Stretch ‘n Fleece

Stretch had his face buried in the fleece keeping a close eye on me in case I was going to waterboard him. He seems to know which days are non-waterboarding days, hence his ears are up and he has smiley eyes.  Puck must of really hung one on last night after we went to bed, since he looked really beat at sunrise this morning.  After I dropped Laurie off, a cyclist ahead of me at the light impressed me with her short shorts. It was not her sex appeal that impressed me, far from it — what impressed me was the temperature was somewhere around freezing.  So much skin on a bike in the cold made my knees hurt just thinking about it.

Paw in Water

Do you ever get the urge to put your hand in your water while you are drinking?  Stretch does, and we are not quite sure why, other than he’s a Manx and Manx’s tend to be weird.  I don’t know if the sparrow below is the same one that was posing for me the other morning, but this one was posing for me while I grilled pork for enchiladas I made this afternoon. I tried multiple times to get the little bird in the last photo in the clear, but it insisted on staying in the branches. I believe it is a finch, but haven’t looked it up yet.

I added a new menu on the right-hand side of the page named “Photo Galleries” that will take you to my site. I added galleries for Photo of the Day, Etc.  The slide show now has the photos for the photos I post during the current month. Under the Photo of the Day, Etc. Group there are galleries for 2010, 2011 and 2012.  These galleries allow you to see all the photos I’ve posted on Photo of the Day, Etc. since I started it in December 2010.

Color and B&W

I bought new flowers when I went out for groceries today, and on the way home I got the photo of the Sandias behind the fence. I did the photos of Puck by the pipe and the flicker in the cottonwood when I took out  the trash late this afternoon.  I spent most of the day working on a poster for Laurie to take to a math conference in March.

Pastel Sunset

The sunset was soft with pastel colors tonight. The sparrows where fluttering around in the blue spruce after sunset. It’s a nice time to watch them, but with the light sky and strong shadows, it’s hard to photograph the birds without making them into silhouettes against the lighted sky.

Back Door to Bandelier


We went to Popejoy Hall tonight to see Forever Tango, and got the photos of Bandelier’s back door and one of the lights outside the Science & Math Learning Center. I got Pepik acting up on the stairs a few nights ago.

The live music in Forever Tango was fantastic. The orchestra was made of a pianist, three bandeneonists, two violinists, and cellist and a bass player. The dancers were great, but they were generally upstaged by the music. Ann Trebunskaya, the guest dancer, was exceptional, and really complemented the music with her wonderful stage presence, fluid movements, and fantastic form. She is a professional ballroom and Latin dancer from Russia who has been on Dancing With The Stars. Unfortunately, she only performed one dance.  Veronica Gardella, who was very statuesque, did a more theatrical tango with her partner that had some spectacular lifts and drops that made their dance really fun to watch.  All around it was a really great show.



Wet Morning

I was awakened by rain, and went outside to see the effect it was having in the pre-dawn light. The Sandias where misty through the drizzle and light cloud cover, which had turned the rain to snow, leaving the cracks and craggy spaces in the face of the mountains white.  I climbed down off the roof after photographing the Sandias to find a sparrow playing at my feet. The rain fell ever so lightly as it fluttered through the vinca, before hopping onto a chimenea, where it strutted around the edge turning from one side to the other, but keeping its face toward me, as it made a quarter arc around the cast iron lip. Then it flew into the bamboo, not 10 feet from me, where it struck various poses while I photographed it. I was using my 70-200 mm ƒ/2.0 lens since it was dawn and overcast. The exposure was 1/80 sec at ƒ/2.0, ISO 100. The lens was zoomed to 200 mm.

Birds in the Wind

When I took out the trash yesterday afternoon, the wind was still blowing hard. The towhees and sparrows where hanging onto branches of trees and canes of various rose bushes trying to keep from being blown away. I tried to use the wind to my advantage to sneak up on the birds to get a closer shot, but Rosencrantz and Puck where following me around meowing and announcing my presence to all the birds.  Cranes and geese flew overhead almost suspended in mid-air as they fought gusts of winds on their way to orchard north of us.  While everything in the last photo appears to be calm, the look on the towhee’s face shows how determined he was to hold onto his place on an overgrown Dr. Huey as the wind whipped its canes to and fro.

The Dinner


The dinner we worked on all day yesterday was a success. While all the dishes were excellent, the dessert, which I thought was the most work, was especially good and very spicy.  Preparing the meal ahead allowed us to do chores, hang out with the cats and read, and work on Laurie’s classes.



Through the Kitchen Window

I photographed all the birds I posted today through the kitchen windows while I was helping Laurie prepare the meal for her book group that is meeting at our house tomorrow night.  On the menu is potted shrimp on toast with celery-radish salad, spice-rubbed roast beef tenderloin with red wine sauce, mashed potato and rutabaga gratin, braised fennel with orange, and gingerbread-brandy trifle for desert.  All the dishes are best prepared one to 3 days before the meal so the flavors can blend.  We’ve been working on the various dishes all day, while doing other chores in between.

I’m letting the filling for the trifle cool while I write the blog. It’s fairly complicated to prepare and a lot of work whisking egg yokes with ginger-brandy syrup, sugar and sparkling wine over a baño de Maria (double boiler, I believe it is called in English) until it turned to pudding. The recipe said about 8 minutes. At 5000 feet above sea level it took 30 minutes of vigorous whisking before the mixture cooked into a smooth, airy pudding. Now I have to whip cream and mascarpone together, then add the pudding to complete the filling. Laurie just finished baking the ginger cake.