Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lipstick Vogue

Great song for today:

And the lyrics:

Don't say you love me when it's just a rumor
Don't say a word if there is any doubt
Sometimes I think that love is just a tumor
You've got to cut it out

You say you're sorry for the things that you've done
You say you're sorry but you know you don't mean it
I wouldn't worry, I had so much fun
Sometimes I almost feel just like a human being

It's you, not just another mouth in the lipstick vogue
It's you, not just another mouth in the lipstick vogue
Oh yeah

Get to the slot machine, almost dead on arrival
Just hit me one more time with that live wire
Maybe they told you you were only a girl in a million
You say I've got no feelings, this is a good way to kill them

Select the control and then insert the token
You want to throw me away but I'm not broken
You've got a lot to say--well, I'm not joking
There are some words they don't allow to be spoken
Sometimes I almost feel just like a human being

It's you, not just another mouth in the lipstick vogue

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fiction Friday: September 28, 2012: Elementary

Last night was the premiere of this latest "update" of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and Madame L loved it. Here's the official promo. Yes, it's true, not everything is deducible! So you have to Google some things...But is it better than the BBC's "Sherlock"? No, it's not, though it's almost as good.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Your "Awww!" For the Day

Six Puppies, born Sept. 2 to Hope, a pit bull mix rescued by a pet shelter in the L.A. area:


Updated 9/28/2012 because they've apparently taken down the live-streaming video of the puppies:



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another View of Mount St. Helens

Here's what we did on the first day of Fall (Sept. 22, 2012): We took a hike we'd never bothered to take before, up the Ape Canyon trail.

By the way, I heard from the lady at a souvenir shop a story about a supposed attack by Sasquatch against some miners in Ape Canyon in 1924. I thought it was a great story to trot out for the tourists buying Bigfoot t-shirts and mugs and what-all. But the story she told was almost exactly the same as this version of it, in Wikipedia. 

All the legends and stories aside, this is another place I want to go with my sisters next summer. Hopefully we'll get farther along than we did this Saturday, when we had to turn back without getting to the ridge at the top.

Even without getting to that point, it was a beautiful hike. Here's the mountain before the morning clouds have been burned off by the sun, then the mile-wide lahar from the 1980 eruption:





















Finally, on the way out, the clouds have been blown away to the east, and we have a lovely view of the mountain.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Good Wife---Something to Think About

I received this comment by email and am posting it here, as is, hoping other readers of these blogs will add their comments. You can comment directly by clicking the "Comment" button below, or by writing to [louwynn] at [gmail.com]. If you want me to give you a fictitious name to go with your comment, just let me know.

Thanks for the comment, which goes to the heart of the matter, doesn't it: Why do we even frame questions like this around a woman "stand[ing] by her man" when she may be standing by her children, her job, her income, her social status, or may have a score of other reasons for staying?

(By the way, I apologize for being offline for a few days, and thanks for checking back!)



Dear Aunt Louise:

For a while, after I got an invitation to join google so that I could view your blog, I couldn't view your blog. But today, on a whim, I checked, and wallah, there it was.

So I have a comment about your entry about the Good Wife. I have watched the first 3 seasons of the series; in fact I think I purchased season 3 so I could watch it without having to wait. And I have really, really liked it. I don't know if love it would be accurate, but I've really liked it- enough to buy season 3. (Maybe I just got "addicted.")

Anyway, so I was interested in your comments/questions about why women stick with their man who has cheated on them - is it really cowardice? etc. I think that's actually a question that the show tackles - you see her grappling with those same questions.

But anyway, if I can articulate this, it seems to me that in all the forms of your questions, there is an assumptions that the decision somehow revolves around the man. Either doing it because she's coward to leave, or is she going through hell for them? etc. Do you see what I mean? to me, there is an assumption in the questions that it's about the man.

What if she does it for her own purposes? motives? best interest? What if in staying married, she or any woman, is just making a pragmatic decision - it's best for the kids, it gives her some kind of security until she's in a position to leave, etc.

I don't believe that staying in a marriage where the man has cheated has to mean cowardice. It could even be "revenge;" but then in that case it revolves around the man again. The fact that the questions get framed around the man shows how difficult it is to step away from that mindset.

Love,

Neva

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb

That's supposedly what the actors are saying when they're in the background in a scene, supposedly conversing with each other, but we don't hear what they're really saying, and we're just supposed to see their lips moving in a realistic way. I think it makes a kind of a poem:

Rhubarb
Rhubarb
Rhubarb
Peas and carrots.

Since an actor friend told me this, I've been trying to lip-read in those scenes in movies and TV shows, but obviously I'm not a very good lip-reader, because I just don't see it. And of course there must be many phrases actors use. Maybe they're sometimes saying something like:

Cabbage
Lettuce
Potatoes:
Time to clean the
Vegetable bin.


And what about when you see something printed on the screen, but don't see it closely enough or long enough to read it? That's "Lorem ipsum."

"Lorem ipsum" is a kind of "dummy" text used by typesetters when they need just that effect. It's been around for centuries, and it comes from an actual passage from Cicero:

If you use "Lorem ipsum," according to that website, you have to be sure that it's the real thing, because over the centuries people who know Latin, and people who don't know Latin, have changed the text and made additions to it, and you might end up embarrassing yourself.

Here's the standard passage that has been used since the 1500s; it's taken from "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum", or "The Extremes of Good and Evil," written by Cicero in 45 BC:


"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum."


(Even that "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" isn't really the way it is in the original, which reads, "Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur..." which is translated something like this: "Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself...")

This is the kind of stuff I used to have to translate in Latin class, and it always seemed to me like the difficulty of translating each word and figuring out its case and how it would fit into an English sentence made it that much more difficult to care about what each sentence meant when I put it all together.

I'm sure there's a lesson in all this, but I haven't figured it out yet, and I may never, but if and when I do, I'll write about it here.

If I Ever Leave This World Alive

You can enjoy the music without the video, but I love this video made up of clips from Doctor Who:


Friday, September 21, 2012

Fiction Friday: September 21, 2012: "The Good Wife" --- again

Thank you from Madame L to Laura for her comment about last Friday's review of "The Good Wife Strikes Back" and "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman."

Thanks for the recommendation, Laura. Madame L will definitely make a point of watching the TV series "The Good Wife." Madame L didn't want to watch it when it first came out because she heard it was based on some recent political scandals which she was sick of reading and hearing about. But now that those are past, and Madame L is past her "Eeew!" phase, she'll watch some of the shows.

Checking Wikipedia, Madame L finds that, in fact, "The series was partly inspired by the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal, as well as by other prominent American political sex scandals, particularly those of John Edwards and Bill Clinton:"

Madame L thinks this kind of story is fascinating to all of us, especially as we wonder how these "good wives" can "stand by [their] man" as the man admits to having had sex with some woman or series of women. Is this courage on the part of the women, or cowardice? Is it self-interest, or self-delusion?  What happened to those wives that turned them into talking puppets, and why is it "good" to go through that hell for those men? What's the difference between dying that public death and throwing yourself on the funeral pyre of a dead husband? How far have we NOT progressed as women in the 21st Century?

Madame L also remembers a book, "The Good Mother," which was later made into a movie, "The Price of Passion." (The book was excellent and riveting and hard to read. Madame L did not see the movie.)

Do men give up anything near what women give up when they marry and then again when they have children? Madame L thinks not. Madame L thinks that the marriage vow of "becoming one" generally results in the "one" being the man; that is, the woman accedes in many (if not all) ways to the man's desires, habits, customs, and even culture. 

Madame L is reminded of a "primitive" culture she read about in an anthropology class, where the women of each village have a very particular hair style. When they marry, they change their own hair style to that of the village they move into with their husband. They teach their daughters that hair style, which their daughters then discard in favor of the hair style of the village they marry into. 

"Why do those women do that?" the anthropology teacher asked, inviting the women, at least, in her class to consider how not-different they were from those "primitive" women. (The young men in the class stared off into space during that discussion, bored.)


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Too Many Notes

I love this bit from the movie "Amadeus":

Emperor Joseph II: My dear young man, don't take it too hard. Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

Mozart: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

But watch the clip to get the full humor of the situation:


The poor emperor reminds me of myself, as I'm now struggling to read "The Count of Monte Cristo," the full, unabridged version, which I think (in my admitted ignorance and/or vulgarity) has too many words.

Which ones would I cut? I don't know, and I'm sure it would be a mistake to cut any of them, because, as Mozart said of his music, he used exactly the number required...

(All this having been said, I must admit that I've just ordered from Amazon.com the "Classics Illustrated" version of the count's very long story. I've promised myself I'll just look at the pictures as I read the actual book. At first. We'll see how it goes after awhile.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy New Year!

According to Judaism 101, today is the second day of this year's (2012) celebration of Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year.

From this wonderfully informative site: "The name 'Rosh Hashanah' is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25."

Anciently, and today, the shofar, or ram's horn, is sounded.  Here's a photo of a shofar


and here's what it sounds like. 


More from Judaism 101: "The common greeting at this time is L'shanah tovah ('for a good year). This is a shortening of 'L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem' (or to women, "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi"), which means 'May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.'"

How have Jews been celebrating this holiday yesterday and today? They don't work; they attend synagogue and read scripture; they may eat apples dipped in honey (symbolic of the wish for a sweet and happy year to come); and they may "walk to flowing water, such as a creek or river, on the afternoon of the first day and empty our pockets into the river, symbolically casting off our sins."

I realized this celebration was upon us when I read the following in Dear Prudence today (and understood why Emily Yoffe had not published her advice column yesterday):

"At Rosh Hashanah services yesterday we read Hannah's story in Samuel. Hannah suffered from infertility and neither her husband nor the high priest gave her comfort because instead of truly listening to her distress, they were dishing bad advice based on selfish or wrong assumptions." 

I loved reading this interpretation, which has turned me to read again the story of Hannah. Here it is, in case you want to re-read it, too (from the LDS annotated publication of the King James translation):

 Now there was a certain man of aRamathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was bElkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had ano children.

 And this man went up out of his city ayearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in bShiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.

 ¶And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.

 And her adversary also aprovoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.

 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the ahouse of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

 ¶So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a aseat by a post of the temple of the Lord.

 10 And she was in abitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.

 11 And she avowed a bvow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine chandmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no drazor come upon his head.

 12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli amarked her mouth.

 13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

 14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

 15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have apoured out my soul before the Lord.

 16 Count not thine handmaid for a adaughter of bBelial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

 17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

 18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

 19 ¶And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to aRamah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord bremembered her.

 20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a ason, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.

 21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the Lord the ayearly sacrifice, and his vow.

 22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for ever.

 23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the Lord establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.

 24 ¶And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young.

 25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

 26 And she said, O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.

 27 For this achild I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:

 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be alent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Fiction Friday: September 14, 2012: "The Good Wife Strikes Back" and "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman"

How does the good wife strike back when, after years of caving into her politician husband's demands that she be the perfect wife, he asks one more thing, the impossible thing, the thing that brings her up sharply in the realization that her concessions have not increased his love but only his complacency, the final straw, the straw that breaks her back?

And what happens when she strikes back? Will it help him recognize that her needs and her work and her life are as important as his? Will it throw her back into the arms of her first love?

What about the middle-aged woman who finds out, after years of superhuman work as a wife, mother, and carefully subordinate-to-him career woman, that her husband is running off with her assistant and her boss is replacing her with said assistant? What revenge is possible?

While "The Good Wife Strikes Back" and "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman" have almost identical plots and certainly have the same obvious theme, they have different endings.

The good wife decides not to take her former lover back, after all, and her husband compromises with her  (conveniently after his party loses an election, so he has time on his hands and fewer demands to make of her), but not everyone lives happily ever after.

The middle-aged woman, likewise, takes her husband's decision to abandon her better than Madame L (and every woman she has ever known) would take such behavior. Her revenge seems to be simply to live her own life with restraint, dignity and morality, even though she slips up occasionally and makes some catty comments that most women, Madame L thinks, would think the very least vengeful things one could possibly do. She doesn't get her husband back, even though he wants her back (yes, that's the revenge that satisfies finally and most completely!) and even though the woman he chose over her is as unhappy as he is in their new relationship.

These books are expertly plotted and the characters are so sympathetic Madame L practically cried with them, even the "bad" ones. But she skimmed through them once she realized how superficial and boilerplate-constructed they were. 

It's not that Madame L didn't enjoy them; she did. But Madame L won't be reading (or even skimming through) any more books of this type and doesn't recommend them to any of her, or Aunt Louise's, Dear Readers, because Madame L thinks life is too short to waste it on books like this. If Madame L wants to read about human morality and how good eventually wins out over evil and even over stupidity and human weakness, she'll look elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sept. 11, 2012

Today I will be praying for the families of those who were killed in the terrorist attacks on the U.S. eleven years ago. May God bless you all.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Andy Murray Wins the U.S. Open, 2012

Thank you for making my day, Andy Murray, and for proving that you don't have to be a jerk to win the U.S. Open.

Thank you for fighting so hard, playing so well, and pressing on for every point. And thank you for the quiet tears of joy instead of the fist-pumping exhibitionism.

(Of course some past winners have been nice guys, too. I'm just saying the contrast between Andy Murray and his opponent in this final match was noted by me and I'm sure many others.)

Here are some highlights of the final match, which lasted about five hours. Five hours!

Sean Connery enjoys one of countryman's Andy Murray's points:


Another player I enjoyed watching this year, and wish he'd made it even farther, was David Ferrer. Here are some highlights from the semifinal match between Ferrer and Djokovich:

And more from that match:




Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall, Late: Sunset on the Columbia, Spider, Paper Mill, Lights, and Tomatoes

We walked last night on the path alongside the Columbia River, then went down to the dock where the fisher-men and -women were gathering, marking their spots and throwing out their lines to be ready when the fish started biting, around dusk.

What a beautiful sunset we saw:




 


We saw a spider which had woven a web on the dock and had already caught lots of prey. Even the spider, back-lit by the setting sun, was beautiful:




Driving home through Camas, we stopped at the grocery store for bananas and saw the evil-looking red eyes of the pulp mill from far off, so decided to get close enough for a photo. Here are the smoke-stacks from the car:












From the gas station:









Trying to get closer without causing an accident. I like this photo as much as any of the others I took this evening!











Finally, close enough to see that tower and the red "eyes":
 


   
  

Back home, on the front porch, the batteries for the yard lights were charged, and Jeff set out the lights:






This morning I picked a bunch of tomatoes from our garden. I'm glad I planted so many different varieties for a change. Only one variety hasn't ripened yet, the huge round ones.


Would You Leave the Church?


I received this a few weeks ago from a former co-worker. It had nice pictures to go with it, but I can't copy them from the email message, so I'm just putting the text in here:


One Sunday morning during service, a 2000-member congregation was surprised to see two men enter, both men covered from head to toe in black and carrying sub-machine guns.

One of the men proclaimed, "Anyone willing to take a bullet for Christ, remain where you are."

Immediately, the choir fled, the deacons fled, and most of the congregation fled. Out of the 2,000, only 20 remained.

The man who had spoken took off his hood. He said, "Okay, Pastor, I got rid of all the hypocrites. You can start your service. Have a nice day."

And the two men turned and walked out.

It's funny how easy it is for people to trash God, and then wonder why the world is in such bad shape.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how everyone wants to go to Heaven, provided they do not have to think, believe,say, or do anything the Bible says.

Funny how someone can say, "I believe in God," but still follow Satan (who, by the way, also "believes" in God).

 Funny how you can forward a thousand jokes by email and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sharing messages about the Lord, you think twice about sharing.

Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of the Lord is suppressed at school and in the workplace.

Funny, isn't it!

May the Lord blessyou and keep you, May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious to you; May the Lord lift up his favour upon you and give you His peace.  (Numbers 6:24-26)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pendleton


When I was in high school, it was a big deal to wear a Pendleton shirt. (Years later, only grunge-dressers and people in Seattle --- wait, is that redundant? --- wore these plaid woolen shirts.)

Now I live right down the road from a Pendleton mill, and I go shopping at the outlet store there whenever I can. I don't always buy things, but I love to look around, and finally last week I took the free tour of the mill, which has been operating for 100 years now.

They wouldn't let me take photos, but here are two photos from their website: The outside of the store:


And some spindles from one of the mills:

What I saw on the tour were a lot of these kinds of machines, plus the weaving machines and dying vats and quality-control place, tons of other things---the tour lasted about 45 minutes---that were new and fascinating about how wool is treated and made into clothes and blankets and so on.

Also, check out the "As Seen In" section of their website, and you can see it's not just about cowboys and Indians, or grunge from the long-ago.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Fiction Friday: September 7, 2012: Dragon's Keep

This is one of the best "fantasy-sci-fi" books Madame L has read since, say, Ursula K. LeGuin's amazing Earth-Sea books.

"Dragon's Keep," by Janet Lee Carey, is a real story, even if it takes place on an imaginary island, and it's about real people, even though some of them are dragons.

Merlin prophesies to Evaine in AD 420 that her descendant, an unnamed young girl and the twenty-first queen, will redeem the name Pendragon, end war with the wave of her hand, and restore the glory of Wilde Island.

Who can blame the mother of that young twenty-first queen for thinking this will happen through intrigue at court, marriage to a prince, and the usual weapon-clanging battles and population-destroying wars?

But it doesn't happen that way. That young girl, Rosalind, is born with a deformity that her mother uses, unsuccessfully, every magical, deceitful, and courtly trick to hide. Finally Rosie, cast away from her human family and court and forced to serve a dragon, has to make her own destiny, which she does in spite of courtly intrigue, in spite of her mother's marriage hopes for her, and after perilous personal battles which teach her to love her people.

Then....Ah, but, Dear Readers of Madame L and Aunt Louise, you must read the story yourselves. Madame L promises you'll love it. The book was named an ALS Best Book for Young Adults and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year when it was published in 2007.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We'll all float on okay

Just had to share another great song, "Float On" by Modest Mouse:

(I chose this version because it has the lyrics with the music and also because Blogger wouldn't let me use the official video because of the large file size.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

We heard that Forest Road 99 was going to be closed starting today, for repairs; and that the gravel road from Windy Ridge, at the end of Forest Road 99, to the Pumice Plain, was going to be closed, too, also for repairs.

So, for old time's sake, we drove up to Windy Ridge and hiked down that gravel road I used to follow to get to my research site on the Pumice Plain.

This was Jason's first time on this part of the road and only my third. Usually I've driven down to an area that's wide enough to park on the shoulder before hiking down the rest of the way, past the landslides and cave-ins that make the last part of that gravel road so dangerous.

What memories! And what sights! We saw lots of  buckwheat flowers and even one blue butterfly. I didn't get a photo of the butterfly (though got some of some others) but remembered fondly going with Robert Michael Pyle on his "Buckwheats and Blues" hike and class back in 2006


Checkerspot butterfly on buckwheat flower
Here's a beautiful photo of a Lucia's blue butterfly taken by someone else. 

While we're at it, here is the scientist and conservationist talking about Bigfoot:


Well, now, back to topic: Our hike on the gravel road to the Pumice Plain. I must admit we didn't go all the way down. We got far enough so we could see my old work site:

(See Johnston Ridge Observatory in the background? No? It's there.) And two of the trails we used to walk on to find grasshoppers and shield-backed katydids for our research:

(See the lower trail, really a road? It was built by the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1980 eruption, and used to go across a large section of the area north of the volcano until part of it was washed out where it crossed a gully. Some politicians and entrepreneurs think this road should be re-built and expanded and paved so they can get tourists to come up to Mount St. Helens and drive across the Pumice Plain and all that other beautiful scenery. I think not.)


And the place on the trail where we met on that day that Jason walked out of the crater and I walked all over the north side of the volcano to meet him, and we walked out together:


But unless we were going to catch some more grasshoppers and do some more experiments, there was really no point in torturing our knees any farther. (We did see lots and lots of grasshoppers, though, and we saw that they are the main meal for the coyotes at this time of year, and you'll probably be happy to know that I'm sparing you the photographic proof of that fact.)

We also saw some grasshoppers that had not yet molted to adulthood; I suppose they will reach adulthood by the end of fall, mating and laying their eggs later than most, Mother Nature's fallback solution in case something happens to the early-season eggs.


Back once again to the reason we made this trip, which was to document the treacherous disrepair of the gravel road. Here is one of the danger spots in 2006:

And here are some photos from this hike, showing how narrow the road is, the steep cut below, and tire tracks that have come dangerously close to the edge, to tumbling down the steep mountainside.

















All that aside, the main thing we loved about the day was seeing the beautiful mountain. This is where I want to go with my sisters next year! 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer, Late

On August 31, I saw and photographed the so-called blue moon, as in "once in a blue moon."



I heard on the nightly news that a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But, according to Wikipedia, the blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons, instead of the usual three. Wikipedia explains:"The second full moon in one calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. This usage results from a misinterpretation, in the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope, of the traditional definition of blue moon."


Anyway, I was taking a photo of the moon because it was so beautiful and because it rose not too long after I was taking a photo of the beautiful landscape near our house, with the long afternoon shadows.

Summer, Late

The shadows don’t know they’ve gotten longer
But they have---they’ve grown 3 times
longer than the trees now, growing
to cover the beginning of the end,
the decay that follows
sure as the cold snap that comes
after Indian Summer.

“Look!” say the shadows.
“There’s enough to see still.
Look around the edges,
see the pumpkin light before dusk.
Drink it in,
Swallow,
but let some stay on your tongue
until the first buds of spring rise to
take away the bitter taste.”

And then the sun sets,
the shadows flee,
the dark world turns a bit,
or you turn,
and the full moon rises,
and you see your own shadow,
behind you.