Showing posts from July, 2014

Skywatch Friday: More of the Same

Here's how today started.  This is a beautiful world; let's take care of it.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: A Problem of Placement


Our World Tuesday: The Japanese Garden at the New Hanover County Arboretum

Every time we pass through, Adella and I stop at the New Hanover County Arboretum to check out the flowers and the garden designs.  The rose garden is a delight, and no doubt about it:

Still, my favorite section is the Japanese garden, where there are hidden paths and little waterfalls, bridges, and a tea house:

There is also a Zen garden.  Though this photo, below, does not show it clearly, the gravel is raked in patterns around the rocks to represent the flow of water.  However, the flow of water from the sky added it's own flair to this abstract work, suggesting a cross current outlined in wood chips.

 Rocks have symbolic significance in Zen gardens.  While the meaning can vary from garden to garden, the arrangement of three rocks in a small space defined by an enclosure is pretty common.  Sometimes a flat rock will represent turtle island, another one will represent a meditation space, and an upright rock will represent a waterfall.  Sometimes the vertical rock represents Bud…

Today's Flowers: The Color of Summer Heat

Dad's been emailing me about the weather in Pennsylvania being unseasonably cold at night and even pretty mild for daytime during the summer.  Here in North Carolina, the weather was mild until right now.  Now the heat, humidity, and stillness that make me lazy as a dog have arrived.  Tomorrow will be something else, of course, but for now we have summer the way it's supposed to be.  I have found a color to match.

Today's Flowers

Skywatch Friday: My Favorite Skies

Gray skies tend to clear the beach and leave some peace and quiet for the pelicans, who own it, after all.  It's always maic to see them.
 Adella and I like to take the ride down to Topsail to take pictures, walk around, and stop into the Quartermoon Bookstor for books and smoothies and nice conversations with the ladies there.
This building is now a meeting hall and the Missiles and More museum depicting the history of the island--especially Operation Bumblebee, the Navy's secret guided missile operation after World War II.  The skies are gorgeous, no doubt about it.

Skywatch Friday

Wordless Wednesday: Guns-N-TV's

I question both the capitalization and the punctuation--and everything else.  All that aside, though, there's a story here.

Skywatch Friday: Turtle Talk

Behold Jane and Sundance, inveterate turtle volunteers who clean the beach as they look for signs of mama turtle activity every day, talking to people on the beach.  Jane believes there are fewer turtle nests this year (28) than the previous two years (100+) because the ladies need a break. I hope it's that simple.

Skywatch Friday

Of Grandmothers and Machetes

Last week when the ignition coil in my VW quit and I had my car towed to my mechanic here in North Carolina, I had a lovely encounter with a young man whose wisdom and insight into the ways of the world slowed me into realizing what is important:  here and now in the awareness of all that brought me here and now.  That meant paying attention to the ride in the tow truck.
That young man remarked to me that he didn’t want to do anything but what he was doing:  driving a tow truck.  Buddha spoke, and I heard.  I didn’t want to do anything but be there.
The experience brought to mind another Buddha-bringing-the-car-home experience from last winter, when the battery of my car died, and I needed to get my buggy from New Haven to Woodbury because nobody but Pete touches my car unless I’m down here and it’s Ronnie’s crew taking care of ol' Betsy.
This was a 25-mile tow that saved me the trouble of driving in the snow at the same time it saved me the unpleasant experience of being alone w…

Wordless Wednesday, Fountain in Charleston, South Carolina


Our World Tuesday: Recovering Sea Turtles

Adella and I went to the beach early Saturday morning.  We were the only creatures with legs on site for a while.  When I stepped into the water, I watched a stingray rise up from the sand and glide through the water.  I was glad he had no desire to meet me.  I stepped out of the water.  We made plans for the rest of the day.
We decided to pay our respects to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City.  The hospital is in a new building on the mainland now.  It's much larger than the place they had been using, and it's a lot more comfortable for the turtles, the workers, and the visitors.

While we waiting to see the turtles, we got a load of this turtle made from garbage found on the beach.  He looks like a craft store project, but don't be fooled.  He is made from bona fide junk found on the beach.  Over the years, we have collected countless brand new sunglasses (even Ray-Bans) and sand toys.

Topsail is a very clean beach because every …

The Tow Truck, the Driver, and the Truth

Last week, my car acted up, and I had it towed to my mechanic.  The tow-truck driver who helped me out was my Buddha.  He helped me see things as they were and to be a part of them and to breathe.
He was a dark-haired, wiry young man the color of cinnamon—the tan of white people who are relentlessly in the summer sun.  He wore a pink T-shirt with something about the power of healing printed on the back.  He wore an empty holster for a sidearm.  After he backed his flatbed up to the back end of my waiting disabled VW, he asked me if I were renting for the week.  I said no, this was my parents’ place and I was down for the summer.  You teach? he asked.  Yes, I said.  In Connecticut.  Why in Connecticut when you have all of this.  Here.  He was not asking. 
Of course, they won’t pay you nothing, but look where you are. 
We looked.
When he was 16, he told his parents he would be out when he was 18.  They didn’t believe him, but there he was two years later driving this truck around the…

Today's Flowers: Offroad Pretty

Amid the grasses, bamboo, sludge, and summer detritus bloomed these beauties this morning.  Some days, pretty wins.

Today's Flowers

Skywatch Friday: Sunset, Topsail


Wordless Wednesday: Timeless Feathered Dudes


Our World Tuesday: Charleston, South Carolina

I took my daughter and my nephews to Charleston, South Carolina, last week to see Fort Sumter and whatever else we had time for.
We had the good fortune of traveling out to Sumter alongside a gentleman who was a retired marine and knew a lot about everything.  From him we learned that the fort took the beating it did during the Civil War because the rebels were beating on the least fortified (landward) side of it.  Fort Sumter was built with naval warfare in mind. In the 1870s, when the federal government reinforced the thing, workers filled a lot of the spaces with sand. This basically mummified the canon so that when the federal government sucked out all the sand to restore the fort, lo, there were all these canon in pretty decent shape.  Amazing! We also learned that the fort is built on a shoal, and a lot of the materials that went into the making of the fort came from New England.  The irony of this was not lost on us.  Time and the tides left exposed a some of the inner working…

Happy Independence Day!

Flag over Fort Sumter, South Carolina

Skywatch Friday: The Morning before Arthur

Early July 3, there was a strong breeze and a bubbly start to the morning sky.  It was beautiful.
 While theweather folks were going on and on about what was to come, it was business as usual on Topsail. As usual, the sun rose:

 Hope you're safe and well!