Friday, March 26, 2021

Gimee Shelter

Snow, snow, and more snow has been the story of our days since the recent blizzard.  
We get a dump.  It melts.  We get another dump.  It melts.
This bodes well for all the thirsty plants, animals, and soils in our area.

It just keeps coming!
Monday, March 22, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


 
Herds of hungry deer have appeared on the golf links outside our townhome.  
They head for patches on the golf course where the wind has thinned the snow,
and they seek shelter under the evergreen trees and feed on their lower branches.
It is a joy to see them.

Hungry Deer ~ 1
Monday, March 22, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Hungry Deer ~ 2
Monday, March 22, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Hungry Deer ~ 3
Monday, March 22, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Hungry Deer ~ 4
Monday, March 22, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




On Wednesday morning, I woke up on a damp, frigid day
to see a large number of deer seeking shelter under the trees
along the far edge of the golf course below our home.
Initially I counted thirteen deer resting beneath the branches,
but as I enlarged photos and recounted, I realized there were twenty-five,
one identifiable buck and twenty-four likely does.


Sheltering Deer ~ 1
Wednesday,  March 24, 2021
Aurora, Colorado USA
© M. Louise MacBeath Barbour
All Rights Reserved





Doe and Buck
Wednesday,  March 24, 2021
Aurora, Colorado USA
© M. Louise MacBeath Barbour
All Rights Reserved




This mule deer buck has only one antler, and I have spotted it over a number of years.
Typically bucks shed their antlers in February or March,
but this one probably hasn't shed his because his antler appears to lack a velvet cover.

When a buck grows new antlers, the antlers are covered
with a fine soft membrane called velvet.
The velvet contains blood vessels that provide nutrients for the growing bone
and nerve endings that allow the buck to feel his antlers.
In mid-late August the antlers stop growing and harden,
and the buck rubs the velvet off by scraping it on trees.
This action also strengthens the buck's neck muscles for the fall rut.


                                                                                                                                                    Mule deer have bifurcated antlers.  
Each antler has a main beam that forks as it grows. As each fork grows, it forks again.  My One Beam is a four-point buck.  Unlike the white-tailed deer back East, when you count the points on a western mule deer, you count them on one side only, and you don't count the brow tine or eye guard.                 © M. Louise MacBeath Barbour All Rights Reserved





The herd of deer spent much of Wednesday morning under the trees,
then they slowly melted away in twos or threes when the sun came out.

Mule Deer Does ~ 1
Wednesday,  March 24, 2021
Aurora, Colorado USA
© M. Louise MacBeath Barbour
All Rights Reserved





Mule Deer Does ~ 2
Wednesday,  March 24, 2021
Aurora, Colorado USA
© M. Louise MacBeath Barbour
All Rights Reserved





Mule Deer Does ~ 3
Wednesday,  March 24, 2021
Aurora, Colorado USA
© M. Louise MacBeath Barbour
All Rights Reserved
I may have just found #26 near the house.



I've watched this herd for over fifteen years, and the sight
of these gentle creatures with huge ears still fills me with wonder and appreciation.





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





      

On a personal note:
To celebrate completing our vaccinations and our two-week-post-vaccination time,
Terry and I hope to go to Vegas, Baby! next week.
And I have ditched the Dreadful Gray for new locks.
Life is looking up!











Just for fun, I throwing in my favorite live Stones video ever!



Gimme Shelter!
Twickenham Stadium
England, UK, 2003


Friday, March 19, 2021

When HOA Fees Are Really Worth It!

It's been an eventful couple of weeks in our home,
with some fun things and some challenging ones.

We celebrated Terry's 70th birthday last week at home.
My plans for a homemade cake vanished as I spent
some three hours getting an unexpected flat tire fixed.
The tire store was slammed with people getting snow tires before a blizzard.
Now all four of my new tires have gone down with bead seal leaks, 
something I'd never heard of before last fall.

But a delicious steak dinner with wine, cake, and ice cream
makes the world a better place!

Those candles say 70!  Wow, Terry!
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






I hope your wishes come true, honey!
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



The blizzard stalled and showed up a day late, beginning with bands of snow showers.

Snow Showers Move in ~ 1
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Snow Showers Move in ~ 2
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Snow Showers Move in ~ 3
Saturday, March 13, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Not a lot of snow had accumulated when we went to bed Saturday night,
and we figured it had been a case of forecasting hype.
We were both surprised when we woke up to a heavy snowstorm the next morning.

White Out
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
 


Heavy Snow
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
 

I am really grateful that we live in a townhome in a retirement community.
Yes, we pay homeowner association fees,
but they are so worth it when the snow piles up.
Actually, they're worth it at any season,
because Terry and I don't have to worry about anything outside.

The snow removal crew came by early Sunday morning,
and valiantly tried to clear our driveway.
Everything and everyone was sliding because there was a layer of ice under the snow.  

HOA Fees at Work
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
 



Sunday, March 14, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

 


© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved

These guys are hardworking and amazing.  They come out in miserable weather, 
and over the years I've seen them working at all hours of the night.
 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved




© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved




© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved



© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved


After they were working around our house for about thirty minutes,
the storm became a blizzard, and they gave up.
About 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) of snow had fallen.

Blizzard 
Sunday, March 14, 2021
  Aurora, Colorado, USA 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved


Throughout Sunday another 16 inches (40.6 centimeters) fell,
but by Monday morning the skies were clearing.
Denver had just logged its fourth worst snowstorm in recorded history,
24.1 inches (61.2 centimeters) by Sunday evening.

Not so in Aurora.  We only received 26 inches ( 66 centimeters).
I've experienced 42 inches (106.6 centimeters) here;
and once when we were in Thailand, a storm filled our driveway
with snow that piled up above our garage door and onto the roof.

The Morning After 
Monday, March 15, 2021 
Aurora, Colorado, USA 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved


Our snow removal guys came back Monday at noon with sturdier equipment.
They made one go at the driveway and then disappeared.

The Second Morning After
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA 
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved



They returned late in the evening and cleared everything.
Terry wouldn't let me take photos through the window by the door,
and my attempt to shoot one from the kitchen didn't work.
But the guys were out there hard at it in the cold and dark. 


Finally ~ In the dark of night they finish!
Early Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved


Yesterday we had to drive to Castle Rock so Terry could get his second  Covid shot.
Our street was an obstacle course of huge mounds of snow, after two days of melting.

Off for the final Covid shot!
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved


When we returned several hours later, the sun was pouring down
and the big melt was on.

Blue Skies and Solar Heating
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Aurora, Colorado, USA
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue All Rights Reserved



I've been struggling during the last few weeks,
and I've had trouble focusing on anything.
I think it's the weight of a year stuck in the house
and not being able to see any family or friends since last summer.

Never have I gone nineteen months without seeing
any of my brother and sisters or the rest of my family.
We saw Terry's sister Noreen for about two hours early last July,
and that was it for his family in over a year.

I have not given up on blogging or my blogging friends.
I'll get on top of things again.

Just two weeks from yesterday and Terry will be fully protected.
Then, perhaps, we can break out of this house!!!
Oh happy day!

Meanwhile, I've got my own birthday to celebrate tonight.
How did I hit 71 so fast??? 





Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    



Tuesday, March 2, 2021

IWSG: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 ~ Indulge!

  




It's the first Wednesday of the month,
the day that members of the
Insecure Writer's Support Group
share their writing struggles
and writing successes
and offer their encouragement
and support to fellow writers.






To visit the IWSG website, click here.

To become a member of the IWSG, click here.

Our wonderful co-hosts who are volunteering today,
along with IWSG Founder Alex J. Cavanaugh are Sarah - The Faux Fountain PenJacqui MurrayChemist KenVictoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre and JQ Rose

I hope you have a chance to visit today's hosts and thank them for co-hosting.
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit and an encouraging comment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every month the IWSG announces a question that members can answer
with advice, insight, a personal experience, or a story in their IWSG posts.

Or, the question can inspire members
if they aren't sure what to write about on IWSG Day.

Remember the question is optional.
This month's featured question is: 

Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice??
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Happy March, Everyone!
Since I recently discovered my DNA is 41% Irish, 
I'm wishing you the luck of the Irish this month.
πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€

I recently wrote about this topic, so I'll just say
that when it comes to reading, I am an omnivore.
I read all kinds of fiction and nonfiction,
and I typically read 30-40 books a year.

I have many reasons for choosing books to read.
Some are gifts, some are recommendations,
some cover passions of mine, some catch my eye and entice me.
And sometimes I just want to relax with a little mind candy.

This past year I challenged myself to read more books by IWSG members.
It has been a rewarding experience,
and I am amazed by the storytelling talents of IWSG's members.
A little intimidated too!

I've shared reviews of some of the IWSG books I've read in my posts.
Here are some more:


Well of Ash by Elle Cardy (Lynda R. Young):
A lyrical story about seventeen-year-old Ashina who flees her stifling foster home in a fit of anger and frustration.  Unfortunately, Ash lands in the poorest and most dangerous district of her city.  When she is stalked by a shadowy old man, she seeks refuge in a rooming house near a mysterious Great Well, one of many in her world.  An eerie blue light and ominous whispers awaken Ash and lure her out a window into the night and into an inescapable quest for answers to the frightening events entangling her.  While she is helped by Lacc, a handsome young rat catcher and Sooty, an amethyst-scaled, purple-eyed fire dragon, Ash must confront her past and solve the mystery of the Prudentia Great Well on her own.  Or die in the process.  I enjoyed this heart pounding story of adventure and romance, and I would dearly love a fire dragon of my own!

The Ninja Librarian by Rebecca M. Douglas:
Of course I had to read books by my fellow Voyager anthology writers, and Rebecca's humorous, rough-and-tumble book set in Skunk Corners entertained me from beginning to end.  The book is a collection of tall tales, with each chapter a standalone story featuring the town's school teacher and the librarian who just arrived to take over the town's underused library.  Teacher Big Al blends into the illiterate town by pretending her tea is whiskey and by sneaking into the library at night.  But Tom, the unassuming white-haired-librarian, has a secret ninja side, and his misadventures with Big Al slowly draw the citizens of Skunk Corners into a more literate future.  This book is ageless.  I would have read it with pleasure to my third graders, and I enjoyed it as a retired adult.

Mateo's Law by Sandra Cox:
This is the first paranormal western romance I have read, and it was compelling.  Sheriff Mateo Grey and Chief Deputy Blair Delaney must solve the mystery of a black wolf attacking animals and humans in Grizzly, Montana.  Grey is completely at home in the wide open spaces of Montana, but Delaney is a transplant from Atlanta, a southern belle with a foul mouth.  Of course they find themselves attracted to each other!  Throw in Grey's blood brother Jesse, Chief of the nearby Blackfoot Reservation who no longer speaks to Delaney, a lone wolf who lives on Grey's property, a lost child, marauding wolves, and shapeshifting, and you have a fast-paced, poignant, sexy thriller.  Loved it!

A Fighting Chance
by Chrys Fey:
This is the final book in Fey's Disaster Crimes series; and it focuses on Thorne and Amanda, not on Beth and Donovan, the protagonists of the previous five books.  It is a searing tale of Amanda's fight to survive after horrific sexual assault and abuse by her ex-boyfriend Damon.  Beth's best friend Thorn, an Orlando Police Department detective, has quietly loved Amanda, but hasn't pursued her for fear of frightening her away.  Amanda is attracted to Thorn, but is terrified of getting close to another man.  When they take tentative romantic steps toward one another, Damon retaliates with murderous intent. Will Amanda and Thorn forge a healing, loving relationship, or will Damon destroy it before they have A Fighting Chance?  This is an inspiring, uplifting story that will linger with you long after you race through its pages.

Plunge:  One Woman's Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary
by Liesbet Collaert:
This is a surprising travel memoir. Yes, Liesbet shares vivid sailing adventures in warm tropical waters and angry Pacific storms, but she also examines herself and her relationships with unflinching honesty and truth, delving into deep questions we all must confront in life.  Her prose flows in this well-structured book like her sailboat Irie surfing big following seas, carrying us through its shifting emotional tones of courage, passion, heartbreak, and pathos.  Readers will admire Liesbet for living on her own terms and taking risks most of us would never dare to consider.  And they will adore her lovable dogs, Kali and Darwin. Liesbet reminds us that we only live once and that we should plunge into the journey fully with open hearts, open minds, and courage. 

The Circle of Friends series, books 1 and 2,
Lori and Sarah by L. Diane Wolfe:  
If you've been engaged with the IWSG Day blog posts, then you likely know of talented member, author, publisher, and motivational speaker Diane, aka Spunk on a Stick.  Diane was motivated to return to writing as an adult by the adage that everyone needs "something to hope for and someone to love."  I've raced through the first two books in the series and look forward to reading the remaining three.   
    Lori's dream is to swim for Olympic gold.  She appears to have it all, beauty, athleticism, and wealthy, supportive parents along with drive, organization, and determination.  But Lori is shy and lacks confidence.  When high school quarterback Jason rescues her from a bullying attack, romance flourishes.  Will this help or hinder her in her quest for Olympic gold?
    Lori's best friend Sarah is studying for a career in biochemistry at Georgia Tech.  While successful in her courses, she is less successful socially.  Bold and intelligent, this tomboy connects with guys as a good buddy rather than a romantic partner.  She falls into a relationship with college football receiver Matt who just happens to be Jason's best friend. With high school behind them, these friends struggle with adult issues and confronting their pasts while reaching for their ambitious futures.
    These two books will inspire you and fill you with optimism.  They illustrate that if you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams or reach for more meaningful ones and that you can overcome low self-esteem and difficult family relationships in the process. They provide strong doses of encouragement and hope and will lift you up.

*  *  *  *  *

If you haven't indulged in books written by your fellow IWSG members, I encourage you to try a few.  You will be impressed by the talent and creativity of fellow members.  Don't let their successes fuel your insecurities.  Use them to propel your own success as a writer. You can learn so much about reading members' books, and the authors will cheer you on with stories of their personal journeys and support you with a wealth of experience and professional insights.  And always remember, as spunky Diane says, "With a positive attitude, any goal can be achieved!" 

Published!
April 24, 2020
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

 
I invite you to stop by the IWSG Anthology blog today.  Blog coordinator  Stephanie Espinoza Villamor  is featuring author Steph Wolmarans and her short story "The Utten Mission" today:

Print copies of Dark Matter: Artificial are available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from the publisher, Dancing Lemur Press! eBooks are also available. Release date is May 4, 2021.Day

Happy IWSG Day, everyone! 




Till next time ~
Fundy Blue