Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Politics ... Ugh!

Politics ... Ugh!  But sometimes you just have to ...

Something Interesting!! to Think About

(click on it)

And ... while we are at it ... here's another amendment that is in the works.  This would be the first step toward getting back to our democracy and it would help curtail the politicization of our Supreme Court.

(click on it)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our World Tuesday

The Garden behind the gate ... (Wadenswil, Switzerland)

Then out we went, through the beautiful gate, down the hilly streets to town ... on another adventure :)

NF Inspiring Photography ... Catching the Light

On this day we took a Cable Car to the top of Eggesthorn Mountain to see the Glacier of Aletsch.  It was a misty, rainy day and the clouds hung low, but as we walked to the other side of the mountain we were blessed with a rainbow.   Switzerland is full of beauty and many surprises as you can see.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Reflection

This is a Chandelier in a store window on the streets of Zurich.  It has reflections of the reflection from across the street ... complicated, I know :)
Happy Weekend Reflections ...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Good Fences

This is an interesting fence for many reasons.  First it is at the top of the highest mountain in Europe, Jungfraujock.  We are 11,333 feet above sea level and yes, it took us a little while to acclimate to the "thin air".  But, surprisingly we were fine in short order.  Second, this fence is movable ... moved to where it is needed because it has a very special purpose. 

As the sign is telling you ... if you go past this fence, you may fall into a very deep crevice.  One can only imagine how deep and thus nobody goes past the fence.  So it doesn't have to be stable or strong, it just has to show you something you need to know :)  Have a great "Good Fences" Day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday

It is hard to hike in the mountains and not be consumed by the beautiful peaks surrounding you ... but on this particular hike (not to take away from the mountain peaks) our attention was drawn to a sight that was, in reality, the highlight of our day.

This is a Eurasian (European) Kestrel(Falco Tinnunculus) female hunting on the mountain side that we were hiking.  They are amazing to watch because they hover, like a helicopter, in one place until they spot prey, then they dive down in a flash to snatch it.  This Kestrel looks exactly like the American Kestrel (Falco Sparverius) except they are more than twice the size. 

The Eurasian Kestrel on the left and the American Kestrel on the right (both females)

This beauty swooped,  hovered and flew around us for about 15 minutes.  We never saw her catch anything, though she did go to the ground several times.  We were mesmerized the whole time plus it gave me a chance to catch my breath ...  Photography is good for many reasons:)

I would have loved to use a gif for a group of the hovering shots, but the gif that I have been using no longer seems to work ... if any of you know of a good gif link, I would be most appreciative :)  Have a Great WBW ...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our World Tuesday

The story behind our trip to Switzerland is beautiful.  Fifty years ago (in 1964) my friend Barbara participated in an Experiment in International Living and was invited to stay in the home of a family in Switzerland for the summer.  She became good friends, as did her whole family, with the wonderful people who had welcomed her into their home and shared their lives with her as if she were one of their own.  She and her family traveled to Switzerland many times, over the years, to visit with this family.  The friendships have endured all of these years and it was her hope to go visit the family to celebrate their 50 years of friendship.  Barb has been my friend for many years as well (not near 50, but many).  We share many interests, not the least of which is working with the Raptors.  She kindly invited me to join her on this trip and I could thank her every day of my life and it wouldn't be enough to show my true appreciation.  So the Adventure began and flew by so fast that I have trouble collecting all of the memories.   I am hoping that my pictures will save them for me and I did keep a journal ... with much difficulty because it was hard to get the right spelling and meaning of words in a language I didn't speak.  But, I am learning ... Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch jetzt.

After a long flight we were met at the airport by her friends and we were off to Wadenswil a suburb of Zurich.  This is a beautiful little village and like all of Switzerland, the streets are very hilly.  I was struck by the fact that there were very few places that were level.  My legs were struck by it as well and quickly understood why the Swiss are so fit and healthy (among many other reasons having to do with lifestyle and a good medical plan ... the nurse in me is showing.).  Once there, we were taken to our apartment which belonged to the youngest brother in the family.  He keeps the apartment to stay in when visiting his sister and her husband.  It was a delight to have such good accommodations.  We walked daily from our apartment to the home of our friends who graciously shared their lives with us for two weeks. 

This is their home.  It was built in the early 19th century by a wealthy land owner.  The style is English as many wealthy English came to Switzerland during that period and built homes and hotels that still stand today.  We ate breakfast and dinner on the terrace when weather permitted.  I can't begin to express how much we enjoyed the time we spent with them.

We especially loved the little garden on the roof ...

The main entrance ...

Inside their home they have restored the original beauty of the ceilings with the help of the Historical Society.

The windows go all the way around from the living room, the dining room, the kitchen into the foyer.

Just a peek at their tasteful, artistically decorated  home ... trying not to intrude on their privacy.

 This is the ceiling in the kitchen ...

Out of the dining room window we are able to see another home.  This one was built by the son of the wealthy land owner.  It has been donated to the Village and is used much like a civic center where classes and activities are held.  It also overlooks the beautiful gardens that I mentioned in my "Good Fences" post.  That is for another day.

Our favorite part of this house is the chimney ...
The architecture in all of Switzerland was so beautiful.  I will be posting many more pictures over time ... this is just the beginning :)  Enjoy your week.