Trail Camera Images

Fun time with my Browning trail camera (Model BTC-5HD). The camera sits on a tripod, and I usually clip the strap around a tree trunk. I’m waiting for a javelina or a bobcat, and either one could tip the ‘pod. I set up just after dark. Some mornings the disc has zero images.  A few days ago, the shutter had triggered 70 times.

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The desert has few watering holes. Birds fly in for a drink.

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Coyotes prowl for food during the night. Rabbits run!

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Mickey, the mouse sniffed about and ran home head first. 

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First rabbit image with trail camera.

 

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“Let’s hop on over to the water dish.”

I Read Your Sign – Mine is Libra

 

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Cape May, NJ
Cape May, NJ

If a quirky sign catches my attention, and many have, I’ll take a photo and add the image to my expanding collection. In these dreary days of winter weather and hashtag political nonsense, I have a distraction for my blogger friends. Wonderfully creative messages and opinions are often nailed with only a few words. Many of these signs gave me a smile and a perspective about people and their opinions.  I don’t have a picture of my favorite bumper sticker – Don’t Believe Everything You Think. I sold the ’94 Honda Accord, and the sticker went with the sale.

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Enjoy the slide show.    

 

Tax Credit for 2017

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The 2017 donation checks are in the mail. Ten nonprofits made my list, and of those, two are cat shelters that my sister, who is now in feline heaven, has supported. The runners-up, fine organizations all, know where I live. In 2018 they will send mailing labels, calendars, dream catchers, stickers, nickels, bookmarks, maps, note pads, and photos of  children and animals in need of food, medicine, shelter, and compassion.

Last November I started to save bulk mail, and by the end of December I had a stack of envelopes. My name and address are linked to a segment of the political and social stratosphere. I receive nothing from the NRA, the Republican party, or religious organizations – except St. Jude’s Hospital, which I don’t count as secular. In some abstract way what I value and support has been synthesized. I imagine computer programs sending millions of potential donor profiles to advocacy organizations. That puts me on lists for animal shelters, nature preservation, social justice, literacy, population awareness, women’s health, shelters, recovery/rehab, and Tucson’s kid camp.

Remember the saying, You Are What You Eat? From the send-us-money letters I receive, I am correctly targeted. I use Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/) as a source to filter organizations. Many have a strong advocacy and persistence, but high administrative costs. When a CEO makes mega-bucks, I should be asking fill in the name for money. My bottom line: No contribution when an executive’s annual salary is a high six-figure income.

Best wishes to all for 2018. Let’s work to improve the health of our planet, and the lives of its people and animals.

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Silhouettes & Exhibits

The current exhibits at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art fill the mind, eye, and heart with wonder. When I needed a time-out, I sat on a bench near the 7th floor elevators. I photographed people who walked from the elevators to the galleries. In silhouette they created an unexpected exhibit with the right elements – light, dark, lines, and tension. I sat there fascinated by the people who wandered in front of my camera as I clicked away. An apartment building adjacent to the museum provided vertical lines and rectangles to create a background of convenient abstraction. The public area was filled by some who sat on a ledge and also wanted down-time. Others walked passed with intention to enjoy the “Soundtracks” exhibits available until January 1, 2018.

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Not to be missed: Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s water with bowls and sound, clinamen v.3. The zen-like combination of sound, movement, and color quieted my mind. At best I wanted an hour to contemplate and slip into a quiet space. Several YouTube videos offer a chance to experience the beauty of clinamen v.3.    https://youtu.be/_wdltDfs-F4.

“The Visitor” by Icelandic musician/artist Ragnar Kjartensson created a music video that rings uniquely atmospheric and sensual. The setting is an Astor family mansion in upstate New York.  Hypnotic and mesmerizing describes what I felt. Lynea felt close to tears from the haunting sounds – cello, drums, piano, and more. Truly a knock-your-socks-off experience. I must say that Kjartensson does look better dressed. He’s the guy in the bathtub playing guitar. Videos on YouTube:  https://youtu.be//lcwGnWuXJuU.

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Final Stop – Sitka, AK

Our week-long cruise on Wilderness Discoverer ended in Sitka, a city I had missed on previous trips to Alaska. Yes, we had rain. Then the sun came out until the rain began again. Alaska had an exceptionally wet spring and summer. That’s what a friend who paints houses in Juneau said.

 

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I’ll remember Sitka for gorgeous flowers blooming everywhere a flower might grow. I thank the drivers for not taking aim at tourists. They were easy-going, patient people who slowed down to let wayward pedestrians cross the street. Next best – the dogs. In Sitka people walk the nicest, friendliest dogs, and I missed my Abby. Most of all, I will be grateful for Ana Dittmar, the heritage museum curator at St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Ana agreed to accept my mother’s prayer book.  (See WP post  Sept. 2, 2017.)

 

 

Even though I had a map, the entrance to the Russian Orthodox cemetery was hard to find. Eventually, I met a tourist who had visited the cemetery, and she gave a simple direction – walk straight up Observatory Hill. Pass the houses and go to the end of the road. At the end, a dirt path snakes into a forest with topsy-turvy graves, triple-bar Orthodox crosses, headstones, and flowers. Visitors like me stepped into a eerie place of  lush plants, moss, and slipper slopes that were magical and spooky.

 

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Alaska – The Inside Passage

On to explore Alaska with Un-Cruise Adventures, a small-ship company that stamps a capital A on activities. Wilderness Discoverer left Juneau on a rainy August afternoon and docked in Sitka one week later. Except for a stop at Glacier Bay National Park, we were out there beyond towns, people, and wifi service. On rainy days, and that meant most days, the A’s put on their REI rain gear and took off to kayak, bushwhack, paddle board, explore, and skiff the shorelines. On the last day, 18 passengers put on bathing suits and took the Polar Plunge into dark, cold water.

Excursions took us to desolate islands and inlets. We watched brown bears catch salmon and whales take a breath of air. Mussels, barnacles, crabs, and all sorts of sea creatures met us on shore walks. Our one fun salty, edible was pickle grass that grew above the high tide mark. (I’ve since learned that pickle grass also grows in Death Valley.) Into the forest primeval of Emmons Island we walked – a thicket where trees, moss, vines, insects, and pesky mosquitoes live in harmony.

 

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My Mother’s Prayer Book

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The last days of an Alaskan vacation ended in Sitka. On a Saturday I visited St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral as a  tourist, but one familiar with the history and traditions of Orthodoxy. Sunday I stood with others during the two hour liturgy. Childhood memories unfolded among the icons, incense, candles, and choir voices. I remembered the words. I knew the drill.

In the Cathedral, I began to think about my mother’s prayer book – again. The question I have often asked myself, who might want Our Daily Bread? The first edition book with 655 delicate pages, published in 1938, belongs in a special place. Certainly not on an eBay auction block. Through the digital world I reached a priest at St. Michael’s. Ana Dittmar, the Cathedral’s heritage museum curator became my go-to person. Although the prayer book is not related to the history of the Cathedral, Ana accepts ” . . . Orthodox items that are of sentimental significance . . .  .”

About the prayer book – The book begins with 49 pages of morning and other prayers, followed by the Divine Liturgy. Evening prayers, prayers and devotions before and after Confession and Holy Communion come next. Psalms. Prayers for special intentions. Prayers and liturgies for the dying and the dead. Child’s manual of prayer. Fast days. Pages on the left were printed in church Slavonic. Pages on the right were printed in English. Ten years ago a Tucson bookbinder repaired and restored the cover.

Mary Lissik Lulic never traveled beyond Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. What a joy to know that her prayer book found a home at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka.

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