Sunday, March 16, 2014

And Then Came Spring

Roger's close-up "selfie" shortly after the biopsy
Two weeks just flew by without a post here. We've been distracted by doctor visits and PET scans, biopsies and fatigue. So far the reports have been good, we're waiting on the biopsy results. Roger has a bump near the corner of his eye where it meets his very lovely nose. The surgeon and the oncologist both think it looks like basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. Wouldn't be much of a problem except for where it is located. The surgeon happens to also be a plastic surgeon who specializes in keeping faces beautiful. You should see his waiting room, the pamphlets just scream BOTOX LASER LIPOSUCTION TUMMY TUCK!!!! But they also do very serious work on faces that need careful surgeries to remove cancer. For those of you who don't know Roger's cancer history. Here's a link that may explain our concern.

On the very bright and sunny side of life, the weather has cleared up and taken a sharp and beautiful turn toward spring. Temps have been in the high 60s and low 70s, blues skies and plenty of opportunities for walks in our little woods. One of our most favorite signs of spring is the return of the Sierra Newts to the local waterways where they tangle their bodies and make more newts! These two are the first of the season. There will be plenty more. The mass tangle of bodies can grow quite large, with many males all vying for one female.
Roger put his clip on sunglasses here for size
The rains did bring out even more mushrooms and fungus, which always makes us happy. This particular specimen was huge. We loved how it looked like a crazy giant egg in a lovely pine needle nest. Some critter had already found it and done a bit of nibbling.
Still, it was quite beautiful to pull up and take a good look at its other-worldy mushroom anatomy. This is going to provide a meal for many more critters. Yum.

We hadn't seen a golden-topped mushroom like this since 2009. It's like finding a sparkling jewel in the grass. Wouldn't it have been funny if this was the gold that all those miners came to the mountains to exploit in the 1850s? Ah, but it's just a little mushroom that merely hints at the real old treasures in these hills.


  1. Congrats on the arrival of spring, the fungi, and the newts. Enjoy! We here in the northern Piedmont are bracing for a bit more snow overnight Sunday; winter just won't let go here. And, good luck, Roger.

  2. I'm glad spring has found you. We seem to be having some confusion here in the Midwest. I'm also glad the news from the doctors is good for Roger (though an eye patch on the former Dread Pirate Roberts might have been cool).

  3. Oh, yes, I'm glad spring has found you, too!! I'm holding thoughts for Roger and hope all goes well!!

  4. I hope everything goes OK with Roger. Things get delicate near the eye.

    Spring is being a little reluctant around here. It's been warm, and then cold, and now cool.

  5. Roger's eyes are an amazing blue! A relief to know that there is a good surgeon who can remove that skin cancer. Sending good thoughts.

    Interesting to see that giant mushroom. I think of fall as mushroom time but, come to think of it, morels are spring mushrooms.

    Apparently there are Rough-skinned Newts at the Stimson Reserve not far from where I live. Need to take a walk out there soon:

  6. aaaarghh mateys. i like the eyepatch. it will go well with my pegleg. thanks for the good wishes.

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  8. Nature remains, and always comforts. I salute you for getting out, for looking for the signs that life rolls on whatever the hurdles in our road. Love you guys. Sounds like Roger's in good hands again. :)

  9. Scott-- I have been surprised again and again by the crazy winter weather you guys are having. It just won't let up. Sure hope spring arrives soon, and stays for a while. Thank you for your good wishes.

    Pablo-- Ah yes, an eye patch on the old dpr would have been quite the thing. Wishing you warmer weather and a real spring.

    Sylvia-- Thank you for your good wishes. We're sure everything is going to be fine. We were a little unsettled by the news, but now we're confident.

    Mark-- It's the location of the bump that makes this not a good candidate for MOH's surgery. The surgeon said he would probably take some skin from someplace else to keep things looking as beautiful as ever!

    am-- Oh definitely take a walk to look for those newts. If they behave in any way like our Sierra newts, it's a treat to see them all tangled up in blue! Thank you for your good wishes.

    Julie-- Ah yes, nature remains. That's the thing that keeps us going and makes us go outside take a good long look around. It sustains us. We love you too!

    CCorax-- Couldn't leave a comment because the blogger comment box was misbehaving. I'm copying the email she sent us here. We loved it!

    I'll keep Roger in my thoughts. My friend's daughter had three small tumors removed from her lips, two basal cell, one squamous cell. They came out clean and all is fine, but she had a hard time with the aftermath of the surgery. She looked like she'd been beaten in the face and the pain and her awful appearance depressed her, even though she knew she would heal and look like before.

    I envy you your spring weather. We're getting single digits again tonight. Snow showers later in the week. I will have to rely on your blog for vicarious color enjoyment for the next couple of months, I think.

    I love the idea of golden mushrooms being the treasure sought during the gold rush. We'd be talking about the mushroom standard. And Yeats: "...and pluck 'til time and times are done/The silver mushrooms of the moon/The golden mushrooms of the sun."

  10. Fingers crossed here and good wishes sent across the continent.

  11. Sending good juju from the islands... Love always, guys.

  12. NCmountainwoman-- Thank you for that. We're feeling confident that all will be well.

    Annie-- Love that good juju from the islands. Straight to the heart.

  13. We fair-skinned types have to be vigilent, although very few us really pay attention to the mandatory hat/sunscreen routine until we hit our 40's....! Sending good vibes your way!!

  14. Vibs your way Mr. Pirate for healing.! Hello Robin. Living in Spring, thinking of youz.

  15. lindaj-- The doc mentioned to Roger that the damage was probably done many, many years ago. All the precaution now is good, but can't undo what's already been done. Thank you for your good vibes!

    karmanot-- Thank you for your good vibes too. We're loving spring. All the daffodils blooming. So beautiful and warm. We're thinking of you two too.

  16. Spring has also sprung down here in the south land. Of course, some would say that it's always spring down here.
    Before having a chunk whacked out of my face for the same reason, I told the lady that I always wear a hat and sunscreen when outside. She told me it was too bad I didn't do that 40-50 years ago. Back then nobody thought about it. My mom certainly didn't. Good thoughts coming Roger's way...

  17. Pat-- It never occurred to me how much my brown skin protected me through my youthful sun-loving days. Seeing the damage those early sunburns can cause is pretty wild. Thank you for your good thoughts. So much appreciated.