Thursday, September 29, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sap Suckers

Riff on "How many angels dance on the head of a pin?": How many aphids crowd-source butterfly weed?

Good thing these are monophagous; otherwise, I'd not have spent an hour trying to photograph these suckers. Instead, I'd have invited them out of my yard.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Deaths in the Family

Dear Readers,

Through neglect (but with good intentions), I fear I may have allowed my Monarch caterpillars to become someone's meal.

Acting on good advice, I drove today to a neighboring town where the orange butterfly weed had originally been purchased. There, the flower-grower took me to a fresh patch, and together we pulled out my dead flowers to find the caterpillars.

There were none.

There were no cocoons either.

Alas, I think spiders may have benefited from my lovely gift.

Next time, if there is a next time, I am acting immediately on the advice of another friend. In fact, I will drive to her for careful instruction and perhaps leave my little friends to her care.

Meanwhile, this photo of a caterpillar the gardener and I found will have to suffice as a reminder of my own little beauties.

My Daily Snap

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Results Are In

Cell phone vs macro --

caterpillars yesterday, Violet dancers today --

2 to zero.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Best Gifts Are Unexpected

No Special Occasion Day at my house.

LV rang my doorbell and, when I greeted her, pointed to an old metal watering can. "Look," she said. 

Puzzled, I did.

"See?" she asked.

Oh my . . . caterpillars at least five of them. Monarchs!

She turned to leave and said, "Keep it and see what happens."

Now that's a true friend indeed.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Real Thing

I fear I have spent
all my words spilled out
onto thousands of compositions
written by someone else
or on compositions of my own
or in countless notes about trivia
only a few care to know --
les Ballets Suedois designs
or the color of Charlemagne's eyes --
or thank-you notes
sent, discarded, forgotten
lifetimes ago. Now
I'd rather look
and in looking 
reserve my words 
for what might
matter some day.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The kind of afternoon

when sun celebrates sudden surprise.

In the woods

and in town.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016


skirted in turquoise
a carnival booth
or gypsy caravan
promising an electrifying attraction
Boo's shed
anchors the garden
and holds me in thrall

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016


I've seen it before.

I've never been lucky enough to snap it.

Today I was.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Patriots All

Patriotism comes in many forms: a football player kneeling during the National Anthem as witness to inequality; or party members breaking ranks to vote for or with someone on the other side; or protesters for equal rights; or volunteers putting themselves in harm's way to defend country, fellow citizens, those seeking political asylum; or patriots who defend the right of free speech -- even if it means defending the person whose view they disagree with.

Commemorations of 9.11 take a familiar shape -- flags flown or planted, names read, museums visited, solemn television programs watched. But these are inadequate expressions of complicated responses. Several years ago, students at the College planted flags on the Quad in memory of "those who died." About three thousand flags. It's a touching tribute, but a limited one. Even that first year, I wondered What about the thousands and thousands of others killed in wars stemming from that event? Every year since, I have become increasingly increasingly uncomfortable with the display. What about the hundreds of thousands killed or maimed or thrown into migration or suffering or fear as a consequence? Do we think of them?

Literature provides the most fitting response for me.



Renegade 911 by Jim Wright


Leap by Brian Doyle


And The Falling Man by Tom Junod

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Carelessness Has Consequences

For 30+ years, tea and coffee have not tasted delicious when drunk from any other cup or mug: small size, light weight, heat retention, lovely design -- everything just right, especially as it's a handmade gift from the artist friend.

It cannot be replaced, but I can keep what remains to remind me.

Friday, September 9, 2016

As it is with potato chips

so with this square.

Who could possibly stop at just one?


Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Woods Are Still Busy

with serious work, even if I'm not.

While I was photographing this,

this happened.


Sometimes watching offers both rewards and challenges.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fitting End to Summer

Even tomatoes are wearing their fall colors already.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Dog Park Drop-in

Morning: warm-up in progress.

Fortunately, friendly dogs are more than happy to share their space.

Fall in the Water

Monday, September 5, 2016

Old, Yes

But neither down, nor out. This old girl flew from me each time I approached.

So much to like about insects.

In this case, 
aging gracefully.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


What do you see in this picture?


And in this one?

A shadow and little stream in the first; a beautiful damselfly in the second.

I suspect you did not see this Great Spreadwing in the upper left of the first photo, but I did when I stood there this afternoon. I saw it because of my previous experiences and practiced vision.

I recently watched an episode of Morse with a scene in a stately home's picture gallery. On entering, the detective Morse said, "The pictures. Aren't they beautiful?" The gentleman in the room looked around at the paintings, turned, and replied, "Are they? I live here, so I know they're valuable. But I don't know their beauty. I can't see it." "Pity," Morse responded.

Keith Woods' refined and moving personal essay reminded me again of the different ways we see and feel depending on unique perspectives. The writer comes to new understanding about his father's complex relationship (and his own) to his "flawed homeland," not always visible to others. 

Even the essay's meaning and beauty were not visible to other commenters to the Facebook post of the essay.

I agree with Morse. Pity.

Aired on and published by NPR, the essay is well worth reading and hearing.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saturday Market

Up at 5.


Drive there by 6:30.

Buy out the peas and beans before customers arrive.

Home by 9:30.

A perfect morning.

A perfect freezer.

Perfect suppers to come.

Friday, September 2, 2016


the outhouse

beautiful light and shadow


even here

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sometimes imagining what isn't there

can be far more pleasurable than seeing what is.

Even a hospital waiting room can be a thing of beauty.