Saturday, April 30, 2011

120/365: Butterfly

Blue Butterfly

The zoo in Łódź opened an exotic butterfly exhibit, so obviously I had to go see! Now, you're not supposed to touch the butterflies, but this one came and landed on my hand all of his own accord. I moved him to my friend's hand so that I could take some pictures. He was very reluctant to open his wings, though...

I think he's a Morpho Peleides, but I'm no lepidopterologyst.


120/365 - No creases to be seen

Okay, so do I get points for the most boring photo yet? :D

My parents stayed the night last night and we went out for a pub lunch today. The weather was glorious (although a little windy, so we ate inside) however I completely forgot to take a photo. (Although I hadn't brought my camera so it would have only been on my phone anyway, if I had remembered.)

This evening I had to do my pile of ironing that has been waiting to be done for over a week. :D Anyway, this is it all done and waiting to be put away. :D

I shall endeavour for something more interesting next week!

Friday, April 29, 2011

119/365 Okay, so you all twisted my arm….

Here is another Spring flower, Trout Lily, aka Dogtooth Violet.  It is not really a violet of course… it is a bulb that is native to this part of the world. 

This particular photo is a close-up.  The flowers are not that huge!

Tooks in PA!

119/365: Cupcakes

This are the mini cupcakes!!

I took this photo three weeks ago when I got these for my niece's birthday.  They were delicious, moist and tender.  These two made it home with me, but didn't last long.

We have decided that cupcakes are replacing birthday cakes for future celebrations.

Taken in Brush Prairie, WA - Guest poster for Friday.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

118/365 Daisy

I love daisies! :D
And at the moment, our lawn is sprinkled all over with them. :)
It's lucky that all of us love the little darlings, so there's no discussion about getting rid of 'lawn weeds' or anything like that. :D

118/365 Lamba-damba

Have You Any Wool?
I have been making an effort to keep my camera in the car when I am out & about.
Recently I caught sight of a field with sheep and a llama. 
As I slowed down next to the field they all began to crowd around the fence,
they were curious about me!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

117/365: Easter Fun

Saw these on a corner and thought it was a fun thing!!

These are old cement mixers that are painted to resemble Easter eggs.

Taken in Ridgefield, WA.


117/365....My Pretty Blossoms.

Pretty Blossoms. 

 This is a tree in the corner of my backyard.
I think it's a dogwood, but don't quote me.
I'm not very good with plants and trees and stuff.
But it's a pretty tree all the same.

Location:  Port Orchard, WA.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

116/365 - Candy!

A quick shot of what the Easter Bunny left for my family this year.  Taken at my dad's place, hence the settings and furniture that indicate taste.  The dark chocolate bunny is mine.  I may be a non-religious person, but I can't say no to free candy.  ^_^


116/365 A bug’s eye view of my lawn…..

I love my Spring lawn!  There are hundreds of violets and a few dandelions in bloom.  I suspect my neighbors with the golf course perfect grass and Chem-Lawn service are not so impressed.

Seriously.  Who would name a company Chem-Lawn??? 

~Tooks in Southcentral PA

Monday, April 25, 2011


The barn and silo at my grandma's house, where my family meets for Easter every year. More later--I just got back and am tiirreedd....

Kent City, MI


Sunday, April 24, 2011

114/365 - Sunset into Easter

In the Bible days sunset meant the start of the new day. This is the sunset we enjoyed last night as we entered into the Celebrations of Resurrection Sunday. The sun was setting as a bright flame orange ball and the skies were lit with the last rays of the day. It was beautiful!!

Happy Easter to everyone!!


Photo taken from our front porch in Bow WA.

114/365 - Tulips in full bloom

The Tulip fields of Skagit County are in full bloom now. Traffic is backed up all the way down I-5 to towns south of us. Yesterday it took one couple 4 hours to get here from Seattle a usual 1 hour trip. Its amazing how many folks come to view the tulips each Spring. We were lucky we took this picture on Wednesday when there was no traffic at all. But yesterday it was sunny, warm and a weekend day, just the perfect combination for a drive to the fields.


Photo taken in West Mount Vernon near La Conner, WA.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

113/365: Palm Sunday

Remember how last Saturday I posted really quickly and didn't write much? It was because I was at my grandparents' place, with only cell-phone internet, and the visit was a stop on the way South to a little mountain village called Lipnica Murowana.

What's so great about Lipnica Murowana, you ask?

Well, every year, on Palm Sunday, they make these:

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana

See, we don't have palm trees in Poland, so for Palm Sunday we have to improvise.

The palms are yet another tradition borrowed from pagan culture (and Lipnica even has a church built in the 12th century in a pagan Holy Grove, with the altar set on a pillar carved with a pagan god's likeness...serious history there) and of course that means it's colourful, joyful, and very creative.

Everyone wants to see

But the very special thing about Lipnica Murowana is that the village holds a yearly contest for the tallest handmade 'palm'. And it gets VERY competitive.

Raising the Palm

Above, the second-tallest palm is raised, with great care and caution. Because there are rules that make this contest exciting. No nails or other metal elements can be used in making the palms- only wood, willow, reeds, green branches and paper flowers are allowed. Wires, ropes and lines from synthetic materials are also forbidden. In order to qualify in the contest, the palm has to stand upright without breaking, it has to be raised with no help from machines (hence the men in the trees guiding the lines, and those on the ground, pushing with special long forks), and the author must be able to wrap his hands around the trunk.

Raising the Palm in Lipnica Murowana

The palm in the photo above is the first prize winner, at 36.4 metres- that's almost 120 feet! I heard someone say the whole thing weighed about 600 lbs. It took about a dozen men half an hour to get it upright.

I already posted more photos than usual, but there's a whole set you can look at:

Palm Sunday in Lipnica Murowana

With that I would like to wish a lovely Easter to those who celebrate it, and a peaceful and fun weekend to the rest :)


113/365 - Easter Eggs!

We had a "mini-moot" at our house last night with Hobbituk and Aravar. Hobbi played the Easter bunny and arrived with these. :) I can't remember the last time I had an Easter Egg, but they do look delicious (you can see that Wilko has already tucked in to the Creme Egg one :)).

Friday, April 22, 2011

112/365 Hairy Woodpecker

This photo was actually taken last month, but I didn’t get a chance to use it!
This is Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, taking a few pecks at the suet out in the backyard.
The Hairy and Downy woodpeckers are very similar, but you can tell them apart by their size.  The Downy is about 2-3 inches smaller.

~Tooks in PA

112/365 - Cheerful pansies

[I'm stepping in to provide a photo for today as PatriotBlade has computer trouble.]

As the snapdragons that had been around our front lawn gave up the ghost this winter, I'd planned to put things in troughs at the front of the house this summer. The weather has been glorious for about the past week and as such my pansies are now strong enough to be moved to the front (it can get pretty windy where I live, which really affects the plants I can use, particularly at the front of the house, which bears the brunt of the wind).

In the sunshine, they are very pretty and cheerful. :) (You may want to click on the photo to see the bigger image.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

111/365 Columbine

I'm at my parents' for the Easter holidays. The weather is wonderful - sunny and warm - and the garden has changed so much since I was last here four weeks ago - all the trees are green, and the foliage seems to change the whole shape and layout.
Lots of flowers and blossoms, too - it wasn't easy to decide which one to post. I finally decided on the columbine. The name is derived from "columba" - Latin for "dove", because of the shape of the petals; and I think that in this photo you can see very nicely how the flower looks like a group of doves sitting together and having a chat. :D

111/365 Waiting for Spring.. Revisited.

April in Wisconsin
Yes, it IS April.
I took this photo yesterday.
It's not the best quality photo as I took it through the glass of our patio door and it was
snowing pretty hard at the time.
This is a cardinal. A male.
He's come to our deck and he's looking up at the feeder hanging from the soffit.
I make sure I put out plenty of seed for them.
Spring, Spring.. where art thou?


112/360 Screen Of Death

Wasn't sure if I'd be able to post my pic tomorrow, so I put the proper number in the title and I'm getting it up.

This pic is to demonstrate what kind of pics you post when your computer gets a virus, as mine did last week, just as I was getting ready to post last weeks pic.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

110/365: Lake Oswego

Visiting the old stomping grounds!!

Yesterday I had to pick up a check from a job we completed in downtown Lake Oswego.  When I first moved to this area I got a place in Vancouver, WA.  The job I got?  Tualatin, Oregon - one hour commute each way IF the traffic wasn't too bad.
So I moved to beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon.  It is a smallish quiet town, I loved it very much.  Imagine how surprised I was when I got into downtown and found that they had done a "beautification project" and this statue caught my eye.  

I am told it is a fountain, but not running yet due to the season.  It represents Native American women.  Why she has no arms is beyond me, but there is some beauty in it to my eye.
Also I wish that seafood restaurant/bar would have been there when I lived in that town. 


Taken 04/19/11 :  4pm - Lake Oswego, OR

110/365.... The Marina in the sun...

Let the Sun Shine....

January of 2011 I took a picture of our marina. It was cloudy and cold.
Yesterday, the sun was out and it wasn't cold. Not hot, but sweater weather, ok?
So I took the picture I promised back then.
Hope the link works so you can compare.

Location:  Port Orchard, WA

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

109/365 - I told you we're lost!

I was in a park walking my dog when I spotted some deer not too far from the path.  Thing is, the park is surrounded by a residential area that they would have had to wander through to get to this point.  Kinda cool, though.


109/365 Ah... Spring!!!

Blooms, blooms, and more blooms!! brought to you by Tooks in PA!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

108/365: Desk space

In keeping with the tradition of posting pictures of our office areas, here's my spot! The stuffed wombat is not mine, but he's sort of the office mascot--a student wrote "the furry of Zeus" on a paper once, meaning "fury", and the grad students at the time decided the furry of Zeus should be a wombat and bought him; his name is Bertie, after Bertie Wooster. Yoda and the sonic screwdriver in the background, however, are mine, as is the shiny purple spider hanging from the shelf. :D  The green and yellow book will be burned torn to shreds publicly flogged put on the shelf and never looked at again after tomorrow's Greek exam.

Ann Arbor, MI


Sunday, April 17, 2011

107/365 - My tiny visitor

This little fellow has become a regular at my feeder just outside my computer window. I love to watch him darting in and off as he comes to feed all day long. I have long loved the hummingbirds and this is the first one at my new home. I hope to see many in the coming month. I have three feeders out so that they do not starve. I am planting my garden to be hummingbird friendly and as an attractor for them.


Picture taken from my computer at my home in Bow, WA. with my little digital camera.

107/365 - The Full Moon

Another full moon under a glorious night sky!! I love to see the moon in her many phases but I love it most when I get to see the full moon. During the winter it is usually cloudy skies that do not allow us to enjoy the beauty of the full moon. But as we move into the summer months we will get to see it more.


Picture taken from our back deck in Bow WA.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

106/365: Candy floss in Cracow


I'm in Cracow. The statue is Adam Mickiewicz, the building in the background the Sukiennice or Cloth Hall.

No time to write more, sorry.


106/365 - Tunnock's Pyramid

Tunnock's Tea Cakes are a famous Scottish delicacy ;) and you don't see them that much south of the Border. However, I spotted them a few days ago and had to buy a packet. One of the best bits about a Tunnock's tea cake is that after you've eaten it, you've got a lovely bit of foil to play with. :D I tend to fold mine into a tiny square, but I discovered that Wilko makes a pyramid! It was so cool, I had to take a photo.

Friday, April 15, 2011

105/365: Pause

Not a very exciting photo, I grant you, since it doesn't really get the point across. The point being that when I took the picture, none of the people here was actually moving--they were all frozen in place, many of them mid-step, in one of those "Improv Everywhere"-type things that you can find on Youtube. I've seen them do this before but happened to have my camera this time, so I snapped a shot. I also considered joining the end of the unmoving line, but didn't. Would have been fun. :D

Ann Arbor, MI


104/365 Late afternoon

I love how the evening sunlight colours the wall in my living-room at sunset and paints the shadows of the things on the shelves of the room-partitioner upon the wall. :)

That's the living room/sofa/TV corner where I'm standing and the dining/workspace corner behind the partitioner.

If you look very carefully, you can see a small medallion at the side of the reproduction of the madonna-and-child painting - that is a gift from MithLuin, when she was in Cologne for World Youth Day some years ago. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

104/365 SPRING!

Spring has finally Sprung!
They are the  first flowers.. sometimes coming up even through the snow, 
but this year they waited until the snow had gone.
I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see the earth blooming once again.
I am glad I took this photo yesterday as it is rainy today, 
but the rain is making the grass green up.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

103/365: Gift from Greece

Maybe some ouzo?  Or Greek Olive Oil?  Nope!!

When I lived in Athens I had a birthday come around and this is the gift that our "driver" got for me.  It is porcelain and lace with little silk rosettes and is very dear to me.  Our driver was with us every single day to take my mother to her medical treatments.  Without him, I just don't know how we would have made it financially.  He also included us on trips to different sights around Greece when he had a paying customer.  His name was Yorge (George) and I heard that he has passed now.
I have managed not to break it in all my moves about, the year was 1986.  

Sometimes when I am remembering just how great it all was (the six months in Greece) I stare at this and still get misty.


103/365...Saving the world one sock at a time....

Pawsha versus the dreaded Sock Monster.
I laughed and laughed and laughed some more at the antics of my little kitty and her new toy.
It's one of Daddy's socks. She wrestled it, she 'kangaroo kicked' it, she drug it all over the house until she finally subdued it then left it sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.
Yea, Pawsha, the mighty sock fighter!!!  Huzzah!!

ps... don't mind the carpet, I'm just too lazy to vacuum. ;)

Location:  Calma's family room. Port Orchard, WA.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

102/365 Alpaca "wool"

In April I look forward to the MAPACA (Mid-Altantic Alpaca Assoc.) Jubilee at the State Farm Show building in Harrisburg.  Unfortunately, I do not have any alpacas, but I love the stuff they make from the wool/fiber!!!  There is nothing warmer than a pair of alpaca socks!  This year I got another pair of socks and a lovely brown mock-neck cable sweater.  My photo.... some baskets of fiber from several award winners.


~Tooks in Southcentral PA...

Monday, April 11, 2011

101/365: Metabuilding

Took this photo this weekend while I was in Grand Rapids for a conference--not the most exotic locale for a conference, since it's a 2-hour drive across the state, but it's a really nice town and has cool buildings that reflect other buildings!

Grand Rapids, MI


Sunday, April 10, 2011

100/365 - The Eagle has landed or should I say.....

Here is a view of one eagle taking off and another landing!! It is so much fun to watch the eagles play outside my window. The one in the top of the tree is a young bald eagle who's head is starting to turn white but is still not bright like it will be when it is full grown.


Photo taken outside my window in Bow, WA.

100/365 - The view outside her window!

Here is the bunny that China was watching
so contently. Dreaming of the day she would be
out there to play with it. Or hunt it.

Alas she will not be allowed to set foot out in the yard. So it shall remain the dream that she will
watch from out of reach.

She loves to chatter at the birds too and they sit on our porch rail to tease her and sing away.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

99/365: Asleep


A drunk sleeping on the doorstep- a common sight in Lodz. At least he's sitting up and not lying in the street. So much for not reinforcing stereotypes...

A note on the flag- in Poland we have no habit of displaying the national flag without special occasion. I mention this because I noticed in the US, the flag is everywhere, all year round. Over here, if flags are out, you can be certain that an important national anniversary or event is coming up.

In this case, the flag is up to commemorate the plane crash which took the lives of 96 of our kinsmen last year, including the presidential pair. The anniversary is tomorrow, on April 10th.

More here:

The crash is a very sensitive issue- I won't go into too much detail but it is worth knowing that the officials on board were on their way to honour the 70th anniversary of the Katyń massacre, a series of mass executions of Polish citizens (mainly officers), performed by the Soviets through April and May 1940. Russia has denied this crime for an extremely long time, it's one of the bigger thorns in the relationship between our countries. Around 22,000 people were killed, and their fate kept secret for many long years.

And it would take many long years to explain all the symbolism, conflict, paranoia and anger that has been dividing this country ever since the Tupolew crash, so I won't even try.

I feel like all the pictures I share here end up being accompanied by a lesson in Polish history... I hope that's not boring anyone. We just have a LOT of history.


99/365 - Light Fantastic

I've always been fascinated with the patterns that light can make. This is a photo of the sunshine through our front door making a rainbow pattern on the hallway floor.

Friday, April 8, 2011

98/365 Sweet Little Blue

Not sure what these little blue flowers are, but I love them and eagerly watch for them every year. After the Spring Beauties, they're my favorite wildflower.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

97/365 Little Froggie went a-courtin'

Our small city is fortunate to be home to the Wisconsin Museum of Art. 
There are various sculptures placed around town and this particular work is a favorite photo spot.
I really don't know much about the piece, but it always brings a smile to my face.
The Art museum is currently right across from the library, 
but they are hoping to raise funds to move into a new, larger structure in the near future.


97/365 Rosemary blossom

Spring is all around, but most of the time, I see it from the train at the moment, as I have a short-term contract to teach a class full-time about 90 minutes journey from here. We had a few sunny spells this week, though (and lovely warm temperatures with them), so I got to enjoy my balcony for a bit in the evening (thanks to Daylight Saving Time - it's means it's still dark when I get up, but it also still feels like the afternoon when I get home after six pm now, and that's lovely :P :D ) - this is my rosemary in full bloom. :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

96/365: Barcelona

Remembering my Mother!!

My mother went to Barcelona, Spain in 1963 and this is one of the things that she brought back with her.  It hung in her kitchens for almost as long as I remember and when she passed, I got to hang it in my kitchens too.

It is a lovely spice wheel.  I dare not use it, it is fragile.  Hard to believe but some of the spices that are in those jars are the ones that were originally put there.  I don't believe that my mother used it either with a few exceptions.  (you can tell which are full and which are empty)  The photo is deceptive, this wheel is very large, I would guesstimate about almost 2' in width and height.
As a kid we used to spin it when we would come in or leave the kitchen and it really burned my mother to no end.  A few of the jars came out - wooden tops and pegs - she glued them in and from that day if we got caught spinning the thing....well, you don't want to know.  So we didn't get caught.

I love this as a piece of my mother that I have with me and will pass it on to my nephew when I depart.   This spice wheel is 48 years old.  Hard to believe all the jars have survived all her moves and all of mine too.


96/365 Spring Break...

Kids aren't the only ones on break.
It's the week I so looked forward to when I was in school.
There was always something about Spring Break that made me happy. (other than no school, that is.)

This is a drive by shot of the busses parked in the bus barn yard.
I took some others standing by the fence, but they didn't look as neat as this one that I took as I drove by.

Location... South Kitsap Bus Barn.... Port Orchard WA.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

95/365 - Kingdom of Glass

I was on the chess team in high school (nerd alert!) and even though I may not have been the best on the team, I was one the the few who stuck with it through thick and thin.  By the time I graduated I was the only senior on the team, so as a parting gift from the coaches I got this nifty glass set.