Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Postcard From Home

And so the summer this far has been restorative, with fireworks and outdoor food, friends in from out of town for the day, all the plants flourishing (though the butterflies are scarce to none this year) and of all things, Fiona has decided she does not mind, just once in a while, to sit quietly in my arms and (get ready for this...) purr. Yes, purr. Maybe it's the heat, but it's happened three times now, that I scoop her up to put her away in the evening, and... she doesn't struggle. So I just hold her lightly, ever so gently and, great Caesar's ghost, she purrs! For, as I said, a few minutes. So yes, it's been a lovely summer and I haven't even told you yet about the Most Intrepid Spider!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Coupla Links

I realize I didn't post any pictures from the Corning/Watkins Glen leg of our recent upstate vacation, but I did put a couple or thirty on my Flickr page. You can also find a video clip on YouTube of Ken in the glassworking lesson.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Recent Inquiries at the Desk

"Miss, do you know where there are any bad parks around here?"


"Is the Rosetta Stone true? Or is it like, part of Greek mythology?"

"Is there any way of finding books other than asking you guys?"

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Again With The Little Critters!

It feels like the lightning bugs showed up early this year. Not that I'm complaining! They're one of the few bugs I don't mind approaching. They're very patient subjects when seated, as above, but a little harder to capture when aloft and aglow, as below.
Although our backyard wildlife is humble in its variety and lacks exoticism, I am, apparently, easy to fascinate.
Our little lizard colony continues to thrive; can you see that one below, looks like he's laughing at me? I had to hide behind the foliage to take this. Look how cute he is with his mouth open! Actually, he was in the process of swallowing a bug.
And look at this guy, below, why haven't I ever seen one before? Have I just been unobservant all these years?
Leucauge venusta
This beautiful glittery-gold-and-iridescent-green-bodied spider is keeping an immaculate horizontal orb web behind my garage, completely immobilizing my agriculture-recycling bin for the last four days now, but he's so interesting I'm letting him be. How do I know the fancy Latin name for this arachnid? Once again, I found my answer on BugGuide, an active and informed "online community of naturalists." This time, instead of posting a photo of my mystery caterpillar as I did before and waiting for a reply, I used the search box on the main page to bring up photos with the keywords 'green spider', and found a dead match in the thumbnails on the first page of results.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Count Us Lucky

Last week Ken's youngest sister invited us to attend her office's annual family outing at Shea, held each year while the team's away. It was the first year I was able to go and, because Shea's coming down, it was a last chance for me, and more importantly for Kenny, the real baseball fan, to say an unusually intimate farewell to the old place.
Kids of all ages get to have an at-bat in the park and run the bases, and the office athletes slug it out in an pickup game. We played catch with the little ones and explained things like why they were going to call the new stadium Citifield.
Cold drinks and hot dogs are to hand as you walk in, past the dugout (where later, we will photograph Ken's sis calling the bullpen.)
A few people climbed into the deserted stands and settled down there, and the rest sat on benches or spread out a blanket as we did, 'cause we picnic in style.
We got to perambulate around the warning track, lie on our backs in the sweet, dense, intensely green grass, and play baseball with our nephews on a warm, sunny afternoon in the outfield of a major-league ballpark.
How lucky can you get?