Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Praying mantis study

In late Sept. I saw a praying mantis in Maryland (see recent post). The common name comes from the prayer-like stance, and is often mispelled "preying" mantis--since they are often predatory. Mantis in Greek means a fortune teller. The female often devours the male after mating. The "live" photo complements the exhibit that is at the Atrium Art Gallery at University of Southern Maine's Lewiston-Auburn College. It's called "Spineless Wonders: Invertebrates as Inspiration" and celebrates the diversity of species for the 150th anniversary of "On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin. Several other praying mantis', made of many materials (from copper to wool to ceramics), are exhibited and all capture the special form and awe of this insect.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Halloween in Maryland

Just came back from Maryland, visiting family. We had planned to visit Harper's Ferry in WV (John Brown's attack on slavery) and Antietam (the battle that ended the Confederate's 1st invasion in the north) ..BUT... with the rain, we did a car tour and ended up previewing Halloween instead. Here are a few photos to prove it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Photographer and The Audition

Star Catcher has auditioned for the cover of Blue Seal magazine.  He is in competition with lots of other corgis.  But he had fun being photographed anyway.  We will let you know what happens.  There are no prizes, but there are nice photos thanks to professional photographer Helen Peppe. Her website is www.hpeppe.com and her specialty is horses and dogs.  (Billie Sue was also in the action, but the magazine wants a "red and white" instead of a tri.)

Maine Audubon Sea Trip to Matinicus Rock

Just 5 miles east of New Harbor Maine lies Easter Egg rock, the southern most nesting island for the Atlantic Puffin.  Through a Maine Audubon sea trip with 3 other friends, we visited there and Matinicus Rock-- about 3 hours further out at sea.  The water was calm for the entire trip and the fog had burned off.  At Eastern Egg rock, we saw a Roseate Terns on the rocks and in flight.  According to Eric Hynes, staff naturalist, "the breeding plumage was still so fresh that the rosy cast to the breast was noticeable."  The seabird colony at Matinicus is truly one of the gems of the Gulf of Maine.  It includes hundreds of Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills,  Common Murres, Arctic Terns, and other birds.  Harbor seal, gray seal, harbor porpoise, and fin whale also were spotted along the way.   Other birds included Red-necked Phalaropes, Wilson's Storm-Petrels, a Sooty Shearwater and other pelagic species.   This is a "must do" trip, and tells good news about the restoration of seabird colonies in Maine .    The journey was great, as well as seeing New Harbor early in the morning. Lobster boats were leaving, lupines were blooming, and the fog cast a soft lens on the houses,  barns, and fences.  I especially loved coming back to New Harbor, since it reminded me of special times with my mom and dad, who have vacationed there.  Together we enjoyed a lobster roll at the restaurant and where the boat (Hardy Boat Cruises, www.hardyboat.com) docked.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Corgi fun

It was a fun day at a local dog show for Catcher- the 20 month corgi who was entered in Rally Obedience and then Breed.   He loves to strut his stuff, so marched obediently in rally-- and then was "whisked" off to the breed ring  (carried so that his white paws wouldn't get muddy.)   He got a "Q" in rally, and won Best of Winner and Best of Opposite in Breed-- meaning he was the best male corgi there.   When he came home, he posed on the steps-- a little tired but very proud!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Gardening

Today was a crisp sunny Memorial Day, with blue sky, a northwest wind, and whisper of  Portland Maine's (hopefully) last frost tonight.  The potted veggies and herbs were loaded on the wheel barrow to sleep in the garage .   Hopefully this will be their last stay inside, since their roots are waiting to soon meet the garden soil  so their stems and leaves can stretch and grow.