Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Watery Wednesday: Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Photos by Kay Davies

It was just one of those days during my solo cross-Canada train and rental-car trip last year. I set out to find the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, which is supposed to be located somewhere near this corner in the town of  Baddeck on  beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. However, when I saw the water, I just had to stop the car and snap a couple of photos, without thinking of composition or crooked power poles (or maybe telephone poles, near the Bell museum). I was just thinking, "The water is so beautiful. I love it."

Posted for
Watery Wednesday
the meme wherein 2sweetnsaxy invites us to "get our eyes wet"!
To see what wetted the eyes of other photo-bloggers, please click on the name.

T is for tortoise, and for Tilley Hat

Galapagos Tortoises in the wild. They're big, and they're beautiful.

Coming out of the woods.


My intrepid photographer in his intrepid-photographer hiking pants and Tilley Hat.

Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear, December, 2006

Posted for the letter T for
Mrs. Nesbitt's totally terrific alphabetical meme. Hosted by Mrs. N. and her team.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our World Tuesday: my world is moving around

No photo today because I forgot to pack the cord to link my camera with my laptop.

I left Dick and Lindy in Alberta, and I'm visiting friends and family on the beautiful west coast of British Columbia, meeting blogger friends, and traveling hither and thither.

Hither or thither (I forget which is which) will be the wonderful west coast of Oregon later this week, as I visit my dear friend Maryann.

Of course, I didn't expect to forget the cord, so I didn't prepare any Our World posts in advance.

So, to see other worlds on this planet, from bloggers who actually have photos, please visit
Our World Tuesday

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday: Scottsdale, Arizona

This dove was well-camouflaged in front of this large cactus, with its yellow buds about to flower.

Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear

Yes, I'm away again, but I'm not in Arizona. These photos are from a trip with Dick's employers and colleagues a few years ago.
Right now, Dick and our dog Lindy are home and I'm in White Rock, BC, visiting friends and family. I went into Vancouver today to have lunch with three old friends, and met a new friend, another blogger: Penny (Joyful), whose photo blog is called "Snap That". We had a wonderful visit, which lasted much longer than either of us expected, a sure sign new friends have plenty in common.
Posted for
Mellow Yellow Monday
hosted each week by Drowsey Monkey.
To see other mellow yellows from around the world, please click HERE!

Magpie Tales: red sofa

The police officer handed Lila a photo, and asked: "Do you recognize this?"
Lila screamed and grabbed the photo, ripping it into small pieces so quickly the officer couldn't stop her. She continued screaming as pieces fell to the floor, and couldn't stop screaming when he tried to get her to calm down.
As her screams grew louder, Lila thought of the red couch and all she had seen happening on its cushions, even though the photo showed it without cushions, there in front of the grey brick wall.
Louder and louder she screamed, brushing pieces of the photo off the skirt of her too-large dress. The arrival of a female police officer did nothing to soothe her.
Eventually, a nurse came in, and Lila screamed even louder. She screamed until her throat began to hurt, and only when the pain in her throat became worse than the pain in her heart, did her screams gradually begin to decrease in volume, then in frequency, then to fade. But the memory didn't fade, and Lila never spoke, or screamed, again.

To see the photo Lila saw, visit  Magpie Tales.
If I am unable to comment on others' tales about the photo, please forgive me. I've left my dog and her daddy with the job of guarding the house while I visit friends and relatives on the west coast of British Columbia. I'll be home next week and back to my big computer! Whew!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Reflections, Critters, Shadows, in my corner

In my favorite corner of the house, there are many reflections, shadows and some camera critters, too. See the little white cat? He's looking down at his twin, who is on a table below, just past the desk chair. See what looks like the tip of a tail above the old mirror on the antique desk? It's a dolphin mirror, whose shadow can be seen on the left of the framed sketch. The old desk mirror is reflected on the side of the books, and the crystal dish reflects in the bottom corner of the sketch, just below the cat's shadow. The sketch is called "Pickup with Dog" by the artist, but my friend Judith, who gave it to me 40 years ago, calls it "Dog and Truck" and so do I. You can see part of a house across the street, reflected through the window there, too.
Posted for
Weekend Reflections, hosted by James in California,
Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn
and Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted by Tracy's Hey Harriet! blog in Brisbane

SkyWatch Friday: our neighborhood clouds

 Flying saucer-shaped clouds — about to land on our horizon, perhaps?

 Almost good enough to eat, flying cream-buns over the prairie.

© Photos by Richard Schear, 2011
Posted for
SkyWatch Friday
Look up! Look up and see what you can see!
Look HERE to see what others saw.

Book Blurb Friday: elevation, 9000 feet

One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Quito, Ecuador, sits on the equator, but the weather is never too hot. The reason is its altitude: 9000 feet (2743 meters) above sea level.

Much of Quito's architecture is Spanish Colonial, but much of it is modern as well. It is a vibrant, thriving city, without being too big for comfort.

The symbol of Quito is the iconic statue of the Virgin Mary on top of a hill overlooking the city.

Author Kay Davies and her photographer husband Richard Schear visited Quito with an eye to retiring in the city or its environs.

In this beautifully written and superbly illustrated volume, Quito: ¿Si o No? learn what the author and her husband decided, and why.

Posted for

Book Blurb Friday

hosted by Lisa Ricard Claro at Writing in the Buff
Each week, Lisa posts a photo (see top photo, by Lynn Obermoeller) to inspire other writer-bloggers to imagine a book, of which the prompt photo is the front cover, and to write a "blurb" (maximum 150 words) for the back cover to entice people to buy this book.
This week's submission is 129 words.
(Additional photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear.)
To see how the prompt photo inspired other writer-bloggers, please click

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thursday Theme Song: Canadian...

It's time once more for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Thursday Theme Song
with a little tribute to my country, in the voice of Andy Williams.
Thanks for continuing my favorite meme, Anni!
To see what songs inspired other bloggers, please click  HERE!

I was
So lonely
and then
You came,
out of nowhere
Like the sun
up from the hills

Cold, cold was the wind
Warm, warm were your lips
Out there, on that ski trail
Where your kiss filled me with thrills

A weekend in Canada,
a change of scene
Was the most 
I bargained for
And then I discovered you
and in your eyes
I found the love 
that I couldn't ignore

Down, down
came the sun
Fast, fast, fast
beat my heart
I knew
when the sun set
From that day,
we'd never part

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear    

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

S: street dancers in Paris

© Kay Davies photos

Posted for the letter S in
Mrs. Nesbitt's memorable meme
ABC Wednesday
To see what others have done with the letter S, please click

Watery Wednesday: ship to ship to shore

© Photo by Kay Davies

On the first day of our visit to Russia this past August, my husband insisted upon going ashore to explore. I chose to nap but, when I woke up, I amused myself by taking photos through our open cabin window. This is obviously the place for cruise ships to dock in St. Petersburg. We had crossed this bridge a few hours earlier on the bus Viking River Cruises sent to pick up passengers from the airport. A Russian guide was on the bus with us, so we had a guided tour before we ever boarded the Viking Surkov.

Posted for Watery Wednesday,
the meme where 2sweetnsaxy invites us to "get our eyes wet"!
To see what wetted the eyes of other photo-bloggers, please click

For Real Toads: Kipling and basketball

American Thanksgiving has been suggested as a theme for Open Link Monday at the writers' group Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.
Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving last month, and although I wish all my American friends well during their holiday this week, I have been giving thought to the poetic forms we've been learning on Real Toads. Some of them are elegant, most of them have been Welsh, and all of them have been interesting.
However, I must admit to a lifelong fondness for the ballad form: Kipling, Tennyson, Longfellow, Robert Service, etc.
My fondness might even have its roots in two particular lines of Kipling's Ballad of East and West, wherein the border thief Kamal has stolen the Colonel's mare and the Colonel's son goes after him to retrieve her. He falls, because he is riding a lesser horse, but he doesn't fail. The two men discover they have pride, valor, and strength in common, so Kamal decides to send his own son to become a soldier instead of a border thief.
"With that he whistled his only son, that dropped from a mountain-crest –
 He trod the ling like a buck in spring, and he looked like a lance in rest."
Something in me sighed when I read that last line and, a young teenager in the late 1950s, I found myself thinking, "Mmm, I'm gonna get me one of those!"
Meanwhile, I had a bit of fun with the first part of this ballad this week. Blogger keeps adding extra spaces between lines, and making some lines bold, and I haven't been able to remedy those problems.
The Basketball Ballad of Best and Least
Jamal is out with all his team to play both far and wide
And he wears his Air Jordans which are his very pride
He wears them out of the locker room onto the court each day
And turns the game around on his feet with each and every play.
Then up and spoke the coach’s son who led a troop of Girl Guides
“We can beat Jamal, girls, if we have good luck on our sides!”
Then up and spoke Melinda Dawn, daughter of Big Jim Bar,
“If we know his moves and fakes, we’ll know where his weaknesses are.
At first he tries the jump shot, and then he goes for the three,
And his free throw shot is wicked, he always impresses me.
So if we hurry to cut him off as fast as a bird can fly
By the grace of God we may block him before a shot he can try,
But if he gets by our point guard (and no Steve Nash have we)
Our only choice is to get off the court just as fast as we can flee.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our World Tuesday: late November

Here he comes again, that man with the yellow dog and the big black camera!
I'd better tell everyone else!

Do you hear him? I'll point my ears forward, you point yours backward,
then we'll be able to hear him and his dog breathing, wherever they are.

Aha, here they come, and the camera is pointed right at me.

Now it's pointed at all of us. What will we do?

I'll run up here, where there's a bit of snow left. That will distract him.
I heard humans don't like snow. They use something called a shovel to make a path.
© Photos by Richard Schear, November, 2011
Posted for
Our World Tuesday
the second-generation meme in memory of outdoor photographer Klaus Peter, who started the popular My World Tuesday meme.
To see other worlds from other parts of the planet, please click  HERE!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday in Seville, Spain

© Photos by Richard Schear, December, 2008    

While I explored the port of Cadiz with friends, my intrepid photographer joined a tour to Seville, Spain, where he saw — yes, oranges — and many mellow yellows, long before I even had my blog.

Posted for
Mellow Yellow Monday
hosted each week by Drowsey Monkey.
To see other mellow yellows from around the world, please click HERE!

With Real Toads: the Balassi strophe

It’s a good thing I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil, or I wouldn’t believe how high this Hungarian dancer can jump.
This is Kerry’s idea of a mini-challenge but it’s more maxi than mini to me. I’m supposed to look at this photo as an inspiration for a poem. Thinking of those young men jumping four feet up in the air is more apt to give me a heart attack. I can’t even jump out of my recliner without pushing the eject button.
I looked at the photo for a long time, trying to summon something romantic from the depths of my irritable bowel, thinking of all the angst and anguish of my youth, my broken hearts, the hearts I broke, the emotional pain of it all.
It didn't help. These Cirquesque dancers make me think of osteoporosis and the pain of breaking one of the vertebrae in my back.
So...about the Sunday Mini-Challenge and the Balassi strophe. Balassi was a multilingual Hungarian poet in the 16th century, who wrote everything from hymns to erotica, and this stanza form is named in his honor as recognition, I assume, of his work in one or another of those fields.
Below is my submission for this week, which is neither.

when he nods, my heart leaps
then he frowns: my heart weeps.
I should dance with another—
he knows me far too well
and he can always tell
anger I just can't smother.
he makes me so annoyed!
I really should avoid
leading roles with my brother.

Magpie Tales: love and marriage

Photo provided as prompt

"Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat."
Joanne Woodward
when asked about her longstanding marriage to Paul Newman

Photo from

Posted for Magpie Tales
hosted each week at Willow Manor.
To see how other bloggers responded to the prompt photo (above, right) please click  HERE!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pet Pride, Shadow Shot Sunday: sunbathing

Before her curls grew back, when just a few leaves were falling from the trees, on days when the temperature wasn't too hot, Lindy loved sunbathing. Her hip made shadows on her side and the lawn, her head made shadows on her neck, even her ear made shadows. She was also glad the trees were making shadows on the lawn, just in case she decided to take a break from her sunbathing.

© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear
Posted for  Pet Pride
hosted by Lindy's buddy Bozo (Hi, Bozo, this is Lindy! Glad you're feeling better! xoxo) and his family in Mumbai, at Pets Forever,
and for  Shadow Shot Sunday
hosted by Tracy in Brisbane, at Hey Harriet!

Succinctly yours: beholden

Thus it behooves us, even as china figurines, to remember we are beholden to God and Native North Americans for turkey, corn, and this land.

Posted for Succinctly Yours
hosted every week by Grandma's Goulash,
when we are invited to look to the prompt photo for inspiration in writing a short story of 140 words, or a short-short story of 140 characters including spaces and punctuation.
There is also a word of the week, chosen by Grandma's daughter Calico before she has seen the photo. This week's word is beholden.
Above is my submission of exactly 140 characters, including S&P, as well as the word of the week.
To all North Americans of ancient native descent, please believe me sincere in my use of the word beholden.
By clicking below you can see how the prompt photo inspired other writer-bloggers to write succinctly,  HERE!

Camera Critters: tame, working, and wild

Donkeys in Switzerland, April, 2011.

Horse'n'carriage, Seville, Spain, December, 2008.

Juvenile red-footed booby, Galapagos Islands.

© Photos by Richard Schear and Kay Davies
Posted for
Camera Critters
hosted every week by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!
To see other critters captured on other cameras, please click