seeing the world as poki sees it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A trip home ...

I had to stop on Belton Dam on my trip home from Mom's house on Wednesday, to pay homage to God's handiwork - HE painted the sky so beautifully again ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A few more picture from Zilker Botanical Gardens

I had some time today to edit a few more pictures from our trip last Saturday down to Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. Here are some more of the flowers we photographed ...

(unedited - I was playing with some of my "toys" on the dial, to darken the background of this photo - I think it looks like it could have been taken in a studio with a black backdrop, but I promise it was taken in the "field")

Some more roses ...

I love lilies too ...

Rose Collage box

I made a box for mom (pencil holder, vase holder, whatever) that is 4" square opening with 4 x 6 inch sides. I created these pages to go on the sides. I'm giving it to her for her birthday with a vase inside. We'll transfer the flowers I got her last week, if they still look good.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More pix later ...

I have to go get ready for family dinner to celebrate Mom's 80th birthday - her birthday is actually on Wednesday, but Julie, Joe & Blake can come today (not Wednesday) so we will be celebrating as a family today. There will be 10 of us for dinner - we are going out, and more for dessert back at the house! I will edit and post more pictures after we get back from Killeen.

Zilker Botanical Gardens

Mike and poki went to Austin to the Zilker Botanical Gardens on Saturday, May 23 - we couldn't stay long, left just ahead of a torrential rain storm. We got stuck on MoPac behind some crazy drivers who thought it was just OK to stop under the bridge at 183 - all 3 lanes were stopped dead still, which would have been ok I guess if Mike's car had been under the bridge during the hail storm, but it WASN'T. Fortunately, the hail wasn't large, and didn't last long. It was a little frustrating!!!! But... back to pictures.

Some of my BEST work I think was some of the FIRST photos I took, at the waterlily pond in the parking lot!

This dragonfly sat on this waterlily for the longest time - I got quite a few shots. I am amazed at the clarity - I know you won't be able to tell here, but when I zoom in on the photo, the detail in the dragonflies body and wings is amazing! I was probably about 4 - 5 feet away from the flower (it was in the middle of the pond!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

We arrived back in Norfolk about 12:30 p.m. on Friday. After locating the hotel, and the airport, we went over to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, a 200 acre facilty run by the city of Norfolk, VA. It was beautiful - even though we were interrupted twice by RAIN - we got soaked both times! - we had a great opportunity for photos before, and between the showers. The second one sent us to the hotel ...

The rose garden was a rainbow of colors, and HUGE!

The beach behind our hotel in Nags Head

On 2 of the 3 days we were in Nags Head, poki took early morning walks on the beach behind the Beacon Motor Lodge - just climb a flight of stairs from the parking lot, and over the sand dune to this... (I slept in on the middle day - til almost 9:00! Wow!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just a slight interruption of vacation pictures ...

I had to create 3 layouts for my TECH Squad classes this week, and since I am using my photo archive to do it, I thought you might like to see them too.

Cape Hatteras Light - May 12, 2009

Bluebonnet landscape photo - near Brenham, TX, April 2, 2006; single bluebonnet circle, near Morgan's Point Resort, TX, April 12, 2007 (5 days after our freak EASTER WEEKEND SNOWFALL!)

Monarch - at Wildseed Farms, Fredericksburg, TX, April 4, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We are home ...

We arrived at the Killeen Airport - in the rain - at 11:55 on Saturday. We got home about 2:00 (we took Mom to lunch first) and then headed back to Morgan's Point. After unloading the car, poki's next stop was a 3 hour nap in her OWN BED! It felt so good!

On Friday in Norfolk we went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens - BEAUTIFUL! Will load some pictures later ... I need to get unpacked and get some laundry done! And I still have to load all the pictures onto my desktop computer too!

Til later ... poki

Friday, May 15, 2009

poki the pirate

I feel like a "kid" at the beach ...

This cool pirate ship was in the playground at the Beacon Motor Lodge where we stayed in Nags Head - on Beach Rd. Just up a flight of stairs right outside our room, and we could be on the Atlantic ... poki walked on the beach in the early morning all three days we were here!

We'll be leaving the Outer Banks in a little while ... there's only about 11 miles to the big bridge to take us off island. But part of the OBX will be coming home with us ... it has been the vacation of a lifetime, and I will cherish the time spent here! Til we come back again ...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We went out to the Wright Brothers Memorial today

We went out to the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills today. Haven't loaded any pictures yet, and I doubt that I will do it before we go to Norfolk tomorrow. I don't think we will have WI-FI in Norfolk. We will be going to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens tomorrow, so continue to look for pictures from this vacation after we return home on Saturday! That's when I will really begin working with my pictures to create our memory book. See you when we get home!

We spent the day on Roanoke Island

We drove over the causeway and the BIG bridge to Roanoke Island yesterday to visit Festival Park and the Elizabethan Gardens. We had hoped to make it to the Aquarium as well, but that didn't happen. Festival Park has a 26 year old replica of one of the seven ships that sailed into Roanoke Sound to help found the English colony there in 1585. This ship would have held 50 passengers, some of them sailors, some carpenters and others to help in building the colony. They must have been packed in fairly tight, since this was not a very large ship!

We watched an interesting film about the three tribes of Native Americans who inhabited the area. The scenery in the film was gorgeous!

The Elizabethan Gardens were pretty, but by far not the most beautiful garden we have seen. We were about two weeks late for the the azaleas. The garden was full of huge azalea bushes but not a bloom in sight! There were some rhododendrons just starting, as were lots of hydrangeas that should bloom out in a few days, just not the day we were there ...:>( The garden was named for Queen Elizabeth I, the ruling monarch when settlements first came to Roanoke Island. This was a lovely bronze sculpture of Elizabeth in the garden.

The thing most amazing about the garden were the live oak trees - they weren't BIG compared to the girth of those we saw on Ocracoke, but the wind and salt spray had done beautiful things to their formations.

What I can't fathom is these huge, tall trees and all the undergrowth growing in nothing but SAND!

On our way over to Roanoke on Wednesday morning we had seen a 4 story tower next to a Kayak Tour store. Having had the experience we had on Sunday night with the Deputy Sheriff in Buxton, we wanted to make sure we could come back to the tower for sunset pix, so we stopped and talked to the owner at the Kayak store, and he said it would be ok to climb the tower to watch the sunset. As it turned out there was a light pole RIGHT IN THE WAY! We got better shots by crossing the road and standing on the edge of the road by Roanoke Sound. Crossing the busy highway was the real excitement for the night!! But the photos are worth it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big day for photos - heading the Roanoke Island

We are heading over to Roanoke Island today to go to Festival Park (honoring first settlement on Roanoke Island NC in 1585 - remember Sir Walter Raleigh from history class), Elizabethan Gardens (a formal botanic gardens) and the NC Aquarium at Manteo, NC - camera batteries are well charged and ready to go. Hopefully I can show you some pictures tonight!

Jockey's Ridge State Park - Nags Head, NC

Here is a photo of the dune that the hang glidering school trains on ... it is not quite the tallest one! Mike and poki climbed all three of them!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interruption in WI-FI access

The hotel where we are staying in Nags Head has WI-FI service, but their signal strength is not predictable. Mike tried most of the evening Tuesday night, and although it said we were connected the signal strength was so poor that he was never able to get on line! He finally gave up and went to sleep. I got up after a few hours asleep ... loaded pictures, and decided to try it, and I actually was able to get online. Do not be alarmed if there is an interruption in messages! We will be here until Friday morning, and don't know if we will take the time to update on Friday night! Will try to get online during the night when there is less traffic to interfere!
By the way, we climbed Jockey's Ridge sand dunes today (all three of them!) - it's the highest permanent sand dune on the East Coast. The tallest one varies from 90 - 110 feet above sea level. The climb isn't high, but the soft sand can be difficult since it shifts and slides. There were hang gliding classes going on, so we got to watch a few students make test flights of the sand dune. It was great fun to watch, although I'm not sure the WORK was worth it. Hauling that kite back up the sand dune was a real challenge after a few seconds of flight down! Pictures to come later!

Another view of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Mike and poki went back to the lighthouse on Tuesday before leaving Buxton and heading for Nags Head. We took the short hike through Buxton Woods - it is really amazing to see what will grow in a sand dune!!!

Here is one more picture of the Cape Hatteras Light ...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday - cloudy, rainy and COLD

It's a good thing we climbed the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Sunday, because today it probably would not have happened ... a weather front moved in after poki's sunrise walk on the beach, and it was cold and wet all day! We are going to try to do the walk at Buxton Woods (near Cape Hatteras Light Station) and visit the original beach location tomorrow before we head north to Nags Head.

walking the observation deck ...

This is the series of photos poki took while walking around the circumference of the observation deck at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Mike enjoying himself on the observation deck ...

Melvin, Frog 1 & 2 enjoyed their visit

Melvin the Moose, and Frog 1 & 2 certainly did enjoy their visit to Cape Hatteras Light Station!

Frog 1 & 2 are hard to see, but if you look close you can see the whites of their eyes to the right and left of Melvin. We thought Melvin was trying to run away again ... he blew off the sign he was sitting on, so we walked around to the other side of the sign and HE WASN'T THERE! Actually he had slipped into a slot on the top of the sign! He got a good "giggle" at our panic! He laughed all the way back to the car! smile!

I have conquered my fear ... maybe

I was able to climb the Cape Hatteras lighthouse yesterday -- without much trepidation! I counted my way up and down, all 248 steps, smiling all the way I think. I had Mike take pictures as proof.

I'm about to start up - smiling!

After my circumference of the observation deck ... still hugging the tower, but I'M THERE!

One more ... I'm going to FACEBOOK next to post this one!

Up and out to the beach - early

It was me and the fisherman at 6:20 a.m. ... the beach was lovely, the ocean gave up a well tumbled welk shell (not a perfect speciman, but the biggest shell I found since I came here!) and I got a few pictures, nothing spectacular this a.m.

This beach is just across the sand dunes from our hotel room here at the Lighthouse View Inn in Buxton. (the name is a real stretch - you can see the light at night, but not the lighthouse!) If you \have the stamina for walking in the sand (it really is tough in the soft sand!) you could walk to Cape Hatteras Light Station from here, via the beach ... but I want to save my walking for a hike through the Buxton Woods today, a maritime forest out near the picnic grounds where we had out lunch yesterday! I also want to walk on the beach near the original location of the lighthouse (it was moved in 1999 about 600 yards inland!) and collect some sand there for my Hatteras bottle that I found at the Pirate's Chest on Ocracoke.

I was afraid if I tried to get both feet in this picture I would fall, so I had to settle for one foot only. (I also wrote in the sand on Ocracoke Island, and will do the same at Nags Head - one of the photos may end up in my title page layout for my vacation book from this year!)