Looking Forward to Spring

TulipsHave the he gloomy gray days of winter got you down? Spring will be here in a few months and all the colors of the rainbow will be popping up in the fields and yards everywhere under a sunny blue sky.  Plan your trip now for a drive into the countryside to see a Northwest tulip farm and enjoy the wonder of nature.

Did it Actually Happen?

The past week was anything but dull.  Pope Benedict XVI resigned, a meteorite hit Russia with the force of an atomic bomb, and the soap opera like story of the renegade ex-cop Dorner came to an end.  Things that we thought could never happen did actually happen and what we thought only happens in the movies did actually happen as well.  I’m starting to really believe that anything can happen!

Some interesting posts this week on the internet.

One activity that truly helped to make life more interesting was visiting Chinatown in Portland today.  Teams of Lion Dancers made their way around to restaurants and businesses to bring blessings for the new year.  The dances are complete with drums, cymbals, and firecrackers.  You can’t help but get excited with all the energy produced by these loud and colorful exhibitions.  Below are some pictures.  Enjoy!

Lion Dance Team

Chinese New Year 2013 Portland

Chinese New Year 2013 Lion Dance Team

Chinese New Year 2013 Lion Dance Team

Portland Chinese Gardens New Year 2013 Celebrations

Portland Chinese Gardens New Year 2013 Celebrations

The Red Dragonfly

With nice, warm, and dry weather outside it was time to get some things cleaned up in the yard.  It’s a rather small yard but complete with weeds, dead vegetation, and inappropriately watered areas.   Oh yes, but let’s not forget the danger of doggie doo. There was much to do last weekend and still more for many weekends to come.   I hear many complain they spend time maintaining their yard and never have time to enjoy it so I really try to do both at the same time.   Perhaps this is why I didn’t finish my work on the many sprinkler heads randomly placed though out my small property.

I never saw a red dragon fly before.  Green, blue, or a mix of the two is what I’ve always seen.  So when I saw this red winged creature land on the branch of a short evergreen I could not help but be amazed.  My amazement was met with complete control over my movements to not scare away the intriguing insect.  It was about three feet away and I could clearly see the bright red tail.  Obviously whatever the reason it had for landing was complete and it was off again zooming around and finally heading around the side yard to the back.

My camera, I had to get my camera just in case it landed again and I was nearby.  Fortunately all I have is a small simple digital camera that fits into my pocket.  I’d really like a Nikon D5100 but I probably would have still used my pocket camera with dirty hands from yard work.  I brushed off the dirt, slipped off the Crocs, and ran into the basement to equip myself with the image capturing device.

Now I was ready, but where was the darn flying bug, beautiful as it was.  I could not find it in the back.  I could not find it in the front.  Perhaps it was now in someone else’s yard.  It was close to noon so maybe it went out for lunch.  I went inside for a break and a bite to eat.

Lunch was also a good time to check email and social media so down to the basement I went to retrieve my netbook.   No sooner had I entered the room did I see the dragonfly through a window to the backyard resting on the top of a pole used for supporting my tomatoes.  I ran to the basement door turning on the camera.  Slowly I opened the door and quietly stepped outside carefully taking one step after another toward the dragonfly.  I got it.  After I captured a couple of pictures, it flew off and flew around within 10 feet and came right back to the same pole.  This time I got a little more comfortable and moved around getting some other shots, some good and some totally blurry.  My yard work was now complete because it involved some fun.

Not only did I get some maintenance done in the yard but I also spent some time enjoying it.  Slow down and find the good in your day.  Smell the roses, chase a dragonfly, or just sit to enjoy a cool breeze.

Thank You

This is my first blog post and I thank you for visiting my site.  Actually, this is my first site.  After years of saying that I would set up my own site, I’ve finally done it and submitted my first post.  It only took a short period of reflection and self-awareness to bring me to the point of actually pushing the button.  It’s really not all that difficult.  In fact, it’s not a whole lot different from what I do for a living.  This however allows me to be me and provides a creative outlet after work hours.  There is still a lot to be done before the site is ready to launch.  Thanks again for checking out my site and I hope you enjoy what you find.  Below is a picture of foxglove that I waited over a year to enjoy.  I planted it in the spring of 2010 and it did not bloom until the spring of 2011.  Throughout the winter I kept watch over the small patches of green leaves and hoped they not die.  Not only did they live but they more than met my expectations when blooming.  Long-Awaited Flowering Foxglove