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Variety Show

Talk about a variety show! How about some of those sporting events that you rarely see? Like rowing, or kayaking in whitewater? Have you seen any of the table tennis matches? My goodness do the opponents move fast; plus, how tiny is that table? Water Polo--it's like hockey in the water! Today Matt is seeing water polo matches and I'm most anxious to hear his reaction.

Bev rightly pointed out that I left the "Parade of Nations" out of my list of favorites. What was I thinking? It is always quite moving to see the world come together, and, I especially liked when all the flags were planted in that green part--can't remember what they called that hump. I do know, they did not call it a hump though. Help from the audience?

It seems as if the next two weeks I'll be staying mostly offline except for my blog posts because, darn it, you can't go on any site without results being posted! So, consider yourself warned.

Let's have a little bird chat, shall we? Last week, after getting no input from my readers, I posted the photo of the baby bird on the facebook page of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology page, requesting help from their fans. Although I can't be sure of it, from what readers have commented, it appears that our mystery bird is a Cowbird, known for dropping their eggs in other bird's nests so they don't have to hang around until said eggs hatch. Here's a refresher, in case you've forgotten our mystery bird:
You know, I've yet to see the little rascal again. I've just found this on the Animal Planet website, and it seems to explain things better than I can:

Do Cardinals Have Any Enemies?
Like other songbirds, cardinals have many enemies. Cats, hawks, and owls hunt adult cardinals. Blue jays, wrens, and snakes try to get at cardinal eggs or chicks in the nest.
One of a cardinal’s sneakiest enemies is the brown-headed cowbird. It waits for a time when the cardinals leave their nests. It steals an egg from the nest. The next day, the cowbird lays its own egg in the nest. The female cardinal sits on the egg until it hatches. Then she raises the baby cowbird as her own.

What's so pertinent regarding the above information is that when I called Bruce out to see the baby bird, he stepped on an egg, hidden in the grass.  We were both sad, not knowing at the time that it was our baby cardinal egg..... :-(

I wish this photograph was better! Have you ever seen a molting cardinal?
Well, now you have! Do you think he's sad over the stupid cowbird incident?

As if you haven't seen enough bird photos, indulge me on one more please:
Taking the trash out, I couldn't help noticing five doves in a row under a tiny cloud. :-)

Last week, answering the house phone, a woman asked for Jonathan. Why, no he's not here, and hasn't been for quite some time. Before I know it, I'm answering political questions like there's no tomorrow. I NEVER DO THIS! Always, once they begin their spiel, I shut them down quickly, so what made me stick with this one is anybody's guess.  Near the end of the survey the woman mentioned that they were looking for folks for a focus group which paid $100 and would I be interested in participating?

What I won't do for my few readers! Thinking it might be good material for the blog, I agreed that if they chose me, based on my answers, I'd be a focus group participant. Well, they did choose me, along with 29 other folks who were silly enough to answer the phone!

Last night, per the explicit instructions, I arrived just before 6PM. A light supper was part of the package to which I agreed. Well, I'll tell you that much, it's not very easy to eat a tiny sliver of a sub while answering six pages of questions in 30 minutes!  Part of the agreement is that I not write much about it, something I learned after the fact. As you well know,  I'm a rule follower so I'm complying.  I am allowed to tell you that, during the 3 1/2 hours we watched loads of political advertisements, reacting to them with little gadgets that we turned up or down gauging how persuasive the ads were. Half Democrats, half Republicans, it was quite interesting to hear people's ideas and comments. And that's all I'm saying for now about the process! Wait--most importantly, it went past my bedtime, not to mention that I missed way too much Olympic coverage!!!

This morning I attended another event which was pretty cool. Terry Olson, head of Orange County Arts, as well as curator of the Red Chair exhibit,  asked if the photographers would attend the meeting of the Orange County Commissioners, during which time he would present the project, as well as information on the economic impact of the arts. I was most delighted to meet Orange County Mayor, Theresa Jacobs, who is quite the little bulldog, making enemies left and right!
She is pictured in the pearls. If you can imagine, the folks talking to her are part of the Roper family. I know you're wondering what that has to do with the price of tea in China. Oh, I forgot, you weren't raised by our Mother who loved that phrase. Continuing..... WELL, the proclamation for today was "Bert Roper" day. Okay, so what Gail? Winter Garden my friends. Bert Roper and clan are so instrumental in the history of Winter Garden!
Remember I told you Winter Garden thrived due to citrus? According to his obituary, he was both a prominent citrus grower and philanthropist. Furthermore, not only was he responsible for the local YMCA, but the Winter Garden Theater and the Heritage Museum as well.
It's weird to think I only took these photos on Friday isn't it?

During today's event,  I ran into Jae Nale, who not only finally agreed to let me into the market, after pleading from Mr. Bruce, but, she bought my very first canvas six months after I started!  Asking permission to take her photograph for this blog, she dragged me through the chambers, so as to have it taken in front of a purple wall!
I have told the story so many times, forgive me if you've heard it before. After about six weeks with my brand new digital camera, my darling husband said he thought I was pretty good, and maybe we could sell my photography. I thought he'd lost his mind. Undeterred, he insisted we should give it a try, more specifically at the Farmer's Market because it was so close to home. After church, one Sunday in late February of 2007, we walked to the market, asking our now-friend Dina, who should we talk to about possibly becoming a vendor. She gave us Jae's name and number. I won't bore you with too many details, but I will say it was not me who called Jae. At the time I was unconvinced I could make anything of my photography. Next we returned to the market to ask in person. I was not the one doing the asking because, frankly I was embarrassed at the thought. Anyway, Jae said, sorry, we can't use you. I said, that's fine by me. Bruce, on the other hand, would not take no for an answer, so, the following week we walked, once again, to the market after church. Jae relented, and Out & About Photography began doing business a few weeks later. Thanks to Jae we had our start. And that my friends, is our story in a nutshell. :-)

A few days ago Baxter had his grooming done. He gets to be so shaggy! Anyway, returning from bridge I found him with a little American flag kerchief, which at first I didn't get. Well, duh!! Of course, he was ready to watch the Olympics, sporting his countries flag!!
He's even carrying  his favorite Monkey out to cheer the athletes on! Which is what I'll be doing soon after making some dinner. Why I agreed to this stuff during the Olympics is beyond me!
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