Thursday, July 20, 2006


Last night as I sat on my patio with a glass of Malbec from Argentina, watching the fireflies sparkle green-gold in the twilight I heard a strange noise.

It sounded like someone snoring with a whistling hissing snore, rather loudly. Finally I got up and slowly tried to locate the source. It was around my house, in the front. Was it from the streetlight? A moment of horror of some imminant and terrible electrical explosion.... No there was something large and feathery sitting on the wires by the street light. An owl! I quietly and rapidly went and got my camera, came out and photographed the owl,

Then I heard an answering whistle hiss behind me. Another one closer up on a tree branch!

They were Barred Owls. A deep woodlands species. I live in a little enlave in a large natural wooded park. I had heard them hoot before (described as "Who Cooks For You? Who Cooks for You Now Ahhh!") but never heard of this noise, perhaps they were hissing at each other like angry cats, or perhaps they were saying harsh endearments.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

After the Hailstorm

We have had good strong thunderstorms on and off for the last couple of weeks. On monday some came through while I was at work. There were no tornado warning with them. They seemed to be ordinary thunderstorms. A few hours later I drove home, less than a 15 minute drive. As I approached my house I noticed that things looked... odd. As I pulled into my driveway it was clear some strange event has happened. The ends of banches and leaves from trees littered the ground. Leaves were plastered up the side of my house, up all my windows stuck as if glued there.

Had there been som kind of mini-tornado?

When I stepped out of the car I saw a container that I had been mixing potting soil in now had water 4 inches deep in it. It had been dry and empty in the morning. I have two pots of begonias by my breezeway door. The one on the east side was pulverized, the one on the west side, sheltered from west approaching weather by the side of the house, was fine.

Suddenly it hit me. Hail.

I ran around an checked all my plants. My hostas were shredded, branches were broken off my tomatoes, huge holes punched in my squash leaves, lettuce pounded into the ground.

The plants are slowly recovering, though I am stuck with this summer's hostas being shredded. I am still cleaning up

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fool on the Beach

Rian had a dream of the Fool on the beach with face painted blue.

I was up late with a sick cat and whiled away time playing with photoshop and pictures until I had cobbled together the Fool with face painted blue and placed him by the ocean. Rian disapproved of the Fool's face so I modified it some more. Although Rian liked that last version best, I didn't. So, here is my favorite. Long Live Photoshop!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

After a Summer Rain

A few days ago, in the evening after a summer rain.

Crocosmia "Lucifer" leaves with water drops.

Red leaf lettuce surrounded by fresh young weeds... see the Junior thistle?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Orange Lily

One of nature's many fireworks, under my Spruce.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Astronauts' Quote

Disappointed astronauts had their shuttle launch scrubbed today due to thunderclouds in the area. A fellow astronaut was philosophical. They would be disappointed. Some have been waiting 10 years to get into space for the first time. On the other hand he quoted an old aeronautics saying:

"It is better to be on the ground wishing you were flying, then to be flying, wishing you were on the ground"