Friday, June 29, 2007
Dolphins, in the ocean off St Simons Island. Baby in pod, came quite close to Kimmie and myself. (We were engaging in an experiment to see if we could telepathically cause them to appear by visualizing dolphins and "asking" them to show themselves. It worked. We think.)
Bear. Big. Twice. Once near Ames (Telluride) the other in Aspen, post-Panic show.
Humpback whales, breaching. Maui. Baby humpback with mother.
Copperhead in woods about 4 feet from me. This was scary too.
HUGE alligator while camping on Cumberland Island. Blocked path through swamp. Refused to move. Threw sticks at it in the arrogant safety of youth. Would flee now. Scary.
Mountain Lion, just a fleeting glimpse from car on way home.
Marmots. Tons. Cutest animals ever.
Armadillos, quite possibly the densest animals on the planet. Partially deaf, and can be carriers of leprosy. Enough said.
Sea turtles, in water very close. Maui.
Spinner dolphins, Maui.
Tiger sharks, lazily swimming around in a small bay. Very very big. Also scary to watch.
A fox, twice. Very very beautiful. Very very shy and afraid of humans.
Elk, a thundering group that charged Martha and me in the field ouside the condo. Also, very very big animals. Mating call incredibly loud and wonderful to hear.
White minky-weasely creature underneath ski lift.
Bunnies. Little brown cottontails. Flipper loves them. Actually, Flipper loves to race towards them screaming bunny!!!! bunn-eeee!!!!! at the top of her lungs. Very fun to witness, through perhaps not so fun for the hapless hare.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
The mini-van was perfect for our trip, with just one tiny glitch: it was impossible to regulate the air temperature inside. It was either freezing cold, or hot and stuffy. There was a constant stream of requests coming from the rear, "More air!" quickly followed by, "We're freezing!" It drove Smokey insane. Kathryn covered herself in her shroud most of the time.
Then, it was on to Ohio, which meant incredibly empty highways, outstandingly friendly drivers, and more more more Italian restaurants. Tons. No sushi, no Thai, no Mexican....in short, none of what is so popular here. And there are no real Italian places here, and no, for any Chapel Hill-Durham readers, Il Palio does not count. Also, there was quite a dearth of foreign cars. A dearth as in...almost none. Nothing but American cars. Warren and Canfield were very New England-y in feel, green town squares, pretty wooden house, all flying some sort of patriotic flag or bunting, it was so very different from where I live. This is what I love about traveling around America, which I have done quite often: it can be very homogenous, yet every downtown looks different, and every town has something that makes it unique. We went to the second largest municipal park in the country (second to Central Park) and visited an old and restored mill. Patriotic banners and all. The weather was incredibly cooperative, cool at night and low-humidity days. Just perfect. Two big family dinners, held, each night at...an Italian restaurant!!! Reminded me again that our last name is very very Italian.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Here is Flipper with Edward, Jessica's second child. They visited on Saturday. I wish I had felt better, had more energy.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Smokey bought the gravel because I knew Flipper would immediately hone in on the brightest, gaudiest color gravel she could find. The little plant is real, too. Flipper did select the treasure chest, of course. And she also selected two guppies, a yellow one and a blue one. She promptly named them Pink and Purple. Alas, Purple went belly-up while we were out for a walk on Saturday. Now, as a kid this would have devastated me, as the little thing would have been VERY VERY real to me, totally anthropomorphised into a real person, a friend. She has not inherited this trait from me (thank god). Wasn't sad, just said, "He was happy and then he died." I immediately knew that she had been prepped for the inevitable by Smokey, as that sentence could never have come out of her little brain in a million years. So, down to one fish, Pink. Must get Pink a new Purple very soon. No fish at all WOULD be sad.
Our next encounter with Wild Kingdom came on Sunday, as we went for a walk around theForbidden Field in the rain with Rose and Baby Seamus and the damn dogs. As we entered the field, a deer boundeed into the woods on the far side. We all watched it vanish, the dogs perked up, and then we kept walking when Rose said, "LOOK!!" Stepping tentatively out of the woods on our side came a tiny, tiny fawn. It could not have been more than a day or two old. The damn dog that is also a killer bounded towards it and I yelled at him, which he, of course, completely ignored. It is one of th efew times I have ever been glad that Jr was dead, as he adn Shambles together would have made short work of that fawn. The baby deer crumpled to the ground and froze. Because it didn't move, the Shambles was confused and sniffed at it. It was so tiny, so delicate. It was also completely still, a survival instinct. We got out of the field as fast as we could, knowing that the mother would come back for it and lead it to safety once we were gone. Flipper and Baby Seamus were completely enthralled. He, in fact, repeated "Baby deah, baby deah" about ten million times. I was so so proud of Flipper; as badly as she wanted to see it, (and now I wish I had let her come and look at it), she obeyed me and stayed with Rose and the strollers. She had a million questions. I wish I had taken the time to let her see the tiny fawn, but I wanted his mother to come back soon, the poor little thing was in the rain. I even resisted the urge to go back in an hour or two and make sure it was gone, but I didn't. I did go back yesterday. No sign of it, thank god.
The whole "nature red in tooth and claw" was, in fact, written by Tennyson, in a long poem about his sister's fiancee's death in battle. Nothing to do with wilderness at all. But still appropriate. And still a hard lesson to learn.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
The party brought something else to the forefront of my mind. I have long been convinced that modern appliances and conveniences create pure laziness. Not that it doesn't make me use them, understand. But for the first time in my whole life, I now have a dishwasher, one that isn't ME. My parents never had one while I was growing up; Kathryn and I split the dinner dish duties our entire lives, from the age of about 7 onward. Our parents gave us Sunday off. We hated it. When others would express surprise that we didn't own a dishwasher, my mother would respond, "Why should we? I have 2!!" She wasn't kidding. In my adulthood, and I use that term loosely, I lived in rental after rental, a total of 20 or so addresses since graduating from college. None had a dishwasher, or at least none had one that worked. I think there was one in the Searcy Mtn house that was broken. When Keith gutted and completely remodeled the kitchen, he salvaged a dishwasher from another remodel, in great shape, a GE, white, which matches the other appliances, etc. It came to live in my kitchen in late January. I used it for the first time 3 weeks ago. Now I want to have sex with it, I love it that much. My delay was mostly practical: most of the time it is just Flipper and myself, we don't generate tons of dishes, etc. I hate the thought of dirty dishes sitting in a rack. Brings roaches. So I resisted, held out. (Probably for the first time in my life). Then I broke down, and have been putting out ever since. I love it so much. Flipper puts her little plates in there, I run it every two or three days...it whooshes agreeable for an hour or two, and the dishes, they are so CLEAN. I break the rules every now and then and put silverware in there, even though I shouldn't (I have sterling flatware). Martha says no to putting silver in the dishwasher. It is a mark of how lazy this thing has made me that I don't want to hand wash, in just three short weeks, a few forks. So insidious. So convenient. So American. And now, so ME.