The Softness of Early Spring…

DSC_0239 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy (2).JPGThis Pacheco Pass hillside has been softened up by a coating of new grass. There is much here, from a dirt road and electrical wires to the gnarled oaks that always look like they might be dying. This image captures the final words of an unpublished novel I wrote a few years ago: this thought passed like idle countryside viewed from a speeding car going no place important.  Indeed, I took this shot from my car…

The Birdhouse Challenge…done!



The first house features a trap door floor for cleaning purposes.

It took eight years to build my first birdhouse, pictured above—my second one took 30 minutes yesterday. The time difference is a testament to procrastination and the machinations of my wandering mind. It is true that many of the early years were limited to a singular action: writing a new year’s resolution–“build a birdhouse.” As I have noted in prior posts, most of my resolutions are forgotten by February. Ah, how the written word provides temporary cover. And once I had put the first house together, I bought paint for it. The sales date on the small green jar is proof that a year passed before I opened it. So, there is simple euphoria here now that I can put a birdhouse together in my sleep. Time to wake up!


Tarot Gardens.jpgAnticipation is a key defense mechanism. When I near the corner of a building in a bad part of town, I’m ready to react. Likewise, when I’m walking in the woods, I prepared to see wildlife, or a hiker, but not something…SHOCKINGLY funny. (The Tarot Garden in Italy).

There’s a lesson here. Maybe it’s “don’t squeeze too hard when a gentle touch is all that is required. ” Nope, that’s not it. How about?  “Know your surroundings like you know yourself.”Closer, but still not it. I’ll get back to you…tomorrow.


DSC_0030 (2)Yesterday evening California’s Capital Park was surrounded by prom-goers. Off to the side I spotted one young lady waiting, presumably for a ride. I was on a walk with my son and his family at the time, reminding them that that there was no internet when I went to my prom…last century, but there were cars and waiting…that will always exist.

A Shadow…

DSC_0025 - Copy.JPGYesterday, with my daughter and son and his family,  I went to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Capital grounds in Sacramento. I’ve been here many times. On this day the shadow of the American flag covered a portion of a statue of a symbolic warrior.When I clicked the shutter,  I didn’t notice the two visitors on the right looking at the name of someone who died in the Vietnam conflict. Enough said.

The Mystery of a Dying Butterfly

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March 23, 2018

butterfly dying

August 4, 2015

In August, 2015 I posted a photo of a butterfly, a common buckeye (I think),  dying by our front gate. Yesterday, a buckeye was dying almost in the same spot. It is believed that the final moments of a butterfly’s life signifies a time of rebirth, although you can find any reason to fit your mood on the internet.

What is extraordinary is that two butterflies would pick the same location to show their beauty to the world for the last time. This insect has a life span of about one month,so they are constantly leaving us with replacements already in place. Yet, I’ve never witnessed these final moments except at our front entrance. To me, they like the aura of  our bee-friendly place.

Now this post could be a segue for a discussion of how we view death. We often greet with it tears, or a hands-off attitude–don’t discuss it. Our society as a whole has been numb to gun violence until recently. Protests are planned for today across the country. Young people, in particular, want lives lost needlessly to a bullet, to count for something, to lead to a change,although the envisioned objectives are less clear than the pain of losing lives. I fired an M-16 in the Army–no civilian needs an assault weapon like that to hunt, or for self-defense. When you spray bullets in mere seconds, you lose an identity with each shell, other than to kill randomly. Frankly, the dying beauty of a butterfly has a great deal to cover up…