Weirdest Day Ever

Sure, it’s been a weird couple of weeks for me. I’ve not shared most of it. Lots isn’t mine to share. But today. Wow. I literally was left with my mouth hanging open a couple of times.

I spent some time on the porch sorta glazed over, watching hummingbirds. They are monotone, because that’s how I feel.

I got a new laptop of my own, so I won’t be relying on work machines, but I’m so un confident in myself that I’ll wait until tomorrow to get it going. I am just zonked.

It’s silver.

So, here are some plants.

And look, a baby water snake and fish I need to rescue, once my brain engages again.

But wait. I did get to laugh last night. Mandi and I were talking to Lee on the porch, and Goldie got thirsty. She did her usual drinking method, where she buries her head and blows bubbles. We were so humor starved that we just laughed and laughed. Here’s Goldie today, though I couldn’t get a shot with bubbles.

See, even the weirdest day ever isn’t all bad. That’s worth remembering.

The Best Shirt EVER

Maybe I’m exaggerating, and maybe I’m not. However, today I am wearing a new shirt I got on Saturday that just gets better and better the more I wear it. I’m not usually this much excited about a shirt, I swear! There is no danger of me morphing into a fashion blogger or an “influencer” (for a really funny article on how to be “Insta-famous” as an influencer, check out this post by my favorite millennial, V.

Label and fabric close-up.

I was initially drawn to this shirt, sitting there among dozens of beautiful and over-priced shirts at a shop in Round Top, because it was covered in hummingbirds. I pretty much was going to buy it unless it looked like some giant sack on me, just because of the print, but I did feel the need to try it on.

The shirt! Note my hand is in my wonderful pocket! And check out those pressed jeans, courtesy of Kathleen’s dry-cleaning account.

I’m glad I did, because I keep thinking I am huge and tried on a size much too large. Kathleen kept sending me back to put on something smaller. The M fit great, and is still loose enough. I’d never heard of the brand, but I found this on a page that sells the Shana brand:

Shana offers a diverse collection of affordable clothing in today’s current styles. Unique and exciting clothes for women who want to look their best. A portion of all sales is given to Himalayan Hands, a non profit organization dedicated to helping children and their families in Nepal and Tibet.

http://www.fawbushs.com/brands/shana

Well, at least some of my money is going to help people who deserve some help. That makes my shirt purchase part of my do-gooder work, too. Ha! Clever!

Back of shirt, featuring cool pleat and zipper!

Why is this shirt the BEST?

Let me share the ways:

  • The print is just the cutest ever and in such happy colors.
  • The pattern fits nicely at the top then flares out, making me want to twirl around. It is flattering to people shaped like me.
  • It’s really comfortable, and all cotton.
  • The front has buttons, so you could wear it like a jacket if you wanted to.
  • The sleeves roll up and have a button to keep them up, which I didn’t realize until I was getting dressed this morning and found the sleeves too long.
  • The back has a really cool zipper! It’s not just decorative; when you unzip it, the shirt’s back pleat is freed up, thus making the shirt even twirlier.
  • AND, as I only found out about a half hour ago, it has side pockets. Who doesn’t love pockets that actually work?

So, I have to say that I love my shirt and plan to wear it for years and years. It matches my hair, my glasses, my nails, my active imagination…yay!

The zipper opened, and a better view of all the birds.

I have come to the conclusion that I wear bright clothing to help keep me feeling in a good mood. And from my coworkers’ reactions today, the happy colors, shiny shoes and all that cheer them up, at least a little. And it costs no more than black (I admire people who wear only black and look so chic in doing so; I just can’t do it myself.)

From rainy Austin, Texas, have a good week!

Big Plant, Little Bird

I’m recovering from spending so much energy the last few days, so I’ll just share two pictures and my tarot card (I have done them most days with the app but today I used my real deck).

This yucca has decided to bloom. The bud is growing many inches per day.

The yucca bud sure looks like a giant asparagus stalk! Maybe it’s tasty. I’m not going to chomp on it.

High Priestess in Robin Wood deck.

So today I drew the High Priestess. It’s a favorite of mine. I think she is acknowledging how hard I’m working to be mature and use my skills for good these days. The weekend went so well, and I’m patting myself on the back a bit.

Probably too blurry, but pretty.

And finally, I love this hummingbird I saw today. It’s a black chinned one, judging from the male that was also flitting around. I’m so glad they’re still here.

Humming Along

Hey there. It’s Weird Wednesday for me, but I wanted to share some cute photos I took of the hummingbirds migrating through our area right now. Beware of them if you are wearing floral perfume, because they will buzz right up to you and get in your face, as a coworker found out! The birds just LOVE Turk’s cap (because its nectar is extra sweet), so we always get a nice show this time of year at work.

Look at those wings going! And aren’t the plants lovely?

I noticed we have at least three different types, but of course all my photos are of females, and who can tell what they are (answer: not me). But I saw the usual black-chinned ones, a couple of ruby-throated that only show up here during migration, and something very, very tiny, even for a hummingbird. That one was near my house, not at work.

I’m resting. Buzzing around the flowers and the people takes a lot out of a bird.

Card o’ Day

Woe is me, I gotta work and work, and all these swords are making me nervous.

Today I came up with the 7 of Swords. It’s typically a card about deceit or thievery, but when I looked at the card in this deck, I was reminded of the 8 of Pentacles, which depicts someone hard at work on a repetitive project. Immediately I thought of all those plans I’ve been making at my job, and how much work they will be, and I began to wonder if my boss and I are fooling ourselves to think we’ll get to do all this stuff, in a part of the company that’s being redirected and shifted around a lot lately (our turn has not come yet). Well, I’m not stressing on it. I’ll just deal with it.

Tomorrow I think I’ll go back to my beloved Robin Wood deck, just because it’s my buddy, and I can shuffle it. This DruidCraft one is pretty, but it’s too big for my stubby little fingers. Let’s just hope the Four of Cups doesn’t come back to haunt me from 2007. Speaking of which, here’s ME in 2007:

Enchanted Rock is always a good place to sit and think. I still wear that jacket.

There will be more to report later, perhaps fun things, even.

Territorial Battles at Wild Type

prey
This is MY sweet, red water, dammit!

Over at the neighbor ranch, Wild Type, there’s been a battle going on for a few days, involving the black chinned hummingbird population and one persistent praying mantis.

Sara and Ralph noticed that hummingbirds were approaching the feeder but not feeding. They were displaying their tail feathers and darting around. That’s when the mantis became obvious. It had settled in around the feeder, apparently waiting to catch one of those hummingbirds.

As you can see from the photo, this is not the largest praying mantis. It may well be another Carolina Mantis, which is the kind I’ve seen in Austin, but I’m not really good at differentiating among mantids.

I know hummingbirds have been caught by praying mantises, though. I even checked on Snopes to be sure it is true! So, no wonder the hummingbirds are annoyed.

prey2
This blurry action shot shows the bird making itself look big to impress the mantis.

It’s fun to watch them, and I am hoping that Ralph has gotten some action shots with his good camera and tripod. I also hope no hummingbirds have actually been caught. What would the mantis do with such a big prey?

As an aside, I have seen more than one type of hummingbird at their feeder in recent weeks, since migration time has started. I’m sure I saw a ruby-throated one, and there was another I can’t identify. It’s a fun time of year.

(Also I am not participating in a debate over red vs. clear sugar water. I’ve solved it by not putting out feeders this year, since it’s a big commitment: my fellow Master Naturalist, Phyllis, has put out an astonishing amount of hummingbird food this summer!)

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