Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Not a bad shot when you consider that I took it through the window over the sink, through the screen in the window, me leanng at an angle, one handed. I actually tried four shots, this was the best of the lot.


I occasionally run across some strange data on the Ancestry website. I can kind of understand getting place names wrong. Although it’s kind of hard to believe that even an American would believe that someone who died in the twelfth century managed to die in, say, Kansas.

However, I don’t think they had sperm banks in the fifteenth century. Richard Neville, earl of Salisbury did have a daughter named Eleanor. But he died in 1460 and the Eleanor Neville Henshall in my family tree was born in 1587. Now that’s a stretch. It seems that once someone makes a mistake and posts it, others copy the mistake without even going “hunh, boy that’s weird.” Actually, it’s kind of scary, now that I think about it. I just hope none of these folks has their finger on a trigger.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We had a bumper crop of berries on the dogwood this year. Yeah, the tree had berries until these guys arrived. I found this shot of a Northern Flicker, a kind of woodpecker on the net. They generally feed on insects and other small ground critters but they like fruit this time of year so bye bye dogwood berries. It's a trip to watch an eleven or twelve inch bird deal with some of the smaller branches that are more suitable for chickadees or nuthatches. But, that fruit is mighty tempting.
I had to resort to the net because by the time I get my camera and get to the window the fruit gobblers have moved. LOL This shot is supposed have been taken from a bird watching blind in the Deschutes National Forest in Eastern Oregon
They are a beautiful creature. Most of the time what you see is the white patch above their tails as they fly away.
It was a riot this afternoon. One bird was at the end of the branch and couldn't really hang on above the branch. was very happily hanging upside down scarfing every berry it could reach. Again, gone by the time I got into position.

Monday, October 25, 2010


We had guests in the front yard about a half hour before sunset. There's been a blacktail doe and her twins from this year checking the neighborhood out off and on the last few weeks. We'd spot the twins out front or in a neighbor's yard while mama was on station on the hill behind the house. This evening all three plus a little spike buck were out front just checking out the possibilities. I wonder if "spike" is hers from last year.

There was a story in paper last week detailing how hard it is to hunt blacktails. Can't understand why anyone would. Not because they're cute (if a pain in the gardener's keister) but they aren't very big. They might be about three feet or so at the shoulder on a good day. So far they haven't been too big a pain in the garden this year. More nibblers than munchers. But, then we do have the plantings pretty dispersed anyway.

Didn't try for pictures, it was getting dark. I assume they have a hidey hole up in the brush on the hill. Someplace out of the rain.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Not that I'm an advocate of "just good enough" as in just good enough to get Joe Blow to buy it, eat it or vote for it. But, it appears that once just good became the norm; things went downhill really, really fast. The bridge at the bottom of hill is out and the train has no brakes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


This pet peeve doesn’t rise to the level the WTF entries over on Women On awhile back. It’s just really, really, really irritating. Anybody else out there getting tired of unasked for phone calls that feature one or all of the following.

A caller who can’t speak English.

A caller who has a barely understandable accent.

A phone connection that sounds like someone put a microphone next to a bowl of rice crispies and put a pillow between them.

Or on a really bad day; all three of the above. I had a call like that this morning.

I think the caller’s name was Jason, or something like that. He repeated it three times and I never did get it. The accent wasn’t too bad, so maybe his name really was Jason or something like that. I believe he was asking me to participate in a survey of some kind sponsored by a company whose name I never got. However, after the above three tries about one word in five was making it out of the rice crispy bowl and past the pillow. At that point it was “hey, I can’t hear you, I can’t understand you, and I think you need a better phone set up. Good by.”

Well, there’s two minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

It’s what seems to be the attitude behind calls like this that mystifies me. Somebody is paying for this. They’re paying the people making the calls, they’re paying for the equipment; but, these calls are so far from “just good enough” they’re in the next state.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Looked up from weeding and caught a glimpse of a squirrel that was moving a little slowly. He’d been visiting the chestnut tree down the street and was carrying a nut that was bigger than his head. It sort of got in the way of his short little legs.

Yeah, we’ve got little weeds up the wazoo, but all the time sensitive stuff is pretty much done. Garden areas are cleared and planted to clover for winter cover. Everything that we planned to move has pretty much been moved. Still have a couple of lavenders to groom….but that has to wait until the stuff in the yard debris bin either settles or gets picked up next week.

The squirrels have been busy. Looked up this morning and there was a little guy digging through the stuff on the ground. He was all of four feet away from me and wasn’t bothered at all. I guess some of them have figured out that I’m no threat.

Since the evergreen shrubs in the front have gotten large enough we’ve had more small birds in the front. They seem to need the shrubs for cover. They flit from dogwood to andromedas to rhodie and then head across to the trees across the street. They’re busy all day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010



Two similar visions of the relationship of the natural and spiritual worlds from opposite points of view. Rae Beth is British; a self described wild wood mystic within the Wiccan tradition. John Howard Griffin, author of Black Like Me, was a friend of Thomas Merton and was chose to write his biography. Unfortunately he was only able to work complete the material about Merton’s hermitage years before his death.

“….One who speaks for the tree roots and stone. Who speaks with the tree root’ and stone’ voices One who speaks as the grass and rivers. Who speaks as field and woods and hills and valleys and salt marshes and waves and tides. Yet who speaks as what is close to home. With the mouse’s voice or the seagull’s or the fox’s or the badger’s. One who speaks in cadences that go beyond the darkness and beyond stars, encompassing what is immeasurable. One whose entire being vibrates to the spirits’ words in nature, like a reed at dawn in a pool where trout swim.”

Rae Beth in The Hedge Witch’s Way

“The very nature of your solitude involves you in union with the prayers of the wind in the trees, the movement of the stars, the feeding of the birds in the fields, the building of the anthills. You witness the creator and attend to him in all his creation.”

John Howard Griffin biographer of Thomas Merton’s hermitage years. He spent time in the hermitage used by Thomas Merton at the abbey of Gethsemane and kept a journal during that time.
Rae Beth writes of one of her familiars, an old cunning man who lived in Britain over a thousand years ago. He spoke to her of prayers. He said that we must know all the prayers of the world around us; of the birds, beasts or fish. I can understand the idea that a sparrow or a fox might pray; but the prayers of streams or stones?

What does water dream of and pray for? Does the drop of water in a tiny brook remember when is was part of a mighty ocean? Does it remember being a snowflake, a glacier, or a tiny drop of rain? Does it remember being another tiny rivulet? Flowing from rivulet, to stream, to mighty river and finally to the sea. Does it remember being caught up by the warmth of the sun only to become a new drop of rain. Does it remember the long fall from cloud to earth, the sinking into the soil, the slow drift into tree roots, the release from leaves into the air and back to clouds to fall again.

What does a stone remember? Does it remember when its atoms were part of the primal lava flows? Does it remember further back when the atoms were formed in the death throes of a super nova? Do the atoms remember their lives in a cliff face being ground down by relentless breakers? Does it remember the endless pressure as the sandstone was thrust again into daylight or carried down into the heart of the earth to return again as a lava flow?

Imagining the dreams of a bird, badger or fish is difficult enough for a human. Normally we see water, grass or stone as inanimate, unaware. To imagine their prayers; that is a mystery.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Our God, God of all men,
God of heaven and earth, seas and rivers,
God of sun and moon, of all the stars,
God of high mountains and lowly valleys,
God over heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven.
He has a dwelling in heaven and earth and sea
And in all things that are in them.

He inspires all things and quickens all things.
He is over all things, he supports all things.
He makes the light of the sun to shine,
He surrounds the moon and the stars,
He has made wells in the arid earth,
Placed dry islands in the sea.
He has a Son co-eternal with himself….
And the Holy Spirit breathes in them;
Not separate are the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Attributed to Saint Patrick.

Part of Patrick’s reply to questions about God and creation in very Irish poetic form. There is no split here between Creator and Creation. There was little or no conflict in the relationships between man, nature and the Creator. While sixth century Christian missionaries in Western Europe were cutting down sacred trees; despoiling sacred wells, pulling down pagan alters, and imposing the Roman calendar in place of rhythm of the solar and lunar cycles the Celts were finding God in the sea and stars.