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Two for Sunday

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There was an oak tree on the fence line in our front yard for years. The trunk was mostly in the neighbor’s yard, but it had grown through the fence and tree branches hung over both yards. A couple of years ago we had the tree taken down, but the remains of the stump are still embedded in the fence. Now there are mushrooms/fungi growing on what’s left of the trunk.

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It was exactly 1 year ago today that our sweet Sophie passed away. She was a beautiful, happy, loving girl and we still miss her every day. Here is one of my favorite photos of her–taking a nap on my robe, with her head on her hedgehog toy.

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Saturday Assortment

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Basil growing nicely, looking healthy and sturdy.

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A big male brown anole on a rake handle. I think he’s the same anole that’s been around the back door–he has that partially regrown tail.

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He was brave enough to sit still for photos instead of running away. He bobbed his head at me and showed off his dewlap–but with a blade of grass across his face.

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I shifted my position and tried again, and he was very agreeable about doing more dewlap displays. (I made the mistake of posting the same anole photo twice–it’s corrected now, and here’s the big guy with a clearer view of his face.)

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More gloriosa lilies are open on the plant in the front yard. This is what a newly opened bud looks likes–lots of yellow, with petals angled downward and just the tips of the petals lifting up.

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Fully open lily, with petals showing more red and curving upward.

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And this one is a fading lily, dark red petals hanging down.

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One more gloriosa lily today–a shot from awhile back. It’s a beautifully shaped lily, and its petals make it easy to see why it’s sometimes called a flame lily. I entered the photo in the Wild Amelia Nature Festival’s annual nature photography contest this year. Today they announced the contest winners, and I was surprised and delighted to learn that this photo took first place in the Flora category on the Advanced level!

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Osprey and Kingbirds on Friday

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The female osprey was in her nest as usual this afternoon. Look at the size of this nest–and she felt it needed yet another stick the other day.

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So mama osprey was sitting in her nest when suddenly two smaller birds appeared and began dive-bombing the nest.

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It turns out they were Eastern Kingbirds, and this behavior is called mobbing. They were harassing the osprey but not hurting her.

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The kingbirds flew off after a few minutes and the osprey looked down at me. She looks as if she’s irritated that I didn’t do anything to help out.

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No babies in sight today, but I took several photos of the female osprey.

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Looking very regal here.

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She posed for a side view.

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One more of the osprey.

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Lizard and Lily on Thursday

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We usually have a couple of brown anoles living on and around our back screen door every year. This anole was on the screen this afternoon–we’ll have to see if he stays around. He’ll be easy to recognize because he lost part of his tail at some point and a new section has grown back, making the end of his tail look a bit narrower and different from the rest of it.

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The first gloriosa lily of the year, blooming in the front yard. We have three more gloriosa lily plants growing in the backyard near the fence, but no flowers back there yet.

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And a lily bud–more flowers will be coming along.

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A Few for Wednesday

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A Loggerhead Shrike, one of my favorite birds.

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One of the ducks at the community college.

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Two little skipper butterflies on a fence.

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Skipper butterflies mating.

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Osprey on Tuesday

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I stopped by the community college today (without Max) and checked on the osprey nest. The female osprey was up there as usual and the male wasn’t around. After a short time the female flew off, leaving the nest unattended, which worried me a little. But when baby ospreys are around 6 weeks old the mother will leave them sometimes to find food, so I hope that was it.

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A few minutes later the osprey returned, carrying a branch. It looks to me as if the nest has more than enough branches already, but she must have felt it needed more.

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She landed in the nest, moved around a little, and lifted her wings as she settled herself.

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No babies in sight today, but they could just be out of sight down in the middle of that huge nest. I’ll keep checking on them.

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Asian Ball-Jointed Doll on Monday

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A few years ago I got interested in Asian ball-jointed dolls. These dolls are made of resin with multiple body joints, and come in all sizes from tiny dolls just a few inches tall to large dolls over two feet tall. Collectors of these dolls enjoy customizing them by changing the eyes, wigs, and face paint, and finding or creating outfits for them. I got a few of these dolls at that time, but they’ve mostly been sitting on a bookshelf since then.

Today I came across some photos of one of them taken when he first arrived. He is from the Fairyland doll company in Korea, and his name is Shiwoo (which I changed to Jesse). He’s about 16 1/2 inches tall. His jeans and shoes were purchased to fit him, and I made his shirt.

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I gave him dark blue eyes and I made him a black wig with a blue streak.

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There are many Asian ball-jointed doll companies, and each company makes many different dolls. I chose Jesse because I liked his sweet face.

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His shirt has double sleeves and an iron-on design. I’d almost forgotten about this shirt, but I think I’m going to find it and put it back on him.

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