Sunday, August 01, 2010

Life At The Moment

We have been out taking walks. Not very long ones, but still plenty long enough to get a good look around at mid summer and see what's flying, blooming, fading, or gone to seed. This is our first full summer here, and surprise of all surprises, it's been mild. Well, mild for this part of the country, with temps in the high 80s during the day and mid 50s at night. We did have a few 90+ days, but not so many that it was unbearable, just enough to make us glad that we have air conditioning. We use it sparingly, and it really does take that crazy hot edge off the day.
Roger is recuperating quite well and making great progress. We've been to see the oncologist, and there is a plan in the works for him to start chemo. It's going to be some time this month, we're just not sure of the exact date yet. There a few things that need to be hammered out, like if he should have it administered at the hospital or at the doctor's office. It's a once every two weeks session (for the next six months!) that takes SIX HOURS. There is a pre-chemo visit the day before to check his blood, and a post chemo visit to the doctor for the third drug to be administered through the port.
We know you know how happy it makes us to be out and about watching the butterflies and dragonflies. We love these reminders that no matter what's going on in our personal lives, the bigger wild world goes on. The fox leaves its scat next to the bird feeder. (Our neighbors told us that the mama and her three kits live under their deck. Nice to know they're going to be around for a while longer.) We've seen a skunk prowling under the feeder in the almost dark night. The hawks have found that all the little birds gather to eat here, and so scare them out of sight a couple of times a day. The quail family comes everyday now to scratch through the wood chips looking for the scattered seed. The hummingbirds have gone through 45 pounds of sugar, and I've mixed all of it into nectar, two quarts a day.
This is all there is.

1. Top pic, an Acmon Blue (Piebejus acmon). I have always wanted to photograph a Blue like this, with those great orange spots. There were a lot flying around, but not many landing. It took a while to get this shot.

2. A Sulphur (of some sort). I have always wanted to photograph a yellow butterfly. We don't see very many Sulphurs, so this was quite an exciting find.

3. A Skipper (of some sort). I love the eyes on these butterflies. So very big for such a small thing.

4. A Blue-tailed Dragonfly. Always a thing of beauty. (UPDATE: THIS IS A WIDOW SKIMMER! THANKS TO JIM MCCULLOCH FOR THE INFO)

5. Roger's 68th birthday is this Tuesday, August 3rd. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, honey!!


thanks to you all. i have been sustained and heartened through surgery and recuperation by such wonderful messages of support.

happy birthday to you sylvia. thanks for showing the way.


  1. Well, first of all, a very Happy Birthday, Roger! So glad you're doing well! I continue to hold good thoughts for you! My birthday is Wednesday, August 4 and I'll be 77!! I hope you have a wonderful day/week/month/year/life

    I love all of your photos, they're exquisite.



  2. Well Happy Birthday. I wish you good health and happiness.

    I love the Dragon flies. I always had a feeling dragon flies were really fairies disguised as dragon flies to hide their real identities from humans. They seem magical somehow.

    I'm still not sure why you have to get chemo if they didn't find any cancer. It frightens me after seeing Vicki go through it. Sorry. Don't mean to add bad vibes and doubt to your plans. So I won't. I'd love to conversate with you guys. Perhaps we could skype.

    Love, love and love.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Roger!!

    I love your photos and hearing about the nature/animals you live among.

    Hope you can plan an acceptable schedule for the chemo and that your reactions to it are minimal.

  4. Happy birthday, Roger!!!

    Beautiful photos, Robin. I'm glad you're getting out for walks. I hope you get a long, comfortable autumn at your new place. I've been studying maps and wondering what kind of weather I'll encounter when I get to the west. In the past, I've tried to stay further north until later in the season, but this year...I think I may go south earlier and avoid the possibility of cold and rain.
    Glad to read that Roger is recuperating well and getting ready to begin the next stage of treatment. May it all go very well.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG FELLOW. Have a wonderful day and coming year.
    Am so glad roger is doing so well though neither of you can't be excited about the chemo. It is just a step he needs to take to get all the way well.
    Wonderful pictures robin. Dragonflies are so darn pretty.

  6. Good luck with the chemo.

    The butterfly pictures are terrific.

    Life made up of moments.

  7. Wnderful pics of that "wild World outside. And you are right, this is all there is.

    Wish Roger a happy birthday and a successful run through the morass and madness of Chemo.

  8. wonderful photos and images of the life around you!

    happy birthday, roger! i'm so glad you are recuperating so well.

    the chemo will suck, but not as badly as risking the stupid cancer coming back. hopefully, there will be some entertainment options wherever you have it. you could start writing up movie reviews. ;)

  9. Happy birthday to Roger! Glad to know we have more in common than a couple of traitorous colons.

    And thanks to Robin for reminding us of the exquisite beauty of life at the moment.

  10. Happpy Birthday Roger!!

    love the photos R and R!

  11. feliz cumpleanos Roger. Nice to see you are able to get out for some walks. Always good to know that the world keeps spinning and the animals keep doing their thing.

    I'm sorry you have to endure the chemo...but I understand the need and the benefit of doing so. Is it time for medical marijuana prescription to fight the possible nausea?

    I hold you both so close to my heart these days...think of you often (daily) and send my love.

  12. Oh my goodness! The blue-tailed d'fly looks exactly like a cross between a chalk-fronted corporal and a widow skimmer! What a hoot!

    Chemo, not so much of a hoot. It sounds like a very long haul, but know that we're sending you strength and love from around the world.

    And a VERY happy birthday, young man! Many, many happy returns.

    My verification word is "ireculat"--they getting their words from Palin?

  13. I quite like the yellow one, too.

    Glad to hear from you.

    Good luck to Roger (and Robin) on the coming chemo. Six hours? That's like flying from L.A. to N.Y. Books? Movies? Scrabble?

  14. Feliz cumpleaƱos a day early, Roger! Depending on Roger's mood on the days of chemo, a series of naps interspersed with music and books sounds like a good plan to start with. Six hours seems like a very long session, indeed. But I'm sure Robin can make the time fly for both of you on those days.

  15. Good to read some news from you guys. Best birthday wishes to Roger, hope he gets at least a cupcake!

  16. Happy Birthday. Roger. Good luck with the start of the chemo. For some it's tougher than others. My brother went through it for prostate cancer and not to say it was fun but not as rough as some experience it.

    The photos are great. As always, it's the small things.

  17. Happy Birthday, Roger! So, I had this idea. You (Roger) could learn to knit. I have it on good authority that it is one of the very best ways to while away chemo time. You could have sweaters for the two of you by winter...
    Seriously. I know a couple of guys who knit and love it.
    I like reading about your summer walk abouts and the photos, as usual, are splendid- very mid summer in color, too.


    I would suggest that you take a tour of both facilities to decide on the place. Obviously observe for comfort and efficiency. Ask the billing people at each place to give you cost, coverage information and what you might be expected to pay out of pocket.

    Perhaps I misunderstood, but are the other drugs not being administered via the port? Wonder why not? And must the third drug be administered at the doctor's office even if the others are at the hospital?

    I am happy too, that you have new places to explore and days of happiness watching the butterflies and dragonflies and the world beyond cancer. This horrid year will become a distant memory in times to come.

  19. Happy Birthday, Roger!

    I think of you and Robin and your recent walks and remembered this from Solitary Walker's blog from the Midlands in England:

    George Trevelyan ... He extols the usefulness of walking in the solution of personal and psychological crises, and of walking as medicine. Trevelyan's Essay On Walking begins like this: I have two doctors, my left leg and my right ...

    Beautiful photos, Robin!

  20. Glad to hear that Roger and you are finding resilience, as you always do, in appreciating the natural world around you. I really admire the strength you both must possess, and hope that when it is my turn I can summon the same.

    Wonderful photos. As restorative as the swallows that flitted around the green tonight outside my world.

    There are many hoping for the best, keep on.

  21. Happy birthday, Roger — and many happy returns

  22. Happy Birthday, Roger!
    Best wishes for many more in good health and great happiness!

  23. Happy birthday, Roger.

    Nice photos. The dragonfly btw is a widow skimmer, Libellula luctuosa.

  24. I don't know what to wish for someone who has a patch of Heaven here on Earth and the love of his life to keep him company on it...

    Perhaps another 68 to thoroughly enjoy it?

    Happy Birthday, Roger!


  25. Happy Birthday, fellow Leo! (I'm a couple of days before you, August 1...) Here's wishing you the recovery of your physical health in the coming weeks. The clarity and generosity of your spirits, both of you, need no comment from me. They speak loudly for themselves in your texts and pictures--for which I'm clearly not the only one to be grateful. Blessings...

  26. I lurk around here from time to time, and have been shy about commenting during this period of diagnosis/surgery/recuperation because, well, you don't know me and I haven't wanted to be intrusive. But let me just say I am glad to know that life goes on.

    Those photographs are beautiful. I'm not sure I have ever gotten a decent picture of a butterfly.

  27. the yellow looks like a clouded sulphur - one of my faves! :D
    putting up a link here, *maybe it'll show!