Lovely flowers and those barn swallows are sweet.

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  11. we have been getting rain all week here in Tennessee.

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  12. A lot of thunder and a little bit of rain here. The Barn Swallows are pretty but I don't let them build on my front porch because they are so messy in a confined area.

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  13. How I love those little swallows...I just think they are one of the most beautiful birds. I am glad to hear you finally got some rain!

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  14. We've had rain, off and on for the last two days. Today our temps didn't even make 70.
    I would have never thought Alice in Wonderland was 150 years old.
    The swallow nests are very unusual!

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  15. Congratulations on your rain!! The barn swallow shots are wonderful.

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  16. When we lived in Oklahoma every spring a barn swallow nested just under the entrance to our front door. Though it was an annoyance at times (the kids were afraid to leave the house) I felt privileged to experience the events. Have a grand weekend!

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  17. Imperial Dreams sounds like one I would really enjoy. I am about 2/3 done with Wesley...oh what a WONDERFUL book! I tend to shy away from anything dealing with Alice in Wonderland. It was totally ruined for me when I discovered Lewis Carroll was a pedophile, and likely abused the poor child who inspired the book...and his literary images were likely drug-inspired. Just can't do it.

    Love your beautiful photos!

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  18. Lovely collection! Those skies are amazing! I LOVE the frog! Flowers are very pretty!

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  19. I like your new profile photo of you ;) Is that the book the mentions Fritz Hilton? I must find a copy to read if so. Oh me no like spiders, but it is a pretty one. Have a great weekend!

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  20. What great photographs of the sky, always love how awesome a sky can be!
    Okay dear friend, you got a place in my heart too! I hope your heart has healed and you are fit as a fiddle! I'm getting that way,just takes time. Thank you for your comments while I've been away and recovering from my heart issues! So kind of you to drop in and visit!
    Have a wonderful weekend~
    Nancy

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  21. What great photographs of the sky, always love how awesome a sky can be!
    Okay dear friend, you got a place in my heart too! I hope your heart has healed and you are fit as a fiddle! I'm getting that way,just takes time. Thank you for your comments while I've been away and recovering from my heart issues! So kind of you to drop in and visit!
    Have a wonderful weekend~
    Nancy

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