Thursday, October 30, 2008

Its 'so long', not goodbye

The sun was just coming up when I caught this peaceful scene over Island Lake. The honking of the geese was the only sound on the lake.
The geese in formation always reminds me of Mary Oliver's poetry. This is from 'Wild Geese':
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are,
no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese,
harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Visit here to see more wonderful photos of the sky seen around the world. Thanks and sad goodbyes to Tom and Imac who are taking a break and have passed the torch to the crew: Klaus Sandy Ivar Wren & Fishing Guy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

O is for orange. . .otra vez

O for me is orange-red brick on an old building in the historic Czech Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago where my daughter lives. A close up behind the ornate bars shows a lovely stained glass window. My eyes are always drawn to the complimentary color of orange=green, in this case my favorite blue green/aqua. Call me 'umm, not very creative' but I've used 'orange' for every O round of ABC Wednesday. Oh well.

See more examples of the letter O from bloggers all over the world at ABC Wednesday, hosted by Mrs Nesbitt. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All you umpires, back to the bleachers.
Referees, hit the showers.[falling leaves circled]
It’s my game.

I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases.

At sunset, I’ve won or lost.

At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try.~~ Ray Bradbury

Again with the reflections on the lake, I know. . .but. . .pink clouds and two contrails?! Besides, it was 29 degrees this a.m. when I said to hell with the gym and walked around Island Lake for a look see. I knew it would have changed in a week's time and I was right. Less foliage, less leaves, half clothed trees, frost, three Loons and a partridge in a pear tree a gôr'jəs sunrise. Baby blanket colors across the sky. A perfect morning but really, really cold and I hadn't planned accordingly. But, being resourceful, I made a bathroom stop at a grocery store nearby and bought a pair of stretchy gloves. I guess those merit badges I earned in Girl Scouts paid off after all.

A Tundra cartoon complete with spilled tea that I meant to post yesterday. I'm hoping it will still be funny today:
p.s. Neo-Nazis! Didn't your mothers teach you its not nice to plot to kill a presidential candidate? Get a job! That's all I have to say!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Today in flowers

Most flowers are now kissing us goodbye except for the workhorses of the garden: mums and asters. I saw these exceptionally beautiful mums on a walk last weekend. Their soft color drew me from the sidewalk to look deep into their cheerful faces. And that scarecrow wasn't really scary at all.
Visit Today's Flowers for a virtual tour of flowers from all over the world. You may want to add some photos from your neck of the woods. Send them on to Today's Flowers in care of Luiz and Denise, our fellow flower-loving hosts.

October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.
Nova Bair

The short list

Sunday Scribblings prompted us to list our bragging rights this week.

I haven’t always been a friend to myself,
I appreciate beauty and intelligence.
I am shy but want to talk your ear off.
I am saddened by the passing of life of very small creatures.

I talk with my hands, walk fast and have a repertoire of one-liners for every occasion.
I never forget—a face, a lyric, a feeling.
I recognize other’s pain, grief and confusion even if I don’t like how they act.
I’m curious and want to see what’s new but love the old.
What’s mine is yours.
I’m adaptable to life and creative when needed.
My hands are graceful, my ears are tuned and I care.
Where others forecast the future I usually see the humor.
I am the one who sees both sides, front and back.
I am smarter than I think.
I am neither what I was told I was nor what I have believed.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Life is good!

[click for a better view]
As is our tradition, every Saturday morning we eat breakfast at a small restaurant in White Bear Lake and then needfully, we walk along the lake and through the lovely old neighborhoods for another half hour. Last Saturday we had a light frost and the our whole area was full of a lacy fog. The sun was coming up through this fog on the lake when I took this photo of busy coots and three kayaks gliding through the water. It was sublime but only for a few minutes until the sun rose completely. . .one of those moments that takes your breath away!

See more breathtaking photos at Skywatch. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ABC Wednesday--ironing day

ABC Wednesday arrived with N as the letter of the week. I'm a little late but don't want to miss adding my favorite N. . .N for Pablo Neruda, a poet I enjoy reading. I've added one short poem below with a 'white' motif and some photos to illustrate his words. You can mouse -over Neruda's photo for a biography of his very interesting life.


Poetry is white
it comes dripping out of the water
it gets wrinkled and piles up
We have to stretch out the skin of this planet
We have to iron the sea in its whiteness
The hands go on and on
and so things are made
the hands make the world every day
fire unites with steel
linen, canvas and calico come back from
combat in the laundry and from the light
a dove is born
purity comes back from the soap suds.

[ Translated by Jodey Bateman]
Visit Mrs Nesbitt here to see more varied and wonderful N posts.

They never call, they never write!

Today's walk around Island Lake was my first in a week or so due to the leaf mold, ragweed and goldenrod that had been kicking my butt. And there's only so much closed captioned t.v. one can watch at the gym. As luck would have it, we had a freeze last night so that it was 37 degrees when I walked this morning.

My little part of the world had really changed in ten days with many leaf-less trees and a lot more open meadows. The small orchard area that I've photographed often is now nearly empty with just a few frozen apples left on the top of trees. The spot where I've been seeing deer is wide open to a marshy area now. A bittersweet melancholy was kept at bay by the bright blue skies and yellow leaves fluttering on tall birches. A handful of mallards remain dredging what's left of the algae. No sounds of geese now except for the noisy intermittent flyovers each day. The herons and egrets have been gone for a couple of weeks so that even the little pond across from our apartment is deserted and quiet. Yet, life is good.On the bright side, the over-wintering Chickadees were out in full force as well as the screaming Blue Jays, Downy Woodpeckers and a migrating Sandpiper was peeping along the lake's edge. A few Robins, Grackles and Red-wing Blackbirds are still feeding. And I saw my first Junco of the season! Life is good indeed! I purposed right then and there that I would get a jump on my new year's resolutions. I will spend time during the long winter ahead learning about bird migration. Since my little feathered friends don't send post cards, at least I'll have a better idea about where they've been when they come back in the spring.
Note to self: Remember that the seasons pass swiftly, even the wintertime. It will be helpful to recall,
But as for me, I will always have hope. . .Psalm 71:14,

& Emily Dickinson's words:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all. . .

Sunday, October 19, 2008

'it turns with the sun'**

This is the last of the Calendula flowers I've seen from summer. But these were literally 'hanging out' of a neighbor's garden onto the sidewalk. . .as I waited too long to plant my own pot of 'pot marigold' this year. Calendula are really from the aster family, not the well-loved and colorful marigolds (Tagetes), and have anti-inflammatory properties.
**Factoid: The common name marigold probably refers to the Virgin Mary, or its old Saxon name 'ymbglidegold', which means 'it turns with the sun.'

To see more incredible flower photos, visit Today's Flowers, a virtual flower shop hosted by Luiz & Denise.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Her style is my style

I watched you when you weren’t looking
Yet when given the opportunity, I
Couldn’t turn away.

While you winnowed truth from pain,
Brushed the velvet petal’s nap
Sifted and put up for winter, I was
Watching you
Nose to nose as a child.

A speck on the vast landscape of years
Braid down your back,
Cataloging all the stars,
Did you ask for more time
while I was checking my watch?

Turning the teacup over to look at the bottom
Instead of the tea leaves inside--
Porcelain so pure from worlds away.
I caught your faint silk smile of knowing
You would not change.

Lively thoughts circle your neck
Clasped by timeworn reckonings.
Your soul’s decorations: deep vision, peace,
Beauty with parity and merriment.
I am watching still.
I cannot turn away.

My thoughts on Sunday Scribbling's prompt this week 'my style' illustrated by John William Waterhouse's Spring (The Flower Picker), circa 1900.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Same time next year. . .

This spot will look familiar because I posted a similar photo this summer of the Monet-like reflection of the sky on Owasso Lake. This was taken earlier in the week at the peak of color in our area. We continue to have cold nights and sunny days, at least for now.
Please visit SkyWatch Friday to see even more sky views from every part of the world. You'll be amazed at the variety of this community hosted by Tom, Sandy, IMAC , Klaus, Ivar, Wren & Fishing Guy--may want to join in the fun!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fungii by any other name

are still mushrooms to me, or to put it another way, I have just about enough information to be dangerous.
ABC Wednesday has reached the letter "M" and below are several photos I've taken of varieties mushrooms. The latest is this pleasing cluster on top of a tree trunk. Poisonous?
I had to climb down into a ditch bank to get a photo of this large mushroom among the weeds. It was seriously the size of a baseball.
There were several of these dark brown ones around the lake and somehow their leathery appearance and large size made me wonder if it is possible for some to be more poisonous than others.
The sign of many active spores in this bit of grass.
My favorite glistening toadstools popping up in the dog walking area along the curbing.

Finally, the prettiest even though it was in its latter stages. Mother Nature's art pieces. There is something so mysterious about them, almost like a rare decorative item that shows up in the most unlikely places--an antique shop or perhaps in the window of a brownstone you pass every day on the way to the bus. . .Visit Mrs Nesbitt at her wonderful Meme here to join and/or savor all the possible photographs of 'm' words.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mexican Hat Dance

This is one of the few remaining Prairie Coneflower aka (Ratibida columnifera) or Mexican Hat Dance plants, at least that I've seen now that fall is upon us. What I didn't know is they are the are also a member of the Aster Family. These tall beauties thrive in our dry prairie regions.

So I say we bring out the castanets and celebrate Today's Flowers with a flourish!

See more beautiful virtual flowers here, hosted by Luiz and Denise.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Once upon a time. . .a Favorite Things Thursday fantasy

Thursday's Favorite Things comes with a little tale.
Read on....

Once upon a time on a fair autumn day, a princess of a certain age, turned yet a year older. On that very festive occasion warm wishes and legal tender came by post to cheer her and distract her from looming old age. She meticulously hid the bills and with a flourish snapped the coin purse shut. With a dreamy look she purposed to spend this money wisely instead of trying to hide her wealth by purchasing small and later forgotten memorabilia and chocolate snacks. This would be the year she threw aside the need to save for a rainy day, deciding that, of course that rainy day would eventually come before her next birthday, but what would she have to show that had made her blissfully happy during that year? Without further ado she summoned her carriage and traveled to her favorite antique store--where she usually let herself take a quick,longing glance then off to the nearest thrift store with her.

Well, not today! She knew where to find the little blue teapot that had sat on the shelf, lonely and dusty, a bit like herself. And there it sat! Without a second thought she swooped it up, negotiated a ridiculously lowered price for ownership of this darling and left the store with very little left in her purse but a look of true satisfaction on her surprisingly younger-looking countenance.

I'm in the middle of what looks like, sigh, another collection--tea pots this time. Below is one my mother gave me on the last visit I made home before she slipped into dementia and she still remembered how much I liked the artist, Marjolean Bastin. It is large enough to serve several cups of tea and is what I pull out when the weather turns nippy.

This little orphan I purchased at a yard sale last week for $.25. At first I thought it was a sweet pitcher then the little o-shape on its handle proved it had indeed lost its lid and I could relate!
Thanks to my friend Blue who hosts Favorite Things Thursday, her brainchild that has offered so much fun and inspiration, You can visit here.
Happy Thursday!

[quote/art by Donald Urquhart]

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ABC Wednesday and lavender fields forever.

Mrs Nesbitt's Meme ABC Wednesday has arrived at the letter 'L" for today and all I could imagine from all the 'L' words was lavender...that delightful herb, color, fragrance in all its many forms. Soft on the senses. Sweet reminder of spring.

Half purple/half lavender iris and the crayon box lavender of wild phlox in a ditch next to the railroad tracks last summer.

and my ever present eggplant with a colorway from deep purple to nearly white all on one fruit.
Since lavender resembles wild imaginings to me, this front porch I saw on one of my walks drew my eyes straight into the little nook, the comely lavender canvas chair and the hydrangea in its lavender stage before turning blue. I wanted to call this home. . .

Join in the fun and visit ABC Wednesday's third round. And thanks to Denise for hosting such a lively place to spend any given Wednessday.