Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Balloon Spectacular 2018

For a lot of the year, early risers in my city can often see a balloon or two drifting across the sky.  I welcome them each time I see them.
 
However, in March for about ten days the city goes a bit balloon mad.  Each year we have a Balloon Spectacular (which starts as Enlighten finishes) and up to fifty balloons are launched each day.  Bliss.  There is always at least one 'feature' balloon.  This year?  There were three.  A Hummingbird from California which was HUGE and lovely and a Kermie Frog from New York, and a heart balloon from our own Hunter Valley.  The Hummingbird was a featured balloon last year too, but since it only flew twice they came back again.

 
Weather permitting they take off from the lawns of Old Parliament House shortly after dawn, and as well as the fortunate riders, it has become a tradition for people to come along and watch them inflate and take off (another free treat).  Some mornings there are hundreds of spectators.  Breakfast is available, and the crowd is happy.  The weather was kinder this year and the balloons launched most days.


My youngest brother is, like me, a balloon tragic.   Sadly this year, like last year, he missed out.  Commitments kept him away until the last two days.  And the balloons were grounded both days.  He mourned, and I feel for him.

I said when I posted Sunday Selections that I had  LOTS of photos of balloons to share.  So please, settle down with your beverage of choice, and smile with me (or at my balloon obsessed self).

Oops.  As an aside, the first time I ran through my photos I chose 47 to include in this post.  I have cut them down, but there are still a lot of photos.  





The Hummingbird inflated, but for some reason didn't take to the air the day we were there.  It did photo-bomb rather a lot of shots though.





 



  

See what I mean about photo-bombing?




 


The smiling face above appears every year.


Lots and lots of balloons.











Neither of these balloons ever lifted off.  I wonder why?  So, we headed home, smiling and happy.  And, on our way home discovered that we were tailing Kermie the frog.  So we stopped in beside the lake.





We learned that some skilled balloonists landed on the lake - and towed kayakers.  I would love to see that.  Next year.  Perhaps.
 
 

130 comments:

  1. OMG, those balloons are awesome, I especially like the orange colored ones that are glowing in the night!

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    1. Lon Anderson: I loved them all - but did enjoy the way they lit up the early morning.

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  2. GreatI shots...I just love that frog and that cheeky bird.

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    1. only slightly confused. So did I. And rather a lot of the others too.

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  3. How exciting!! Great post, EC.
    :)

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    1. Caterina: Thank you. Balloons make my heart sing.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: It is spectacular isn't it? And huge. I am really sorry it didn't fly the day we were there - and grateful that it was inflated.

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    1. Jamie Ghione: You are not alone. Not by a long shot.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Kermie was big too - and took an incredible amount of time (and air) to inflate.

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  7. I like the frog one. That must be fun to watch.

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    1. donna baker: It is a HEAP of fun to watch.

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  8. Ooh..who's a happy bunny now! And I find myself singing a song from my younger days...if anyone remembers it, sing along https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sfwUwXugss

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    1. dinahmow: Not a song I knew. And it is now an earworm. And I can hear your complete lack of guilt.

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    2. I went to you tube and listened, I remember that song! But I remember the Dave Clark Five version. It didn't get any airplay out here so I don't remember where I heard it, perhaps at a friend's house.

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    3. River: I didn't know it - and it is still in my head.

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  9. Beautiful balloons, I love the one with beak and frog, fantastic EC.

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  10. Fantastic! I laughed each time I saw that hummingbird show up in a picture. And that frog! I'm amazed it could actually fly! What fun you had; thank you so much for sharing it with me. :-)

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    1. DJan: I am frequently amazed that some of the feature balloons can fly. They look the very opposite of aerodynamically sound.
      And yes, we did have a truly lovely morning.

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  11. These are fantastic. I love the hummingbird and the frog...they are fabulous.

    It's just as well hummingbirds are nectarivors don't eat frogs!

    Such a sight to see. Thank you, EC. :)

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    1. Lee: Isn't it a wonderful event? I liked all of the balloons. And suspect that the heart-shaped one does a roaring trade for proposals...

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  12. The glow from the first two photos is fabulous, you could just about warm your hands over them :)
    The 12th photo is a Balloon Planet and its Moons.
    They are all so beautiful, the humming bird is the brightest, maybe next year it will fly.
    I didn't know this event goes for ten days, I thought it was just a couple of days. I really hope to get there and see it myself one year, but that early in the morning I'd have to dress in full Eskimo gear with an added blanket strapped on.

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    1. River: You wouldn't be alone in being rugged up. There were children rugged up in pyjamas and dressing gowns too. And lots of people warming their hands on a cup of coffee.
      The Hummingbird flew on other mornings, but not the day we were there.
      I really hope you can get here one year.

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  13. So many lovely balloons! I especially loved the first two glowing red :)

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    1. mshatch: The colour when the propane burners are firing is incredible isn't it?

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  14. Those gorgeous colours! I especially love the photos taken in the dark.

    When I studied in Ottawa, there was a balloon festival there every year. I always enjoyed it too!

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    1. Marie Smith: They are a delight aren't they? A colourful, exciting delight.

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  15. It was an experience and you should remember that. You take good photos. I am in awe of them. It’s not a competition- you beat me hands down.

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    1. Terry: Thank you so much. We take different photos. I mostly avoid taking photos of people - at which you excel.

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  16. Love the first one especially and all the shapes and colors. I can see why your brother was disappointed to have missed this.

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    1. e: I hope he can see them next year. To miss out two years running is hard.

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  17. Balloon festivals are such fun, you are blessed to have this each year.

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  18. They are just so amazing, the frog, wow.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: Incredible isn't it? When it was inflating we thought there were problems (because one leg hung limply). We were wrong, and glad of it.

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  19. Thank you so much for the pictures! I, for one, could look at far more, if you're in the mood to post them. The hummingbird has to be my favourite - makes a person smile just looking at him :) You really did have crowds of people there, all up so early - and no wonder!

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    1. jenny_o: I smiled at rather a lot of them - and have a soft spot for the heart too. My selfish self would like smaller crowds but understands exactly why they were there. And apart from the ubiquitious selfies they were well behaved crowds as well.

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  20. I have waited until later in the day until to savour your post and appreciate it more. I love the photos. The hummingbird is way cool and I love the photobombing. The solid red coloured balloon looks a bit like a heart, but I imagined it upside down looking like a pair of....guess!

    Kermit is brilliant and the photo of him being photobombed by the hummingbird is my favourite. I suspect there may have been some intent on your part for the various photobombs, and it was well done.

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    1. Andrew: What a truly lovely comment. Thank you. An upside down balloon is a scary thought though...

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  21. Delightful---- Love that hummingbird!

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    1. Bill: It was a big crowd favourite - this year and last.

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  22. Dear EC

    Lovely photos as ever - thank you for sharing. I particularly like the frog!

    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: The frog was lovely wasn't it? And it is too long since I have seen 'real' ones.

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  23. Such beautiful photos and awesome balloons. It would be amazing to see in person. I look forward to seeing your photos each year. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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    1. Mason Canyon: Thank you so much. I hope to keep posting about this treat for many years to come.

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  24. My favorite shot was that of the hummingbird and Kermit, double treat. But all were aweome

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    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: The feature balloons are often set up close to each other, and this year it allowed the hummer to bomb Kermie.

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  25. I clearly need to be hanging out with you EC, because this just looks like such fun. Every time I see the hummingbird in another pic, I actually giggle with glee, and the frog is so cool! Thanks so much for sharing your activities. I really enjoy these. Hugs...RO

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    1. RO: Hugs gratefully received and returned. Our next planned outing is very different, and I hope you enjoy that one too.

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  26. Lovely colors. But I've heard they're full of hot air.

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    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: You may be right, but I can think of some other things also filled with hot air which are not nearly so pretty.

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  27. I love the first Hummingbird photo bombing. It's funny. And the Kermit and Hummingbird photo. The Hummingbird appears so curious and cute in the photo bombed shots. Kermit is cute.

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    1. Strayer: It really is a great festival. I hope it lasts a long, long time.

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  28. OMCod, the hummer just moved into second place as favorite--even though grounded, which is very odd for a hummer--replaced by the frog.

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    1. Sandra Cox: Hummer rarely take second place in a beauty competition do they? This hummer is probably feeling slighted.

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  29. Oh what a fabulous post, Dear! What fun to see them all!

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    1. Cloudia: It was a heap of fun to see. I am already looking forward to next year.

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  30. If I were to see a giant green frog balloon in the sky I would laugh with delight!

    The first image almost looked like an illuminated rose petal.

    Fun stuff.

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    1. Bea: The feature balloons are often amazing. Years back I can remember coming round a corner (in a bus) and being confronted with a giant polar bear butt. I laughed. Loudly.

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  31. Have you ever been up in a hot air balloon?

    I have sent the package from Amazon. You should get it in the next couple of weeks.

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    1. Birdie: Thank you. I am intrigued and excited. I have been up in a balloon - three times now, and loved it.

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  32. Hi EC - fantastic shots ... and yes the hummingbird, Kermie and the heart all added to the delight ... love Kermie! But so glad you had a fun time ... love seeing them all - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: The feature balloons are often amazing. The whole festival is a joy.

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  33. Kermit the frog always made me smile when seasame street was on and Gawd that was ages ago!

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    1. Spacer Guy: Scary isn't it? I am often listening to a song on the radio, thinking I remember that - and then the announcer tells us the year it came out. And I feel ancient.

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  34. Wow...those balloons are absolutely stunning!!
    I especially love the mockingbird...😊😊

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    1. Ygraine: This balloon tragic loves them all.

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  35. These are just incredible, you are so lucky to have this on your doorstep ... so to speak!
    I've loved seeing all of your photographs - just amazing.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~Jan: We are very lucky. And see some balloons all year round. Which is lovely.

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  36. I have never been to a balloon event. I so hope to see one like this one. It is amazing. B

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    1. Button Thoughts: It IS amazing, and I hope you can see one too.

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  37. I didn't know you were obsessed with balloons! The prettiest ones for me were those illuminated at night. Love those shots.

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    1. John Wiswell: I am obsessed with rather a lot of things. Many of which fly. And I am glad you liked those very first shots. It was a treat to see when we arrived wondering/hoping that the balloons would fly.

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  38. That looks like a lot of fun!

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    1. Jono: From my status as a confirmed balloon tragic I can only say YES.

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  39. Love the frog... and a photo-bombing bird? Couldn't be better! He is rather hilarious doing it - or, rather, you setting him up for it. I think the two of you were in league with each other. ;)

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    1. River Fairchild: I wish I could claim credit for the photo-bombing. I noticed it after the event. And smiled.

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  40. What a wonderful post. I love that photobombing humming bird but even without him the photos look like such fun.

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    1. Kalpanaa: Thank you. We did have a heap of fun, both with and without the photobomber.

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  41. Thanks for sharing. Kermie looks very friendly. I wonder why the humming bird didn't go up.

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    1. Anna: I really don't know why the hummingbird didn't fly that day. It did take to the air on other days.

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  42. I love the frog, but that humming bird is just too cute! You're right, he showed up everywhere. What a fun event. I love that it's long enough that it gives so many people an opportunity to attend. That's great!

    Elsie

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    1. Elsie Amata: Ballooning is so very weather dependent the festival needs to run for a while. Last year the balloons only took to the air on two of the ten days.

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  43. You go to so many neat things EC! My trips are pretty much always something to do with birds, it was a bower today which I think I'll share tomorrow. The balloons looks amazing, especially the frog and the comical photo bomber

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    1. Kim: A bower? I really look forward to seeing that. Himself would tell you that we never go anywhere. I am glad to have some support on my side.

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  44. The hummer did do a lot of photo bombing. So cute.

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    1. Sandra Cox: It was. Very, very cute. And very, very big.

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  45. The photo bomb is FANTASTIC!
    I LOOOOOVE IT !!!!

    Sorry your brother missed out :-(

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  46. I have seen them land, but never in the water. That would be fun to see them tow a kayak. I wonder if the different shaped balloons are harder to steer because of weight shifting? Just curious. You know I love the balloons! I miss seeing them every year, so I double enjoyed this post!

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    1. mail4rosey: It must take a heap of skill to land so that the basket is skimming the water rather than sinking. I suspect the big and oddly shaped balloons do provide a challenge - and love that the pilots are up to it.

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  47. They're all awesome! Too bad the hummingbird never took flight.

    It'd really be cool if you could actually go up in one of those balloons... maybe you AND your brother.

    Have a super weekend!

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    1. Susan: I have flown in balloons (normal shaped ones) with the brother in question. And we both grinned from ear to ear.

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    2. Fantastic! I'm so glad to hear you guys had that experience. :)

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  48. I am so jealous of all the things you have around you. The photos are just beautiful!

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    1. Anne in the kitchen: Thank you. We have an exhibition to go to soon, and after that things will be a lot quieter. Dull even.

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  49. You have the desire to photograph everything and that’s all it takes. I take my hat off to you and your obvious talent.

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    1. Terry: Thank you. People (at which you excel) and action shots (ditto) are not my forte. At all.

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  50. So sorry for your brother than he didn't get to see balloons on his days to go. That stinks. The photos are amazing. So many interesting balloons. The frog and heart are cute. :) The balloons landing and pulling kayakers does sound interesting. Thanks for sharing.
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~Jess: Ballooning is so weather dependant it is the luck of the draw - but I do feel for him. And hope to see a balloon towing a kayaker next year.

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  51. I have never seen so may varieites of balloons and it must have been an awesome sight to see.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: It was. I was smiling so widely my face hurt.

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  52. Oh how lovely to see all those balloons, so many shapes and sizes and colours. Especially that green froggie! There used to be a balloon that I would often see around here shaped like a can of paint with a paintbrush sticking out of the top.... wonder where it went? A few years ago we had a normally calm golden retriever who would go into a frenzy of barking if a balloon floated over our back yard, she just couldn't understand it!

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    1. Shammickite: I would love to see the can of paint balloon. We had a German Shepherd years ago who was decidedly anti-balloon too. And her barks echoed in the sky.

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  53. That's an obsession I can most definitely understand!
    I love the hummingbird, especially its photo bombing. Somehow the frog doesn't look too happy whereas the hummingbird seems to make fun of him... I wonder whether the hummingbird will be at out balloon festival this year (which is only a meager two days), perhaps I should check it out.

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    1. Carola Bartz: I hope the hummingbird does 'go home' for your festival. And that you take photos if it does. It is HUGE, and lovely.

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  54. This must have been amazing to see in the dark.
    Hope this weekend is the best one ever.

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    1. Sandra Cox: It was amazing. And this weekend has been productive (wrestling with the garden). More to do of course. Hope yours is joy filled.

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  55. WOW! Have never seen anything like it. Would love to see those balloons in person. The frog, the hummingbird....so cute, and the other balloons so pretty. Hope your brother is able to go next year. Thanks for the visit, much appreciated. Would love to see your spiralizer and food you've prepared with it.

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    1. Sandy: It is a while since I have used our spiralizer but there is a picture of it in the next post (with a pink elephant resting on it). When next I use it I will try and remember photos and a post.

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  56. Wow, Wow, Wow!!! Wow!! LOL! Seriously, so cool! I would love to see this in person! I'm sorry for your brother!! That hummingbird one made me laugh, how it was showing up in the pictures! LOL! Love that frog too! All of them are amazing! What a show! Thanks so much for sharing these amazing pictures! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow: This festival is now in its thirtieth year and gets better and better. I hope to go every year for some time to come. Hugs to you too.

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  57. A pure feast for the senses and the imagination. I completely adore that frog... and the heart.

    P.S. I came to spy after my dear Stacy (Magic Love Crow) suggested it. I'm glad I stopped by. Happiest Sunday!

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    1. Magaly Guerrero: Welcome and thank you (and a big thank you to Stacy too).
      The balloon spectacular is a treat we look forward to every year. A true joy.

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    2. I am so happy Magaly came by!!! Big Hugs!

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    3. Magic Love Crow: Thank you so much for the referral. It touched my heart. Hugs.

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  58. Wow! All those balloons are just amazing, wonderful!
    The Hummingbird inflated is fantastic and very original!
    LOVE your photos! Thanks for sharing them!

    Lots of HUGS and much LOVE!!

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    1. sonial a. mascaro: Aren't they beautiful. I love balloons with a foolish passion.

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  59. Stunning collection! The birds, but I also like the fun kitchen tools, especially the wee elephant and smiling spoons. x

    RoyalRuby
    Gclub

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    1. co coya: You didn't quite manage to synchronize your comments to the posts did you?

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  60. So very wonderful balloons, thanks for sharing, dear friend.
    A big hug.

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    1. orvokki: I am very glad you like them. Hug gratefully received and returned.

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  61. I adore the balloon madness! The hummingbird balloon is my favorite, but they are all amazing.

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    1. Lynn: I adore it too. I look forward to it each and every year. And they ARE amazing.

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