The weekly photo challenge on WordPress for the week is : Scale (my second try).. “Experiment with placement and scale to show how big (or small) you can feel in a photo.” I decided to do this challenge again, photographing two fallen leaves, dropped by the wind on edge in the grass. (My first response to this challenge can be found here on my The Art of Disorder blog.)
Our butcher posted his weekly specials, this week, on his web page. We had been forgetting to stop at that store, somehow, without specials posted, even though we did not always take advantage of them. I had been wanting to bake chicken breasts, and that was one of the three specials, so we stopped by the shop before Al went off to his volunteer work, this afternoon.
With two pounds of meat, I washed and dried the chicken breasts, rubbed them lightly with olive oil, added seasoning to top and bottom (crushed peppercorns, sea salt, and cumin), and put the baking dish into the oven for forty minutes at 350°F. Twenty minutes to go!
The strong winds, combined with heavy rain, this morning, pretty much beat down and soaked the plants in the backyard wildflower garden. The ornamental clover is still doing well, and there are some Black-eyed Susan and Siberian Wallflower plants that still have blooms, but that’s about it. The blue wild flax … may dry out. If not, I will be taking photographs of fallen leaves until the snow flies.
Leaves, Not Drifting
Black Eyed Susans
Clover and Raindrops
In this morning’s rain, I saw two Northern Flickers hunting out bugs in the front yard. I’m glad that they are still around. I don’t imagine that the raptors do much hunting in the midst of thunderstorms or torrential downpours. (See Hunting Circles for background.)
… and some favorite photographs from September 28, 29 and 30.
Black-eyed Susan with Painted Lady
Flower and Seed Pod
Upper and Lower Flowers
I am now in the last week of the four-week “Introduction to Japanese Poetry” workshop that I’d signed up for in at the beginning of August. This week I am to write tanka every day and read essays that I am finding quite helpful in understanding the underlying rationale (?). My understanding of haiku has changed a lot during the course of the workshop, also. Very happy that I signed up for it, and I will have a lot to carry forward after the workshop ends.
I find that my joy in writing poetry is expanding.
These weeks have been, as I had expected, quite difficult to get through. My youngest sister died on September 30 in 2014, and the anniversary of her memorial service is Tuesday. Last year, these two weeks included my mother’s transition from the family home to hospital and when a bed became available, transfer to a care facility under hospice care. The feeling of loss contests with my joy in their present joy. And yet it’s not the one against the other, but both emotions, each a legitimate recognition of reality, coexist. Life’s texture becomes deeper, more intricate. Things are settling inside me. I think that’s a good thing.
In the midst of the day’s work on the workshop in the back yard, I took out some time to play with the dogs and take photographs in the (now fading) wildflower garden. The night temperatures are pretty low, and there’s been relatively little rain. Rain and thunderstorms figure in the forecast quite often, but actual storms and precipitation just aren’t making it to our town very often.
Only two more boards of siding to put up on Friday
Thaddeus, paying attention
Charlie, cricket hunting
I spent a lot of the day at the top of a tall ladder. There was wind, and so I have ended up with a sinus headache. The hot tea will take effect, soon, and I’ll be able to get back to sleep. (That is, soon after I heat the water and steep the tea.)
The first week of my four-week poetry workshop approaches, and I have to decide which of the haiku I’ve written, I should send to the instructor. Between my aunt Marion’s funeral and burial on Monday and acting as carpenter’s assistant, the week has been quite scattered. This coming week, I have to go in for a blood panel, and then an appointment with my doctor. Nine-month check-up on the progress with the type 2 diabetes. One needs the lab results to know for certain, but I think it’s going great.
Also, I am supposed to make appointments with eye and foot doctors. I am not ready for any new adventures, right now, and so I am not making those appointments yet. The past twelve months have held quite enough events as it is.
Now that Mother is no longer acting as gate-keeper for contacts with the broader family on my father’s side, I have gotten a couple of email addresses. I’ve gotten a response to the one email I sent out, this week, and a new-to-me cousin on the west coast is favorable to the notion of making and maintaining contact. By token of which, we are now “Friends” on Facebook. I still don’t have emails for the cousins that I met at the funeral on Monday. Hopefully, information on those will be forthcoming. Two of them are people that I met in 1969, when I stayed with the family for a week, and I also met the widow of the third cousin and their offspring, Monday. Lovely people!
I was up quite early, this morning, having collapsed into bed before ten o’clock, last night, and sleeping straight through until nearly six in the morning. The Scampers and I were out early, when it was still cold and it looked as though frost was melting from dead dandelions. The dogs had a good run outside, and then checked for rabbit tracks, the second time out, and searched for butterflies in my wildflower garden on the next outing.
I did get some flower photos, and also a few snapshots of butterflies, mostly from a distance, this morning. In the afternoon, Al has some people dropping by, and so I’m going to try for an early lunch and perhaps a short nap, afterwards.
The garden flowers got off to a slow start, this morning. The temperature was quite chilly when I first took the dogs out to the back yard. By the second outing, there were butterflies, and at the third time outside, the blue wild flax flowers had appeared. As I was photographing what I think is a wild sunflower, a butterfly flew in to land on it, and so one frame shows the butterfly sitting there. Too bad that I was getting a close-up of the flower, and did not get the entire butterfly into the picture.
Yellow Wildflower with Butterfly
There were many of the same sort of butterflies in the back yard during the day. The Scampers thought it was great fun, chasing them from one dandelion to the next. Fortunately, they only caught crickets—the huge ones—which they carry around in their mouths until they find good places to set them down and bat them around. When they do that outside in the grass, the crickets most often get away. When they “catch and release” in the woodworking shop, the crickets are more likely to get stepped on.
I have been out twice with the Scampers for flower photographs. The pollen count … is not so high today as is promised for Sunday. Got a shower in, last night, and hope to wash the dishes, today. Laundry’s caught up for a while.
Al is building soffits. The Scampers are fast asleep. I am behind by two assignments in Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. Again.