Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Philosophical question?

What’s your take? Half full or half empty? Or is there a better question?

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Is the glass half full, or half empty? It depends on whether you're pouring, or drinking.
~Bill Cosby

Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be.
~Will Rogers

One day, someone showed me a glass of water that was half full. And he said, "Is it half full or half empty?" So I drank the water. No more problem.
~Alexander Jodorowsky

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A little Zen

A scene of calm before the storm that blew through here today. Winter seems to have a hard time letting go everywhere this year.

Or perhaps we are just impatient for spring…

Saturday, March 28, 2009


A scene from a front yard in the n’hood.

What music would go with this?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another view

From a window of our favorite coffee shop.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's in a name...

Walked today after work in part rain, part sunshine. Came across a group of these miniature jonquils, also known as narcissus.

You might recall the Greek myth about Narcissus, who so fell in love with his reflection in a pool that he fell in and drowned (or, in another version, wasted away, unable to tear his gaze from his reflection). At the end of the story, a plant sprang from where he died, and was named after him.

But these flowers look so cheerful and bright -- and not narcissistic. I think they have been wrongly named. Jonquil or daffodil suits them much better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Then -- and now

This shot was taken last August when a house on our street was demolished. The original house dated from the early 1900s and was a small 2 bedroom home. It apparently had some structural problems and could not be remodeled.

They saved the original trim.

And here’s the house today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Signs of spring

Even though it felt like winter today, these blossoms opened up after a good dose of afternoon sun.

Keep on looking for signs of spring, literally and metaphorically…

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rite of spring

Fascinating clouds with the storms moving through. This storm blew in quickly and we made it home just in time to keep from getting soaked.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


An amazing series of storms rolling through today. Roars of window-rattling thunder, lightning crackling across the sky. Hard, hard rain rushing down, filling the streets with water.

The day I turned 40, (a number of years ago) a similar series of storms rolled through. I stood outside by the front door, breathing in the scent of rain, thunder. So much rain fell that the streets became small rivers; plastic garbage cans, kids’ toys, and other things floated by, then hovered around the storm drains. The storm was unusual for mid-summer in Idaho – a time when the storms are usually blasts of hot, dry winds and blowing dust with little rain.

Today I stood on the front stoop of a different house, smelling the rain, watching 2 guys wobble down the street on bicycles in the midst of the downpour. Thinking of fierce storms, thunder, lightning, what the passing years have brought, and the blessings of cleansing rain.

Friday, March 20, 2009

For something completely different…

This is a karimba, a type of lamellophone or thumb piano. You hold the instrument in your hands and pluck the metal tines with your thumbs, which creates beautiful bell-like tones.

And here is another type of lamellophone, a kalimba. Both of these are smaller versions of the mbira, an ancient instrument from Africa, mainly from the region around Zimbabwe.

I got the kalimba last fall after hearing mbira and kalimba played in concert (by Kevin Nathaniel, along with Tomas Rodriguez and Hasan Bakr), and the karimba this winter. Playing is mesmerizing, like a meditation. In the future, I plan to post short music clips so you can hear what they sound like. In the meantime, here’s a wonderful piece played on karimba by Teodor Doroba (YouTube).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Paddling around

Canadian goose on an outing around the pond.

Taking a little sip…

Maybe the following applies to geese, too...

A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead.
~Stan Laurel

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A little too big?

Caught this wood duck sitting right in the bird feeder (at the Nature Center), pigging out.

As you can see, he didn’t welcome guests.

The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.
~Oscar Wilde

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Great Blue Heron

We watched this heron slowly make its way into the creek at the MK Nature Center.

Once there, it watched for fish or other tasty morsels to come floating by. At times, it would “crouch”, ready to spear something. Then straighten its neck if the “fish” turned out to be just a leaf or twig.

We later saw it out in the middle of the pond, taking a break from fishing.

While researching herons, I also came across the Great Blue Heron Music Festival held every July in Sherman, NY. Musical venues include bluegrass, zydeco, African, Cajun, reggae, Irish, and jam bands.
Sounds fun, although I doubt we’ll get there anytime soon -- NY is a bit of a drive from Idaho :>)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Restless spring

After the rain. When the storm drains are clogged…

But I like the reflections and the restless clouds.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calm caffeine scene

Window in our favorite coffee shop. The stained glass and framed art make it look rather formal and quiet. But it’s actually funky and often noisy. They usually have music on; either old rock or alternative. And it’s a gathering place in the neighborhood, so lots of conversations going on. In nice weather, people sit out on the deck, and in front by the sidewalk

I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.
~Flash Rosenberg

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hues of spring

It’s heartening to see signs of spring, especially as cold as it’s been lately.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fun with arbors

Someone has a sense of humor….

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As the poet said, "only God can make a tree" - probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
~Woody Allen

Monday, March 09, 2009

Off the wall

On the side of a house in the n’hood. The back yard of that house is filled with all sorts of yard art and thingamajigs. Curious about who lives there. A collector? A creator? Or both?

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
~Dorothy Parker

Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, March 08, 2009

In the heart of a spring snow

Poor blossom – caught in the snowstorm we had today.

Fortunately crocuses are hardy flowers that can handle the moody weather of spring. According to Wikipedia:

“Crocus flowers and leaves are protected from frost by a waxy cuticle; in areas where snow and frost occasionally occur in the early spring it is not uncommon to see early-flowering crocus blooming through a light late snowfall.”

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
~ Victor Hugo

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Peek a boo

It’s strange how inanimate objects -- such as cars – seem to have faces….

Perhaps its name is Christine??

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Another touch of winter today.

But we’re on the path toward spring…

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Reaching for the sky

Evening on a rainy day.

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stormy weather

Taken this morning when I got to work.

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Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover.
~ Unknown

Monday, March 02, 2009


A lot of changes in the weather lately -- all that rumbling between winter and spring. I like how these clouds seem to burst over the rim, as if they just can't contain themselves.

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
~Patrick Young

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Another neighborhood scene…

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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
~ Oscar Wilde