The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘At Home’ category

Mourning Dove Mating Ritual

This is a series of 11 images, out of 32, that I took with my new camera–the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  I used a new feature called Pro Capture mode.  The 32 images were captured with lightning speed.  This was the first time that I have used the Pro Capture Mode.

The mourning doves look like they are kissing, but I think they are preening each other.

Look at that puffed-out chest.

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Performing “the deed”

Look at the flared tail feathers on the male mourning dove. I would say he is pretty proud of himself.

The mourning dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds. Pairs typically reconvene in the same area the following breeding season, and sometimes may remain together throughout the winter.

Full Snow Moon Followed by a Snowy Day

Various Native American tribes had various names for the different moons of the year, tied to natural phenomena that reliably occurred alongside them. February is a snowy month in the northern and eastern US; hence the full “snow” moon.

The moon rise last night happened at 6:06 pm, but it didn’t rise above the hill that blocked its view until 6:50 pm.  The moon had been full 7 hours previously, so the moon that rose wasn’t completely full.

The Almost-Full Snow Moon

Four minutes later the moon had risen a little higher in the sky.

The Almost-Full Snow Moon

It was a bit chilly last evening, waiting for the moon to rise over the hill so I could see it! I had enough of the cold, so I didn’t wait for the moon to rise above the tree!

The snow moon was followed by a snowy day.

Snowy day

Currently there is a winter weather advisory in effect until 6:00 am tomorrow morning.  Mixed precipitation is expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch are expected. Snow fell during the late morning and is expected to continue through mid afternoon.  The snow is expected to change to sleet by late afternoon, then over to lighter freezing rain this evening.

Postal Delivery

I received a text message from Bob today.  The message read:  “I see you found your Valentine’s day / birthday present“.

This is what Bob saw.

 

 

 

It isn’t Valentines Day yet.  My birthday is even later this month.

 

Bob said I could open up the box.

 

 

My Valentines Day / Birthday Present

 

Thank you so much, sweetheart, for my new Instant Pot!  I love you!

Ancestry.com Subscription Not Renewed

Yesterday was the first day in a year, when having the opportunity to do so, that I have not opened ancestry.com to research my family tree.  I allowed my subscription to expire.  I do plan to subscribe again to ancestry.com but, for now, I am taking a break.  I plan to take advantage of time saved by not researching my family tree to accomplish other projects.  

I spent several hours yesterday working on my blog.  I removed Flickr-embedded photos and replaced them with uploaded photos.  Why am I doing this?  Click here to find out.  I have been blogging since March 2009.  I anticipate spending many, many hours on this project.  I hope this project can be completed before Flickr Pro comes up for renewal on November 1st.  My desire is to cancel my Flickr Pro subscription and save $49.99/year. 

Here are a few other projects I have in mind.

• Thoroughly clean our house to include cupboards, closets, etc.

• Improve my photography skills 

• Learn how to take advantage of all that Family Tree Maker offers me.  At the present time I use Family Tree Maker only to sync my online ancestry.com family tree.  Family Tree Maker has many more features that I want to become knowledgeable of.

• Continue publishing new blog content

By the way, these are not resolutions for the new year.  I tend to break new year resolutions soon after making them.  As a result I don’t make new year resolutions any longer.  I do hope, though, that I maintain my motivation to put in the effort to work through some or all of these projects.

 

 

Wickett’s New Mat

I went to lunch with my friend Valerie C. yesterday.  Valerie picked me up at home at 11:30 am, and we went to Applebee’s.  We ordered from the lunch menu.  I had loaded potato soup and half of a club sandwich.  Valerie ordered the loaded potato soup as well and, if I recall correctly, a Crispy Chicken Salad.  Our lunch selections were delicious, but the free-flowing conversation between Valerie and me was best.  Even though Valerie and I live within a couple miles of each other, we do not see each other often.  We do keep in touch via Facebook.  Both Valerie and I think lunch once a month is a great idea.  I am looking forward to our next lunch date.

Last month I asked Valerie if she could make a catnip mat for me similar to one that I saw on a friend’s Facebook post.  Valerie made me two catnip mats!  She gave the mats to me right before leaving for Applebee’s.

I placed a couple tablespoons of catnip inside one mat last night.

Wickett was rolling around on the mat, within minutes of laying the mat on our living room couch.

This morning, when I got up, I found Wickett lying on her new mat.

Good morning, Wickett!

The new mat is on the center cushion of our couch, where Wickett usually lies when Bob and I are sitting in the living room.

Wickett’s new catnip mat

The catnip mat should cut back on the amount of cat hair that we have to remove from the couch!

The catnip mat is reversible. This is the design on the other side of the mat.

I am undecided on where to place the second catnip mat.

Consultation with Jones Pest Control

Facebook is a great resource for obtaining information about local businesses.  Yesterday I needed to contact a pest control company about our mouse problem.  I asked for recommendations for pest control on Facebook.  Several members of the “You Grew Up in Warren PA if…” group recommended Jones Pest Control.  I telephoned the company and spoke with Shawn Jones, who stopped by yesterday afternoon. 

I HIGHLY recommend Shawn Jones.  Same day service was much appreciated.  He was very thorough in looking for places where mice may be entering our home.  He found likely entry places and recommended packing said places with steel wool.  He recommended strategic locations for placement of mouse traps as well, based on where he saw mouse droppings and carried-in birdseed.  I was very satisfied with Shawn’s consultation service.

When Bob came home from work, we went to Lowe’s and purchased steel wool and mouse traps.  Bob set six mouse traps, four in the basement and two in our living room closet.  He will stuff the holes with steel wool another day.

I got up at 5:30 am this morning, just before Bob left for work.  I went to bed last night, feeling that the mouse traps would do Wickett’s job.  I slept fairly well last night.  Oh, I did keep a light on in my bedroom.  Wickett awakened me a few times during the night.  Being able to see Wickett, when she awakened me, helped me to rest easily.

Bob checked the mouse traps this morning.  He didn’t find a mouse in any of the traps.   I didn’t find a mouse in my bed either!  

One day soon Bob will stuff the entry places with steel wool.  We hope that doing so will stop mice from entering our home.

 

 

One of my Worse Fears Realized

I didn’t sleep well last night.  Wickett awakened me around 11:30 pm by jumping in my bed with a mouse.  It was pitch black in my bedroom; I didn’t see the mouse.  I did feel Wickett’s wet nose(?) on my face.  I sleep lightly.  Ever since December 30th when I found a dead mouse on my comforter, I sleep even more lightly.

I sat up quickly, promptly left the bed, and turned on the light.  Wickett may very well have had a mouse in her mouth.  Her behavior indicated so.  Wickett was circling around on the bed (hunting), with her nose on the bed sheets.  I left the bedroom and walked into the living room.  I was prepared to sit up all night in our reclining chair.  I couldn’t relax.  After a few minutes, I got back up and walked into the bedroom.  

When I returned to my bedroom, Wickett was under the bed chasing the mouse.  She came out from under the bed, and zeroed in on my camera bag that was lying on the floor next to my bed.  I lifted up my camera bag.  There lying alongside the wall and the side of a bookcase headboard was a mouse.  I knew it!  

Wickett picked up the mouse and carried it into the hallway.  She dropped the mouse.  The last I saw the mouse was at the end of the hallway.  Observing Wickett’s behavior, I believe the mouse scurried behind our refrigerator.

It was 1:30 am, when I finally decided to go back to bed.  I left on the kitchen lights and my bedroom light.  I pulled the bed covers over my head.  I slept even more lightly, if that is even possible, until 6:30 am.

We have had mice in our house from time to time.  Either the cat or a mouse trap catches them.  One of my worse fears is a mouse in my bed.  That fear has been realized, twice now.  Bob suggested that we call a local pest control company for advice.  I countered his suggestion by saying that we should have the pest control company come to the house and find out where the mice are getting in.  I am making that telephone call now!

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