Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunflower Power - Brilliant!

It has been unseasonably warm here in Colorado. The leaves are falling under my favorite tree and my front yard needs to be vacuumed with the lawn mover later today (you are wonderful, Ted)! I suppose it is time, despite our warm week, to think about the impending season change. I guess that is why, when I saw this stunning sunflower by Cordavelera on etsy, I had to show it to you. Do you realize that the center of this flower is made of hundreds of beads? I love it! Click on the link and you will see all of of Cordavelera's wonderful creativity.
Sunflower Brooch

I have often wondered if sunflowers really do turn to follow the sun, like you sometimes hear about. I looked it up and found a reference called "Mr. Smarty Pants", which makes me smile! Mr. SP says this following the sun action is called Heliotropism. There is a collection of specialized cells at the base of the flower bud or leaf that allow the flower to track the sun. He claims it is easy to understand why heliotropism is advantageous for leaves. Turning the leaf perpendicular to the sun provides maximum sunlight to power photosynthesis. The sunflower (and other flowers) track the sun so that insects are attracted to the warmth from the sun and their presence is necessary for pollination to occur. He also says that mature sunflowers stop tracking the sun, which makes me wonder if this is a sunflower's menopause? Mr. Smarty Pants did not say as much, but perhaps I'm onto something here!

It is interesting to me how when you are a mature woman, you get these brilliant insights into the cycle of all life. Perhaps the world would be a far better place if it was governed by menopausal women having flashes of brilliance? Just a thought...

As I digress further, I will leave you now...thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Safety and Wellness Check, Please!

I heard someone comment the other day about how their neighbor needed Safety and Wellness Checks from the police. It got me to thinking that we all need to be checked on occasionally. Do you receive calls from that considerate girlfriend who just wants to know how you are doing? That feels great! Do you ever dial your grown child’s phone number just to hear his or her voice? It feels like soothing oil for my heart when one of my adult kids fills me in on their latest adventure! The Safety and Wellness Check I overheard about in the grocery store line is a serious matter, I am sure, and I won't be flip about it. I propose we all take five minutes to check on a loved one today--perhaps someone we don't talk to on an ongoing basis. Perhaps even someone down the block who rarely has visitors.

Perhaps we could even start here....How are you doing? I'd love to hear from you and I thank you for stopping by,
P.S. Kids, I will be calling today...I really do just love the sound of your voices!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autumn Meadow and Time Savings

Daylight Saving Time is right around the corner, and I know plenty of people who are not excited about it. I have always wondered it we actually saved time with this practice. I think it is more of a time shift.

What are the reasons behind this Fall-back one hour habit? From what I can find, it comes down to booze, candy, oil, accidents, and train schedules...

"In the United States, Daylight Saving Time commences at 2:00 a.m. to minimize disruption. Did you know that many bars fought about the timing of our clock change? Many states restrict bars from serving alcohol between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. At 2:00 a.m. in the fall, however, the time switches back one hour. So, can bars serve alcohol for that additional hour?

Through 2006, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. ended a few days before Halloween (October 31). Children’s pedestrian deaths are four times higher on Halloween than on any other night of the year. A new law to extend DST to the first Sunday in November took effect in 2007, with the purpose of providing trick-or-treaters more light and therefore more safety from traffic accidents.
Following the 1973 oil embargo, the U.S. Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to 8 months, rather than the normal six months. During that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day - a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years.

In addition, some argue that there is a public health benefit to Daylight Saving Time, as it decreases traffic accidents. Several studies in the U.S. and Great Britain have found that the DST daylight shift reduces net traffic accidents and fatalities by close to one percent. An increase in accidents in the dark mornings is more than offset by the evening decrease in accidents.

Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules. Standard time was codified for the United States and Canada based on train schedules, and it is from this method that we base our time change requirements."

So, time shifting has a long history and plenty of pros and cons. I feel a little bit better now knowing some of the reasons and discussions behind the required task. Do I like it any better? No, I do not. I guess I will have to reconsider moving closer to the equator, where time shifting is not used. Wait, that will get me 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. I guess I am staying put...

Enjoy your daylight hours this week!

P.S. I also learned that it is not Daylight Savings Time", but "Saving" time. Guess that is my "something new" I needed to learn today ;)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Colorado Blue Sky Treasures

My mom loved the blue of the Colorado sky! I'm thinking a lot about how beautiful and varied our skies can be here at 5280 feet. I've found a few treasures from etsy artists that remind me of this blue sky theme. Enjoy!

Blue Scarf Link

Blue Sky Purse Link

Blue Sky Photo Link

Monday, September 6, 2010

Calling all Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are on my mind these days! Ted and I purchased a hummingbird feeder, and we haven't had any visitors yet, unless you count the squirrel I caught swinging by his paws yesterday. I've decided to look into this new bird interest of mine.

Most hummingbirds of the U.S. and Canada migrate south in fall to spend the winter in northern Mexico or Central America, thus my low turn-out at dinner time!

The Rufous Hummingbird is one of several species that breed in western North America. This is thanks in part to artificial feeders and winter-blooming gardens, and some even return to the same gardens year after year, which is what I am hoping for! The Rufous Hummingbird nests farther north than any other species and must tolerate temperatures below freezing on its breeding grounds, which, I understand happens for some humans, too. This cold hardiness enables it to survive temperatures well below freezing, provided that adequate shelter and feeders are available. Now that I've learned all this about hummingbirds, I suppose we purchased our feeder at the wrong time of year. I will keep my new feeder hanging anyway, at least through the fall, and see what happens. I really want to see these lovely birds up close.

P.S. Did you know that they can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their tiny little wings 90 times per second! They can also fly backwards, and are the only group of birds who can...I really want to see that.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, September 3, 2010

A trip down memory lane

I often take a walk down memory lane, and during the past few weeks, there have been a few twists in the road. We've all heard the reference "Sandwich Generation" made about people who have both children and senior citizens as loved ones. I am ham and cheese! During August, 2010, I held our newest grandchild in my arms, and I held a loved one's hand in hospice. Both of these extremes have great meaning, and in both situations, I've loved the gift of good memories.

To celebrate good memories in my life, I created this Memory Lane folk art. Framed in a vintage gold and black oval frame, this wool needle felt of a lane, a lake, and two trees, is special to me.  With seed bead leaves, this wool wall art was a joy to create.

We are hoping for an Indian Summer here in Colorado. Warm Fall days with cool nights will help the apples ripen and the pumpkins grow fat. There is a lake by my home that has a view of the mountains in the distance. I plan to take many walks there this Fall as I keep all of my family in my thoughts and prayers.

Thanks for stopping by,