Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Sunday Selections #465




Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.

Huge thanks to Cie who gave me this wonderful Sunday Selections image.
  
The meme was then continued by River at Drifting through life.  Sadly she has now stepped aside (though she will join us some weeks), and I have accepted the mantle.
 
The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to me. Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
I usually run with a theme.  My theme this week is gifts.  I had a birthday recently.  Himself is mostly supremely talented in the gift giving arena (though the year he gave me an iron was a big fail).  This year his gifts were thoughtful, appreciated, and very generous.




His first gift was a Bee and Insect House which I have wedged into the trunks of our white banksia rose.  I do hope the pollinators find it, and will watch with interest.

 The second was a nice sturdy bird bath.  I have put a rock into it so the smallest birds can also perch and drink safely.  So far only the pigeons have found it (while I have been watching) but I hope that a lot of birds benefit from it.


And, in an embarrassment of riches, he also gave me some books and a garden trowel.

Later that day we headed out to the National Art Gallery to see the Matisse Picasso exhibition - which didn't disappoint.  I took over two hundred photos and a post about it will appear in the fullness of time.

In common with many exhibitions these days the only exit is through the gift shop.  I weakened (of course).  The following selection are gifts I am happy to share, with anyone who would like one.  First in best dressed I am afraid.  If you would like any of the next items let me know in the comments and I will happily post them (world wide).




 The first bookmark depicts a Picasso painting 'La Lecture'.  I believe it depicts one of his many mistresses (who he didn't flatter with his art work). 

 The circular image is a depiction of Matisse's Still Life with Oranges.   I 'thought' it was a magnet.  My mistake.  It is actually a small hand mirror. 

The second bookmark is taken from a Matisse painting 'The Seated Odalisque'.

Then some cards I bought.



The first card is Picasso of course.  It is 'L'Arlesienne:  Lee Miller'  Do you see what I meant when I said that his art doesn't flatter his subjects?



The second card is by Henri Matisse and is a reproduction of 'Plate 1 from Pasiphae, Song of Minos (The Cretans).  I really like its simplicity.



This one is also Matisse 'The Reclining Odalisque'


The final card (also Matisse) is titled 'Blouse romaine (Romanian blouse) and was drawn in charcoal.

Of the two artists I much prefer Henri Matisse but there were some Picasso works in the exhibition which also surprised and delighted me.

On the way home we stopped by the lake and I was given another gift.

Our white ibises are unkindly also called bin chickens.  I was lucky to catch this quick shot of a flock of them taking to the sky.



It really was a lovely day and I am happy to share the bounty.  If I don't yet have your address please send me an email.

Some of you have asked whether I was affected in our most recent (and spectacular) hail storm.  We were on its fringes and got a little hail and no damage.  Three family members will have to replace cracked windscreens and have cosmetic damage to their cars but all in all were were lucky and dodged that particular bullet.  Lifeline (the organisation I volunteer with) was less fortunate.  One of their vans had both front and rear windscreens shattered, the upholstery drenched and shredded and every panel looks as if someone has attacked it with a hammer.  It will have to be replaced.

The damage was incredible.  As well as the cars (which may because of the number damaged have to wait up to year to be repaired), many buildings were also damaged.  Solar panels were a frequent casualty and the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) lost years and years of irreplaceable work when its greenhouses were hit in the storm. 

And fires still burn.

Here's to a week with no climatic extremes.

148 comments:

  1. You had a very agreeable birthday, indeed Sue, and I am glad to hear that you were not affected by the apocryphal hail that we saw on the news. I can't imagine being hit by one of those hailstones and I suspect that small birds and other wildlife may have been killed. Greedy fellow that I am, I would welcome any bookmark you cared to send me. One thing I can assure you is that I use every one. And my Sulphur-crested Vandal feather has a place of honour on my shelf, along with a primary feather from a Cape Barren Goose.

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    1. David M. Gascoigne: We were lucky. Very lucky. I suspect you are right about the small birds and wildlife - as if they hadn't had enough to deal with this season.
      I am happy to add to your bookmark collection. Do you have a preference?

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    2. The left or the right of three above would be great.

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    3. David Gascoigne: Not a problem. I will post it sometime next week.

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  2. You were well and truly well gifted ๐Ÿ˜Š wonderful treasures!

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    1. Laurie: I was. I hope that my description of what the photographs were helped you at least a little.

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  3. love the pollinators houses, I need some of them, so many folks here sell the carpenter bee killing contraptions, so sad, little do they know how we sorely need the pollinators

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    1. Linda Starr: We have lots of pollinators in our garden and the house came with some seeds to attract more - which I will plant a little later when it has cooled down.

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  4. Yay! You made it to the exhibition.I was afraid the foul air would have kept the doors closed.

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    1. dinahmow: We were super lucky. The doors were closed the day before AND the day after. I suspect they are thinking about closing them today too.

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  5. Bee and insect house! That is amazing.

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    1. Susan Kane: It is a wonderful gift. I first saw one in our Botanic Gardens and I am very grateful to have one of my own.

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  6. Firstly...Happy Birthday, EC...Himself really did himself and you proud in the gift departments! :)

    The exhibition would be fascinating to wander around the exhibition...soaking in the presences of the spirits of Picasso and Matisse (speaking pf "presents").

    Have yourself a good week...a safe week...take care. Cuddles to Jazz. :)

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    1. Lee: He did very well indeed. We spent several hours in the exhibition and both thoroughly enjoyed it. Not only was the gallery open (smoky skies have meant it has been closed often) but there were very few other visitors.
      I hope you and the furry overlords have a great week and the humidity backs off. We will have some offensive temperatures next week but at least our humidity it generally low.

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  7. An iron...
    And yet he lives...

    I've often wondered what sort of woman Picasso hung out with. :)
    I'm so glad you enjoyed your day and the gifts are wonderful. Still doing a rain dance (without hail) for you!

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    1. River Fairchild: Keep dancing. Please.
      Picasso hung out with a LOT of women. I did notice going round the gallery that quite a lot of his paintings were said to be of his mistress. Which seemed not to be a long term position.
      He is lucky he survived the iron incident. Yes we needed one, but...

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  8. Happy Belated Birthday!! :) The bee and insect house is really neat! Glad you had a great time at the exhibition, they always catch you at the gift shop don't they lol? :) That photo of the ibises are just beautiful!

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    1. Rain: Thank you. I am really chuffed with the bee and insect house. And the bird bath. And the books. I didn't think the ibis shot would come out, so I was very happy it did. I only got a split second chance.

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  9. Una serena e felice domenica per te.

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    1. Giancarlo: Thank you. It is going to be a HOT one, and after doing some early work in the garden I have come inside.
      I hope your weekend is lovely.

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  10. It sounds like you had a very good birthday. We gave a smaller version of the bee and insect house to Jo for Christmas. Wasn't there something about putting it out in winter? Yes, hail damaged cars here too. I don't think I've seen ibis flying. I always try to push my partner through the gift shop on exit without delay. I am sometimes successful.

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    1. Andrew: It was a good birthday. I don't often see ibis here, but have noticed a few in the last week. It was a lucky shot when they took to the air. Smiling at your 'sometimes' success on exiting the gift shop without delay.

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  11. It sounds like you had an excellent birthday - well done that man! The insect and bee house is a fantastic idea, and I shall be looking online to see if I can find one. And SIX books!! Wow.
    There was an item on our news during the week about fires burning to the south of Canberra - you haven't mentioned them, so I'm hoping they weren't too near, and that they were rapidly dealt with.

    And "Hear, hear" to your final sentence...

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    1. Alexia: He really is both generous AND an good gift giver. That fire was quite close (less than twenty kilometres away) but had a lake to cross before it could reach us. It raged out of control for too long but is no on the watch status.

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  12. Many happy returns of the day!! Himself knows you deserve all the attention and love, all the gifts and special outings.

    Picasso is coming to town in June of this year. "Picasso: Painting the Blue Period" at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). Looking forward to it.

    : )

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    1. Caterina: Thank you. We usually go to any and all of the special exhibitions at the gallery - and have never been disappointed. Picasso is not my favourite artist - but I would go to that exhibition too. With pleasure.

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  13. From fires to hail. Talk about extremes!

    The bee and insect house is fascinating. I will research it.

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    1. Marie Smith: The hail was only a day or two before the latest fire outbreak and nearby fires kept on burning. I am so over extreme weather.

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    1. Kinga K.: It was. We are so lucky having the Gallery very close to home.

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  15. Hail and still fire. What's wrong with this picture?
    Wonderful gifts and celebration for a wonderful person.
    Hugs

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    1. Sandra Cox: Other parts of Oz are having floods. And thank you.

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  16. What wonderful and appropriate gifts! I hope you'll update us on how the bee and insect house works out. I'm sure the birds, large and small, will revel in the birdbath. Belated Happy Birthday, dear friend. I hope there is a very good year for you ahead.

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    1. jenny_o: Thank you so much. They are brilliantly chosen gifts aren't they? And yes, I will definitely provide an update as soon as I see anything move in to the pollinator's htest.

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  17. No earphones in the world could silence the sound a five year old on an airplane. The interdependence of the entire family of 30 members was on board heading to Utah, all wearing expensive sound silencing headphones . How could they abide devil child? Couldn't they douse the kid with water, yet don't they know splashing cold water yet in the face of a crazy kid might just shut her up?
    Let me do it, Just. Let. Me. Do. It! Beverly thought.
    Before the plane could zoom to a thankful landing, Beverly was ready to cram her favorite fig cookies into the devil girl's mouth.
    Someone will wreak revenge on you, little devil. Someday.

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    1. Susan Kane: I really enjoyed your masterly use of Mark Koopman's devilish prompts. I have also put a copy of them on the Words For Wednesday post.

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  18. Happy belated Birthday, Sue. Himself gave you such lovely, thoughtful gifts. You deserve to be celebrated every day.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: Thank you so much. His own birthday is a little over a week before mine and I do hope that he enjoyed his day as much as I did mine.

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  19. And the fires still burn!
    I approve of each and every birthday gift. No favorites. The pollinator house is of interest to me, too. I am accumulating many tubes from weaving cotton and have considered such a house, until a friend warned me of the necessity of cleaning them. I haven't investigated that yet.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Sadly they do still burn. I have been listening to the water bombing helicopters all day as they go back and forth, back and forth...
      I didn't realise that the pollinator house will need cleaning, though it makes sense. I will look into it.
      And as a PS. I sent a friend my copy of The Salt Path to read (as a boomerang). She too loves it and is considering getting her own copy.

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  20. Happy Belated Birthday!! Wish you all the best!!

    Love the theme of this week: Gifts!
    Love all gifts, and the Bee and Insect House which you had wedged into the trunks of the white banksia rose was really great!

    So terrible the fires on Australia! I have been reading about it and seeing the news on TV and I was very concerned about you!
    I hope that these terrible catastrophe will be defeated very soon!
    Lots of hugs and Love!

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    1. sonia a. mascaro: Thank you so much. We all hope the fires end soon and I was so grateful to learn of the kindness of the German tennis player that you told me about. I hope he wins - particularly because he has said he will donate ALL of his prize money to bushfire relief.

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  21. Happy Birthday, it seems you enjoyed your gifts immensely.
    The bee and insect house looks encouraging let's hope they find it.
    Bird baths are wonderful to have, so many birds come and bathe being a delight to watch - good luck with yours.

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    1. Margaret-whiteangel: I am enjoying them. It is still just the pigeons bathing, but I have high hopes, and do love to watch a bird enjoying itself in a bath.

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  22. #465?? Wow, that's 8 and three quarter years and a bit more!

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  23. I saw the hail damage on the news when it happened, I'm sorry to hear a Lifeline van is so badly damaged, and I hadn't even thought of the solar panels.
    I LOVE your bee and insect home and hope it is soon buzzing with activity.
    I'll pass on the bookmarks this time, I really do have way too many already. I make many myself from things I print off the internet and cover with clear contact.

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    1. River: I hadn't thought about the solar panels until the damage to many of them was featured on the news. I hope the pollinators home is soon buzzing too. Included with it were some seeds for bee friendly plants (which of course I will plant soon). I am sorry that you are passing on the bookmarks, but understand.

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  24. An iron?! Oh, my.

    So very sorry to read the damage that Lifeline property incurred. That storm was certainly a doozy.

    Happy belated Birthday to you! What a bounty of birthday booty you received. I really dig the bee and insect house. May the pollinators come in droves!

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    1. Bea: He gave me the iron many years ago, and to give him his due it was a good one. It just wasn't a suitable present (for me).
      Thank you - and I also hope that the pollinators love that house as much as I do.

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  25. Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your lovely day here. I am sorry about the iron but certainly he did well otherwise. I love the cards you've chosen too. Many more happy days to you!

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    1. e: The iron wasn't this year (fortunately). He did very well indeed this year. Would you like one of those cards? I would be happy to send it to you.

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    2. That would be lovely. Thank you.

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    3. Nope, any would be appreciated. Thank you!

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    4. e: I hope to send it out either late this week or early next.

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  26. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY You were well spoiled and that is as it should be. As you say, a lot of surprises through the day. I love the bug house and it has given me the idea that I should try making one for my garden. I think that would be fun to do. That looks like an interesting Art exhibition. Have a great week ahead Sue.

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    1. Margaret Birding For Pleasure: Thank you. I love the idea of you making a bee and insect house. If you do, you will have to let us know how you got on. The art exhibition was wonderful, and we spent several very pleasant hours there.

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  27. Hi Sue ... lots to comment on – your birthday sounds as though it was wonderful and as you a say a bountiful supply of delightful gifts … your bee garden – and great you’ve put in amongst your Banksia stems … love those roses! While the tiny critters will come calling. The bird bath does look solid … while the thoughtfully placed stone will be used by many a little flying one. That trowel looks to serve you well for a few years …

    The books – I recognise revised to three! … but will look up the others … Nadya’s Time to Bake, Kilvert’s diary, Gertrude Bell’s Syria – that I need to read. Enjoy and savour the reads.

    The exhibition looks to have been wonderful … and the cards/bookmarks you’ve shown us really give us an idea of Picasso and Matisse – their art is expressive … but like you I prefer Matisse – yet always want to see Picasso.

    Excellent to visit the lake for a relax down on a busy birthday … the weather is another story … ghastly for everyone, and for the CSIRO’s greenhouses … sad, but not as bad as everyone’s homes or livelihoods, or lives.

    Take care and enjoy the reading, gardening in the weeks ahead … cheers Hilary If there's a card going ... I'd love one - but you sent me an amazing sunflower one recently - to which I haven't really properly acknowledged ... sorting things out and something will follow anon. I'm seeing a Blake exhibition this week ... and I agree the Salt Path hit the right note for many ...

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I am happy to send you a card. I hope to get to the post office next week. Homes/businesses were significantly damaged in the hail but no human lives were lost.
      The next week or so will be too hot to be in the garden (except very early) but I will get there. And reading happens each and every day.

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  28. Happy belated Birthday...and WOW, your gifts look amazing! I'm really glad Picasso never painted me though!! LOL
    I really love the bee and insect house, and the bird bath. Watching both throughout the year will be a real treat, I'm sure.:))
    God, is there to be no let-up for you guys in Australia? Not only the fires still burning in places, but now the hail...you must all be thinking "why us?"
    I am sending sincerest hopes for an improvement soon...

    with much love and hugs xxxxxxx

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    1. Ygraine: This has been a year of extremes. A year which I hope doesn't set a precedent. There are floods now too. And still the fires burn.
      Hugs - and many, many thanks.

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  29. I love both artists. Jilda and I saw a Matisse exhibit at the National Museum in Washington several years ago. It was stunning.
    I love the gifts himself gave you for your birthday. I learned early on that an umbrella was not a fitting anniversary gift.

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    1. Rick Watson: We make a point of visiting the special exhibitions at the National Gallery and have never been disappointed. I love my gifts too, and like Jilda would probably not appreciate an umbrella.

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  30. Happy Belated birthday. What amazing gifts. Have to look into that cookbook. It's not yet available on Amazon. Let me know how it is.

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    1. mxtodis123: Thank you. We like Nadya, and watch her television series will pleasure. I expect that her cookbook will have treats - for both of us.

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  31. Happy Belated Birthday to you!! You did receive some lovely and thoughtful gifts!! I hope the birds and the bees (uh oh, I'm starting to sing the song!) enjoy your presents as well. :) Like Hillary noted, I like Matisse better than Picasso, but I always want to see Picasso. And like you, I weaken in the gift stores, especially if famous art depictions are involved. :) As noted in the latter part of your post, I'm glad the bad weather was not too fierce for you. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. mail4rosey: Thank you. The exit through the gift shop catches many of us out doesn't it? A very, very clever marketing ploy.

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  32. Happy birthday EC, how awesome to have received such thoughtful gifts. It'll be good to hear how the insect hotels go and to get news of the bathers and drinkers that visit the birdbath.

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    1. Kim: Thank you. I do hope that the pigeons give other birds time at the bath.

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  33. Happy belated birthday. Such lovely gifts. Here's to wishing calming times ahead.

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  34. Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great week. I love the birdbath, how cute.

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    1. Mary Kirkland: Thank you. I did indeed have a lovely week.

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  35. So glad you had a well deserved birthday. The gifts you received are wonderful. I especially like the pollinator. I didn't hear about the hail. So sorry Australia is experiencing the intensity of climate change. As always, I am grateful for your lovely photos.

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    1. Myrna R.: Thank you. I am hoping (fervently) that the climate extremes we are going through are a wake-up to our government. If it is, it would be a small silver lining.

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  36. Belated happy birthday! What wonderful gifts you received from your thoughtful husband. Aloha from Hawaii.

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  37. I'm glad you've been safe from the catastrophes hitting the country. I hope they will be brought more under control soon.

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    1. John Wiswell: And so say all of us. I watch the news with increased trepidation these days (the political nastiness and the climatic extremes both make my head and heart ache).

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  38. Happy birthday!
    When I first saw the picture of your bird bath, before I even read the text, I thought there was a piece of chocolate cake, lying on its side, in it and I was confused. You said it's a rock, but it still looks like chocolate cake to me. ;)
    Wonderful gifts, all of them.

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    1. Olga Godim: Thank you. Believe me, in the temperatures we have been experiencing, chocolate (and cake) would have dissolved very quickly.

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  39. Absolutely beautiful, they are spirits of love. I love the White Ibises, fabulous.

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    1. Bob Bushell: Thank you. I have never seen so many white ibises together before.

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  40. Lovely selections for this week, and i wish you many happy returns of your birthday, as well as no more damage from severe weather.

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  41. Le giornate dovrebbero iniziare con un abbraccio, un bacio, una carezza e un caffรจ.
    Buon inizio di settimana.

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    1. Giancarlo: I am a tea rather than a coffee drinker, but your other suggestions sound wonderful.

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  42. so glad you escaped the worst of the hail. It must have been a shocking storm. Are they the Straw Necked Ibis with the black wings? And I can see some plovers or are they the Masked Lapwing taking flight with them?

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    1. Anna: Your eyes are better than mine (or you are more observant). Until your comment I hadn't notice the other birds (which are probably plovers). You are also right that they are probably strawnecked rather than white ibis. Thank you.
      It was a shocking storm, and the worst of it is that it didn't put out the nearby fires.

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  43. Happy Birthday! You certainly had a lovely day with some lovely gifts. The birdbath looks beautiful and I hope you get many birds there to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Rosie: Thank you. I hope so too. It is still apparently reserved for pigeons but I hope that changes.

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  44. Feeling for all you Australians with those awful fires...

    Happy belated birthday to you and I love that insect box - made by Himself? And so sweet of you to give that extra help to the littlest birds.... and books - to add to your teetering tower! Oh joy.

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    1. molly: Thank you. The fires have been burning for months now and our 'fire season' has months to go. Which makes my heart ache.
      Himself didn't make the insect box, but I love that he hunted it out for me.
      You are right about the joy of slowly/slightly diminishing that tower. And you added a wish to it.

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  45. Fires; and hail, too? That doesn't seem fair.

    A very happy (belated) birthday to you! You did get lovely gifts.

    And Picasso's work always makes me chuckle - there was a guy with a truly, um... unique vision. I've always wondered whether he took himself seriously. :-)

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    1. Diane Henders: It doesn't seem fair does it. And the hail didn't put out the fires and now there is a new one (out of control) 27 kilometres from us.
      Thank you for the birthday wishes.
      I have wondered whether Picasso (and Dali) took themselves seriously too. In Dali's case I think he did. Mind you, I love his work. I had a poster of his 'Swans Reflecting Elephants' on my wall for years.

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    1. natalia20041989: I do hope the pollinators think so too.

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  47. Belated but heartfelt birthday wishes. Wishing you many gifts - of nature and friendship and fine weather and good health always. Your day sounds lovely. I too prefer Matisse to Picasso, the latter was quite harsh to some of his subjects.

    The hailstorm sounds deadly. So saddening the years of scientific and research work being lost!

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    1. Nilanjana Bose: It seems that most of us prefer Matisse's work. I was tickled to learn that despite them having many, many disagreements over the years quite a number of the Matisee paintings in the exhibition came from Picasso's collection.
      The hailstorm was a huge (and destructive) shock.
      And thank you for your comprehensive wishes.

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  48. Belated wish for a happy birthday. And I like the gifts you got.

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    1. Kelly Steel: Thank you. I really like my gifts too.

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  49. Oh my gosh EC after reading this post I feel we are kindred spirits! Firstly happy happy belated birthday, I would have been delighted with each and every present you received. Most of the plants in my garden were picked to feed the bees and butterflies so the beehouse sounds brilliant, my birdbath also has a stone in it for the smaller birds to step on, don't worry as soon as the word gets out you will get many varieties of birds. You simply can't go wrong with books.. but the icing on the cake would have been the Picasso/Matisse exhibition, Picasso is such a favourite of mine, so much so that the last time I was at our Art Gallery I enquired if a Picasso exhibition was ever likely to happen, only to be told they would love to have one but the cost of getting it to Perth wasn't viable. It's not always convenient to live in the world's most isolated city.. just most of the time ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. PerthDailyPhoto: I also plant for the pollinators (and the birds). The bee and insect house came with seeds for more flowers to attract them too. Very, very welcome.
      I really love the National Gallery. The special exhibitions (like this one) are always worth a trip (or two) but there are plenty of permanent wonders there too.
      Canberra is not a big city (fortunately) as cities go, and I think has the benefits of the city and a lot of the charm of a country town.

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  50. I didn't hear about the hail storm. That sounds awful and extreme, to do such damage. We hear of the fires almost daily here, and the dust storms too now. Seems as if you in Australia are bearing a very very difficult summer.

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    1. Strayer: We are having a shocking summer. The fires still burn, the dust and the smoke are still everywhere and now some parts of Australia have flooded.

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  51. When you think you can't handle more, there's more to handle. I'm so glad you have Himself, and that Himself seems to know your worth.
    Hugs.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: Thank you. I have shared my life with himself for over forty years now and mostly we muddle along well.

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  52. Hi EC,

    I saw that hailstorm too - amazing if not a little disturbing.

    :o)

    Cheers

    PM

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    1. Plastic Mancunian: Very disturbing. We only saw the fringes of the big one but got hit the week early and copped some damage.

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  53. Sounds like a lovely birthday, happy birthday I'm a bit late.
    Merle..........

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    1. Merlesworld: Thank you. It was lovely, and late wishes are welcome.

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  54. Happy birthday to you! Himself did real good, it all looks like you all over ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I was especially disappointed about the losses at csiro. Losing years of work would be worse than losing a car

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    1. kylie: I was really disappointed at the damage at the CSIRO too. We may need that lost knowledge sooner than we think.
      And yes, himself knows me well.

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  55. I like that bird bath!
    You have a great one.

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    1. Sandra Cox: It is a beauty isn't it. I think the birds are being a bit sneaky. I rarely see them in it, but we need to top it up each day.

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  56. Happy belated Birthday. Your guy did a great job with the gifts. The bee house and bird bath will thrill you all year I'm sure. I bet the hailstorm was very scary. I got caught in one in a car with the kids in the States several years ago. Smashed the windscreen and the hire car was completely ruined. Avis weren't that impressed.

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    1. LL Cool Joe: He did an amazing job. I am still revelling in them. And yes, hailstorms like that one ARE scary. Very scary.

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  57. Well first very special Happy Birthday wishes for you, and such delightful, meaningful and wondrous gifts indeed. So many will benefit too. I'm a huge Alice Hoffman fan too! I truly hope the fires end soon, it's such a tragic situation.

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    1. 21 Wits: Thank you. I hope the fires will end, but it doesn't seem likely at the moment. Last night we were watching flames roll down the hills close to home.

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  58. First, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! I love your gifts. I've forgotten that one of the perks of having a significant other is having someone who will remember your birthday. The museum trip was lovely...I love anything art related. Last, I'm so sorry that your country continues to suffer from devastation. My thoughts are with you and I hope it all resolves soon.

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    1. Mildred Ratched: Thank you. I love my gifts too. And that National Gallery is a gem. We have never been there without finding something new to marvel at. Sadly (see my response to the comment above) there is no resolution to the fires in sight. The next few days are predicted to be dangerous with temperature climbing and gusty days predicted.

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  59. Cool insect house! And happy belated birthday!

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  60. Fantastic post, lovely images. Love the insect house and I would also like to wish you a very happy birthday, even though I am a bit late :)

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  61. Himself is a very thoughtful keeper, and a few of those books I've read and appreciated. I'm glad your birthday was a good one. Like you, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for no more major issues this week. Hugs, RO

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    1. RO: Thank you. I am longing for a week without issues. Perhaps next week will be the one.

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  62. So pleased you had a lovely birthday … I send belated good wishes.
    Your gifts look wonderful and the visit to the exhibition looks amazing, what a great day.

    Take care, the weather at the moment is all over the place not only in Australia but here in the UK too! Where one of our sons live they experienced a tornado recently … never had that before, thankfully they had no damage although some neighbours did!

    Lets hope when February arrives it will bring better weather for all.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Lowcarb team member ~ Jan: Thank you. Sadly the whole world seems to be beset with global weather weirding at the moment. I hope it changes. Soon. I am glad that your son didn't suffer any damage.

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  63. Happy Belated Birthday Beautiful Soul! I love all your beautiful gifts! (I don't think I would have liked an iron either! LOL!) The bee and insect house is so cool! I am so sorry about all the "weather" where you live!! I never heard anything about the hail! Again, I am so sorry for all those who got damage from it! Everything you got from the exhibition is so cool! You know I would love anything, if anything is left. EC, I thought no mail was coming out of or going to your country? Am I wrong?
    Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow: As far as I know mail is still arriving and departing. I will happily send something to you early next week.
      And thank you. Hugs to you too.

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    2. Really??? Ok, I want to send you something too. Or do you think I should wait???

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    3. Magic Love Crow: How lovely of you, but please wait - at least until our current State of Emergency has been lifted.

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  64. I love that bee and insect house, never seen one of those before. As for the bird bath, we had one in North Carolina with a small dripper to which the birds are attracted. If you or hubby can fix up something like that you would get many more visitors I believe.

    Belated Happy Birthday.

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    1. Jo: The dripper is a good idea. I will investigate. Many thanks.

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  65. I missed your birthday, but I will wish you many happy days, years. :-)

    Fire and hail. What an incredible phenomenon. Someone told me that in Oz, you can have every kind of weather in one day in Spring.

    I saw the hail, but it was hard for me to believe, I've never seen anything like that.

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    1. neena maiya (guyana gyal): Thank you. And thank you for trawling through so many back posts. Fire/hail/floods have all caused considerable damage this summer. Weird. And I hope rare.

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