Trip to Rome

I ran into this terrific video touting the sweet life in Rome (you should definitely watch it!) and it reminded me of our trip to Rome in 2013. What a city! The morning after arriving the first place we went was the Vatican. May I say “wow!”??? After seeing this place on TV and in the movies so often it was hard to believe we were actually there. Here are a few photos from when we were just stepping into St Peter’s plaza.

It’s lily season

The lilies are blooming and this bunch caught my eye. Our front yard at Ladybird Lane is pretty shady but sometimes sunbeams punch their way through the ash and locust canopy and give the flowers this momentary brilliance.

Pink lilies

It’s Turkey Prime Time

It’s been Turkey Prime Time for a month or so now with our local bird, Tommy, putting on quite a show. Unfortunately for Tommy there aren’t any hens watching his show. Too bad. He’s quite a handsome Tom! The neighbors tell me they see them roosting a few houses away from here in the oak trees. Maybe he’s found a friend or two there.

OMG! Crocuses!!!

The first crocuses of the year have poked their heads out of the frozen tundra.

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The temps look good for the coming week and showers are in the forecast. I’d like to declare, “Spring, Spring, Spring is here!!!” but it’s Wisconsin …. I’m hopeful but realistic.

Frosted Cardinal

This cardinal – he apparently noticed me trying to take a picture of him – seems a little frosted.

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Pearl Harbor memorials

Thinking of Pearl Harbor a bit since yesterday, I find myself reading again the names of the sailors and marines killed on December 7, 1942. When we visited last June I just stood there inside the Arizona Memorial wondering about these men. I eventually took a photo so I’d have a reminder of them and their sacrifice. Did any of you have friends or relatives killed at Pearl Harbor that fateful day?

Tommy’s Thanksgiving

Tommy, our local turkey, enjoyed his usual meal of mixed grains and sunflower seeds this Thanksgiving. I think he’s grateful that the locals didn’t put him on their Thanksgiving tables. He’s a pretty smart turkey having now figured out how to get into the hanging basket feeder. Occasionally he cleans up some of his mess under the two feeders. What a guy!

I hope all of you had at least as nice of a Thanksgiving as Tommy. :-)

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Tommy has figured out how to eat from the basket feeder.

 

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Tommy’s also pretty comfortable picking seed out of the little cup on this small birdhouse.

Remembering Paris

Paris is often on my mind. The Lady of Ladybird Lane and I spent a wonderful Christmas and New Years there … 12 years ago, already. It seems like yesterday. I’ll always remember the evening we walked under the Eiffel Tower just after sunset, the sky clear, an iridescent blue, and The Tower glowing and flickering with this golden light. It was amazing.

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A golden glow at Vilas Park

Sunday just before sunset we decided to head out for a walk and some picture taking if anything happened to look interesting. After stopping by Wingra Park in Madison and finding no ducks to feed we decided to head to Vilas Park where one can almost always find a few near the lake shore. Walking south toward Lake Wingra the path has a small bridge over some water and if you look to the left as you’re crossing you can see the the west side of Vilas Zoo. Just before 6:00 p.m. the scene was just as pretty as a picture.

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Flying blue pigs

When I hear the phrase “flying pigs” these guys — blue jays — come to mind. They are voracious peanut eaters and not too shy about stuffing two or three at a time down their gullets. It’s sort of like the bird version of kids and chocolate. It’s fun to watch these beautiful, talkative birds. I wish the photos weren’t quite so soft. The light was kind of low that morning and these guys were moving fast trying to carry away as many peanuts as they could before the squirrels got there.

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