Accidental Encounters

Accidental encounters . . .

Some friends of ours visited from the Midwest a few years ago. One of them never experienced wild life beyond citified raccoons.

We put them in the car and moseyed two states over and visited Yellowstone National Park.

Among the varied scenery, a faint to strong smell of sulfur and scattered bears, multitudes of birds and buffalo, we followed a short path to a picnic area. A herd of elk got there before us.

A neighborly bull elk in Yellowstone National Park.

A neighborly bull elk in Yellowstone National Park, near sunset.

I snapped this beauty of a bull wandering nearby before we gently backed out of the area—there were calves in the herd.

Traveling back in time a few years, my father lived with us for a few years. While entertaining some friends at Mount Rainier, my father shared a story about the many animals in the area. He held a bit of protein bar in his hand he had not yet finished.

He reached the climax of his story and waved his hand out in front of him. An alert gray jay swooped down from a tree and helped himself to the last of the protein bar. Our friends dove for cover.

The intended photo of my father and our friends.

A Gray Jay swoops in for a free meal.

A Gray Jay swoops in for a free meal.

Accidental encounters? Happy accidents? Lucky shots? Either way I’m glad I caught them.

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A Snail not a Buffalo

The Pandora in my mind played Nenah Cherry’s Buffalo Stance this week to the point of distraction. It took an actual America Buffalo to distract her.

This beauty stands taller than the hood of our F150. It walked in front of our truck for greener grasses.

This beauty stands taller than the hood of our F150. It walked in front of our truck for greener grasses.

Which leads to this week’s post. February 20th is only 4 days away. The day after everyone with a New Year’s Resolution flees the gym. If I start now, I’ll be able to beat feet faster than this snail scaled this leaf—back to the gym.

This snail scaled an enormous Betty White rose to reach this leaf. Now that's inspiring.

This snail scaled an enormous Betty White rose bush to reach this leaf. Now that’s inspiring.

February 20th, I love you!

Like I said, a snail not a buffalo.

And if you’ve never heard Nina Cherry’s Buffalo Stance, we’ll dance our way out this week in ’80’s style. Take it away Nina . . .

Have a great weekend everyone.

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In Keeping with the Peculiar Theme this Week

I traveled to Finland last year. Part of that trip included a tour of their Parliament building in Helsinki. When we arrived for the tour, we discovered the building under wraps getting a facelift for their upcoming Centennial celebration.

Celebrating 100 years of government, under wraps.

Celebrating 100 years of sovereign government, under wraps.

The clever Fins wrapped the building to make it look like . . . the building, not a construction site. I think the cranes give it away.

On to the next oddity. My younger sister won a trip for two to New Zealand a few years ago. She invited me to go with her. Yea me. We landed on the northern island and spent some time in Hamilton.

If you don’t know Hamilton, you may have heard of something created there. Actor, writer Richard O’Brien, lived in Hamilton in his youth. While working at the local movie theater, he wrote the screen play for cult classic, “Rocky Horror Picture Show”.

We were in search of the statue of Riff Raff—the character O’Brien played in the movie, located on the site of the former cinema. Of course there’s a webcam to capture all the people visiting the statue, dancing the Time Warp.

On our way we discovered this gem, Mickey’s Lickies. I’m sure they build dining synergy with Pizza Hut and the Fish & Chips shop next door.

Satisfying hunger in New Zealand since . . . well I don't know.

Satisfying hunger in New Zealand since . . . well I don’t know.

If you’ve come across something peculiar this week, I’d love to hear about it.

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Ransom Riggs Author of the Peculiar

Peculiar things are happening over at the Blog of Funny Names.

The Blog of Funny Names

A peculiar thing occurred on Monday and derailed my regularly scheduled post. I received a peculiar gift—a Santa hat skewered by a salmon—for Christmas and stuck on the top shelf of the closet. It fell on my head yesterday morning while searching for my winter hat.

Who doesn't wear a salmon skewered hat while making chili? Who doesn’t wear a salmon skewered hat while making chili?

How could I say no? Today’s post is brought to you by my peculiar Christmas hat.

Meet Ransom Riggs, YA (young adult) author and creator of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Peculiar indeed.

Could you ask for a more fabulous name? Peculiar, I couldn't either. Could you ask for a more fabulous name? Peculiar, I couldn’t either.

He and his wonderfully named, talented wife, and bestselling YA author, Taherah Mafi, live in Santa Monica, California, and finish each others sentences. There must be something wonderfully peculiar in the air in Santa Monica.

Mr. Riggs started his journey collecting old photographs, taking photographs, making home movies…

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Sturgis in Pink?

What’s wrong with this picture? Sturgis, South Dakota, in PINK.

Sturgis, South Dakota, proud and loud, but not generally pink.

Sturgis, South Dakota, loud and proud and ready to rumble, but not generally in pink.

I shot photos commemorating my first visit to Sturgis. Light snow fell from the sky. The battery ran low on my camera. The battery faded, but the low battery symbol did not appear on the screen.

I downloaded the photos from the trip. Each photo from biker bars to t-shirt shops eased it’s way up the red spectrum until the last photo when the battery gave out. The last photo—the sign for Sturgis.

The Sturgis sign brought a smile to my face. I hope it brings a smile yours.

And the camera? It retired.

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Spring is Here

Spring is here in this picture. A flowering walkway in late spring.

Spring in the botanical garden in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Spring in the city park in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Winter is outside my window. Dark. Cold. Wet. Winter.

Spring is coming. I am ready for spring.

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A Special Edition: Crows in Helsinki

December nights fall early in Finland. The morning sun rises late with a yawn. During the daylight hours in between, colorful crows and juvenile gulls forage and fawn.

South Harbor near the Market Square.

South Harbor near the Market Square. Helsinki, Finland.

The crows dressed in tux and tails for a Christmas dinner with flair. Little did their host know the formality of the affair. They shared a giant laugh and a water view and a spread of frozen dew.

 

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