Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where Have Those Bums Been?

No updates. No word. It's as if we simply disappeared off the face of the earth. I wish I could say we've been out doing very cool and exotic stuff, but the truth of the matter is we've been here working in the garden, taking our local hikes, baking bread, installing a new water heater, eating homegrown cherry tomatoes and basil, and goofing off.
I haven't had a recurrence of that seriously horrible headache (YAY!), but my neck is still an ongoing pain, which keeps me from doing any birdwatching or looking up at anything. Check out that crazy x-ray. I swear I curve the wrong way, and my vertebrae are getting mighty close together. That explains a lot, doesn't it? Oh well, it's a really good thing that very cool critters stay close to the ground.
Like this tree frog that was hanging out on a butternut squash leaf. A pretty good camouflage from a distance.
And this skipper that was hanging out on the potato flowers. Macro photography is so good for seeing things my eyes never catch. A lovely shiny golden antenna on this butterfly.
The California Sister butterflies have made a very robust emergence this year. We're seeing them everywhere. Always nice when they land even if it's just for a minute.
Okay, so it's not such a great thing to have this tomato hornworm eating our plants and fruit. Still it is quite an impressively large creature. I actually like the details, like little false eyes dotting its body. Destructive, yes, but interesting too.
We are planning a day hike up in the high country this coming week (the above photo is a satellite image of where we're headed!). Hope to see these beautiful lakes and granite peaks that the Sierra mountains are known for. Packing a lunch and taking the camera. Wish us luck! And thank you for stopping by and staying in touch.


  1. Have a great hike! You know I love that little frog, and I can't believe someone is actually holding a tomato hornworm. The last time I accidentally touched one, it hurt for a long time!

  2. Figured you two were just bumming around.

    Sorry about that kink in your neck, but I love what you found looking down.

  3. is that the Lake Basin region north of Downiville?

    I love the frog photo and the green horned pest photo -- wow, you're right, hels a beauty, albeit a destructive one. What a monster -- holding in your hand was a brave act -- yewwww.

  4. Those tomato worms turn into neat-looking moths, as I recall.
    Have a swell hike!

  5. That's looking on the bright side, look what I found looking down. :)

  6. that tomato thing is ENORMOUS -- yikes. love the tree frog.

    can't read x-rays, but i'm sorry your neck is bothering you. obviously, you are compensating with excellent photos and an amazing hike planned.

  7. Lovely photos all! I like the name "California sister."

    That's a well-fed hornworm you got there! My goodness. I've been trying to keep an eye on some spicebush swallowtail caterpillars. One disappeared (I think the poor thing fell victim to a parasite); there's another I'm hoping will survive. I check every few days.

    I don't know if this will help, but occasionally in our Pilates class we do a partner thing where one student lies on her back and another student gently slides her hands under the back-lier's neck. Very gently but firmly she slides her fingers up the neck until she has the base of the skull cradled, then gently and firmly pulls at it. Nothing forced or abrupt or hard...just the gentlest of pulls. It feels HEAVENLY on the neck. Maybe you could could give that a try with Roger's help?

  8. Always a pleasure hearing from you...seeing what you see, and knowing you are better enough to get out and hike. Have fun. Take care, peace, MandT

  9. The little frog is cute. Not so much the hornworm. (I was afraid of them as a kid; they are creepy and huge!) Sounds like you have a nice hike planned. (I told J to get his hiking shoes ready for Yosemite this weekend and he said "Hike?! We have to hike?! What happened to just enjoying nature by walking?") I should talk; I've had the same hiking boots for 20 years and while they are a little beat up, the Vibram soles are in near-mint condition from lack of milage.

  10. Wow, that xray is totally hot. You can see right through your clothes!

  11. Beautiful photos, including the surprising beauty of the x-ray of the bones of your head, neck and upper back. Sending good vibes to get those lovely bones back in a peaceful alignment with each other.

    Goofing off in the summertime. The best of all worlds (-:

  12. Laughing at Phil's comment. My brother was just here for a few weeks and we got talking about the old comic book ads for things like xray glasses to see through clothes, etc.

    Love the photo of the frog, skipper, caterpillar and butterfly. You have become such an accomplished nature photographer, and also so knowledgeable about moths, birds and other creatures.

    Hope you have a wonderful hike. I am beginning to look forward to winter hikes in Arizona. Not too long now.

    Be well.

  13. Enough with the doctors. Glad to hear you're hiking instead!

  14. I am glad to see that you are better!
    With warm embrace,