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).
May 18, 2018. Transitions happen, ready or not. I wasn’t. This is day eleven of our new indoor-only cat living the outdoor-only lifestyle. I’ll spare details, but she violated Gary’s tolerance one too many times. This has been harder on me than on the cat, but I am observing her absolute glee with the outdoors and coming around to interpreting her plaintive meows as less complaint than plea for me to join her out there!
All changes again when we begin summer travels. Both cats will be indoors for the duration. Both will be very ready to explore the yard when we return. And perhaps at that point, the older cat and younger cat will share in-and-out privileges equally. I have fingers crossed. But I am open to the possibility that this little catalyst may have yet more to teach me.
This image I created for the 2010 Gathering of Circles – http://www.gatheringofcircles.com
March 25, 2018. This is messy time of year in Central Texas – live oaks drop all their leaves and then immediately begin “blooming” and dusting everything with their yellow pollen. Might as well wait for it to finish before trying to clean up.
Today I found this green anole on the hood of our black truck – perhaps drawn to the hue of the pollen? Perhaps struck by the reflection surrounding him? The perfect icon for Central Texas Spring, and decidedly in an extended pause. Perhaps contemplating source?