We headed out to the island to see if the snow geese had arrived yet, and as we were driving across flat farmland, we saw a small flock at about two o'clock. Another minute, and a larger flock flew over us, from our ten o'clock to four, to join with the first flock. As we watched, they eddied together, the whole flock rising and dipping, each individual changing direction and pitch with but a single thought, like schooling fish, or the murmuration of starlings. What organic mechanism enables these school/flock behaviors? So unlike our earthbound mammalian experience--to be airborne or waterborne and part of a larger whole, what must that feel like? We watched for several minutes before they settled in a faraway field to feed.
Swans are here, too, trumpeters and tundra swans, spread like patchy fluffernutter over muddy ground, their necks and breasts and feet streaked with snowmelt-soggy soil. We rarely get to see the storybook convention of swans gliding serenely on water, apparently propelled by mind control, their paddling feet hidden beneath the surface. They feed and breed here. We never see cygnets, only the grey-speckled yearlings hatched in their summer grounds and accompanying their parents back to overwinter here.
Leafless winter trees make good visibility for eagle-spotting. Dozens of bald eagles line rivers and lake edges, sharp eyes seeking spawning salmon. We passed one fellow who had his eye on red meat, mouse or vole, some field dweller, as he perched not six feet above the ground in a roadside tree overlooking a fallow field.
And the blue skies and bright sun we'd set out in had succumbed to scudding grey cloud before we headed home.
(click any pic to enlarge)
He installed a light at the top, but against the dark green it bounced weird, and the solid wood shelf blocked the light from the bottom half of the cabinet. We'd just been frowning when we passed it, vaguely unsatisfied. While we were trying to decide what sort of light to use, OH carefully pried the cabinet back, a sheet of 1/8" paneling, off for me and laid it on a worktable. I used some flat latex and painted it white. When it dried, it...still didn't look good. It looked flat, and dead and no better than the green. I stirred in some metallic silver craft paint and laid on a second coat. When dry, it looked...grey. With a very tiny amount of shimmer.
The cabinet is too primitive a style for a mirrored back, so that was out. I've used contact paper to cover third generation hand-me-down furniture and flea market reject furniture, especially when circumstances prevented painting. And I will never do it again. It always messes up, and when you do remove it, it pulls part of whatever finish there is off with it. It's just a mess. I haven't tackled wallpaper, but it looks difficult. Plus, expensive.
But giftwrap is comparatively cheap, it goes up with tape, and comes down easily if you get tired of it and want to switch it out for another pattern. So I went off to Target to look at the giftwrap. I found this geometric, with small mirrored dots.(click to see the pattern) OH helped me get it onto the back straight and taped well, and I like it!
Now I'm wondering if, rather than trying to light the china cupboard in the hall, I should maybe paper the back (and sides? whad'ya think?) of it, too. Opinions?Y/N?
01) Name: random? Ermintrude - mine, Bev
02) Animal: eland/viper
03) Girl's name: Diane/Ramona
04) Color: eggplant/azure
05) Movie: Tarzan/Ever After
06) Something you wear: necklace/robe
07) Drink: eggnog/everclear (e-drinks are hard, y'all!)
08) Food: gratin noodles/ramen
09) Item in the bathroom: scissors/nippers (toenail or cuticle, either, both)
10) Place: solarium/sauna
11) Reason to be late: muddled my schedule/amnesia
Thrift shop china, the pot was $2.00, unmarked early 20th century American redware. The cream jug was a gift. Cream cheese and homemade raspberry-pomegranite preserves on half the rice cake, homemade lemon curd on the other.
Books, bears, tarot–Dreaming Way, Deviant Moon, Sun and Moon decks–and tea. The Peanut Gallery: Naomi Laight’s Georgiana, Steiff’s Snap-apart bear, assorted Steiff 10cm bears, one tiny artist’s bear, and Ralph, who started life as a keychain fob. Ralph and Timiny (Steiff, blue sweater) travel wherever I go, in a special pouch in my purse. The bears don’t care about tea, but they’re very fond of honey toast.
But the webs gleaming in the sun are artworks, flat planes set at subtly varying angles so that it's like a spaceship threading orbits of satellites around a giant planet. Each spider crouches in the center of its own web, reacting instantly when something touches its web--and often, its neighbors' webs. Spider watching can be similar to a soap opera. I just spent twenty minutes observing a smaller speciman, I assume a male, inching carefully onto the web of a larger neighbor--I assume a female. Slowly he advances, carefully he places his feets--twelve inches, eight, six, and...he stops less than two inches from her and waves his forefeet enticingly. She waits, immobile, until he gets close enough to tap her--and she pounces at him! He quickly scurries away, and she backs up to the high margin of her web, leaving the center invisible without her, a trap in the open air. He tucks under a cross member of the trellis, to plan his next attack, or if she succeeded in biting him, to slowly succumb.
Engrossed in the pair, I didn't notice when the sun moved, highlighting a dozen and more gleaming webs, and their proprietors, basking, and awaiting the next meal.
As it cools toward frost, they'll all disappear, until one morning the sun won't find a single web, not until sunrise some late spring morning.
After getting out the camping stove and multiple battery-powered lanterns, picking up the major debris from the blown-over baker's rack and plant stand on the porch--the mended Buddha wasn't dented, in fact, he dented the deck board where his head landed--the glass insert for one of the candleholders broke, the rest, along with the loose-laid ceramic tiles, were fine. The impatiens stand blew off the porch and landed on the steps, the glazed flowerpot shattered, but the plant is fine and will be repotted. We had to take down the butterfly house flag--the hem is reduced to tatters and will need to be replaced.
We helped next-door stand up their knocked-over plant pots--one holding a tomato plant was broken irreparably, but the rest were recoverable, and OH borrowed a ladder from a second neighbor to reattach the downspout for another neighbor, before donning his OMG SO BRIGHT reflective jacket and directing traffic for about four hours.
I could probably adjust to a cabin in the woods with kerosene lamps and hand-pumped water and wood-burning cookstoves and heat, but I reeeeeally like phone, internet, and power. Which came back on around 5AM. HIIIIIII!!!! I MISSED YOU!!!!!