Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Front porch 'restaurant'. . . . . . . .

I love this photo because I rarely see two of these little devils together in a
 cute pose like this!
A very quick move to the window with the camera and I caught them
 eating the seeds and crumbs offered to the birds.
They had a short fight on the rail first to decide who would eat, then the one on
 the right waited patiently for his turn. . . . . . . though there was little remaining 
as squirrels suck up their food like powerful vacuum cleaners!

Note, last week's 7" of beautiful snow is history and we are back to bare, brown, 
dreary and warm temperatures again in the winter garden.

A new purchase for the porch 'restaurant' - a birdseed bell covered with a rather 
cheapo type of seed - but I bought it specifically to spread with peanut butter for 
the birds. No sooner was it hanging when the Carolina wren appeared to check it out! 
 They are the most curious little birds.

The Carolina wren, sweetest little garden bird around here - always my favorite.

How are the birds faring in your area? 
 Thanks for helping them with food and water at this time year.

Monday, January 22, 2018

. . . . . . and the winner is. . . . .

. . . . . . . . blog friend LOREE who lives on the Mediterranean island of MALTA, 
a place where they never see snow-covered landscapes such as I'll view
 on this upcoming trip!

Congratulations Lorree - you were one of several commenters who guessed
Argentina and Chile, the two countries we'll be visiting on this expedition
cruise in March. Tossed those names in Bob's hat and he drew your entry this
 morning as we drank our first coffee, bleary-eyed and still in our pjs, haha!

Loree, please e-mail me your mailing address later and I'll be on the lookout
 for a little memento to send along from one of those two countries.

 Loree, a long time blogger, has just started a beautiful new
 blog titled - Sincerely Loree - this year. 
I'm sure you will love it. She's an excellent writer, shares great photos as well as
 the amazing history of her small island country which I visited last year.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

MS Hebridean Sky

Once again, Noble Caledonia will be transporting us, along with friends Paula,
 Kim and Rob, on this expedition to South America. 
The cruise is titled Patagonia & the Chilean Fjords - an Exploration of the Land of
 Fire & Ice from Ushuaia to Valparaiso.
Our ship will be MS Hebridean Sky, sailing to another of the wilder places on our planet.
 This rugged, hauntingly beautiful land of windswept pampas, hanging glaciers,
and tall mountain peaks, where wildlife abounds, will definitely be fascinating.

Thanks to all who left a comment. . . . . . .sorry you couldn't all win!
Anyone out there who's already visited this area and wants to add their stories
here would be welcome. . . . . . meanwhile I'm starting to choose warm/waterproof
 clothing to layer for the cold Zodiac rides ashore, along with something lighter 
to kick up my heels when trying to tango during our stop-over in Buenos Aires
 on the way south! 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winter scenes from the porch. . . . . . . . . .

So, no words necessary. Hope you just enjoy the photos of my own 
garden these past few days taken at different times from early morning
 until dusk.  A snowfall of seven inches arrived on Wednesday - not 
usual here in southeast North Carolina.
It was beautiful.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snowfall brought the Northern mockingbird . . . . . . . . . .

Out of the blue, and white, the Northern mockingbird arrived on the front porch 
 at breakfast today.
He stayed for a long time, more just resting than eating, but long enough
 for me to take lots of photos through the dining room window. 
Thank you sweet bird for not flying away for a long time.
This is the bird who looks so sleek until it perches and fluffs up its feathers.
It is really handsome/pretty - male and female are identical. 
I love having it in the garden.

Such a beautiful morning - snow and sunshine!
Our snowfall of yesterday brought 7" between 9 am and 6 pm.
It just kept falling into the evening dusk, bringing such quiet beauty 
to everything it touched.
Today, we continue to be housebound due to hazardous driving conditions. 
Areas around us had up to a foot of snow, but this is not a problem - in
fact I'm loving it. As it will re-freeze tonight I will probably be here for 
several days. Remember, this is the south, we're not well equipped
for snow removal!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Scribble Picnic. . . . . . Hot Chocolate

My photo edited to a sketch via PicMonkey - watercolor pencils.

HOT CHOCOLATE:  Also called hot cocoa, drinking chocolate or just cocoa,
 is a heated beverage consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate, cocoa powder,
 with heated milk or water and perhaps a little added sweetener. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . .and so delicious, especially on a cold winter day.

Believed to have been created by the Mayans 2,500-3,000 years ago as an
essential part of Aztec culture, this beverage became popular much later in
 Europe after being introduced from Mexico.
The history of drinking chocolate is quite amazing so, if interested, be sure
 to go HERE for the entire story.

My SCRIBBLE PICNIC offering today for Michael's theme of Hot Chocolate
is the latest version I've seen for preparing a warming mug of this delicious drink,
Believe me this is the way to go but, sadly, these little gems from Germany
 discovered at our brand new LIDL store before Christmas, sold out so quickly. . . . 
I'm kicking myself for not buying a case! They have not reappeared on the shelves
 and, being a seasonal item, most likely will not return until next Christmas.

Coming two to a packet - with a choice of dark or milk chocolate - one for you
 and one for someone dear who likes to share a beverage break, perfect!
All that's necessary is to plop your stick of chocolate into your favorite mug, pour
 on hot milk and wait until it melts into a deep, dark mug of chocolatey heaven.
I'm calling these. . . . . . . 'grown up Popsicles/lollipops!"

Looking forward to seeing what chocolatey drinks our group comes up with
this week HERE - with another cold snap here I'm all for new hot chocolate drink ideas.

P.S. Don't forget, if you haven't entered my guessing game
 as to where I'm traveling to in March, there's still time.
Go HERE and leave a comment with your guess - two countries.
 There will be a little prize for the winner later!

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