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Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Halloween 2010!!

The ghouls and goblins are coming ...

Trick or Treat!!

Wishing you all the fun and yummy treats,
with no naughty tricks,
that all the Halloween goblins can spare!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Broken boney fingers high on a dead tree, I perch

eyes keen, olfactory sharp
we wait and watch...

Chills... well it is very windy here in the mid-west, 
maybe you heard of the severe weather blowing through?
I hope you had a great week. We had 7 Wednesday Wizards last week!
Lots of wonderful guesses, too. I am happy you are really putting your imaginations to work! As you never know when I will throw in a knuckle-cruncher!

Here is the photo the clue was cropped from:

They were flying all over that day and here it looks like two almost crash landed together, as that is all that showed up after Hubby clicked his camera, lots of wings and really no heads, unless you can find the one hidden by the dead branches they seem to love to sit in.

Did you figure it out? 

...Grotesque scavengers
 tho we prefer the title Nature's road-kill collectors...

Please don't call us buzzards or hawks (tho it does sound nicer) we are not birds of prey, but wait until scent of the recently dead slowly arise to the sky.
Then we dive down and tear with our sharp hooked ivory beaks while it is held down with our rather weak feet on the ground.
What are we?

I am a handsome Turkey Vulture! 
A Turkey Vulture is awkward on the ground with an ungainly, hopping walk. It requires a great deal of effort to take flight, flapping its wings while pushing off the ground and hopping with its feet. Maybe you have seen this in real life, or as it is comically portrayed in cartoons? He has webbing between his two outside toes, which makes his feet to weak to carry away any treasure he finds.
Turkey Vultures are very efficient fliers, using thermal updrafts to gain elevation and soaring for long distances. While soaring, they can hold its wings in a shallow V-shape and often tips from side to side, frequently causing the gray flight feathers to appear silvery as they catch the light.

 I was playing with photo effects this week, trying to make them look eerie
any helpful tips to do it better? 

The Turkey Vulture is gregarious and roosts in large community groups, breaking away to forage alone during daylight hours. Groups as large as several hundred vultures have been observed to roost together. They roost on dead, leafless trees; they nests in hollow trees, thickets or even caves. In the instance of caves, it does not enter them except during the breeding season. They generally raise two chicks a year. Although turkey vultures have very few natural predators they are known for their defense mechanism of regurgitating semi-digested meat--which deters most predators due to its putrid smell, that can also sting. (my eyes are burning at the thought of it!) His nostrils are not divided by a septum, but rather are perforated! from the side one can see through the beak, I wonder if that helps his avoid that wretched smell?

                               turkey vulture photo credit Wikipedia

So who are our perspicacious  
  Wednesday Wizards this week?

  Last minute Fun facts:

  • Because turkey vultures are major consumer of carrion, they play an important role in biodegradation.
  • Unlike most birds, they have excellent eyesight and highly developed sense of smell.
  • The Turkey Vulture is gentle and non-aggressive.
  • A group of vultures is called a "Venue".
  • Vulture poop is actually a sanitizer!  Their uric acid is so strong (because of the nature of their diets) that it kills bacteria.
  • Vultures circling in the air are a "Kettle".
For more Turkey Vulture fun info go to Turkey Vulture Facts.

One last request before I reveal next weeks inkling...
Mr. Linky is below for all who like to play along and visit the other fun Wednesday memes. I so appreciate your comments and guesses. I will return all comment love in kind if you leave me a way to find you.

Now for our haunting innuendo of the week :

Witching you all a Happy Halloween !!

 until next time,
keep your eyes aware
and your mind open...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Origins of Candy Corn

Where does candy corn come from?

  Found on stinky witches feet
       that is where! 

 (or ?? someone you may know)

yum, this ghoul seems to love them stinky!

Happy Halloween Haunting!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Turbans, Goose Bumps and Penguins

Turbans, Goose Bumps and Penguins!

What do they have in common? 
A lot more than you may think.
  They can also be stereotyped with the dark odd characters who are often freakishly lumpy, bumpy, twisted and contorted!! Not to mention the ones that are crusty, ugly, wrinkled and just plain Weird!
What the heck am I talking about?
         Well, 11 Wednesday Wizards know!

 warty ornamental gourds 
the clue was cut from the bottom left corner

The answer to last weeks clue was gourds!
Since I am such a generous Head Wizard Mouse I am announcing that all the Wizards that mentioned gourds, pumpkins or squash as their guess, as correct! They are all in the same family.

  click to enlarge any photo
This weeks Wizards are :
With top billing this week as she gave me so much more interesting information on gourds, that I learned that in the 2 photos I have above have warty ornamentals, and the one I used as the clue last week may also be from the variety called Knuckle-heads! 

So a special #1 spot goes to...
Laura has a cute blog and does a lot of hoping and has a couple of fun new blogs to check out as well, so go congratulate her! 
as well as :
Kristi of Live & Love Out Loud she also hosts a WW linky

A big tip of the pointy Wizard hat to all of you! 
Some other gourd variety names are Baby Boo, Phat Jack, Sorcerer and Wizard!
 I searched but could not find an image or photo of what the Wizard variety looks like (sigh). Maybe one of my readers can help??
They can be found plentiful around harvest and Halloween time, and make for fun decorations.
fuzzy wrinkly and colorful

gourds can be so unusual!

I have Mr. Linky below for all who blog hop along with the mid-week memes.
As always, thank you for playing along, I look forward to your guesses, last week we had some hilarious ones, you are making me laugh, as I hope I continue to bring a smile or some eye candy to your day!

This week I leave you with a clue from the spooky tree...
Halloween is ever so close, so hopefully we all have fun and next weeks answer does not frighten anyone !!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rescue Success! Chilean Miners survive!

Rescue Success! 
Congratulations Chile!!
Bienvenido de nuevo a la 
superficie de la tierra! 
(Welcome back to 'surface' earth!)

  It's been a triumphant day for Chile along with anxious friends and family members as 33 trapped miners are pulled to safety!
On a regular news day it is often filled with plane crashes, terror threats, oil spills, and toxic leaks. Today the TV, radio and Web news diet anything but... it was joyous! All day there were the pictures of the brave, dignified miners who had been trapped beneath the ground for more than two months being brought to the surface, to breathe fresh air and to hug their loved-ones.  

These were hugs felt around the world.

photo credit AP source Chilean flags dot the mine site

One by one, the miners trapped for 69 days in a dungeon that could have been their tomb climbed into a rescue capsule and made a smooth ascent to the surface on Wednesday 10-13-2010, greeted by the embraces of loved ones, cheered by joyous Chileans and watched by a captivated world.
The stress and anxiety that had accompanied the careful final days of preparation broke just after midnight, 12:11 a.m., when the first of the most tenacious of the men, Florencio Avalos, emerged from the missile-like capsule and smiled proudly after his half-mile journey to fresh air.

 photo credit AP source
 Florencio Avalos hugs his loved one after his long ordeal
The choice of best health and condition was chosen ahead of time to double check that the capsule and safety equipment all worked well. The miners were hooked up to heart monitors, leg compression stockings and oxygen masks to monitor vital health signs during the ascent and wore dark sunglasses to protect their eyes after 69 days of no sunlight. Panic attacks during the ascent, they said, were the biggest concern. The miners were not sedated, they needed to be alert in case something went awry. Pre-rescue the miners were given a high-calorie liquid diet donated by NASA (who also helped in designing the rescue chamber-capsule), designed to prevent nausea from any rotation of the capsule as it travels through curves in the 28-inch-diameter escape hole.They took aspirin and wore the compression socks to prevent blood clotting, and donned sweaters for the change in climate from about 90 degrees underground to near freezing on the surface after nightfall. 

photo credit Hugo Infante AP
O. Araya tenderly hugs his wife


Florencio Avalos, the 31-year-old second-in-command of the miners, was chosen to be first out because he was in the best condition. When the capsule came out of the manhole-sized opening, Avalos stepped out as bystanders cheered, clapped and broke into a chant of the country's name
"Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!"

photo credit AFP-Getty
large flag of Chile by rescue site

Screams of Joy!

  A euphoric Mario Sepúlveda had been screaming during his ascent, but everything was fine. Sepúlveda is now a free man, the second miner to emerge in Chile.
And he wasn't screaming alone, at least not after he came out of the hole. Sepúlveda led loved ones and rescuers in Chile's national cheer.
Mario, perhaps the ham of the group, didn't come up the shaft alone -- he brought some souvenirs! The comedic miner pulled out rocks wrapped in what appeared to be tin foil out from a satchel and started handing them to people all around. He offered one to the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who laughed and offered a bear hug instead.

Photo credit Hugo Infante_AP
Mario Sepúlveda with 1st lady Cecilia Morel
photo credit AFP
Mario Sepúlveda shows the thumbs-up at hospital station

The rescued miners will be held for a short time in observation at a hospital to monitor them for any signs of health problems they may have now or be inclined to in the future. 

photo credit Reuters
E. Rojas embraces his wife after the joyous rescue

Speaking of the future, I and I am sure I am joined by many, send wishes of continued positive energy in returning to life above ground and more blessings to follow all 33, now that they have once again returned to the light. 

Rescate de éxito! Felicidades Chile!


until next time ...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roll it out, roll it out, roll out the barrel

Sing a song of good cheer
'Cause the whole gang is here
Roll it out, roll it out
Let's do the beer barrel polka!! 
Da-da-da Da-da Da-da-da ... okay Wednesday Wizards!! 

We have some celebrating to do-da-da!!  
We had 3 Wizards that really knew their brews or Hops, Hahaha!! 
Yep! That green funky looking vine is known as Hops!

hops growing on trellis green and ripe photo image 
full photo from clue

(photos are clickable to make larger. 
Please do not steal, just ask if you would like permission to use.)
I am going to name the 3 Wednesday Wizards before we take a sip of what is all about Hops, this week...

Alicia of A Beautiful Mess (also host of a Wednesday linky) 

Congrats and a tip of the pointy wizard hat again to all 3! Repeat Wizards! 
I will have to start handing out gold stars or something??? 

Hopping back to Hops...

Hops are the female flower clusters (commonly called seed cones or strobiles), of a hop species.They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. 

hops on the vine in autumn photo image
 hops on the vine, 
hanging off our spooky tree

Hop flowers contain lupulin glands as well as vegetable matter. The appearance of lupulin is that of a yellowish sticky powder concentrated at the base of each hop leaf.

 photo found online at wikipedia

odd fact: The manufacture of beer utilizes 98% of the world's production of hop. Before the days of pasteurization, brewers used hop for its antibiotic properties as well as its flavor. In some countries the young shoots are eaten as a boiled vegetable.

photo found online

In Britain, hopped beer was first imported from Holland around 1400; but hops were condemned in 1519 as a "wicked and pernicious weed". I wonder if this same kind of "thought" was used back during the U.S.A.s Prohibition period? There was plenty of talk of the evils of liquor?  In 1471, Norwich, England, banned use of the plant in the brewing of beer, and not till 1524 were hops first grown in southeast England. It was another century before hop cultivation began in the present-day United States, in 1629. Another thought, I wonder because of the hops bitter taste if that may of given mind to it being "wicked" ? Anyone else have thoughts on any of this?

spooky tree covered in hops vine photo image
 Totally covered spooky tree

The first documented instance of hop cultivation was in 736. The first documented use of hops in beer as a bittering agent is from the eleventh century. Before this period, brewers used a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the German name for horehound means "mountain hops"), ground ivy, and heather. Hops are used extensively in brewing for their many purported benefits, including balancing the sweetness of the malt with bitterness, contributing a variety of desirable flavors and aromas, and having an antibiotic effect that favors the activity of brewer's yeast over less desirable microorganisms.

The hop plant is a vigorous climbing herbaceous perennial, usually trained to grow up strings in a field called a hopfield, hop garden, (or spooky tree!) or hop yard when grown commercially. Many different types of hops are grown by farmers around the world, with different types being used for particular styles of beer. Tall stings for tall vines!

picking hops the old fashion way, 
on stilts off of trellised hop vines
(image found online)

Hops typically grows in the same kind of climate as does grapes.
odd facts: Male and female flowers of the hop plant develop on separate plants. Because viable seeds are undesirable for brewing beer, only female plants are grown in hopfields which prevents pollination; female plants are propagated vegetatively or male plants are culled if plants are grown from seeds. Hhumm, who likes to drink beer the most? Bad boys!☺  

Medicinal Action and Uses ??
 Hops have tonic, nervine, diuretic and anodyne properties. Their volatile oil produces sedative and soporific effects, and the Lupamaric acid or bitter principle is stomach and tonic. For this reason Hops improve the appetite and promote sleep. 
Early on in Europe, history shows that people who plucked the hops fruit seemed to tire out easily, this was probably due to the accidental transfer of some of the hop resin in the hands to the mouths of the workers - this sedative action of the herb was the reason for its use in herbal medication, and a sedative action has traditionally been associated with the hops. Traditionally, herbalist treated sleeplessness and other nervous conditions in patients by making them use pillows stuffed with the dried hops (sounds like a good idea). The hops was also associated with an ability to reduce inflammation in the body, thus a small bag of hops soaked in alcohol and placed after heating on an afflicted area, is said to lead to a reduction in the localized inflammation affecting the area. (I may have to try this!) Herbal tonics made from the aqueous extracts of hops using boiling water have also been traditionally used. I wonder if they make interesting kitty toys as well (a cat-nip substitute?)???

Time out for a joke ~

A string walks into a bar, hops on the bar stool, and says, "Bartender, gimme a beer." The bartender says, "I'm sorry sir, we don't serve strings here." 
 Disappointed, the string hops down from the stool and goes to the next bar. He hops on the bar stool and says, again, "Bartender, gimme a beer." The bartender says, "I'm sorry sir, we don't serve strings here." 
The string continues down the row of bars in this fashion. At every bar, he hops on the barstool and says, "Bartender, gimme a beer." Each time, "I'm sorry sir, we don't serve strings here." 
Finally he gets to the last bar in the area. He's tired, he's sweaty, all he wants is a beer. He trudges inside, climbs on the barstool, and says, "Bartender, gimme a beer." The bartender says, "I'm sorry, sir, we don't serve strings here." 
Really T'd- off, the string walks outside to think. He's a hard-working string. He deserves a beer. Finally, he comes up with an idea! He twists himself up and musses up his hair, then heads back into the bar. "Bartender, gimme a beer!" Bartender says, "Hey, aren't you that string that was in here a few minutes ago?" The string says, "Nope, I'm a frayed knot."

Was that a groaner or what??☺
Sorry, I just had to sneak it in here.

One last bit of important knowledge on hops before I show you next weeks clue...


The hops (and botanical family) in beer are responsible for an unfortunate condition in men known in German herbal medicine as "beer drinker's droop," or erectile dysfunction (ED). Avoiding excessive consumption of beer or hops helps men retain potency. This over-consumption (in relation to ED- et al) can be said of many other things as well.

odd fact: Botanically speaking, hops is a cousin to stinging nettles and marijuana, for this reason, some clinical writers suggest smoking the plant material to help induce a state of mild euphoria. Smoking the hops is not recommended, as similar to other types of smoke unpleasant side effects are frequently experienced, and the safety associated with smoking hops or smoking itself is questionable and unhealthy.

Remember: I am not a doctor, nor claim to be any medical professional. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is provided for your entertainment and a bit of education thrown in.☺

Now for this weeks puzzler...

wizard clue image

or is this better? 
wizards clue image

Put on those thinking caps! 

Mr. Linky will be below for all that like to link up with the the mid-week memes. I thank you again for stopping and playing along and leaving all your great and funny and educational speculations!


       Until next time
Keep your eyes open,
as well as your mind!

All photos are clickable to make larger. 
Please do not steal, just ask if you would like permission to use.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Harry Potter and the crazy three heads.

Well that wacky haired Harry Potter didn't fool too many Wizards last week!
I actually had to do some research my self on my own conundrum as I was not really sure of Harry's' parentage. Before I list and link up to our winning Wednesday Wizards this week, a brief story about Harry.

Harry was a lost or evicted rooster who ended up in the neighborhood of a cousin of a neighbors. The cousin liked Harry. He seemed a friendly enough fellow. But the cousin lived in the city and Harry was LOUD! He would sing all day long. The neighbors did not like Harry's singing, or his visits to their yards. So he had to go.
The neighbor happened to be visiting his cousin when he was trying to find someone who "needed" a loud singer such as Harry... this neighbor decided my next door neighbor needed such a thing. After all she already had a boisterous beagle and a princess goat who thought she should live in the house, why not add add Harry to her menagerie. So he just brings him on over. She loves his goofy looks, how his hair seems to part to one side( sort of like Elvis). He seems to get along fine with the beagle and the goat that doesn't know she is a goat. She thought Harry Potter was the perfect name for his looks, too!
 So he stays. She puts him in her little chicken/play house she had from animals before... Harry does not like it, he does not want to be confined. So the next night she tried the garage, another NO! By now he is showing off his sing skills. So she just lets him roam... well, after a day or so, he decides he likes OUR yard much better, especially the nice big pine tree on the corner of the deck in the front of the house! She comes at least 2 nights and brings him home, she can easily carry him home. But he just returns back to our tree. Sigh... I am guessing she is feeding him, as I am not, though he does enjoy the wild bird seed I put out. He likes to follow you around. He seems friendly... at first. The only other neighbor I have decides they would like to try chickens again. So they go and get a hen and a turkey hen... just to follow the Mrs. around while she gardens. Everything over there seems fine, until Harry discovers there are females over there!! The turkey is very shy. The hen could care less and just goes about her pecking and looking for bugs ( I think she is too young for any hanky-panky)

           This is the photo the clue was cropped from that many 
of you said looked up-side down. It was !

Harry would visit as often as he could. He really did not like poor turkey-girl, and would chase her or try to mount her, and scare her to death! Harry's personality started to change. He never went "home" at all, though he still loved to roost in our tree, to the non-delight of our cock-a-doodle mornings!! He would still visit with us and follow us around the yard, especially when digging in the yard. Then he started to jump on me! Like he wanted to perch on my arm, at first. Did his cock-a-doodle brain think he was part parakeet? Then, I could not turn my back on him, as he would jump on it and scratch me, sometimes very deep. I was not happy about Harry! Luckily Harry started spending more time with the ladies. I am sure it was because they were getting older. He just invited himself to dinner everyday, whether he was wanted or not. If he behaved the Mr. of the house did not mind. 

Here you can see Harry's side part. 
He is giving Henny Penny the "look" as if to say 
"Hey, Chickie, hows about you and me..."

Then winter came. Harry was being disagreeable, even though the Mr. kindly let him stay with the ladies. Then one day Harry got a nasty look in his eyes, and when the Mr. turned around Harry attacked the Mr. legs! It happened to be a warmer day and the Mr. was wearing shorts... lets just say his legs did not win the battle with Harry's wand!
The scary 3 headed Harry!!

Harry was sent packing! (scooted out of the coop forever) He did not return to my place or to his 1st re-home that he never cared for. So maybe he found the farm up behind us more accommodating... it would be a nice ending to the story for Harry. We shall never know. And that was the end of the crazy three headed Harry! Or is it?

 Is his spirit living on??? 
I thought I spied him the other day, or was it a shadow...

Now since so many of you guessed chicken or fancy chicken and some added rooster and names of breeds... I have decided that if you guessed in the poultry family you may grab the Wizard badge ( I am such a hard judge to please!) I was looking for rooster. We had 7 Wizards!
But the real Wednesday Wizard this week who added Appenzellar or Polish Rooster is the correct answer according to my research (since Harry had been found and re-homed, we really have no way of knowing, he may be a blend of both) He likes to roost in trees like an Appenzellar but was (at first) more docile and friendly like a Polish. I am hoping that my chicken people out there will put in the comments if they believe this is correct.The Top Wizard is listed first, as had those two names in the comment and the next Wizards had the next closets answers follow.

Oh My Horrors! Harry's ghost must of pecked my brain!! I forgot to name the Top Wizard!!! Our Wizard extraordinaire who mentioned Appenzellar and Polish breeds is : ( I now go and hide my head, until I find an exorcist to bring some cells back into it, sorry Virginia)

Virginia of Lady V dZine ! 

Stop over and congratulate these Wizards and see what delites they have waiting over at their place! Mr. Linky is below for all who play along with all the weekly memes. Be sure to link up and visit a few! you may find a new favorite blog! I look forward as always to your guesswork on the mystery found below for next week. I am happy to reply to all comments left, so make sure I can find you !
Here are this weeks mind-teasers ...

 Yes, these are all the same plant.

Remember to Open your Mind
and have fun.                                           

Until next time....