FARM ANIMALS – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Farm Animals

The day we went out to see the farms down around the corner (so to speak being as there really aren’t many corners back there in farm country), we saw cows and chickens and horses.

But for me, the real piece of heaven were goats.

I love goats.

Two goats up on a hill

Goat on the Commons
More head-butting – Photo Marilyn Armstrong
More goats!
Devilish goat (but he only wanted something to eat …)

Just a note: We’re going to a party down on the cape and will be gone the rest of the day! But I’ll try to catch up when we get home, whenever that may be. Have a great day!

FROM BUD TO BLOSSOM: TWO SQUARES FOR BECKY B AND A FLOWER FOR THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

From Bud to Blossom and Flower of the Day

The interval between the fullness of a bud and the opening of the blossom is a time for the season. The Christmas cactus continues to bloom and our time is cactus time!

As I watch the changing cactus, I realize that before there were clocks, there was the growth of the soil, the height of the corn, the flowing, and drying of waters. The movement of sun and moon as the seasons change.

This is all around us. Every breath we take is a tiny piece of our life.

The bud
The flower
Flower of the Day – FOTD – 12/14/2018

A TIME TO BLOOM AND A TIME TO FADE – FLOWER OF THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

A Time to Bloom and a Time to Fade – FOTD – 12/12/2018

I thought, when I watered the cactus yesterday, the blooms would vanish quickly. And indeed, two flowers dropped — but two new ones opened up. So it lives on and maybe, if I am very lucky, it will make it through the holidays.

Still fully blooming!
Bigger and more beautiful.

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: CANDID PEOPLE PICTURES – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Catching People Unaware

I don’t take a lot of snapshots of people. I take a lot of animal snapshots and this year, I took a lot of shots of our town being happy as the Christmas parade was about to start. That was different for me. I think, on the average, I like animals better than people.

Ben, the friend – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

About birds and feeders. I put up the bird feeder because every winter, I’ve watched the cold little birds shivering in the bushes, nothing to eat, fluffing their little feathers to fend off the cold which my coat, sweatshirt, gloves, and muffler can’t fully prevent.

Garry and colleagues – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

It makes me feel guilty and sad. We have so damaged their native habitat, this year I said “I have to help them. I can’t just watch them shiver and die from cold and starvation.” Being told to let “nature take her course” is a ridiculous statement after humans have done everything possible to make nature take OUR course, without regard for any other living creatures. whose lives we were dislocating or destroying.

Moving the cows – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

Now, I feed the birds and the squirrels and I am finding an enormous satisfaction in it. I watch them. I don’t always take pictures. Sometimes, I just watch them. I listen for them, too. Today I heard a loud “twee, twee, twee.” That means there is a Cardinal nearby. I didn’t see him, but I’m betting the other birds knew exactly where he was.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong
Woman at work – Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

The little birds really are surprisingly protective of the feeders … something I didn’t anticipate.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

I suppose they feel threatened by the larger birds, though they shouldn’t. They eat different parts of the foods, too. They need to share it so everyone is healthy. It will serve them well.

AS GOOD AS IT GETS: THE FULL BLOOM OF THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS – Marilyn Armstrong

As Good As It Gets – FOTD – 12/10/2018

I’ve been following the progress of this lovely Christmas Cactus since its first bud last month and now, it has come, I think, to the end of its peak.

I watered it yesterday. The water quickly made the flowers limp as I knew it would. But the segments of the cactus were beginning to curl inward, a sign that the plant was thinking about dying too. So, there comes a moment when you either water it, or it could up and die.

I picked watering rather than death. This has been an extremely healthy plant and I’d like to give it another year to bloom a few more times. One of these days, I’ll be forced to put it in a new pot, but I shudder at the thought. These guys — as Mrs. Angloswiss discovered — have a knack for self-destructing when you try to pot them. The segments just separate. It’s what they are supposed to do, but it is very unnerving when it happens.

IF you are going to put them in a new pot, let them dry out completely first and don’t do it when they have any buds on them.

Since I didn’t want to lose it, I realized I was going to lose the last of the buds, but I watered it.

It felt like dried sand, so I don’t think it was too early. If I’m lucky, it will bloom again in a few weeks. This is, after all, the season for blooming cactus.

So these are the full blooming cactus. They are not macros, but they are shot very close, but not using the macro lens. I wanted to show more of the entire plant this time. I hope you have enjoyed the journey.

I certainly have had fun showing the process of budding, and blooming.

CHRISTMAS CACTUS MACROS – CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cactus Macros


Oddly enough, that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing! Between the birds at the feeder and the genuine macros on the Christmas Cactus, it’s been all close-ups and macros for several weeks … with a few more weeks to come.

Tonight, though, we’re going to make an excursion to see if we can get the light on the Common. It’s cold, but it’s very clear and as far as I know, we aren’t expecting any rain or sleet or snow … or for that matter, toads and frogs, descending from on high.

A good time for cameras for as long as we can stay outside. If there isn’t much wind, we have a little longer.

I can’t tolerate cold as I used to. I was always warm, but these days, I’m always cold … even when it isn’t all that cold. So I guess we’ll see. Maybe I’ll wrangle with the extremely warm by complicated heavy winter coat I own.

I never wear it because I can’t always figure out what all those buttons, zippers, elastic, cords do. By the time I manage to get myself into it, I’m exhausted and need a nap. We shall see!

Meanwhile … closeups and macros!

COLD OUT THERE BUT HOT IN HERE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s B & W Photo Challenge: Anything Hot or Cold

It was cold outside, but warm in the teepee.

It was delicious being in the teepee with the snow falling outside with a hot fire burning inside, smoke flying through the hole at the top of the teepee.

The lovely combination of cold out and warm within is one of the basic delights of humankind.


It was cold outside through the front window
Cold outside the back way, too
But the yellow gold of the teepee firepit was hot!