Monday, 5 August 2013

Dragonfly Day

Today has been another wonderful day in California.  The dragonflies have been very busy, and I notice that some very smart, stripey dragonflies have arrived.  They have the same colour scheme as a wasp, but there's more surface area available for the pattern, so they wear it better - sorry wasps.

I have to agree that tigers have even more surface area, but they also have big claws and sharp teeth.  Dragonflies don't sting, don't have claws or teeth , so are my most favourite black and yellow stripey things.  I like their wings too.  They are very busy wings, making complicated figures of eight (reminding me of my dancing hippy).

While sitting in the sun this afternoon, listening to strumming guitars and mandolin, feeling that 'being brave' is a very OK thing to be, I wondered why it is that we humans get bothered all the time by mosquitoes, flies, wasps and so on.  Why can't the good insects be the ones we have landing on us?  Why can't we be 'bothered' instead by butterflies?

Listening to the music, and having my thoughts on things entomological, I noticed that there was a hammock swinging gently between two trees.  It looked lava like, and I started to imagine the human in it was pupating. A little later he swang too hard and fell out, which is the way of hammocks.  They look like fun, and the most relaxing thing ever, but getting in is tricky and when they are bored with you, you are unceremoniously ejected.  

The musicians were kindly doing requests.  I get a thrill from hearing 'Hotel California' while IN CALIFORNIA, so it was played for me.  Then they played, 'Streets of London', which also felt rather thrilling.

Earlier in the day, we had been for a walk and I had a second opinion on the mountain lion poo, which was now spewing its secrets across the path.  Feathers.  Bit of a give-away.  It was generally agreed that a mountain lion probably was the culprit.

Can't you play 'Eye of the Tiger'?

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Veranda

This week I have had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time in my favourite place.  The veranda.

Today is no exception.  It has been a particularly good veranda day, because a Steller's Jay dropped a feather, so I am wearing it in my lapel (it is a fabulous blue, and obviously therefore goes with my eyes - who needs a Rolls Royce?).  Someone else dropped by and gave me not one, but two, of the best muffins in the universe (excuse to get up and make yet another cup of tea) and I have been watching the wildlife drift by, which is very relaxing.  It's like the effect a fish tank has before you have teeth pulled at the dentist, only many times nicer, and no blood is involved.

So maybe not like the dentist's waiting room after all? - Ed
There was a pause while someone else came to tell me that there were three young raccoons in a trash shed.  I tried to get a photo, but they stayed huddled at the back.  My friend had taken a lovely photo of a stripey face staring straight to camera.  I am jealous!

The only minor upset today is that I have taken time to position my chair, the table and the chair I put my feet on, in exactly the right combo to achieve maximum comfort.  My cup of tea is placed where the least movement is required to lift it to my lips.  I do not want want to have to move.  Unfortunately, the extremely tall Douglas Fir I am sitting under has decided to release lots of leaf litter, and it is snowing dead stuff.  My tea is in danger of being polluted.  Help!  I think I will have to move.  Hmph.

Apart from deer, raccoons, Steller's Jays, American Robins and little sparrowy things scuffling away on the ground, bringing up puffs of dirt, I can see my favourites, the dragon flies.

The dragon flies are chunky, confident, and the most wonderful iridescent blue.  If I could 'mind meld' (ancient Star Trek fans are with me here), I am sure I would find them thinking, 'Hey, wow man, hey, I'm a Californian dragon fly.  Hey, wow, I'm the best ....' as if high on waccy baccy.  Perhaps they are all controlled by mind melding, tripping hippies.  That's why they zig zag around, without really going anywhere.....

The butterflies are more innocent, fluttering around, stalling their flight occasionally, dropping down to look at something, then fluttering back up.  They are rather skittish and silly, and probably think skittish and silly thoughts, with a lot of giggling.

Right, I'm off to try to photograph those raccoons for you!

Friday, 2 August 2013


Yesterday, I saw what looked like fresh 'evidence' of a mountain lion having had a bit of a wander not too far from here.  This morning, I thought I would go back and see if I could take a photo, in the interest of scientific research.

As I walked along the trail, I started thinking that maybe it wasn't such a great idea, and knowing mountain lions don't like noise, decided to sing as I walked.  Then I wondered whether a mountain lion of musical persuasion might be attracted to the sound, so decided a) I could keep quiet, or b) sing hymns in case he pounced.  I then had a strange flight of fancy, imagining my response to a key question as follows:

'What do you mean you're not letting me in?  I was singing a hymn when I died!'

Anyway, it was all in vain, the 'evidence' had been disseminated around the path, presumably by rodents in the night, which only made me more sure what I had seen had been a recent 'deposit'.

On the way back from my walk I saw sunlight streaming through the trees, so took photos of that instead.