Friday, August 31, 2007

Come Into My Parlor

Poor little fly. But wait! Things are not always as they seem.

I was in bed, lights off, reviewing the day's photos. The little fly was drawn to the light from my laptop screen. In reality, the spider was tiny, too.

Remember to flip a rock on International Rock-flipping day. Read all about it at Bev's 'Burning Silo'.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nature's Stained Glass

This is the newly emerged dragonfly that inspired last week's "What Is This Post?"
I'm a neophyte regarding dragonflies. If anyone wants to ID this - I'd surely appreciate it.

OK, gang! What are we looking at here? I've photo-shopped it a titch. Saturated the colors a smidge. The winner gets to gloat about their exceptional deducing skills.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Was So A'sceered

The sirens started wailing about 6PM. The lights blinked off and then tantalizingly on again and then heart-sinkingly - OFF.

Before the internet connection died, I captured this. See those little cross-hairs. That's where I sat cowering alone on the bottom riser of my basement steps.

Well, not completely alone.

I hadn't been down there all summer. Actually, we've not had at the basement in years. I kept telling myself - next fall - or when the snow flies - or the next rainy day, hot day; somehow there was always something better to do.

Now I sat there with my little candle, weak flashlight and good old Coleman fluorescent tube lantern that hadn't been switched on since a camping trip in '92. The handset from the upstairs phone didn't work. Duh. And the battery on my cell didn't have a full charge. To whichever friend gave me that little heart-laced candle years ago: Thanks for the light.

My hubby was working nite call and kept phoning from the heart of the hospital to chuckle and say "Yeah, the weatherman says Sylvania is going to get slammed." Thanks, dear.

So, I sat hunched on that step, surveying in the dim light of my fading laptop and single candle - the neglected detritus of my life. It all kind of hurt. Funny I just typed 'heart' there where I intended 'hurt'. Guess that explains the hurt. There are a lot of memory-laden items down there. No need to list them. Just start with dog paraphernalia and work up to little boy and grandpa stuff. Nuff said.

The winds blew, the candle flickered, and on my miraculously operating basement battery radio, I listened to a minister intoning God's admonishments to us sinners . I couldn't get the AM bands to work. I turned him off and sat in the little circle of my candle glow. I promised myself - not God - to have the courage to face that mess in the basement next month.

Sitting there I knew I was going to have to make my way over to the sump to make sure the back-up osmotic reverse flow pump would take over. That required body armor. That's my winter coat - hood up. Boots too. Long pants, tucked in. I was sweatn'. That 20 foot trek through ages of spider nets and leavings was gonna be challenging.

Pretty, huh....? The back-up was working. Whew. (Now remember - it's pitch-black in that corner. You only see the pump because of the camera's flash)

Back upstairs I peered out to the street. I saw a glow in my neighbor's garage. We've lived on this street more than 30 years. Neighbors are a good thing.
We sat around the kerosene lamps and visited and agreed it was our best visit all summer. (Do you like my chiaroscuro effect? You can click on it, too - Lori, Rick, Dell, Mary Kay, Rob, Mattie, Ed and Audrey - won't mind)

I looked across to our side of the street. My porch lights were back on. My hubby was pulling in the driveway. Everyone with electricity offered food and lodging to those who still sat on the shadowy side of the street. The glow enveloped us all. Everything is OK, now.

(Now, if you want a REALLY scary storm story with a happy ending go to Bev's at Burning Silo entitled: Weird Sky!)


Friday, August 24, 2007

Tell Me You Don't See This :0)

Last night I made my husband rush from the house to bring a fresh camera battery to The Dollar Store parking lot. I was looking north into Michigan at the backside of a big line of thunderstorms at sunset. I captured more creatures and neat shapes in those clouds!

At home reviewing them I said "Look, honey! A man kissing a pig!" He said, "Naw. That's a man kissing a child."

Well. I just clicked on The Drudge report and up came my cloud picture. The governor of California kissing . . . . . Yep! A pig!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How Do You Spell Relief?

He just lay there - dreaming of rain or the frosty nights of October.

He tried to channel the xylem coolness into his fervid belly.

Then the rains came. The world upended. The following is a reflection on rain and puddles and the creatures who emerge to celebrate the gift of water.

I walk here, rain or shine - goose droppings or snow, sleet or ice or puddles.

After the rain, the breeze stirred the oak leaves overhead and they let fall the pond drops. (Please click on the pond)

The Monarch caterpillar just kept munching while he enjoyed the cool-packs on his back.

Fungus lives for rain. Really. A good rain makes a good fruiting.

The leaf drops played with the puddles. They got tired . . .

. . . . and the sky tree settled back in.

the Puddle Duck puddled around in the . . . .puddles.

This male Blue Dasher is sparkley-new and ready for love.

This bumble bee tried to discern his fortune in a crystal ball drop.
(Please click on him)

Ah, well - I think I've said all I want to say about rain - for now :0)

So I'll just float serenely away. (For those of you who know I wouldn't be caught dead climbing into a pond. Shush! - I'm trying to be poetic here!)

So, when was the last time you took off your shoes and splashed through a puddle?


Thursday, August 16, 2007


"Drunk with gold they bumped their heads . . ."

" They pledged a bond of summer friendship . . . "

Wandering through the late summer vegetation one witnesses much bonhomie. Perhaps as the days grow shorter and the crickets begin to talk about the cold and stillness ahead, nature's denizens feel the need to sing a few rounds of Auld Lang Syne with their summer neighbors.

I wrote a little ditty about these observations.

The Globe Thistle Bar

It must have been an ear-eluding whistle
that drew the critters to the blue globe thistle.
They nuzzled ‘round the spiky little taps
and guzzled either nectar or some saps
brought in on summer’s late-season run -
compliments of a sated July sun.

So, drunk with gold they bumped their heads
to fill their bellies before the dregs
of fall rose up.

They drained their cups.

And called to fellow passersbys
with beady, buzzing little cries:
“Beer! Over here!”

As only spirits can provide,
at bars with strangers side by side,
the air was sweet with the bonhomie
of the monarch as he stroked the bee
with dizzy, sotted antennae,

and pledged a bond of summer friendship –
until October’s frost should end it.

Catherine Wilson


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Olga's Method

You have to love a rose. Apparently these Japaneses beetles do. They love each other, too.

This is one of the few I found that wasn't co-joined. A look around the local gardens reveals a real plague of beetles. On addressing the problem with Olga, the organic gardener at The Toledo Botanical Gardens, I learned her secret in dealing with the infestation. Read on - if you dare.

You've been warned. This is not a story about flowers. It's about the Japanese Beetles that have been ravishing them and one another throughout the garden.

I asked Olga how she was managing the infestation of amorous, chomping beetles. I established my organic bona fide by mentioning the method of flicking them into sudsy water. She wrinkled her brow. "Well, that seems kind of cruel to me. They drown. I dispatch them quickly. I squish 'em."

She offered to demonstrate. I took a breath. She reached toward a small sunflower where scores of them munched away. Squish. Crunch. With her BARE hands. I was speechless.

"If you want to keep your hands clean you can knock them into a pouch and squish them in there." She pulled a pouch out of a pocket and knocked a stem of hapless bugs into the envelop. Knead. Knead.

I knew I would post about the encounter. It wasn't until I zoomed and cropped the last photo of the pouch method that I found a 'bit' of humor in it.

The pouch she'd saved for the purpose reads: " . . . . . the great fresh baked taste you've come to expect from 'Little Bites'."



Tuesday, August 07, 2007


It all begins with thirst-quenching rain.

This dry birdbath is now full.

The flowers are revived.

It's hot as hades outside. Gratefully, we've watched as line after line of storms move through. We're under a severe storm watch now. It sure beats those cicada-chanting, devil's anvil, sun-pounding last few days.

The bird baths are full to over-flowing. The flowers are refreshed and other than the weather - I've got bupkis. (Oh! Had to post the formerly yellow, elongated, oval shade-loving eggs in case Bev stops by and get her opinion as to whether they're still growing or just sizzled)

I'm going to drop this little poem on you with the hopes you'll find it pleasant - like an afternoon rain shower.


Since I was a child
there’s never been a rain come round
that didn’t find me leaning close to the other side
of a window
Watching the first drop, then another and another
and another . . . quiet . . .tentative . . .
Making small clear trails in the breeze-deposited
dust on the other side and the tempo rising
And some inner pulse matching drop by drop
the slap! slap! slap! of the stippled curtain of water
that pelts and runs, pelts and runs . . .
Where moments ago there were a window,
a sleepy summer afternoon, butterflies lacing
among the marigolds, pansies limply awaiting
Evening’s respite from the sun . . .
Now scalloped waves choreograph
the pebble-pounding on porch roof, sidewalks,
steaming pavement and parched flower beds.
And when the pelting slows to shifting mesmeric
rain patterns on the street . . .
Time itself stops to listen to the rain, rain
. . . the Rain.

Catherine Wilson


Sunday, August 05, 2007

How Hot Was It Yesterday?

Well it was so hot I left a note on the back window of an SUV that included the words "sorry" and "thank you". No. I didn't bump their fender. There was a dog inside - barking. The windows were cracked. I was upset. So I sat there until the owner came back - ready to break windows or call the cops if she didn't show up soon. She snatched that note and I could see her reading it in the front seat as she left. Good.

It was so hot that small eggs and insects hung out under the milkweed leaves - out of the intense sun. (I hope those are monarch eggs)

It was so hot that even these heat-loving grasshoppers sized each other up with a few wing flashes and agreed to head into the shade for their buggy love.

I thought it interesting that gray one (male or female) seemed perfectly camouflaged, but wondered about the rust color of the other till I noticed that it was the exact color of the thorns on the prickly pear from which it had emerged. (the grasshopper is in there but out of focus)

It was so hot this little mourning dove was dreaming about being a bowsprit on a fishing boat in Chatham Harbor. He perched on the bone-dry bird bath, hearing the cry of gulls.

Today - it rained all day. Ahhhhh . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .