Friday, December 31, 2010

The Sky At The End Of The Year

These two photos were taken less than ten minutes apart.
Just shows, you never really know what's coming next.
This time it was a snowsquall and white out.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

There Is No Parable: Hawk and Dove

It's the kind of thing I should be used to already. After all, hawks kill birds in the yard quite often. We find the feather evidence at least once a week, sometimes twice. But I've never watched the whole thing happen until Tuesday morning. I was sitting at the table sipping my tea. The seed-eaters were all over the yard: in the platform feeder, on the tube feeder, under the feeders, in the garden where the seed is scattered. It was both an energetic and bucolic scene.
For some reason the doves never have a chance. The other birds always sense danger first and fly away like their lives depended on it. The doves almost always stop and listen; they take their time; they doubt the danger and go for one more tiny seed. It never fails. I watch them. Their minds always seem to be on something else. Their little heads bobble forward and back, forward and back, as they walk from under the feeder to the garden and back. It's like they are wearing earplugs and are listening to their favorite music as loud as they can. "World? What world? Hawks? What hawks? I'm grooving to my inner music and heading to get me some more seed over there."
Pow. A hawk flies in from the tall pines and slams a dove. Feathers swirl around like a brief snow flurry. Then nothing. Quiet. The hawk stands over the dove, its talons sunk into its body. It waits. It squeezes and waits.
It takes a while for a dove to die. Longer than I thought it would. It's a brutal few minutes of struggle. The hawk looks over its shoulder. It looks down at the dove. The dove tries to flee, its wings flap. The hawk shifts position. It squeezes and waits. Minutes pass, until it finally takes off with its prey, leaving nothing but a pile of feathers and blood on the driveway. Roger hooked up the hose and washed that away for me.

I'm a little surprised that I watched the whole thing, but I did. I even shot a 40 second video, which I won't post because I can't stand to look at it. I understand the nature of things, it's the suffering I find unbearable. I wish I had learned something I did not already know.

We always say we feed all the birds, and it's true. Both the hawk and the dove.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

Sometimes the way the light hits the tree or the way the smallest drops of rain shine blue and red from the branches, you just know how the season came to be. Happy holidays from The Bums.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010


My father and his sister were born one year apart on December 19. Helen was born in 1917 and my father in 1918. I love looking at this photo, seeing them in the grass with their much loved dog, Gypsy. I love my father's eyes and how he looks at the camera. I love how my Aunt Helen looks playful and happy, the way I remember her in life.

My father would have been 92 years old today. Everyday I see something, cook something, laugh or scoff at something, feel my heart break about something that reminds me of him. Reminds me of his shyness, his quietness, his quirkiness, his protectiveness, his love. If he knew, all these years later, how much his family still holds him gently in their hearts, he would know what a great job he had done as a dad and husband.

I love and miss you, dad, happy birthday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Updates and Mushrooms

There's only one thing to do this time of the year: Look for mushrooms. They are brought to us by the persistent gray, rainy, foggy, and wet weather of December. The Sierra Mountain range is 138% of normal snowfall now. I haven't even checked how far out of average we are for rainfall, but we are absolutely soggy here.

This time of the year I go out in search of color. For me, mushrooms are to early winter as flowers are to spring. That beautiful burst of life out of the brown earth. I don't go looking for edibles, I go looking for species, for variety, for shapes and sizes. Spongy bottoms or gills, stems and veils, pointy caps or round? They're all pushing up through pine needles and rain-soaked leaves. It just makes me happy to find them. Six days before winter solstice and the crazy low angle of the sun, I take that happiness how ever I can get it. The photo collage above is of the mushrooms I've seen around the house the past few days. The big one in the middle though is from last winter. A beautiful oldie, but goodie photo.

The local mushrooms that have really caught my attention are these. Out of an old oak stump in the yard, these mushrooms grow in clumps from every crevice and crack. Roger pointed out a new crop growing where he had dug into the ground for the foundation of the sauna. He uncovered part of the oak's root system, and these mushrooms sprang out of there, like they'd just been waiting for the low light and the rain. This perfect moment.

In other news and updates: We did receive a reimbursement check in the full amount from the dealership. We have decided to take that money and buy a woodstove insert for the fireplace. The propane gas insert really does not heat the house in any appreciable way, so we've started looking at woodburning ones. Quite exciting, and way more practical than a useless, fraudulent extended warranty. Win-win!

Bonsai the kitty cat has been responding to the pureed pumpkin lately. I won't go into the messy details, but let's just say that it works incredibly well as a feline laxative. I put two teaspoons in his wet food with plenty of added warm water to make his favorite gravy, and yum yum yum. He's happy, and he's not constipated. Win-win!

Roger starts his fifth round of chemo therapy Wednesday. He took two weeks off to recover from a persistent upper respiratory cough and that foggy-headed chemo brain. He does feel some better, but not completely well. This part of the update is neutrally noted.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Wacky Weird Warranty Wednesday

Last Thursday, FedEx dropped off an empty box sent by Apple to put my Macbook in and ship to them for repair. On Friday, we dropped that box off at the local FedEx. My computer spent the weekend in Memphis at the FedEx hub, and was delivered to Apple on Monday. Apple emailed to tell me they had it and were working on it. They emailed again Monday night to say it had been repaired and was being shipped back to me. FedEx delivered it to me Tuesday afternoon. I am typing this post on it! Isn't that an incredibly fast turn-around? Here is the list of things that Apple replaced on my computer:

Main Logic Board
Top Case

When we bought this computer, we purchased a three-year warranty, and thanks to that warranty, there was no charge for this service. My mac feels different to my fingers. I think that might be explained by the replaced Top Case. The keyboard feels tighter. It feels like a new computer. I am absolutely pleased!

This is the very best kind of warranty story, but then there are other kind of extended warranties, like the story we are about to tell you:
When Roger and I bought the used Subaru back in October, we bought a 4 Year-48,000 mile extended warranty. We hadn't really thought about buying such a thing, but when the salesman was taking us out for a test drive, he said, "This car is in such good condition, I would buy an extended warranty on it." We both thought that he was trying to sweeten the deal by buying us the extended warranty. Later, when talking with the financial adviser who drew up the paperwork and contracts for the sale, we learned that the salesman was only making a recommendation, not an offer. Still, he had planted a seed, and we thought it might be a good idea to purchase the warranty. It cost $1756, but as the financial adviser pointed out, one major engine problem could easily cost more than that. It was worth the investment for our own peace of mind. Well, okay. We were convinced, especially since by that time we were utterly exhausted by how it long it takes to buy a car and process such a transaction. We couldn't think clearly and ask pertinent questions, like why the financial adviser kept looking in his drawer for information on the warranty, but never actually showed us what he was looking at.

After two weeks had passed and we hadn't received any details on the warranty, which in the contract said was with Warranty Company A (not the real name), I checked our envelope of documents from the sale and discovered there was no copy of that paperwork in it. So, began a series of phone calls with the dealership to find out the status of our warranty. First, we were told that it could take two-four weeks for documentation; then we were told it could take four to six; and then six to eight. Roger asked for some documentation of the original application and coverage, and was sent a xeroxed copy of the application on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, which cut off the address and contact information of the warranty company and our signatures. And, we learned on one phone call that the warranty was not really with Warranty Company A, but with a company named Warranty Company B. There was no website for that company to be found.

We were quite alarmed by all of this, and late last week I called the dealership again and asked for paperwork to be sent to us, but this time with the pertinent details that had been omitted on the xeroxed copy. That document arrived on Saturday. We were shocked. Roger's signature looked absolutely forged to us. Something was definitely not right with any of this. The dealership said they no longer contracted with Warranty Company A, and that their name was only an erroneous computer default on the sales contract. But we suspected that the something made us ineligible for Warranty Company A and the dealership had tried to cover it up by submitting paperwork to Warranty Company B, and had signed Roger's name to it. But really we had no way of knowing what was going on.

On Monday, I called the dealership and left a lengthy voice mail message with the General Manager. I told him what I've written here, and that we no longer wanted the warranty, but wanted the dealership to reimburse us in full for it. I thought the dealership had treated us in an incredibly unprofessional manner. We never got the same answer twice when we called them. In addition, if the warranty company couldn't get a single bit of information to us in two months, how could they possibly handle a claim in a timely and effective manner? The General Manager returned my call later in the day, and agreed to reimburse us in full. He did try to sell me on the importance of the warranty, but I held my ground.

So, here are my questions for you, friends:

1. Do you think they were trying to commit some kind of fraud?

2. Should we report them to the Better Business Bureau (after we receive our check, of course!).

3. Should we talk to someone about the forgery? The above photo has four documents that purport to have Roger's signatures. Just look at those signatures and tell us if one looks inauthentic.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Falling Into Winter

My computer is being sent to Ontario for Apple repair. It's been misbehaving (will not restart or start up reliably at all), and it needs some professional care. Blogging will be sparse (even worse than it is now), although Roger does have a wonderful story to tell you about the sauna heater. Maybe he'll do a post soon. Today is his last day of Round 4 chemo. He's off for a week. Woohoo, halfway done.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lately, It's All About The Sky

First things first, our power was restored Tuesday afternoon. Roger had already figured out how to power the water heater with the generator, so we had showered and were squeaky-clean happy when everything started humming on its own again. It had been a full 60 hours without electricity, but Roger's ingenuity and pure wiring genius got us through it.

So, we could finally fully enjoy the winter mountain skies after the storm, which are incredibly clear and beautiful. It's never quite as sparkling bright in the summer, when the choking heat of the Sacramento Valley and the smoggy air from the bay area drift all the way here. That's why these freezing cold mornings are the perfect time for venturing out to see Venus. Venus before sunrise on a clear morning, and Venus before sunrise cloaked in pink clouds. I swear I would brave the coldest temps to get a glimpse of this every morning of every day. I wake up singing, "Good morning, Venus..."
And then in the chilly evenings we get to see Jupiter. This is such an amazing thing for us, to stand out on our deck and see planets. PLANETS! Why is it so thrilling? Maybe it's that confirmation and reassurance that we are after all just whirling through space, and the sight of other orbiting bodies puts it all in some proper perspective. How small we are, how very, very small.
Late in the morning on Friday, when the temps warmed up to a balmy 45 F degrees (7 C), we took a much-needed walk to breathe the fresh air and survey the storm damage. Many tree limbs down from the heavy wet snow. The sky is filling up with clouds in a preview for tomorrow's expected snow storm. The sun and clouds create spectacular sundogs, reminding us of Monet's paintings. We feel ready for any kind of weather now, and lately we just can't take our eyes off the sky. It's all good.

Monday, November 22, 2010


We have been without power since Saturday night at 10:21 pm when the snowstorm knocked out some important equipment somewhere on the grid. It's one thing to not have electricity and quite another to not have heat or running water. That's the situation we found ourselves in Sunday morning. Uh-oh. We had thought about getting a generator, but it never seemed quite the right time until we found ourselves sitting in a cold dark house. So, on Sunday Roger made some calls to the local hardware stores and found that they had already sold out all of their generators. That meant a 35 mile drive to the nearest big box stores to find one.

Luckily, we found a generator there that had enough power to support (4) 120 volt connections and (1) 220, which we needed to power the well pump. We brought it home and used it right away to the heat the house from its 57 degrees and to the cool refrigerator down to its appropriate chill level. Ah modern life.

The local newspaper, which we finally got to read online Monday when our telephone (and dsl) service was mysteriously restored, after dying mid-conversation on Sunday, told us that we are one of 7000 households in Nevada County without power. We probably won't see electricity until Tuesday evening, at the earliest. Even with the generator, we still don't have hot water, but I can at least stop melting snow to wash the dishes. Progress.

I don't think there are any big lessons to be learned from this. You have to experience it to get a real sense of life without power.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 19 Seconds of Fall

I wish I could have shown you more, but everything was blowing everywhere, and this is what it sounded like. The leaves flew up before they flew down.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Robin's Obsession

I've been doing this crazy date/sun calculation in my head lately. I watch the angle of the sun, and think, "Okay, today is November 14, the sun is there, and we still have this much sunlight in the yard. After solstice, how long will it take to get to this light again?" That's my inner voice. Here's how I proceed: I count the number of days to winter solstice (37). Then I count 37 days past solstice and arrive at January 27. I think to myself, "January 27th, that's not so bad. We'll have this much sun in the yard in January." This news makes me feel calm.

I'm obviously out of my mind that I spend so much time on this.

Then I remembered that I have this incredibly interesting little earth-sun geometry applet bookmarked on my computer. Even finding such a cool link is testimony to my obsession. Playing with the applet I learned that the angle of the sun dropped 10 degrees between October 14th and November 14th, but will only drop an additional 4.8 degrees between now and December 21st. Hah, that's not so bad, I can live with that!
The sun, the sun. When did I become so obsessed with the sun? Was it after just those few years in the pacific northwest? In deference to this new obsession, I checked the applet for the angle of the sun in Port Townsend. I discover it's already lower in the sky there now than it will be here on solstice. My stomach flip flops over such news. Still, I remember how beautiful it was there, I almost could imagine wanting to have stayed. But my body longed for light like a starving person hungers for food. I needed the sun like someone who was ... what's the word for someone was malnourished for light... is there one?

I am that person.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

some like it hot

we love a sauna. we have built three, two at the same house. well, we built one on a lower level of an outbuilding and moved it to the upper level after the creek came up six inches into the sauna.

our first sauna. that is flooding creek water down there.

the first sauna (pictured above) was lined with old growth redwood salvaged from an old house. we moved the redwood upstairs along with the heater and benches. when we decided to sell that house we replaced the redwood with pine, and packed up the redwood with our household stuff and took it to port townsend.

our sauna in port townsend. the building is about six feet by ten feet.

when we decided to leave port townsend we removed the redwood and replaced it with cedar. now we are now building our last sauna (we hope). it will be lined with our precious sweat-stained redwood that has traveled with us through three moves from port townsend even as we have given away or sold some furniture and appliances.

picture a sauna here.

ready to put on the underfloor. this building is 8 feet by 12 feet. we wanted a bit more room in the sauna for wider benches and a larger anteroom.

why is this man staring at a post?

the current state of construction. that rafter is just sitting up there to give us a clue about the roof slant and overhang.

i have thoroughly enjoyed the physical labor of digging a semi-flat area, leveling pier blocks, and framing a foundation and walls. keeps my mind at rest and seems to ameliorate some of the strange head sensations due to chemo. nailing requires a goodly amount of direct attention. when the mind drifts the hammer hits a finger or thumb. sharpens one's attention. a good thing.

i have finished 3 rounds of the total 8 of chemo. a week off and i start the 4th. my only real complaint is the strange sensations in my head. like a slight pressure in the back and general fuzziness of thought. i am fortunate that so far i have none of the more debilitating side effects: no sores in my mouth, nor on my hands or feet, no diarrhea, no nausea, no hair loss.

our pal bonsai the cat is noticeably perkier than he has been for a while. more inquisitive, more demanding, more talkative. three enemas really cleaned him out, but he is still not as regular as we think he should be.

Robin sez:

PS-- When I was reading this post, I remembered that on our first date (January 13, 1989), we went out to dinner, and during dinner Roger mentioned that he loved saunas. I said, Yay! I love a good sauna, too! He said that that was great news because he had packed some towels in the car and knew of a wonderful place to go for a good sweat. So, after dinner we headed over to Kiva Retreat and took our first sauna together. It's been one of our favorite winter rituals ever since.

PPS-- Oh Bonsai boy, come here, I've got another laxative for you... Poor bound up kitty cat.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Who Would Have Ever Thought...

...we'd be so interested in the life and times of a single praying mantis? Not me. This weirdly beautiful alien-looking creature showed up in late September and took up residence in the yard. First it was on the sun-netting (you've seen that photo twice!). Then it moved on to the sunflowers. There it has stayed for more than a month.
The other praying mantises died, the one on our screen door (a six-week resident), the one on our deck chair (a four-week resident), gone. Well actually their bodies are still around, but they've been dead for more than a week. I thought that meant this brown beauty would die as well, fall to the ground in heap, and be a snack for the ants.
But it stayed around, and as long as it was still here, I checked in on it every few days. There is nothing quite like having a praying mantis turn its triangular head and stare those other-worldly eyes at you. I always say hello, it always gives me the cold shoulder. If it could talk, I know it would say, "Get out of here, you crazy human. Do I ever bug you? Ever?" I don't really get close, but it notices me anyway. Oh well, I guess that's what it gets for showing up and staying here so close to the house.

And not only didn't it die, it stayed incredibly robust and healthy. It had a good appetite, and there have been plenty of bees and ants for it to munch on. The benefit of checking in regularly yielded this video (15 seconds of a bee being eaten).
When the sunflower the mantis had been on finally turned brown and dried out, it moved on to another larger, fresher sunflower. There it met a friend. They stayed like this for several hours on Friday. Saturday morning, she was still there, but the male was gone. Did she eat him? I wish we could answer that, but we don't really know.

Now we're hoping for a fantastic brood at some point. All the websites I've checked have various opinions about praying mantis life cycles, so your guess is as good as mine when the babies will hatch out. I hope they stick around and take up residence in next year's sunflowers.

In other news: Monday is Roger's last day of chemo until November 16th! He's quite happy about that. The end of therapy is definitely a bit rougher than the beginning, but he's incredibly resilient.

Bonsai is doing very well. I won't go into the details of his daily excretions, but will say he's become very much like a normal kitty cat. On Saturday a stray dog, wandering on the other side of the fence, scared him. Bonsai ran into the house, past us at the dinner table and into the guest bedroom. I went out to see who had chased him, saw the Australian Shepherd and told it to go home. It ran. I went into the room to tell Bonnie that he was safe; he puffed up and swaggered out of that room, moving his shoulder like he was ready for a fight. Hah! We knew he was feeling better!

This post is number 1100! We thank you so much for reading us and sharing your thoughts, concerns, love, and friendship. We hope we have always reciprocated in kind.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

We Thought We'd Miss The Ocean

But we have this vast sea -blue sky to let our minds wander in
...wavering clouds that roll across the sky like a wispy tide
...and a jeweled moon that floats on the surface of the limitless universe.

Except for desiring a glimpse of a willet or dolphin, a pelican or sea lion, a sandpiper or harbor seal, we get the sea where we see it in a measureless sky.


First, Roger is only five days away from completing round three of the chemotherapy. He continues to do very well, experiencing only minimal side effects. He's working on a project that will eventually be a post here. What he accomplishes while on chemotherapy is pretty mind-blowing, I must say.

Second, Bonsai is okay. We discovered that one of the meds the vet sent him home with is what causes his incredible lethargy. He was practically unconscious this afternoon, but is now up and stumbling around. We're not going to give him that drug again.

Third, fall is stunningly beautiful here. We're still seeing dragonflies and damselflies. We saw two froggies down by the pond this morning. First two we've seen since their mass disappearance ten days ago. Where do froggies go?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saving A Cat's Life on Halloween

We've been wanting to update the blog, but life has a way of intervening. Not always with fodder, but with simply having nothing to say. Then, things happen. Roger starts his third (of eight) round of chemo. He has good days and bad, but mostly good. We celebrate. Then, the sun rises, and it's a beautiful Sunday morning.

One day you notice the cat is acting weird. Well, really how can you tell when a supremely weird cat has crossed the line yet again? He won't jump on to the bed. He stops eating. He walks around with his back hunched and curved. His purrs are reduced to minimum.
So on Halloween morning you wake up and wonder: Is Bonsai dying? He's always been a sick boy. He has grand mal seizures whenever he sleeps deeply. He falls off the bed in the middle of the night: THUD. He does front-roll tumbles when he runs over the uneven earth. But it's more than the sum of his cuckoo parts. He has stopped defecating and urinating. That's a pretty profound sign.

So on Halloween Sunday, you find an emergency veterinary hospital and make a phone call, repeat most of what has been written here and ask if he should be seen. They say, "Absolutely, bring him in." We drive half way to Sacramento, about 40 miles to the Sunday-open hospital. It's a truly grand place. Nine acres. Solar-powered. Staffed by kind and smart people. We feel safe in the bosom of their stunning efficiency.

They take him in. We go wait in the car for their report. We've packed our requisite comfort food: English Breakfast Tea and toast (on this trip it is a dark rye with brie and jam). We walk around their nine acres, laughing at the silly antics of California Ground Squirrels. We check out their solar units. We go back in and wait.
The vet finally calls out our cat's name to the waiting room. That's us. The vet is a remarkably comforting person. This is an emergency hospital. She's been in this situation many times. She tells that the x-rays show intense intestinal blockage and a full bladder. Damn. She tells us that he needs fairly expensive intervention and a couple of days in the hospital to figure out what's going on. There are no guarantees. There's no way to know if this situation is an "end of life" moment, a chronic condition, a blip on the screen.

So, we're sitting in an examining room trying to decide if we should spend almost as much as Medicare paid Roger's surgeon for his colon surgery to keep a silly, cantankerous, old cat alive (with no guarantees). Mmmmm.

The vet says, I'll leave you two alone to talk it over.

We decided to give the old boy one more chance. We bought his ninth life, knowing fully it's the last time we'll ever do such a thing for him. He was a sick stray nine years ago. Now he is a the small animal we share our lives with. He's lived in Santa Cruz, Port Townsend, Arcata, Grass Valley with us. We've asked a lot of a critter that would have preferred familiar territory everyday. We know his days are numbered with fewer numbers than ours. Next time, we'll say good bye. This time, we bought him another sunrise.


Sunday, October 24, 2010


How is that 7.52 inches of rain can come down in 24 hours, and you can't see a drop of it here in this photo? It was pouring. POURING. My twin brother and SIL arrived at the Amtrak Train Station in Sacramento Saturday at 12:55 pm. When we all piled into the car, it started to rain. It literally rained the entire time they visited with us. It rained and rained and rained. It was never not pouring. I felt like I was in Ken Kesey's novel Sometimes A Great Notion. The weather was an entity that exerted its influence everywhere. We each took turns walking out into it. We wrapped up in every bit of rain gear we had in the house and still got wet. Sometimes it pounded on the skylights. Sometimes it just quietly dripped off the gutters. Sometimes the wind bent the smallest trees to the ground. Sometimes branches fell and puddles turned into ponds.

In October the average rainfall for Grass Valley is 2.72 inches. We got nearly 3 times that amount in 24 hours. The earth was quenched. We were drenched. Weather. It was everywhere.


Roger had a great week off from his chemotherapy. His blood tests were completely normal. The oncologist said, "You get an A+ in the Oncology Department." He starts up again on Tuesday.

All the frogs disappeared on the same day. We went down in the rain to show them to Michael and Kim and there was not a single one to be seen. How is that possible? Don't they like the rain? Were they hiding? Where? Gone.

One of our three resident praying mantises, that we had been watching for three weeks, died on Sunday.

Life goes on for some and not for others.

How are you?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

last harvest

we had the best tomato plant ever. for us anyway. we planted it in one of our boutique garden cages that came with the place. rain was forecast for today so i harvested all the tomatoes and put the vine in the compost. that's a red pepper visible up there. alas, the bugs got it.

these are now a memory, having been eaten or quartered and frozen.

the last harvest, ripening in the window.

in other news from chez bums i am doing well with the second round of chemo. no rash, but a few mouth sores, more annoying than painful. spicy food burns a bit going down my throat. and i sometimes feel very fuzzy mentally. more than usual. i napped today covered by my wonderful quilt. it warms my heart and the warmth spreads thru all of me. thanks again to all involved.

also..... i have started preparing a site for a sauna by attacking the hard clay to make a bit of levelness. pick and shovel work. i recall somewhere a reference to a pickaxe as a misery whip. i like to consider it one of my aerobic workout machines.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Leaf Frogs and Other Things

I've posted most of these photos (not this sunflower and praying mantis, though!) on Facebook, but I really wanted our blogging friends (who are not on Facebook) to see this stuff too. Sometimes I think we should just do all our posting here, and then link to it there. I find the whole dual existence a bit disconcerting. I think blogging requires more thought than Facebook, and I guess most of the time I really don't feel like thinking. The randomness of status updates and idle chatter there suit my desire to mostly say nothing.
Still, things are happening here everyday. Roger is on day 11 (of 14) of his second (of eight) rounds of chemo and doing fantastically well. We are sincerely and seriously grateful everyday that he feels so good. He's been busy planning where to put the sauna and starting the online search for a good sauna heater. We need that completed before winter hits, but the weather has been so incredibly excellent that winter seems like a thing so distant it's hard to conceive of it as real.
These little Pacific Tree Frogs have really caught our attention lately. We like heading down to the pond just to see in what little secret hideaway spot we're going to find them next. It's always a delight to notice their beautiful striped eyes peeking at us from some crazy, unexpected place. These guys are really tiny things. Their littleness cannot be conveyed in photos, and I just don't think they'll tolerate a ruler for comparison. Roger says they're about a half inch.
It's hard to imagine that it's been only six months since we moved into our house. We are watching the sun and trying to guess just how low behind the lanky tall pines it will be on solstice. Our raised beds are planted, and we are dreaming of kale, chard, onions and garlic. We laugh about how happy such a future makes us. We are simply giddy about greens and frogs; sunflowers and praying mantis; and life is good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Just Taking A Look Around

And the critters are looking back!