Ponder this:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No thought Thursday

All my life, I have loved kaleidoscopes...
...the magical colors, the infinite patterns that form and change.
So this is a joy to me!
I think if I stared at it long enough, it might send me off into dreamland,
which, it being nearly time to Get Ready For Work,
would be a Bad Idea.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Son et lumière

On Saturday afternoon and into the evening I could hear, from over the hill, the shrill happy sounds of teenage females: A Party. The cadence of the group sound was, at times, that of a chant, leading me to think of a roving gang of cheerleaders. Other times the wind carried to me the delightedly manic screaming that I associate with youth-in-swimming-pools. I turned toward the sounds, frowning slightly in concentration. BobbiAnn and Don have two daughters, one about the right age to have friends that would make those sounds . . . that carry across a couple of miles, across the hills and valleys, through the leafy trees . . . the same way coyote yips and howls do. About the same tones, as well.
Pool party

I do not recall ever being one of those yippy little girls, abandoned to joy, carefree, confident in happiness. 
I am glad that there are such children. 
I am glad they were miles away.

driveway lights
solar lights somewhat similar to mine on a driveway completely dissimilar to mine

Last winter I shopped on eBay for solar lights, the kind you stick in the ground, unnoticeable in daylight, that come on all by themselves (the clever little things!) when it gets dark. I bought some at Walmart a few years ago and I liked them: they made me feel like Christmas in July, or as if I had fairies stationed around the yard. They were little decorative miracles of thrift to me. That first batch has worn out now and I wanted more. It was off-season and I got a good price on two cases of them. A couple of months ago, when the weather got warm enough that I could envision being outdoors after dark, I broke open the cartons where they were stored in the barn. After stabbing the copper-finished lights' little posts into the ground at intervals of three-four feet among the shrubs along the front of the house, I still had most of the second carton left over. I put a few at the sides of the two walkways off the patio in the rear of the house. Still, many left. I suspect the batteries in the things will wear out whether they're used or not, so I scouted for more nighttime accent light spots. Two in the daylilies at the far end of the front yard stone wall, two behind the front yard birches, two behind the back yard birches. Still . . . a layer of lights in the carton. Wandering around with as many of the fixtures as I could carry, I spied . . . crannies . . . in the driveway side of the stone wall, and discovered that those little holes were just the right depth and diameter for the stems of the lights. The effect is stunning.
I expect that some night an inexperienced pilot of a small airplane might mistake our front yard for a landing strip.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I am at the tail end of my second of three summer staycations. All week I have had passing, flitting, flying thoughts of posting. I have been distracted from following any of those thoughts by the unceasing work of sweating. I have followed, instead, breeze and shade all day. The air conditioning in my car has been nonfunctional for two years; when I travel I open all the windows and drive as fast as possible to lower the temperature of the oxygen to a breathable degree. When I water the outdoor potted plants, I water my own arms and legs and air dry. I have depleted the supply of ice in the freezer's automatic icemaker. It has been desperate, I tell you!

The two books I've most recently read included passages about life needing to contain trouble. One was a long soliloquy by an attorney-gone-bad (some would say: Redundant!) in Scott Turow's... (oh now I have to get up and look at the title...) Personal Injuries. The other was in Kent Haruf's Plainsong, in which a female character tells two elderly farmers that she fears they will live all their lives without having enough trouble of the right kind, as she is offering them some of that trouble. I recommend both books. I felt the latter better than the former, the plot and immense cast of which confused me a little. Now I'm reading Jeffrey Lent's A Peculiar Grace, and again with the mention of everybody having their own bad times. Sometimes when I get these messages through my reading, one book after another, I realize it's something that I'm struggling with. I thought I had long ago accepted that into each life a deluge must fall, mountains must crumble and need to be rebuilt from a single pebble, etc.
Perhaps the cosmos is providing a refresher course for me, preparing me for some news. If so, ho hum. Tell me something I don't know.

The deer have been strolling, running, playing in the fields, the baby swallows have left the nest but not yet the barn. They sit in a three-bird row and peep vigorously. Mama and Pop keep a close eye on us if we enter to retrieve a vehicle and if swooping around doesn't chase us off, one or the other will perch next to the babies. I don't like to think what would happen to us if we went closer than we do. MiMau lies in the driveway and lolls, reaching up and swatting, as the watch-guard parents swoop over and dive at her, squeaking and veering off mere inches from her fluffy white belly. 
While checking the vegetable garden one morning I found a skyscraper of a robin's nest with two dead babies nearby. Despite the sturdily built eight-inch deep foundation, the powerful wind knocked it loose from the maple tree. Mother Nature is a very stern parent. Rather than leave the poor corpses on the ground for the dogs to roll in, I picked them up by their limp yellow toes and tucked them in between the two trunks of the maple tree. I threw the nest into the garden. Such a waste, such a shame, for all that construction work to have amounted to nothing. I suppose the bird who built it doesn't even remember now; I doubt she's mourning. But I am, a little.

Early in the spring, or late last winter, Husband threatened two zucchini plants. He planted six. I am keeping pace, but expect to slip behind when I go back to work. Zucchini bread, zucchini pasta sauce, zucchini boats. Remember the "shrimp scene" in Forrest Gump? I feel like that about zucchini.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7" sieve: bee rescue and other uses

House Sparrow In Flight

My bee sieve is also useful for trapping the odd house sparrow that finds itself beating its wings against the inside of a window screen, wondering why it can SEE the big blue yonder but can't GET there.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two little kings...

...roaming their kingdom.

Random info: 
The white post has something to do with the leach field. Husband has it marked so things don't get run over and crushed. 
The tiny white spot directly above little black Angus in the first picture is one of the beehives, way way down in the corner of the field. The honeybees are very active this summer. I've discovered The Best Way to capture the ones that wander inside the house: a 7" sieve with a handle, used like a butterfly net without all the billowing.