Thousands of Bats at Dusk- University of Florida

My hosts drove us to the University of Florida Bat Houses to wait for the bats to fly out at dusk.  WOW!  They were something to see. Hard to focus as it was getting dark and they were flitting and flying.

And then as we stood there, a strong aroma filled the air. P- ewwww!

We watched the murmuration of bats in the sky.  Thousands and thousands of bats.  Creating dark clouds of undulating patterns.  Off to eat insects until dawn.

img_0187People waiting to see the bats emerge at dusk.

img_0243The Bat Houses at the University of Florida

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img_0238Bats from the Bathouses at the University of Florida.

Joanne filmed the bats on my phone

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A nice lady took our photo in front of the Bat Houses.

We talked about expressions with BAT(not baseball) in them

Like a Bat out of Hell

Blind as a Bat

Gone Batty

Batsh*t Crazy

Don’t Bat an Eye

Bats in the Belfry

 from the Free Dictionary- “have bats in the belfry  (old-fashioned)

to be crazy Don’t tell anyone else I said that or they’ll think I’ve got bats in the belfry.”
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Delicious Dinner With Friends and a Crazy Surprise Ending

*Plan for the New Year 2017– contact friends you haven’t seen in awhile and make time to get together

I met two friends/former colleagues from Greenfield School Tuesday evening.

The first photo is my view as I waited for them to park after battling rush hour.

Forrest was our attentive and knowledgeable waiter who guided us in our selections.img_2867

Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville

The appetizers and the BYOB bottle of dry red wine that Lara and Joz brought to share

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Cappuccino Gelato     Panna Cotta    and a wild brownie with Cayenne Pepper in it- zing!

 

img_2882Thanks Joz for taking our photo with the nice young man Jeffrey who brought out the Greenfield Shirt I’d left on my chair in the restaurant.

Turns out the he was our former student at Greenfield School in 1997
(cool that he could still recognize us)

I taught him art and Ms Evans was his third grade teacher.

Burning Basket – Homer, Alaska

Artist Mavis Muller Art Click for link to artist’s website ( see excerpt below )

Our friends drove us down to the beach on the Spit.

No ones spirit was dampened by the rain.

Earlier people had clipped notes and intentions to the woven basket. There were some fireworks that illuminated the sky, sh0t out from the basket.

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“2004 Mavis began the Burning Basket Project as an experience of interactive, impermanent art. Gathered from her background in creating baskets and woven with the desire to engage the public in a unique, living art form, Mavis has facilitated burning baskets in many communities. The large, intricate basket is given as a gft to the people, infused with decoration and spirit by willing participants, and finally burned, dramatically and upwardly releasing positive messages and heartfelt sentiments.”- From the artist’s website 

Two different short videos (with the same name) A jumpy little phone video I shot during the Burning Basket ceremony and after the basket their were individuals who lit hula hoops and twirled fire around

 

“Above the Fold” on Valentine’s Day

Long time friends and neighbors, the Skrinjars were featured in the newspaper today.

Our children went to school together years ago.

This morning they brought the copy of the newspaper to my house  so when I got home from shooting a lovely Valentine’s Day wedding, their story was on the front page of the LIVING section, above the fold!

Long Time Spouse Article

I took the accompanying photograph of them when they invited Steve and me to a Pirates Game last September.

Today on Valentine’s Day is an article by Rex Rutoski titledMarried to My Best Friend (Valentine’s pals: Longtime spouses weigh in on matters of the heart)    

Read more: http://triblive.com/lifestyles/morelifestyles/7660207-74/says-married-friend#ixzz3Rmnomdg4

Congratulations to Dick and Barbara!  xxoo Ruth

dick skrinjar and barb skrinjar
You can read the Sweets to the Suite post about the Dessert Cart with the fancy desserts at the game.

Just Married – Shawn and Celeste- Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium Reception

A beautiful day for a beautiful wedding.

Celeste and ShawnSitting in the garden at Saint Sebastian Church.  Just married

Here is the wedding party with the lion.

Bridal Party with Lion 2

The Bridesmatrons are Cousin Katie, Sister Vicky, Friend Laura, Bride Celeste. Groom Shawn, Best Man Jason, Groomsman David, Groomsman Jason.  Lion top right, name unknown.

 

 

Bridal Party with ElephantsAt the elephants.

Then the baby elephant ran out and nuzzled the mother elephant.

 

 

looking at the elephants

 

Celeste and Shawn zoo

Another bench. This time at the zoo.

 

Celeste and Shawn at Fish TankOnto the aquarium

 

 

cakecake tasting

Just a smidgen, a sweet taste.

Celeste and Shawn first dance

Celeste and Shawn first dance in reflection

 

fish

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to One-of-a-Kind Cake Topper Slide Show

Here is the link to the New York Times Style Slide Show.

There was a call to submit an unusual cake or cake-topper so I submitted one via Instagram from a wedding where I was a guest on Valentine’s Day 2010.  It was exciting that it got chosen from the entries.

The Times called the bride, whose cake it was on, to get her permission to use it and hear the story of the cake topper.

It’s the second photo of the slide show with the story in the caption below but just in case…………..

The special story was told by Charlotte Rowell Sellier, granddaughter of Matthew and Catharine Walsh.

It was on top of her grandparents wedding cake on Valentine’s Day 1942

and then on Charlottes and Joel’s Valentine’s Day wedding cake in 2010.

You can read how the cake topper was used by the Walsh’s four daughters and then by all their granddaughters. A wonderful heirloom and family tradition.  Lots of LOVE!

Cake Topper 2 Charlotte and Joel

Charlotte’s Grandfather, Matthew Walsh, owned Jimmy Ryan’s Jazz Club in New York City.

This photo is a bit different from the one posted in the Times.

 

wedding cake Charlotte and Joel

Here you can see the entire cake but the topper is hidden behind the hearts.

You might remember the post Wedding Flowers in the Snow, the year of the Giant Snowstorm .

xxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxooxxoox

 

(Our friend Joanne thought it would be interesting to see even more cake toppers and their stories so feel free to send them with a pic to me and I will post them in a gallery.)

Latte Art at Big Dog Coffee on Southside

Met Leah at Big Dog Coffee (former student teacher) this morning for coffee, oatmeal ( w almonds banana and cinnamon) and conversation.

Look at the latte art and appreciate the skill it took to create it. A cup full of beauty. Delicious.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

“Capture something you treasure“,    Krista Stevens at WordPress says this week for the challenge.

What better treasure than friends?

Last snowy Sunday my dear friend Joanne (green pepper jelly maker) emails and says,” Let’s SKYPE at 10:30.”

Okay.  At 10:40 I call,  “what happened?”

Oh ten thirty CENTRAL time!  Got it.

So at 11:30 (my time) the SKYPE rings in on my computer and J says,

I have a house guest- would you like to meet her?

(and I am thinking, why would you want to SKYPE with me if you’re entertaining a house guest?)
SURPRISE!  Look who enters the screen!    It’s  Aïda whom I’ve not seen in 27+ years.  We lived in Granfenwoehr Germany in the early ’80s.

Aïda (from Florida) visiting her daughter and granddaughters at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas and drove up for the weekend to visit J.

Great memories of good times with dear friends.  We were on for more than an hour.  What a nice surprise!  Fun.

Photographed by Aida’s daughter Suzanne.

Joanne and Aida call me

 

 

here we are SKYPEing   Joanne on the left, I’m in the middle with the hat! and Aïda on the right

 

SKYPE friends

 

You’ve Got a Friend

What J Brought Over for Dinner Tuesday

Going back to school has been an adjustment.   The weather changed and is cool and damp.  Donned a sweatshirt and even put the hood up (thanks Laura for leaving your Marquette hoodie in the drawer)  Tonight my friend  brought over a pot of Marcella Hazan’s Spaghetti Meat Sauce.   Carrots and onions, some wine, cream, fresh tomatoes (I will have to ask for the specific recipe if anyone would like it)  Steve brought some salad and a crusty loaf of Italian. J brought the cheese to grate over the pasta.  The pasta was the thickest I had ever seen and just delicious.  It went well with the thick meaty sauce.  We had a nice meal together and good conversation, some laughs and though I was tired from teaching, the dinner  was satisfying and appreciated.  A real spirit lifter! Thanks J!