Friday, May 30, 2008

Guardian of the grass

For the first time that I can recall, the field across the road has been cut down. Chocolate the WunderMutt has been staring intently at the newly cut horizon. I wonder what she sees.

Perfect. Just perfect.

This morning, as I was cleaning the litter boxes, my elderly cat made his way down the stairs. He sniffed and poked at each newly cleaned litter box, then proceeded to pee on the floor less than six inches from my foot.

It was the perfect, graphic summation of the past two weeks that I have spent in renovation hell.

What the @#$% is up with home improvement specialists, anyway?

Why have I just paid people, at a rate of twice my hourly RN salary, to walk all over me?

Why is it that, after being held hostage in my own home, waiting for these people to deign to make an appearance, I just smile and offer them a cup of coffee? Coffee which I can no longer drink because I'm pretty sure that I've just developed an ulcer? An ulcer that I don't have time to properly address because, as previously noted, I've been paying through the nose for the privilege of being held prisoner in my own home?

Come to think of it, my cat's demonstration of symbolism was a little on the subtle side.

End rant.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why don't they just get some sheep?

I've never been to Canton, Ohio, but I'm sure it's almost heaven. They clearly have eradicated all forms of violent crime, because they have turned their focus to shaggy, unkempt lawns.

That's right, citizen. Letting your grass grow beyond eight inches is a fourth degree misdemeanor. The second offense can bring a $250 fine and 30 days in jail.

Just, wow.

The city says it is spending over $200,000 each year to deal with the derelict lawns. I'm no genius, but it seems to me that this "problem" could be turned into a money maker if the city invested in a small flock of self-propelled, automatic fertizing mowers aka sheep. Their wool could be auctioned off each year to manic knitters like me.

I know, my utopion vision is a little crazy, but I don't think it's as insane as this incarceration nation that we've become.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Mr. Sulu can finally get married.

The statement on his official blog is poetic, poignant, and profound.

Live long and prosper.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mission Accomplished

For years, I've been saying that I'd visit Ottawa in May, to see its famed Tulip Festival. For years, life has gotten in the way. Today, we finally made it.

We were also fortunate enough to meet the man who takes care of the feral cats of Parliament Hill. The elderly gentleman says he has been feeding these cats every day for the past twelve years. If only politicians could be so dedicated to the welfare of their constituents.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The sweetness of spring

The lilacs are ridiculously lush this year. I spent the vast majority of the day yesterday, working in my veggie garden and getting high off of the fragrance of the lilacs. Lilac day is officially here. Stop whatever you are doing, and revel in the beauty of spring.

This is the first year that this flowering shrub has bloomed. Is it cherry? Apple? I have no idea. I didn't put it there, but I thank the bird who did!

I'm not exactly sure what this is, either. Time to consult some botany texts, eh?

I think this is honeysuckle. Seriously, I need a botany text.

This oriole was singing his little heart out while I was taking pictures of the flowering shrubs.

He makes me happy. We shall call him Sam.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tranquility is for the birds

There is great beauty to be found at the Perch Lake Reserve these days.

The goslings have already made their debut.

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard await the arrival of their progeny.

We watched this swan working on her nest.

There are at least twenty swans on the lake right now.

We are awed by their beauty.

This does nothing to quell my technolust. I've been havering for a DSLR camera, but am paralyzed by the number of choices right now. (Poor moi!) On days like this, it takes a great deal of restraint to not cash out my floundering 401K, buy the biggest, baddest DSLR on the market, and beg National Geographic for a job.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Another walk in the woods

Today, the Eagle-Eyed Scientist and I hiked at Southwick Beach State Park. We saw several orioles, but they were too quick for me to get a good picture.

It looks as though this pair of geese has staked out their territory.

I love these little woodland violets.

The forest floor was blanketed with trilliums - mostly white trilliums, but a few had tinges of pink.

The mystery of the day: How did this mammalian pelvis end up beside the trail? We think it belonged to a deer, but where did the rest of it go?

It's creepy and beautiful at the same time. As a bonus, the Eagle-Eyed Scientist was able to see the socket part of a ball-and-socket joint.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mot du jour: porc-épic

My son and I took another glorious hike at Wellesley Island State Park today. While we were stopped to observe this little fellow:

another group of hikers came along the trial. It turns out, they're from France! We learned that the French word from porcupine is porc-épic.

My little Eagle-Eyed Scout, as he now calls himself, spotted this Pileated Woodpecker, much to my delight.

I probably would have missed the Pileated Woodpecker altogether, as I was focussed on this pair of Canada Geese.

The Eagle-Eyed Scout was particularly interested in the work of the beavers. Those little rodents have been, well, busy! We saw many chewed-down trunks, and when we finally came upon their dam, it was apparent that it was a masterful piece of engineering.

Mother Nature presents her beauty in the smallest of things.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Non-sequitor of the day

Observed in the parking lot of the Commissary at Fort Drum this morning:

A big black SUV with one of those Christian Fish symbols.

(Okay, that's completely normal around here.)

Above the fish was one of those nasty stickers of the little boy peeing on a number. In this case, I believe it was #24, whoever that is.

I'm no longer a devout or even a practicing Catholic, but I'm pretty sure that Jesus wouldn't like those contemporary mannikin pis stickers.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Let us give thanks to the God of Tea

Earl Grey.

Now I'm actually looking forward to my next night shift.