February 3, 2019. Our yard is a designated wildlife habitat, and for several weeks the sparrows have been our poster advocates. They take cover in the thick ever-green (in Central Texas) honeysuckle. I’ve combined images of the honeysuckle on rainy days, and included a short video for sound effects: sparrow voices join percussion of rain tapping metal porch roof. Enjoy!
October 31, 2018. Never mind the date and the hue – this is not a Halloween post.
It’s a response to what’s been stirring in my backyard for the past few days, and today’s nudge from Sam Allen at www.peacockpoetryblog.wordpress.com – she suggests a poetic look at one scene through two lenses. That’s what I’ve been doing in the yard – admiring the butterflies, admiring the cat, conflicted over the proximity of such different energies. I am awed (and relieved) at how adeptly butterflies react to presence of cat …
I was unsuccessful trying to photograph Brie leaping for a butterfly, hence the collage. These butterflies were among this afternoon’s many visitors. They are indulging in the blue mist that stands three-to-four feet above ground (and cat).
October 14, 2018. Out in the yard, pruning back an overgrown Jerusalem Sage, I noticed a small hole at the edge of a stump previously obscured by dense sage – thought nothing of it – UNTIL I noticed my year-old cat Brie trotting away, head held high, looking for all the world like a mother cat carrying a tiny kitten! I went for the camera, and found cat nose-to-nose with rat, each waiting for the other to make a move. Not wanting to watch what seemed inevitable, I went back to whacking on the sage. But I was quickly interrupted by Brie at my heels meowing loudly. I followed her back to where the rat should be (her perspective) but no longer was.
Guessing she blinked first. Her first rat, but maybe not the rat’s first cat?
Look closely, follow Brie’s nose … and you’ll see a tiny rat staring back at her.
September 4, 2018. We drove Saturday to Odessa TX, to spend Labor Day weekend with good friends. Not a new drive – a couple of known paths from our house to San Angelo, one obvious path from there to Odessa. Only … somehow we missed a turn and by the time we noticed the road no longer looked familiar, we were waaaay past that turn. Unwilling to forfeit time retracing, we proceeded to the next town (Goldthwaite TX). Studying Google Maps on my phone, strange changes kept occurring. Our printed maps were all in the truck that tows our Airstream – not with us in the Prius.
Goldthwaite further frustrated with no indication where its roads out of town would lead. But Lady Luck presented herself in a Welcome Center. (Who’d expect such in the middle of nowhere? And open on Saturday!) She sent me back to the car with a county map stating on left edge: “To San Angelo”. We were not yet aware at the county line our road dead-ended into a T … with zero indication what lay ahead in either direction.
Oddly, I have an urge to drive that way again (intentionally) for photographs. I’m relying here on images from maps and a photo of a similar pasture. Maybe next Spring when the wild flowers are blooming … to San Angelo for lunch and back again, with a map and Garmin along for the ride …
August 24, 2018. My son’s 44th birthday, but partying with him since he’s working in Minnesota. Nevertheless, the bees had a party out front at dawn and I joined in the merriment. Recent rain has produced another flourish of Datura blooms, and the bees all came, all crazy, all oblivious to my gawking.
August 11, 2018. Yesterday’s post from Robert Okaji set me to wondering what Hokusai would think of the modern prevalence of companion animals, and if he would have noted such an animal’s response to natural wonders. Reading about being above the storm, looking down, likely in solitude, stirred up an urge to contrast an experience last week near Cloudcroft NM. Different mountain. Different positioning of viewer to storm. Group of humans plus one exuberant Labrador. Admittedly, I was not thinking of Hokusai at the time – preoccupied with concern the hail might get bigger, become destructive. (Wish I had caught Buttercup’s romp with camera – this collage reflects both hail and happy dog.)
Hindsight? CONstructive: moistened dry earth, entertained dog, seeded poem.
Okaji’s “Thunderstorm Below The Mountain”: https://robertokaji.com/2018/08/11/thunderstorm-below-the-mountain-3/
June 12, 2018. Summer travels are underway – currently enjoying Arkansas near the Coleman Crystal Mine. People here are genuinely friendly (unlike the mocking birds!) Digging in red dirt, relaxing under forest shade – a place we return to whenever we go eastward. Tennessee by weekend.
This image is poor photography pieced together to illustrate a memorable encounter … iPhone on zoom yields blurs, but: “The best camera for any shot is the one you have with you” (Dewitt Jones savvy wisdom).