Bread Alone

American bread is awful.
(Declaimed strongly if not quite loudly,
declaimer being in America.)

All generalizations are rubbish.

Much like American bread.
(Muttered weakly.)

Hey! Cut that out.

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Run, Roadrunner, Run

A bird born to run, the Greater Roadrunner can outrace a human,
kill a rattlesnake, and thrive in the harsh landscapes of the Desert Southwest.
All About Birds

On other trips to the American Southwest I’ve taken decent close-ups of roadrunners by being both lucky (right place, right time) and persistent (going back to the right place day after day). Like most living things, their next move is often unpredictable. Like most effective predators, their next move is often fast.

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Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Nature Videos, You are Here | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Redux: Hooks & Roses

This week brings me two revisits of recent topics: dressing-room hooks, and flowers planted by someone else that I can enjoy.

The same store chain; a different set of hooks.

Just across the street

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Laughing Frequently, Photos of Built Stuff, Photos of Flora | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Never Ever

In the Olde Days in the Olde World we lived in one community for most of our lives, unless/until we emigrated a world away, never to see that Olde World or our friends-&-relations ever again. Never ever.

A family member who emigrated to Ireland sends me an NYT article on how knitting can be a revolutionary act. One who emigrated to the USA sends a wee video of a fuzzy and completely improbable bird that looks more like a Muppet than a living thing: the Great Potoo. One who stayed in the Canadian city of his birth sends a new-to-them word: indocile.

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Posted in Relationships and Behaviour, Thinking Broadly | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Pre, fi, pro, fum


From its position of honour, top and centre, the all-caps, blocky statement definitely provides an in-your-face-ness that the brand name–all lowercase, flowing script, and  funky spelling–just as definitely does not.

That font and colour aren’t quite right, but you get the idea. They’re going for the handwritten-label-on-a-jar-of-homemade-jam aesthetic.

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Posted in Language and Communication, Laughing Frequently, Thinking Broadly | Tagged | 14 Comments

The Landlord’s Roses

God gave us memory
so that we might have
roses in December.
– James M. Barrie

This was one of Mom’s favourite quotations, increasing in appeal as she moved through the December of her life. But there’s another way we can have roses in December (and in January, for that matter).

Our rented house in Tempe has a lovely yard, bordered at one end by rose bushes as tall as I am. I don’t suppose they bloom in the Arizona summers, but they do bloom in the so-called winter.

They’re a lovely reminder of the value of planting beautiful things–roses and otherwise– for ourselves and for others; for now and for later.

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Old Friends & New

Returning to the Phoenix area brings us back into the neighbourhood of many old friends.

Some come by the yard.

Gila woodpecker – Why did *I* have to get the bang-head-against-tree ecological niche?

Rosy-faced lovebird – This is such a nice spot for a snooze . . . zzzz . . .

Some insist that I come over to their place, as only befits their dignity.

Anna’s hummingbird – Yes, I am amazing. Thank you, thank you very much.

But when I get there, some refuse to make eye contact.

Black-crowned night herons – Don’t look. Don’t look! DON’T LOOK!!

Some just seem, well, indifferent.

Black-necked stilt – Yeah, yeah, who cares how far you drove?

Some I’ve seen many times before.

Green heron – When I stand perfectly still, I become invisible. Cool, eh?

And some are new, both to the camera and to the camera operator.

Ruby-crowned kinglet – I will pause here for a nano-second, just because.

Adult males flash a brilliant red crown when excited;
otherwise it is concealed.
All About Birds

I was pleased to get *any* shot of this kinglet: They’re all of three to four inches long, nose to toes, er, beak-tip to tail-tip, and they Do Not Stop. Well, hardly.


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Category: Dressing Room Hooks

The prize for best performance in this category goes to . . . Marshalls!

For anyone who has ever tried to keep a gaggle of items straight, this store is for you.

Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Laughing Frequently, Photos of Built Stuff | Tagged | 13 Comments

Path-sign Face

I have no idea what this path sign means, but at least I saw it. (To call it a trail marker would be a tad overwrought. The wide, groomed-but-dusty paths accommodate pedestrians of all skills and levels, as well as wheelchairs. The wilderness it ain’t.)

Our recent return to Veterans Oasis Park showed great growth in the plantings surrounding the artificial ponds–so much growth that it was sometimes hard to get close to other Park visitors.

It’s hard to give/get the feel of these urban-but-also-desert parks. The fluttery to-ing and fro-ing of small flocks of birds above my head. The grit under and on my shoes. The smell of the creosote bushes alongside the path. The sudden sighting of a well-camouflaged roadrunner. The sprinkle of colour through sage-green bushes: tiny flowers that lift the heart even though they don’t take a good picture.

This 10-second video adds at least something to the false quiet stillness and sameness of any photographic view.


Posted in Appreciating Deeply, Photos of Fauna | Tagged , | 8 Comments