Saturday, October 13, 2007

Now, THIS is War!

That is, SOCK WARS II. And I am a veteran of last year's inaugeral war. So I should know better. But I needed to build up my strength after dealing with being a little green around the gills, ugh. So here I am. As my cohort admonished me, however, I must get back in the ranks and knit to kill.

Each sock warrior is assigned a target. Therefore, each has an assassin. Knit to kill, send the weapon of death. When the death strike has been received (socks in the mail), target has been assassinated. I have received my Top Secret Sock Wars II Assassination Dossier with my assignment. I must go.

Just wanted to let you know. 'Cos War is Hell. And this is War!

(click logo above for details of war games)

Solar Power III

I have not forgotten the sunset I started a week or so ago. Here are the next in the series:
(click on photos for larger view)~~okay, this should really work now

27 September 2007
6:49 pm

Actually, this should have been second, but it was such a different view, I was going to save it for another time. Then I took another look.

27 September 2007
7:02 pm

I admit to having cropped out the parked cars in some of these sunset photos. They interrupted my concentration on the incredible sky, so they had to go. Unfortunately, it made for a smaller photo here. So, click to have it fill your screen, and see what you think.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Naked Ladies

My son (T2) was overheard in preschool talking with his friends at great length about naked ladies. Yes, he was telling them, he really liked naked ladies. In fact, we had naked ladies at our house. They were in the backyard! And on and on he went. To her credit, the teacher listening in followed the conversation until she could make better sense of it, and finally realised the darling boy was referring to a type of flower! She was quite relieved.

It’s true, of course. We do have naked ladies dancing in our garden. Rather, we did until the plumbing team dug them up last spring. They have bloomed there since we first moved in. My husband was all for having naked ladies in the backyard. When I mentioned the possibility to our youngest (T3), who has never seen them, he was strongly against the idea. "I don't want naked ladies in our garden, no way!" "Why not?" He thought that was the silliest question anyone could ask him.

Naked ladies are so named because the flowers grow on a long stem without any foliage. Flowers appear at the end of the summer, around September. There is foliage, made up of long strappy, dark green leaves. But it comes up in the spring. In fact, we spend the first couple weeks the leaves show up scratching our heads wondering whether we will see a crowd of daffodils, or if half the leaves belong to the naked ladies.

Lycoris radiata (click the photo to ogle some naked ladies more closely)

This photo I stopped to snap on our way to futból practice, so it may not be in the best of focus, but you see the environment and their shape. I had been on the lookout for naked ladies, since ours were too shy to come out this September, and noticed some dancing 'round a tree the next block down from our house. The next day they were gone. Maybe that neighbor thought I was taking notes on the condition of his garden and decided to thin out the older blooms. I found some specific information about Lycoris radiata in Scott Ogden's book, "Garden Bulbs for the South". These have also been referred to as “spider lily” due to their spidery appearance. I think they look like dancers in their fancy red dresses, with arms reaching up to beckon the sky.

And here is a really fine photo of some naked ladies, along with some interesting information. The Lycoris radiata has perhaps a little deeper significance in Japan than those grown decoratively in the southern United States.

In the spring, if you see some long green leaves that lead you to believe you may be seeing tulips or daffodils soon, and yet no flowers follow, don't disturb them. Let the leaves stay. You never know if the naked ladies will come dancing in the autumn, in search of their lovely green dressing gowns.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Morning Light

(click photo for closer view)

Friday morning: 5 October 2007 7:26 am

This is what I glimpse of the sunrise from our front porch. I treasure this soft morning love light. The rest of the day the sun was bright--blaringly so, with hardly a cloud in the sky. But I remember this softness and find peace.

Curiouser and Curiouser...

You know what they say about curiosity and cats...

This is our mama cat, Drea. I was sitting in the next room when I heard a metallic sound. I turned around to see her peeking outside the frontroom window. She actually does this fairly often. There is a wide sill she walks along, which is what her right hind foot is upon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Solar Power II

27 September 2007
6:55 pm

(click photo for more detail)

Sunset, as seen from the futból fields.
(click for Flickr photos)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Check, Mate!

The boys have joined Chess Club at school. Imagine a smallish (almost stuffy) cafeteria filled with 40-50 exuberant young chess players, all talking, laughing, making noise at once. And playing chess! The kids do this the way they approach many experiences in their life, with joy, enthusiasm, and the expectation of fun! I am there each week, as our 4-year-old is the youngest in attendance. All students in the school are welcome. There are quite a few as young as first grade who participate.

The Chess Club instructor even gives lessons later in the evening at a local coffee shop. He has been following the World Chess Championship, giving the kids updates each week. I just read that our instructor's favourite, Viswanathan Anand, an Indian grandmaster, won the championship tournament Saturday.

The photograph shows one of my favourite things about kids playing chess. They won't give up. T2 and his game partner went 'round and 'round like this for quite awhile. Can you imagine? Only two pieces left.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Solar Power

27 September 2007
6:46 pm

(click on photo for a closer look)

This was taken from the futból fields. It is the first in a series of photos, in which I recorded the dramatic changes occurring within 25 minutes as the sun set. As time is growing short tonight, I will post more pics tomorrow.

Shadows = Fire

We have begun an odyssey in the world of football/futból/soccer. We haven’t had anyone playing for a couple years so, while not an entirely new experience, we are seeing with new eyes. As with our eldest son, the youngest is playing on the sidelines while his older brother has practice or plays in the game. This is where the adventure begins.

The fields are vast: a configuration of 18 fields, each of which is built at a different level of height. There is no wind break, and I can tell you that even if you are scheduled to play on the pitch between two hills, it doesn’t really make a difference when it comes to the wind. The spectators go home exhausted just from the effort to keep from being blown over. That is not to detract from the beauty of the green rolling hills punctuated by goals and flags. Living in a town, this is the greatest stretch of open land one has the opportunity to see.

Amongst the hills is a rather spectacular drainage system, one they have developed since Eldest was playing (association) football. It is spectacular in the way that it outlines the side of the fields we use the most. A shallow concrete trough suitable for walking when dry, all points lead downhill to a drainage tunnel large enough for even an adult to crawl through. Youngest (T3) has informed me that this tunnel is his basilisk. Or, where his basilisk lives. It varies.

We were exploring the basilisk’s territory one night during futból practice, and I had an opportunity to snap some shadow play from our position atop its lair. (Conquerors, we!)

We take advantage of shadows when we can. The illusions that are created by shadows, or those which we can create with them are so much fun to see. Looking at our shadows in the late day sun reminded me of the ancient paintings discovered in caves. Do you know what I’m talking about? The images of people, in particular, at least in the images I’ve seen, always seem elongated, reminding me of shadows.

So that got me thinking about the way humans have been portrayed through time. We see the somewhat simple, flat-looking designs of the cave dwellers and even Egyptian artists. I am referring to the actual, literal resemblance to people. Comparing to more modern artists who have produced almost photographic quality images of their subjects. My disclaimer here is that I am definitely not an expert on art, nor artists, and I am strictly speaking generally, and as specified. I consider all the images to which I am referring, to be far more complex than what one might think at first glance.

I was thinking of what type of light source was available for the cave artists, and whether they always worked from memory and imagination. Did the light source affect how they formed their paintings? Would the paintings be different if they had different type of lighting? Did artists sometimes portray what they saw in shadows? I would love to know what was going on behind the scenes, what they were thinking.