Friday, June 25, 2010

Photo Finish Friday

The Bag Lady spent a goodly portion of her day yesterday weeding her garden. She was not alone: she had Woody, the woodpecker for company!

Woody had to share the bounty, too:

It was the first time the Bag Lady managed to get a good picture of a Pileated Woodpecker. When it rains, it pours! (She tried to take some video of the two of them together, but there's so much noise from the slight breeze that was blowing, you can scarcely hear the woodpeckers calling!) Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge!

Neither woodpecker was the least bit concerned with the Bag Lady weeding her garden, even when she was throwing weeds for the Princess to catch. But as soon as the Rancher came along, they left! One human is okay, two is too many, apparently!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's a Jungle-ungle Out There, Jane!

This is the honeysuckle clematis at the Bag Lady's front door.

She just might have to do something drastic to it because, in the few days since she took this photo, it has stretched even further across the steps. She is starting to be a little afraid of it. She even thought she heard faint cries for help coming from the depths.....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Babies!

There were a couple more additions to the herd this week. These two calves were born within a couple hours of each other.
The Bag Lady tries not to disturb the new mothers while they are bonding with their calves, but this young heifer had no such inhibitions. She tried her darnedest to steal that cute little calf. Sadly for her, she will have to wait until next year so she can have one of her own. This mother wasn't parting with her baby!

And she learned that the baby hummingbird has no fear of her.... she took these pictures with the camera practically touching the bird!

This will give you some idea of how small he really is:

A little bigger than the Bag Lady's fingernail!

Monday, June 21, 2010


It was a gorgeous weekend around the ranch. Hot, with a slight breeze to keep it from being unbearable. Well, unless you insist on wearing fur....

The Bag Lady went out early to water her plants and check cows. She remembered her camera and took a few pictures to share with you. These are wild roses, which are the provincial flower of Alberta.

The Bag Lady was struck by the depth of colour in this petunia when the early morning sun hit it.

She still had her camera close at hand while she had a cup of coffee with the Rancher on the deck, and noticed what looked at first like a large bee. She watched it for a few seconds before identifying it as a baby hummingbird! Can you see it in this picture?

How about in this one?

It turned out to be incredibly difficult to get a good photograph of the little thing.

It is actually in this picture, too..... if you enlarge the photo, and look to the left of the pagoda, and up a little ways, you'll see a little orange blur - that might be the hummingbird. The Bag Lady is including this picture to give you some idea of how tiny the hummer is.

A little later in the day there were two of them! So tiny, and so quick.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

And the Winner Is...............

........... Marianne!

Several of you did guess that it was a bear, and it was. The Bag Lady did a random draw and Marianne was the lucky winner of ...... something! Watch your mailbox, Marianne, for something wonderful and exciting..... sometime soon!

It was probably only about a year old, and came across the highway in front of the Bag Lady. It stood up on it's hind legs and looked around, stopping a couple of times, before it crossed over to the other side of the road and took off into the bush. The Bag Lady was forced to stop quite quickly, and couldn't reach her camera in time to take a picture while the bear was directly in front of her vehicle. Sigh. By the time she got the camera in hand and turned on, and waited for it to power up, the bear was almost out of sight.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Photo Finish Friday

The Bag Lady was on her way home from town yesterday when she encountered this:

If you ignore that white thing in the center of the picture (which is a reflection of something because the Bag Lady took this exceptionally clear, vivid picture through the window of her vehicle), can you find what she was trying to capture? Click on it to enlarge - go ahead, we'll wait.

Anyone care to guess what it was she was trying to capture on film? (Leah, you are exempted from guessing because you already know!) The Bag Lady just might come up with a fabulous prize for the winning guess! (Or not. Her idea of fabulous might not be the same as yours....)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life Ain't Always Beautiful

The Bag Lady has been in a funk lately. She isn't sure why, but suspects it has something to do with all the deaths she has had to deal with lately.

The funeral for her friend was held this week and, except for those of her own parents, was one of the saddest she has ever attended. This friend was 39 years old, and he was killed in a motorcycle accident last week. He left two children (who were in his custody after his wife left him) and it was heart-breaking to hear the little girl sobbing (wailing, at times) throughout the funeral. Such a senseless tragedy.

Another senseless tragedy is what is happening on the Gulf coast of the US. Why can't they do something to contain that oil and stop the death of all that marine life? For cryin' out loud, why aren't the oil companies forced to have a contingency plan that actually works in place before they are allowed to drill in the ocean? The Bag Lady can't bear to look at the pictures of all those oil-soaked birds and animals. It makes her want to dunk a few oil executives in the gunk.
(Perhaps we could have a gunk-dunking.....)

Between that, the war in Afghanistan, the threat of war in Korea, natural disasters and the other cruelties to humans that are broadcast on the nightly news, she has started to despair about the state of this poor planet. Maybe she needs to stop watching the news.

She is going to spend some serious time in her garden this weekend, attacking weeds with her trusty (albeit slightly rusty) hoe. The Princess loves to help the Bag Lady weed the garden. The Bag Lady pulls the weeds, then has to throw them to the edge of the garden so the Princess can catch them and chew them, ensuring they are actually dead. (Sheesh, even the Bag Lady and the Princess are committing murder!) At least it makes the Bag Lady smile to watch the Princess crouched in anticipation at the edge of the garden, awaiting the next bunch of weeds flying in her direction! She takes especially good clumps of weeds out onto the lawn to give them a good chewing before coming back, panting and smiling happily, dirt-covered tongue hanging out, ready for the next bunch to fly her way. (The "she" referred to in the previous sentence is the Princess, in case that wasn't clear. The Bag Lady is terrible at catching weed clumps in her mouth. Just wanted to make that understood.)

Life ain't always beautiful, but to a dog, it's definitely simple.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rhubarb Crunch

Rhubarb Crunch

1 Cup flour
3/4 Cup oatmeal
1 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 Cup melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

4 Cups diced rhubarb

Mix all ingredients except rhubarb until crumbly. Press half mixture into a greased 9" pan. Spread rhubarb over base in pan.

Combine and cook until thick and clear:

1 Cup water
1 Cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla

Pour over rhubarb and top with remaining crumb mixture. Add 1/2 Cup toasted pecans.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Serve warm with ice cream.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vacation Spot

This is where the Bag Lady and the Rancher will be spending some of their time this summer.
The Rancher wanted to teach the Princess how to swim. He threw a stick into the water:

And tried to coax the Princess into going after it:

She decided that if he wanted the stick badly enough, he could get it himself!

It's going to be fun hanging out here:

Just as soon as they get this spot cleared for their motorhome:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sometimes Life Really Sucks

Imagine you're 5 years old and your perfect world is shattered when your mom leaves.

Your dad provides you with a stable, loving home, and you stay in the same house and things mostly stay the same. Your big brother and you still do all the things you did before, and you go on to live much as you always did.

When you are 8, your mom gets married and has another baby. You still get to see her but you still live with dad in the same house and go to the same school. Dad has his mechanic's shop in your mom's parents yard, so you see lots of grandma and grandpa, and mom comes to visit, too.

Things aren't as perfect as they once were, but you are happy enough, and your dad is a wonderful father, providing you with lots of love and laughter.

Imagine you're 10 years old and dad leaves on his motorcycle to go to town to visit friends. A woman in an SUV turns in front of your dad's bike on the highway and he can't avoid her vehicle.

Imagine being fatherless when your father was your whole world.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Update

Where did the week go? Sheesh.
The Bag Lady was busy at work, planting flowers and doing some groundskeeping. The Parks department orders the flowers for all the facilities under their care, and they sent many, many flowers for the pots and tubs at the Bag Lady's workplace.
They sent purple and white petunias, two kinds of marigolds, blue salvia, white scopia, and drachaena spikes.
This is what the Bag Lady did with them:

She needs to do some work on the lawn, though - the teenagers from the high school have beaten a path across it and it doesn't look very good!

It was the Rancher's turn to cook last night, and this is what he presented for the meal:

Prime Rib steaks, baked potatoes and beans. An excellent meal. The steaks were perfectly cooked and tender enough to cut with a fork.

This was the Bag Lady's view while she enjoyed her steak.

The honeysuckle in full bloom. Isn't it pretty?
How was your week?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Photo Finish Friday

The Rancher went back to work for a day last week to fill in for someone else. This area has been hit by the Mountain Pine Beetle, so the damaged pine trees have been cut down and logged in an attempt to salvage the wood.

This is almost at the city limits, in a very exclusive subdivision filled with million dollar homes. The beetles don't care that they are lowering the property values of all those fancy houses, they just love those old growth forests full of huge pine trees!

Photo-finish Friday is the creation of the Bag Lady's cousin, Leah, and you can check out her photo here at the Goat's Lunch Pail.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


How did it get to be June so fast? The Bag Lady feels like she's been on the dead run for the entire year..... perhaps that has something to do with how fast the time is going by.
Lately, she has been in a perpetual state of anxiety, as though she has forgotten something really important, and it's going to come back and bite her in the a$$. Is this normal? Does anyone else have this sensation that time is going by too quickly and you are scrambling to keep up? Or is it just the Bag Lady who feels this way?

Perhaps she just needs to stop putting so much pressure on herself to try to do more than she can manage in her old age ...... nah, that can't be it.
Maybe she needs to spend more time looking at scenes like this: