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Showing posts from May, 2012

Skywatch Friday: Grey Flannel Morning

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Wordless Wednesday: Caught in the Act

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From May 28, 2012(Dad and Mom, Guess what this guy was actually doing while he was posing for me on his own private landing strip? And, by the way, I took this photo through a recently washed window that was not summarily rained upon after said cleaning. Call me lucky.)

Wordless Wednesday

Book Review: 'Merle's Door' by Ted Kerasote

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Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote

Merle's Door is a portal to better understanding the life of a dog, our own lives, and how we relate to dogs and the world around us.

Wyoming resident Ted Kerasote's 2007 memoir of his time with Merle, the golden Lab mix whose path crossed his during a camping trip along the San Juan River many moons ago, is the story of humanity's relationship with dogs throughout history as well as a testament to our dogs' role as interpreters of the natural world for us.

I downloaded the book to my Kindle, thinking, "Don't make me cry, whoever you are who wrote this thing. Just tell me what you know about dogs. And Merle, don’t die in the end.”

Ted did. Merle did. I did.

Merle chose Ted when he climbed into his truck and took the ride to Kelly, Wyoming. There he enjoyed full citizenship as well as celebrity status as he skied and hunted and hiked and cycled with Ted. Merle was the best of teachers as …

Our World Tueday: My Adventure Inside my Head

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A good friend of mine called me Saturday morning, and in the course of our conversation, she suggested I go on an adventure this weekend. I told her I would. Except that here on Topsail when it's May and the sun is up, there's no place to go. When it rains, though.....

....Then the adventures are on the inside. (Which is what she meant, anyway.) I decided my first adventure during Saturday's guerrilla rains that attacked stage left (leaving me to close only some windows because the other side of the house was bone dry), I got out my daughter's watercolors and pads of paper, called her for permission to use them, and began to do the assignment I gave my students last week.

You're dying to know how this can be an adventure. It's like this. I'm a nerd, and I don't ask my kids to do anything I wouldn't thoroughly enjoy doing myself. I had asked my students to consider Ayn Rand's odd little allegorical novella Anthem because all the other soph…

Today's Flowers: The Prom

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From May 20, 2012From May 20, 2012 Last week, I helped to chaperon our high school prom, and one of the teachers who organized it gave me a beautiful bouquet to take home. The irises and mums were just gorgeous. Irises are among my favorite flowers for their color, texture, and amazing form.  The earthy smell of the mums filled the house with a wonderful earthy aroma.  A great treat.
Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: In Love with Life

Before me
The Atlantic Ocean
Whispers, “Yes,”
In the grand, eternal,
You-show-up-because-I’m-worth-it
Way of oceans. 
The Intracoastal Waterway
Says much the same
From behind the strong back of this strip of sand
I call home.
My lullaby is this liquid anthem to life.
I stand in silent awe as my heart keeps time
With the water
And wonder if the birds
Do the same.
Osprey, heron, loon, gull, pelican….
Where do you sleep,
And do you breathe in the same time
As the ocean
And me?
One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: Negative Space

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From May 23, 2012
You never know what you'll get on the beach at the end of the day.  The deluge here is the searing sun there.  The blue sky here is the storm there.  You can't know; you have to show up for it and see.  I like this unpredictability and impermanence appealing.
One wet day in Jacksonville this week was followed for me by a slightly humid but sunny evening full of gorgeous clouds--and I just loved it.  I woke up the next morning to the sound of the surf and lightning.  Aside from the sound of the ocean, the morning was silent.   Light held center stage, and I was happy to lie in bed and watch.  It was good.  I was alone, but it was good. 
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Da Boys

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Dellie's picture.  Thank you, sweet girl.  

Wordless Wednesday

Our World Tuesday: Hungry Birds, Cruel People

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Rest in peace, gentle bird.

Be well, little guys.

From May 20, 2012From May 20, 2012 Today I made my weekly pilgrimage to Quartermoon Books on Topsail Beach for a smoothie and a look at what the current good books are.  Quartermoon Books is a wonderful and friendly place to stay current on what's worth reading as well as on the best kind of smoothies south of the Mason-Dixon line.  I go there to drink, and my daughter approves.
The ride home snapped me out of my bookish reverie when I came across a mom with her child in a jogger stoller and a stranded bird at her feet.  The bird looked remarkably like the tired one I came across on the beach earlier in the week.  So I made my way out to see this woman and the bird right after I got home.  
It turns out the bird is a loon.  Loons are starving around here right now--and right now is mating season.
The young mom who found this bird and called for help was able to do so because she does not have a primitive cell phone, as I do.  As a …

Today's Flowers: Mom's Roses a Week Later

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I love fresh flowers, but I feel sad when they start to fade out.  This morning I combined my Mother's Day bouquet with my mom's.  I trimmed stems and cut off leaves in the hope of extending the lifespan of these roses as well as the subtle and lovely flowers that fill in the background.

Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Black and White

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Black and white
Begin endless adventure:
You see the b and the e on the page
Your slip down the tower of the b
Around the curve of its complete
Universe
Land on the ground and
Grasp the e,
That vowel responsible for
The long and the short of so
Many other vowels
And then you move to the ing
Which tells you now
In this instant
Or in this continuous moment:
If you take a breath,
You are breathing.
The whole business of being
Is breathing,
Is the soft petal of the rose
On your skin.
The scent of the rose
Becomes your breath
Because you breathe
Because you dream

You are the rose.

Black and white
Are the beginning of  a dream:
The alphabet
Contains your soul.

Skywatch Friday: Then? Now.

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From February 25, 2012February feels like a lifetime ago.  That's a good thing.  The beauty of then has rolled into now, and I wouldn't trade this moment for another--though I am looking forward to going home next month!
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Aquaduct

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One Single Impression: Crimson

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Crimson eyes
A low cry
A song
Expecting nothing
Pushing against
The tide
Digging into
The mud
Fighting the pull of the wave
As the tide retreats.
He honors life
I chase the people away.
Crimson eyes
Watch me.
He's hurt.
I call
The police.
The police come and call
The wildlife guy
In Jacksonville.
It's his thing,
They tell me.
He'll come.
And would you give me
Your name address date of birth
And phone number
Even though it's on my phone
For the report.

One Single Impression

Our World Tuesday: For the Birds

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From May 13, 2012From May 13, 2012From May 13, 2012From May 13, 2012From May 13, 2012 In the days of DDT, there were fewer and fewer birds around here. After common sense by way of Connecticut came this way, that changed. A scientist from the Nutmeg State made the discovery that keeping the water moving along the Intracoastal Waterway would keep mosquitoes from proliferating. Cutting into the mud would save the need for using chemicals that eradicate all kinds of life. That's what happened, and the birds are good with it. Very cool.
PS  Thanks, Dad, for the ride over the bridge.


Our World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: Mother's Day Gift

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From May 11, 2012From May 11, 2012From May 11, 2012
A Mother's Day gift from home.  I'm very grateful.
Today's Flowers

Skywatch Friday: Poof

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From April 28, 2012 One of those "wait for it"moments from the back porch.  The moment comes.  
Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: On the Sand

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Our World Tuesday: Something in the Air

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When I was heading out for a walk Saturday morning, papa osprey saw me and did the usual up and out of the nest and around and around to make sure all is right where his family is concerned.  (My camera caught the action, albeit with the strange dots I can't seem to find in the camera to eliminate.  Any thoughts on that one?  Please let me know.)
From May 5, 2012From May 5, 2012
Farther down and around the corner, I saw the shrimp boats out again.  The birds were enjoying breakfast on the water too.  It was a beautiful morning. From May 5, 2012Our World Tuesday

One Single Impression: Depression

New to his running legs,
A child runs for the laughing gulls.

They elude him,
But he is proud

Even as his mother trails behind
Stooping to the fragments of shells
Under her feet.
One Single Impression

Today's Flowers: Suddenly, Summer

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From May 5, 2012 This morning as I sat outside and enjoyed my first cup of coffee, I noticed the pink bougainvilla were in full bloom and swaying beautifully in the breeze. The white blossoms were slower to show themselves. This one obliged me with a photo with my poor little Canon Powershot, which had a sick headache for the past few days. Warm air, clear skies, bright sunshine, and a variety of birds punctuating every minute with a song that says, "Here I am, and ain't that great!" made for a beautiful start to the day.

Today's Flowers

English Offers Little Return on the Investment, Mr. Romney? Not in my Country

So little in life is sure. That's a cliche.We all know that.For some of us, though, this cliche is a pain in the neck.We want security.We want to know what's coming . Others among us are perfectly content--excited, even--to strap on the parachute and jump from a perfectly operational airplane to see what will happen because, what the heck, so little in life is sure. I like to think I fall into the second group most of the time.On this occasion, though, I fall into the former. This occasion?It's over and done with, but I'm just getting around to articulating an opinion on it:Mr. Mitt Romney's little visit to Otterbein University in Ohio in April, when he said that students should borrow (heavily) from their parents to get started in business, and they should not major in English in college because they'll never get their money back. I read his words on Slatest and thought my usual, "Wow," in response to the politics-from-the-out-of-touch campaign.This Engl…

Skywatch Friday: Taking Shape

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From April 28, 2012 Beavers, turtles, pelicans.  These are my love affairs with nature in chronological order.  Over the years, I have not given up one for the other but added one to the other.  Such is the advantage of loving over being in love.  Mammals, reptiles, birds...earth, water, air....I love the world.
Come into my harem, my menagerie, and meet my latest partner in this love affair with life. 
Pelicans are here all day every day up and down the beach.  I love them because they show up and smile.  They rise into the air, stick our their chests, and smile.  Oh, yes, indeed.  Stand right here with me, look up, watch those birds, and tell me they are not smiling as they enjoy a very good joke.
I love them because they show up.
I love them because they smile.
Enjoy the joke.
Stand here with me and watch. Embrace the joy.
When the pelicans get to the Villa Capriani, we will watch these birds who have traveled in one of those beautifully symmetrical Vees for the past half mile brea…

Wordless Wednesday: A Thin Space

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From January 29, 2012We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.  (Anton Chekhov, 1897)
Wordless Wednesday