Sunday, October 31, 2010

November 1, 2010 Calico cats


You may have seen these cats around; their coats are a combination of black, orange and white, arranged in blocks of colour. 

Generally speaking, calico cats are female. It's a genetic thing!

Coat color in cats is a sex-linked trait, a physical characteristic (coat color) related to gender. Female mammalian animals have two X chromosomes (XX), males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (XY). The genetic coding for displaying black or orange color is found on the X chromosome. The coding for white is a completely separate gene. For a male cat to display the calico colours, he'd need to have an extra X chromosome. (Pay attention at the back of the class!)

By the way, they are not a separate breed of cat, and it can be tricky to try to breed for these colours. Calico cats are not to be confused with tortoiseshell cats. The latter has little or no white in their coat colour, and the colours tend to be blended or swirled together.

Many people consider calico cats will bring good luck to their home, especially if they happen to 'adopt' their owners! Some people call them "money cats".

Puschka, my Grand-cat!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 30, 2010 It's a shoe-in

Back in "the days", I was one of the many women who love shoes. Oh, I still do, but just don't indulge in the passion quite as much.

But, I do take photos of shoes in my travels, so here are just a few for your pleasure.

And, although not glamorous, necessary for the rain, or aqua alta, in Venice.

For the gentleman in your life, these natty spats, perhaps.

 And, finally, my old favourites, who walked many a kilometer with me. Alas, they are now part of some landfill on Vancouver Island. I mourn.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 28, 2010 Bookworms of the world, unite!

What are you reading right now??

Here are a few of my favorite books. Many have been read more than once ...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 27, 2010 Signs

Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

I cheated: this is from Melbourne

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 26, 2010 This Ole House

This ole house once knew his children
This ole house once knew his wife
This ole house was home and comfort
As they fought the storms of life
This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts

This ole house is a-gettin' shaky
This ole house is a-gettin' old
This ole house lets in the rain
This ole house lets in the co
(This Ole House, Stuart Hamblen) 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 25, 2010 Feeling Saintly

Since yesterday was Sunday, Down Under, and the sun was shining nicely, I thought I'd check out one of the local churches.

This is Saint Joseph Catholic church, with an associated primary school. 

And, here is the eponymous Saint :

And, another famous Saint :

I wanted to go inside, to show you what it looks like, but was stymied :

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Drop Box

October 24, 2010 On Platypus Pond

Not far from the old locomotive I featured a little while back, there is a pretty little park. A walking path leads you by the creek that runs through part of it, feeding a small waterfall and pond. The trees are thick and lush, in season the ginger bushes are full of blossoms, attracting bees and nectar eating birds. There is a playground for the youngsters and undercover facilities for a BBQ or picnic lunch.

The pond used to be the swimming pool for the town, and one elderly man I spoke to remembered having swimming lessons there.

Recently, the pond had become choked with weeds, and the platypus family that could be spotted from time to time, and the turtles, apparently had left to travel downstream to a place where they could survive.

About a month ago, there was a flurry of activity, with the pond drained, then heavy equipment was brought in to clean away all the sludge, and to shore the sides with large boulders.

The outlet valve at the far end of the pond was then closed, and it began to fill once more.

It is a treat to see the waterfall running again, and to admire the reflections of the tall gum trees in the water.

Yesterday, there seemed to be an unusually large group of people at the pond, pointing at something, chatting excitedly and laughing. What was happening? 

I grabbed my camera and ran down, and found out the cause of their amazement. Who would have thought we'd ever see this on Platypus Pond? 

Click on photo for a larger image

(Thanks, Grock!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 23, 2010 The seat of learning

We have quite a neat little library in town, and with a new librarian, and a newly combined Regional Council, more funding.

They have upgraded the Junior Readers' section, which is very well used. Even the parents get into the act when there are computer games to be mastered!

And, is this not the coolest library chair? I rather covet that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 22, 2010 I love old houses!

Today is cloudy, with rain spats. So, I had to dart around to get some photos for you.

I just love the first old house. It's been empty as long as I have lived here, which is going on 4 years now. A gentleman walked by as I took the photo, and we agreed that with a blank cheque, a lot could be done to this belle from the past.

The rest of the photos show what can be done to these grand old ladies, with some imagination, and some vibrant colours. And, some money.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 21, 2010 Strange fruit?

Here's part of my breakfast today. How many of you have eaten one of these? Do you like them?

This one was a bit disappointing in flavour, rather bitter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 20, 2010 Strange gate

On my way to the library, to return The Elegance of the Hedgehog, I noticed a really strange gate, one I couldn't recall seeing before. The entry to it was guarded by rusty, curved sheets of metal, not something you would want to drive over.

I had to have a closer look.

The apparition peering back at me startled me!! He was preparing to stop anyone from driving or walking on the new driveway, which was about to be poured.

Here he is, showing his best profile:

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 19, 2010 What's for dinner??

To start, an avocado from a neighbour's tree. That will be nice with just a squeeze of lime juice.

Then, some pasta sauce with tomatoes from the self sown plant in the back yard, hot chilli from a friend and some garlic. A little  lime juice will go in at the end, with some tuna in oil, just when the fettucini has cooked.

A glass of red wine will go well with this.

Later, feet up to watch those clever kids on Junior Master Chef, with a few nibbles of dark chocolate.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 17, 2010 The constant companion

Some years ago, my nieces gave me a lovely, but very flat koala. Oh, not a real one; he is made from soft sheepskin.

I christened him Licorice, in recognition of my favorite confectionery. He has covered many kilometers with me, never complaining about being squashed into my suitcase.

He particularly enjoyed being held by a pretty Italian girl in Pompeii; I had a hard time getting him to come back to me. (Fickle.)

Overindulgence in a newly discovered delight in Sorrento lead to him staying in a dark room the next day, and missing the trip to Positano. He said "I'll never touch that limoncello again, I swear."

In Padua, I had a hard time convincing him that the bidet really wasn't a koala size bath tub; he can be so stubborn sometimes.

Where to next, good and faithful companion?