Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Emerald Hearts at Christmas

Emerald Christmas Hearts

Heart-shaped leaves near my back-porch railing caught a gleam of sunlight, before the day-long hard freeze withered them overnight.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

From the Nashville Zoo Aviary

A Little Bluebacked Parrot

little bluebacked parrot

A Little Green Lorikeet

little green lorikeet

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Figs and Prickles

Fig Tree in Bloom

Fig Tree in Bloom

Fig Blossoms

Fig Blossoms

New Growth on Prickly Pear Leaf, Flowering

Prickly Pear in Bloom, Another View

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Expanding Springtime

New Growth on a Prickly Pear Leaf

Prickly Pear Leaf, with New Springtime Growth

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tenth Birthday

M&M, Age 10, Continues to Consider the Camera


The triangular face of my kitten,
Wide-set eyes and snub nose, has me smitten.
She has beauty so mild
That, like mother to child,
I am bonded--the parent bug's bitten!

And it's lasted ten years, for I found
That just having this foundling around
Brought me endless delight--
So the bonding's still tight,
Since she captured my heart at one bound.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Three Passes

Aransas Pass

Aransas Pass* leads to a bay
On the Texas Gulf Coast. Every day,
In a salt-water file,
Ships will pass Mustang Isle
To the south; to the north, San José.

*Aransas Pass, a ship channel which leads from the Gulf of Mexico to Aransas Bay and provides access for all ocean-going ships to the port of Corpus Christi, lies between San José Island and Mustang Island, just offshore from the town of Aransas Pass, Texas. A free ferry connects this small town to the town of Port Aransas at the northern end of Mustang Island. Port Aransas advertises itself to tourists interested in salt-water fishing with the slogan, “Port Aransas, where they bite every day.”


Apache Pass, Texas

A pass is a way to get through:
At *Apache Pass, Texas, the view
Is historic—a stream's
Gravel crossing that gleams
With the dreams the old Spaniards once knew.

*In the years 1746–1749, three Spanish missions and a presidio were built near Apache Pass, a gravel bar crossing on the San Gabriel River, near the present small city of Georgetown, Texas. In 2004, the nearby farm road FM 908 was identified as part of the Upper El Camino Real, which is a National Historical Trail from Mexico to Louisiana.


Apache Pass, Ft. Bowie, Arizona

Named *Apache by Spaniards, this way
(Called a pass) through the mountains still may
Enchant travelers who go
Where its spring-waters flow,
At the crossroads of history, today.

*Apache Pass is located within Ft. Bowie, Arizona, where elevations range between 4,550 and 5,250 feet. The Spaniards had established missions there, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, because of the water available from a year-round spring. They named the place for the Apache people, within whose home in the Chiricahua Mountains it lay. In 1862 the Apache fought their only major battle against the U.S. Army at Apache Pass, being forced to withdraw in the face of the army's mountain howitzer. Ft. Bowie was built to protect this route for settlers moving west, and it is now a park, designated as a National Historic Site.


Ft. Bowie

When I went to Ft. Bowie, I saw
Living history that left me in awe:
A perennial spring
Where Apache would sing
Or make love or make war down the draw.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An Intriguing Old Word: Cloke

Here's the tale of my cloking young cat--
How she clawed me and brought on a spat--
But the photo below
Is her housemate, although,
He, too, clokes at the drop of a hat.

Intent Kitty

First she cloked* me, left-pawed, for she thought
There was reason: Her yowl had not brought
Any catnip. Therefore,
By the open fridge door,
First she clawed--then she nipped—then we fought.

I am sure she'd not meant to provoke me--
With her head she could pleasingly stroke me.
Still, her quick feline mind
Told her not to be kind
But go straight for attention and cloke me.

Yet she soon sought forgiveness, so then
As she purred, I forgave her. And when
I had served her the cream
And the catnip, her dream
Had come true. So, she'll cloke me again.

Pet cats, like their presumed owners, learn by doing.

*One meaning of cloke, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is "to claw, scratch or clutch." The OED provides the following illustrative sentence, from about the year 1883: "The cat cloked me."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

March Remembrance

I've encountered beguilement so crass
That the sun-scattered coins on the grass
Made me think it was warm,
And the dandelions' charm
Lured me out to cold winter, alas!

Dandelions in March

Most enticingly tempting me out,
With the message, "Spring's here—make no doubt,"
Sunny coins beckoned smilingly,
Winking beguilingly--
Gold that March winds couldn't rout.


Now it's April! A harvest of seeds
Ranged in gossamer spheres meets my needs,
As the breeze starts replanting
The lion's teeth in slanting
Bright silvery circles of weeds.

Backyard Dandelion Seedhead

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chilly Brilliance



Volunteer Tulip

Volunteer Tulip

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring on Campus

Under the Redbud Tree

Under the Redbud Tree

Redbud Blossoms, Close Up


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jonquil Cultivar Beside Neighbor's Driveway

Blowing under the morning sun

Jonquil Cultivar by Neighbor's Driveway

Side view

Side View

Front view

Front View

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hosta with Snow

The large hosta plant by my back door shines pleasingly year-round with large green-and-yellow variegated leaves. These gathered their second snowflakes of the season just past dawn, but a brisk northwest wind has evaporated the little white heaps under the morning's weak sunlight. I made the photo below on February 13, 2008.

Hosta with Snow, 2-13-08

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Looking at 2008

Nearly a month since I last posted here!
So, I'll share my cat's portrait, in a frosty new year:

M&M's eyes and whiskers

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