KADRIORG PALACE, Day 2 in Tallin, Estonia

Palace fountain in the garden

May 23, 2019

Today’s adventure was to Kadriorg Palace.  Peter the Great built this  baroque summer residence for  Catherine 1 of Russia in 1718.  The palace is now an art museum.

Kadriorg Palace and Gardens


The Great Hall was the most  grandiose of  all the rooms.

A fresco covered the ceiling of the Great Hall.

Beautiful ceramic tiled heaters/fireplaces/stoves  were  in every room of the palace.

The gardens were modest but it is still early in the flower season here.

I loved  this maritime scene – “Odessa Pier”  1885 by Rufin Sudkovsky .

Is this not a great tree??????  After leaving the Palace, I walked to the Kuma Art Museum. and found this interesting/monster like tree on the way.  A nature-made tree  sculpture .  : )

There was a display of  1952 soviet propaganda  posters at  Kuma.  This one is:  “The Greatest Happiness of All is to Grow and Study in a Soviet School” ”

The best of  the museum was the Estonian Art that focused on the 50 years of Soviet  Occupation (June 1940-1991 ).

Another propaganda poster –  “The Red Army Protects our Family”

On a happier note  – in Old Town, there is a display of 15 flowers stalls all next to each other.  You can smell the floral blooms before you even see it.  It is incredible!  How wonderful it would be to live  across the street and have this view all day long.

Beautiful bouquets every where I looked!

Bird of the day – the fieldfare, a thrush.

Thanks for reading!

Hope you enjoyed!



May 22, 2019

My newest  adventure is a trip to  the Baltic capitals!!! First stop – Tallinn, Estonia.  Tallinn has been on the European  map since 1154.  In the city’s long, assorted history, much of it’s medieval-ness still exists and, and for  the tourists, they play it up when ever possible.   Why, just this afternoon, a wench was captured in the old town square and was taken off to the dungeon.  So  beware, if you come to Tallinn,  your past may catch up with you.

Tallinn, being a walled city since the 16th century,  today  still has, in tact, one mile of the  original wall and 26 of the  46 watch towers intact. Some of the towers can still be climbed and the wall walked.

I walked a bit of the wall today but had to back track to the original  tower I climbed to get back down – as some of those old stone steps  were  so small and worn and with a rope as a banister, they were too scary for me to walk down!

With Tallinn being so far north,  I was lucky enough to enjoy spring at home and  also again in Tallinn.  Also, being so far north, sunrise ( in May) is at 4:30 AM and sunset is at 10:05 PM.

Even weeds can be pretty.

Many of the buildings in Tallinn were  built in the Art Nouveau style and fall under the description of beautiful and / or very interesting.

A close  up of that  lounging  dragon was a must.

Tallinn’s Old Town is known for their orange and red roof tops and many church spires and it truly is a beautiful sight.

Sometimes other creeping sights also appear….

Along with some interesting downspouts…

Many churches,  most of them very old , can be found in this city but my favorite was Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, named after a Russian war hero.  Built in 1894 and is Russian Orthodox.

Bird of the day – white wagtail lunching .

Stay tuned – more postings will be coming……

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!




Wilson’s Warbler

November 12, 2018

I hope you enjoyed all  the beautiful birds from my latest adventure.   The following  birds  I saw, but  could not capture with my camera – mostly due to their speed and my lack of speed.  So, rather than my readers miss out, Google supplied the photos in this posting.

Yellow Throated Warbler –

Blue Gnat Catcher

Ladder Backed Woodpecker

Ringed Kingfish

Lastly, the Orange Crowned  Warbler.

For all the birders and nature lovers out there, if you ever have the opportunity to visit Texas, you will not be disappointed.

Thanks for reading!


Hooded Oriole

November 12, 2018

The last day of the birding festival I ventured alone to a nearby park.   I was delighted to see some of the south Texas birds that I had missed on the previous days…..

Here are my favorites……

Gotta love the colorful orioles!

Especially when they are drinking from  humming bird feeders.

Black Crested Titmouse

Golden Fronted  Woodpecker – not the best photo but I liked how it  especially showed off his yellow and orange head.

Curved Bill Thrasher

Had to share this last photo of the Green Jay having a bad hair day.

Can you see it?  There were spider webs, spider included, at every turn.  The drizzle  in the early morning light  made  the webs sparkle  incredibly  with just  a touch of eeriness…….

especially, in this setting of over grown grasses  and  gnarly  mesquite trees.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!







Texas blooms in November

Nov. 10, 2018

Day 3 at the birding festival brought some pretty birds, scary  looking  fauna and dinner at a unique steakhouse.

First – the beauty……

Couch’s Kingbird

Another Altamira  Oriole

A parade of White Pelicans

and a clever Green Jay.

Texas  bird  feeders  also are impressive…..

and some are complete with stadium seating.

Next, the scary ….

Lastly the unique…..

Only in Texas can you go to dinner and see……

In the back yard there are horses and ……

But the flip side – they  bring delicious  free cowboy soup and my diet coke in a pitcher!

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!




November 9, 2018

The  highlight of the festival’s trade show was a  falconer and his 17 birds.   Twice  a day he would introduce his birds,  give a little history about each one and demonstrate the  flying abilities of 2 or 3.   Now when I watched, it seemed most of the birds did not really co-operate, but I enjoyed them anyway!  Here are 13 members  of  his beautiful  bird family………


American Kestrel

Eagle Owl – he was huge!!

I never knew there would so many kids of owls!!

what was Mother Nature thinking????


this is the national bird of Iceland

This was my favorite – a snowy owl  and he was napping  every time I saw him.  The falconer would kiss the top of his head when he introduced him and  explain that the snowy owl was an old guy so he  just lets him sleep.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!




Green Jay

November 9, 2018

Day 2 of the Birding Festival in southern Texas was wonderful!  I successfully saw some new birds  to add to my birding  history and I  owe it all to the terrific professional bird guides.

The Rio Grand Valley  is home to the World Bird Center which  is made up of  several  different locations of nature centers/ sanctuaries.  Many of the sanctuaries also set up bird blinds and feeders to lure  the birds more easily into view.   Through the festival, I could pick from a large selection of birding field trips led by guides.   My opening photo is of the Green Jay, who were beautiful,  plentiful and noisy.

Altamira Oriole

Great Kiskadee

Inca Dove (which is cute and about 1/2 the size of other doves)

Scissor-tail Flycatcher

Female Indigo Bunting

Plain Chachalaca (also plentiful and noisy)

Red Winged Blackbird

Lastly a  Texas Spiny Lizard showing off his colors..

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading!

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