Thursday, February 8, 2018

Another Superbowl Sunday at Nisqually

The boardwalk at Nisqually
There's some question as to whether we'd actually visited Nisqually on more than one Superbowl Sunday before, but we'd gone at least one year which is enough to count as an established tradition, at least in my mind. (It occurs to me that I was at the Sorrento Hotel for a dinner with Reinhold Messner and John Roskelley on another Seahawks Superbowl night, but that's not something I see being repeated in this lifetime.)

Regardless, this last Sunday we got ourselves up and out of the house relatively promptly (aka on the road before noon) and spent the changeable afternoon wandering around what is now officially called the " Billy Frank Jr Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge." It was fine day for it, a little misty and atmospheric to begin with, with some surprising clearing thanks to some somewhat serious wind. We didn't see Rainier, and we likewise didn't see the saw-whet owl that has been reported (and harassed) by any number of birders and photographers over the past month, but the resident great horned owl was there to be seen, along with a lovely downy woodpecker, a number of song sparrows, some very handsome robins, a brown creeper, a gobsmacking harrier, and any number of waterfowl and shorebirds. And the scenery was quite nice.

Atmospheric trees

A few of the mass of peeps along the seemingly solid Nisqually River

Another bit of atmospheric landscape

A helpful family pointed out what we're told was a muskrat

Robins just do not get the respect they deserve; this is a damned handsome bird.

Maria Mudd Ruth's influence continues; just *look* at those clouds!

Scott took this one; we're calling it "The Wyeth"


Harrier in flight over the large field. My, she was yar.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Maybe not the best choice of reading in my current state

The process of growing old bears little resemblance to the way it is presented, either in novels or in works of medical science.

No work of literature, and no doctor, had prepared the former residents of Katalin Street for the fierce light that old age would bring to bear on the shadowy, barely sensed corridor down which they had walked in the earlier decades of their lives, or the way it would rearrange their memories and system of values. They knew they should expect certain biological changes: that the body would set about its work of demolition with the same meticulous attention to detail that from the moment of conception it had applied to the task of preparing itself for the journey ahead. They had accepted that there would be alterations in their appearance and a weakening of the senses, along with changes in their tastes, their habits, and their needs; that they might fall prey to gluttony or lose all interest in food, become fear-ridden or hypersensitive or fractious. They had resigned themselves to the prospect of increasing difficulties with digestion and sleeping, things they had taken for granted when young, like life itself. But no one had told them that the most frightening thing of all about the loss of youth is not what is taken away but what is granted in exchange. Not wisdom. Not serenity. Not sound judgment or tranquility. Only the awareness of universal disintegration.
 --from the first page of Katalin Street by Magda Szabo

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Women's March 2.0 in photos


It seems impossible to find an estimate on this year's crowd in Seattle but for now let's just say it was a lot. As many as last year? I donno. It was colder than last year but that didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits. When we could get a view up or down the street, the crowd seemed to stretch all the way back to Broadway (when we were at 7th or so) and as far as one could see back along 4th towards Pine (from mid-Belltown). It was, again, a hopeful, positive crowd with a great many creative signs.
You wouldn't think this would need saying, would you?
Sounds reasonable
I"m a sucker for the Space Needle (in my excitement to see it marching, I couldn't focus my camera).
I liked this one, despite the questionable hyphenation on "superpower."
And there were a lot of children in the march.
Some old enough to make their own signs
This little girl became a star, waving at the waiting crowd who all waved back.
This child was a bit more reflective.
I particularly liked this one and hope the idea catches on.
A recurring theme
Words to live by
What gives me the most hope
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
In Seattle, we love our acronyms. I had to ask what this one meant: "Impeach the motherfucker already."
Another worthwhile laundry list
"LOVE is the answer (that, and VOTING)"
A popular bit of signage
Self-explanatory, I like to pair it with this one:
Antifascist US WWII Veteran
A range of causes including that business of not destroying the planet
Immigration!
This one just cracked me up.

Not a great day for golf anyway.
Again with the hope when you see the young women who will be voting for the first time in 2018
There were at least *two* versions of this one. Mmmmm, cinnamon rolls.
So Seattle
Crowd shot while waiting to get moving
Another crowd shot
Marchers and signage (yes, that's the Space Needle sign)
Milling crowd at the end of the line by Seattle Center
WWHD?
I love her so much I'm putting her in twice.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Giraffes Who Saved Thanksgiving

Never has this blog been more aptly named. I am not feeling particularly frivolous, and yet I am determined to post a frivolous update. Words are just not working for me so it's photos illustrating the 2017 edition of Thanksgiving which this year featured Scott and me hosting a small dinner chez Aurora. Oh I say it featured us hosting, but truly it featured Anita making cunning rose petal hats for the absurd napkin rings. 



The giraffes featured prominently in the minimalist table setting that resulted from discovering that we had no tapers in the house. When life doesn't give you a great big old South American herbivore, I say, make use of the African cameleopards you have in your napkin drawer.
Nothing says elegance like giraffe napkin rings
Stuffing: check. Squash: check. Sprouts: check.
At pushing 3:00 in the afternoon, with the table set and various others bits of business well in hand, we felt confident enough about our timing and preparations to indulge in mimosas (made with oranges sent to the Mountaineers Books' office by Gail Storey, author of I Promise Not to Suffer). Perhaps it was the mimosas that enabled us to just roll with it when the turkey turned out to be quite done some forty minutes ahead of schedule. One way or another, I insist, it all worked out fine (though you'll be seeing no photos of the bird Scott inevitably named Larry in this post).

November 23 bouquet (note fresh pea vine)
The company was fine and the conversation perhaps unnaturally light on politics, even with the wine flowing freely. I always enjoy seeing what Anita will create with the materials to hand:


After we'd bid our company adieu, I addressed myself to washing the piles of dishes while Scott shifted furniture about (much to Gradka's relief; she had been worried earlier when tables and chairs were moved from their customary spots).
Happily, there were remarkably few pots and pans.
And, because I'm all about the tidying, this was the view in the backyard early this afternoon:

But, of course, the giraffes should get the final image: