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More Garden Magic May 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Home & Garden, Travel & Leisure.
5 comments

As we toured the parks, especially Epcot, we paused to admire the gardens and topiaries.

Here’s Tigger giving an impromptu pep talk to passers-by . . .

We always enjoy his Tiggeriffic enthusiasm.

And here’s Rabbit harvesting carrots for dinner . . .

While Piglet catches a ride on Eeyore’s back . . .

And Pooh holds fast to the string of his ephemeral balloon . . .

Near the entrance, we watched Donald marching Huey, Dewey, and Louie off for garden chores.

And we noticed that Figment’s got a primo viewing spot to enjoy the Spring gardens.

On the other side of the lagoon, Timon and Pumba espouse the notion of Hakuna Matata . . .

No worries!

Unless you sneak up behind Pumba’s behind and get a whiff of you don’t wanna know what!

And my favorite . . . Lady and the Tramp about to share a plate of spaghetti in Italy.

Aah  . . . that’s better!

Mexican Folk Art May 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Art & Photography.
26 comments

At Epcot, in the Mexican Pavilion, we checked out the Mexican Folk Art Gallery.

I loved this Zebra, even if it was sitting down on the job . . .

And we admired the prickly personality of this porcupine . . .

We adored these two Billy Goats . . .

And got a kick out of Chicken Little and his best bud crowing about the sky falling . . .

Some of the art seemed more fanciful than others.  Let’s hope these two dudes exist only in the artist’s over-active imagination . . .

Or Chicken Little will really have something to crow about!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Drones: What Are They Good For? April 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Sustainable Living.
34 comments

Not just for “peeping Toms,” drones have a number of applications to improve things for the good.

Drones can be used for monitoring the health of farm fields, providing humanitarian aid, assisting first responders, conducting safety inspections of hard to reach places, surveying property damage for insurance claims, forecasting severe weather, and tracking poachers:

Drones have been a hot topic in the news for some time. Depending on what you’ve read, they’re devastatingly effective weapons of war, the next big threat to personal privacy, a revolutionary leap in video technology, or hazardous toys capable of chopping your fingers off.

To be fair, there’s a measure of truth to all those statements. But you might be surprised to learn that drones will soon affect our everyday lives in a host of useful ways. People are already using them to deliver fast food to hungry teens in Virginia, improve the productivity of Midwestern farms, and even protect rhinos and elephants in Africa from poachers.

To read more: 10 Ways Drones Are Changing Your World (Consumer Reports)

Aah . . . that’s better!

Smile And Say . . . WOW! December 29, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

To see some amazing Travel Shots . . . Visit the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Gallery.

Prepare to be WOWED because some of the shots are out of this world!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Seriously, Smiles? December 13, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness, Humor, People.
32 comments

grumpy_thinkingIn old photos, dating back to the 1820’s, few subjects smiled.

Some have conjectured that the lack of smiles correlated with the lack of dental care . . . or the long exposure times.

A recent article in TIME magazine suggests that it had more to do with the mores of the day:

Experts say that the deeper reason for the lack of smiles early on is that photography took guidance from pre-existing customs in painting—an art form in which many found grins uncouth and inappropriate for portraiture. Though saints might be depicted with faint smiles, wider smiles were “associated with madness, lewdness, loudness, drunkenness, all sorts of states of being that were not particularly decorous,” says Trumble.

And since most photographs had professional photographers behind the lens, they called the shots:

. . . high-end studio photographers would create an elegant setting and direct the subject how to behave, producing the staid expressions which are so familiar in 19th century photographs. The images they created were formal and befitted the expense of paying to have a portrait made, especially when that portrait might be the only image of someone.

So when did we start smiling in photos?

With the rise of snapshot photography!

“Take the camera out of the professional and put it into the hands of the snapshot photographer and then they can do whatever they want” says Gustavson.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  Now You Know:  Why Do People Always Look So Serious in Old Photos?

Happy Holidays! December 1, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Happiness.
20 comments

One of the new FREE apps I’ve tried ~> Paper 53.  It’s a FUN little app for drawing, sketching, painting, and creating personalized greeting cards for everyone on your list.

Here’s a sample of what it can do . . . with a little input from you:

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Tech Tip:  If you don’t want to set up an on-line account at the App Store with one of your regular credit cards, use a $25 or $50 VISA Gift Card instead.

Plitvice Lakes National Park October 31, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
31 comments

If my bucket list ever expands to include Croatia . . . Plitvice Lakes National Park is on my itinerary!

For more amazing images:  Plitvice Lake National Park

Aah . . . that’s better!

10 Weird & Wonderful Museums July 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
40 comments

If you’re taking a road trip this summer and need to get out and stretch your legs or rid yourself of pesky “numb butt” . . . here’s a list of wild and wacky sites to see:

10 Weird Museums Worth Stopping For (Allstate)

So, what’s on the list?

Everything from Bad Art (Boston) to Bananas (Mecca, CA)

From Dummies (Kentucky) to Einstein’s Brain (Philadelphia)

From Superman capes (Illinois) to Toy & Action Figures (Oklahoma)

From Funeral History (Houston) to Matchstick Marvels (Iowa)

From Aprons (Mississippi) to Potatoes (Idaho)

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you enjoy the weird and the wonderful?  The wild and the wacky?  Are any of these ten sites calling YOUR name?

A “Tardy” Post June 7, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Nature.
39 comments

I took this photo in July 2012 while “stationed” in New Jersey for several weeks after my dad’s death.  I’m a bit “tardy” in sharing it with you.

At the time, the profusion of Black-eyed Susan blooms whispered:

Think of all the beauty still left around you and Be Happy.  ~ Anne Frank

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Here’s a “tardy” view from our front door of a single bloom.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin

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I took this next shot in December 2015.

It’s taken me all that time to get over the shock of stumbling across this shocking Pepto Dismal Pink.

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It looks so much better is “dusty rose.”  See . . . even Flo the Flamingo agrees.

“Yo, Flo!  You’re looking fine-feathered, my friend.”

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Green Is The New Black April 27, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Sustainable Living.
34 comments

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Decor Direct (in Sarasota) jumped on the eco-friendly repurposing bandwagon long before it was cool!

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As a result, it acquired lots and lots of wagon wheels . . . which it transformed into terrific table tops.

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Don’t need a table?  How ’bout a wagon wheel bench?

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Not a fan of wagon wheels?  No problem . . . use shutters.

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No room for a double-wide bench?  Consider a throne.

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Sunburn woes?  No worries, mon . . . dis Tiki Hut’s got ya covered!

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Aah . . . that’s Green!