Archive | June, 2011


28 Jun

Clarisse came to us about two weeks ago: a 70-day Boar goat kid.  She has neurological and mechanical difficulties.  She probably will not live the summer.

She is incredibly sweet and gentle.  She has a palsy and great difficulty keeping food down.

Why did we take her?  The girl wanted her.  We can take care of her well.  And maybe there is something to learn.


Yanks and Southerners

28 Jun

So they were not originally.  But they are now.  And they came for a visit.  And we were very happy to see them.


Sweet and Sour Fish

18 Jun

When Rose was here Jay took her fishing twice.  Once they caught some little rock bass and perch.  Rose fried them up nice and crispy:

And then made a sauce of vinegar, ketchup, ginger matchsticks, garlic scape bits, onion crescents, Thai chili sauce, and a tad of water.  Cooked down together and poured over the fish.  Rose says carrots and green peppers, etc could be added.

Served with rice and fresh lettuce.

It was incredibly delicious.

The Answer is Lacewing

14 Jun

Remember these?

Whats that bug indicates they are Lacewing eggs.  Bugguide has lots of photos of adults and eggs and various stages.  They indicate the eggs are laid on filamentous stalks to reduce siblings eating each other as they hatch.

Thoughts on Alexander McQueen

14 Jun

At the Met we went to visit Savage Beauty, the exhibit of clothing from Alexander McQueen’s collections over the years.

The high level of skill and technique in the sewing, tailoring,  and use of various textiles was inspiring.  Lots of beauty.  Lots of perversity.  Lots of silk tulle.

McQueen clearly loved God’s Creation. And he recognized the results of sin. Yet he did not see himself as subordinate to or working with the Creator. From much of his body of work it seems he neither acknowledged that the world was God’s  nor that it is created. Fed through his mind’s eye like a camel through a needle, McQueen’s creations came out similar to that camel: broken reflections born of an unregenerate love; beauty covered with gore, bloody and twisted, at times almost unrecognizable.

His last collection was a marine-themed futuristic full-circle riff on Darwinian what-if’s:what if global warming happens, what if the seas rise, what if we evolve to live in those seas.

You know those old monster/horror flicks?  The ones where it seems obvious in retrospect that mixing nuclear bomb tests with ant nests, or dinosaurs, or tomatoes, was not such a good idea?  There is always foreshadowing in those movies; indications that all is not as it seems or that something more is happening than is evident.  The characters involved in the plot don’t see the hints, but we, the watchers from outside, do.

Where did writers get the idea of foreshadowing?  Dickens and script writers did not come up with it ex nihilo.  They got it from where we all get all our ideas: from creation itself.  The old rerun “Attack of the Killer Migraine” played here last night.  Did I catch the foreshadowing?  Nope.  Though in hindsight it clearly was there. It was not that my glasses were dirty that I had trouble seeing all yesterday.  Those nasty moles on my brother’s back?  dum-dum-DUM.   They hinted that something else was going on.  I think Mr. McQueen didn’t see the foreshadowing either, until close to the time he chose to end his life.

The disconnect between his years of training followed by the ongoing thoughtful effort to imagine, design, and produce unique, beautiful, excellently tailored clothing collections and a worldview of random destructive happenstance must have worn down his psyche.  When one devotes one’s life to creating lovely intelligent work at some point it becomes clear that nothing “just happens”.  How difficult to maintain competing world views!

McQueen, it has been reported, had a line from Helen’s soliloquy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream tattooed on his right arm : “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”

CS Lewis’ poem As The Ruin Falls  may be of use in explanation.

“I talk of love –a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek–
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.”

He saw his self-imprisonment.  He saw his lack. He came to the chasm.  Did he finally see the clues all around him about the bridge God made in Christ and chose immolation instead of submission to the head Creator?  Or did he miss the foreshadowing speaking to him from all the created world and despair?  Or did he want his own will to be done, rather than God’s,  and got it?

A Few Photos

10 Jun

So much going on!  A little taste of earlier this week. And of what is in bloom.  The trip to NYC was very much fun and very hot.  Doing lots of thinking about things I saw at the Metropolitan.  More to come.

We had a Yee-Haw time with friends who came for a short visit. My SIL and niece are here now.  It was their first visit to NYC yesterday.

From this morning’s walk:  see how small that grass stem is?  Those are eggs laid at the end of a stiff filament that was placed on the grass leaf.   Will try to figure out who laid these.

Deciduous peonies and poppies are out. Foxgloves, clematis, wegelia,and, and, and…..

Big Bird Battles

4 Jun

Hawthorne and I walked in reverse this morning, going west along the edge of the grass sea and corn field, waded through goldenrod and mayflowers, turning north onto a path in the west woods.  Well, I did.  He was off running elsewhere.

From ahead near the corner where the cornfield and main north woods meet came the loud calls of a pileated woodpecker.   On and on it called.  Then a crow took up calling, loud and raucous.  Were they screaming at each other?

Then another pileated woodpecker joined in.  At this point I stopped walking because the noise was coming from only 60 or so feet away up in the high treetops.  I hoped to see those woodpeckers and maybe figure out what was going on.

There were two tall dead trees. With holes up high.  Possible pileated nest sights.  One woodpecker flew from a treetop to the top of one of those dead trees. Now it was two pileateds and two crows yelling all out. How long could birds go on in this fashion?  Piercing, repeated, angry, fearful, defiant.

Then:  “hoo-Hoo”; and a large brown bird with a wingspan as broad as my outstretched arms flew from that vicinity west into other treetops.  A Great Horned Owl!  I moved slowly up the path trying for a better view; it flew off further west.

It all came clear in that instant.  A few moments later another great horned flew east from a tree north of the one the woodpeckers were guarding.  The owls were harassing or hunting the nestlings of the woodpeckers.  Crows, which hate owls, had located the owls and had helped the woodpeckers drive them off.

Hawthorne ran up, panting, just after the excitement was over.  “Did I miss much”?

The large rhododendron and the azalea which it is overtaking are both open.  That poor orange beauty always has small worms that come and denude it of leaves, and this year the flowers, too.  The worms change color depending on what they have been chomping on: green leaves or orange flowers.


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