My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, October 31, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: Tricks & Treats!

After waiting in vain all week for a hauntingly beautiful Halloween sunrise to share, I had a sky-less Halloween post ready to go… until just a few minutes ago! As my finger hovered over the "publish" button, BW called to me with eerie timing, "Come see the sunrise!" Sure enough, it was a colorful, luminous beauty that seemed to mimic a glowing jack-o-lantern…

Oh those trickster Wyoming sunrises! Now you don't see 'em, now you do! :-)

So here's my originally planned post with more Halloween fun from (mostly) ground level…

Above-ground level, that is. ;-)

First, a sneak-peek at one of this year's quilts in the annual Fiber Arts show at the library. The lone Halloween quilt in the exhibit and one of my top three favorites in the show, I thought it would be better appreciated here than on my upcoming quilt show post...

"Who's Watching?"
Technique: Pieced
Artist: Tammy Johnson
From a kit designed by Heidi Pridemore
Quilted by: Karen Van Houten

On the day of our visit to the cemetery and picnic among the "Roman Ruins" last week, we also drove by this old home in Sheridan's historic "Residence Hill" neighborhood. It was for sale when BW and I were looking for a place and we made an offer on it, but it was not to be (just as well - ideal location, but way too big and in need of too much work, it would have meant delaying BW's retirement and thank goodness that didn't need to happen!)

A spooky spider, pretty pumpkins, and comely crow await trick-or-treaters

I didn't have to wander far from the home we did end up living in to get these next photos. Our neighbors a few doors down have their place very festively decorated for fall and Halloween, but I especially love these gossamer ghosts gamboling around the festooned spruce...

And up the street in the opposite direction one is greeted by these gregarious ghouls and their hauntingly hospitable howdies! :-)

Remember our friend the Red-tailed hawk? He showed up again at dusk last Friday, perched on our next door neighbors' roof. I took some more photos of him (of course) despite the bad lighting, and really liked this one of his eyes reflecting my camera's flash. By darkening the original a little I ended up with this great silhouette ~ add a few spooky elements courtesy of PicMonkey and our red-tailed friend becomes The Haunted Hawk of Halloween! :-)

It's predicted to be sunny and 71º here today (and tomorrow) with no wind. Combine the balmy weather with the fact it's a Friday night and we're expecting a record turnout of monstrous moochers Trick-or-Treaters, though we "only" bought enough vegan goodies for the first 250 or so. Wish us (and our poor doorbell) luck, and enjoy a safe and happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 4

Welcome to Part 4, the last post of this year's annual...

Finally, the final finalist from July's event! Well, better late than never. As you may recall if you saw the first three posts from this series, eight finalists chosen by the local greenhouse that sponsors the event competed for the public's votes to determine a winner in each of two categories, "Amazing Backyard Gardens" and "Amazing Estate Gardens." This large property in the neighboring small mountain community of Story was the winning Estate Garden…

Property-owner Robin and her husband spent six years converting a large area of marsh into these gardens (to the dismay of the local moose, no doubt), a task that included redirecting water to help create this spring fed pond, the centerpiece of the property...

Did you notice the three multi-colored "gazing globes" on the left side of the far bank?
They're bowling balls! :-)

One of the more relaxed inhabitants of the Fairy Garden in the woods beside the pond. 

The bottle garden in hues of blues even features a Blue Spruce!

The waterfalls tumbling from the woods to the pond and decorated with various treasures was my favorite feature of the property, due in no small part to the wonderful goat ~ a larger version of my own!....

We also loved the mellow mermaid, chillin' on the rocks beside the pond...

A trek further "inland" brings you to the beautiful and colorful Peace Garden...

…and into the presence of its compassionate guardian, a sweetly carved St. Francis, who ~ as the patron saint of all fellow creatures, the environment, and peace ~ is very much at home among the birds and flowers in a Peace Garden...

I hope you enjoyed this year's tour! Though the real gardens have been put to bed for the winter, you can visit five other gardens from the tour anytime you want...

2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 1
2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 2
2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 3

Friday, October 24, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: An Apollo Picnic Under Mercurial Skies :-)

I find it nearly impossible to believe that we're on the brink of October's final weekend! Not only because of the month's speedy passage, but also because of its unseasonably balmy weather, more summery than autumnal.

Last Saturday's softly serene sunrise was both lovely and illustrative of our mild and gentle weather lately...

Knowing all too well that despite its delayed arrival wintery weather is inevitable, BW and I have been taking advantage of the beautiful days with bike rides and lots of outings with the dogs, while my friend Pam and I have been logging many miles on long walks, laughingly referring to ourselves as "Lewis and Clark" because of our explorations and adventures (and occasional need for a guide, given our shared lack of any sense of direction!) :-) The three of us even threw together a fun picnic on Tuesday. That morning, Pam and I walked the three miles to Sheridan's quilt shop, then hoofed it another 3/4 mile or so to the library to take another gander at this year's annual Fiber Arts Show entries (yep, post coming) and meet up with BW, who arrived in our car with the picnic supplies. 

It won't surprise those of you who know me well when I tell you that our picnic venue was the cemetery. :-) Not the main municipal cemetery, but the adjacent Bellevue Cemetery, home to a rather mysterious collection of columns from the 1930s. They used to support a wooden pergola which has long since succumbed to the elements that are also taking their toll on the columns. A local historic pamphlet that Pam bought at the library identified the structure-that's-no-longer-a-structure as the romantically pagan "Sun Temple." Despite the fact that our sunny day was morphing into an overcast one, it still made a great spot for a picnic lunch.

But before eating, Pam and BW decided to burn a few extra calories by helping to prop up this lone little puffer cloud… 

Pam gave it a gentle push with her finger so BW could hold it like a serving tray! 

We set up our picnic in the center of the "temple," so were encircled by the columns as we dined on our yummy feast of tempeh salad sandwiches, hummus, carrots, apples, bananas and hibiscus tea. All we were missing were a lyre, our togas, and Apollo...

Oh, wait! Look who showed up! And ate most of the hummus! 
(okay, maybe that was me. LOL)...

After lunch we headed next door to the large municipal cemetery and visited several of the more scenic and interesting sections and historic graves there. At one point, Pam looked up and saw this dragon in the tree above us!...

Though it remained a balmy 77ºF, the weather grew increasingly cloudy and blustery, until the skies to our north looked like this at 6pm...

Though teasing us with the promise of some much-needed rain, it turned out the clouds were just for show (and cemetery ambience). The night remained dry, and the next day was another sunny one. In fact, the lack of clouds has made for fairly boring sunrises this week, at least until yesterday when more nocturnal clouds made for an appropriately pumpkin-colored and picturesque dawn before clearing out later that morning...

For more picturesque skies by day & by night, beneath sunshine & clouds, 
and both autumnal & vernal from both sides of the equator, please visit...

Friday, October 17, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: "O Hushed October Morning Mild…"

I fear that between last month's premature killing freeze and some very wicked winds, we've been robbed of most of our fall foliage here. 

But we've been enjoying - and taking full advantage of - a long stretch of glorious Indian Summer weather to make up for it, and on a recent lovely evening spent at the local cemetery fulfilling photo requests for Find A Grave, I spied this stately cottonwood. Despite its golden leaves being more muted this year, it's still a standout against the blue sky and its evergreen companions...

Though the local leaves aren't providing much fall color this year, the local skies certainly have been! Here's a sampling of our harlequin sunrise on Wednesday, taken during a five-minute span (from 7:07 - 7:12am):

Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, 
birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings. 
~Terri Guillemets

It was October again... a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings… 
~L.M. Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables"

In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens...
 and you can feel the breath of winter morning and evening.
~Alexander Smith, "An Essay on an Old Subject"

O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief…
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst…
~Robert Frost

Autumn bowed to place a beautiful crown on the Queen of Morning, 
and her velvet robes sway merrily in the chilly breeze. 
~Terri Guillemets

There is a harmony 
In autumn, and a luster in its sky…
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Enjoy more October skies ~ lustrous & mellow, glorious & crisp ~ from around the world...

Friday, October 3, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: Winged Flight & Bing Wright

Okay, I admit it, I took some poetic license with my post title. But "Red-tailed hawk sitting on a lamp post in the mist" simply doesn't sound as melodious with "Bing Wright." :-)

A Pensive Pose

It was a misty, drizzly day and our friend repeatedly stretched out his wings like this;
whether to shed water or take advantage of a free shower, we're unsure!

"They went that-a-way!"

I took the above photos with my telephoto lens. Here's one with my regular lens for perspective…

Our skies have been overcast and dreary most of the week, so no colorful sunrise or sunset photos for this SkyWatch post, I'm afraid. However, I've been saving this treat for just such an occasion. In case you're wondering who the Bing Wright in my post title is, he's a photographer who often takes photos of sunsets reflected in shattered mirrors, making them look like stained glass...

See more of Bing's "broken mirror/evening sky" (and other) photos here: 

And as always, enjoy more sky photos of all sorts here:


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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