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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I found a dragon on my doorstep!

  On one of the nicer semi-sunny days last month I decided to take a walk in my yard. Imagine my surprise to find right outside my door waiting for me a dragon!

I hurriedly grabbed my camera hoping to capture a photograph or two before I got consumed!! Luckily I escaped without harm to myself nor the dragon.
I share my photographic evidence below, scroll down if you dare...

. . . . . . .  . . . . . . . .  . . . .  . . . . . . . . . .  . .  . . . . . . . .

juvenile common whitetail
click on any of my images to enlarge,
please ask if you would like a copy

   Is he not magnificent!
He actually stuck around long enough for a few shots.
I have never seen a dragonfly like this before, yet sitting still enough to catch it in a photograph. The little research I was able to dig up makes me believe this to be a Plathemis lydia or common Whitetail skimmer. The reason I think it is a juvenile male is that it has the black spots on the wings normally found on a male, and a youngster as it has not yet hardened into its normally white abdomen. A female has a brownish body with no markings found its hard body, plus different wing markings. 
If some dragon master knows more please leave it in a reply, I'd love to know more.

Here is a few more ...

young male common whitetail skimmer

Face forward! Now you can stare into his huge eyes. 

dragonfly from straight above

After I left to leave him alone to bask in the sunshine he must of grown strong enough to fly away, as he was gone when I returned.

I have pursued dragonflies around my yard for several years and never have been able to "catch" one. I was happy to enjoy this one for the short time we shared.

Have you ever found a dragon outside your door?

Until next time,
I await your comments, 
please link up your posts this week for others to come visit, too!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

From Bud to Bloom, Hollyhocks!

This weeks entry is another bud to bloom post featuring old fashion (heirloom) hollyhocks.

old fashion heirloom hollyhock buds emerging
(please click on photos to enlarge, please ask before using)

hollyhock buds with dark pink blooms starting to open

 old fashion heirloom dark pink hollyhock flower,
spilling with pollen (darn image would not rotate for me)

hollyhock flowers fading and turning to seed-heads

This week I am adding buds to blooms to seeds!

hollyhock seed-heads dry and ready for harvest to share or add some to another part of your garden

What things are blooming or budding
in your yard and garden?
Are you enjoying this series, should I continue?

Please link up this weeks post you want to share, and leave a comment ( I love them and return the love!)

Until next time,
have a great wordful or wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

40th Wedding Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to Us!

It is Al and my fortieth wedding anniversary!
Well technically it was on Sunday, July 7, 
but we were out for a little celebration (more on that at the end of the post!)

Forty years sure did seem to fly by. We had many good times, trying times, especially with health. Joyous times, especially the birth of our two miracle sons and 3 wonderful grandsons. Times for laughter and tears. But we made it forty years, who would of thought? ☺

Our first kiss as a married couple.
proof of marriage! a signed wedding license

a drive along Lake Michigan after the ceremony with a stop at the 
Milwaukee War Memorial (now the Milwaukee Art Museum) for photos 

It was a hot, very hot and windy day. The newspaper actually printed it was the hottest day of the year (so far that year). I have the tiny clipping, but I could not get it to scan clear enough to read.

Forty years later...

The weather, is the high 80's almost as hot as it was our wedding day. Only with some clouds and a few sprinkles here and there. Windy again, but it felt good, as we were outside most of the day.

hot and sweaty, but still happy together
look at my wind blown white hair! yikers!!

  So how did we celebrate?
Not the same as our wedding day, with a 9 piece local rock band and tons of family and friends, food & booze. Al was the bands' equipment manager/body guard ☺. It was so hot and miserable in the tiny hall, people could not find relief outside or in the over worked air conditioned hall. The heat might of contributed to the reason why we went through 8 and ½ barrels of beer!

  So where did we go? It was with a large group of people and full of food, fun and entertainment. But not at or for our expense. We went to the Matt Kenseth (of NASCAR racing fame) fan club annual party for the members of his fan club.
  With both our sons and family all in other states or too far away, this was the next best thing we thought of to do. We have gone to Matt Kenseth's fan club parties before and always had a good time, so this was our treat to ourselves.

Matt Kenseth posed to take a photo with us during the autograph session

Today we are back to lots of rain and thunder storm warnings. I feel like I am growing moss between my ears! Especially since the heat is still high and feels like 1000% humidity, eewwww...

Do you have any exciting or fun news to share or boast about?
Please link up for others to come visit and find you (including me).
Please leave me a comment, too.
If you are with someone what anniversary are you "up" to?

Until next time ...
Faythe & Al

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Americas Independence Day is July 4th

                    Happy Birthday America!

  Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain.

 After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day.

      (early years)
  • In 1777, thirteen gunshots were fired in salute, once at morning and once again as evening fell, on July 4 in Bristol, Rhode Island. Philadelphia celebrated the first anniversary in a manner a modern American would find quite familiar: an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, 13-gun salutes, speeches, prayers, music, parades, troop reviews, and fireworks. Ships were decked with red, white, and blue bunting.
  • In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum for his soldiers and an artillery salute. Across the Atlantic Ocean, ambassadors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin held a dinner for their fellow Americans in Paris, France.
  • In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday. The holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  • In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.
  • In 1783, Moravians in Salem, North Carolina, held a celebration of July 4 with a challenging music program assembled by Johann Friedrich Peter. This work was titled "The Psalm of Joy".
  • In 1791 the first recorded use of the name "Independence Day" occurred.
  • In 1820 the first Fourth of July celebration was held in Eastport, Maine which remains the largest in the state.
  • In 1870, the U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees.
  • In 1938, Congress changed Independence Day to a paid federal holiday. 

      (early until present day)

    Independence Day is a national holiday marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (like the postal service and federal courts) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation's heritage, laws, history, society, and people.  
  • These events also act as a great reminder of the real reason of why we celebrate the fourth of July, to never be forgotten as the day we as a people declared our independence from tyranny and being ruled over by another country. It also serves as remembrance for all of those that fought, served and died in the name of making and keeping this country free, as it still is today! Remember to thank anyone you run into in uniform or known as a veteran, that has/had served to keep the great freedoms of our country we blessed to enjoy.

    Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, a long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades are often in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares. To find a event that may be going on in a national park near you go HERE!

    The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating bonfires as their centerpiece. In New England, towns competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from hogsheads and barrels and casks. They were lit at nightfall, to usher in the celebration. The custom flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and, regionally, "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states and "Dixie" in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.

    Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show. Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. Illicit traffic (or smuggling) transfers many fireworks from less restrictive states. Check with your local sheriff or police department for your local ordinances about fireworks.

    A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base.

    While the official observance always falls on July 4th, participation levels may vary according to which day of the week the 4th falls on. If the holiday falls in the middle of the week, some fireworks displays and celebrations may take place during the weekend for convenience, again, varying by region. Check your local papers for dates and times.

    The first week of July is typically one of the busiest American travel periods of the year, as many people utilize the holiday for extended vacation trips. If you are traveling close or far, be aware of your surroundings and other busy travelers.
 How do you celebrate Americas Independence Day?
If you live in and are from another nation, what customs and celebrations do you enjoy and par-take in?
Until next time ...
Please comment, I love to read and follow up on any comments, 
and be sure to link up for others to come visit you as well!
 Happy Birthday America!
facts gathered from wikipedia and external links (except for national parks link) will take you to their site for more information. Images, if not made by me are from free graphic and image images, to the best of my knowledge.