Wednesday, June 27, 2007

In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Afternoon

Rosie and Charlie......Sigh.............

Having long ago disparaged of television, Eeyore and I get news from the Internet and entertainment via Netflix, and the occasional local movie rental.
Now that summer is upon us, we work outside in the morning and meet over lunch to spend the hot part of the day in the cool house watching whatever has appeared in the mailbox from Netflix. We watch quite a few British movies and TV shows, like Judi Dench's As Time Goes By. Lately we've become hooked on The Inspector Lindley Mysteries and John Thaw's Kavanah QC.

Sometimes nothing arrives in the mail, usually due to our forgetting to mail watched materials back in a timely fashion, and we are forced to turn to whatever we're reading at the moment or watch some old favorite.

Yesterday afternoon we watched The African Queen for the umteenth time. Although we know this movie by heart, we held hands, exchanged, "oh here it comes" glances, and laughed out loud. To our minds, the performances of Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart are perfect. (As for the Academy, he got Best Actor).

I feel lucky to have such a like-minded (well most of the time anyway) mate to share in such simple pleasures as enjoying a classic movie.
Yesterday, it dawned on us that we had never read C. S. Forester's book, The African Queen so it went on hold at the library.

I'll leave you with one of E's butterfly pictures. Can anyone identify this little brown guy with all the big fake-you-out eyes on his wings? Maybe one of the Lady butterflies? Well, I don't think it really is a Lady....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Visiting Lake Powell

Since I've been spending a lot of time reading one book after another as well as listening to others on CD, (to be fair, I do this listening as I go about those boring and mundane tasks necessitated by everyday life ) I thought I'd share some photos from my son's family fishing trip on Lake Powell.

I remember the controversy surrounding the Glen Canyon Dam Project in the fifties when the dam was begun. There was an outcry among ecologists and archaeologists who deplored the loss of plant and animal life as well as any ancient mysteries lying undiscovered in canyons soon to be inundated by hundreds of feet of water.

Nevertheless, the dam was built to bridge nearly one third of a mile, from rim to rim, of the Grand Canyon, and the waters in Lake Powell began to rise.
Glen Canyon Dam History and Tours tells the story.
As a man made lake, 186 mile long Lake Powell is second only to Lake Meade in size and second to none in beauty. The kids let us know they'd be camping somewhere, "past Dangling Rope Marina," as there's no cell phone reception at the lake and off they went.

A hike up to Rainbow Bridge National Monument was on the agenda,

some wild rides,

swimming, and fishing.

Mu learned to fish about the time she learned to walk.

But, Piglet, having just caught her first, says ewwwww rather than cheese!
A dainty touch, that Kleenex in the fish mouth.

A nice catch of striped bass that was, I'm told, very tasty when
wrapped in bacon and cooked over the campfire.

Lake Powell is as vast and wonderful as the rugged, red rocked landscape that surrounds it, but some people still mourn the lost world that has lain, for nearly half a century, hidden beneath Powell's cool green water. Now that drought has robbed the Colorado River and it's tributaries of rain and snow melt, canyons and caves are re-emerging for exploration and admiration. National Geographic has an article and some great pictures in the April 2006 issue.
This picture in Reflection Canyon in Utah, was taken after the lake dropped more than 100 feet. It's available as wallpaper from National Geographic so I felt comfortable uploading it.
Water has always been a precious commodity here in the West. As the Geographic points out, much of the water trapped by the Glen Canyon Dam goes to keep our desert cities green.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

In Which solb Has the Javelina Blues

Some days it is a bit difficult to maintain an optimistic attitude. This morning I went out to water only to find that those pesky Peccary had munched their way through my little garden. Again. And they did more damage than usual. My purple cone flower-gone. My budded out about to bloom Johnson''s Geranium-severely cropped, and horror of horrors, several bites were taken from my treasured Franz Schubert Phlox. A large branch was bitten off, and presumably consumed, from my early Girl tomato. It took a big,-really big-possibly the Goliath of all the javelinas to rear up, and plant his fat, cloven hoof in a half-whiskey barrel to desecrate that tomato plant. Apparently, to a peccary, deadly nightshade is a delicacy.

I'm just as disgusted as this guy looks, and I know just how he feels!

You're going along as usual, happily getting on with the daily routine when something annoying happens! For this horned lizard, it was Eeyore spotting him in the meadow and bringing him up to visit me. We pondered on taking him to a remote spot where he'd be safer from cats and other domestic predators, but in the end decided he's survived on, or in the neighborhood of, the one acre wood since he was approximately the size of a dime so E. released him back into the meadow.
It seems that the horned lizards living in hot desert areas lay eggs in the sand. The sand remains warm enough to incubate the eggs in the lower climes, but the horned lizard in cooler climes gives live birth. I know our local horny toads (I know-I know, a misnomer as they are not toads, but when someone says horny toad to one of us local-yokels we know what they're talking about) give live birth and that they really can spray blood from the corners of their eyes when under extreme duress.
I found an article on horned lizards
here. I think our local genus is Phrynosoma,hernandesi

Happily his problem's solved. He's hunting ants in Eeyore's tiny meadow, a lovely tangle of domestic and wild flowers. Here, little Roo standing in the meadow makes me think of an illustration for a Laura Ingalls Wilder book.
A bit faded, but still, I do love this picture.
As for my problem....... who knows what the 'morrow will bring...........

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Some Blustery Days

Of late, I have begun to fear that I am lamentably lacking in original thought. While this is not unusual for one oflittlebrain , I have begun to wonder. "Is this all there is to me?" You know, sorta like that old Peggy Lee song?
A continuous stream of cliches, as well as quotations from songs, books, movies, and advertisements, plays as the background music for my daily life.

I'm like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory. When he attempts to articulate his love for Julia Roberts he receives a pitying look. "Jerry," she says, " those are song lyrics."
"I know," he says miserably, "I know." It's all he can come up with at the moment.

So, of course, as a cold blustery wind swept in to batter the trees, ruffle the chicken feathers and drive the pot bellies into their house to cuddle up and wait it out, I was thinking in quotes. First I always think of my Grandmother who was herself quoting from some book she fancied and I never knew the name of. When ever the wind howled eerily about the eves of her old Nebraska farm house, she would pronounce in a fiercely theatrical way, "Listen to the wind Mrs. Cottle!"
Here I am, sixty-five years later still hearing her voice every time the wind wails about the house.

My friend
Granny J of Walking Prescott and I have been talking about poetry lately and remembering bits and pieces of old poems. (Sometimes we need a little help from our friend Avus of Little Corner of the Earth to keep our history straight.) Here's the windy day poem that blows through my mind......... Do you remember it too?

The Wind

I saw you toss the kites on high,

And blow the birds about the sky:

And all around I heard you pass,

Like ladies' skirts across the grass--

O wind a-blowing all day long,

O wind that sings so loud a song!

Robert Lewis Stevenson