For years, I have dreamed about attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico.  This year, that dream was realized.  As the talented weaver and owner of,  Irvin Trujilo,  (whose gorgeous studio we visited), said: “It’s a photographer’s dream”.  And it was and much more!  I am in the process of culling the hundreds of images and videos I took in New Mexico and I’ll be posting more images and videos later.  For now, here are some images of the Balloon Fiesta, beginning with the Dawn Patrol, before the sun exposed the many wonderful colors and shapes to the immense delight of all ages.  New Mexico is truly the Land of Enchantment!






















Keep coming back over the next few weeks!!




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A few months ago, a furry little creature adopted me.  Her name is Shadow because she follows her big brother around every evening when he comes in from his backyard forays and chases him throughout the  night. There isn’t a piece of furniture or fabric in the house that she hasn’t decimated.  But we don’t care.  She has to be the most amusing thing we’ve come in contact with recently and she keeps us laughing at her antics.  She loves to attack toilet tissue and putting it out of sight doesn’t work anymore.  A few days ago, Shadow learned how to open the cabinet door in a bathroom and “retrieve” her toy.  God help us if she discovers where we store the paper towels! One of her favorite toys is the swiffer duster–she even sleeps with it!



Now, if only she could learn to dust with it!!




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Our world is such an ever-evolving miracle of mystery and unsurpassed beauty, we should do everything possible to keep it that way for future generations.  In cleaning out some files from Lightroom, I came across a few images that remind me time after time of the immense majesty in the places I have visited.  The Grand Canyon defies an appropriate description–just look:



I have stood in awe as the sun set behind this vast canyon:


In Georgia, I have stood above the clouds and watched the sun come up:


And, later that day, I’ve come upon this:


When in the Everglades in Florida, I expect to find this:


And, it never fails to warm my heart when I come upon the exquisite beauty of wild flowers blowing in the hot, swamp breeze:


Let us all take care of our beautiful world!

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…Maybe more than you bargained for!!  It is almost a year since my kitty, Iroquois, went to the great hunting grounds in the sky:


He had a grand life for 15 years.  Born to a feral colony in New Jersey, he relocated to Philadelphia when I adopted him and his brother, Cherokee, at the tender age of eight weeks.   Cherokee was never really happy being an indoor cat so, when we moved to the Bahamas and he could run outside in the garden, he was supremely happy.  When he was indoors, he became a computer geek and took over the keyboard and mouse pad before I switched to a tablet.  No open document was safe as he would try his own writing style and insert his own slant in the plot:


Iroquois was happy anywhere as long as he had a ball to chase and a poolside chair to lounge on:



For several years, I had been under the impression that Cherokee had no time for Iroquois and would avoid him when he was indoors.  However, a few years ago, they started to sleep together on our bed and when Iroquois died, he seemed devastated.  Cherokee ruled our acre of land with an iron paw and only certain cats were allowed to roam in. I used to think of him as King of the Jungle.   I saw him chase a young labrador who had wandered in one day, so I was surprised when a week after his brother died, he came home pulling his rear legs behind him.  It looked like he had been mauled by a dog.  He recovered quickly but would stare out the door with a wistful mien and was not his happy, though grumpy-old-man self.  I mentioned to Jim that maybe he was lonely and we should get another cat from a shelter. “Funny you should say that”, says Jim.  It appears that he had received a call from our friends about a kitty they had rescued but had a family adopt (they already had a full house of rescues!!).  But after four months with the family, he was unceremoniously “returned” to them.  Their dilemma became our solution to Cherokee’s loneliness.  Enter Tigger:


I mean, really, who couldn’t love this kitty to death?  Well, for one, Cherokee didn’t take too kindly to our concerned gesture but we thought that, in time, they would totally ADORE each other.  Didn’t happen.  You see, Cherokee is now over sixteen years old and has become a grumpy old man.  He just wants his peace and his food and “get this monster away from me.”  Tigger is a Maine Coon cat and even as a one year old, TOWERED over Cherokee.  Added to that, he thought Cherokee was HIS cute toy and only existed for his  entertainment.  There was much hissing and gnashing of teeth!!   We managed to keep the peace as best we could but one day I witnessed this while I was out trolling for butterflies in the yard:


So, now I’m thinking that TIGGER needs a companion/playmate--a YOUNG one who can run and play and they can go nuts together.  That way, we can deflect the unwanted attention from Cherokee. Well, one moonless night I was out calling Tigger to come in.  Nothing!  I kept calling and suddenly, I felt a burly, furry something run up to my ankles.  I couldn’t see in the dark but this burly, furry thing followed me all over the yard and when I approached the house and came into the light, all was revealed:


She came through the door and wouldn’t leave.  SHE adopted me.  I thought that she was, perhaps, a neighbour’s kitten so we put her out after she sucked down two bowls of food and deposited a bag of fleas.  Let me tell you something about fleas:  Jim and I live in the same square footage and share the same bed but they GRAVITATE towards ME.  Next day I had polka dotted legs from the bites and as usual, they gave Jim a wide berth.  I digress!  The next night, same scenario:  out looking for Tigger and up she trots, downs THREE bowls of food this time–maybe she was being polite the night before–and parks herself on the bed.  This time, we were ready with the flea medication so all three kitties got a dose.  Cherokee was NOT happy–now he had to put up with TWO monsters.  Things were getting way out of hand.  But wait!!  Now, Tigger was the center of unwanted attention when the newcomer decided she had found a soul mate in him.  Chases, rolling around on the floor, galloping up and down the stairs, she was constantly at his side or rather, ahem,on his bum.  Hence, the name Shadow.  I wanted to call her Baudelaire after one of my favourite poets but Shadow was the keeper. Problem solved!  Cherokee has his peace and food but is fading rapidly.  I am living with two emotions right now:  desperate sadness for Cherokee’s imminent passing and heart squeezing  joy watching the antics of these  new additions.  Tigger and Shadow have developed an affinity for a fountain on the lanai:



They LOVE and adore each other and it’s hilarious to see Shadow (6 months) tackle Tigger (he’s at least five times her size)! When she got spayed, she licked off the glue and had to wear a cone for a few days.  I was not happy about this but it was a necessary evil:



Poor little baby!!  It’s off now and when she’s not chasing her soul mate, she likes to play with Ratsy and will do so for hours while Tigger is out:


Tigger REALLY enjoys his naps and catches one everywhere he can:


Oh, Yes!  Because, you know,  they are EXHAUSTED  after chasing each other all night and keeping the humans awake.  And, no, we never bother making the bed anymore!  One final note, Cherokee has passed on the baton and now…:


…It looks like we have a new King of the Jungle.



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