Sunday, May 31, 2015

Iron Skillet Pizza

Challenged to make a pizza in an iron skillet...I happily pulled it off.

Accessorizing For Summer

Ran some errands on Saturday and returned with some new embellishments.  The one that I intended to upgrade was my American Flag.  I went to my local Ace Hardware and while there also saw the little pride flag hanging on a wall surrounded by emblems and flags of Gay Pride.  I did not find another one like it in a package, however.  So, I asked the sales person about it.  He said, "It's not for sale."  I gave him a look, and asked, "Why?"  "Because it's part of the display," he replied.  I gave him another look. "Lot's of stuff are parts of displays, but their just examples of the merchandize.  Why is this one special?"  He gave me a look.  "Let me ask my manager," he said.  Wise man, I thought.  Because my next move was to ask for the manager.  Bottomline: there was no record of this product in their computer inventory.  He sold it to me for the nearest product like it price minus a 10% discount.  I never asked for a discount.  I just wanted to buy the damned banner.  Lesson: don't take "not for sale" for an answer.
 I also ran by Pablo's Nursery and purchased another "sun" sculpture to place on the exterior side of my garden gate.
 And while there I found this lovely dragonfly sculpture, too.  I used to have a ceramic frog sculpture adorn this bird bath, but it was stolen during my home robbery.

Ms. Catbird seems happy to approve of this addition to her spa!


 Came home from work to find a package in my door.  A heavy package for it's size--and inside was 4 pounds of dried cherries from Michigan.  A gift from a childhood friend who grew up with me in Michigan.
It's a challenge to use 4 lbs of dried cherries.  But I am committed to doing it.  I began with Cinnamon Cherry Oatmeal Cookies!

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ May 31st to June 6th

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baltimore Zoo: Old Friends in New Digs.

But the real purpose of the visit was to see the new African Penguin, Spheniscus demersus, exhibit: Penguin Coast.  This addition to the zoo enables it to double it's colony from 50 to 100 birds.  It also establishes it as the premiere conservation institution for this endangered species.  And it's just wonderful from every possible angle.  Enjoy!

Baltimore Zoo: New Friends

The visit also provided the opportunity to visit the newly opened Maryland aviary.  To get there you enter into a raised wooden walkway that leads you past the open bog.  This is another excellent place to be patient and observant.

 Today's highlight was certainly the blooming purple march flags.
 The aviary was clearly new...  Inhabitants included Wood Ducks, Aix sponsa, and
, Bubulcus ibis.

Another inhabitant was this Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax.

Baltimore Zoo: Old Friends #3

 A romp through the Zoo's main collection of African Animals.  You never know what you'll encounter.  Today the Sitatunga, Tragelaphus spekii, were especially pleasant to admire.  The buck and his three dams.  There is also a newly born male, but not on public display today...

 Great photo of the zoo's Southern White Rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum.

Another favorite place to observe at the zoo for me is the African Aviary.  Here the Von der Decken's Hornbill, Tockus deckeni, plays the photo hog!  Perhaps he thought I was carrying a grape for him?

 And if you are observant.  If you take your time.  If you just possess a modicum of patience and curiosity--you might just discover something special.  Unadvertised on the floor of the African aviary was this sweet little Blue Duiker, Philantomba monticola.  A sort of African bush/jungle antelope.  A very diminutive creature.  A cousin to the Dik-dik.

 The Plains Zebras, Equus quagga, and the Common Ostriches, Struthio camelus, were lulling together.

 Watching them from the viewing pavilion, and then suddenly aware of other activity above--I discovered a colony of Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica, that had come to roost on the tops of the light fixtures and other ornaments all across the ceiling of the pavilion.  How random and wonderful, right?

 Other old friends included the Lesser Kudu, Tragelaphus imberbis...

 ....and the Saddle-billed Storks, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis.

 Also the afore mentioned Dik-dik.  To be specific a Kirk's Dik-dik, Madogua Kirkii.

 There are also two other staples of zoo's everywhere: Giraffe and Elephants.