A Feathered Friend

I hear these birds every morning, but they have always been hard to locate. The plants and trees in my yard are flourishing and the birds are nesting, so all of the shrubbery will stay thick and full until autumn.

Anyway, after a few weeks of “talking” with this specific species, one finally decided to strike a pose for proper identification:

It is a white-crowned sparrow – very pretty!

😀

Coastal Thunder

I love thunderstorms. An impressive system moved through the area last night, providing a beautiful show of nature’s power.

Flashes of lightning so bright I could see them clearly through closed blinds and closed eyes.

Thunder so strong it shook the house and rattled the windows. It could even be felt through the ground.

Wind, rain, and hail combined. It was magnificent.

I’m a certified ceraunophile.

Tuesday Tuneage: Post-Eclipse!

The Total Solar Eclipse Event of 2017 is over, but the memories made by many will last for some time. What an awesome, astronomical event to witness! So magnificent, majestic, and beautiful. I was moved to tears, myself! It was fantastic. I offer up these three moon-related songs while I tend to the post-eclipse crab feast! Cancer, the Crab, is associated with the moon in Western astrology. It is the only sign which is ruled by the moon, just as Leo, the Lion, is the only sign ruled by the sun. Enjoy the music – and, Blessed Be!

😎

Spring Fever~

Spring is springing…it is just around the corner! These flowers are as eager for Ostara as I am. Beautiful!
😎


Thousands

of ranunculus


bloom in early spring.

Capturing light.


Creating hope.

Bringing happiness,

on fragile petals.


Spring cheers to you,


from the Carlsbad Ranunculus fields~

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Amazing Snaps of The Andromeda Galaxy

These are phenomenal! I wonder what sort of exposure and filters were used for these shots? I could stare at the stars for hours…impressive and captivating!
😎

ALK3R

A view of the sky from the Zervreila Mountain Lagoon in Switzerland

The Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way, can be seen shining above a remote village in Switzerland.

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Thursday Thoughts…27 October 2016

I was doing a bit of reading today, and found out that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a re-mastered version coming out tomorrow, being released on Steam for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. From The Telegraph:

In 2011 the Game Director of Bethesda Game Studios, Todd Howard, finished up work on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This Norse fantasy, sandbox role-playing game was one of the most anticipated releases of the last console generation, and the hype was palpable. It shot to unprecedented success, earning countless Game of the Year awards, smashing sales targets and capturing the hearts and minds of millions. As we approach the game’s fifth anniversary, Bethesda is about to commemorate its original release with a remaster. It’s no surprise –– the game still has an enormous fan base, reams of cosplayers flock to dress up as its characters at every convention, and there’s even an upcoming concert to celebrate the game’s incredible orchestral score. Its five-year birthday is certainly a milestone to be celebrated, but the game’s remarkable success –– how the melting pot of chance, luck and sheer artistic achievement brought us here –– remains a bit of a mystery.”

Will I buy it? Most likely. Will I have much time to play it? Not immediately, LOL! Stay tuned and I’ll let you know…I still have to get my main rig back in my hot little hands!

The second story that caught my eye has to do with the dress that First Lady Michelle Obama wore at her final state dinner as first lady. She wore an absolutely breath-taking gown designed by Donatella Versace, but the story behind it is awesome! From the New York Times:

On Tuesday night, at her final state dinner as first lady, Michelle Obama solidified her legacy as perhaps the most adept and successful practitioner of the art of political dressing that any administration has seen.

Her choice of an Atelier Versace gown for the Italy state dinner was not only a nice bit of sartorial diplomacy — Versace being an Italian success story, a company often touted as a candidate for a public offering — but, coming less than a week after her magnetic speech in New Hampshire on women and respect, it went far beyond being simply an ambassadorial nod to a guest country’s talent and made a powerful subliminal statement.

The dress, after all, was made of rose gold … chain mail. As much as it was gracefully cut and draped, it also spoke of armor and female strength, of the need to gird yourself to fight for what you believe in. And it was designed by Donatella Versace, a woman who was famously thrust into one of the most difficult situations of all: having to take over and preserve the company founded by her brother after his murder in Miami. And who, despite a fair number of doubts, has ultimately triumphed — in part by transforming the aesthetic of her company from one built on the power of sex to one built on the power of self.

After all, Ms. Versace did describe her most recent women’s wear collection, shown in Milan last month, as, “all about a woman’s freedom: freedom of movement, freedom of activity, freedom to fight for their ideas, freedom to be whomever you want to be.” And she set it to a soundtrack by the trance duo Violet + Photonz that featured the statement that it was time for women to “take the leap.”

I love that dress. May I say it again? I absolutely LOVE THAT DRESS! I love the craftsmanship that was involved, because making a dress out of chain mail, especially of that fine of a gauge, takes much time and skill…this, I know! I have some jewelry and clothing made out of chain mail, including a dress – but my dress is nowhere near as fine as the one worn by the First Lady. It is well-made, but extremely heavy; definitely more utilitarian than fashionable, and the links are much larger. I’d love to see how it was made, from start to finish…truly a masterpiece! Warrior women certainly need our armour – wherever we go!

Finally, the most recent take on the election from John Oliver – his perspective, along with those of Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, and Stephen Colbert, make these last two weeks far more palatable. I cast my vote already, and my conscience is clear. My duty is done…there’s nothing left to do but wait until the final vote is counted and the official decision is handed down.

Classic Cars With Their Modern Versions

What can I say…I love the allure of the automobile!
😀

ALK3R

1

There’s nothing like a classic car to give you that old taste where a car was a dirty rough machine that made you feel alive.

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CERAUNOPHILIA!!!

I fear no storms…on land, or off!
XD

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

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Muhammad Ali – THE Greatest Of All Time

Muhammad Ali: 17 January 1942 – 3 June 2016

Ah, me…a titan has passed on. Muhammad Ali, born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., but forever known as “The Greatest of All Time,” succumbed to a respiratory illness which was exacerbated by the complications of Parkinson’s disease and CTE. He was 74 years of age. From the BBC:

“Boxing legend Muhammad Ali – one of the world’s greatest sporting figures – has died at the age of 74.

The former world heavyweight champion died late on Friday at a hospital in the US city of Phoenix, Arizona, having been admitted on Thursday.

He had been suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease.

Ali’s funeral will take place in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, said his family…George Foreman, who lost his world title to Ali in the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight in Kinshasa in 1974, called him one of the greatest human beings he had ever met.

American civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson said Ali had been willing to sacrifice the crown and money for his principles when he refused to serve in the Vietnam war.”

I don’t know where to start with what I want to say about this legendary, talented, courageous, genius, magnetic, iconic, poetic, beautiful, genuine titan of a man. He was labeled “boastful” when all he did was “walk his talk.” Muhammad Ali would say something – and then he would do it – quite masterfully, too! He was the epitome of self-confidence, self-assurance, and willpower. His birthdate shows that he was a Capricorn, which is the sole, Cardinal Earth sign. From Astrology.com:

“A Cardinal Quality is attached to the signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. The Cardinal Houses are the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth; if an astrological chart shows a preponderance of planets in these houses, its energy is weighted toward cardinality.

Cardinal Signs are the initiators of the zodiac. They are also found at key jumping-off points on the chart wheel, specifically the Ascendant, Medium Coeli (M.C. or Midheaven), Descendant and Imum Coeli (I.C.). Individuals possessing a Cardinal Quality like to get things going. They are active, quick and ambitious. Many projects get started, thanks to Cardinal initiative, although a good deal of them are never finished. That’s because Cardinal folks are much fonder of starting things than finishing them.

You won’t find a Cardinal person slacking off. These people are full of vim and vigor and possess a drive and ambition that is unmistakable. Enthusiasm and a zest for life fill the Cardinal individual. Some might perceive this rampant energy as domineering, and, at times, it can be. Cardinal people can easily forget about the rest of the pack when they are busily focusing on their own endeavors. Even so, their energetic spirit often wins the day.

Cardinal folks are clever and want to win. They love to start things, and whether they finish them or not, there’s always a lot going on. Naysayers who find them to be too self-centered will simply have to watch (and marvel) as they speed by!”

Muhammad Ali’s boxing career was essentially over before I reached middle school, and before I really began paying much attention to sports in earnest. I played varsity-class volleyball in 7th grade; only one of three middle- / junior-high-age girls playing with the juniors and seniors…and, technically, I was still in elementary school since I had a “double-promotion” way back when I first entered kindergarten. Still, the few times I saw him on television, or read about him in the papers or magazines, were always inspiring. His speeches, quotes, and sheer indomitable personality would make me dust myself off and keep on going. The only other celebrities alive now, who inspire me as much as he did, are these legendary talents: Grace Jones, and Tina Turner. Muhammad Ali might have been the last, living male celebrity that I have much respect for…President Barack Obama is more than a celebrity, but that’s another topic for another day. Muhammad Ali transcended the world of sports – his philanthropy, activism, and love for others will forever shine brightly, for me.

I don’t think there’s anything that I can add that hasn’t been said by legions around the world, by now. I just wanted to post my own, tiny, heartfelt tribute to a true legend. Rest easy now, my good man…your heart, soul, dedication, and willpower have inspired me anew.

The pantheon embraces and welcomes you as an equal, as well. I’ll let your words speak for you, since your voice was silenced far too soon. Your actions certainly spoke far louder than your voice ever did – and that says everything.

Mother’s Day Musings…2016!

Today is Mother’s Day here in the States. Last year, I did a post titled “Mother’s Day & 391 Days,” which marked how many days the young women abducted by Boko Haram have been gone from their families and loved ones. Today marks day number 755, in case you were wondering. Yes, I still keep vigil for them. They might be forgotten by many, but not by their families. Not forgotten by anyone who knows what it’s like to be abused. Not forgotten by anyone who has had their own child abducted from them by a spouse, family member, friend, or complete stranger.

The Mercury retrograde is so bad, I was remiss in marking the passing of a notable, courageous woman: Afeni Shakur Davis. From CNN:

“Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of one of hip-hop’s most seminal and iconic figures, has died at age 69, the Marin County, California, sheriff’s office said Tuesday. Though she is best known as Tupac Shakur’s mom, Shakur Davis also was a Black Panther as a young adult and an activist and philanthropist in her later years.

Deputies responded to a family member’s call reporting “a possible cardiac arrest” at Shakur Davis’ Sausalito home about 9:34 p.m. Monday, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said. Shakur Davis was taken to Marin General Hospital, where she died at 10:28 p.m., the office said. There was nothing suspicious about her death and there’s no evidence of foul play, Lt. Doug Pittman said Tuesday. An autopsy was scheduled for later in the day.”

Afeni was a tireless activist, even in the middle of her own personal struggles. She did her best to realize her son’s dream, which is one that all should take note of and strive towards. There was far more to her, and to Tupac, that many are ignorant of. She will be missed.

Afeni Shakur (Davis), nee Alice Faye Williams: 10 January 1947 – 2 May 2016

Here are three songs with “Mother” in the title to celebrate the day.

😎

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