Springtime visitor

We’ve all been longing eagerly for spring – the sun has hardly been out this year (and it’s April already!).

My dad put up bird houses and feeding places all over the garden and during winter we had a bunch of cute little visitors like sparrows, blackbirds and even doves from time to time. Dad decided to keep feedings the birds through summer as well (he’s a big fan of birds and also tries his best to save endangered species from extinction).

Last week, it looked like waiting for spring and feeding the birds finally paid off. The sun came out and this cute little (well, actually not so little) visitor showed:

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A beautifully coloured woodpecker!

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Isn’t he preicous? With this angle, it might not look quite like it, but I’ve actually taken these pictures from inside as he was sitting right in front of the lounge window, eating away on the fat balls and occassionally peeking inside to where I was sitting. Too cute!

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A beauty, isn’t he!? Only a shame that Luigi wasn’t around to see him. I’m sure he would have liked that. (Luigi doesn’t catch birds, he makes friends with them. I’m not sure whether he is that lazy or just a really strange cat, but he would sit right next to a tiny sparrow and not even attempt to catch it…)

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Last minute lecture on photography

I’m going to a wedding tomorrow.

Except… I’m not invited.

Well, don’t get me wrong – I am welcome there.

I’m just not going to be a normal guest.

I’ve been “hired” by one of my best friends to attend her sister’s wedding as a photographer and waitress.

{via dpreview.com}

Working in hospitality since I was 15, it’s not the waiting job that bugs me.

During my journalism training, I bought a wonderful DSLR camera – and was able to handle it, too.

Until that fateful day we wrote a test on the theory behind that damn thing – and I got everything mixed up and can’t remember a single thing about it ever since.

True story.

F-Stop, aperture, shutter speed, ISO – when I hear these things I get that same cold shiver down my back I got in secondary school during Maths and Chemistry lessons.

So I just did some last minute research and came across this wonderful tutorial and these brilliant pages which helped me a little bit.

But anyways – what I was originally going to tell you about was my little prezzie I just prepared for the bride and groom.

I think I’m not expected to bring something, because technically I’m staff, but I just think it’s a nice gesture to bring at least a beautiful card or something along.

So I designed and printed a “Congratulations” card and then turned to the Goddess of Baking, Bakerella, for advice.

She posted a cookie mix-gift-idea (called “Cowboy Cookies“) a while ago and I’ve been wanting to try this ever since.

Last week I found some suitable mason jars, so I quickly made up my own mix (changed it only slightly) and labelled it appropriately enough “Wedding Cookies”:

250 g flour

1 teaspoon baking powder & some baking soda

220 g oats

200 g Smarties

120 g brown sugar

100 g white sugar

70 – 100 g chopped peanuts

All they have to do now is mix everything in a large bowl and add either 250 g melted butter or oil and one egg, form little balls and put them on a tray that goes into the oven for about ten minutes.

Depending on the size of the jars you use, you might want to add some more peanuts (or Smarties, if you’re able to estimate the remaining capacity by the time you add them).

Another discovery

After having discovered at least one cool thing a day (remember the Flight of the Conchords-cupcakes and the Batman coffee?), I hereby officially declare this week discoverer’s week.

Yesterday and the day before it has been raining a lot (which was good because it has been dry, warm and sunny for months now and the soil just needed some water) and when I went outside this morning I found these little guys in the garden:

Aren’t they pretty?

I love little mushrooms, they are so nice to look at – their shape, their texture, their colour… pretty!

In other news – I bought a new bag.

Not very exciting, I know… but it is for me, especially because I decided to show you a different kind of picture of it.

Instead of simply taking a photo of it and showing it to you, I grabbed some pencils and charcoal and drew a picture of it.

Which I then photographed, so technically speaking what you’re seeing now is still a photograph…

Anyway – that’s my exciting new bag.

Spiky Superstars: Cactus Care | WEEKEND WIND UP #34

I suppose the warm April is the reason why I’m very much into gardening these days.

So today I went down to the shop and got myself six cacti and some cactus soil and dug out my old set of pots – and now I have a beautiful set of spiky superstars on my windowsill:

I’ve had many cacti and succulents in my life but I like them best when they are little.

Apparently, they are the “ideal plants for busy people”, so maybe that’s why I like them so much.

The only thing you need to be careful with when you have cacti and succulents is water.

I tend to over water which is definitely not good for them as they are used to relatively dry soil.

Special cactus soil is also very good as it helps the plants and their roots to get the right amount of water and fresh air.

For more information on cactus care, have a look at the following websites:

A pile of “writing & reading” work… | WEEKEND WIND UP #22

I have a pile of work to do, I just realised.

I’m just catching up on all the “writing & reading” as I like to call it: blogs, websites, stories – and I finally made some New Year’s Resolutions (after originally I had planned my New Year’s Resolution to be: not having any resolutions for 2011).

So, first of all, I finally want to do all the catching up.

{click for source}

I have given up on my diary though, because it still is stuck in April 2010 and I think I just leave it like that.

Maybe it’s some sort of psychological thing because I don’t want to acknowledge that time has moved on and I have moved on and I kind of wish, deep in my heart, that I was stills tuck in April 2010 and could do some things I haven’t done and especially say things I haven’t said.

Anyway, you can’t go back in time and you can’t change what has already happened.

So I am simply going to start a new diary. Today:


I bought this cute book a little while back and I think with the new year just having started, it’s a good time to start off fresh with a new diary, too.

Good news is, with all the catching up I have to do, I have already done my pictures. Was about time, because I’m talking about the pics I shot during my Christmas holiday.

Here are some and I’ve posted more on flickr. Feel free to have a look and leave a comment if you want to!

How’s your 2011 going so far? Do you have a pile of work to tackle, too, or are you all sweet and sorted?

The magic of icicles | WEEKEND WIND UP#19

It’s freezing, I’m on the edge of catching my next cold, the streets are slippery and the footpaths are icy and every morning thousands of people have to worry if the tube will be cancelled because of ice on the tracks – I just love it.

Many people don’t understand what I love about winter, but having had literally six summers in a row makes me embrace the cold season with all its ups and downs.

Snow – is there anything more magical than snow?

 

You go to bed and the world is just normal – and when you wake up, it’s a totally different world outside, where everything is white and shiny, trees sparkle and snowflakes fall silently from the sky.

The world seems peaceful and quiet all of a sudden and I walk through town with a big smile on my face.

 

 

Some of my friends say I’m crazy, because I love winter.

They complain about being cold, the tube running late, the overground trains being cancelled and the wind being frosty.

I agree. All of that is annoying.

But when I see pictures like these, I’m just so grateful that I am able to witness magic like this instead of having to bear rain and wind and a humid sort of coldness which is much worse in my opinion.

 

POLAR BEAR: {click for source}

What do you think of winter? Do you like it or do you hate cold temperatures as much as some of my friends?

Please share your thoughts – and if you’re still not sure what you should think about the snow, have a look at this:

I found this picture via Twitter. What a cute idea, don’t you think!?

 

THE SNOWBEAR! {click for source}