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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Can You Speak Wyoming?

     Travel can be such a life enhancing experience. It doesn't really matter where you travel, you will always learn something. I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to quite a bit of the United States, also to Australia, New Zealand and a number of countries in Europe. All have been a wonderful learning experience and I hope to do more.

A trip to Italy (2006) Florence 

Trevi fountain - Rome

A trip to Greece (2008)

     I've always been interested in history. I love reading books about historical subjects both fiction and nonfiction. I find it interesting to learn about other cultures. It's fascinating to see how people do things in other countries or even in other parts of the U.S. Another way, besides travel, I've been able to learn about other cultures has been hosting foreign exchange students. When our children were growing up we had several: two from Germany, one from Switzerland, one from France. This experience was of benefit to the whole family. 

A trip to Costa Rica (2011)

     A couple years ago we had the opportunity to have a young lady from Japan stay with us. We had a wonderful time learning and laughing with Mariko. Although she is now back in Japan we keep in touch and she is considered part of our family. She calls us her American parents. Our grandson hit it off with Mariko and they became great friends.

Rex with Mariko and another good friend, from So. Korea, Taesub 

     Whenever Rex came to our house he would want to hang out with her if she was home. One day while they were together Mariko was watching a video on her computer. It was in Japanese. She explained to Rex that they were speaking Japanese, like he speaks English. He replied, "No I don't speak English, I'm not from England. I speak Wyoming".  They have a family friend who is from England and of course speaks with a British accent. So I guess that's his idea of English. 

    Although Rex hasn't been out of the U.S. yet, he has been to a number of states. He's visited: California, Montana, South Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana and Florida. He was able to communicate very well with the inhabitants of those states. As he gets older he will have a better understanding of how Wyoming is a part of a larger United States. And that the U.S. is part of an even larger world. But he's already had the opportunity to meet people from many other places. And perhaps learn that although the world can seem large we have more in common then we realize. So what language do you speak?

A thought to ponder: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Participating: Share Your CupNo Rules WeekendShare the JoyGrand Social

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Who's in Your Garden?

     Our garden offers us many hours of enjoyment. Not only do we enjoy the beauty of our flowers and the bounty of our vegetable garden; we also can delight in numerous types of wildlife.

A finch picnic

     Our bird feeders and bird baths give us a wonderful opportunity to view many types of birds. It is always fun to watch their antics.

A classy swimming pool

A puddle will do nicely too

     It doesn't seem to matter the time of year, we always seem to have some kind of avian visitor.

This robin is wondering what happened. This picture was taken in April.

A Lazuli Bunting

Here's a Northern Flicker, a type of woodpecker. They hang around into winter. I always leave some grapes on my vines for them, well what the robins don't get. The woodpeckers love frozen grapes. 

This hawk is scouting for lunch. I know they have to eat also but I sure don't like them getting my little sparrows. Fortunately the sparrows have a nice place to hide in a prickly rose bush near the feeders.

I think this is a Rose-breasted Grosbeak

This is "Morty" our resident pheasant. He has been coming and going in our yard for several years now.

Here's Morty last spring with one of his female friends, he had two.

These guys showed up in our yard one day this past August. They poked around for awhile then waddled on their merry way.

We always seem to have one or two rabbits that like to make a home under our shed. Like the other wild life they come and go.

This doe stopped to take a drink last week in front of our house.

Here's the doe's friend munching on some grass. We see this buck and several does frequently this time of year roaming around the neighborhood.

    A first for us, a couple weeks ago we had raccoons in our yard. We found the dog's water dish tipped over one morning and were wondering how it happened. That evening our motion sensor light in front went off and my husband spotted four raccoons before they scooted around to the back. The next day the water dish was tipped over again. We're pretty sure they were eating fallen crab apples. They have since moved on to greener pastures. I wish I could have gotten a picture.
     These are a few examples of the wildlife that visit our yard. Over the years as our garden has grown and evolved we've noticed more birds. Not only the number of birds but also the variety.  So who's in your garden?

A thought to ponder: "When man moves away from nature his heart becomes                                         hard."    Lakota

Linked to:No Rules WeekendOutdoor Wednesday