Labor Day fun 2018

September 6, 2018

BF John and I left for Dandridge, Tennessee, early (like 3 a.m. Central early!) on Thursday night to spend a long weekend with my brother and family for Labor Day weekend. What fun! And … I managed to be productive and start two step stools that have been on order since the Art in the Garden show in June. (Yes. I’m slow when not given a deadline – something I know I need to work on.) I’ll post pictures of those in the near future. Meanwhile, check out the gorgeous Douglas Lake we enjoyed and a couple pictures of the silly and courageous John and Bill (brother – left)!

lake douglas TN LD 2018



Proud and loud

June 9, 2015

I can’t believe when I looked back on my post on Ranthambore that I didn’t include anything on the peacocks! The peacock is the national bird of India. We saw numerous Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus) on our way through the Ranthambore National Park on the ground and in trees which I didn’t realize was a peacock thing. I thought they only hung out on the ground. When we didn’t see them we certainly could still hear them. The first time I heard a peacock scream at night I was concerned that someone was being hurt — someone female. The sound is very loud and somewhat alarming. For that very reason, tigers don’t like the peacocks. When tigers are hunting, the birds send out an alarm that the cats are near.

These aren’t great pictures, but they are a few that I captured while we were out.

Peacocks Ranthambore April 2015

After a long and much needed deep sleep at the Laxmi, we headed for our next destination around 8:00 a.m. after a quick breakfast. Our soon to become friend and driver Annu was prompt as usual and had cold water in the car for our five hour drive from Bharatpur to Ranthambore. The plan was to check in, relax a bit and then go on our first safari to Ranthambore National Park to hopefully see tigers in their natural habitat. We were told our chances were decent but with the high temperatures we should keep our expectations in check.

As usual (per our super extensive travel of a couple days) the view out the window of the car was an interesting mix. Camels pulling carts among motorcycles and cars is just no big deal here.

The average mix in IndiaAnd when you reach your destination it’s a surprise stop where you wonder for a second if something has gone wrong (“Wait! Why are we stopping HERE?!”) and then you see the hotel. (“Oh. Right.”)

Hotel Ranthambore Regencey April 2015 And, of course, our first stop after check in was yet another very nice pool area — albeit not as big as the others and this picture doesn’t do it justice — it was very nice. AND there was a cat!!  Smart little creatures these India cats, staying at the nice resorts by the pool in the lush garden areas! Ranthambore Regency Pool April 2015When we went to the lobby to take our first safari we had no idea what to expect. To our delight, the open top canter we boarded truly made us feel like we were headed off on a National Geographic excursion. And although we didn’t see any tigers the first afternoon out we met people who had and they suggested that we take the early morning safari again the next day. They shared their pictures of the tigers that were just feet away from their canter and we were sold — book the next morning — tigers we will see!

The next morning we were loaded onto a canter with a group of professional wildlife photographers. John and I both tend to be lucky and this was one of those times when we realized that our luck was with us. Although we still didn’t see tigers that morning, we made some great connections and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I’m now following Wild Side Photographic Art on Facebook if you are interested. John and I also decided we are both interested in looking into the opportunity to do some more adventurous trips like maybe the Serengeti in our future. Now we have a recommendation on who to help us make that happen. In the end, we did see some cool wildlife nonetheless..

Wildlife at Ranthambore National Park April 2015

It was just a great experience overall. Next time, we will stay for a week and take morning and afternoon safaris every day. Until then, I’m so glad to have the experience to add to the many other memories that pop up in my mind at the most unexpected moments as I take in all that is India.