COLD HUMMER


Last week a slight cool front came in for us – in the low sixties.  I still had a couple of hummingbird feeders up for stragglers that might be hanging around.  I saw one perched on a feeder for quite some time and mentioned it to Husband.  He went out to check it out and took some photos with the hummer still perched and fluffed out.

He was able to get  very close but the visitor never moved.  Usually, they don’t stay put for very long as anyone has tried to photograph them would agree.

He finally went up and picked it up.  It put up no resistance so he brought it into the house and warmed it between his hands.

 

It was a ruby-throated hummingbird and you can see a hint of red.  When they flash it in flight, it is a beautiful iridescent red displayed on their throat area.

It has opened its eyes but still made no movement – unusual for a hummer.   Yet we were afraid it might suddenly take off flying in the house.

I found a small cardboard box, took it outside in the back yard and placed a fluffy towel inside.  Husband brought the tiny bird out and placed it in the box while it glared back at him as if to say, “Were am I?”  Husband now took the camera again and took a photo of it in the box.  With that final flash of the camera, our friend regained his senses and quickly flew out of the box and high into a neighbor’s dense tree.

The next day I saw a ruby-throated come to the one feeder I had left out.  (The other one was becoming cloudy and that is not good for them.)   In the several days since we have only seen one lone hummer visit the feeder.  Was it our cold hummer?  Maybe, maybe not, but I hope we have helped it on his way south and were good hosts to all of them.

The quote below was enclosed in a birthday card to me from Son a couple of weeks ago.  It was timely in many ways.

“Legends say that hummingbird float free of time, carrying our hope for love, joy and celebration.  The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

TEXAS NAVY 1836-1846


Texas was a republic for almost ten years before it joined the United States in 1845 as the 28nd state and a slave state.  As a new republic fighting Santa Anna as he advanced into Texas, a  Texas Navy was established to protect the coastline by keeping the lines of supply from New Orleans open and keep Mexican ships from delivering supplies to Santa Anna.  Those first four schooners, Invincible, Brutus, Liberty and Independence played an important part in the victory at San Jacinto but the navy’s role is not as well known as most of the glory went to the victories on land.

In March of this year a permanent exhibit honoring the Texas Navy opened on the USS Lexington Museum, a WW II aircraft carrier berthed at Corpus Christi. The ship serves as a naval aviation museum,  education facility and tourist attraction.   Recently I visited  after having lunch with Daughter who works on the Lexington.   The ship has five self-guided tours and offers guided tours for behind the scenes.  The Texas Navy exhibit is on the ” Lower Decks Tour”, tour number four.

NEON ENTRANCE TO EXHIBIT

Visitors are immediately drawn into the 1800s and a different kind of warfare and away from the WWII period.

WORKING SAILORS

These sailors seem to be welcoming you aboard; even the worn wooden flooring feels like the deck of a ship and much different from the metal and steel floors of a WWII ship.

Photos of these two story boards did not come out very well – Husband could have done better had he been along – but they do give information on the importance of the Texas Navy early on and later as it continued to protect the new republic.

BATTLE OF CAMPECHE 1843

NAVAL OFFICER

I don’t know what the white object is on the left.  Perhaps it was one of the rumored ghosts on the Lexington.  It was a weekday afternoon and not very crowded, so I often found myself alone to leisurely view the Texas exhibit and  WWII photos and documents also as I competed the Lower Decks Tour.  OK, it was probably  my finger that got in the way!

SHIP’S WHEEL

Take a turn at the ship’s wheel!

CANNONS AIMED AT MEXICAN SHIPS

Visitors can get the feel of being on a ship in the heat of battle with this replica of a warship; note the Mexican flag on the ship being fired upon.

NAVAL GEAR AND ARTIFACTS

There were several displays like this one.

TEXAS NAVY FLAG

This is the Texas Naval flag.  Texas Flag Park describes it this way:

Created by Charles Hawkins for the Texas Navy in April, 1836 the Lone Star and Stripes Flag was adopted and continued unchanged for the life of the Republic. It carried a single white star in the blue canton, and seven red stripes and six white stripes alternating in color. The stripes represented the original thirteen colonies of the U.S. The flag was deliberately designed to resemble the national flag of the U.S. When the flag hung limp, it could be mistaken for the American flag which gave the underdog Texan fleet the advantage of surprise, and it worked.

There is a small theater inside the exhibit, though I did not take a photo, with an excellent documentary,  How the Texas Navy Saved the Revolution, a Kahunas USA / Texas Navy Association historic documentary.  The film is available to all Texas teachers for free download at texasnavy.org under the “Teachers” button.

When Texas joined the Union the proud Texas Navy was absorbed into the United States Navy.  “Texas Navy 1836-1846” is an excellent addition to the WWII exhibits on the Lexington for anyone who is interested in Texas history.

 

 

 

FRIDAY FOTO: Espinazo, Mexico


In the fall of 1989 as part of a class that I took on Mexican folk medicine, I went to Espinazo, Mexico to celebrate anniversary of the death of a curandero(healer), El Nino Fidencio.  He died in 1938.   All the photos were taken with a disposable camera.

Espinazo railroad stationRailroad station in Espinazo

Boys coming into townBoys coming into town

Shared cigar with this man.This man said he had worked on a ranch in Texas;
I shared my Swisher Sweet cigars with him.

group042A group fidencistas coming into Espinazo for the festivities;
they carry a banner with Fidencio’s photo.

Monday Madness: CAT CONFESSIONS


cat-holic

Once upon a time I had six cats and two cat doors; three were inside cats and three were outside cats.  These were their names.

SAMSON

MACAVITY

JELLICLE

SYLVESTER

CALLIE

WHITE CAT

All but Macavity are buried in the back yard. Today I am down to my last cat, Wiccan.  She is 15 years old.  I hope she goes before we do because no on else would take her. She does not like to come inside.  We bring her in only in bad weather.  Daughter, who loves cats, would not take her because Wiccan does not like her and hisses if Daughter tries to come near her.  Son would not take her as she does not play well with his two dogs when he visits.

 WICCAN RESTING IN A FLOWER POT

My beautiful picture

Lesson from “La Cage Aux Folles” – The Best of Times is Now


 

One of my favorite movies is “The Birdcage” with Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Gene Hackman, as there are so many layers to savor.  Yet I had never seen the musical, “La Cage Aux Folles,” until I saw it last month at a local theater, Harbor Playhouse, in Corpus Christi.  Husband, Daughter and I attended a Sunday matinee performance.

2015 05 31 The Bird Cage (1)

2015 05 31 The Bird Cage (9)

Daughter and I were delighted when Husband brought our wine in commemorative  glasses.

2015 05 31 The Bird Cage (11) The production was great fun and an outstanding last performance.  My favorite song was “The Best of Times is Now”as it reminded me (at this age) that the best times are those right now in the moment…tomorrow…who knows…CHEERS!

2015 05 31 The Bird Cage (10)

THREE SCORE AND TEN


Thirty-three years ago I wrote a simple poem for an old friend (REALLY old, I thought at the time) for her 70th birthday.  She has been gone for many years, but as I approach my own 70th year I remembered that poem and dug it out of my files.  It was composed in longhand and then typed without the assistance of  word processing.  In those days I often wrote basic rhyming poems for birthdays.  I am sure family and friends cringed inwardly when they got one!  Here is the poem.

For Nettie…in her Seventieth Spring

Nettie,
Ms. Lynn, if you please,
is a friend of mine,
but hard to define.

A gentle soul,
courageous fighter;
giving much,
reaching out to touch.

I see in her past
glory and sorrow.
Yet she’s come through it all,
still standing tall.

She brings sunshine and hope
wherever she goes;
a reminder of giving,
a vision of living

Happy birthday to a
lovely lady!
3/3/83

Nettie Lynn was Jewish.  Her family came to the United States from Russia.  She had only one child, a daughter, who would have been about my age had she not died as a young child.

As I enter my 70th fall…I remember Nettie and look both ways…past and future…and embrace today.

makeup

Summer Solstice


isabella

The temperature here in South Texas has been summer for some time.  This evening we will celebrate the Summer Solstice by opening a bottle of Texas Viognier 2011 from Pedernales Cellars and lighting a candle.  This piece of Talavera from Mexico hangs near our front door.  Her name is Isabella.

Cheers to life and sunlight!  It is good to be back.