Saturday, October 27, 2012

One of those days!

                                                              Late afternoon light

 the sunshine beams in horizontally

                                   -  wind, sun and mysterious inclinations bend the trees -

out on the rock, a cormorant watches too


                                                         and wooden rounds

                                                    to help us climb up

                                                      and down

                                                     sun shines on the garden shed
                                                  soon the sea will lapse in dark light

                                                       but  sun still shines

                                                        up on the deck

                               and even down below it reaches up through the ravine
                                                  in the last hours before sunset.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gophers Ate my Indian Blanket

One of the more common and older reasons for keeping a diary or a log is to remember things that one might otherwise forget.

In my little patch of wild flowers I was happy to see some bright specimens blooming that must have been in one of the seed gatherings I had strewn.  My husband asked me their name and I watched my mind in amazement as it attempted to sort through the half remembered, inelegantly pronounced names of some of  the seed packet descriptions. "Oh you know it is something like,  ah, well it sounds like some girl's name, Rude Becky."

But Rudbecki is a cone flower, as is Echinacea purpurea, and although these flowers seemed similar, I knew I had known (however briefly) another name for these.  It seemed to me that my friend Gretchen had taught me a name.  So many keys, but which little mental door to unlock?

Well, sadly, before I followed through on my intention to learn their proper name,  the gophers found them to be quite tasty and ate off all the roots. Mark bore the fallen plant into the house to show me its demise and I  still didn't  know its name.  

 This is a Blanket Flower
As remembering things is often best accomplished through making  multiple associations,  I set out to learn enough about it that I might remember what to call it if I am fortunate enough to have any future encounters.

Maybe I won't remember the formal name: Gaillardia ( named after a Frenchman who was a patron of botany) but  I would like to remember that it is a genus from the sunflower family.

What may help me most is thinking of  Lewis and Clark finding these lance like bright petals on their trek through Montana and being reminded of brightly colored blankets made by native American tribes, hence the common name of "Blanket Flowers."

I hope some of the seeds are mature enough to grow. When they dry I'll  scatter them around with hope of future blooms.  They do remind me of cone flowers, I bet they are cousins.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Responders on Waves and Wings

Today a coast guard boat and helicopter swung round in circles for quite a while and it wasn't clear what they were up or search and rescue, but it sure made me think of all they stand ready to do.  Through the binoculars I could see the colors flying.

 Yes, that little sky blur is whirring me a lot of respect for people that have adjusted their shutter speeds and bought lenses too big for me to hold up to zoom in and all... but the sight and noise got me down to the other end of the garden and

the tree stood still for me

and so did Phoebe in the window.


But not the did not sit still for a minute and now the sun has set...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Color Does it Look Like to You?

Colors, colors, colors....there are so many to enjoy.  I had to move my little rack of potted plants while the deck is being rebuilt and I may have found a spot for it I like just as well or better than where it use to be. My yellow pots caught my eye and it all begged to be photographed. Sometimes I see things and think I will come back and take a picture later, but then the wind  blows or the flowers pass.  So I grabbed my camera for this shot and then took it with me on my trip to the vegetable garden. I didn't get far before I took another photo.  Under the redwoods I pass a potted rose that sits in a little slice of light and it looks very red and lovely to me...

 It's just starting to rain and I have time only to pick a few strawberries and some kale.  On my way back to the cottage, I pick one of the red roses and discover that next to the red strawberries  

                     the roses  aren't really all as red as I usually see them to be...

Thinking about gradations of color and the glory of being able to see them, I  started reading a little bit about what is often called being "colorblind" but  is more accurately called color vision deficiencies.

 Excerpted from What is Colorblindness and the Different Types  
 People with normal cones and light sensitive pigment (trichromasy) are able to see all the different colors and subtle mixtures of them by using cones sensitive to one of three wavelength of light - red, green, and blue. A mild color deficiency is present when one or more of the three cones light sensitive pigments are not quite right and their peak sensitivity is  shifted (anomalous trichromasy -  includes protanomaly and deuteranomaly).  A more severe color deficiency is present when one or more of the cones light sensitive pigments is really wrong (dichromasy - includes protanopia and deuteranopia).
5% to 8% (depending on the study you quote) of the men and 0.5% of the women of the world are born colorblind. That's as high as one out of twelve men and one out of two hundred women. 

  And here is a link to a free on-line test.  Parents and teachers might find this website especially helpful as undiscovered vision deficiences can cause multiple difficulties for children .  

                                            The deck....the REDwood deck is coming along. Of course weather and time will turn this bright wood to some shade of gray like the old fence it abuts.

Well, I better go wash my kale and ponder its silvery blue green hues into some edible form.

'til next time then...

Post script:  If you read the early afternoon version of this post, it hadn't been edited for typos and "thinkos" by the man who finished the deck...while I was making kale chips...Next time I can wash the veggies outside, well if it isn't raining.