Thursday, May 31, 2012

so much to see, in such a short distance.

There will be a longer post, perhaps with words, and deeper thoughts, and reflections, on this great mystery of life, soon. But the hour of cuddling with the family – which consists of Best Beloved, and the two black cats, is upon us. So for now, it’s just going to be about my travels to the mailbox, with particular attention paid to the meadow.

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Two kinds o’ naughty bits. Interesting.

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A purple-flowering raspberry just starting to open up. I am reminded of Susannah over at Wanderin’ Weeta, who examined a plant with similar sproingy bits, that turned out to have quite a toxic effect on bugs.

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speaking of raspberries, here’s a different kind.

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An ant investigates what appears to be either a dead, or a very deeply slumbering, fly of some kind.

Out in the meadow, all kinds of grassy sedgy things are happening.

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Such as this kind.

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I know, I know! A blurry mess! But it’s PURPLE and I just had to get it up here for you to see.

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I believe this is curly dock.

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I lose all self-discipline around hawkweed.

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Especially with the possibility of focusing in slightly different places each time.

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just bear with me, here…

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Ahhh, I wasn’t kidding about losing it around these lovelies. They sustain my soul.

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Onwards! Some outstanding ferns in a wet part of the meadow.

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And I’ve never noticed these before – divine.

Well, my dears, that was pretty restorative, as was the long Reiki self-treatment I just gave myself. I don’t see any open doors nearby, but the way I figure it, door-installation is the Universe’s department. My department is to notice how gorgeous every day life is, gasp in delight, and share it with you. I hope some of the joy rubs off on you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

doors, windows, flux

Some days, it’s particularly important to find beauty in the world.

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Fortunately, God invented irises some time ago, and this helps.

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Even when they’re fraying at the edges, they’re gorgeous.

I hauled myself out the door this afternoon in serious need of such beauty.

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Some kind of sedge.

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And a baby fern, so tender and optimistic!

They say that a door doesn’t close in your life without a window somewhere opening up for you to jump out of. No wait, that’s not it. One door closes, and another door opens – that’s what they say.

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Here are those anemone leaves I said I’d show you.

This week has been about a door closing. Prior experience indicates that a whole bunch of new doors will be opening very soon.  But until they do, there is sadness and anxiety to contend with. Close attention to Real Life – that is to say, the stuff that comes out of the earth as though by magic – demonstrates that all is flux, all changes, constantly, ceaselessly. Life renews itself endlessly, given half a chance. Hang in there, little one.

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Just a couple of days ago, these were tiny elegant flowers. And now, poof, baby berries! Not all the False Solomon’s Seal flowers have gotten to this stage – there’s still plenty of time to look for all the discrete stages by which life unfolds.

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Yesterday we had a tornado warning – yes, a tornado warning – and while we were spared that particular fate, we did experience quite a Pink Floyd on Acid Laser Show of thunder, lightning, and hail. Was it that which caused the sudden and premature demise of most of the local jack-in-the-pulpits? Dunno. That’s what that wilty bit above is – the flower of a jack.

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Only this one remains. Gulp!

Around and around and around we go…

Monday, May 28, 2012

a stream, sarsaparilla, shiny things, tiny things


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Carex scopario, maybe. A type of sedge.

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hawkweed. best bang for your buck, ever.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

phoning it in // failure to launch

Good evening, world! And it IS a good evening – it’s been a beautiful, gorgeous day here. Not that I would know much about that, as I spent several hours passed out on the couch in the front room. Why, you ask? Because of that crazy ToughMudder Sunday morning class. It was my first time back since I ran in the Santa Barbara Wine Country half marathon a couple of weeks ago. The workout was nearly two hours long. Dear lord. When I got home I downed a couple of ipuprofen, scarfed down some oatmeal spiked with chopped nuts, flaxseed, and dried cranberries, and promptly fell asleep on the couch.

Afterwards, I got all caught up with a college roommate I hadn’t talked to in several months. And suddenly it was dinner time. And now it’s too dark to get any good shots off out in flower-land.

My roomie mentioned to me a photograph she’d seen recently of a mostly-opened dandelion seedhead, and that gave me the brilliant idea of phoning in tonight’s post.

Originally put forth last year – in fact, on May 25 of last year – I bring you the famed “failure to launch” post.


And now we continue with our studies of dandelions. What I want to capture next is the moment when they turn into puffballs. On today’s mail run, I came across what look like a series of botched openings. I simply can’t decide how to cull these, so I’m just gonna post a whole bunch of ‘em in an order that I think explains how these things happen…


See all the matted clumpy stuff at the top? I believe those are the tips of the yellow petals and/or sepals that didn’t quite…fall off? dry up in time? You can see the seeds themselves – the brown corn-on-the-cob thingies at the bottom – are fully formed, with the silky filaments coming out of them – but the starburst parachute that should be at the tip of each on of those is trapped and tangled up at the top, under the matted stuff that should have somehow Gone Away by now. From here on in, I’m going to refer to that part as the “remnant”. (And do you see the little yellow bug? Top right, sitting on the top of a sepal.)


Doesn’t it seem like this one would be more open if it weren’t clenched at the top by the remnant?


Here’s one that managed to open up almost completely despite the remnant.


Ditto. Oh, and do you see the yellow blob nestled on the top of the seeds?


Another little yellow bug.


And now we enter the realm of the just plain weird. Dangling seeds. “Help! Help!”


After you’ve admired the carnage, do you see the yellow bug on this one? At the far left?



Maybe my favorite one – those seeds are DETERMINED to get airborne, even though they’re all handcuffed to the remnant.


I never knew dandelions could be so interesting.

Also, we have a pop quiz today. Q: How many mice can Maggie eat without puking them up whole on the dining room floor? Hint: "Four" is too high a number. Kevin scooped them up and I wiped away the … I’m sorry, did I lose you here? It’s not all rainbows and ponies, folks!

Friday, May 25, 2012

ten minutes restoreth the soul

Just some quickies today – the camera was feeling artsy.

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Siberian Iris – more than a week ahead of where it was last year.

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These only emerged today, I think (yesterday was rainy) but they’re already a bit nibbled looking.

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and again. remind me to show you the leaves of this plant – they’re pretty cool.

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found a bug on a milkweed shoot. the heroes at bugguide peg this for Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle (Labidomera clivicollis)


The false solomon’s seal flowers were looking particularly fetching.

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I watched this guy make his way up to and through this fan of stamens.