Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Ceci n'est pas une montagne

"We all continually move on the edges of eternity, and are sometimes granted vistas through the fabric of illusion."
Ansel Adams

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This For the Sea

 I feel like a broken record because all I ever see anymore are iridescent clouds. Maybe I'm like that kid in The Sixth Sense, except that he saw dead people and I see iridescent clouds. I think I lucked out in that draw, but still... How often do I see them? All the time. They're everywhere.
That's not exactly true. They are exquisitely ephemeral. They may evolve for an hour or more, changing where they are in the sky. But I have come to have sixth sense of where to look to find them.
I look for them they way I looked for whales or dolphins in the bay. I expect their vividness the way I would feel when thousands of migrating shearwaters would turn direction simultaneously in the glittering sea. It is the charm of the sky and this dance of light that thrills me, when we no longer have the ocean before us.
It's just sunlight and water drops in clouds.

This is an hour of morning sky on January 25th.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Making A Small Contribution

It's an interesting thing to want to leave a mark on the world, to want to make contribution, to say I was here. In a country with over 314 million people and on a planet with more than 7 billion, it is also challenging to figure out how to add something that is worthwhile.

I would like to have a stronger voice about so many things. I am quiet, but I have deeply held opinions about guns and climate change, about animal rights and acts of kindness to living things. There are just so many voices in the cacophony of opinion and strongly held beliefs. But I still want to add something to the knowledge base of the world.

And, luckily for me, I have.

How weird to think that a few random photos of a moth, a lizard, a cloud are now part of a online resources that help identify such entities. I can't tell you how much I love adding to world database of knowledge.

The Butterflies and Moths of North America website has three of my photos of a Ctenucha Rubroscapus. I particularly like this one.
And, the California Herps website has this interesting photo of a juvenile Sierra Alligator Lizard that I photographed last year. It was that blue head and those blue legs that intrigued the site manager.
And just last week The Cloud Appreciation Society published one of my iridescent cloud photographs. That really thrilled me to no end! They have photos from cloud lovers around the world. Unfortunately, there isn't a permanent link to the photo. So I did a screen grab of it. It's still on their site, but the address of each pic changes daily. Quirky bit of programming.

How would you like to be remembered? What contributions would you like to make? I would like to make the world just a little bit more accessible for its fantastic living beauty.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bears, Clouds, and Colonoscopies

It's been two weeks since we've updated the blog. That may be the longest we've ever gone without saying something or at least posting a photo. Winter has a way of quieting things way down. Temps have been very cold and there's only so much creativity we can pull out of thin cold air. Just picture us sitting in front of wood stove, stoking the fire and listening to Miles Davis or Karunesh, and you'll know what we've been up to.

Since we last wrote, we had another visit by our neighborhood bear. We had relocated our large squirrel-proof birdfeeder into the fenced backyard, and left the platform feeder out front. Winter's temps had lulled us into a false sense of security about the bear, thinking it would certainly be hibernating by now. NOPE! It took down the platform feeder out front and broke the little roof covering over it. It also bent the fencing by the gate, came into the yard, smashed the cylinder feeder, checked out every covered storage box we had in the open shed, broke a bucket, crapped up a storm, and bent the fence on the way out. Funny thing is, we never heard a thing, and bears are not known for their gentle step. So, we decided to stop feeding the birds in the yard, and now just feed them out front. We take the feeder in at night, and that's that. The birds are definitely getting less food, but we have to assume that our offerings are merely supplemental anyway. A reliable source, but not completely sustaining.

In other news, I am still utterly blown away by how often we see iridescent clouds. I am planning to compile several months worth of photos and send the best off to Atmospheric Optics with a note inquiring about how often we see them and why. Is it related to elevation? Mountain air? Angle of the sun? I've been a cloud watcher for many years, but I have never seen anything quite like this. Fellow blogger Scott of It Just Comes Naturally called them our "northern lights" and I appreciated that immensely. That's exactly how I think of them now our daytime northern lights. Such an interesting phenomenon.

And finally, I gave in and had a colonoscopy last Wednesday. There's nothing pleasant about such an experience. Not from the first day I gave up eating anything with seeds (like my favorite jam and toast), to the day I started that awful prep purge, to the colonoscopy itself. The prep is as horrific tasting thing as I've ever had pass my lips. Hard to swallow without gagging and spitting straight down the drain where it belongs! I had asked the doc if he would be willing to let me have the exam with as little "amnesia drug" (Versed) as possible. But while on the examining table, I discovered that the exam is actually pretty painful, so they gave me a Demerol and Versed cocktail that drugged me within an inch of my life. I didn't remember anything, not Roger trying to dress me in the recovery room (having a hard time getting me to my put my arms into the sleeves of my sweater), not the ride all the way home in the car, not walking into the house or getting into bed. I am very sensitive to drugs and this particular combination wiped me out for two days. The only good thing is that I learned I have quite a healthy colon, and now I NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN. Hah!

That's life here where we had 12 inches of rain in November and 18 inches in December. It's a good thing we don't have any global climate change, otherwise we might be a bit worried.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013