The Adventure

Shutterfly‘s giving away cards again!

(Till June 9, 2001)

Here’s my latest.

(I’m liking the way these cards are turning out!)

Inside:  … and so The Adventure begins …

5×7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Another Shutterfly Free Card Deal :~)

You, too, can nab 5 free greeting cards from Shutterfly!

(Until May 25, 2011)

Use the coupon code: CARD4GRAD

Shipping applies.



The Wooly Booger Shoot

Today, a Hypercompe Scribonia Caterpillar (who will grow into a Giant Leopard Moth someday)  arrived on my sidewalk — ready for his photo shoot.

I quickly learned that he really doesn’t have big shiny bug eyes.  What I thought were eyes are ‘lobes‘, and his eyes are on the lower front edge of each one. He’s got  several eyes on each side.


He doesn’t have a nose, either.  Instead, he has 18 nostrils along his body.  Only they’re not called ‘nostrils’, they’re called spiracles’.  Anyway, that’s  where he breathes.






There’s another spiracle — up in the right corner of the picture. It’s on his ‘4th abdominal segment’.  In people, an abdomen is also called a ‘belly’.  Caterpillars sort of have 10 bellies, but they’re called ‘abdominal segments‘.





We discussed his legs. He has a whole lot more of them than you and I do, even more that a dog or a cow!  But not all of this caterpillar’s legs are ‘true legs‘. There are 6 of those. They’re up front near his head.  Besides being on his front end, you can tell they’re true legs because they each end in a claw.

Those other legs are called ‘prolegs‘.  They end in a bunch of tiny hooks called ‘crochets‘.

He has no arms, but it’s ok because all the legs kind of make up for that.

SO … on with the Photo Shoot.

The first order of business was to see just how big this guy really was.  An impressive 6 centimeters!  Wow!  A very big caterpillar!  (Just for fun, he also stretched out on a brick.  He was as long as the space between 2 holes.)


He played around on the brick for awhile, but when he decided to go INTO a hole …



** When something is stuck on its back and can’t right itself, we say that it is ‘Turtled’.  If something is stuck head-first in a hole, is it ‘Pillared’? **

From there, things just got silly.




He said he was a ‘Hip Cat’, and pretended to be wearing shades …




… wiggled his prolegs in the dahlia pot …


… and relaxed in the rose of  sharon.








After ascending the gargoyle (of which he wasn’t a bit frightened despite its Massive size and Fearsome expression) …








… he slid down it’s wing!  (Can you BELIEVE that?)


Well, about the time I was convinced that things couldn’t get ANY MORE out-of-control,


(By the way, did you know that caterpillar dung is called ‘scat‘?

Close Encounters of the Odocoileous Kind

Two short stories

(as witnessed by The Photographer who was lovingly laboring at The Cable House)

The First Story:

Two Deer considered crossing The Path.

Being the Safety Conscious Deer that they were, they checked for traffic (as was their habit). They looked left (their left, our right) …


… then right (our left) …*

*… except one Deer got distracted by an especially tasty-looking Blade of Grass and lowered her head for a quick nibble.

… then forward (just to make sure).*

*HowEVER, a Clump of Clover was calling to the other Deer, and she just HAD to, umm, … (ahem) … nip it in the bud. (There!  I said it.)

**Deer are not known for their common sense.**

(“Shhh!  Don’t munch so loudly!  I think somebody’s spying on us!”)

Then, 3 things happened at the same time.

(I like Audience Participation. You get to decide who said what.)

“Why do you think that?”


“Mmmmm.  Tasty!”




(But don’t stop reading yet!)

The Second Story:

There was The Exceedingly Polite Deer; browsing around The Porch; minding her own business.*

A White-Stockinged Cat strolled along The Path.**

*A Deer’s Business almost always consists of “Oh, my! Now THAT looks like a Tasty Morsel!  I must nibble on it!”

**A cat NEVER just strolls. Kitties are always looking for something interesting to do.

“Was that a White Tailed Deer browsing around The Porch?”  The White-Stockinged Cat sat beside the path and Pondered her Options.*

The Deer looked up and around.  She detected a faint, though unmistakeable, Scent. Kitty!  She Pondered her Options.**


*Every Kitty sees itself as a Wild Beast and a Fearsome Hunter.

**Deer know this about Kitties.

The White-Stockinged Cat, creeping back down The Path with Great Stelth, turned left onto The Way To The Porch, and …


“May I help you?” The Exceedingly Polite Deer inquired exceedingly politely.



The White-Stockinged Cat vanished. (Kitties have a way of doing that, you know.)

About the time The Exceedingly Polite Deer thought she could resume her munching, who should appear on the scene but Mr. Orange Cat?

He Pondered his Options.



Both The Exceedingly Polite Deer and Mr. Orange Cat knew that Courtesy demands Avoidance of Eye Contact.

They averted their eyes.


Mr. Orange Cat stalked The Exceedingly Polite Deer with Great Stelth.*


*Just ignore the Grey Kitty lollygagging on The Path. She’s not part of This Story.






“May. I. HELP. You?” The Exceedingly Polite Deer inquired. (Although, not nearly so politely as before. In fact, she fairly spat it over her shoulder!)






Mr. Orange Cat and his Lollygagging Crony vanished. (Kitties have a way of doing that, you know.)






The Exceedingly Polite Deer resumed her Browsing — with just a hint of a Self-Satisfied Smirk flitting about on her Muzzle.







And they all Peacefully Co-existed with Pleasant Expressions on their faces for a long, long time.


Life Is Fragile

(A true story)

A pair of robins built (as carefully as robins will) its nest among the honeysuckle vines.  Soon there were 3 eggs.

(How exciting!)


But then there was a Really Big Storm.

And 2 of the eggs disappeared. :~(

The remaining egg hatched. :~)









And the parents said, “Baby, you light up our lives!”




(Ok, ok. I just thought this was a really cool picture and had to include it.)


 Well, the baby grew.

 For a week.



Then one day, the nest lay empty on the ground …





                                                 And a bewildered parent



















The (very sad) End.

Hey, Look!

Hey, look!

It’s a Sailboat!

Hey, look!

It’s a Tugboat going to pick up a barge!

Hey, look!

It’s a Hippopotamus Blowing Out The Candle On His Birthday Cupcake!

Hey, look!

It’s a Prancing Circus Poodle!

Hey, look!

Is that a Bat trying to come in out of the rain?

Is that a Free Floating Koala Bear?

Is that a Tasmanian Devil whirling around outside the window?

Hey, look!

It’s getting dark. Can I keep it?

Marshmallow Guy and the Free Valentine

Be My Valentine?Free card from Shutterfly through Feb 1, 2011

(use your own picture :~D )

Per-pet-ual Motion

Aslan is one of those beasts who rarely hold still.

His tongue flicks

His body wags

He trots

His eyes say “Snatch it if you can!”

(Oops!  Time out …

… got to clean up the ball!)

So we can play ‘Keep Away’

A busy, busy, BUSY (!) Beast!

Keep A-Movin’, May Belle! He’s A-Lookin’ Hungry

Avert your eyes May Belle!  Don’t let him  stare you down!

Oh no! He’s a-givin’ us the evil eye!

RUN  MAY BELLE! He’s a-sellin’ wrist watches!

It Says “Fall” To Me

In the part of the world where I live, the seasons don’t always start and end according to the calendar.  Summer starts before Memorial Day and  lasts well past Labor Day. So how do we really know what season it is?

Here are some of the things that tell me Fall is arriving:

The cultivated Asters bloom.  They’re the end of my perennials.

That daily text I get from the radio station usually includes the word “rain”,

we’ll have the occasional “one-dog-night”,


and my Beasts take steps to insure their winter food supply.

(And start arranging their bedding just so.)

I get the urge to buy (and wear) soft, fuzzy things …

… and fuzzy things show up in my yard.

Scattered whispy and puffy clouds are replaced by massive flat-bottomed ones.

(Yes, I DO see a cat guarding its food dish in those clouds!)


We have the traditional changes in the foliage, but the light across the landscape also changes. (Maybe because of those flat-bottomed clouds?)  Distant buildings glow.

Summer plants succumb to frost and the mums are available to the stray bees

… surely Fall is arriving.


Time to pull out the trash can and cook some turkey!

(Bet you didn’t see that one coming!)