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Twin Tuesday ~ Flash 365

 “Oh! Take a shit, read a story” – My Mother on Flash Fiction

What else can I say? The stories on Flash 365 are the perfect length for a trip to the loo. Some stories even have a few episodes for those times you’ll need to be entertained a bit longer.  I have never laughed so hard or gotten such twist endings slapped aside my head like Flash 365 pulls on me. I hope my humble story (and art) below is half as good as what you’d experience on Flash 365 😉 Enjoy.

I’ve always looked good in black,” H whispered before inserting the wintergreen lifesaver into her mouth. A holdover oral fixation from quitting smoking.

Funerals were always a great place to go husband hunting. It was time. She was loosing her youthful appearance again and it was time to fall in love.

Her one and only friend D elbowed her slightly, turning her gaze to the solitary, elderly man sitting in the front row. He was quietly weeping.

H glided over to his location then sat next to the man, put her arm around him and spoke softly, “ She was a wonderful woman, you must have loved her deeply.”

She was my light,” he choked between his tears “I don’t know if I can go on without her.”

His devotion to his wife is what attracted her to him. She needed that.

There, there.” She scratched his back.

H returned D’s glance and nodded slightly. D turned and left the room.

H began singing sweetly at a level only he could hear. His crying ceased. His eyes locked with hers. His heart began to feel full of life and started to beat just a bit faster.

Soon after the memorial was over, he and H married in a quiet part of a tropical island. He never thought he could feel so alive again.

On their 20 year anniversary, he asked the the burning question that was on his mind all these years. He wondered how after 20 years, he actually started to look younger and H hasn’t changed at all.

Love.” She said. “True love will always make you young.”

On their 40 year anniversary, when he clearly looked like he did in his 20’s and she hasn’t changed, he asked her again. She answered the same, “Love.”

When they reached their 50th anniversary, he clearly wanted an answer from her as he noted his acne pocked face.

H just began to sing to him. Softly like a lullaby. He felt the need to cuddle and nap within her arms. He rested his head on her shoulder and dozed off.

After what felt like a deep rest, he awoke to find himself not thinking about much aside from feeling hungry and wet. A loud cry was the only noise that came from his mouth.

There, there.” H cooed to him. She changed his diaper, gave him a bottle and rested him on her bosom. He felt happy, safe and loved again. He looked into her eyes, and all he knew was in those eyes. Love.

Soon he melted into her navel. She breathed slowly while the rejuvenation took place. Years of age began to disappear from her face. Gray hairs turned auburn, wrinkles stretched taut, skin turned vibrant and her body shrunk to a firm stature. H stood in front of the mirror, naked. She smiled.

You look fabulous!” D shouted to H as she approached the outdoor cafe.

Thanks! Love will do that to you.” She said as she flopped into the chair. “Sorry I’m late, I had to shop for some new clothes.”

No worries. No one else understands like I do.” D sarcastically noted, while she picked up her baby boy to cuddle him.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Twin Tuesday ~ Mad Cap Dog Edition

Scifihammy over at Mad Cap Dog cracks me up on Sunday’s with her ‘Sunday Musings’. Here’s my attempt at a Tuesday Musing…

Tuesday: The day after Monday that reminds you that you still have four more days of not trying to slap a fellow co-worker.   

Three horrible facts: 1. Today is not Friday 2. Tomorrow is not Friday 3. Even the day after tomorrow is not Friday.

Dear Tuesday, nobody likes you either. You’re just Monday’s ugly cousin.

Remember ~ I’m a blogger, Jim. Not a Sunday Muser!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Baltimore Oriole ~ Icterus galbula

This medium-sized passerine measures 6 ½” to 8 ½” long and 9” to 12 ½ ” across the wings. They have a longish tail, fairly long legs and a thick, pointed bill. Their body weight averages 1.2 oz.

Baltimore Orioles love ripe fruit. Hang cut oranges from trees to entice orioles into your yard. There are special feeders that hold sugar water for them (like a hummingbird feeder). They also love grape jelly, which can be placed in a small bowl and hung from a branch. If you plant dark-colored, bright fruits and nectar-bearing flowers, such as raspberries, crab apples, serviceberry, tupelo, and trumpet vines… They will come! If your feeders are set-up perfectly for them, they will teach their young to come to them.

These photos were taken last fall, while we were camping. These feeders were hanging on the Camp Hosts site, which was right next to ours. He fed them sugar water and grape jelly. They would wait in the trees for him to fill the feeders!

Baltimore Orioles use their slender beaks to feed in an unusual way, called “gaping”. They stab their closed bill into soft fruits, then open their mouths to cut a juicy swath from which they drink with their brushy-tipped tongues.

Female orioles are just a tad lighter than the males, however they do tend to get darker with age, possibly even reaching the brightness of a male.

Baltimore orioles also forage by making short flights to catch insects. One of their favored prey is the tent caterpillar moth, which they typically eat in their larval stage, which can be a nuisance species if not naturally regulated by predation. The larvae caterpillar are beaten against a branch until their protective hairs are skinned off before being eaten. Gotta love these guys!!

The female oriole is the nest builder. She creates a tightly woven pouch consisting of plant or animal materials, and is usually located on the end of a branch. She likes to build in tall trees like elms, cottonwoods, maples or willows are usually selected. The female lays three to seven eggs, with the norm being around four. The eggs are pale gray to bluish white with an incubation period of about 12 to 14 days. Once the nestlings hatch, they are fed by both parents and brooded by the female for two weeks.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Twin Tuesday – Choppy & Schooner Edition

OMG! If you haven’t been over to Travels With Choppy, you DO NOT know what your missing!! Get over there…. I’ll wait…. See? I told ya it was a hoot! Not only does Sarah twist our brain with finding Choppy in low places, she also dresses the anipals (well, at least Choppy) and gets us laughing with the howlidays posts. I love her ‘one photo posts’ with the furries, my inspiration for the below photo.

Don’t forget! Sarah is a published author now 😉 Do check out her work here.

 

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Chippy Chipmunk ~ Tamias striatus

These guys are my adorable little bird seed removers. No one likes weeds  under the feeders 🙂

The genus name of Tamias is Greek for treasurer, steward, or housekeeper, surely because of how this little critter cleans up all the seeds on the ground, storing them for winter dining. The common name may have been spelled chitmunk from the native Odawa (Ottawa) word jidmoonh, meaning “red squirrel”.

Their average size is 2-6″ inches long, with a 3″ inch tail and weigh less than a pound. Chipmunks will live to an average of 2 – 3 years in the wild, however can easily double that in captivity. Sadly, these cuties are on the bottom of the food chain. Chipmunks will gather food along the ground, most times staying out of wide open spaces. They prefer areas with underbrush, evergreens, and downed trees, where they can hide from predators like bird of prey, foxes, coyotes, and snakes.

        

Clearly, this is a little boy chipmunk 😉  ||  A group of chipmunks is called a scurry.

These little engineers like to dig two types of burrows: shallow burrows for fast get-aways while foraging, and deeper burrows where the entrance can be up to 20′ feet long, where they nest, store food and hibernate. Chipmunks rarely venture further than 1,000 feet from their burrows at any time.

They feed on insects, nuts, berries, seeds, fruit, they also eat other creatures such as insects, baby birds, frogs and bird eggs, which they stuff into their stretchy cheek pouches and and bring back to their burrows to store.

I used to hear these chirps and think they were birds.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

 

Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve – Spring Blooming Flowers 4-5-2017

Last weekend, my hubby allowed himself to get talked into a quick jaunt around Reed-Turner Woodland Preserve in Long Grove, Illinois. It’s a pretty small preserve at 36 acres. It was donated to the Long Grove Park District by Barbara Reed-Turner. It’s a fabulous little gem with so much diversity and wildlife to see. The town of Long Grove does have many activities such as Strawberry & Apple Fests, along with it’s quaint feel, makes for a great day trip. All of the following flowers were captured at the preserve. Since I’ve not had another blooming flowers in the past that’s remotely close to this one, I’m not linking back to any past blooming posts.

Winter aconites – Eranthis hyemalis

Aren’t they adorable? They look like little ballerinas.

Pussy willows ~ Salix discolor

Scilla Siberica – Siberian Squill or Wood Squill

Vinca minor ~ Periwinkle

Salem Lake

Bird Log – Lots of birds fly through here!!

Natural Stadium Seating

More Squill

Indian Creek

The only bird I can pick-out here is the White-breasted Nuthatch. An maaaybe a red-breasted. Their noise is a bit higher pitched.

I hear Redwinged Blackbirds, Robins and many loud ‘Clicky’ birds. I could see it was a midsize bird, but that’s it with the dank gray skies.

Lots of clean-up going on this spring.

Common snowdrops ~ Galanthus nivalis

Forsyhia

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Twin Tuesday – Eddie Two Hawks

Eddie Two Hawks isn’t a person, it’s a form of thought. I love the simplicity of the posts, along with the powerful message they bring. Eddie usually combines these words of wisdom with a beautiful photo, mostly consisting of flowers. Thank you for all the words of wisdom Eddie 🙂

Earth, Teach Me

Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.

– An Ute Prayer

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Twin Tuesday – Key Image Photographers and Bertie the Bear

There’s a cute, reoccurring adventurer that graces the pages of Key Image Photography called Bertie.  He is just the most adorable bear and along with his friend Croc who joins him on some pretty crazy travels!

I also have a traveling friend that goes everywhere my convertible goes. His name is ‘Goatee’, clearly because he is a goat that sports a pretty rad goatee! He likes to ride in my passenger seat visor, high up so he can see all the sights. Making sure there’s no Smokies on my tail… Goatee and I really get along great as we’re both Capricorns! He also never complains about my driving. That’s key in this relationship.

    

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl