Archive for September, 2013


I wish people could just let autumn be.  I do not want to know what Hallmark is planning [in part, really, because they did this planning over a year ago, and I like disingenuousness even more than I do rushing the seasons]; I do not want to think about holiday sales; I still have figs to turn into jam, and the asters are blooming.  Would you all just STOP and look at the asters already!


Better.  You in the back — I can tell you’re not listening.  Put down that list.  The laundry is not going to erupt from the basket in the next 5 minutes unless aided by a cat, and you know you can’t stop that anyway.

There are so many things that are here and lost, here and gone so quickly — stop and look for a moment

Image There, on the goldenrod, or up above the streets as the chimney swifts skirl around looking for just the right roost for the night.

Be where you are for a moment —


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…and at least one bee.

Asters2013-pink Asters2013-1blue

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This week I had a conference to attend, so I got to spend some time in a city center I don’t normally get to visit on foot.  Even better, the weather was splendid and the afternoon light was hitting the scenery just right for clear photography.

The frieze on one building alternated these owls with what I had initially thought were slightly different owls, but I think they are really bat-like creatures… Although I’m not sure why the designers wouldn’t have also alternated the wing styles when they switched out the heads.  You end up with odd cat-bat-bird critters.  While they are fine cat-bat-bird critters, I decided my example here could do with a bit of distortion correction, since the frieze is up a goodly number of stories from the ground:

BatFrieze2Despite putting bird wings with the mammalian face, that’s somehow less strange than the change in the opposite direction:  the scale of the eyes on the bat-creatures is better than the scale of the eyes on the owls.  Look up there again: tiny little eyes on the owls!  It’s as if X the Owl got into Henrietta’s secret batch of special brownies, if you know what I mean…

The bats know for sure, but they aren’t telling.

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SixBricksThey’ve sat here all summer, waiting to line a path.  Tomorrow, maybe, I’ll be able to see where that path should be. And yes, there should probably be many more bricks than these, but you have to start somewhere, even if it starting takes a long time…

[soundtrack: “We Are Lights”, by Stephen Schwartz, arranged by Mac Huff, because I am trying to learn it]

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They were not large carrots. And I have already eaten two of them, chewing thoroughly; they taste like home.

That is not a figurative statement. The dirt, the sun, the water… The town I grew up in fed these carrots; the dirt I excavated in inexplicable childhood projects and the water I drank for most of my first 20 years went into these carrots.

Of course I’ve eaten fruit from that garden before: grapes, currants, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, peas… I don’t know why I hadn’t sensed Home in those so strongly — maybe I didn’t have the vocabulary, maybe I usually ate them at that location, not hundreds of miles away. Maybe root vegetables concentrate earthiness and location more than other produce. I could understand that.

Or maybe the little carrots I typically eat these days are such overbred little hydroponic sugar crunchies that homegrown carrots, however small, shout their truth very loudly.

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Early fall color


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Guess who…


…wants wasps to come to dinner?

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Almost here


The crickets are out, the State Fairs are winding down; kids are back in school.

“How many nights til frost?” sang the crickets in Charlotte’s Web.

Wolcum cool autumn nights and golden afternoons.

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Bastard Spargles

Most modern asparagus roots sold for agriculture are for male plants. They are more ‘productive’, at least from the perspective of producing spears for the table. I planted a bunch of purple asparagus two springs ago. So what have we here?

Well, our little patch of Elsinore seems to have come with a few feral asparagi that are female…

And those are what spargle fruits look like. I’m really curious about what the F1 results would be. Have any of you grown asparagus from seed?


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