Monday, May 21

Return of the Triffids

Today I talked for forty minutes or more, thirty of them accompanied by a bang-up slide presentation I'd made, to the Aphasia Support Group at Thom's (now "Care Partners"). The embedded movies didn't work, because I had to show it from a quick CD, but the people liked it anyway. This was my day off before end of the year meetings and it was fittingly a non-work project.
The bamboo is not a part of the show. It's from the front yard, where Caleb's thoughtful root divisions are beginning to hint of a return of John Wyndham's triffids. (If you're not over fifty you probably don't remember the triffids. Too bad for you. But just imagine tall, willowy, swaying, moving green plant things moving into your neighborhood.0
Bamboo is interesting in its contradictions: graceful, feathery tops that sway in the wind; light, rustly leaves, and trunks of green Kevlar. Mattell Tough Stuff. Green steel.
Call in the flute makers! Reserve your fishing pole now! It's in its last days in MY yard.

Sunday, May 20

Stinky Gardener

Stinky was a prince of a dog. An enormous sofa dog, a sweet love, and smart! Look how he knew to "get out of the kitchen!" Though he was awful in the car, he was wonderful at home. He loved to "go for a walk," although I was once mislead into thinking he could as easily as I walk to downtown Portland and back over the bridge and home. No one told me ahead of time that about halfway, just after you'd turned to come back from the park with the water that sprays up out of the ground and pools on the polished granite, he'd start STOPPING, seriously stopping. All we could do was stop in a doorway for six or seven minutes, then struggle on a few more blocks. I thought I'd have to carry him. Eventually we got back. Later, Zack said, "Oh, of course! You have t stop and rest for ten minutes every so many blocks." After that, I'd walk Stinksters to the park a block from his house.
Here's to Stinky, and his long life in our hearts. A great dog passes.

Thursday, May 17


My mother sends me clippings from Rhode Island. Today I read about Buddy Cianci, the former mayor of Providence who has just gotten out of prison and whose spaghetti sauce is sold on grocery shelves, and another about a family in rural RI who have been driven out of their home and lost their money because of vultures. Turkey vultures. Buzzards. Buzzards are moving north, and apparently are not good neighbors if they take a fancy to your place. But the story should have come with a Graphic Nature Detail Advisory warning, since it described in detail the digestive and excretory practices of buzzards.

I once lived ten miles out of town, on a dead end road up a mountain side. My dog and cat and I could hike up the ridge behind the house. Once we bushwacked up to a high rock outcropping, where, while we drank water and looked at the distant view an enormous black bird with outspread wings appeared, floating slowly on the air below us, then disappeared. It seemed like a giant hawk or eagle or even a condor! -- but of course, it was a vulture. All in your point of view.

Thursday, May 10

My heart leaps up when I behold...

For Wordsworth, it was a rainbow. I find small moments when a trick of light enhances the color in the world, and my heart is suddenly lifted with delight. Here's one -- go figure. I guess it's good to be delighted by simple things.
Then there's the Dracula's Shadow iris, with and without flash (in sunlight):

Coming soon: Summer Plastics 2007

Monday, May 7

So I'm putting up this picture of my vade mecums, and here comes Nanci Griffith on my iTunes, singing "Just Once In A Very Blue Moon." The whole week's been minor coincidences, most not recorded, and so it goes. The almanacs are basic to me and go way back. One here is the Golden Books edition I grew up with and imprinted on (I lost the original and found a copy dedicated to Mary Patricia G...., from Blanche and Fred, in 1948). The blue one, Eric Utne's Cosmo Dogood's Urban Almanac, was a terrific annual for a few annums, and while it's published no more I still refer to it. The third is the basic OFA (No.CCXV) wherein you can find the tides, sunrise and sunset times, visible planets, moon phases, and saints' days. Great stuff for daily life.
Oh -- the coincidence mentioned above -- it's the Blue Moon. My Old Farmer's Almanac shows (but doesn't tell) me that May is a month with a Blue Moon. It will be on the 31st. Watch for more. Since we couldn't see the first F.M. of the month, it would be good to see the second.

Thursday, May 3

Scary Library Movie

Since I haven't figured out how to get an actual video into my blog, here's the link to a great library video from Dunedin, New Zealand. There's no keeping those New Zealanders down, ever since Peter Jackson made it big there. Video from Ed Vielmetti in Michigan (